We like books.
We're interested in ways to help more people (especially kids) like books.
You can read more about our company at www.capstonepub.com.

Friday, October 30, 2009

And not to be outdone...

...here's Stone Arch Books art director Bob Lentz as The Price Is Right host Drew Carey with the Plinko game.
So far today, the highest score received was 30,500. Not too shabby!

Happy Halloween!

The winner of our company costume contest this year? None other than our very own Katie Woo.

Check out marketing coordinator Kendra Sticha, dressed up like everyone's favorite little girl. (I especially love the tank top--adorable!)

Too cute, Kendra!

Happy Halloween, everyone!
More soon,

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I just love hearing about kids who love our books. Here's an email from a librarian in California:

Just had to tell you this....one of my students was in line with two books yesterday all excited to check them out. When it was his turn he told me, "I just LOVE these Stone Arch Books!" Thought you'd enjoy that one.

Yay! Love it.

More soon, really, as soon as it stops being so busy around here!


Monday, October 26, 2009

Samantha Archer and the Field Trip Mysteries

Editor's Note: This month is National Field Trip Month and National Mystery Month. We asked author Steve Brezenoff to write about his favorite part about the creation of the Field Trip Mysteries. Check out our Mystery webpage!

When the editors at Stone Arch Books approached me with the Field Trip Mysteries concept, I jumped at the chance. Writing a mystery is great fun on its own, but the idea of a series, featuring four bright and interesting kids, plus the added concept of fun, educational venues — changing from adventure to adventure — sweetened the pot even more.

From the get-go, I knew I wanted to pay homage to some of my favorite mysteries of the past. Rather than look to Sherlock Holmes, Poirot, or Miss Marple, though, I decided to reference the classic detectives, crooks, and stars of American film noir. Several of the cast of the Field Trip Mysteries — regulars and "guest stars" — are named for those colorful characters. But that wasn't enough for me. So I created Samantha Archer.

Herself named for a couple of noir detectives played most famously by Humphrey Bogart and Jerome Cowan, Sam also brings something else to the party: the talk. By putting Sam in the care of her grandparents, and in front of their TV — so often playing the classic American detective films — I let Sam absorb and come to love the distinctive speech of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and their ilk.

Some of those authors' lingo simply won't work nowadays: even in context, modern readers simply won't get the meaning. "Get in the boiler, Bo, or I butter your necktie" probably won't be clear, especially to a striving reader. But used sparsely, and with clear context and even direct translation, such terms bring a tone to the stories that I particularly enjoy, and make Sam Archer my favorite character.

--Steve Brezenoff

Friday, October 9, 2009

Katie Woo poster giveaway!

When I first read author Fran Manushkin’s manuscripts for our Katie Woo series, I felt like I knew Katie. In fact, I felt like I was raising her! (Only my Katie is named Sky and doesn’t wear glasses.)

Fran has a wonderful understanding of children and how they think and react to situations. I think that is why Katie is so likeable. You feel like you know her, because she is just like the sweet, funny girl in your class, or down the street, or at your kitchen table. She loves clothes and her friends and spaghetti. Sure, she gets in trouble once in a while, but she always makes you laugh.

To celebrate Katie, we have a fabulous new poster — and we are giving four away! Be one of the first four readers to leave a comment and one will be sent your way.

Julie, senior editor at Capstone Fiction

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Attack of the red folders

Everyone here at Capstone Fiction has one big fear: a giant stack of red folders appearing on his or her desk. Ask any of us what gives us nightmares, and it's these oversized plastic folders.

At the beginning of the season, red folders are kind of fun: they're new, shiny, empty. Like new notebooks at the start of the school year, the red folders are full of potential and promise. They're ready to do their duty. The edited manuscript slides neatly in and it's sent on its way through the production process.

But then new routing slips are attached. The folders get fingerprinty. Sketches and concepts and ideas are shoved inside.

By the end of the season (hint: like right now), it's a rare day when you come to work and don't have at least one folder waiting on your chair. The other day, Michael (our editorial director) went home early because he had eighteen red folders he had to get through before the next day. He needed to be able to focus on them (and he wouldn't admit it, but I bet he was afraid of getting more red folders before the day was through!).

Sometimes the red folders fight back. They hide. They disappear. We have editors in two locations, and sometimes the red folders simply slip away somewhere between our offices.

In general, I find it's best to try to respect the red envelopes: treat them how you'd like to be treated. Deal with them quickly and kindly and send them on their way. (Maybe the DMV could take some notes.)

After all, the sooner you pass them along, the sooner you can make room on your desk for the next batch.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Quarterback Sneak

If you live in Minnesota or Wisconsin (like I do), football is in the air! Tonight long time rivals, the MN Vikings and the Green Bay Packers, face off in a true battle for the big win on Monday Night Football. Many Packer fans face an internal struggle as their long-time quarterback and hero, Brett Favre is now playing for their arch-rival. It is the first time that Favre is on the other side. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see the outcome. The anticipation is killing me! Now, I know this is professional football, but I think many kids face internal struggles and challenges as they play school sports. Our Jake Maddox series addresses many of these challenges in the real life situations that kids face. Check out some of our great titles - the boys sure seem to love them!