I can’t believe we’re in the last stretch of summer. I’m still getting mosquito bites and craving ice-cold lemonade, so it doesn’t feel like summer’s over. Say it ain’t so!!
A few months ago, my publisher sent me some Folded & Gathered (F&G) copies of my upcoming book, THE PAPER KINGDOM. Subscribers to my website already got a sneak peek via my newsletter, but here are some images. I love how the book is turning out! The official launch date is February 18, 2020, but it’s available for pre-order on Amazon and B&N. If you do pre-order, save your receipt because I’ll be running a giveaway soon 🙂
Folded & Gathered copies (also known as F&Gs or Advance Reader Copies) are looseleaf, unbound versions of the book. F&Gs are reviewed carefully by the publishing house (for color correction, last edits, etc.) before it goes off to the printer to become the hardback bound copies you’ll find at bookstores and libraries. So it’s the final review step!
This image from the back cover really moves me. The story is based on my childhood, when my parents worked as night janitors at a corporate building for a few years. On nights when a relative or friend couldn’t watch over me, they took me with them to work. And with their stories, they made those tedious nights very magical for a cranky four-year-old. So magical that I wrote a book about it!
I love this image from illustrator Pascal Campion. It’s one of his iconic nighttime panels (similar to the ones he drew for The New Yorker) with my characters driving to work. So beautiful.
F&G copies are also sent to bookstores, libraries and reviewers to create interest and early buzz. I’m so utterly grateful to the librarians and booksellers who’ve already started expressing enthusiasm for the book on industry sites. Their reviews are making me weep with gratitude, and perhaps I’ll be able to share a few reviews with you as the launch date draws near.
The summer was a mix of being homebodies with Sherwin, and some really fun travel.
Here are some images of our summer at home:
Sherwin looks especially stout (and handsome) in his favorite place: our front yard. He loves spying on neighbors and yelling at other dogs.
I often like to write on a sofa facing our backyard patio. If you look to the right, there’s a lemon tree that grows way too much fruit. I can’t keep up! I gave away many bags of lemons. I think lemon juice is oozing out of my pores.
A good friend had her debut novel released by HarperCollins this summer, so we threw her a little lunch party in our backyard. With lemon chiffon cake (I didn’t bake it!).
Lemonade I made with lemons and mint from our backyard. Very cold and not too sweet — just the way I like it!
I attended the SCBWI conference this summer, and one of the best sessions was a chat with Arthur Levine. He’s the editor who brought the Harry Potter books to the U.S. He basically made history, and is now the owner of his own independent publishing house. He’s pictured with Lin Oliver, a founder of SCBWI. The session was full of insider info about the publishing industry, including a close look at an acquisitions meeting. That’s where the publishing co decides whether or not to make an offer for a writer’s manuscript. Fascinating. Yes, I took copious notes!
Here are some photos from our amazing trip to Paris, Provence and Corsica. I LOVE traveling in France. So much beauty, great food, culture and yes, even friendly people — especially in the south!
Fondling fruit at the farmer’s market in Aix.
I love French elegance.
And you know how I feel about chocolate! This is from Joël Durand‘s shop in St. Rémy.
Hanging out with family in Provence.
Look at those beautiful old buildings. The Geno looks happy bc we stuffed ourselves with chocolate.
And finally, here’s a little video to warm your heart:
I’ll be back soon with more updates. Until then, enjoy the last few weeks of summer!
Are you a coffee or tea person? I love both, but I’ve definitely stepped up my tea game in the last few months. (Writing tip: establish a daily routine that gets you in the mood to write. For me, it’s a cup of tea with a (large!) square of dark chocolate.) The third photo shows my two favorite blends, both by @mariagefreresofficial 💗All the gorgeous porcelain, which I’ve been collecting over the years, is by @bernardaud 👏 If you love tea, high tea and tea culture in general, check out the lovely YouTube channel by @nicolasfairford 🙌...
Three different languages, three different moods (sound up to experience living with a trilingual Frenchie). 1) English = neutral/boredom (bc that’s what he hears most of the time). 2) Korean = high alert (bc that’s the language my parents speak to him and he adores them). 3) French = pure excitement!!! (bc that’s the language of his ancestors). #trilingualdog #sherwinthedog...
Our weekly routine in exceptionally gorgeous weather: stroll through Palisades Park, pick up delicious delights at #baycitiesitaliandeli for lunch in the backyard, then read a good book while #sherwinthedog naps with my foot. #ilovesundays❤️...
This is how Sherwin calls out to his buddy (and wakes up the entire neighborhood at 7:30 a.m.). I was never a morning person until I started living with this guy, who wakes at 7 a.m. sharp and then promptly hustles me out the door EVERY SINGLE DAY 😩#frenchbulldog #morningwalk...
Got some gorgeous loot from artists who make stunning paper collages (going counterclockwise from the left): 1) stunning cards designed by the illustrator of The Turtle Ship, Colleen Kong-Savage @kongsavage (her store: Konga Line on Zazzle.com), 2) super charming city cards by UK-based artist @traceyenglish (her store: OneAppleDesigns on Etsy), and 3) a lovely book by @clover_robin (wherever books are sold). I don’t think I will ever be a minimalist bc I love pretty things too much!! #collage #collageart...