Monday, November 4, 2013

Moved to Facebook Open Page!

I have been using the facebook page Casie Hermansson (anyone can "like" this page) to post writing news. I decided to keep this blog up for archival purposes though, as it may perhaps provide useful information on the process or path to publication for other aspiring children's writers!

I am happily publishing little books with Heinemann in their education line, but most of the information I would blog about would contravene my non-disclosure agreements so...

Feel free to see my website ( which has a web form to contact me if you wish.

And keep writing!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Write On!

Well, I've neglected to blog of late and it's the usual culprit: writing! I have had the great fortune to be writing on a series of work-for-hire readers and devising new, high stakes scenarios has been taking most of my creative energies. I'm home alone this weekend to get some writing done in fact.

That said, I'm also enjoying life down in New Zealand. Hard to believe we are half way through our six month stay already. The kids have begun the last school term of the year, and today I went and bought sunhats for both of them. They are a required item for school, and the kids won't be allowed outside at recess without one! Spring is gorgeous, and given that I'm usually land-locked it has been amazing to be closer to the sea again. Who knew I'd miss it so much?

I hope your season is going well, whichever hemisphere you're in. And I also hope you are writing!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Clever Milly

Introducing... My first picture book Clever Milly!
Milly is the clever hen of the henhouse, and when Mr. Fox comes a-calling she has a plan to find out what he's up to. Her own survival depends on it!
A few notes about the picture book:
  • It's an original retelling of Mr. Fox, an English folktale.
  • Mr. Fox is a variant of the Bluebeard stories (courtship by a mysterious and possibly dangerous stranger).
  • It is kid-friendly both in text and illustrations!
  • I published two Bluebeard academic books, and now this is "my version" of the story!
  • It is self-published. The Bluebeard fairy tale has fallen out of favor with children's publishers since the early twentieth century. I'm hoping this kid-friendly variant reintroduces it to readers!
  • It is available from but, to keep the book's price as low as possible ($6.50), I haven't used the expanded distribution channels for Europe. To do so, amazon would have required the book to be 50% more expensive again than it is now. I hope it is still readily available to folks not in North America and hope this doesn't inconvenience you too much!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Not Dead Yet!

Okay, you may have thought I dropped off the face of the earth... Not quite, but I did slide down the face of it somewhat. Am now stationed in New Zealand for six months. It took quite a bit of my writing oomph getting the rental house set up, kids in school... But all is well, and we missed the harshest part of winter. It's around 15 degrees, daffodils are up, lambs are bounding... You get the idea.

I have a cautionary writing tale to share, just so you don't think it's all fun and games. I submitted a work-for-hire ms two months ago and, as is par for the course, got it back with revisions to do. But I got it back on Wednesday, with a firm deadline to resubmit on Monday. It was pretty bad timing, as hubby left Wednesday to return to the US (at which point, our little sojourn "got real real"!) And then... the internet went out at home.

A few tears, a long call to Telecom, and gritted teeth later: internet restored, revisions nearly done.

I thought I'd been so relentlessly rosy on the blog of late (well, you know, when I was keeping it up nicely) that I thought I should let you in on the not-so-rosy times too.

Hope all is well in your writing worlds, whichever hemisphere you inhabit!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Summer, Writers and Readers!

Well happy 4th of July, those of you who celebrate! At casa kidlit we have friends staying. That means double the number of girls practicing Katy Perry's "Firework" for a relatively impromptu backyard concert performance of same later today, and double the number of boys in pyjamas playing video games and ignoring the early morning dance party.

I haven't been very active blogging lately, which is not a sign that I'm any less opinionated than I was... Just been happily writing, really.

But I've also caught up a bit on reading. I was woefully remiss in not having read John Green's YA blockbuster The Fault in Our Stars. That oversight has been remedied and I enjoyed the read. I'm now back in my post-apocalyptic groove though with Karen Thompson Walker's The Age of Miracles. I'm still in the thick of it, but love the writing style.

If you are looking for two engrossing 2012 YA reads, look no further!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Random Lessons from Paraguay

In no particular order, here are some interesting things learned this past month, in Paraguay, as I was teaching one class to Paraguayan college students for my university.

*horses and carts are still used in the city to transport people and goods
*there really are things called Bodegas. While I didn't go into one, they looked sultry and exotic.
*although it is winter, it is very warm. However, it is winter, so it gets dark early. That is confusing.
*one semester of basic spanish conversation a few months before coming here really was invaluable.
*when you don't know the word in Spanish, you say it in French. Apparently, your brain tells you that's okay.
*it is no good to say something well and with good accent if you can't understand the response you prompted.
*a "grande americano" from Starbucks is called... a "grande americano."
*at some point, the math of dividing all those zeroes on the local currency by 4 becomes reasonable.
*it is invigorating to be in a country where you barely understand the language. It is more invigorating to be in a country where people just look at you with pity when you say "lo siento, pero no comprendo. Hablo ingles."
*you can teach your way through the recurring teaching nightmare you have had every semester for 15 years and, hopefully, be stronger for it.
*group work is better in a collective culture than the same group work done at home.
*the Spanish have an expression meaning "all clear": "no Moors on the coast." Students will reference this in their Othello essays.
*it is difficult to plan and be organized when the power goes out, internet access sometimes goes out, or is painfully slow at the university.
*having everything in cloud storage is only as good as your downloading capabilities from the internet. See previous.
*on any given class day, and despite all kinds of carrots and sticks, only 1/3 of the class will be in the room when class actually begins.
*there are many large, stray, hungry dogs. When the doc said "stay away from stray dogs" so I didn't have to get a rabies shot, I didn't realize it wouldn't be an option.
*there is a plywood slum exactly 10 parked car widths from the front doors of the university.
*private security guards carry rifles.
*if a motorcylist hits a cyclist, the moto is at fault. If a car hits a motocyclist, the driver of the car is at fault. If a mercedes on its way to pick me up hits an underaged and uninsured motocylist who, miraculously, is not killed, the motocylist runs away.
*it is rather nice to have students do the cheek kisses as in France, when saying goodbye.
*at some point when it is very clear that you just can't recognize which white mercedes is coming to pick you up every day from the college, the security guard at the university door will take pity on you and start to call your ride.
*the amount of diesel coming in giant black clouds from every bus and many other cars will cause you to taste gas for hours after you get home, leading you to suspect you have lost months from the end of your life.
*in the space of 4 weeks, your children can go from sobbing on skype to living their lives and cheerfully including you at the dinner table or piano with them, to answering "no, we're good," when asked if they want to speak to you.
*if you aren't careful and are, say, lounging on the bed when your husband skypes you, you can suddenly find yourself staring at a bunch of people in a restaurant. Lesson learned.
*if you are scared enough to see one in the "wild," all the tarantulas will be courteous and stay out of sight.

These are the first musings from the trip, before it is even really over. They aren't very profound. I'm hoping profound will follow.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Farewell, Retreat!

I've been teaching in South America for a month, now, staying in a guesthouse, teaching every afternoon. I miss the family enormously (skype notwithstanding). But it has been great for writing! I outlined a chapter book sequel, because if the publisher who is considering the first one wants to talk series, then I'd best be ready, right? And a lot of short stories for another publisher, two of which are currently green lit to revise. I have very much enjoyed the writing boot camp, and will have fond memories of it. Not to mention that I have a store of images in my head that were not there before, such as the giant untethered pig eating grass on the narrow mid-city median strip of a four-lane highway today. No human anywhere to be seen. I think it would have come up to my waist, had I had the courage to go anywhere near it. Or to stand on the median strip in Paraguayan traffic... See? These things will show up somewhere later, I just know it.