Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tara Lazar & THE MONSTORE (Plus a chance to win a PB Critique from Tara!)

Picture it:  New York City.  Summer 2011.

An aspiring picture book author sits alone in a Brooklyn apartment.


She opens to the SCBWI Bulletin (july/august 2011) and on page 24 she reads an article by Joan Y. Edwards called "Find Your Creative Edge."

This article simply says, "If you want to be creative, be with creative people." It then lists several online projects to help a writer/illustrator connect with others and get the creative juices flowing.

One such project mentioned is Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) run by Tara Lazar in the month of November, which challenges writers to write one picture book idea a day for the 30 days of November. 

The aspiring writer takes out her datebook.  Puts a large star on the month of November.  And patiently waits.

It sounds dramatic.  But I look back at that moment and I realize that it was the beginning.  The beginning of my place in a community so encouraging, so creative, so supportive and so much fun!  And the door of that community was opened to me by Tara Lazar.

Needless to say, I love the woman to death!

We have roomed together at conferences.  Spent hours on the phone gabbing about our manuscripts and story concepts.  She's provided wonderful guidance when I ask her even the wackiest questions or I am standing on the edge needing encouragement to keep going.  And we even founded the Official Rick Springfield KidLit Fan Club together!  Tara has been an amazing friend and mentor as I travel on this crazy journey.  She's the best.

Tara's debut picture book, THE MONSTORE, illustrated by James Burks (Aladdin, 2013) hit stores on June 4th, 2013!  I am so happy for her. 

THE MONSTORE is a romp filled with creepily cute monsters, silly sibling antics and a mysterious trapdoor!  Its sure to be a favorite of kids and parents alike.  And warning: giggles will ensue.  You were warned.

THE MONSTORE is sure to become a staple in many households at bedtime.

However, Tara needs YOUR help getting the book into the hands of parents and kids everywhere, because unfortunately, it will NOT be carried by Barnes & Noble. 

That's right.  You heard me. 

According to Tara's blog, "Barnes & Noble and Simon & Schuster continue their dispute over ebook pricing and in-store promotions, so the bookseller has cut back on orders from my publisher. Drastically."  You can read Tara's blog post about the issue here.

What does this all mean?  Tara explains...

"The general public might not know my book even exists. Sales may suffer. Hope of a sequel will grow dim. I’ve worked four long years to get this book into readers’ hands. FOUR YEARS. And now because of this dispute’s timing, well, I can’t say it. I can’t. It’s not nice. And I’m a nice girl.
So this means I need you, my blog readers, more than ever."

Alrighty, Tara!  We are going to do what we can.

  1. Be a Follower of this blog.
  2. Buy a copy of THE MONSTORE. (Order it from places that already have it: IndieBound, Amazon,
  3. Read the book.  (Seriously.  Its good.  You will thank me.)
  4. Review the illustrations and pick a monster that you would buy from The Monstore.
  5. Name that monster and decide what it's unique monsterly talent is (what your monster does!)
  6. Take a picture of yourself pointing to your monster in the book.
  7. Post your picture on your own social media and tell us about your Monstore purchased monster.
  8. Also, email the picture to
One lucky winner will receive ONE PICTURE BOOK MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE from the fantabulous Tara Lazar! (plus, a signed bookplate and gummi worms!)

You have until 5pm EST Friday, July 5th! So get buying, reading and snapping.

And spread the word!


  1. Great post. Love your Photo Contest Idea! Can't wait to see the pics. Are you going to create a Pinterest board for all the pics? I know Debbie did this for her book I'm Bored.

  2. Seriously? MONSTORE didn't get into B&N? That is just crazy. Thanks for giving me my newfound mission, Marcie.

  3. :) <3 (i cannot talk, I am crying too much. *sniff* you are too sweet!)

  4. <3 <3 <3 (I cannot talk, I'm crying. *sniff* You are so very sweet!)

  5. Very cool contest. Love the photo aspect of it. Can't wait. I've been waiting to shop at THE MONSTORE!

  6. We'll see if we can participate in the contest. I ordered my copy last night after class. Can't wait. Congratulations Tara!

  7. #1 & 2 done! I ordered my copy from, so it is available from them online. Can't wait to read it and work my way through the rest of the list!

  8. This is a great contest idea, Tara. I'm in and I hope I win! It's such a shame about these companies petty squables. Don't they realize thatthey hurt the author as well as themselves?

    1. I know. It's the little people who get hurt. Such a shame. I hope the book will find its way into the hearts of readers anyway. Mr. Schu just posted a video from Anderson's Book Shop and it's face out on display! Hooray for the indies!

  9. What a fun promotion activity for everyone. I can't wait to shop for my very own monster from the Monstore.

  10. Congratulations, Tara! The book looks GREAT! I'll try to take part in this if I can...I will definitely spread the word. :)

  11. Great idea, Tara and Marcie! Congrats on the book, Tara! It looks great...will definitely spread the word. :)

  12. Awesome contest, Marcie! I will tweet about it for ya!

  13. Awesome contest, Marcie! I will Tweet about it for you! I went to B&N to see if they could order it in to the store for pick up. Answer: No, but we can ship it directly to your house. I did inquire as to if there was anything I could do to allow it to be shipped to the store. Answer: You can't do anything, Corporate makes all of those decisions. At any rate, I will keep spreading the word!

  14. Love this idea! I am totally in. I'll tweet a picture once I receive my copy. And congratulations, Tara! I believe your book will live long and prosper.

  15. Fun, fun! Gotta get it ordered.