Mysterious Patterns

Mysterious Patterns Earns Starred Review

starThis week I achieved a first in my publishing career when Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The reviewer wrote that, with the book, we “demystif(ied) the concept of fractals, which mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot used to help understand complicated shapes in nature. “Every fractal shape has smaller parts that look like the whole shape,” explains Campbell, with an illustration of a tree’s dividing branches making the idea instantly clear.”

You can read the full review here.

Another nice notice came from Ingram News and Reviews for the Youth Librarian, an online review site. Ingram is a large distributor of books to bookstores, schools, and libraries. “Campbell and her photographer husband do a fantastic job with photographs and explanations clarifying what these certain patterns are.”

The reviewer recommended the book to math teachers and art teachers. Read the full review here.

Mysterious Patterns Reviewed Well in Kirkus

I am thrilled to see that Kirkus Reviews liked Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature.

The review opens like this: “Through examples of what fractals are and what they aren’t, this photo essay introduces a complex mathematical idea in a simple, inviting way.” And, here’s the final line: “For visual learners, this is a particularly accessible demonstration of an intriguing concept.”

Read the full review hereThe book will be available starting April 1.

mysterious patterns cover

I Read Mysterious Patterns to My Faithful Critique Group

Sarah Reads MP at Davis
On Wednesday, I took the F&G copy of Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature to Davis Magnet so I could read it to my faithful critiquers, now all in the fifth grade. We discussed the timeline of the books — from the first idea in June 2011 through the sending to the print house in October 2013. We all can’t wait for the publication in April!! When these young people were in the third grade, I facilitated a unit on writing and illustrating math stories. Read more here. Thank you, Mary Schmidt, for taking the photograph. Mary is a senior at Millsaps College who will be working with me this Spring.

The F&Gs for Mysterious Patterns Arrived!

I’m very excited to have the glossy pages in my hands! (Here’s a good explanation of F&Gs from Editorial Anonymous.)

Mysterious Patterns F&Gs

All the back-and-forth we did on layout, design, and final nit-picky details was done by sending electronic documents back and forth. I always have to trust that the photographs are going to be clear, sharp, and crisp when they are printed on real paper. And, they are! I love it when a book comes together. (OK, so this one is not bound yet, but we are oh, so close!)

Another fun piece of news is that I’ve been invited to join the faculty of the Writing About Nature Retreat offered in May 2014 by the Highlights Foundation. Read about the other great faculty here, and consider joining us. I participated in similar workshops in 2007 and 2009. You can read some posts about previous workshops here.

Mysterious Patterns Cover

mysterious patterns cover

I’ve been very busy with a new part-time job, so I haven’t had time to keep you posted. The big news is that Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature went to press this week! This is a close-to-final draft of the cover. I’m eager to see the book between covers, which should happen in late December. That’ll be an advance copy. The publication date is April 1, 2014. My editors at Boyds Mills Press will have a copy to show at the American Library Association’s mid-winter conference in Philadelphia.

New Part-Time Job

I’m working as a communications consultant for Hope Enterprise Corporation and Hope Credit Union. Because Richard has worked for HOPE for the last 18 years, I know the work. I am coordinating some new social media efforts, and I’m blogging over there. You can come see my new work at HOPE here.


The Marketing Begins

I guess it’s time to write about work again. I’m in the lull between finalizing text and images for my newest book, Mysterious Patterns: Fractals in Nature, and seeing a layout. Today, I got an email from Boyds Mills Press that officially jumpstarts the marketing process: the author/illustrator questionnaire for books on the 2014 Spring List.

I’ve already been marketing for Mysterious Patterns in several ways:

daisy luck
Someone who knows more about children’s publishing than I do said the best marketing for already published titles is to get a new book out, so I’ve spent a good lot of time this year gearing up for a marketing campaign for Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature and Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator.