Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thanks, 2013!

2013 was, as most years are, a very interesting year. Still, when I look back, I'd say the dominant theme was that The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. finally became a book. And for that I say, "Thanks, 2013!"

Wishing you all a happy, healthy New Year's Eve tonight and in years to come!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hard To Eat - a Chirstmas Poem

Hard To Eat
Greg Pincus

One Christmas thing around our house
I'd change if I were able:
I'd never put utinsels out upon the dinner table.

This is actually an old poem of mine that popped into my head this week utterly out of the blue. I took that as a sign that, silly though it is (or maybe because it is silly!), I should post it here for the last Poetry Friday before Christmas. And so... I have! (Feel free to draw some utinsels, by the way. :-))

And since it's Poetry Friday, you can check out this week's roundup over at Buffy's Blog. When you do, you'll actually find a link to more of meeeeee, because there's an interview with me over at the Teaching Author's site today. And a poem. AND... a giveaway of The 14 Fibs of Gregory K.! So, like... go!

By the way, if you want to get all the poems from here at GottaBook emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Journeying and Marketing and My Desk

I was lucky enough to be asked to write a guest post at Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations blog... and it appeared just yesterday. In it, I talk about the journey to publication with The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. and talk about marketing, too.

I'm biased, but I think it's pretty good stuff. AND... on top of that, if you click over there, you can see the only known photo of my desk, complete with a dog! I hope you go check it out.

Friday, December 06, 2013

To Pie! - a pie poem

To Pie!
Greg Pincus

Pie! Pie! My word, I love pie.
I've loved it since birth, and I will 'til I die.
I love it in summer and winter and I
Will eat it with whipped cream, or ice cream, or dry
And with any filling that catches my eye
(To date I've not seen one that I wouldn't try).
Dutch apple and chocolate cream both make me cry.
Blueberry, rhubarb, or pecan? I sigh.
A slice is a gift that I just can't deny.
A full pie is better, of course. I can't lie!
So join in my toast with your fork raised up high -
"Here's to the best food of all! Here's to pie!"

While pie is a big part of The 14 Fibs of Gregory K., the opening lines of this poem predate the first draft of the book, perhaps proving that old adage "write what you know."

Today's Poetry Friday roundup is hosted by Robyn Hood Black over at her blog. Go check it out for gobs of poetry goodness (including a visit from the president of the Haiku Society of America!)

And if you want to get all the poems (and not the other posts) here at GottaBook emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

for fun, pie from my launch party

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Is It Drafty In Here?

I took another crack at some office unpacking/cleaning over the long weekend. My office is functional yet not fully put together after the move last year, ya see, and... well... I'd like to fix that.

Anyway, one of the things I did was put all the various drafts and notes of The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. together to be stored somewhere now that the book is out. (Did you know it's out? It is. It makes a great gift, I've heard, and who would lie to me about something like that?).

All I can say is... boy did I take a lot of notes! That's a full banker's box of notebooks and printouts and manuscripts from Arthur and others, too. And here I thought I did most everything online! It was fun looking back through it all, but I gotta tell you it's a nice bit of closure to be able to put the notes away.

Monday, November 25, 2013

"It's All Over Now!" - My Gratitude for the Power of Storytelling

Many years ago, at a screening of the movie Die Hard, there was a person a few rows behind me who, about 20 minutes into the movie when Bruce Willis is surprised by a bad guy, said very loudly and full of anxiety, sadness and surety, "It's all over now!" He totally believe what he said, too. You could tell. 

Now screenwriter-moviegoer-me was sitting there thinking "dude, we're 20 minutes into the movie. It cannot be all over now!" And yet, throughout the film, each time something happened, that gentleman behind me was convinced that the end was nigh.

And you know what?

He loved that movie. And he experienced it exactly as the story was meant to be experienced.

Sometimes, I forget the sheer power of storytelling, and how grateful I am that others have mastered that art and that I get to enjoy it. Too often, I fear, I get caught up in the trappings - the fact that a movie has just started or that I'm only halfway through a book - rather than the experience.

I got a reminder of this yesterday when I saw the movie of Catching Fire. A few rows behind me were an older couple who clearly did not know the book at all. I like to think the male part of the couple was Mr.-It's-All-Over-Now.

The couple were talkers, and their comments were mostly those of discovery ("Oh, there's only one name they can pick from! It's gonna be her!") and of curiousity ("Is she dead? I think she's dead."). And they reminded me again that those who just let the narrative flow over them get a tremendously powerful experience.

The ability to lose ourselves in story is one that I'm grateful for. It is what powers my own writing, of course, and I need to remember to turn off the creator brain when I am reading or watching or listening. I need to stay connected to that power, and I'm grateful that I got a reminder of that yesterday.

And by the way, she wasn't dead. I knew that, of course... because I'd read the book. Yet I hope when I read it, I asked the same questions as that couple, even if I didn't say them out loud!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Another Chance to Win Me! (OK... my book!)

My friend and fellow author Chris Barton - who, in fact, led me to start blogging (which, in fact, led me to a book deal!) - has a newsletter that he sends out to subscribers for freeeee. In this coming month's newsletter, he's got a little interview of me AND is giving away a copy of The 14 Fibs of Gregory K.!

If you go to Chris's website and enter your email in the "win a book!" box, you'll get his Bartography Express and a chance to win me. Or my book (signed and personalized to the winner, by the way). Plus, ya know, Chris features lots o' good stuff so it's truly a win-win!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Terrible Time-Eating Poem - a perspective poem/a time-eating poem

The Terrible Time-Eating Poem
Greg Pincus

This poem makes everyone older -
Like me, as I worked hard to birth it.
Each moment you're reading
Your aging's proceeding.
This poem takes time... but it's worth it.

Now that you've aged just a little, why not check out the Poetry Friday roundup over at Jama's Alphabet Soup? You know you want to get older with a lot more poetry....

And if you want to get all the poems (and not the other posts) here at GottaBook emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

Monday, November 04, 2013

I'm Mixed Up!

That's both a statement of fact, most days, and today a reference to the fact that the exceedingly talented Hillary Homzie posted an interview with me on the great group blog and website From the Mixed-Up Files... of Middle Grade Authors.

Do I fear math? Did I have any Weird Wednesday-like traditions in my family? What did I learn from working with Arthur Levine? You can find all that out with a simple click!

Friday, November 01, 2013

Thoughts On the Morning After Halloween - a November First Poem/a Halloween poem

Thoughts On the Morning After Halloween
Greg Pincus

March always comes in like a fierce, hungry lion,
Roaring so loud that I quake.
And now I remember
That every November
Comes in like a huge stomach ache.

I hope you had a wonderful Halloween evening and that you didn't eat too much candy. I was very, very good on the eating front... though we ran out of candy on the delivering end! Eeps!

Today is not only November 1st, but it's also Poetry Friday, and you can find the roundup over at TeacherDance. Check it out, I say to you!

And if you want to get all the poems (and not the other posts) here at GottaBook emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween - a Poetry Re-Issue

Greg Pincus

Be prepared
To be scared.
Ghosts and ghouls are haunting.

Mummies moan.
Specters groan.
You know it’s you they’re wanting.

Wolfmen howl.
Goblins yowl.
A shadow hides a grave.

Streetlights flicker.
Heart beats quicker.
It’s so hard being brave.

Flashing lightning,
Far too frightening.
You know you want to flee.

But don’t run.
Just have fun.
And bring candy home for me.

Happy Halloween! Thought I'd dust off an an early (circa 2006!) GottaBook poem for the occasion. May your day be full of treats and no tricks, whether you're celebrating a holiday today or not! (And feel free to give me some of those miniature Reese's cups, if you're in a candy mood. Thanks.)

And if you want to get all the poems (and not the other posts) here at GottaBook emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Giving 'Em Away, I Tell Ya!

Pssst. There's a Goodreads giveaway going on with 20 copies of The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. being given to lucky winners. It ends at the end of Halloween, so enter now. There is no pie... but there might be a book in your future.

Luckily, The 14 Fibs makes a great gift, so this is your way to get an extra copy since I'm sure you already bought yours. Right? RIGHT? Whew. I thought so :-)

Monday, October 28, 2013

The New SCBWI Website is Here!

The new SCBWI.org website is up and running, and it's well worth checking out. And I don't say that because GottaBook happens to be one of the member blogs the site is featuring (though it is!). There are new features, the forums have been combined with Verla Kay's Blue Boards, and much more.

You should go check it out and click around a spell. Or, if you happened to be checking it out and ended up here... welcome, and I hope you click around a spell!

Friday, October 25, 2013

How Much Do I Hate Math Class Right Now? - a Fib/a math class poem

How Much Do I Hate Math Class Right Now?
Greg Pincus

If you asked,
On a ten point scale,
No number equals how I feel. 

You'll actually find the above Fib in The 14 Fibs of Gregory K., leading off chapter 11. In fact, each chapter of the book, save one, begins with a Fib - a six line, 20 syllable poem based on the Fibonacci sequence as first talked about here back in April of 2006.

The Fibs in the book might also be fibs (I'll never tell!) as Gregory K. has a bit of a problem with the truth. The poems also factor into the plot. Yup - poetry and math drive the action along with humor and pie.

I can truthfully tell you that the idea of chapters having Fibs at the start and the Fibs being fibs stems from the very first conversation Arthur Levine and I had about this book. I'm not sure anything else besides that and the title remained... but this idea was sticky!

Need more fun? You can check out the Poetry Friday roundup over at Irene Latham's Live Your Poem.  Always mighty fine reading.

And if you want to get all my new poems (and only the poems) emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Stream Come True - Anatomy of the Live-Streaming Launch

A number of folks have asked the technology behind my live-streaming of The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. launch party and, being a geek and all, I'm glad to talk about it. And I have to tell you - it was as easy as pie!

To stream online, the most important thing is an internet connection. The folks at the Flintridge Bookstore graciously let me on their network, so that was solved. I broadcast using Google Hangouts on Air - a feature of the Google+ social network - and the even was "shot" via my laptop's camera. I added a microphone to the laptop to help with sound.

Basically, a HOA, as the Hangouts on Air are called, enables you to start a broadcast and stream it so that anyone can watch it on the "live" section of your own YouTube channel or wherever you embed the video. A HOA can actually have many people presenting, not just a camera on one, so I could have arranged to have, say, editors and designers and others be able to speak to the online audience.

The big challenge with that, however, was that I had a live audience, too, and they wouldn't see any interactions that were happening online. So, I chose to just stream me this time, but I see the potential for a lot of great guest/co-host action in the future.

I already had a Google+ account and a YouTube account, both of which are needed to do a HOA, so the only pre-work I had to do was make sure the accounts were linked together and "verified." It took me longer to read about what I needed to do than to actually do it!

By all reports, the video and audio quality of the stream were fine and dandy. I know there was a lot of downtime when the stream was boring, though during the part I spoke, it was just like being there! I'd work more next time on involving the in-person audience more and having better camera/mic placement. Oh, and sending out virtual pie.

photo by Sara Wilson Etienne
Still, when I saw this photo by Sara Wilson Etienne... I felt like watching at home musta been okay (though NEVER did I think I'd be on a big screen!)

Here are some nitty-gritty numbers for you. The maximum measured number of locations accessing the stream concurrently was 19. Over 80% of them were NOT named "Pincus"! I know people watched/listened at different times, too, so I'm gonna peg the number of different locations at between 25-35 based on anecdote. In many cases, multiple people watched at one location. Geographically, folks were all over the US and a couple in Canada, too.

The Flintridge Bookstore had enabled people to buy The 14 Fibs from their website and leave instructions for me who to personalize it to (still going on, by the way), and I signed six books at the launch. Without the party and them creating a buy now button... those sales would've gone elsewhere.

photo by Evan Pincus
Considering I announced this one week in advance, and it was the launch party for a debut novel... I'm pretty pleased. And as far as a proof of concept for me... absolute success. Plus, best of all - it was FUN.

Thanks to all of you who joined in, asked questions, shared the news, and have been part of the fun all these years here. And if you have questions, ask away!

Monday, October 21, 2013

KidLitCon 7 - Registration Closing Soon!

KidLitCon is happening in Austin in on November 9th... and advanced registration closes this week. You should go! Seriously - hanging out with blogging pals is the best. I am sad that I cannot make it this year... but I'm always there in spirit. Here's where you can register for KidLitCon7. Go on. You know you wanna.

Check out the event on the pretty flyer below (with Cynthia Leitich Smith keynoting - worth the trip alone!). And if you can make it... get thee hence!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Yay! Pie! Or... Tales from a Launch

Well, that was fun! I think I should launch a book every couple weeks or so.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Flintridge Bookstore to join the 14 Fibs celebration. It was wonderful to be surrounded by such great people and to get to express my gratitude and share my glee in person.

Thanks, too, to the everyone at Flintridge Books for making the launch as easy and fun for me as it could be.

Also, thanks to those of you who watched the live stream! Eventually, I'll edit the video down to something full of highlights, but for those of you who want to watch... you can see it here. The "Greg talking/reading" part starts around 42 minutes in, so just fast forward and it'll be like you were there... though you'll have to fend for yourself when it comes to pie.

And also... I'm so grateful to all of you who sent notes, have bought the book, have celebrated with me through the years, and in general been such a part of my journey. The launch is just one part of it - a fun, delicious part - yet I've felt that same vibe from all of you for a long, long time. Thank you!

And now... I gotta book. More soon!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Watch My Book Launch Right Here!

If I do this right, when my book launch is happening - today, Saturday the 19th from 3-5 PM Pacific time - you can watch it right here at this post. (If this doesn't work, you can watch at my YouTube channel.)

Until I'm live, you'll see nothing here. Once I start broadcasting, well, I don't know exactly what you'll see, but it should include me reading a bit from the book, talking about the journey, hanging out with friends, and maybe, just maybe, pie!

(Feel free to watch all two hours of the video... but at around 42 minutes in, I talk/read for a few minutes. This is probably the "best TV" so to speak!)

The launch is happening at the Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse, and you can order a book from their website to have me personalize it (during the launch, perhaps!).

I hope to see you there... or here... or wherever our paths next cross. And, as always, thanks to you all for your support and friendship along this journey!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Talking Marketing and Talking Writing

I'm excited to say that today I'm lucky enough to be interviewed over on Debbie Ridpath Ohi's Inkygirl. I'm talking about The 14 Fibs of Gregory K., offering up some advice, and yakking about my live-streaming and in-person book launch.

And... I'm also thrilled to have a guest post up at the SCBWI blog, this time more specifically talking about marketing (with a focus on my launch and the ability for folks anywhere to get personalized books as part of it).

I'm grateful to Lee Wind for the opportunity to be at the SCBWI blog and to Debbie for taking the time to talk and put up a gorgeous looking post!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

gregpincus.com is alive, I tell you. It's alive!

It's true. My website - gregpincus.com - is now live.

There's info about The 14 Fibs of Gregory K., a little bit about Fibonacci, and a bio that includes one of my very earliest poems AND that picture of me that graces this post. And more, I tell you. MORE!

I hope you'll check it out and let me know what you think.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Join Me Online or In-Person at My Launch Party! Get a Signed Book!

The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. launch party is coming up on Saturday, October 19th from 3:00-5:00 PM... and it's both an in-person AND a live online event. So, if you're in the Los Angeles area, I hope you'll come out to the Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse in La Canada and join me in person.

If you can't make it, though, you can watch the party online via this link to my YouTube channel! I am pretty sure you'll also be able to watch it right here on the blog, too, and I'll keep updating such tech things here (and at the Facebook event for this dual party) as they develop.

PLUS... you can order a book to be signed/personalized at the party, too. Indeed! Just go to the Flintridge Bookstore website and you'll find my book/me on the front page with a "buy now" button. When you purchase, you'll be asked who you want the book signed to and where you want it mailed. Easy as pie!

I hope you can join the celebration - in person, virtually, or just with happy thoughts through the ether.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Thrills! Chills! Random Noodlings! (aka My Past 10 Days Or So)

That right there. Yeah, that - my book on the shelf (at the Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse, where my launch party will be on Saturday the 19th from 3-5PM, by the way) qualifies as both the thrills and chills of this post's headline. Let me just mention that again - book. on. shelf.
Yeah, that rocked. You know what else rocked? Even before this close encounter, I was able to be at the SCiBA tradeshow where I not only got to meet fabulously wonderfully independent booksellers but I also go to sign  my first hardcover! And not just one. No - the whole pile!

By sheer coincidence, I signed at a table with Ron Koertge who, without knowing it, was the person who had inspired me to really start writing Fibs (and is mentioned in my first Fib post, in fact). I got a copy of his new Coaltown Jesus - skews older than mine and is, as his other books, a great read.

Earlier, walking around at the tradeshow I found the Scholastic table. Guess what? Yeah. It's another photo of my book, but let me see if I can set the scene for you. Gah!!!!! My book on a table with other Scholastic books!!!! Captain Underpants! Harry Potter! The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. Gah!!!!

One of the oddest things I've seen so far is that the very first day my book shipped anywhere, there were already used copies for sale online. Hardcover. Which, like, had never been seen anywhere. Hmmm.

While I'm still waiting for my first Amazon review, I've been lucky enough to get some nice reviews on blogs and in traditional review sources, too. AND, yes, from booksellers and librarians and parents and kids. There is much rejoicing on this end, I admit, when I hear that people actually like the book.

As always, it's been a blast sharing the experience with so many of you here, on Facebook, on Twitter, and, yes, in person. The support and camaraderie means a lot, and I'm very grateful for it - in fact, it makes me say.feel "gah!!!!"

Friday, October 04, 2013

Bubble Stuff - a bubbly poem/a bubble poem

Bubble Stuff
Greg Pincus

I drank a jug of bubble stuff.
Don't ask me why I did.
I used to be so calm and cool,
Now I'm a bubbly kid.

I make six bubbles when I burp.
I speak - I make a swarm.
I try and breathe out through my nose:
I make a bubble storm.

Before I drank that soapy stuff,
I used to feel unstoppable.
But now I simply hope and pray
That I remain unpoppable.

I remember endless debates as a kid about what bubble stuff was the best. I have a feeling we never really defined what "best" meant! Still, it probably led directly to this bit o' silliness from me. Anyway, you outta go check out the Poetry Friday Roundup over at Dori Reads to see if anyone settles this argument for us... or, ya know, just to read lots of good poetry related stuff!

And if you want to get all my new poems (and only the poems) emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

Giveaway Results!

Congratulations to GrandCanyonReadingTeacher - winner of The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. and Gesine Bullock-Prado's Pie it Forward!

Thank you all so much for entering the giveaway and joining in my celebration of my book's debut.

I also loved all the different types of pie mentioned in your comments. My favorite response/type of pie? - Yes. As in... "Yes, pie!" Indeed! Though I didn't see a single pie mentioned that I didn't want to eat....

(Details: there were a total of 59 comments entered in the giveaway. However, two comments were from the same person, kindly suggesting a way to help me/my book. I combined those into one entry, so picked a random number from 1-58. It was 20. I counted to the 20th comment, and... voila!)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Thank You, SCBWI (aka I Love You, and That is No Fib)

Many moons ago, when I was still just a screenwriter, I had a meeting to talk about TV shows with a writer-producer named Lin Oliver who, it turned out, had something of a passion for children's books. So did I! Cool.

Up until then, I'd never heard the un-pronouncable acronym SCBWI - which stood for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, an organization that, it turns out, Lin and Stephen Mooser had started - but Lin convinced me it was a good thing. I joined SCBWI, pronounced it letter-by-letter, and have been a member ever since.

It took over a year before I decided to actually do anything with that membership. Since I live in Los Angeles, I figured it would be easy for me to start with the little summer conference thing they put on here. Holy overwhelming motherlode of children's book wonderfulness! I walked in to that first conference not really knowing a soul there. I walked out being part of a tribe.

At that very first conference, I met the man who would become my editor, Arthur A. Levine. He thought the t-shirt I was wearing was funny and offered me a deal on the spot! Nah. That's a fib. But I did get to talk with him and decided that I'd like to work with him (as did about 973 of what I believe were 974 attendees there. No comments about number 974, please).

I was rejected by Arthur and many other lovely editors who I met at SCBWI events for years. What a fantastic organization, being responsible for allowing me to experience rejection! Yay! :-)

I also learned incredible amounts about children's literature from gifted speakers, fellow attendees, and, well, everyone I met. And I could go on for hours with stories of great (fanboy!) conversations (with Lee Bennett Hopkins! Sid Fleischman!), but I'll (Ashley Bryan! Linda Sue Park!) spare you.

At an SCBWI-Orange County Editors' Day, Rachel Griffiths, then working with Arthur but now at Scholastic Press, mentioned me from stage! No, it was not for a book deal, but rather for my rejection of her rejection letter. Still, she later found me in the crowd and told me that she and Arthur wanted me to stop with the picture books and write a novel already. I was flattered... though, of course, I had just come up with a great picture book idea.

In 2006, this blog went viral and into the New York Times (more on that soon, by the way). I ended up getting a book deal, and yes, it was with Arthur... for what became The 14 Fibs of Gregory K., a novel that is, as they say, hot off the presses.

The deal... this book... the ability to write this book... I don't think any of it would've happened without SCBWI. For that I'm incredibly grateful.

But you know what I'm even more grateful for? The tribe.

In the years before and since my deal, it has been the people I've met in SCBWI - at local, regional and national events - who have sustained me, taught me, advised me, and given so generously of ideas and support. I kid you not when I say that because of SCBWI, I have hundreds of friends I never would've had... and they are great people.

When I try to describe my SCBWI experience to folks in different lines of work... they understand it intellectually, but have no point of reference for it emotionally. Maybe it's because we all share a passion for and understanding of the power of what we do - after all, how many of us were touched by, empowered by, intrigued by, shaped by, or saved by books as a kid? Or maybe we just happen to all be really nice and smart and fun, too. Probably, it's a bit of both.

Whatever the reasons, though, I'll take it. So thanks Lin and Steve, everyone in the main office, and all the volunteers that keep SCBWI going strong. I'm so grateful to be part of the tribe... and I look forward to celebrating children's literature with y'all for years to come.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Gesine Bullock-Prado on Pietry Friday!

I'm calling it Pietry Friday here at GottaBook since I'm talking to author and baker Gesine Bullock-Prado, and we're talking all about pie!

I have to tell you that I spent farrrrr too long looking at Gesine's cookbooks and the pictures she's posted online as I was preparing this post. Her work is so gorgeous - I consider it poetry on a plate - that it was everything I could do not to take fork and knife to my screen. I can't do the food or her justice in this small post, so I urge you to check out Gesine's blog and books as soon as you're done here. Or earlier, if you need a fix!

Was it later experiences that led you to devote a whole cookbook to the sweet and savory joy of piedom? Or was pie a major part of your childhood?

No. Not in the American sense. But I did have tarts galore in the German/Austrian style which are just pies under another name. It wasn't until I grew up that I was able to dive into the splendiferous world of pie, American style. The double crusteds, the creams. The mile highs and the crumbles. I love them all.

You make the most gorgeous looking food. Is there anything, pie or not, that sticks out in your head as gorgeous and actually bake-able by, say, someone with my limited skills?

Absolutely. I suggest starting with a simple free form pie, one that doesn't even require a pie pan. And with a simple blueberry filling that only requires you to do a little tossing and coating, you'll have a delicious pie in no time.

Do you have a favorite pie or pie recipe?

I'm partial to cream pies. Chocolate cream in particular. With a puff pastry crust, a little chocolate ganache coating the crust and then light and airy chocolate cream in the middle, nothing better.

Is it important to know the difference between a crisp, a crumble, a brown betty, and a cobbler?

It's only important that you know what you like eating. And all are tasty, so knowing the difference really isn't crucial. (Greg's note: thank goodness, cuz I never do!)

I know you do some classes, and I see you on TV and all that... but what can we look for coming up?

A book for the go to baker who's required to have all kinds of tricks in his or her baking quiver, from decadent treats, to gluten-free, to dairy & egg free to healthy. I'll have options for everyone.

I can't wait, personally, for a healthy pecan pie ala mode :-)

My thanks to Gesine for stopping by. Now go check out her books - she can flat out tell a story, too. And actually...

Don't forget to enter for a chance to win Gesine's Pie it Forward and my own 14 Fibs of Gregory K.!

Ahhhh! Pie!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Double Giveaway! - The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. and Pie it Forward

The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. is out now (yay!!!), so I've decided to celebrate with a double giveaway: a copy of The 14 Fibs AND, since pie is a big part of the 14 Fibs, a copy of Gesine Bullock-Prado's amazing cookbook Pie it Forward. We'll both sign/personalize our respective books to whoever wins 'em - you can have them both made out to you, or the cookbook to a child you love and 14 Fibs to you... or vice versa.

Sigh. Greg wants.
If you don't know Gesine's work... oh, geez. I mean, following her on Facebook or reading her blog means that, if you're like me, you'll whimper in longing as you marvel at the beauty of baked goods then swoon with the idea that you could actually make such things.

I'll have a convo with Gesine here tomorrow (and more pictures!), but now... the giveaway!

For your chance to win the books, leave a comment on this post - ideally mentioning your favorite kind of pie, just for fun. No multiple entries, please. Due to logistics and laws, entrants must be U.S. residents 18 or over. Void where prohibited, too.

Entries will be accepted until midnight Pacific time on Thursday, October 3rd. I will then use random.org to pick a winner (odds of winning are based on the number of comments not your favorite pie type).

Please make sure that the way you comment allows me to get in touch with you - if you are "anonymous" or have no contact info available, it will be very hard to collect your prize.

And with that... enjoy some pie and enter away!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


The first copies of The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. started showing up on doorsteps today... and maybe even some bookstores, though I've not spotted one in the wild (feel free to send photos :-)).

Obviously, I'm excited... but I'm also full of gratitude because it takes a lot of people for a book to reach this point. Supportive family. Editors and designers. And friends and connections of all sorts... including all of you who have been here with me at GottaBook. Yeah... I'm looking at YOU with gratitude today.

It was an added thrill for me, I must say, that the first person I saw mention getting my book (via the wonders of Facebook) was my friend Dan - a guy who's known me since my single digits. It's great to have a book out... but it's far greater getting to share the fun with people who mean a lot.

So, uh... thanks!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I'm Still With The Banned

Over the years, I've read so many books that have been banned... and oftentimes, I never even knew it. What often astounds me is how many of those books I've read aloud to rooms full of kids and never once had a complaint nor, to be honest in some cases, could I imagine why I'd get a complaint.

Yet raise issues people do (as is their right, by the way). That's why it's important to know what to do when it happens - because it's always a "when" not an "if".

So, as Banned Books Week begins, check out the ALA's page of resources and information and be prepared. And me? As I've said before, I'm with the banned.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. Theme Song - book theme song lyrics

The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. Theme Song
lyrics and music by
Andrew Huang

Gregory K., Gregory K.
One day you'll have your day.
You're getting through sixth grade in most creative ways....
It's the 14 Fibs of Gregory K.

Here is a boy
With a mom and dad
And a brother and sister,
And they all love math.
But he...
He has a little trouble with numbers

There's also a girl -
A girl in his class.
Her name is Kelly,
And she's always kicking him the calves.
It's sweet...
To keep him from the things he might blunder.

Gregory K., Gregory K.
One day you'll have your day.
You're getting through sixth grade in most creative ways.
All the things you face, just take it day by day....
It's the 14 Fibs of Gregory K.

If you haven't actually HEARD the song, take a listen in the trailer embedded below. I am biased, but I think it's just happy-making. I have always found song lyrics and poetry closely related, so I figured for this Poetry Friday, I'd share the former for a change. 

A lot of people have assumed I wrote the lyrics. I didn't. Andrew did. It actually never occurred to me not to have him do it - I mean, there was a reason I wanted him to write this song! Still, I gotta admit that I was amazed at how well he captured the feeling of my book by picking a couple simple details. And how it fits to the music? Yeah. Like this:

Happy-making, I tell you! Well, at least for me :-) I'll share more about Andrew/the song process another day. If you've never heard his music, though, don't wait for that post. Go listen to him now.

Today's Poetry Friday roundup will be over at The Opposite of Indifference. Will there be other lyrics? Go check and see!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

"By any reckoning, a successful debut."

I promise you I won't post links or outtakes to every review or interview or the like as I launch my book. Honest.

Still, now that it's available to read online, I figure I can point you to the Kirkus Review review of the 14 Fibs of Gregory K.  And yup, the title of this post is the last sentence of that review.

I'm good with that :-)

Monday, September 16, 2013

The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. Book Trailer!

I'm rather excited about the trailer for the 14 Fibs of Gregory K., in large part because it has an amazing song by Andrew Huang at its heart. I wanted the book to have a theme song, and, well, it does! And due to the title, I guess I do, too. Check it out and let me know what you think:

By the way... it looks like 14 Fibs comes out next week on the 24th!

(in case the video isn't visible to you in this post (or even if it is), you can watch the 14 Fibs trailer right on YouTube)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Book Review: Anti-Gravity - a book review poem/a science poem

Book Review: Anti-Gravity
Greg Pincus

This book on anti-gravity will never make you frown.
In fact, the only problem is you just can't put it down.

What's that you say? I'm not allowed a groaner (with science that is not 100% perfect, I suppose)? Of course I am! It might be the only one that's part of this week's Poetry Friday roundup (hosted over at Teach Mentor Texts), but you'll only know if you go check it out.

If you want to get all the poems hereabouts (and only the poems) emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

In Which There Is Pie!

So. Uh. My first ever copy of the hardcover, actual book of The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. arrived the other day. There was additional squeeing.

And then, as I figure all authors do, I explored the book. Thing of beauty it is! And look. LOOK!!! On the book itself... there is pie! It's engraved right in there. Isn't it delicious looking?

Nina Goffi did the design of the book for Scholastic, and seriously... the little details from cover to cover, inside and out, really make the whole experience better than it would be with just my words. Huzzahs to her, I say. Huzzahs!

(It comes out in a couple weeks now. WEEKS. For those of you who have been hanging around here for years, weeks is a much shorter time to wait. Check with your favorite bookseller today, I say!)

Friday, September 06, 2013

Summer Reading - a reading poem/a school poem

Summer Reading
Greg Pincus

I read two dozen comic books. Three graphic novels, too.
I understood the signs so wasn't eaten at the zoo!
I read aloud each billboard as we drove on our vacation.
The packages our food comes in? I read their information.
I figured out which films to watch by reading their descriptions.
I read a lot of magazines (and got a few subscriptions).
I learned the rules of four new games by reading the instructions.
I devoured five new joke books (though I skipped the introductions).
I read the list of all the things I can't do at the pool.
I even read the packet labeled "Welcome Back to School."
I think I am a reader, though in class I get "those" looks...
'Cuz I didn't crack a cover of my summer reading books!

Ah, yes... summer reading. You know... let's not talk about that - let's talk instead about the fact that the Poetry Friday roundup is up over at Author Amok today! The roundup is purely happy stuff (as is, I've always believed, the very name Author Amok), so head on over and get your fill o' poetry goodies.

And if you want to get all the poems hereabouts (and only the poems) emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Words With Wings!

It is always cause for celebration when Nikki Grimes has a new book out... and she does now with Words for Wings. So, yeah, I'm celebrating. But more than that, I'm saying you really oughta check it out - it is, in her typical fashion, awesome.

This is a novel of poems - compact, emotional, funny, expressive poems - telling the story of daydreamer... and maybe writer?!?!... Gabby. It's hard not to root for Gabby, a character who we learn about through her own words. Suffice to say, I'd love to see more books about her.

Now, what  struck me personally is how Words with Wings shares a few strong themes with my own book coming out - a kid who writes and a teacher who makes a difference. Maybe this is why it struck such a chord with me? Maybe. But I think it's honestly that the story is so well handled and so enjoyable that it couldn't help but strike a chord with me.

Have you read it? I'm curious what you think!

(this non-review stemmed from my enthusiasm from an advance reader copy, though the book is in stores now)

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Party! Launch! Blog! More! Yay!

I'm lying if I tell you I'm not excited about the fact that The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. is coming out sooooooooon (let's call it October 1, shall we?). I mean, yeah, I am excited. Like a lot.

And so much fun stuff is gonna happen here and elsewhere in the weeks ahead - more blogging, new poems, a song for you, video(s), guests here at Gottabook who I want you to meet, perhaps even me elsewhere on other blogs, and, of course, surprises. Most of all, I hope - fun. And I am just so happy I get to share this stuff with y'all - you're like family, you know? In a good way, naturally!

I wish I could have a party wherever you live. Maybe some day. Still, for my LA area friends, here's a wee tease of something for sure: the afternoon of October 19 at the fab Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse. PARTY! OK, that's not really a tease, but it's not my formal announcement, either, I guess. Or it is. Just come if you can (and look for details soon).

I'll also be talking about ways you can get a signed book no matter where you live, figuring out ways to celebrate virtually, and, yes... MORE!

MORE! Though maybe fewer words in all caps. We'll see in time, I guess! More soon, but now I gotta book....

Friday, August 30, 2013

I Packed the Poetry

from writtennerd's etsy shop
While I don't talk about it much these days, I'm actually starting year nine of volunteer librarian-ing at my kids' elementary school. The last two years, the job wasn't much, as we frequently weren't able to get into our library space. As a result, this year... we're on the move!

The unfortunate part of the situation, besides actually physically moving the books, is that we're leaving a really wonderful set of rooms and downsizing. Still, having a room full of books you can't visit is, for me at least, in some ways more frustrating than not having books at all. So, we're packing up with the goal of also leaving a good collection behind in the original space and setting up our new, smaller-but-ours space, too.

We're lucky in that over the last eight years we've built a pretty solid collection and can create two viable collections. But geez... when there aren't duplicates of a book - particularly, I've noticed, a picture book - I do NOT want to leave it behind. I mean, some day a kid might pull Tell Me a Mitzi off the shelf, ya know?

Anyway, yesterday was particularly trying as I discovered that leaving any poetry book behind, even the many, many doubles (note: if you live on donations, you will get Shel Silverstein), was not something that was in my blood. It was an act of discipline to make choices, even knowing that we can access the books from either location. In the end, I admit it, I packed the poetry in a ratio that kept more of it with me.

And I'd do it again, too.

That said, let this be our secret, okay? Thanks. You're the best. (Oh, and all you amazing people who have donated books to the library or signed books when I've found you? Thanks again! All your books are staying with us, I guarantee!)

It's Poetry Friday, and Tara has the roundup over at A Teaching Life. Check it out for gobs of poetry joy....

Friday, August 16, 2013

You Can Be a Cybils Judge!

Yes, it's that time of year again - time to sign up to be on a Cybils panel! If you don't know the Cybils - the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards, well, it's also a great time to learn about 'em, I tell ya. You can even read about the early days before there was even an awards sticker that graces books....

If you blog about children's books (board book to YA) or children's apps, you're likely eligible to be a judge. And judging, I must tell you, is a lot of fun (and a great responsibility, cuz it's wonderfully serious business). I judged the poetry category for a few years and am still in touch with all my fellow panelists. Nuff said.

So, get thee hence and sign on up!

Monday, August 05, 2013

Well, I Guess I'm Interested....

I have to admit this amused me greatly - email from Amazon suggesting that I, G. Pincus, might be interested in Greg Pincus' poetry collection The Late Bird:

It's a fine book, but I already own it :-) 

I guess this proves that algorithms are only human....

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Conference Time!

Ah, yes - it's about time for the annual SCBWI Summer Conference which, I'm happy to say, takes place in my own back yard. Not literally, of course, because there's not room for 1000 there. But close enough that I can drive to and from every night, saving hotel fees and food charges and the like.

Sadly, this year I'm not a paid attendee (schedule, time, time schedule, etc.), but I'll be there a whole bunch, hanging out in the hotel lobby or out on the patio or just plain old milling about seeing friends old and new.

If you're there, please say hello! And look for tweets with the #LA13SCBWI hashtag to keep up to date on the Twitter talk. (Plus, SCBWI's team blog's blog is always a great read!).

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Disability in Kidlit Blog

Just want to point out the Disability in Kidlit blog, in case you've missed it. Cuz it's great, ya see.

This isn't just about listing books where disability factors in. No. We're talking critical looks at representation, conversations about myriad issues/concerns, and well-written thought pieces by folks who know of what they speak.

The blog may only be active for the month of July, but I, for one, hope it continues. It reminds me of Debbie Reese's American Indians in Children's Literature blog... and that's a good thing.

We talk about children's literature being a mirror for kids, and it's important to examine how we're really doing in that regard when it comes to our portrayals of others different than "the norm" (whatever the norm might mean these days....). Check it out, I say!

Friday, July 19, 2013

In Which I See ARCs... and Squee

What's this?

Could it be?


Yes, it's ARCs (advance reader copies or galleys or uncorrected proofs or whatever you might want to call them) of the 14 Fibs of Gregory K.!

And I freely admit it's a great feeling to hold one. Can't quite imagine what holding the final book will be like. Makes me want October 1 to come sooner.....

This calls for pie!