Book celebration & roof research


Honestly, I think my UPS man loves me best. Not many of his other deliveries jump up and down and scream when he shows up.

Here they are! Drum roll…….

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So much work all wrapped up in a drop-dead gorgeous cover.

If you’re interesting in hearing me talk about my work for teens in general and WINTERGIRLS in particular, head over to this audio interview of me. The interview was conducted by Jennifer Buehler of If you’re an educator, you will love the resources on their website.

Cottage update: BH is working hard on the magic window. Right now he’s sanding it. Next step is to strengthen the entire structure so that it can stand up to the eventual weight of the glass. The plan is to put clear glass in all of the panes now, and replace a couple with stained glass when we can afford it.

We have run into a quandary about the roof. We did not want to use traditional roofing shingles because they are made with a petroleum byproduct. If we were to use traditional asphalt shingles, it would cost about $800 for the roof (for comparison, I’m only giving the cost of the shingles).

A slate roof was my first choice; it would last 100 years, is a natural product, and looks great. But the slate alone would cost about $3000 and have a much, much higher labor cost on top of that. Next up; shingles made from recycled rubber and plastic. The shingles alone would cost almost $4500.

Photovoltaic cells won’t work because the cottage is being built in the woods. (We are going to generate solar energy to power the building, but it will come solar panels that are a distance from the cottage.) Eco-shakes cost about the same as slate.

We’re still exploring options. If you have any tips or advice, please leave it in the comments.

Theo the Web God almost has the WINTERGIRLS pages ready to go live. Can’t wait for you to see them. In celebration, we’re going to hold a contest. The winners will receive a laptop skin printed with the cover image of WINTERGIRLS. We only have one thing to figure out.

How to structure the contest? What do you think? What is a fast and fair contest? Again, please leave your advice in the comment section.

WINTERGIRLS comes out in two weeks.

43 Replies to “Book celebration & roof research”

  1. Woo-Hoo!!!

    Wow, that must be such an amazing feeling. Congratulations!

    Hopefully, I’ll get to find out what it’s like, someday.


  2. roofing

    how about thatch roofing like you see on all those English cottages? It’s supposed to make a good roof and it is renewable which would fit into your eco-friendly desires.

  3. Yay!!! And I laughed at your comments about the UPS guy. I always run up and hug mine when he shows up with books – I think he is about to take out a restraining order.

  4. Re: roofing

    A lot of municipalities outlaw thatch because it’s highly flammable. It may be as expensive as a lot of other options because of the installation cost to make it safe.

  5. Re: roofing

    It’s almost impossible to find thatchers in the US. Estimate for my little cottage was about $24,000, including the labor.

  6. tin roof!

    Of course, it’s not actually tin, I think it’s corrugated steel. Can be metal colored (maybe galvanized?) or painted. Reflective sheeting can be put between the decking and the metal that is a great insulator. My brother the architect put this on his cedar-sided, solar hot water heated cabin in the woods.

    Good luck. I went with asphalt shingles on my chicken coop since I got all of my building materials from construction dumpsters. Maybe you could find recycled materials for roofing???


  7. Honestly, I think my UPS man loves me best. Not many of his other deliveries jump up and down and scream when he shows up.
    I squeeed upon seeing the picture and they’re not even my books!

  8. Re: roofing

    Thatched cottages look lovely, but you won’t find them being made anymore (and most of England does not have any thatched cottages or houses anymore). Nevertheless, they are still amazing to see, but because they’re not made really, it’s very difficult to find someone to thatch a roof at a reasonable price.

  9. We have metal roofs on our house here in the north Florida woods, called tin, but really steel. They last for a long time, and when they rust after 50 years, you can paint them. Up in Maine, when we rehabbed a 100 yr old camp my Grandpa had built (he was no carpenter) we roofed it with regular shingles in the hope that by the time they wear out we can afford one of those colored metal roofs.
    The book it beautiful. Isn’t it a great sensation to get a box of em!
    I am looking forward to reading it.

  10. I’m so insanely excited to read this book. Actually, I’m excited to read every LHA book, but this one especially. Agreed–the cover is amazing.

  11. roofing options

    We did a metal roof for our lean-to. It’s indestructible and sounds lovely in the rain. If you’re not picky about color, you may be able to get castoffs, scraps, or mis-orders. I think the price is comparable to a high end asphalt shingle.
    A green roof meets all your criteria but can’t have much pitch.
    I read something recently in an eco forum that said that using existing “less green” materials that would otherwise be scrapped is often a greener alternative than ordering/trucking/producing the latest eco technology. I’m spoiled because Ann Arbor has a great Re-use center but I bet if you talked to local farmers and builders, you could find someone with something to unload, or who could help you find a deal.
    – Hope V.

  12. A recycled metal roof might work, says the guy who wants to live in a shipping container (btw, this blog post will now get tons of random hits because of the phrase “live in a shipping container.”)

  13. You are living my dream! I so want a writing cottage in the woods. I’m gazing longingly out the window at our tool shed as I type this. (It does have electric…)

    Congratulations on the beautiful book and the amazing window!

  14. They’re so pretty! I would love to get a mail delivery like that – don’t know if I would be jumping up and down, more likely deafening the UPS guy with shrill screams.

    Congratulations. And sorry, but I’m horrible at thinking up contest ideas.

  15. I would check some salvage yards for slate. People get rid of that stuff all the time because it was used for flooring and it’s slick.I wish I lived near you because I have a stack of it in my shed I would give you.I also have an artist friend that has some from an old building that she is selling for a dollar a slate. I’m sure you can find deals like that where you are. You could find a little here and a little there and mix it up on your roof, that would be beautiful.

    Good luck!!!!!

    The books are gorgeous.

  16. Art contest? Poetry contest? It’s hard to have a contest about a book few have had the opportunity to read as of yet!

    Hmm. Contest on what contest to have, perhaps?

  17. Look at all those pretty books! I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

    We have a “tin”/metal roof- and I do love the way it sounds in the rain. Not sure about the eco-friendly-ness of it, though. (Our house is 100+ years old, and I think the metal is pretty old, too)

    A lot of contests are just “comment to win” and use a random number generator to pick the winner. You could pick the “theme” of the comments, if you want something specific to Wintergirls. If I come up with something better, I’ll comment again 🙂

  18. Contests

    You could have a contest on coming up with healthy meals or snacks, favorite LHA book and why, favorite book in general and why, book that changed the way you think and how it did that, book you recommend the most, book that should be a movie and who would be the best star, soundtrack for a book, life soundtrack…

  19. cedar?

    Didn’t buildings used to be shingled with cedar (same as the siding?) I know I once had to clean up some old roof cedar dust when a new one was being put on a shed. Those should be locally available, are renewable, and shouldn’t cost a fortune–or you could maybe see if you could find some recycled metal roofing?

    That is one drop-dead gorgeous book cover you’ve got yourself!

  20. roofs

    You want a galvenized, anondized terne roof according to Nancy and your big brother Paul

  21. I can’t wait to read Wintergirls! Speak is one of my favourite books. I did an ISP on it in Grade 12 and did really well 🙂

  22. I would also vote for cedar shakes (shingles). They have gone up considerably in the past few years, but still should be way less expensive than slate.

  23. OHMYFUDGINGGOSH that would feel like having a baby to me. Only, one that wouldn’t die if I didn’t breastfeed it or cry when I’m trying to sleep.

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