L.A. Book Event – a recap!

September 8th was a great day, a day that’ll live on in my memory! So many lovely people showed up for our L.A. book event — it was standing room only! Over a hundred people were in the audience, and like during our NYC event, kids asked some of the best questions:

  • Will the book be turned into a movie? (Colleen answered, “Do you know someone???”)
  • How long does it take to make one collage illustration? (Colleen: “A long time! At least three rounds of sketches before putting together the actual collage.”)
  • How long did it take you to write the book? (Me: “A long time! The book may be short, but the story went through lots of revisions. I originally had the king as the main character, but changed it to be Sun-sin as a young boy. I wrote the first draft over a decade ago, but then reviewed it every now and again to fine tune it. Then it went through further editing with the publishing house.”)

Boy, some of those kids had a lot of questions! Curious minds, for sure…

During the book signing part, a wonderful librarian from the L.A. Public Library asked if I’d like to participate in their speaker series. My answer: YES! The library is my home away from home, so this sounds right up my alley. And even though I tremble at the thought of public speaking, I know myself: after the initial bout of nerves and sweaty palms, I’m okay on stage…some might even say it’s impossible to kick me off once I’m on a roll 😉

Lovely little ladies and gentlemen in the audience.

Colleen the illustrator traveled all the way from NYC for the event, and it was great to hang out with her and her son Noah again. I acquired some original collages from her, and she helped me frame them over the weekend. Check out the artwork in the little reading nook in our house:

Colleen’s lovely artwork now hangs in a reading nook in our house. Can you spot Sherwin? He kind of blends in with the floor! Those gorgeous wildflowers are from our friend Aaron.

A this is what the bookstore wrote about the event:

Also, some great news: The Turtle Ship is in its second print run! The first edition copies are about to sell out, so the second edition is in the works. So grab those first edition copies while they’re still available! 🙂

And here are some beautiful photos that an English language teacher in Seoul sent to me (thank you, Lily!). Her kids read the book, and then created clay replicas and sketches of the ship. I love these photos so much!

Adorable kids at a school near Seoul, South Korea. They’re sketching from The Turtle Ship 🙂

Student in South Korea creating a clay replica of a Turtle Ship. So cute!

This entire kidlit journey has been a total gift to me, full of pure joy. I consider it a true privilege to create books that can be enjoyed by kids and the young at heart, because the books I read when I was little remain some of my favorites to this day. I consider them my very good friends.

2 Responses to “L.A. Book Event – a recap!”

  1. Colleen

    Jubilations! Noah and I had such fun in your hometown, and how lovely to meet your friends and family. The artwork looks great on your walls. I’m so happy they have a good home, where they can be appreciated … I don’t know how you hung them so evenly. When I hang artwork I get a loose interpretation of “level.”

    What a thrill to see our book in other countries! Thanks for all the pictures. I am so lucky to have been partnered with you (❤️love fest!❤️).

    • Helena

      It’s a love fest for sure!! It was so fun to see you and Noah again, and everyone keeps telling me how much they enjoyed the L.A. event 🙂 I want to have another party just to show off your artwork!! (After I spend about three months recovering from the last one, haha!)