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!
You can now find a touch of Paris on Pico—YOUPI!!!🇫🇷
I’ve stopped by @ludivine_paris_bakery nearly every week since they opened their cafe a few months ago. It’s a genuine Parisian patisserie run by a French family. I love their caramelized custard caneles (just like the ones I had while living abroad in France), and imho, their macarons are better than Laduree’s (less sweet). Their salmon tartine makes a perfect lunch (the crème fraiche spread with dill and the crusty sourdough bread are absolutely divine!) Can you tell this place puts me in a good mood?! I’m happy to let them expand my waistline 😁💗
I am 100% obsessed with the Big Island of Hawai’i!! Years ago, I made a coworker weep in her office with amazing tales of the Magical Island (my nickname for the place)—night snorkeling with manta rays, viewing Saturn through telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea, kayaking in an empty bay when a pod of spinner dolphins leaped into the air and invited us to swim with them (no joke—when we dove into the water, they brushed up gently against us…maybe they thought we had food??). This recent trip was full of magic yet again. I was too busy marveling at the wild horses, steaming volcano, and gentle turtles in the water to take many photos, but here’s a little taste of the coolest island, which transforms from an arid moonscape of lava rocks near Kona to a lush valley in the north. I already miss it!! 😩 #ineedatan #bigisland #ilovehawaii #palestpersononthebeach...
I got enough probiotics to last a decade, thanks to a fabulous kimchi tasting bonanza🔥👍 The event featured: excellent food & vaccinated friends ✅ Korean-themed decor + matching tees ✅ a happy/tired Sherwin who loved the unmarinated meat (check out his smile on our drive home—last photo) ✅ Thanks for a wonderful time, @elkinmama 💗 Great kimchi selection, @sjna 🥵👏...
Holy smokes, we received the most delicious and caloric gift yesterday from good friends—delivered in a cooler shipped from Cincinnati 🥰 Have you tried @graeters ice cream?? We immediately sampled two flavors…dangerously good. Three Michelin stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ #graeters...