Welcome! You’ve found me at home, but I’m probably at my desk writing right now, so please feel free to take a look around and explore my books, blog and writing journey. Thanks for dropping in! LATEST NEWS is below.
*I READ CANADIAN DAY IS COMING*
February 17, 2021, is the second annual I Read Canadian Day, a chance to celebrate Canadian literature – especially reading aimed at kids.
Haven’t heard of it? It was the brainchild of Eric Walters, one of the busiest kidlit authors in Canada, and was quickly picked up by organizations including CANSCAIP, The Canadian Children’s Book Centre, Ontario Library Association, Canadian School Libraries, and Communication Jeunesse. Here’s the call to action on the I Read Canadian website:
We challenge the nation to “Read Canadian” for 15 minutes and to share their experience at their library, in their school, with their families and friends, or on social media. Young people are encouraged to read, or have read to them, a Canadian book of their choice.
I can assure you that Canadian kidlit authors are all on board for this one. One initiative is to have celebrities dig into our books and share their photos on social media, like this one featuring my book Skating Over Thin Ice in the hands of Hockey Night In Canada broadcaster Chris Cuthbert.
Watch for my Canadian kidlit writing colleagues to post their photos, events, invitations and more in the coming weeks. And you can do your part by reading, sharing, following, promoting and just overall celebrating the many great Canadian books, authors and illustrators we have in this country.
On social media, you can tag @IReadCanadian and use the hashtags #IReadCanadian and #NowMoreThanEver
February 17 – I’ll be there. So will this penguin. Will you?
*NEWS ABOUT MY ONLINE DEBUT*
When the COVID-19 shutdown hit us last March, many of my Canadian kidlit writing colleagues said good-bye to connecting with readers in person and jumped online to keep up those readings, book launches, school visits, videos – they were everywhere!
Not me. This is mostly because no one asked me (truth). It’s also partly because the online scene was quickly full of excellent content from authors much more qualified, well-known and capable than I am.
Then Toronto Public Library came calling, and, yes, I, too, went online. And it’s the best kind of presentation – a bit of reading from my books SKATING OVER THIN ICE and LARKIN ON THE SHORE, and tying that into some writing tips on the subject of “first chapters”: how to get your story started by setting the tone, establishing your narrator’s voice, and hooking the reader into the story right from the start.
So, I went online – finally. (Yes, it only took me six months…) Thanks for the invitation, Toronto Public Library!
Click here to watch: First Chapters with Jean Mills
*NEWS IN THE TIME OF COVID-19*
A message for young readers (also not-so-young readers), parents, teachers, librarians: if you’re looking for ways to stay connected, focused, busy and have some fun during holiday closures and beyond, consider CONNECTING WITH AN AUTHOR.
Do you have comments or questions about a book you read? Find that author online or on social media – younger readers should ask parents for help with this one – and send a message to them or their publisher. We would love to hear from you. I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! Check out my Contact page for ways to reach me. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter and Instagram @jeanmillswriter.
Most important – stay safe, stay busy, and keep reading and writing!
Also, meet Hedwig, my owl. She’s watching over me as I work on my next YA novel…