Tell us about your dream assignment.
I would rather enter the worlds of my favorite children’s and young adult books more than I would like to enter the worlds of their authors. Author interviews don’t usually result in anything as surprising or interesting as the stuff inside the books. So I’d like to cover canning blueberries in Maine with Tilly and Penpen of Polly Horvath’s National Book Award winner, The Canning Season; to visit the secret house in Julie Andrews Edwards’s Mandy; to research storks like the ones in Meindert de Jong’s The Wheel on the School, etc.
Describe the wackiest story you’ve written.
Writing about the annual international (and local) April Fool’s Day Books2Eat edible book festivals. The edible books are exuberant, inventive, funny and wacky.
What is your PR pet peeve?
Publishers’ websites should make high resolution images and other information available to reviewers viawebsites; it takes forever to track down the right person in a publicity department.
Top trend in the industry you’re currently covering or are interested in.
Electronic books, e-readers, literary apps, etc.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I have a Ph.D. in English; wrote and produced episodic television; wrote about children’s books and kids’ book clubs for the L.A. Times’ Kids’ Reading Room and Costco Magazine, and contribute to kidsLA Magazine and My Daily Find. I am married to the novelist Thomas Perry.
After the murder of a graduate student at the college my oldest child attends, and the abduction and murder of a classmate of my youngest, I became the co-developer with Justin Leader of a secret panic button called Silent Bodyguard for iPhone devices and BlackBerry phones.
Silent Bodyguard sends a secret SOS with the sender’s GPS location to pre-selected email, text, Facebook and Twitter contacts–and updates location information every 60 seconds. Silent Bodyguard can be used without onlookers or an attacker knowing.
Being an app developer has been incredibly interesting and gratifying. We’ve earned the endorsement of former FBI profiler and MSNBC crime analyst Clint Van Zandt and many enthusiastic reviews.
Here is a link to a recent Fox news story about Silent Bodyguard:
Click here to read Jo’s review of (LCI client) California Academy of Sciences’ book, “Pierre the Penguin”
Be sure to check back next time for the inside scoop on Jon Bristow, news reporter for KGO radio.