I am really honoured that my newest novel from Scholastic Canada will be launched as part of Holocaust Education Week, with the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada and the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg.
Saturday, June 19, 2021
This is our first big foreign rights sale and I couldn't be happier.
The novel asks some big questions – like, what does it mean to be human? It delves into the moral issues of genetic engineering and cloning and would be a fun book to read and discuss in schools.
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Thanks so much to Lindsey Carmichael for hosting me on her blog so that I can talk about science fiction and how it is perfectly suited for tackling big questions like, "What does it mean to be human?"
The 2023 author edition of Cloning Miranda is available in Kindle and print.
Sunday, August 30, 2020
Thursday, June 25, 2020
So this is a bit of a story about a story.
I wrote Past Crimes a number of years ago as a thriller for adults. However, my publisher at that time decided that they could sell it better as a Young Adult novel, because that's what I am known for. The rights have now reverted to me because that publisher went under. And one of the publishers I now work with, Fictive Press, has decided to publish it as it was meant to be, for adults. Naturally I am thrilled, no pun intended.
So for anyone who wants to read a short thriller with paranormal elements, I encourage you to have a look. We all have assumptions about how the world works and sometimes we manage to get through most of our lives without those assumptions being challenged. The protagonist of Past Crimes has no such luck! All her assumptions about how the world works are blown up, literally and figuratively. And to save those around her she must open her mind to the idea that "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
Please feel free to comment or email about my new venture into the adult thriller genre. I am already planning a new Ros Green sequel.
Saturday, February 15, 2020
With elections coming up in the United States, in 2020, I will be available for school/ Skype visits to discuss civics, gun violence, feminism, and the importance of politics and voting in our lives.
Friday, February 14, 2020
And here I am talking about being a Canadian writer
And special thanks to Anita Daher and Shaw for making these videos.
Friday, November 2, 2018
Just out this fall from Scholastic Canada, a special 25th anniversary edition
Daniel barely remembers leading a normal life before the Nazis came to power in 1933. He can still picture once being happy and safe, but memories of those days are fading as he and his family face the dangers threatening Jews in Hitler's Germany in the late 1930's. No longer able to practice their religion, vote, own property, or even work, Daniel's family is forced from their home in Frankfurt and sent on a long and dangerous journey, first to the Lodz ghetto in Poland, and then to Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp.
Though many around him lose hope in the face of such terror, Daniel, supported by his courageous family, struggles for survival. He finds hope, life and even love in the midst of despair.
I will be available to give readings of Daniel's Story and to talk to student or adult audiences about ant-Semitism, racism, and why this story is still so important today.
Friday, December 15, 2017
I'm very happy to report that just as the news is heating up about all the issues surrounding the new cloning technology, especially gene splicing and gene editing, a new updated version of my cloning book has just been reissued by Fictive Press with a new title and new cover art. This novel combines all three of my earlier books (Cloning Miranda, The Second Clone and The Dark Clone) into one novel. I've also updated the science in the novel with all the latest technology referenced in the links below!
Check out these for some interesting reading about cloning:
And check out my book, Cloning Miranda, for a thriller aimed at age 10 and up - all ages really- about what it might be like to discover that you are the first human clone.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
The questions were not cookie cutter questions and really made me think. Here's an excerpt from the online interview:
Q. You often write about World War II and the Holocaust. Did you find it particularly challenging or beneficial looking at some of these anti-Semitic themes through the lens of the American Southwest?
A: That’s an interesting question. It’s always challenging to write about The Holocaust and/or anti-Semitism. I suppose what is so surprising to young people is how long anti-Semitism has been with us. They often have no idea that it dates back to the early days of the Church and that it was propagated by both Church and state as a way to scapegoat a particular religion and people. But I did find it compelling to write about the true story of how Strauss’s political rival tried to use it to defeat Strauss, even though there had been no real cases of anti-Semitism in Tucson up to that point. (It didn’t work!) Unfortunately, anti-Semitism is ever present, and today we are seeing a frightening escalation in the United States and in Europe.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
"Girl-power heroines confronting bad guys and the nature of the self. Hitchcock-ian fun, full of deep questions to ponder." (Click here for full Kirkus review.)
Kirkus seemed to like just about everything except the title! Since I personally came up with the title and thought it was so clever I was a little crushed but since everything else was good – I'm good too! Most importantly the reviewer saw what I was trying to do–write a book about what it means to be a human being.
Sunday, September 4, 2016
How do you update a science fiction novel?
When I wrote Cloning Miranda, The Second Clone and The Dark Clone in the late 1990s and early 2000s, they were set in the near future.
When Fictive Press agreed to republish them as one novel and bring them out for the first time in the U.S. this fall, I thought I should update them – at least in terms of cell phones and social media. But once I started to do that I realized that the science of cloning had also advanced over the last decade. And so a small little edit suddenly became an entire revision. And in order to make the book really up to date, I set in the the present. Yes, that's right. Because the present is, in fact, where all the cutting edge cloning work is happening – especially where gene splicing is concerned.
So can we still call this book science fiction? I think so. As far as I know there are no human clones. But there is already a huge market cloning pets that have died. Sadly, our dog died in December. It would never occur to me to clone her even if could afford the $100,000 bill! (And even if I could afford that, I'd rather give the money to charity.) No one could ever replace her.
But the book isn't about cloning, really. It's about what makes us human. And when I read science fiction, that's what really interests me. It's why I'm a proud Trekkie!!
Saturday, July 16, 2016
This is truly the final, final cover!
And Thursday I sent the final copyedit to my editor so we are getting very close to publication. Fall for sure.
Monday, May 30, 2016
We tested the covers with students at Grant Park High and Laidlaw School here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and as far away as the The Alfred & Adele Davis Academy in Atlanta, Georgia! In the end, this is our final choice.
A big thrill for me as a writer to be included in the deliberations. Usually, it's a take-it-or-leave-it attitude from publishers—and you have to take it! Sometimes you do get to offer feedback but usually it is a done deal by the time you see the cover. I must admit I've had a few meltdowns over the years when I first saw the cover for a new book. And the opposite. At some point, I will post some of my favourite covers.
Meanwhile the edit is ongoing and Fictive Press is aiming to have this book out as a fall release. So I'd better get back to work!
Monday, May 16, 2016
So he did! At first Perry wrote the male character Coren and I wrote Lenora and we went back and forth like that draft after draft until I started getting annoyed with Coren who I thought was too weak and Perry started getting annoyed with Lenora who he thought was too bossy and at that point we started writing alternative drafts changing both characters and finally finding a happy medium.
The books are about a young woman and young man—one who can make anything she imagines real, and one who lives entirely in his imagination where reality is better than the physical world. The two are misfits in their worlds because neither likes or appreciates their gifts. So naturally their parents arrange for them to marry. Of course! Needless to say all does not go smoothly. Or even well. The two of them find themselves pitted against a particularly dangerous villain in the first book—and they can only survive—together—much to each other's dismay.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
It was a fascinating exercise even though there was no consensus. The best part was hearing what young people had to say, why they liked or disliked a particular cover, what they thought the cover was telling them. For example, we were super interested to learn that most students didn't know about the DNA helix, and didn't recognize that it was being used as a motif on several different covers. Because of that new info, I am going to add an afterword about the DNA strand and have my publisher add it as a graphic element in the novel's layout. So a huge help just in those terms for the book itself.
Below are the last six cover choices we presented to the classes. Which cover do you prefer, and why?
I will be posting our final choice any day now...
Sunday, February 7, 2016
My updated and revised series has never been published in the United States so for all you readers it'll be brand new.
Monday, February 9, 2015
How do you choose the books to read?
I'm always reading! The interviews on my blog tend to happen organically. Sometimes I contact an author and sometimes authors or publishers reach out to me. I also meet many people at writer's conferences and workshops. The children's writing world is a warm and lovely place to be and there are always new people to meet.
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Deborah Kalb is a freelance writer, editor, and blogger. She spent about two decades working as a journalist in Washington, D.C., for news organizations including Gannett News Service, Congressional Quarterly, U.S. News & World Report, and The Hill, mostly covering Congress and politics. She is the co-author, with her father, Marvin Kalb, of Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama (Brookings, 2011), and she’s also the co-author or co-editor of two books published by CQ Press (The Presidents, First Ladies, and Vice Presidents; and State of the Union: Presidential Rhetoric from Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush). She started her blog, Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb (found at deborahkalbbooks.blogspot.com), in October 2012, and has interviewed hundreds of authors—including Carol Matas!—about their books.
Here are some questions I ask Deborah- and her answers!