Mad as a March Hare
by Rita Goldner
I relish my blog position, the first of every month, because it affords me the opportunity to research interesting traditions and tidbits of history or literature that celebrate the coming month. This month’s nugget, “mad as a March hare,” was made popular in Lewis
Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. However, its origin was earlier. In 1529, Sir Thomas More used the phrase in The Supplycacyon of Soulys: “As mad not as a march hare, but as a madde dogge.” It has been used in the English language since then, and was included in John Heywood’s 1546 collection – A Dialogue Conteinyng the Nomber in Effect of All the Prouerbes in the Englishe Tongue.
The term “hare-brained” has also been used since the 16th century to designate someone who is brainless or mad. (Sometimes you see it mistakenly written “hair-brained.”) In any event, the comparison started because people observed hares behaving oddly, jumping around excitedly, and boxing with each other during March. It’s the beginning of their mating season, which explains the crazy behavior.
And now for my awkward segue from this bit of trivia into the life of an author: writing, publishing and marketing. The month of March has several feats of madness in store for me; or if not madness, at least “hangin’ it out there” and taking chances. The first is the Tucson Festival of Books, which proposes to be fun. I’m hoping it will be lucrative, too, but at least I’ll enjoy schmoozing with other bibliophiles. Our Meetup group, Phoenix Publishing and Book Marketing, is “hoppin’ down the bunny trail” toward other exciting venues and book fairs. We’re investigating events in Wickenburg and Kingman. We have a fabulous program of bi-monthly book readings/signings. The next one will take place Wednesday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m. These events will take place the last Wednesday of the even months for the rest of the year. Please visit our Meetup page for more details as the dates near.
I am also starting my elementary school tour of author visits. I had a grandmotherly vision of myself reading to an intimate group, which I’ve often done (see my sketch). However, my requests are turning out to be intimidating, large multi-class presentations, some with the hundreds of kids, using PowerPoint, etc. BTW, I’m pretty sure this marketing opportunity would be available to YA authors, too, in high schools. The difference is that the author would probably be talking more about his/her career that their specific book. Another madcap adventure I’ve scheduled is a radio interview on a children’s talk show for authors and illustrators. It’s called Green Knees, in Santa Fe, and my interview is Saturday March 26 at 7:10 a.m. You can hear it HERE online – be sure to click “listen live” at the top.
Another of my March projects was precipitated by a suggestion from a man visiting our group’s booth at the Phoenix Festival of the Arts. He thought the two e-books I released a few years ago should each have a “companion book,” a printed coloring book of my line drawings, based on the illustrations from the e-book. It will also have the story text.
All of our group projects and my individual projects are exciting, and I hope our sales multiply like rabbits!
Rita Goldner is the author and illustrator of the children’s picture book, Orangutan: A Day in the Rainforest Canopy. Rita has also written and illustrated two eBooks, Jackson’s History Adventure and Jackson’s Aviation Adventure, in the Jackson’s Adventure series. For orangutan facts and images and to purchase the book (also available as an ebook), visit OrangutanDay.com. To view additional illustrations and other books in progress, visit Rita’s website. Contact Rita here. Follow Rita on Facebook.