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Posted on Oct 1, 2022 in Blog, International, Writing

October Countdown

October Countdown

Things have been busy around here, but with the start of October, they’re only to get even busier. That’s because November 1 is the publication date for Torch. I have several blog interviews due this month and expect to pick up a few more. I don’t have one of those big bookstore launches for this book the way I did for Moonwalking in April, but I think I communicate best in writing than on Zoom anyway. The only downside is that Zoom attendees can see my Lego town in the background. However, I have this photo of the background that doesn’t have me blocking the middle of it.

View of my background, minus my chair and me.

Perhaps you’d like to hear a reading of Torch, however. You’re in luck! On Wednesday, October 19 at 8 pm ET I’m one of six graduates or current students from the Writing for Children and Young Adults MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts who are reading from their new work at the monthly Book Birthday celebrations. You do not have to be affiliated with VCFA to attend. The readings are open to prospective students — basically anyone with even the slightest interest in applying to the program. Here’s the calendar link, which has the date and time and instructions on how to sign up for the reading. (As of this writing, the list of readers has not been updated, but trust me, I’ll be there.)

I’m thrilled to announce that has partnered with my publisher, Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner, to provide background materials and resources for Torch. Among those resources is an audio interview where I talk about how my work as a translator inspired me to write this story of teenagers confronting a brutal dictatorship. Later this month, will publish an essay I’m writing about tough topics for teens and how to address them in historical fiction.

On Monday, I’ll be uploading to Torch‘s webpage two teaching resources that my publisher put together. One of them is a set of discussion questions that classes and book groups (including intergenerational and adult book clubs) can use. The folks at Carolrhoda Lab did a great job of coming up with open-ended and thought-provoking questions that manage to avoid spoilers — a tough challenge. The other is a fun resource — a music playlist and a list of films that inspired the book or provide images of Czechoslovakia under communist rule. The teaching resources for Once Upon a Cuento, Gringolandia, and Rogue have proven popular, and I expect to add lesson plans for Torch in the future, much like the “Mr. Internet” activity for Rogue and “A Bundle of Letters” for Gringolandia.

This month I’m planning to add interesting facts about Torch and its historical context to this blog and to my Twitter feed. I already have one posted, “On This Day,” which I wrote to coincide with the anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Another relevant post from the past is my review of the HBO Europe miniseries “Burning Bush,” which depicts the fallout of Jan Palach’s self-immolation in January 1969 for his family, communist government officials, and a courageous lawyer who spearheaded his family’s efforts to clear his name. Seeing “Burning Bush” in 2017 was one of the events that inspired me to write Torch. In addition, its director, the Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, is featured in the collective biography I co-authored with Tanisia “Tee” Moore, Film Makers: 15 Groundbreaking Women Directors.

The upcoming publication of Torch is not the only thing happening in the next month. Sometime in mid-October, I will also have a cover reveal of the YA graphic novel I translated from Portuguese, Pardalita. I’ve posted about the translation, but as is often the case with publications in a new market, the cover has been changed. You can read more about the book and see the original cover here.

More to come…


  1. Congratulations on all of this, Lyn! I just received a copy of your book on filmmakers. I’d love to be part of your interview circuit!!!

    • Thank you, Linda! I look forward to the interview! I can talk about both Torch and the filmmaker biography because Agnieszka Holland, who directed “Burning Bush,” is included in the bios.

      • Great!
        I emailed questions!

        • I got them! Looking forward to answering them and being on your blog!

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