26 April

Blink Blog: Springtime Favorites

What’s your favorite thing about Spring? Favorite childhood memory from this season? Some of our Blink family answered these questions! Read their answers below!

What’s your favorite thing about Spring?

Alison Gervais:  Honestly I am more of an autumn/winter person, but I enjoy the open availability of outdoor activities that spring brings, like hiking. But there’s always the chance of a spring blizzard here in Colorado, so you never know.

Ashley Royer: I love the warmer weather. The weather is not great yet. It is still snowing and raining constantly in Massachusetts. It is also very cold. I cannot wait for it to get warmer so I am not freezing all of the time.

Evangeline Denmark:  I want to be snarky here and say, “Embracing my Claritin dependence.” Spring is not my favorite season, but despite all the sneezing, it’s nice to see the flowers and trees budding.

Heather Maclean: The chorus of frogs and birds and everything coming back to life.

Jonathan Friesen: The Minnesota Young Writers Workshop. Every year it comes around and I get to meet authors I’ve been lurking after for years! This year Sabaa Tahir and Shannon Hale and Ally Connie and Wayne Thomas Batson will all be coming to Minneapolis in June. Hey, if you are a teen writer, I’d love to see you there too! Blink, can I do a shameless plug? All young authors, check out this website:www.mplsyoungwritersworkshop.com

McCall Hoyle: My favorite part of spring is longer days, more daylight, and the fresh scent of new possibilities in the air. When the daffodils bloom and the purple phlox creeps over the crumbling stone wall in our front yard, all seems right in the world.

Stephanie Morrill: I love that in Kansas City it’s warm enough to be outside but there aren’t many bugs yet. I’m so not a bug girl. I also adore daffodils, so I feel great joy in the spring when they bloom.

What’s your favorite childhood memory from spring?

Alison Gervais: My favorite childhood memory from spring is this tradition my family has had for a long time. On the first day of spring break, we would go up to this cute little café in a small town about an hour away from home in California and we would all order apple walnut pancakes. We don’t live in California anymore though, so every year around spring break we pick a new breakfast place.

Ashley Royer: I remember learning to ride a bike in the spring. It was pouring rain, and I was perched in the front window sill. All I wanted to do was learn to ride my bike. My mom and I went outside, and somehow, I learned to ride a bike. I was soaked and cold, but I was so proud of myself.

Evangeline Denmark:  Surviving The Great Pollen War of ’89.

Heather Maclean: Easter basket hunts with my parents. I’m the oldest to 8 kids and my clues were always the hardest, but I loved it.

McCall Hoyle: I love animals and grew up with cats and dogs and horses. Many of my best childhood memories involve my sturdy little pony, Duchess, and long rides through the hills and woods of North Georgia.

Stephanie Morrill: Spring break always felt so exciting to me as a kid, even if my family wasn’t traveling. To me it indicated that the school year was practically over. I was a good student, but I didn’t love school.

Share your spring time favorites with us on Facebook and Twitter!

19 April

Blink Blog: Spring Vacation Plans and More!

Spring is in full bloom… and we’ve got the scoop on what our authors have been up to and their spring vacation plans. Keep reading below!

What have you been up to the first quarter of this year?

Alison Gervais: Right now I’m in my last semester of my bachelor’s in English with an emphasis in creative writing, so I’ve had my work cut out for me! Of course I’m writing whenever I get the chance, but those moments don’t happen as much as I’d like.

Ashley Royer: I have been spending most of my time working or applying for college scholarships. I am constantly working at a local retirement community as part of their wait staff. Every weekend is spent applying for college scholarship! I graduate in June, and then I will finally have some free time!

Evangeline Denmark:  I’ve been writing like a hermit with insomnia! I finished the rough draft of my new YA project–over 100,000 words in three months. Now I have to dig in and revise and see if any of those words are any good.

Heather Maclean: Getting ready for the release of “Toward a Secret Sky”! Birthing a book is a lot harder than birthing a baby, it turns out. And takes longer!

McCall Hoyle: I’ve been reading and writing a lot, drinking a lot of chai tea, and waiting for warmer temperatures and more sunlight. Spring is my favorite season, and I’m so happy to see the daffodils starting to bloom. It means I can spend more time outside hiking and even running if I’m feeling super motivated.

Stephanie Morrill: I’ve had a really fun time releasing The Lost Girl of Astor Street. I had several events in the Kansas City area and enjoyed a lot of time connecting with readers in my community and online.

Simultaneously, I had contractors at our house everyday for several weeks converting our groovy, 1960s era living room into a space that is brighter and more modern. That meant I was trying to schedule radio interviews and videos around when the contractors would be doing demo work or hanging sheet rock.

And the day after the contractors finished their work, my family went on a long road trip to the Southwest, a part of the country we had never been to. We had a fabulous time escaping our chaotic, dust covered house!

What are you most looking forward to this spring?

Alison Gervais: I’m most looking forward to graduating at the moment – four years of hard work is finally paying off! – but with spring coming around, that means we’re that much closer to the release of IN 27 DAYS!

Ashley Royer: I am looking forward to graduating high school. I get out of school in May, and I have many senior events. There is prom, a senior banquet, and many ceremonies for school. There is a lot of exciting things going on!

Evangeline Denmark: Hanging out at the Colorado Teen Literature Conference, celebrating my son’s 13th birthday, seeing which of the plants that bloomed too soon survive the freak spring blizzards.

Heather Maclean: Besides my book finally being out? The frogs in the woods behind our house. They sing me to sleep every night. And the herons returning. They look (and sound!) like pterodactyls swooping in and out of the mist. I live in the woods and I love it!

Jonathan Friesen: My wife’s to-do list. I just love it. All the things that I have no desire to do, but get to do? It’s absolutely thrilling! Put in a new window. Build a new deck. Pour a slab of concrete. Clean the garage. I’m in ecstasy just thinking about it!

McCall Hoyle: I’m a high school English teacher who loves all things reading, writing, and speaking related. I have several events lined up for late spring and early summer where I get to talk to teachers and librarians about my two favorite things–books and reading.

Stephanie Morrill:  My best friend, who is also a novelist, is flying into Kansas City. We’ve rented an apartment for a long weekend, and we’re going to write, write, write! We’ve done this a few times now, and we always have a great time.

Any vacation plans this spring?

Alison Gervais: For spring break I got to fly out to Seattle to visit with a very good friend of mine, and it was just a fabulous little vacation.

Ashley Royer: I will be working almost every day during vacation. I need to work 220 more hours by June 1 in order to get a scholarship from work, and I determined to get the scholarship!

Evangeline Denmark: We’re taking a quick trip to Texas to visit family.

Heather Maclean: I’m headed out on a book tour to Chicago and St. Louis and then possibly Cleveland.

McCall Hoyle: My favorite vacation plans involve staying home, drinking large quantities of hot tea, and reading lots of good books. My family doesn’t always appreciate my love of peace and quiet. I very much sense a trip to Harry Potter World in our future.

Stephanie Morrill:  In March my family traveled from Kansas City to Santa Fe, New Mexico, Phoenix and Sedona, Arizona, and the Grand Canyon. We were gone 11 days and had an awesome time, but I’m happy to be home for a while!

What are your plans this spring? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter!

14 April

BLINK BLOG: Easter Traditions

Easter is this coming Sunday and some of our Blink authors share their family traditions! Keep reading below…

Do you and your family have any Easter traditions?

Alison Gervais: Yes! We go to 9 am mass at our local parish all dressed in our Sunday best, and afterward we spend the rest of the day enjoying family time, a nice dinner, and of course an Easter egg hunt for all my adorable nieces and nephews.

Ashley Royer: I usually go over my grandparent’s house for dinner. We have a little Easter egg hunt, and it is usually mostly money. One egg has $20, I think I found that egg once!

Heather Maclean: We do an elaborate hunt for Easter baskets with clues that vary in difficulty according to your age: anywhere from a riddle to a clue written in binary code. Then we have a team competition, like a mini Amazing Race, where you have to shoot baskets, melt clues frozen in ice, look for the single red Cheerio in a giant box–fun stuff like that.

McCall Hoyle: We love to dye eggs, hide them, and hunt them in the woods and yard behind our house. We go to church and get together as a family–great eating ensues.

Stephanie Morrill: We enjoy church as a family, and we hide eggs for the kids. One of our kids isn’t able to eat candy, so stuffing Easter eggs has become a bit more of a challenge than it once was. Then we have a nice dinner with my parents and my husband’s parents, since we’re fortunate enough to have both families in town. Easter is always a fun, celebratory day.

What are your traditions? Share with us on Facebook or Twitter!