Deb Joanne Says Hello!

So this is my first post, and the first post of the 2012 Debs, as we receive the baton passed from the awesome, shiny, talented and just absolutely lovely class of 2011 Debs.  Wow, these are some big shoes to fill and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m nervous about trying to live up to the legacy that Kim, Sarah, Eleanor, Elise and Tawna and all the past groups have created.

Well, I’d better just jump in.


I’m Joanne and I’m going to be your Monday Deb for this year, so I’m definitely going to try to be funny and witty so your Monday Blahs turn into Monday HA HAs.  Okay, that was lame.  Sorry about that.  Yes, sometimes I do get corny, but people tell me that’s part of my charm.  Well, my mom does, anyway.

But back to me and who I am.  I’m the Canadian (eh!) representative of this year’s Debs, so I will talk a lot about pop (not soda) and the escalating cost of hydro (not electricity) and most importantly, Tim Horton’s, which incidentally originated in my home town.

My middle grade book, SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE, will be published by Bloomsbury Kids in June 2012.  It’s not the first novel I’ve written, nor the second or even, um, the tenth.  Let’s just say Joanne got a LOT of practice writing novels before she finally got it right.  But I’m super happy to be here and I’ve wanted to be a Deb for a very long time.  A while back, the class of 2008 took pity on me invited me to write a guest post about publishing perceptions versus publishing realities.  Boy, do I know about the realities!  And for anyone following along, my Snoopy pajamas wore out long before I got my book deal.  True story.Zoe, the black Lab

As for the personal stuff about me, I’m a married DINK with a menagerie of pets that I have a feeling you’re going to get to know over the next year.  Zoe is our most recent adoptee; at 8 months, this sweet little black Lab is definitely keeping us on our toes.

But isn’t she beautiful?  Chester is our younger cat who adores Zoe and wants to lay and snuggle with her at every opportunity.  Simon is our quiet, low-key cat, who came to us almost thirteen years ago, just days after my husband and I got married.

Gabby, the African GreyAnd then there’s Gabby, the evil bird who is definitely a cousin to Jenny Gardiner’s Graycie, if not in blood, then definitely in attitude (speaking of blood…).  Don’t be fooled when you hear Gabby say HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Or ask you sweetly what a dog says (and then follow up with a bark); she’s buttering you up and would gladly throw you over if you come between her and her man (my husband – she does have good taste, I’ll give her that).  If you see ghastly bites on my hand, you’ll know I’ve recently made that mistake.

My weekdays are spent in an office, huddled over a computer, planning meetings, managing calendars and ordering coffee as the Executive Assistant to a bank VP.  My weekends are spent huddled over a computer creating books for kids that I think I would have liked to read back in the days before mortgages and taxes were on my radar.  Basically, I spend a lot of time huddled over computers; massage gift certificates always welcome.

But back to the important stuff.  I’m just so excited to be here, and in the short time that I’ve had so far with Molly, Rachel, Linda and Erika, I have come to know that we’re going to have a GREAT year.  I’ve got my gloves and tiara on already and am so looking forward to dancing with all of you!

Let the music begin!Joanne in gloves and Tiara

69 Replies to “Deb Joanne Says Hello!”

  1. Tim Horton’s and coffee every Monday sounds good to me! You look lovely in your gloves and tiara and I can not wait to share your book with friends, family and random strangers who don’t appear to be the sort to call the police on me when I thrust your book into their children s’ hands. My agent represents Chris Grabenstein, whose middle grade ghost stories are the greatest. I re-read my middle grade books from my own childhood all the time. They become lifelong friends – just like the Debs.

    Welcome! I’ll be backstage if you need me.


  2. Ha! LOVE the outfit, dahling! I KNEW I was going to adore being a part of this group. 😀

    Zoe looks adorable, and Gabby looks totally badass. I can see why anyone with half a brain wouldn’t dare come between her and her man.

    Thanks for kicking us off in such a grand fashion! This is going to be a fun year.

    1. I’m glad you liked the outfit, Linda – I took great pains to find just the right tiara and boa (you know, from the rack at the dollar store). And yeah, this is just the tip of the iceberg – we’re going to have a LOT of fun this year!

  3. Great outfit, Joanne! I don’t know that I could pull off the gloves. Looking forward to a year of getting to know each other better, and celebrating our big debuts. I love any excuse to read middle-grade fiction. Or middle-grade magazines, if that includes articles about Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Just saying…

  4. I was grieving the departure of my other debs, but I feel fine now. A laugh on Monday (or any day) is a good thing. Each day I give an imaginary award to the first person who causes me to laugh out loud. Perhaps someday you’ll win; I’ll give you every advantage.

  5. That picture is too adorable – love it! I’m so glad you agreed to join the Debs, and I’m so looking forward to reading your book.

    Here’s to cats named Chester, Tim Horton’s, and fabulous debut years!

  6. Oh, Joanne–THAT is an awesome picture (my daughters give two thumbs up and well, they know from ball attire and poses!)–talk about raising the bar!

    I am so excited for all of us to be here and you’ve kicked it off with a boa and a bang–it doesn’t get much better than that!

  7. Oh, and I can’t believe in all my kudo-ing excitement, I neglected to say how awesome it is to meet your clan–love the pictures! Olive the wonder-pup sends out a big, sparkling, woof to them all!

  8. LOVE the pic, and all your pets!!! My dad had a bird who looked very similar. Its name was “Mooka,” and it spoke in an exact imitation of my dad’s voice… so naturally my daughter started calling my dad “Pop-Pop Mooka.” The bird is long gone (not dead — he was a casualty of divorce), but the name stuck — my dad is now forever named after his ex-African Gray.

  9. Oh my gah! The picture is absolutely darling. You are the queen of hilarity. Congrats on your awesome book and your awesome position as a Deb. Super excited for all of you Debs and wishing you a fabulous year.

    1. Aw, shucks. A very special extra thank you for coming by today, Lisa, since I know you’re busy, being that it’s the day before your mega-super-cool book, THE UNWANTEDS launches!

      Everyone: pick up a copy, it’s way awesome!

  10. Mazal Tov Joanne from your first cousin to respond. We are all so proud of you and your accomplishments. Can’t wait to read your book and send one to my grand children. Keep up the great work.

  11. Joanne!! 1) Awesome job kicking off the 2012 season! Does this count as your coming-out party? 2) Have I mentioned that I am SO EXCITED to read your book? and 3) I want to NOMNOMNOM your puppy (if I can figure out a way to do so without getting a mouthful of fur…)!

  12. Oh Yes the cousin’s the mahj group and anyone else who will hear me about my daughter who is an awesome writer.
    Love the get-up.
    Looking forward to reading all about the Debs for 2012 Good luck to all of you


    1. FINALLY, the obligatory MOM post. Thank you, Mother, for navigating the interwebs and sending this post to everyone you know! I’ll let you take me out to dinner tomorrow night to celebrate. 😉

  13. Welcome to the ball!!! So glad to see you’re off and twirling already. I, too, have a houseful of fur babies and adore every one of them. Can’t wait to hear more about your critters!


  14. LOVE the pic, Joanne. I am going to imagine you wearing that and posing like that every day this year. Awesome.

    And of course, I’m thrilled to see you here at The Ball, at very long last. You’re going to kick butt.

  15. Ack! I’m so late to the ball today but happy to be here! And thrilled that Graycie and I got a special Deb Mention!!! Yes, those evil parrots…And I’m beyond thrilled to see Deb Joanne here, looking downright Mahvelous in her Deb-wear–love the picture! You guys are going to LOVE her–she’s a riot! So welcome to the Deb sisterhood and welcome all the new Debs–it’s a great group you’re now a part of and if you ever need help just give a yell!

  16. I hate being left out of anything!! So–Joanne, congratulations and best wishes from me too!! I am delighted to be the first and only person (other than your mother) who can bring congratulations on behalf of BOTH the cousins club and the Tuesday night Mah Jong group!!

    Love Terri

  17. The boa makes the outfit, daaahling … you are freakin’ gorgeous!! And I am in love with your puppy! And your book title! And now Mondays … definitely love Mondays now!

  18. Oh Joannie, I always knew you were a DIVA at heart. Thanks for the Monday giggle and congrats!
    And I Love love love the photo. 🙂

  19. Hi, Joanne

    Congratulations. Looking forward to an autographed copy (even if I am a senior) I will
    read it for sure. Great outfit, and great looking dog as well.

    Keep up the good work.


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