The Frame-Up

June 5th 2018

The Frame-Up - Bookcover

September

Seriously. How did this happen?

I am finally on the home stretch re: my work-in-progress.

Every time I write a new book it’s like I’m learning to write all over again.

While it could be me, it could also be that every book wants to be written in its own way.

I have this dream of being a plotter, but the (sad?) truth is that I KNOW I am mostly a pantser who starts with an interesting idea and then rewrites it completely four times.

Fine. I can live with that.

I’m about to pass it into my agent (I hope!), then have another project to write and another project to research. I like having multiple things on the go.

I’m hoping to complete my initial research by November 1, because there is nothing I love more than participating in NaNoWriMo.

I just love the camaraderie and comfort of knowing that thousands of people are also drafting a novel at the same time I am.

I get asked all the time how I get my ideas.

I’d like to say they come easy, but that isn’t true. Sometimes I worry an idea for months, like a dog worrying a bone, until there is enough there for me to put some meat on the bone. (What is it with all the bone analogies here?)

I’ve also got some classes and schools I’m mentoring this fall, and if someone is looking for me to visit their classroom via Skype, drop me a line! I love to do Skype visits and they are always no charge! I also do Skype visits with book clubs!

I’m also teaching a writing class at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery on the afternoon of October 16th, so if you’re interested, Contact the front desk at emailbag@beaverbrookartgallery.org or by calling (506) 458-2028.

And soon enough, I will be hosting an Advanced Reader Copy giveaway here on this site! Stay tuned!

Have a wonderful rest of September!

THE COPYCAT COVER REVEAL!

I’m so excited to share the cover of my next book, THE COPYCAT, which is being published by Greenwillow Books on March 10, 2020!

The illustrator is Erwin Madrid and I love it!

Those of you in the Saint John area may recognize the house on the cover!

I was thrilled to do the formal reveal on Mr. Schu’s blog Watch.Connect.Read.

For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Schu, he is the Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic and a lecturer at Rutgers.

Most importantly, he is a wonderful champion for children’s literature!

You can read my interview with him here.

I’ll be sharing how to pre-order the book next week, but now, without further ado, scroll down and get your first peek at The Copycat! I can’t wait for you to meet Ali and her family and friends!

A brief description from my publisher:

A funny, unpredictable, and heartfelt new novel from Wendy McLeod MacKnight, the author of The Frame-Up. Ali has always acted like a copycat to make friends, but when she unexpectedly inherits the ability to change her appearance at will, fitting in seems impossible! Luckily, with the help of her family, new friends, and a touch of magic, Ali might just survive middle school after all. A great pick for fans of Dan Gemeinhart, Erin Entrada Kelly, and Diana Wynne Jones.

Ali and her parents have moved at least once a year for as long as Ali can remember. She’s attended six different schools, lived in dozens of apartments, and never really felt at home anywhere. But Ali’s parents say living in Saint John, New Brunswick, will be different. They’ve moved in with Ali’s great-grandmother—a spunky 99-year-old with a quirky old house that has room for all of them. Ali wants to believe this will be their last move, but everything seems too perfect to be true.

To Ali’s surprise, things are different this time, but not in the way she hoped. She’s finally inherited the Sloane family powers—the ability to change her appearance into any living thing. Ali is a Copycat. Literally. And being the new kid at school is hard enough without worrying about losing control of your powers and turning into your teacher. Luckily, Ali’s new friends are eager to help her use her newfound power. But as Ali soon learns, being a Copycat is no substitute for being yourself.

Wendy McLeod MacKnight’s The Copycat is an imaginative and surprising middle-school story about friendship, family, and self-confidence that is perfect for fans of John David Anderson’s Posted and Katherine Applegate’s Wishtree.

What do you think????????

Have a great week!

The Dog Days of Summer!

Can you believe August is almost here?

Can you believe I haven’t written a post in three weeks?

In my defence, I had tons of company for the first two weeks, a college reunion, and a flying trip out of town.

There is nothing like a mini-vacation to clear the cobwebs from your mind…

The red roof in the distance belongs to the Algonquin Hotel and I promise that if you ever visit St. Andrews, New Brunswick, the Algonquin will not disappoint.
Who doesn’t like a Llama? This one shows up at 12:30 each day at Kingsbrae Gardens.

But now I am back and buckling down to finish my revisions for book four!

Which means: The Copycat is pretty much in the can! It won’t be long until I can do a cover reveal and there are advance reader’s copies! Stay tuned!

With August beckoning, I am reminded that many teachers are heading back to school soon (!)

So I’m running a twitter giveaway just for teachers, throwing in a one of my favourite reads this summer, All of Me by Chris Baron!

Yes, those are Brady Bunch Funko Pops in back. Found them for $5 each and bought them all. Do not judge.

If you’re a teacher or want to share the giveaway with a teacher friend, click here. Good luck!

Have a fantastic week!

JUNE!

I love June!

The days are getting longer, the nights are warmer, things are beginning to bloom, the pool has reached 82 degrees (which is the only temperature I swim at!)…

And even better, The Frame-Up is out in paperback!

While I adore hardcovers, I am a true fan of paperbacks, since they are so much more affordable!

SO LET’S DO A GIVEAWAY, SHALL WE?

To celebrate the paperback version, I’m having an exclusive giveaway for subscribers to this website!

Leave me a note below and you’ll be entered for a chance to win 2 paperback copies of the book! I’ll draw a name on June 20th!

One for you and one to give away!

GOOD LUCK!

CONGRATS AMY – YOU WON!

Book Review:

I don’t typically review books on this blog, but I absolutely have to recommend OUR CASTLE BY THE SEA by Lucy Strange.

For those of you who are fans of Kim Brubaker Bradley’s THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE and THE WAR I FINALLY WON, this book will be a special treat!

Last week I found Lucy’s first book, THE SECRET OF NIGHTINGALE WOOD, and loved it so much that I needed to read more of her work right away!

Her new book is equally good.

Set in England at the start of World War II, the book tells the story of Pet (short for Petra), who lives in a lighthouse (which she calls the castle) near a small village on the coast with her sister Mags (Magda), their lighthouse keeper father, and their German-born mother, Mutti.

With England at war, the world as Pet knows it is no more, as everyone in her sphere is gripped with the fear of an imminent invasion by the Nazis.

When their mother is taken to an internment camp German after acts of sabotage in the local village, the bond between the sisters becomes frayed. Secrets threaten to tear the once close-knit family apart. Can Pet, who is both enthralled by the sea and yet terrified of it, solve the mystery of who has being committing the sabotage and save her mother? Can she find a way to connect to her sister once more and discover who the mysterious man at the top of the cliff is? Can she find a way to cope with the losses that war brings?

Filled with beautiful language, evocative images, and unforgettable characters, this story is compelling and thrilling and un-put-down-able! With tons of twists and turns, readers will be left guessing until the end.

Now I just have to wait for Lucy to write another book!

5 stars!

I’m back!

Holy cow! Those two weeks were jam-packed, but I arrived back in New Brunswick late last week and have been struggling to catch up ever since!

Being part of TD Canadian Children’s Book Week was a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Over the course of six days I visited 6 schools and 4 libraries and drove more backroads in Saskatchewan than you can shake a stick at!

I met amazing children, teachers, and librarians and had a wonderful time! THANK YOU SASKATCHEWAN!

I even made it into the Estevan newspaper!

After Saskatchewan, I did a quick trip up to Jasper, Alberta and stopped in to Jasper Elementary School!

The view from the library window – nice, huh???

Now that I’m back, I’m finishing revisions for my next book, waiting to see the copy edits for THE COPYCAT, and looking forward to warmer weather (it’s been terribly cold here!).

I’m also beginning to play with an idea for the book after THAT! I’ve also got a couple of Beaverbrook Art Gallery tours lined up! And next week, I think it’s time for a paperback giveaway of The Frame-Up!

Hope you are all well!!!!

Book Tour, Media, May!

We have so much to catch up on!

First:

How beautiful is that poster by the amazing artist and author Elly MacKay? Want a print to celebrate book week? click here!

I’ll be in southern Saskatchewan from May 5th to May 11th, visiting schools and public libraries! I lived in Regina one winter and think the prairies are absolutely amazing, so I can’t wait to visit!

In addition to lots of school visits, I’ve got four public talks/readings scheduled at public libraries (Go Libraries!), and while there will be kids there, the public is more than welcome and I will try to be super entertaining!

Monday May 6th: Redvers Public Library, 10 am

Tuesday, May 7th: Oungre Public Library, 2 pm

Thursday, May 9th: Grenfell Public Library, 9:30 am

Friday, May 10th, Regina Public Library, Connaught Branch, 1:15 pm

Hope to see you there!

I’ll also be tweeting, facebooking, instagramming, and just generally shouting about the tour from the rooftops, so follow along!

Jasper

I’ll be at Jasper Elementary School in Jasper, Alberta on Monday, May 13th!

Media!

There’s a great article about me and The Frame-Up on CBC’s website.

And they also did a radio interview with me.

And a TV spot.

The Copycat has gone to copy edits!!!!

Can an ARC be far behind?

Finally, you won’t hear from me here until the third week of May. But at that time, I think we’ll run a big giveaway for some paperback copies of The Frame-Up, which come out June 4th! Right now I’m thinking of a teacher giveaway and a civilian giveaway (for the rest of us!). More details to come!

Have a happy couple of weeks and thanks for all the support!

I may have spoken too soon…

It seems that Spring does not want to arrive here in New Brunswick.

My normally cheerful self is feeling, well, slightly less cheerful.

Oh well. It will be better. Won’t it?

I’ve been hunkered down in my office anyway, revising my WIP. After a fabulous brainstorming session with my agent Lauren Galit, and her associate, Caitlen Rubino-Bradway, I am firing on all cylinders and really love this book!

I’ve also been reading. My latest #mglit read is THE MISCALCULATIONS OF LIGHTNING GIRL, by Stacy McAnulty, which frankly, is just a fantastic title!

This book is going to make you laugh out loud, sigh, and perhaps, shed a tear. But you will LOVE it!

I don’t know about you, but I am waiting for Game of Thrones to begin on Sunday. Wait – the better description is – I am practically vibrating as I wait for the final season to begin. So many theories, so little time…

If you’d like a little Game of Thrones-ish middle grade title, look no further than THE MAD WOLF’S DAUGHTER and its sequel HUNT FOR THE MAD WOLF’S DAUGHTER, by Diane Magras. The middle ages, characters on the run after they’re accused of treason, a noble character at the heart of the story who fights for what’s right. The story has it all and is, even better, age appropriate!

Enjoy your week!!!!

Giveaway and I’m on The Next Chapter on CBC Radio!

Happy Spring!

As promised, I’m doing a giveaway!

Not only am I giving away a copy of The Frame-Up and its holiday companion story, I’m giving away a copy of Anne Braden’s amazing book, THE BENEFITS OF BEING AN OCTOPUS!

The book is autographed to me, but I love it so much that I think it needs to be in the hands of as many kids as possible, so I’m willing to give my copy up!

To enter, leave a comment or pop over to twitter and retweet my contest tweet:

Good luck!!!!

My book riff on The Frame-Up airs this weekend on CBC’s The Next Chapter! Today I did another interview with Shelagh Rogers, for a piece that will air later this spring, and she is as wonderful as you think she is!

My piece airs this Saturday at 4 pm on CBC radio 1, and will be repeated on Monday, March 25th at 1 p.m.

Or you can go HERE and listen to it as soon as they post it online!

What’s next? I’m almost done the next draft of my WIP. If all goes well, my agent will have it in her capable hands by the end of April!

And I get the pleasure of taking students from the elementary school in Geary on a very special Frame-Up tour at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery next week! I can’t wait!!!

Have a great weekend!

March Update

Happy Friday!

Thought some of you might like to know what I’ve been up to lately.

Others might like to know what’s coming up or would like some insider information.

First things first: The paperback version of The Frame-Up comes out June 4th and it has a fabulous (and different) cover!

I love this – so colourful!

Second, I’m in the final throes of edits for my next book. Its title?

THE COPYCAT

Expect a cover reveal by spring and Advanced Reader Copies shortly thereafter.

Right now, it looks like the book will published early March, 2020.

The CopyCat takes place in Saint John, New Brunswick, so don’t be surprised if there is plenty of fog. And maybe some Reversing Falls?

I’m so excited for you to read this book! It is completely different than The Frame-Up, but just as good (I think!).

I’m going to be talking about The Frame-Up on Shelagh Rogers’ CBC radio program The Next Chapter on March 23rd. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you…

I adore Shelagh, so this is quite a thrill!

I’m going to to Woodstock for a School Visit!

I love school visits, and all the storms have been keeping me close to home, but surely March 19th will be sunny and clear… Can’t wait to see you all, Townsview School!

I’m also doing lots of Skype Visits These Days…

Schools, book clubs… If you and your friends or your students are reading The Frame-Up, I’m happy to Skype in! Just send me a note at wendy@wendymcleodmacknight.com!

Finally, I have some very sad news….

Those of you who’ve read It’s a Mystery, Pig Face! are well aware that Tracy and Ralph’s favourite sleuthing snack is pink peppermints made by Ganong Brothers.

This week it was announced that the company will no longer be making the peppermints. I would describe this as a tragedy, the end of the era, a not-so-sweet ending to my lifetime adoration of these mints. Please, no one tell Tracy and Ralph….

Sigh….

The week after next is my son’s birthday, so I think we’ll have another book giveaway in honour of him and Spring! Stay tuned for more details!!!!

Books you need to read NOW!

Happy Friday!

I love it when favourite authors release new books!

It’s like a gift; you know you loved their previous work, and you’re pretty sure that you’re going to love their next work, too!!!

via GIPHY

So today I am sharing some new books that I have on order and cannot wait to receive:

Am expecting belly laughs galore!
This book is actually YA, but you NEED to read it!
MORE ADVENTURES!
Love love love Kim’s take on the world!

I am in the throes of revising my next book, but these books will be my reward in March for all my hard work!

I highly recommend each of these authors – you will NOT be disappointed!

Reviews

I’ve been thinking about reviews lately, mostly because the lovely Laura Arnhold over at Literacious.com, a wonderful middle grade literature blog, featured The Frame-Up in her weekly Books I Loved with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads series.

Most people don’t know how important reviews are to authors. They help a potential reader decide whether or not to read a book. The more reviews a book receives, there is greater potential that it will receive more attention in any particular platform, be it Amazon, Goodreads, Chapters and the like.

There are rumours that 50 reviews on Amazon somehow kicks in an algorithm that promotes the book to potential readers who are looking at similar styles of books.

In general, The Frame-Up has received excellent reviews from trade publications, The Wall Street Journal, Canadian Childhood Book Centre, and Atlantic Books Today to name but a few. But what it hasn’t gotten is a lot of readers going online and sharing their thoughts. Maybe you can change that!

Dog writes a review: ‘A sublime book, I devoured it in one sitting …’

If you are so inclined, please leave a review of The Frame-Up on Amazon or on Goodreads if you are a member! It would be so kind!! And who knows? It may get the book into many more people’s hands!!!!!

THANKS!

‘Read any good book reviews lately?’

Books I’m Excited About

I don’t know about you, but I am in serious cocooning mode right now. As my friend Brian used to say, Forevuary is a LOOOONG month!

But never fear! I’m here with some books that I think will make you cheer. (BTW – didn’t realize that would rhyme til it was done!)

My next read:

Angie Thomas doesn’t need me to sell this book for her, but I will anyway! She is an exceptional talent. The Hate U Give blew me away, and based on the early reviews, On The Come Up will as well. A must-read!

My favourite read so far this year:

Dan Gemeinhart is a genius character developer, and I was in love with all of the characters of this book. I expect to see this book on every Best of 2019 list at the end of the year!

Books that recently won awards that you need to read:

I think I could gladly take any of these to a desert island and be super happy to stay awhile!

Finally, a book I just read that was wonderful and fun:

The cover doesn’t really convey it, but this is a creepy, cool, and interesting take on parallel worlds and faeries. I did not want it to end.

Finally, the cover of Margaret Atwood’s next book is out. I am reading SO much into it and I cannot WAIT!

What are you reading these days?

Birthday Book Winner!

Hey Kristin Crouch – you’re the winner!!! Hope you enjoy the books!!!!!

Other news:

I’m doing an interactive reading of a chapter from The Frame-Up this Sunday afternoon at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery! Think Rocky Horror Picture Show meets The Frame-Up (minus the rice, given that it is an art gallery!!!)

See you at 2:30 on Sunday! And come prepared to interact!

A birthday present for you!

So my birthday was this past Monday.

I’m not sharing my age, not because I particularly care, but because a lovely young man during a school visit this week guessed that I was “at least twenty years old”.

I’ll take it!

As a thank you for subscribing to this blog, I’m offering an exclusive contest for you!

This week on twitter, I offered to give away a copy of The Frame-Up and It’s a Mystery, Pig Face.

But I’m sweetening the deal for my followers here at wendymcleodmacknight.com:

Not only will one lucky reader get a copy of the above, but I’m throwing in bookmarks, some bookplates, an extra copy of It’s a Mystery, Pig Face, and the story I wrote about the characters in The Frame-Up, A Beaverbrook Holiday!

To enter, just leave a note below! I’ll draw a name next Thursday and send them off to you!

Thanks for hanging in here and Happy Wendy’s Birthday to YOU!

Happy New Year!

Well 2018 flew by, didn’t it?

I’m in the throes of final revisions for my next book, which must be turned in mid-month, so this is a short post.

I had a wonderful holiday.

My favourite present? The handmade book pillow my husband had made for me:

I’m also excited to share a recent interview I did that appears in the winter edition of Canadian Children’s Book News:

Kind of thrilling that someone thinks I should be kept an eye on (though my parents said that my entire childhood!!!)

I hope you have a wonderful 2019! My birthday is only days away, which means one thing: next week I’m giving YOU a present!

Thank You, Next

This is my last post for 2018

I’m taking a couple of weeks off to enjoy the holidays and gear up for a busy 2019.

But I wanted to write a quick post to thank you for all your support in 2018.

So often, we see social media posts that make the lives of writers seem glamorous and perfect.

The reality is this: I spent most of 2018 alone in my office, writing and revising. 

So even though it may have seemed like my life was a whirlwind of book-related events —and sometimes it was—there were many moments of disappointment, many book signings where only 2 or 3 people showed up, many times when I thought my writing was so horrible I contemplated giving up.

But I didn’t give up.

And I am grateful. Grateful for the people who purchased The Frame-Up, grateful to the people who recommended it to their friends or borrowed it from the library or simply congratulated me.

I got to experience so much this year: interviews on the radio, being Artist-in-Residence at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, meeting Mona Dunn’s grandson, being reviewed by the Wall Street Journal. 

I’ve been edited by the best, from my first readers to my beloved agent, Lauren Galit, to my esteemed editors at Greenwillow Books, Virginia Duncan and Katie Heit.

Mostly, I remind myself, as the year comes to a close, of how fortunate I am. Six years ago, I left my job to pursue this dream. Four years ago, Lauren Galit changed my life when she offered to represent me. My family and friends support me on a constant basis and are so patient.

In the end, our successes can only be measured against the experiences we have along the way.

Not every day as a writer is joyful, but the good days more than make up for the bad days, and the people I have met along the way have inspired and humbled me.

And the readers who have loved my books have sustained me.

You are why I write, and I thank you. And next year? Next year, I’ll be sharing lots of news about my next book, promoting the paperback version of The Frame-Up, and hopefully selling my next book. 

And look for a special giveaway for blog readers only in January!

I hope the rest of 2018 treats you well, and that 2019 is all you dream it will be. So dream big, knowing I am rooting for you! Happy New Year!

Come See Me at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery This Sunday!

 

Sunday, December 9th is the last Family Art Day at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery for 2018.

 

I’ll be there with bells on!

 

I had the opportunity to judge the Writing on the Walls exhibition, and I can’t wait to meet the middle graders who wrote such amazing poems and short stories!

 

The details:

12:30- 1:30 pm (RBC Learning Centre)
Awards and presentations for the Writing on the Walls exhibition, on display in the Sobey Youth Art Space

Zach Hapeman, Nancy Bauer, and Wendy McLeod MacKnight invite families to celebrate the creative writing of Devon Middle School’s Grade 6 classes.

The Writing on the Walls program is a partnership between the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and Fredericton’s literary festival, Word Feast. The goal of the program is to support the development of student literacy skills through creative writing and an increased exposure to fine art. 144 Grade 6 students wrote about 10 selected works of art in the collection! See their prose and poetry here and view the original artwork throughout the gallery.

 

I’ll also be talking about The Frame-Up and A Beaverbrook Holiday, doing a reading, and signing your copies!

 

Details:

2:00- 3:30 pm (International Wing)
Visit author Wendy McLeod MacKnight for conversations and readings from The Frame-Up and her new short story A Beaverbrook Holiday!

 

Finally, do you love collage and puppets?

Then the Beaverbook has an activity for you!

2:00- 5:00 pm (RBC Learning Centre)
Paper Collage Puppets with Laura Bird

Use paper cutouts, magazines, glue and pins to create your own masterpieces inspired by the Gallery’s collection of masterworks and the popular children’s book The Frame-Up written by Wendy McLeod MacKnight,

Laura-Beth Bird is a theatre artist based in Fredericton, New Brunswick with 4+ years of production experience, set building, and visual arts experience. Laura-Beth has taught youth in classrooms across New Brunswick through the Beaverbrook Art Gallery’s Outreach Program initiatives. A graduate of St. Thomas University, Laura-Beth studied Dramatics and Theatre Production. She is a mixed media artist, focusing on production for children’s entertainment.

 

Laura-Beth also happens to have played Madame Juliette at The Frame-Up book launch!

 

 

I absolutely plan to go down and make my own puppet!

Hope to see you Sunday!

 

xx Wendy

The Nutcracker Tea and Holiday Giveaway!

 

It’s December!

I mean, technically, December starts of Saturday, but it feels like November has flown by!

I’m almost done my second week as Artist-in-Residence at The Beaverbrook Art Gallery and am hard at work on my writing!

I did take some time this past Sunday to launch A Beaverbrook Holiday during the gallery’s Nutcracker Tea and it was so much fun!

My favourite part was leading some children in singing Christmas carols to the paintings!  We spent extra time singing to Mona, who was very appreciative!

And yes, I wore a PLAID SUIT!  I’d had the two pieces and never worn them together, but they were just the perfect amount of garish, and kind of punk when paired with my one of a kind Beaverbrook Converse sneakers!!!  I’m not going to brag, but Clem Cotterell gave it two thumbs up!

 

 

My favourite part was this little boy, who bought his copy of the companion story and immediately read it all in one sitting while sitting below Mona Dunn:

 

 

Lots of companion stories and copies of The Frame-Up were sold. If you recall, the story is a fundraiser for the gallery and tells the story of what the paintings do at holiday time!

It’s the perfect gift for The Frame-Up lover in your life, and you don’t need to live in Fredericton to get a copy!  Just email shop@beaverbrookartgallery.org and they’ll be happy to sell you one and mail it straight away! The cost is $12 CDN.

But you might have a chance to win your own copy! I’m giving away a copy of The Frame-Up and the companion story, A Beaverbrook Holiday, as a way of saying thank you to everyone who has supported the book this year!  Leave a comment below and I’ll pick a winner on Monday, December 3rd, autograph it for you and mail it off right away!

 

 

Just leave me a note below, or on the twitter post or Insta post and you’ll be entered to win!  Open to both US and Canada.

Good Luck!

The Frame-Up Named One of the Best Middle Grade Novels In Canada!

 

I was thrilled to receive the latest issue of Canadian Children Book Centre’s Best Books and see that The Frame-Up is included!

 

 

It’s such a thrill because I have so much respect and admiration for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre!

 

 

Not only that, I am in stellar company, with some of my favourite authors being recognized as well!!!

We don’t write books for recognition, but I’m not going to lie: it’s nice when it comes!!!!

 

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