Archive for the ‘Little House’ Category
I recently learned that an Indonesian publisher has purchased the reprint rights for my Martha and Charlotte books. The first two books in each series came out in 2011, and the rest of them are coming out this year, is my understanding. So much fun to see one’s work in a new language!
Got this question in the comments yesterday, and since it’s an inquiry I get often, I thought I’d pull it up into a post here:
“Why have the Martha, Charlotte, Caroline and Rose books gone out of print? As a huge fan of Laura’s books I read all the books and the books about her family. Now being older I want to purchase them all for my own collection as the libraries are getting rid of them. It does not help that I am Canadian and have a hell of a time of even finding them! Do you know of any places that still carries them?”
When a publisher allows a book to go out of print, it pretty much always means one thing: the book isn’t selling very well anymore. Warehouse space is extremely expensive, and there’s a certain point when it becomes more costly for a publisher to store books that are selling slowly than to just remainder them.
The decision to shutter the Little House prequels and sequels happened before social media took off, so if HarperCollins ever decides to bring them back (particularly as ebooks, which has been discussed but doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon), we’d be able to give them a nice big push and I think they’d do very well.
You can sometimes find used copies on eBay or Amazon Marketplace, but they tend to be extremely expensive in those outlets. (I don’t get royalties on used book sales, so please know those crazy prices don’t have anything to do with me!)
The second-ever LauraPalooza—a conference for Laura Ingalls Wilder scholars and fans—will be held in Mankato, MN this July 12-14th. Details at the site:
The theme of LauraPalooza 2012 is “What Would Laura Do?” and will include a mix of scholarly research and Little House fandom. More information, including the full schedule and registration form, can be found by visiting Beyond Little House. Look for the heading “LauraPalooza 2012”. All information that you need can be found there in the pull-down menu.
• Special performance by Alison “Nellie Oleson” Arngrim
• LIW biographer William Anderson
• Little House Cookbook author Barbara Walker
• Authors’ reception including Barbara Walker, The Wilder Life author Wendy McClure, My Life As Laura author Kelly Ferguson, and others
• The return of the National Weather Service’s Barbara Mayes Boustead and physics teacher/Laura fan Jim Hicks
• Original research and insight on Laura, her life, and her books
• Conference-ending Spelling Bee and Silent Auction
• Special post-conference field trip to Walnut Grove, Minnesota — the setting for On the Banks of Plum Creek!
• A special presentation by Dean “Almanzo Wilder” Butler and Dale Cockrell of Pa’s Fiddle Recordings about the PBS Little House music special filmed last January in Nashville.
There’s also going to be a camp—Camp Laura—for kids grades K-6 (while parents are attending the conference).
Registration is open through May 31st.
I sooo wish I could go! Alas, it coincides with Comic-Con, a busy, busy weekend for us Bonny Glen folks. One of these years I am determined to get to LauraPalooza, though. If you can make it this year, you absolutely should! And then send me pictures. 🙂
Much to tell. Later. We drove all day and reached home before rush hour got ugly, hooray. Boy do I love a road trip with that husband of mine. Or any kind of trip, really. Or just staying home with him. Him, basically.
We had a great time in San Francisco. Lots of pictures and stories to share, as is always the case after a con. For now, just one little sneak peek of one of the best, the very very best, moments of the whole weekend.
That’s right! I MET MISS BEADLE! Charlotte Stewart, the perfectly lovely actress who played Laura’s beloved teacher on Little House in the Prairie, was there at a table in the convention hall, and I totally geeked out when I saw her. Got speechless and stammery and gushed like crazy. And she was so nice and friendly and warm, and I am thrilled to bits to have met her. I told her about my books, and she told me about the Little House Reunion Cruise that is happening in November, with Charlotte, and the hilarious Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson), and Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush (Baby Carrie), and Dean Butler (Almanzo), and ohhhh how much would I love to go?!
I told Charlotte how much I loved the gentleness and patience of her Miss Beadle, and she told me she modeled the character after her sister, a mother of eight. I love that.
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s home at Rocky Ridge Farm in Mansfield, Missouri. A dream come true for me. We had the most magical time.
I have loads to catch up on and no time to do it now, but I had pretty much the same reaction my good friend Karen Edmisten did just a few days earlier: a lump in my throat and a big ole grin on my face. Pa’s fiddle! Laura’s desk where she wrote all her books! Almanzo’s pink dishes! That big old cookstove he bought her! And oh and oh and oh!
The folks in the bookstore and museum were wonderfully kind to us, and we so enjoyed meeting them. I have much more to tell. Another time. For now, just a few pictures. And another big ole goofy grin.
Chasing butterflies in Laura’s yard. Which totally gives me goosebumps to write!
This coming weekend, Laura Ingalls Wilder fans and scholars from all over the country will gather in Mankato, MN, for the first-ever Laurapalooza Conference. I was invited to attend, but alas, I couldn’t swing a weekend away the week before Comic-Con. When your hubby’s a comic-book editor in San Diego, July is ALL ABOUT Comic-Con.
I’ll be LauraPaloozing in spirit, though, and eagerly following news of the conference on Twitter and at the Beyond Little House site.
Mankato, as you may know, is not only rich in LIW history, it’s the town on which Maud Hart Lovelace based the Deep Valley of her Betsy-Tacy books. As you can imagine, Mankato is high on my list of Places I Absolutely Must Visit Someday.
Laurapalooza speakers include LIW biographers John Miller, William Anderson, and Pamela Smith Hill. Visit Beyond Little House for more information.
The Wisconsin Historical Society has published some Civil War-era letters written by members of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family, including one by Caroline Quiner Ingalls (Laura’s mother) to her sister Martha (who was named after “my” Martha, Laura’s great-grandmother).
I haven’t had a chance to read the letters yet—just got the announcement—but it sounds like at least one of them mentions Charlotte, Laura’s grandmother. This batch of letters wasn’t among the family archive material the Laura Ingalls Wilder estate gave me when I was researching the Martha and Charlotte books, so this is new and exciting stuff for me too.
The long letter from Aunt Martha to Laura full of anecdotes about the Quiner children’s early years isn’t among these. It was written after Caroline’s death and was an important source of information for Maria Wilkes during her writing of the Caroline books. I’d love to see that one published some day. I have a copy somewhere in my files, but I think the original belongs to the Ingalls Wilder estate—or possibly one of the museums? There are Laura-related treasures in many of the home sites and museums that celebrate her work and life.
I’m bumping up this question from the comments because I thought some of you might be able to answer more authoritatively (pun intended) than I.
Dani Joy asks,
“I recomend your books to parents with young girls but do you think my boys might like to read the books? I haven´t thought they would but I haven’t read them yet either.”
The feedback I’ve gotten from parents, teachers, and, yes, boys!, over the years has been gratifyingly enthusiastic. I’ve been told there’s enough grit and adventure in the books that they appeal to young male readers as well as girls. Martha and Charlotte both have brothers, so there are as many boy characters as girl characters figuring prominently in the books. But would some of you parents of boy-children out there care to share firsthand reading experiences with Dani? Be frank! It’s ok if your answer is ‘my boys thought they were too girly.’
“Where can I find the unabridged editions of the Martha and Charlotte books” is one of the questions I am asked most frequently. I have set up a page to list any sources readers alert me to. If you spot the books somewhere, please let me know and I’ll add the information to this list.
Please note: none of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books have been abridged. You can find them anywhere!