I’m going to go out on a limb here and declare that, for a writer, knowing you have a new book coming out soon is the best way to start the new year. Okay, I suppose the best, best way for a writer to start the new year (or day, or week, or month) is to WRITE. But having a finished book is a very close second-best. As Dorothy Parker said, or wrote, “I hate writing; I love having written.”

So what have I written? Upstaged, for Orca Book Publishers’ Limelights series. Like my first book, Honeycomb, it looks at what it takes for a young person to immerse herself in a particular performing art. Upstaged puts readers front and center in the world of a youth musical theater company. Here’s how Orca’s Spring 2016 catalogue describes the story:

 Ellie is used to getting leading roles in her small-town school’s musicals, but her place at center stage disappears when her dad becomes the host of a breakfast TV show and they have to move to the big city. When Ellie auditions for – and lands – a spot with the Youth Works Theater Company, she comes up against a tight-knit group of talented, experienced and competitive triple-threat performers.

Upstaged officially launches April 12, 2016. I can’t wait – so it’s a good thing I get to sign some pre-release copies of the book at the OLA (Ontario Library Association) Super Conference this month! I’ll be at the Orca booth with my favorite pen on Friday, January 29 at 10:00 am, signing books for librarians. I can’t think of a better way to start the new year.