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Sunday, May 27, 2007


Were you wondering where I was?

Friends, I was here, but not online. In the buildup to the release of Girl At Sea, the tour, and work on the new book . . . much work had to be done.

Not the least of which was the repainting, rearranging, and rewiring of the New York office. This was done with the aid of Oscar Gingersnort, who flew over from London last weekend. One week of plastering, moving, taping, boxing, and generally chaos ensued (Oscar knows how to have a good time in the US). But now, the new office is up and running! The Girl At Sea cards are stacked up right next to me, ready for the signing workshop to open. Even bigger stacks of Girl At Seas are right here as well.


Obviously, I missed YOU. And I have a backlog of information to get to. So today will be full of bulletins. I will likely be posting every single day this week to catch you up on all of my other thoughts, of which I have had MANY. I have thoughts on writing, revising, painting, ancient history . . . and, of course, there will be an update on what I am now calling The Great Bartlesville Conundrum.

Let’s do the news now. Bonus: I have TWO videos to share with you today!


Guys, I can’t believe it. The time is almost here. Girl At Sea will be released in the next few days. I say few, because it seems that some stores will be getting it in two days time, and some in three, and some in four. Amazon and Barnes and Noble will start shipping it on Tuesday. Why the many dates? I have no idea. I finished making all the photocopies and gluing on the covers WEEKS ago.

If you order it now, you can have a copy in your hot little hands by next weekend.

If you are in New York this upcoming week or two and you DON’T see me, you’re being deliberately difficult. I’m going to be everywhere but IN YOUR HOUSE. (And this last one isn’t even that certain. I am very expert at gaining admittance to places by fire escape and dumbwaiter. I could magically appear in your shower in the morning, singing my favorite Abba tunes and handing you your soap. You never know.)

I have many ways of gaining access to your house. Not all of them all legal, but they are effective.

You can see the entire list of events on the news page, but here are the events for this upcoming week, May 28-June 2nd.

May 31st: Borders Columbus Circle (Time Warner Center), 5:30PM
with Jenny Pollack, Bennett Madison, Emily Gould, and Zareen Jaffery

June 1st: two places!

Book Expo America, Jacob Javits Center, 8:00 AM-4:00 PM
(This is a professional publishing event—I’ll be at the children’s books breakfast starting at eight, and will be at large with other YA writers through the afternoon. Anyone wishing to meet with me/Free Monkey at BEA should send me an e-mail and we will see what we can do.)

Barnes and Noble Park Slope, Brooklyn, 6:30 PM
with Bennett Madison and Jenny Pollack

June 2nd: BEA, con’t
Still generally at large, but mostly at the social stuff. FREE MONKEY likes canapés.


I will be giving away copies of Girl at Sea starting this week, and I’m going to KEEP giving them away throughout June.

But one copy is going out right now to Joanna Milner, who gave a generous donation to City Harvest’s Skip Lunch Fight Hunger. Thank you to all who donated! The money you sent in will go right to feeding kids here in New York.

In the meantime, the signed cards will be going out the door starting this week. If you’d like one, just write in and ask. I’ll be sending them throughout June.


Thank you to all who wrote in to FREE MONKEY to request his visit on the World Tour. As you will see in the video below, he has made his pre-tour stop with Hank Green.

Sadly, he could not take all of you up on your invitations, only because if he did, I would never see him again. (There were a lot of them.) We read each and every one, and I can tell you . . . he loved them. Making the decisions was a hard process. He had to do it, but I could tell it was difficult.

Originally, Free Monkey said he would be visiting five places, but the demand for his visits was larger than we anticipated, so the tour was lengthened. We managed, through creative scheduling, to get this up to six visits in the US in June, and four international visits in July.

The Free Monkey World Tour hosts are:

Elisabeth Sanders, San Francisco, California
Little Willow, Los Angeles, California
Joanna Milner, Portland, Oregon
Breca Halley, San Antonio, Texas
Laura Reece, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Kiersten Gutherman, Penndel, Pennsylvania
Hanna Khan, London, England
Tobias Huisman, Rouveen, The Netherlands
Susan Kämpfer, Ballenberg, Switzerland
Lili Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia

FREE MONKEY pre-World Tour greetings and instructions will be e-mailed this week.

Thanks again to everyone!


I did take time this week to escape the paint fumes and film my response to the Brotherhood2.0 Evil Baby Orphanage discussion.

For now, I have to put Oscar on a plane. I’ll see you tomorrow.


Blogger Ashley said...

Firstly--congratulations to Tobias for being one of Free Monkey's world tour stops! I actually let out a whoop and then a cheer, threw my fists into the air and did a little "yay Tobias, our Dutch hero!" dance.

Secondly--good video. I think you're getting better daily with the video camera thing. (I don't have a camera, and I'm pretty sure I'd suck trying to wield it, so I'm very impressed with your ever-growing skill level.)

Thirdly--way to show the "men" (pff, if you can call them that) that women can be evil too. I'm pretty sure the lack of well known evil women comes down to a repression of women's history rather than an actual lack of evilness in the feminine gender. Fight for equality! Fight for evil women!

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Dawn said...

Loved the video, Maureen. And I totally ditto Ashley's congrats to Tobias. Maybe he will grace us with a video as well, just to see Free Monkey's adventure in the Netherlands! I surely hope so!!

11:48 PM  
Blogger Tobias said...

WOOHOO, I'm going to meet Free Monkey!! That makes it more than up for not being able to meet John. I'm smiling big time now!! (I feel kind of out of place in the list, as the only owner of y-chromosomes =P )

Maureen, welcome back!!!

12:02 AM  
Anonymous Boothy said...

Um... not sure if this was supposed to happen, but I saw copies of Girl at Sea at my local Books-A-Million just yesterday. I was shocked to see it out already, mainly because you hadn't blogged on the day of release to say it had come out.

Of course, now I realize you couldn't have possibly done that since apparently, it's not supposed to be out yet...

Anyway, I didn't buy it because I have no money. But hopefully, I will be working there soon and can get an employee discount on it.

Or win one of your contests. Whichever's quicker.

Anyway, I am SOOOO glad you're back because I have missed your bloggings these past 8 days. I was really sad every day when I stopped by your blog to see if you'd updated and not seeing anything new. :( But now you're back and all is well.

Now, off to go have dinner. Laters!!

PS Also, lovely videos! You definitely are getting better, hehe.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Liz said...

Maureen, you are DEFINITELY proving you deserve your secret-sister status. That video was great! (Though the hairdryer toed at making WorldSuck rise because you were ALMOST audible but not.)

1:31 AM  
Anonymous E. Lockhart said...

Long may you rock, Maureen. I miss you!

3:03 AM  
Anonymous Malcolm Tredinnick said...

Was I the only one thinking the first part of the secret sister video was like having a really nice looking Cyclops talk the camera? It's a nice hairstyle, but having one eye covered was getting to me (in a "I couldn't stop laughing" way) after I noticed it.

How come all these YA authors are so good at editing short videos together? Makes the rest of us look very ordinary.

(And "yay" for having an Australian stop on the Free Monkey tour. He'll have lots to see in Melbourne.)

4:00 AM  
Blogger Joanna said...

OMIGOD!!! I was mentioned TWICE in a Maureen Johnson blog! The only time I've even come close to this much pubicity was when a local restaurant named a drink after me in honor of my multiple Strip Jeopardy appearances (long story), and that barely counts because I was removed from the menu because people were trying me and then never ordering me again... Not that I take that personally or anything... And I certainly didn't spend weeks overanalyzing how much that paralleled my dating history... Nope, not me...

Ahem, anyway, the good people of Portland eagerly await their instructions. I'll start cleaning up the guest room so FREE MONKEY will be comfortable!

4:23 AM  
Anonymous Ally said...

hmmm this made me sad..i saw both the videos yesterday and no FREE MONKEY for me. i think i might cry :( oh well, i hope i get a book maybe! :) hehe..the movies were funny! i loved them as always!

Ally ;)

(p.s. your little word verification codes are getting really long)

4:52 AM  
Anonymous Timothy Harper said...

YES to evil girl babies at the evil baby orphanage, RUN FREE AND EXPERIENCE THE WORLD to free monkey on his world tour, and may he watch television in many exotic time zones, and last and not least, WOWZA Maureen in the little black number!

Sorry..was it inappropriate to comment on the esteemed author's wowza quotient?

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Boothy said...

Random side note that I forgot to mention earlier: Both John and Hank Green are amazingly hot.

Just thought I'd throw that out there.

6:12 AM  
Blogger Becs said...

EEEEEE!!!! We got Free Monkey!! I screamed and promptly called my friends to tell them. :D Steff and Sarah and I will be filming and photographing his adventures in Texasland so that everyone can enjoy it. YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!

Oh. Wow. That video was so awesome! I laughed and laughed. More please! :D :D

"How come all these YA authors are so good at editing short videos together?"

I think it's 'cause they're so good at narratives, and they can translate it to the film genre. Hence why Hollywood movies would be SO much better if they were taken over by YA authors. :D

6:51 AM  
Anonymous Gabrielle said...

Wow. That is true evil, Maureen. You're a badass! Also, incredibly good news, I may be able to make it to Washington for the ALA conference end of June! Yay! *dances around*
Hank did a great job with FREE MONKEY. Wasn't the carousel guy awesome? He made people do monkey sounds! Yay!
And oh, as suggested on Justine's blog (www.justinelarbalestier.com/blog), Paris Hilton should definitely be an evil baby girl!

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

HAPPINESS IS MINE!!!! Wow... I didn't think I had a chance! I feel all warm and fuzzy now.
I'm pretty sure I died laughing when you replaced the copies of Bermudez with the Bible. But then I realized... YOU WERE YEILDING TO THE ENEMY! DON'T DO IT, MAUREEN! DON'T GIVE IN! NO MATTER WHAT THE BARTLESVILLE SCHOOLBOARD SAYS!
You must not succumb to the Dark Side of the Force, for if you do, you will end up having to wear a really ugly plastic helmet for the rest of your life. And we don't want that, now do we?

7:29 AM  
Blogger Jordyn said...


Loved the part with the books... especially replacing John's books with your books and... what was the other one? Was that David Hasselhoff?
Because it's hilarious, really it is.

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Liz said...

Watching the video a second time, I noticed a book next to The Bermudez Triangle. It was titled Evil Genius. Near the almost-banned Maureen Johnson book? Purposeful or just the way that bookstore shelved? Hmm. (Well, I thought it was pretty funny, but that's me.)

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoooo Free monkey's coming too England!!! Random Englishy exciting things to do are already crowding my brain-not so good when the GCSEs(majorly scary exams) are coming up.

rockin videos!

9:14 PM  
Anonymous kiersten said...

yeah! I get to meet Free Monkey! So happy. Congrats to everyone else that gets Free Monkey too.

11:43 PM  
Anonymous Joa said...

Haha, awesome video. I'm sleeping with one eye open from now on though, gotta keep a look-out for those butt-resses, very creepy.

Since BookExpo is a professional publishing event, would it be possible for us non-professional people to get in? Yeah, I doubted it. But I'm going to New York this week! HUZZAH. It's amazing. I've always wanted to go. Anyway, I got the chance with my school's art club, and I'm actually in New York while you're doing your thing. Hopefully I can get to the Borders place, but our time in NY is booked with ridiculous-but-most-likely-amazing touristy stuff until Saturday, which is when you are required at the BEA. Sigh. If I have to escape from my crew to get to Borders, I will hold you personally responsible!

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to the book store on Saturday in the POURING RAIN to pick up a book . . . and there, on the shelf, tempting me . . . was Girl at Sea. I ended up buying it instead. What can I say? Loved it. Will be adding it to my collection so my students can enjoy it too! Thanks for another great read!


3:40 PM  
Anonymous Gabrielle said...

Maureen, your writing-every-single-day goal isn't going very well so far. Hehe. I hadn't realized that was a Bible that you replaced Bermudez with. Ha! Today I'm hoping to buy Girl At Sea. And Bermudez Splashproof edition!

7:19 PM  
Anonymous mckayla said...

nice video

7:27 PM  
Blogger Little Willow said...

I am honored.

6:46 AM  
Anonymous kiersten said...

omg! i learned about flying buttresses today in history class! aparently they aren't a combination of butts and waitresses. but someone did suggest that as a definition. maybe its one of the new definitionsthat my history book isn't new enough to know. aparently my history book thinks its some sort of part on a gothic cathedral. *scoffs at history book because scoffing is fun*

11:01 PM  

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