Happy Friday the 13th!

Hello, hello, everyone! It's been an age, hasn't it? I've been working away at animations and my second book and figuring out just what I'm going to do for 31 days of Halloween this year! That's coming up in a couple of weeks! Can you believe it? (By the way, thanks for all the heads' up on missing installments of previous years' 31 Days. I'll fix that soon).

Speaking of that second book: since it's been a while, and you've been so patient, and since it is Friday the 13th, I'll tell you my working title for it. Keep in mind - this could very well change! But the name's starting to grow on me, so I suppose I'll share it: The Grandmothers.

"That's all very well, Miss Katy, but what do I get to see?" you ask. Well then! To that, I offer a couple of my early sketches. These were just concepts, mind you, but they might just give you a hint as to what this new tale is all about.



I'll tell you more about the story soon. I think I'm coming to a close on the first draft of the manuscript, and there's no telling what might change after that! But thanks again, you lovely bunch, for waiting so kindly for updates from me.


Skary Childrin and the Paperback of Sorrow

Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow! Coming in paperback March 12th! Go get it! What? You already have it in hardback and as an ebook? Then you'd best complete your collection! ;-) And because I know you'll ask: I'm presently wrapping up some edits on Chapter 2 of my next book. So another book's happening, too. But it'll take a little longer than March 12th.

Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow

Hold your mail!

I'm changing my PO Box! The old one is officially closed. I'll post my new address once that's all set up. So, if you were wanting to send me letters or books to sign, please hold onto them! My PO box mail will not forward! Stay tuned for the new address. More news:

  • As usual, whenever I release anything, I get a lot of questions about Boy. Boy is still in the works, though I've had to put it on hold for other projects. Death & Elsie is something to keep you all entertained for a while as I work on those other projects, which, at the moment, include another novel. But I'm reallyreallyreally going to try to put Boy out before 2012 is a distant memory! Cross my heart!
  • About that other novel: the one I'm currently working on is not a sequel to Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow, but I think it's something you'll all like if you liked Carousel. I can't say much about it right now, but I'll continue to make posts now and then about the process.
  • By the way, I get a lot of questions about an audiobook of Carousel. I'm not aware of any plans for an audiobook right now. The excerpts I posted were just a little something for the people who weren't able to attend the readings I did when the book first came out. If it ever does come up, however, I'll be sure to announce it. If my daydreams came true, Tim Jones would get to do the honors.
  • Death & Elsie Part 2 is called An Elephant's Memory and should, cross my fingers, be ready by this weekend. Part 3 will be out soon after.

El carrusel de las sombras: y los niños espantosos!

Oh, hey! I can't read anything on this site because my knowledge of Spanish is limited to a few polite greetings and half the lyrics to "La Bruja," but it looks like this is one place where you can purchase EL CARRUSEL DE LAS SOMBRAS: Y LOS NIÑOS ESPANTOSOS. If you know of any other sites selling the Spanish translation of Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow, let me know! Skary Childrin in Espanol

Scrivener vs. Napkins

I've moved forward on the third chapter. I now have enough notes that I can almost just paste them all together and call it done. You know, except it would be terrible. But the content's there! I've also realized that the entire fourth chapter according to my original outline is totally redundant now. That's what happens with these things. I've started using Scrivener to keep all my notes all organized and whatnot. Last time, I used several paper journals, index cards, sometimes napkins, Google Docs, and Word. Those work, of course, and it feels more authentic, but Scrivener does actually speed the process up a bit, I find. And I can never be one of those authentic writer types anyway. I'm more like some girl at the mall. "OMG! So, like, this character said this, right? And then this other character was all like, 'I'm gonna rip out your guts and feed them to the hounds!' and then I was like, wait, would that character actually say that?" You know.

It's that time of year(s) again.

So, I'm writing my second book! After I wrote my last one, a lot of you were curious about the writing and illustrating process. It's really pretty simple. You write and illustrate the thing. You edit the thing. The thing gets printed. You scramble at the last minute to promote the thing because you didn't plan ahead when you were writing the thing. Then, if you're lucky, you get to do it again with another book, and you change the way you did some things before because maybe now you've learned some lessons but probably haven't. That's it in a nutshell.

The long version is what I'll be posting to this blog every now and then in the weeks and months to come! No sneak peeks at the book for now, though. I can't even really tell you a whole lot about it just yet except that it's spooky and sad. But you knew that.

So far, I've finished two chapters. It took me way longer than it did to write the first two chapters of Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow, but that's because I rewrote these from start to finish about four times. I've also got this nagging voice in my head that keeps telling me "It has to be better than the last one! It has to!" There are other nagging voices, but their goals are so lofty it's a little easier to laugh them off. I can't be president of the world because of one novel; that's ridiculous! (Wait. Can I?)

Now on to chapter three.

How to get your books signed

Lots of you have asked me how to get your copies of Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow signed, which makes me smile from ear to ear, and smiling that wide makes my face hurt. But enough of you have asked that I thought it high time I just posted the info publicly so that you have quicker access to it. If you've got a copy of the book, and you'd like to have it signed by me, here's what you do:

1. Mail your copy of the book to me along with a prepaid self-addressed envelope that's big enough to hold the book. If you're in the US, it's easiest if you use a Priority Mail flat rate envelope. Send it to:

ADDRESS TBA (I've closed the old box.)

2. Email me to let me know you've sent me something so that I'll know to go and actually, you know, check my mail. If you don't do this, you're at the mercy of my laziness.

3. Be sure to let me know what name to sign the book to and if there's any special message you want me to write. Otherwise, I'll just make out the inscription to the name on your return address.

And that's it! Easy, isn't it?


Without breaking a sweat, either.

I'm a little late to this one, but check out this review of Carousel from 6th grader Tam! My favorite line: "Maggie, on the other hand is uncomfortably strong. I'm talking strong as in she can carry a whole mantelpiece jam-packed of enormous heavy dictionaries in one hand, and without breaking a sweat either." So true!

Happy new year!

Goodness gracious! It's 2012 already! And I have such things planned for this year. Boy will absolutely be out, hopefully earlier rather than later. I'm working on a new book. There will be new illustrations up on the site soon. I'm working on all sorts of things, really. I can't believe this is my seventh? Eighth? year of working on Skary! Let's make this the best one yet, eh?

And the winner is...

Merry Skary Christmas, everyone! I hope that all of you are having a marvelous day, whether you celebrate or not. Now *drumroll* for the winner of the contest to win a signed copy of my book: *more drumrolling* BRYAN CALLAGHAN and his daughter. Bryan, send me an email at and tell me where to send the book and to what name I should write the inscription. :)

We Wish You a Skary Christmas

What's the one thing you want for Christmas more than anything? Well, I'm afraid I can't give you a unicorn that transforms into the Batmobile on command, but I can give you the next best thing:  a signed copy of Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow! All you have to do is comment on my Facebook or Google+, OR follow and tweet @katytowell on Twitter, telling me why you want this book. You can enter to win it for yourself or gift it to someone you love! Send your comments today through Christmas Eve (until 11:59pm Pacific, December 24th)! The (one) winner will be picked and announced some time on Christmas Day. The contest is open to anyone in any country, and the book will be mailed to the winner after the announced winner sends me his/her/their giftee's mailing address. Happy holidays from the Childrin!

Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow




Shout-out to Mrs. Corcoran and class!

This is the kind of email (okay, so there are many kinds, but this is definitely one of them) that makes me smile. From: Mrs. Corcoran's class

We have been reading aloud your story for the last 2 months.We feel that it is exciting, scary, and a little disgusting. Whenever our teacher reads, we are completely enthralled by the story line. We just found your website and wondered if you are planning to make a movie in the future? Please contact us.

Hello, Mrs. Corcoran's class!

I'm so happy to hear you're all enjoying the book. :) I don't have any plans for a movie made of it yet, but I have been contacted by movie producers before, so who knows? It could happen! In the mean time, I'm working on unrelated animated shorts and writing another book that I hope will be even more exciting, scary, and a little disgusting, too. ;-)
Thanks for emailing me!

You like it! You really like it!

As of this post, there are over 9,000 fans on my Facebook page, almost 25,000 YouTube subscribers, 2200+ Twitter followers, and 200-some folks have me in their Google+ circle. Let's not get started on the messages in my inbox right now. ;-) I'm not bragging - okay, I'm totally bragging, but I'm also saying thank you to all of you for following along, and for interacting with each other and me! You all continue to make it worth it. Here's a look at what's on my project list right now:


A bit of Carousel for your ears

With my upcoming relocation, I haven't been as punctual with my 31 Days of Halloween episodes as I've been in previous years. Not to worry, though. I'm swiftly catching up! And while I do exactly that, here's a little something to occupy a few minutes of your time. Tim Jones and I have both recorded excerpts of Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow for your listening pleasure, whether you've read it yet or not. And if you haven't read it, what are you waiting for?

From Chapter 1, read by me: httpv://
From Chapter 3, read by the excellent Mr. Jones: httpv://