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!
The weather in L.A. on this #mlkday is a bit ridiculous (near 80 degrees!), so I did some quick outdoor sketches of my favorite nude model, who can’t seem to hold a pose for longer than 5 seconds. Fortunately, the general shape is the same from every angle: muscular potato 🥔 #sherwinthedog #frenchiesofinstagram...
Years ago when I was trying to find a literary agent to represent my unpublished story, The Paper Kingdom, one agent sent me a “colorful” rejection with the note: “I don’t know any editors or publishing houses that would want your story.” I almost gave up. Almost. I hope that agent has been paying attention to these amazing year-end lists. Fellow creators, don’t give up on the projects you believe in. When the going gets tough, the tough get to work!! Thank you, all, and happy holidays ❤️...
So grateful that The Paper Kingdom is among the amazing books on Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2020 and Amazon’s Best Children’s Books of 2020! What a tough year to launch a new book, given all the canceled events, production delays, shutdowns, etc., so my heartfelt gratitude goes to @kirkus_reviews and @amazonbooks, and of course, to all of you—my wonderful friends, family, readers and fellow creators. Your book love means so much to me! Please be well and stay safe as we reach the end of this nutty year! ❤️#childrensbooks #kidlit...