PEN CRAFT AWARD
Good news to share with readers as Salmon Survivor wins the Pen Craft Literary Award for First Place in Pre-teen Children's division!
In September, I headed out to Hoonah, Alaska, with a few friends to fish for Silvers (Coho), Pinks (humpies), and Dollies. We avoided Grizzly Bears, followed the 20-foot tides back and forth, and watched as the silvers would roll into the bay and up the tributaries. It never amazes me how the circle of life is so crucial in the salmon life cycle. We saw so many carcasses of salmon and the many different wildlife who are sustained by them. What an amazing trip!
I was then able to bookend the trip by doing some book signings in Juneau, AK at the Rainy Retreat Bookstore and visit the Hearthside Bookstore in Juneau. It was great talking to locals and also chatting with cruisers who would stop off for the day in Juneau to take in the sights. We sold out the novels, and were able to promote Salmon Survivor even more.
I can't thank all the friends, family, and readers enough who left a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or Barnes & Noble after the Book Launch. It's really helping spread the word on the book. If you've finished reading Salmon Survivor, please leave a review as it keeps the book current and relevant in the book world. Thanks for all your help!
FISH ON and READ ON!
Great news to share as Salmon Survivor is now available for pre-ordering on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound! Pre-ordering is so important to give a head start in the publishing world and ultimately get the novel into the hands of more readers.
Thanks to some of you for already making it a #1 Best Seller on Amazon under the New Releases this weekend! Please keep the momentum going to share the news with any kiddos, teachers, parents, librarians, and folks you know who love the outdoors, wildlife, and an adventure story. Consider also buying a copy to donate to your local library, school, or classroom teacher.
Click here to order a copy
After receiving our eyed trout eggs from the PA Fish & Boat Commission in the beginning of February and watching them hatch, they now are swimming little alevins, or sac fry. The students and I enjoy observing them in the hatching basket. In this stage, they will lay at the bottom, waiting to digest their nutrient sac and “button up.” Then, they will learn to swim and use their fins to navigate the currents.
I always remind the students that in this stage, the Rainbow trout are vulnerable little toddlers and will need a lot of current and oxygen to keep them thriving (I can’t help but connect these little alevins to my own little nine month old at home, Zander, who’s also learned to crawl and zip across our living room floor).
I can’t wait for the students to observe the trout rising off the bottom and attempting to feed. It’s an amazing sight which I hope we observe in March.
As the book publishing date for Salmon Survivor inches closer, I wanted to share bits and pieces of the novel before it hits the shelves in August. In the story, the main character (Jack Cooper) tears off pieces of a placemat from the lodge restaurant which have a variety of Alaskan Facts on them and puts them in his journal. These were based loosely on an experience I had while visiting a few restaurants and lodges in Alaska. I used this concept of learning about Alaska to begin all the chapters of the story. Each fact somehow relates and ties into the chapter which follows.
The Relevant graphic editors have done a tremendous job with creating a ‘torn-newspaper look’ at the beginning of each chapter. They even subtly added the Alaskan flag behind it, which you may recognize it to be the North Star and Big Dipper constellation. I hope readers young and old will appreciate these little touches which make the book more interesting.
MARCH MAMMAL MADNESS
If you haven’t participated in March Mammal Madness yet, check out the ASU website and complete your MMM bracket as it runs through the entire month of March. My students and I are having tremendous discussions on which animals will survive through the madness to reach the Championship.
Since my novel Salmon Survivor is written as all-things-Alaskan, I had to fill my bracket out as an all-Alaskan-final with GRIZZLY BEAR VS. ORCA in the final championship round, and the ORCA winning! #TeamOrca
Currently buzzing at 52 degrees Fahrenheit, our classroom 55-gallon tank waits on the Rainbow Trout eyed-eggs to arrive from the PA Fish & Boat Commission. The last two years have been challenging for all TIC participants due to Covid restrictions, delays, and schedule changes. As we usually receive our eggs in early November, this year, we will receive them this week in early February. The kiddos are excited.
It’s always a hopeful time for all when the eggs arrive. These round orange dots, about the size of an eraser head with little eyes inside, represent the beginning of life for the trout. We provide the perfect scenario including shade, oxygen, runs, riffles, and pools, much like a trout stream. The eggs will sit in the hatching baskets until they hatch into the alevins (sac-fry). Then, we will wait further for them to button-up and begin feeding and swimming freely within the tank. By March, I'm hoping to share some pictures of our trout fry.
I’m also happy to announce that the publishing date set for my middle grade novel is…
(DRUM ROLL, PLEASE)….
The Relevant Publishing team is currently working on the final drafts of Salmon Survivor behind the scenes, getting the Library of Congress information registered, and creating the cover work. Sheila Dunn’s salmon artwork will adorn the novel’s cover. We decided to have the fresh Sockeye (Red) salmon on the front and the wrap the salmon around the book. Her rendition of the Red when it comes back to spawn in its reddish head and olive body colors will be on the back cover. Here's an example of the cover, artwork, and possible font.
The interpretation for the reader of the full salmon journey from beginning to the end played a part in our choice to use both of the salmon stages (fresh from the ocean and mature spawning versions). We hope that Sheila’s work will entice readers and anglers alike to open the book and read Salmon Survivor. Check out her work and website at www.sheiladunnart.com.
I’ll have more updates in March to share about the book and ways to pre-order your copy and novel goodies to share.
In the meantime, while fishing is at an icy standstill due to Punxsutawney Phil’s winter outlook, hope you're getting some winter fly tying in. Does anyone have some groundhog fur to tie up a Groundhog nymph pattern?