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It seems like Hook’s Revenge was just released, but around here it’s time to get excited about the sequel. I’m revealing the cover for Hook’s Revenge: The Pirate Code on Mr. Schu Reads today. Here’s a sneak peek:

Pop on over to Mr. Schu’s to see the full cover, front and back, and hear a bit about the book from me and illustrator John Hendrix.

Hook’s Revenge: The Pirate Code will be available September 15. You can preorder now on B&N, Amazon, or my favorite option, ask for it in your local independent bookstore.

I can’t wait to share Jocelyn’s further adventures with you!


Introducing: Hey Kid!

I’m super excited about a new blog feature I’ll be unveiling later this week. As you may know, last year I had a wonderful time introducing you to debut authors of tween—or middle grade—books in my In the Middle series. I wanted to continue doing so with 2015 debuts, as well as a few more established authors, but with a twist.

My favorite part of last year’s interviews was the question, “If you had a time machine and could visit middle-grade you, what would you tell him/her?” In that spirit, I decided to invite authors to write a letter to themselves as a tween and share it, along with a photo of themselves at that age.

Say hello to Hey Kid!

hey kid

I drew this with Mac Paintbrush. Can you tell???

This concept is not exactly new. Dear Teen Me has been doing something similar for quite some time, and doing it very well. However, with Hey Kid! authors will be going back a bit further, to those tender tween years. I’ve received a few letters already and they are fantastic. I can’t wait to share them with you. The first one will post this Thursday, with a new letter following nearly every week most of the year. Don’t miss them!


Book news:

Hook’s Revenge will be out in paperback on September 1. Two weeks later, on September 15, Hook’s Revenge: The Pirate Code will be released. I have seen the cover art and it is wonderful (and not created in Mac Paintbrush)! Looking forward to showing you soon!

See my books page for more information.



Hook’s Revenge Blog Tour Stop 3: Glossary of Pirate Words at The Irish Banana Review

Heidi Schulz, Hook's Revenge

It’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here! Hook’s Revenge is now available! Find it on Powell’sIndieBoundBarnes & NobleAmazon or ask for it at your favorite bookstore or local library!

Today’s stop on my blog tour will teach you how to speak pirate, just in time for International Talk Like A Pirate Day, this Friday! Come by  The Irish Banana Review for a buccaneering language lesson, given by my pirate narrator.

Also today, don’t miss my interview on Smack Dab in the Middle!


Friday, 9/12 Reading with ABC, Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway
Monday, 9/15 Paperback Princess, Interview
Tuesday, 9/16 The Irish Banana Review, Glossary of Pirate Words

Wednesday, 9/17 Mundie Moms
Thursday, 9/18 Jenuine Cupcakes
Friday, 9/19 Queen Ella Bee Reads
Monday, 9/22 Allodoxophobia
Tuesday, 9/23 Kissed by Ink
Wednesday, 9/24 Who RU Blog
Friday, 9/26 Supernatural Snark


Show Me Your Pirate Face Giveaway

Exciting Thing #1
Last week I turned in a round of revisions on Hook’s Revenge: The Pirate Code (Hook’s Revenge Book 2, out in September 2015). It’s getting closer to becoming a real book!

Exciting Thing #2
My first book, Hook’s Revenge, is out in less than two months! And, it has already gone into a second printing! So exciting!

Since the best things happen in threes, how about we have another exciting thing?

Buildup to Exciting Thing #3
I have spent the evening annotating my very last advance copy of Hook’s Revenge, filling it with secrets and inside details, like this:


(Jocelyn is also the name of my main character.)

Want it?


Exciting Thing #3
I’m going to send the following items to one of you:


  • Peg-leg pirate pencil sharpener
  • Pirate stencil kit
  • Loot (a fun pirate card game)
  • Aaaaaand, the aforementioned annotated advance copy of Hook’s Revenge!
  • Bonus: signed Hook’s Revenge swag!

Here’s how you can win:

I want to see your fiercest pirate face. Show me you mean business and you won’t accept no for an answer. Make me believe you will stop at nothing to get your prize.

Apple and I will demonstrate (because what is more fierce and terrifying than a woman and her black-as-sin chicken?*).


Enter as often as you like, in as many of the following ways you like:

  • Post a picture of your pirate face on your blog, linking back to this post.
  • Post your pirate face to Twitter, using both these hashtags: #PirateFace #HooksRevenge
  • Post your pirate face to Facebook, using both these hashtags: #PirateFace #HooksRevenge
  • Post your pirate face to Instagram, using both these hashtags: #PirateFace #HooksRevenge
  • Post your pirate face to Tumblr, using both these hashtags: #PirateFace #HooksRevenge

Note: Please make sure your privacy settings are set to public, so I can see your posts. And don’t forget the hashtags, or I won’t be able to see your entries!

I will choose a random winner on Saturday, August 2 at 9:00 pm Pacific.

This contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only. Sorry, international friends. 🙁

*Please be aware, you do not need to have a chicken in your pirate face photo. However, if you do, I will high-five you to the moon and back. I will also send you something special because regardless of the contest results, if you take selfies with chickens, you are a winner in my book.

Good luck! ARRRR!




In the Middle with Dana Alison Levy

Oh hi, faithful readers! Wondering where I’ve been? Well, I’ve been hard at work on Hook’s Revenge: The Pirate Code, with little time to check in here. I’ll put together a new post with updates on me and Hook’s Revenge and perhaps even my chickens very soon.

In the meantime, please get to know the lovely Dana Alison Levy, author of The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher, joining us in the middle today.



Meet the Fletchers: four boys, two dads, and one new neighbor who just might ruin everything.

Sam, age 12

Mostly interested in soccer. And food. And his phone.

Jax, age 10

Psyched for fourth grade. Thinks the new neighbor stinks, and not just because of the skunk.

Eli, age 10 (but younger than Jax)

Delighted to be starting this year at the Pinnacle School, where everyone’s “the smart kid.”

Frog (not his real name), age 6

Wants his new friends at kindergarten to save a seat for his invisible cheetah. 

The start of the school year is not going as hoped for the Fletcher brothers. Their miserable new neighbor, Mr. Nelson, complains about everything. Even worse, each boy finds his plans for school success veering off in unexpected directions. As the year continues, the boys learn the hard and often hilarious lesson that sometimes what you least expect is what you come to care about the most.

From camping trips to scary tales told in the dark, from new schools to old friends, from imaginary cheetahs to very real skunks, the Fletchers’ school year—as always—is anything but boring.

THE MISADVENTURES OF THE FAMILY FLETCHER is available online or in stores now! Ask your local bookseller or check out these links: Indiebound | Barnes&Noble | Amazon

Q&A with Dana

What draws you into writing for a middle grade audience?

I have always loved kidlit, from the time I was reading these books myself; through college, when I took several children’s literature classes; to adulthood and parenthood, when I began to share them with my own kids. My first few attempts at novels were for adults, and I don’t think I made it more than fifty pages in any of them. But the first time I started writing a book for kids…well, I couldn’t type fast enough to get the words out! Middle grade books — books for nine to twelve-year-olds — are amazing, because they encompass such a magical and difficult time of life. So much is changing at that point: friendships, families, and the awareness of the wider world. There is a lot to play with as a writer, from the hilarious to the heartbreaking.

If you had a time machine and could visit middle-grade you, what would you tell her?


Keep writing. I kept journals from the time I was seven or eight, and I always wanted to be a writer. But after college I filed that away under “ridiculous” and tried to get a real job. Spoiler alert: in most of my “real jobs” I spent a lot of time writing, because it’s what I do best and enjoy the most. So I’d tell myself not to prevaricate* so much! Also, I’d tell myself not to believe the hairdresser who said I’d look like Pat Benatar with short hair. He was wrong. I didn’t look like a sexy 1980s rock star. I looked like a boy.

Choose your own adventure: Is there an interview question you’d love to answer, but haven’t been asked?

Questions that I haven’t been asked include but are not limited to:

  • Why are you so tall?
  • Wow! How did you sell a book when you were so very young?
  • What are you going to do with all that money?
  • You never seem to waste time! How do you you stay so laser- focused?

However, one that deserves an answer might be: What are five books that pop into your head (without going to look at your bookshelves) that all kids should read?

  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  • My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
  • One Crazy Summer by Rita Garcia-Williams
  • The Four-Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright
  • Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

Whew, those are random! But I stand my them — they are all worth a read!

*Prevaricate is a pretty good word. Look it up if you don’t know it!

The photo of you and that llama is my favorite photo of this whole series. Every successful childhood should include a portrait with a llama. Thanks for dropping in and congratulations on your debut!

Dana Alison Levy was raised by pirates but escaped at a young age and went on to earn a degree in aeronautics and puppetry. Actually, that’s not true—she just likes to make things up. That’s why she always wanted to write books. She was born and raised in New England and studied English literature before going to graduate school for business. While there is value in all learning, had she known she would end up writing for a living, she might not have struggled through all those statistics and finance classes.You can find Dana online at or on Twitter and Facebook.

BEA and Kids Author Carnival

Last week, I was in New York for two really amazing events: BEA (Book Expo America) and the Kids Author Carnival.

BEA is a giant publishing trade show. This year, it was even better than ever before (at least for me) because the Disney*Hyperion booth was giving out advance copies of Hook’s Revenge!

This, right here, was the best part of the entire show:

I also had a great time connecting with friends, my wonderful agent, my amazing editor, and other Disney team members. But I took photos of almost none of it. (I really need to get better at that.)

On Saturday, I saw the culmination of the last few months of hard work. My dear friend Claire Legrand invited the lovely Lauren Magaziner (please do yourself a favor and read their amazing books) and me to help her plan the Kids Author Carnival. This event was modeled on the popular Teen Author Carnival, but focusing on middle-grade books.

The stunningly beautiful Jefferson Market Library (it looks like Hogwarts!) hosted the event. After the library closed to the public, the doors opened for the carnival.

Claire, Lauren, and I had high hopes, but even we couldn’t have predicted what a wild success it would be. We had 37 fabulous middle grade authors playing charades and Pictionary, leading writing exercises, and sitting on Q&A sessions in front of a crowd of about 200 readers, mostly kids.

I got to sit on and moderate a panel with Bruce Coville, Danette Vigilante, Josh Burk, Kate Milford, and Dan Poblocki. Secrets were shared, such as the number of notebooks in Kate’s bag that evening (nine) and how one of Bruce’s books actually saved a pair of children from a carjacker.

Authors, parents, kids, librarians, teachers, and the booksellers at the event have all expressed to us what a special experience it was. The night was truly magical. I can’t wait for next year!


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