Sunday, December 12, 2010


I grew up under towering redwoods. Trees and I go way back, so I was upset to learn vandals destroyed the sacred Glastonbury Thorn Tree this week, a tree legend says is related to the thorn tree planted by Joseph of Aramathea. Pilgrims have been leaving offerings at the base of the tree since the earliest days of Christianity. People from around the world still climb the hill to visit the tree by Glastonbury Abbey.

Read more: Vandals Destroy A Sacred Tree

The morning I learned the news, I was still upset when I sat down to write. Luckily I had an email from The Nature Conservancy nudging me to donate one last time in 2010,and there it was right in front of me! The best way to fight back against what vandals did to the sacred tree was to give another donation to Plant A Billion Trees

I've been donating to Plant A Billion Trees this year to celebrate the book launch for THE DRAGONS OF NOOR because the dragons in the book fight to save the last forest in their world.

So I planted 100 trees in the endangered Brazilian rain forest to honor the Glastonbury Thorn Tree. Hooray!

I met some amazing trees last month on Maui. Can you believe the size of this beautiful banyan?

Bit more about Plant A Billion Trees:
Plant a Billion Trees goal: to restore one billion native trees to Brazil's highly endangered Atlantic Forest over the next 7 years.

Tropical forests are the lungs of the earth, filtering out ten million tons of
carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year. Every day these valuable
trees help reduce global warming.

In THE DRAGONS OF NOOR the tree spirit Evver says to Hanna as they part:
~You have far and far to go to find the light beyond the dark. But feel the ground beneath your feet as you walk. Heart to root, remember the ones who hold you up. ~

Fellow Dreamwalkers, let us remember the ones who hold us up as we walk into this new year.


Sunday, October 31, 2010


The party photos are up! Thanks to photographer Heidi Pettit for the great party shots. Whether you joined the masquerade party or were far away and could not come, everyone is welcome to swing by and see the colorful event here at LITARTPHOTOGRAPHY

Here are just a few fun party pix from the gallery

Party goers made masks

Musicians played. The dragon danced

The Dragons of Noor Characters joined us

Miles is showing the Meer sign on his palm

Our host Mary of Parkplace Books introduced me

Characters entertained us

Party revelers bought books from our host Rebecca of Parkplace Books.

There was lots of laughter

See the rest of the photos here

Thanks to all the party goers large and small for making this such a special launch. A tree hug to the revelers who helped us raise money for Nature Conservancy's Plant a Billion Trees Together we planted 50 new trees in the endangered Brazilian Rain forest. Bravo!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Sip some readergirlz lemonade.

And Thank You Lorie Ann for the lemonade.

Lorie Ann, Elizabeth Law and Moi at ALA.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Friend, fellow YA author and visual artist, Holly Cupala, designed the beautiful new banner above as one part of THE DRAGONS OF NOOR launch celebration!

Thanks so much Holly. The banner is scrumptious!

Here's a shot from Heidi Pettit's LitArtPhotography gallery of THE BEAST OF NOOR book party. Do you see Holly in the shot?

This week the Carey house is getting ready for the launch party. Time to haul the huge dragon from his guardian place over my writing desk and get him ready to dance. This year we're enjoying making tons of masks for the revelers to wear at the celebration.

Lots of people enjoy coming to my book parties in costume.

Heidi Pettit
I bet there will be even more costumes this year!

Here's the scoop if you'd like to join the fun this coming Saturday!
Come to the Masquerade Book Launch Party for THE DRAGONS OF NOOR

Where: Parkplace Books
348 Parkplace Center
Kirkland, WA 98003
(425) 828 6546

When: Saturday October 23rd 7-9pm

FOOD: Delicious Eats & Noor Treats
FUN: Costumes if you please or come in comfy jeans and tees
FROLIC: Music & Dancing. Face Painting & Mask Making.
Author Reading, Riddling, & our traditional Dragon Dance!
GREEN: Add your green to donation jar for Plant a Billion Trees
COME: Writers, Illustrators, Readers, Friends, Families, Dragons, Fairies, Wind Spirits, & Tree deyas -- Fun for all ages.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tales from the Trenches

Interview with Janet Lee Carey

How do your stories take shape in your head or on paper? For example, do you brainstorm organically or do you use an outline?

Complete outlines are too restrictive for me. I lean toward a more organic approach. I daydream and keep a story journal where I jot notes, define the core plot question, create character back-stories, and zero in on character motivation. The character has a life before he or she steps into the story. Once I have a sense of the story trajectory, I work from a gut level, use the plot to hit the character where it hurts then follow the character’s actions and reactions through every plot twist until one of us cries uncle! It’s a dangerous and exciting way to write, especially when my agent, Irene Kraas, sells the novel to a publisher before I finish it.

Tell us about your path to publication. Did anything unusual or unexpected happen?

I’d received a lot of interest but no sales for a number of years. Three factors contributed to my first sale. I joined a fabulous critique group the Diviners with Peggy King Anderson, Judy Bodmer, Katherine Grace Bond, Dawn Knight, and Deborah Davis. A few years later Justina Chen, Holly Cupala, and Molly Blaisdell joined the group.
Here's a pic of a few of us celebrating Holly Cupala's sale of Tell Me A Secret

Celebrating Molly Blaisdell's book Rembrandt and the Boy Who Drew Dogs

The Diviners helped me hone my craft. They taught me to celebrate the victories (we award each other with the Nancy Pearl shushing librarian doll)

And to keep writing after each rejection. Let’s face it there is a long apprenticeship in this business! The published authors in the group also helped me navigate the vast and unpredictable sea of publishing. I learned to send thank you notes for rejection letters especially if the editor took the time to write a little personal message on the form letter. It’s a good practice because we are not just sending in manuscripts, we are building business relationships, and with editors moving around as much as they do, you never know which editors you will be working with in future. Second, I joined SCBWI and learned from the editors, agents, and colleagues I met through the organization. Our local chapter is phenomenal! Third, I was willing to revise for interested editors at Atheneum before they sent me a contract. Revising before they buy is tricky and the result is not always a sale, but most editors like to see what kind of revisions you’re willing to do before they take you on. In my case it paid off.

When writing a series, how do you stay true to the voice or voices of the series? How do you keep track of changing events and characters from book to book?
I’m working on sequels to all three of my YA fantasy books. It’s a real challenge, but there are ways to keep a series fresh and vital. Characters are human, and flawed, their incompleteness, their desire for wholeness will always drive the plot. I also know every book in a trilogy or a series must be strong enough to stand on its own. Books two and three should be just as compelling as book one. This means No Sagging Plots! Never enter a novel without the blood scent of story in your nose.

The Dragons of Noor (Sequel to The Beast of Noor)is now complete and due to hit the shelves in October!

This article was previously published in The Chinook, quarterly newsletter for SCBWI Western Washington

Thank you Elizabeth Mills for the fine interview and permission to repub here on Dreamwalks.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Toady we're celebrating the launch of Holly Cupala's YA book TELL ME A SECRET!

Here's the much-talked-about trailer!

Author Holly Cupala will be featured on readergirlz for the entire month of August, with a live Twitter chat coming up. Hope you enjoy the trailer, and thank you so much for being part of the virtual tour and party!

Friday, July 02, 2010


Photo of my friend and writing colleague, Holly Cupala (author of TELL ME A SECRET).

While at the ALA conference last week, Holly swung by the EGMONT USA booth, and snatched up THE DRAGONS OF NOOR Advanced Reader Copy.

Evidence of the said Dragon-Snatching is here for all to see in the above photo!

A bit of a teaser . . .

THE DRAGONS OF NOOR opens when Hanna's little brother, Tymm, is stolen by a mysterious wind. Hanna is haunted by the words from a game she used to play with her little brother . . .

~Children fly when worlds are shaken,
Now the children are Wind-taken.
Seek them there, seek them here, before the children disappear.~

Stay tuned for more about THE DRAGONS OF NOOR as we get closer to the launch date October 12th.

Meanwhile remember to feed your imagination and go on lots of Dreamwalks.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


*Thanks to PlayPumps International for photo

Bravo to Readers:
My warmest thanks to all of you who donated to the STEALING DEATH Water for Life Challenge. Your donations helped bring clean drinking water to children and families in sub-Saharan Africa.

Why I support Water for People:
While researching drought-ridden sub-Saharan Africa to create a realistic landscape for STEALING DEATH, I learned more than one billion people in the world do not have access to clean water. And that water-related diseases take the lives of 6,000 people a day.

STEALING DEATH Water for Life Challenge became a key part of the fall book-launch. Through speaking engagements and website donations, we successfully raised awareness of the global water crisis and raised funds for clean drinking water.

The water crisis is on-going, so are the solutions:
PlayPumps International has joined Water for People to continue the work of bringing clean drinking water to schools and communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

A Word about Water for People:
"Water For People envisions a world where no one suffers or dies from a water-related illness. Some may say that’s too lofty a goal, but frankly we have high expectations. They lead us to succeed in our 11 country programs so that we can change the world for millions.”

*Thanks to Water for People e-cards for Photo

When clean water well pumps are installed, families no longer have to heft water from miles away. They can enjoy clean drinking water pumped directly to villages and schools.

Let us continue to give that others may live.

Information and Donation click:
Water for People playpumps

Link through my website: 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Librarian Karen Kline and Moi at Dickinson/Explore Elm.

Thanks to Mary Harris at ParkPlace Books in Kirkland for setting up 20 PacNW Children's Authors in 20 Schools to celebrate Children's Book Week. May 10th-16th. Some fellow authors such as Kirby Larson, David Patneaude, Wendy Wahman, Robert Ferrigno and Carl Deuker, myself and more are offering hour long presentations in 20 schools all week long.

I had a great time presenting my books and holding lively Q & A sessions with three
6th grade classes as Dickinson/Explore Elementary in Redmond. Met the Dickinson Dragon who fiercely guards the books in their library. And readers got a sneak peek at my October 2010 release book THE DRAGONS OF NOOR.

Here I am with Dragon's Keep and claw.

Happy Reading

Saturday, February 20, 2010


This month I did a fun interview at TeensReadToo. A terrific site when a new YA author each day.

Monday 2/15 I did a radio interview and reading of STEALING DEATH on Robin Falls Kids Let's Talk
(Interview is in second half of the show beginning min. 31:17. To go directly to interview, move mouse to right hand corner under BlogTalkRadio to min 31:17 -- sit back and enjoy).


(left to right, Katherine Grace Bond, Moi,Dawn Knight, Holly Cupala, Molly Blaisdell)
The Diviners awarded Katherine Grace Bond
the coveted Nancy Pearl Shushing Librarian Award this month. Here we are celebrating Katherine's feats of Glory!

Katherine won the award after being chosen for the prestigious Jack Straw Writer’s Program! We gave a cheer complete with pom-poms.

The next week our talented friend and colleague had even more to celebrate. Literary Agent Sara Crowe with Harvey Klinger, Inc., NY, called Katherine after reading her novel BODACIOUS MYSTERY GAL PAL TELLS ALL
Sara Crowe is now Katherine’s agent!

Hooray for my friend and fellow writer. Her talent truly shines!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


(photo of search dog care of SDF gallery)


Janet's Note: We have been involved with SDF since the book launch for THE BEAST OF NOOR in 2006. We're excited to pass on SDF's update on rescues in Haiti.

NEWS ITEM: January 15, 2010
At 1:15pm local time, an SDF Search Team in Port-au-Prince located three girls, trapped alive since Tuesday in the rubble of Haiti’s devastating earthquake.

Bill Monahan and his Border Collie, Hunter, were searching a neighborhood near the Presidential Palace, concentrating on a large bowl-shaped area of rubble which was all that remained of a 4-story building.

After criss-crossing the area, Hunter pin-pointed the survivors’ scent under 4 feet of broken concrete and did his “bark alert” to let Bill know where the victims were. Bill spoke with the survivors, then passed them bottles of water tied to the end of a stick. As they reached for the water one of the girls said, “Thank you.” Highly trained rescue crews from California Task Force 2 are now working to extricate the girls from the wreckage and provide first aid.

Bill and Hunter continue to search, as do the 6 other SDF teams on the ground in Haiti:

SDF Executive Director Debra Tosch: “All SDF handlers are experts in reading their canines, pacing them throughout their shift to ensure the dogs are kept safe, healthy, happy and motivated. The canines are literally the Task Force’s most precious tool in the hunt for survivors: their well-being is mission-critical.”

SDF is grateful to all of our supporters around the country who are truly PART OF THE SEARCH, having made this rescue possible.

Be a part of the search! Checke out SEARCH DOG FOUNDATION today.