Monday, December 6, 2010

Kate Messner in the house

Welcome to the blog the fabulous KATE MESSNER as my first ever guest! Kate is the author of a little book you may have heard of - THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z. Yeah, that's right. I've got a famous author on my blog!

Today she's here to talk about winter! And her latest book, SUGAR and ICE, a middle grade novel about a girl athlete with a dream about a winter sport. And who doesn't love books like that?

By Kate Messner:
When you live where I do, outdoor winter sports are a part of life in a way that’s hard to explain. It’s not that we don’t feel those –30 degree wind chill temperatures; it’s just that most of us know how to bundle up and appreciate the brighter side of bitter cold.
My new figure skating novel for young readers, SUGAR AND ICE, takes place in Northern New York State and is about a girl from a small-town maple farm who earns a scholarship to train with the elite at Lake Placid’s Olympic Center. Before the action turns to drama on the ice, though, there’s a scene set on the family’s maple farm, where Claire has grown up skating on the cow pond with her cousin.

Some people who have read early copies of SUGAR AND ICE have asked if we really skate on the frozen ponds and lakes in the winter time, and the answer is… well, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Not only do we venture outside on some of the coldest winter days; we long for those temperatures to drop when winter arrives. It takes the perfect mix of bitter cold overnight temperatures, still winds, and a few days without much snow to turn Lake Champlain into a giant skating rink.

Sometimes, it’s a rink that needs shoveling, but it’s well worth the effort! Later on, when the snow is too well packed to be swept away, we turn to cross country skiing past the ice fishermen, a scene that Claire would appreciate, I’m sure.

Readers of my blog shiver, I know, when I share some of these pictures. “How can you go outside in that?” my California friends write. But take a look…

If winter looked like this where you live, wouldn’t it be hard for you to watch it pass by from inside? I feel like Claire and I are kindred spirits in a lot of ways…waiting and waiting for that first good freeze so our seasonal rinks can open for business.

Want a personalized, signed copy of SUGAR AND ICE?
The Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid is hosting a SUGAR AND ICE launch party from 3-5 pm on Saturday, December 11th, so please consider this your invitation if you live in the area! If you can’t make it but would still like a signed, personalized copy, just give the bookstore a call at (518) 523-2950 by December 10th. They’ll take your order, have Kate sign your book after the event, and ship it out to you in plenty of time for the holidays.


Junior Library Guild Selection

For Claire Boucher, life is all about skating on the frozen cow pond and in the annual Maple Show right before the big pancake breakfast on her family's maple farm. But all that changes when Claire is offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity-a scholarship to train with the elite skaters in Lake Placid. Tossed into a world of mean girls on ice, where competition is everything, Claire soon realizes that her sweet dream-come-true has sharper edges than she could have imagined. Can she find the strength to stand up to the people who want her to fail and the courage to decide which dream she wants to follow?

Thank you, Kate, for your great photos and post!

Check out Kate Messner website HERE


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'd venture out into that cold!

Jess said...

Incredible author, incredible pictures.

Kate- Thanks for the post (I'm a big fan) and photos!

Terry- Thanks for hosting! I was so excited when I heard that Kate was coming to your blog, and she got me thoroughly excited for Sugar & Ice!

Tess said...

Beautiful pictures and fun interview. And, my youngest is named Claire so I have an affinity for this character already :)

RK Charron said...

Hi :)
What a wonderful post and beautiful pictures. Thank you to Kate for sharing here & what an excellent first guest for your site Terry!
All the best,

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed today's post. The pictures were wonderful. Kate, I know I will love Sugar&Ice.
Terry--great job!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Kate, I am so impressed with your writing and teaching -- that's a superstar in my book!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I can relate to those pictures. I used to skate as a kid in Ohio on frozen ponds. I still remember how we tested for creaking. Yikes. Lovely pictures, and the book sounds wonderful. said...

Yeah, they used me to test the pond. :-)

When we weren't spending the morning getting a cow out of the ice and water (they do NOT skate well), we played hockey on the pond. We didn't have skates, tho, and it ended up being more like boxing matches on ice. But, hey, shoes are slippery, too.

Anonymous said...

I love these pictures. The fog rising through the sunrise is breathtaking. Thanks so much for sharing. I look forward to Sugar and Ice!

Marcia said...

Definitely looking forward to this book.

The Golden Eagle said...

I don't mind the cold--so I'd definitely be out there!

Excellent post! Her books sound really good. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the lovely pictures. I'd love to skate on a pond or lake one day.

Susan Fields said...

What gorgeous photos! Reminds me of my childhood in Michigan. :)

Kate Messner said...

Alex~ You're my kind of winter person!

Jess~ Thank you so much! I love taking pictures, so I appreciate the photo compliment as much as the book-love!

Tess - Thanks! Hope your Claire enjoys the book.

RK - Thank you! Hope you have a great winter!

Thanks, Catherine~ It's a special person who can appreciate such frigid-looking photos!

Caroline~ Thanks! Teaching and writing are both passions for me.

Tricia~ We LOVE the sounds that Lake Champlain makes when it's frozen. It sounds like tympani drums sometimes.

GhostFolk- No, cows and ponds don't mix when the pond is frozen. But I loved your "skating" memories!

Thanks, Kim! Winter sunrises here are some of the prettiest.

Thanks, Marcia! I hope you enjoy it!

Golden Eagle - Thanks for the compliments on my photos - the lake is quite an inspiration.

Medeia - If you ever have the chance, do skate on a frozen lake. It's such a different experience than skating on a rink - and so nice to have the sky above you!

Susan, methinks Michigan and Northern NY aren't so far apart when it comes to weather. I bet we have similar winter stories!

Paul Greci said...

love the photos, Kate!! Thanks!