Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Happy to have been selected as part of the CANADIAN AUTHORS ASSOCIATION WRITER's IN SCHOOLS program for Alberta! Want this great organization to pay for the author visit?

NOTE THAT Canadian Author's Association covers the writer's fee!

Schools have until DECEMBER 16 to book authors!

Book ME for your school HERE!!

Check out the website for more information!
 Here's my presenter bio and presentation!

Janet Gurtler - Calgary

Janet Gurtler writes contemporary young adult novels for Sourcebooks Fire. Although her books are published by an American publisher, Janet is very much a Canadian writer. Her books are available at Indigo/Chapters as well as independent booksellers across Canada and in Canadian libraries.  Janet’s novel, I’m Not Her, was a double Rita Finalist in 2012. Her books have also been selected as top YA Fiction Titles for the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association and included in the Bank Street Books Top 100 Fiction. Janet’s latest book, How I Lost You, was released May, 2013. Her next book, Sixteen Things I Thought Were True, releases in March, 2014.

Janet has spoken to schools around Alberta about books and writing. Reviewers have compared her work to Sarah Dessen and Judy Blume.

Janet lives in Calgary with her husband, son and a chubby Chihuahua named Bruce. She is slightly addicted to chocolate and the internet.
Good story telling encompasses many things. Critically acclaimed Young Adult author Janet Gurtler will lead an interactive discussion about great kids’ books, such as The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Fifth Wave, and what makes them so good. She’ll talk about how writers can bring readers into the world of characters by showing instead of telling the readers what is going on. She’ll look at what makes good characters so intriguing.

Janet will read from some books, including her own for example, and also let the kids talk about which books work for them and help them figure out why. This is an open discussion that also leaves lots of room for questions about publishing and the world of fiction.

Janet will also talk about the role of book covers and how they are chosen. This includes a Powerpoint presentation, an entertaining look at some of Janet’s book covers that did and did not make the grade and open discussion about why some covers do and don’t work.
Presentation area: Calgary and area; willing to travel over 100 km

Targeted grades: Grades 4-6, Junior High and Senior High

Preferred class size: Classroom up to 30 students

Further information:
Twitter: @janetgurtler

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Snow Day

Another Sunday! It's snowy and cold in these Canadian parts and I'm supposed to be resting, so it all adds up to a day of reading and relaxing. Not so bad.

Started a non YA book last night, So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman. Gorgeous writing and enjoyable storytelling so I'm all in for today!

The past week I got back to Book 6 with Sourcebooks Fire. Also working on some MG outlines for Mermaid books. That's fun and different channelling my inner 11 year old vs my inner teen.

I also went to a lovely old private school in Calgary and did 4 presentations to four different classes. The classes were separated by gender, so I did Grade 8 boys, Grade 7 girls and then Grade 9 boys and Grade 9 girls.  It was interesting how different the classes were, a good show of the stages of teen years. 

As I predicted the Grade 9 boys were kind of bored with me and the Grade 9 girls were in the same reading space.

The biggest surprise were the Grade 8 boys.  At the end, for fun, I showed them a really great review quote, followed immediately by a really terrible quote, on the same book.  Just to show an example of the subjectivity of reviews and how different people respond differently to the same work. Well. The Grade 8 boys were so defensive of the poor reviews and really were quite offended on my behalf. So cute. Such a great lesson to me about writing characters in the right voices. 
Here's what I showed them. They stood up for me fiercely!

ØBravo to the author, Janet Gurtler for writing a novel with perfectly flawed characters and a realistic plot that effortless flowed. I have nothing bad to say about this book.”
Ø“I'm almost offended at how crappy this book was. “
Ø"Rich in characterization, Gurtler's novel wrestles with some serious issues and explores different means of coping (or escaping) yet manages not to be overwhelming or bleak. Just right for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jodi Picoult, this is a strong debut that attempts to answer the question, What does it really mean to live?" - Booklist

Ø“This book was one of the worst books I have ever read.”
Ø"Cute and quirky, with sentimentality reminiscent of Judy Blume, this is a book for the keeper shelf – one that readers will devour again and again!" - RT Book Reviews
ØI was surprised to find to find this book on the LA Times summer reading list: I'd been pretty unimpressed myself. ”

Monday, November 11, 2013


Was trolling around the Internet and noticed this nice review for WHO I KISSED, which I really think addressed something I've heard a few times about the book...

Here's a section of it... Warning. *It's very positive.

Which is why I'm posting it. Ha ha ha.

On Librarything:  WHO I KISSED

"Some people read the synopsis and have a moment of disbelief, as if the story couldn't possibly be good because the premise is so odd. If any variation of this thought pops into your head, immediately grab hold of it and fling. Or better yet, set it on fire and burry the ashes.

Who I Kissed is so much more than the story of a boy dying from an allergic reaction. Not only does Samantha have to deal with the tormenting of her peers, the mass media attention, the hurt appearance of Alex's sister in the hall way, the dissolution of an important friendship, and the fading of her dreams, but these events are all added to the important family matters that have been filed away and ignored. The story isn't about Alex, it isn't even about severe peanut allergies. Not to downplay Alex's role, but he is more of an instigator to events than the subject of the novel itself. "

Le hug ilikethesebooks. If you want to see the full review, you can find it here