Lois Leveen


May 15, 2012

Hot-Wiring Nancy Pearl’s Sedan

To an author, librarians are superheroes. First, they are incredible sources when we are researching and writing. Then, they are vital connectors for helping readers find our finished books. And if librarians in general are superheroes, Nancy Pearl is the superduperhero, the librarian so cool she has her own action figure. So when Nancy Pearl defines the four elements that make a person fall in love with a book, who wouldn't listen?

I did, and I blogged about it today for Powell's. Check it out on their site.
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May 14, 2012

How a Novel Happens

I didn't know I was going to be a novelist.

Or a Civil War Enthusiast.

So how did this happen?

Lois in Civil War kepi

Find out in today's guest post at powells.com -- the first of five I'll be doing this week.
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May 13, 2012

Oregoniantastic!  Louisa May Alcotterriffic!

I knew the Oregonian would be reviewing my novel on Sunday. I also knew the Sunday Oregonian actually comes out on Saturday. So Saturday afternoon, I strolled down to the store, and pawed through the paper. I chose a store that also sells things like PeptoBismol. Because it is incredibly nerve- and stomach-wracking to know you are about to read a stranger's words judging your work.

But it turns out I didn't need to swig down any pink bismuth after all. It's a great review (if you don't believe me, have a look for yourself).

And if you're interested in The Secrets of Lois Leveen as well as The Secrets of Mary Bowser , check out this interview.
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May 11, 2012

The Author’s Other Favourite Day

The UK version of my book arrived today--thanks to Suzie Doore, Francine Toon, and all the wonderful folks at Hodder & Stoughton, for bringing my book to readers across the pond.

Click on the MORE button to see how a free woman of color became a free woman of colour!


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May 10, 2012

File under:  Librarians—Partying—Texting—Non-fiction

Not-so-undercover exposé: Partying with librarians! Had drinks with a couple of librarians last night. Loose-lipped, I admitted I'd checked WorldCat earlier in the day to see what libraries already had my book.

"I'm in the Library of Congress!" I kvelled. Even though I, and the librarians, knew this was really not saying much. The LOC pretty much adds every book to its holdings. But still, it sounds so OFFICIAL. Like maybe what has John Boehner weeping this week is some touching scene I wrote.

The partying librarians, however, were all business. "What're your LOC subject headings?" one asked.

"I dunno," I said.

The librarians looked at me in shock, and then shouted in unison, "TEXT A LIBRARIAN!" Which it turns out is a nifty service in which you text message a question and somewhere a librarian toiling in darkest night researches the answer and texts you back. It's just like google but with that touch of civic pride that any library engagement involves.

So here, fresh off the text message, are the Subject Headings for *The Secrets of Mary Bowser*:

Bowser, Mary Elizabeth, ca. 1840- --Fiction.
Freedmen --Fiction.
Women spies --Fiction.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865 --Secret service--Fiction.
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