Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 13, 2015

Laurie Wallmark – Firsts – Book Giveaway

Winner of book give-away: Nancy Tandon

As the saying goes, every journey begins with a single step. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to take your first step.

Ada cover 72dpi


Laurie Wallmark

Laurie Wallmark shares with us some of her writing firsts:

The life as a writer is full of moments, both good and bad. And of course we always remember the “firsts.” I thought you might enjoy hearing about some of my firsts on the path to publication:

  • MY FIRST ESSAY. When I was in first (another first!) grade, I overheard some of the older kids complaining about having to write a hundred-word essay. What’s the big deal, I thought to myself. I can do that. Easy. So I took out my pencil and lined paper and wrote my first essay:

The. Cat. Dog. Mom. Dad. Me. Go. Stop. And. But.

Ninety words later, I had my first essay. I think maybe it lacked a bit of characterization and narrative arc, but at least it was the correct word length.

  • MY FIRST PUBLISHED POEM. I was very politically active in high school, and my writing reflected this. At the time, grape workers in California were on strike, so I wrote a poem about their struggle—in Spanish, no less—Viva la Huelga! (Long live the strike!). It was published in our school literary magazine. Full disclosure: I was one of the editors.
  • MY FIRST WRITING PRIZE. The national SCBWI conference in New York often includes fun prizes for entries about a specific theme. One year, the challenge was to write the name of a possible Broadway show tune based on the life of a children’s book writer. I won $25 for my song with the title, “Seventy-six rejects in a single day.” With my winnings, I bought a craft book about writing for children.


Now I have another first—

  • MY FIRST PUBLISHED PICTURE BOOK. Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine.

Thought everyone would enjoy seeing some of April Chu’s gorgeous illustrations created for Laurie’s book. April was featured on Illustrator Saturday.Here’s the link.


ADA BYRON LOVELACE AND THE THINKING MACHINE (Creston Books, October 2015) is a picture-book biography of the world’s first computer programmer. Ada was born two hundred years ago, long before the invention of the modern electronic computer. At a time when girls and women had few options outside the home, Ada followed her dreams and studied mathematics. This book, by Laurie Wallmark and April Chu, tells the story of a remarkable woman and her work. Kirkus Reviews describes the book as a “splendidly inspiring introduction to an unjustly overlooked woman.” [starred review]


Join Laurie as she travels from blog to blog to introduce her debut picture book, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine. All stops are listed at:


Ada Lovelace, the daughter of the famous romantic poet, Lord Byron, develops her creativity through science and math. When she meets Charles Babbage, the inventor of the first mechanical computer, Ada understands the machine better than anyone else and writes the world’s first computer program in order to demonstrate its capabilities.


Laurie is giving away to one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave a comment to get in the running. Reblog, or tweet, or talk about it on facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you before drawing the winners.

Want to have some fun? Laurie is having a book launch party. I’m going, you should to if you don’t live so far away. Here’s the information.

October 25, 2015, 1:00-3:00
Frenchtown NJ

The Book Garden
Book launch-Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine

Click here if you would like to look inside on Amazon.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Gorgeous, gorgeous illustrations–they make me want to crawl inside the book and stay!


  2. This book so is beautiful. The text, the story, the illustration—It’s the whole package. Yay Laurie.


  3. I love when stories of strong, smart women come bubbling up from the past! Gorgeous illustrations.


    • Nancy,

      Congratulations! you are the winner of Ada Byran Lovelace. Please send me you address so I can give it to Laurie.



  4. Laurie and April – Congratulations on bringing to light Ada’s story. You’ve done a beautiful job!


  5. I can’t wait to read the book!


  6. I’m excited that curious, smart Ada Lovelace is being highlighted in this beautifully illustrated PB. Thanks for sharing! I shared on Twitter.


  7. Wow. Love these illustrations… the use of point of view is compelling. Can’t wait to read it.


  8. I love picture book biographies , especially about women and especially when it’s about math or science. Can’t wait to read this book!


  9. This book is destined for greatness… the story and gorgeous illustrations make me swoon! I would LOVE a copy! And, stop by my blog on 10-26 for another interview with Laurie and a second chance to get a book.


  10. Congratulations on your first published picture book, Laurie!!! It looks awesome!


  11. What a wonderful set of firsts! And I definitely had to share this on Twitter. Go, Laurie! Can’t wait to get Ada for my library.


  12. An inspirational subject and stunning illustrations. Sure to be a big hit Laurie and April!


  13. I have two young granddaughters and this looks like it might be a perfect gift.


  14. Thank you Kathy for blogging about Laurie Wallmark. I had read a review about her book, but had lost track of it as we sometimes do with online bookmarks. I’ve shared the post on my FB page. Full disclosure, I’m going to buy this even if I don’t win a copy 🙂


  15. What a neat book. The illustrations look beautiful, and the story it so fascinating. I was not familiar with this heroine. Best wishes on a book that tells an inspiring story!


  16. Charming and uplifting post. Thank you!


  17. When intelligence intertwines with creativity like it does in Laurie Wallmark, the children’s book world is far richer! Such beautiful illustrations too!


  18. Ada Byron Lovelace is one of my personal heroes. Can’t wait to get this book!


  19. Thanks to Kathy for the blog post, and everyone else for your kind words.


  20. Thank you for sharing all of your firsts, Laurie. The story of Ada Byron Lovelace looks like a story I must read. What a beautiful, mighty woman she was as she followed her dreams.

    I shared this post with the gorgeous illustrations on my WordPress account and Facebook. I also tweeted in Twitter. Thank you, Kathy.
    ~Suzy Leopold


  21. Laurie as someone who knows you and has conferenced beside you, I am so excited that you have finally broken out to achieve this monumental success. Keep shining!


  22. Yes, it’s true! I would so love to have this beautiful book! Count me in. And well done.


  23. So happy for you, I know a lot of hard work went into this and it is a beautiful book!


  24. this looks truly amazing! HUGE (and oh so well deserved) Congrats!


  25. Can’t wait to buy this book for my daughters! Congratulations, Laurie and April! Beautiful book on a worthy subject!


  26. Nancy Tandon won Ada Byran Lovelace. Congratulations, Nancy. Please send me your address so I can give it to Laurie.

    Thank you to everyone who entered. Don’t give up. I’ll be having another book give-away soon.



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