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!
Tomorrow (Fri, May 19 at 4 p.m. Pacific) will be my last public event for Sora’s Seashells 😊 Join me & the Los Angeles Public Library on their YouTube channel for a fun chat! Plus, they’re giving away dozens of free copies, thanks to the generous Library Foundation of L.A. More info at the link in my bio. See you online tomorrow!❤️ . . . #picturebook #kidlit #booklaunch #childrensbooks #childrensliterature #authorsofinstagram #book #childrensbook #aapiheritagemonth #aapi...
It’s finally here! Happy book birthday to Sora’s Seashells 🥳 The sweeping watercolor images by @stellalim_art & @ji_hyukkim are absolutely stunning. Thanks to the team @candlewickpress for a gorgeous book ❤️ And thanks to all of you for support & enthusiasm!
Book launch time is a bit tricky for me bc self-promotion always makes me feel a bit 🤢 But the bright side is that it allows me to connect with all of you, and I’m so grateful for your friendship!
I hope to see you in-person or online at the events for Sora’s Seashells. Get ready for some fun! 🙌 . . . #childrensbooks #kidlit #bookbirthday #picturebook #picturebookillustration #booklaunch #kidlitart #bookstagram #illustration #watercolor #kidsbooks...
To honor the release of Sora’s Seashells in a few days (Tues, May 9), I did a photoshoot of the book on a Hawaiian beach a few weeks ago 😁 The book is available for pre-order (see link in bio 🙏) Please join me for the in-person and/or online events! You’ll hear about the inspiration for the book, including some secrets about my name…😮 All info is on the second image + my website (link in bio)! Thanks to everyone for being with me on this rollercoaster journey—writing would be so much more difficult without your support & encouragement! ❤️ . . . #picturebook #childrensbooks #kidlit #newbook #picturebooks #picturebookstagram #bookevents #illustration #kidlitart #picturebookauthor #authorsofinstagram #watercolorillustration...
During this annual trek to the Big Island (aka “The Magical Island”), we’ve been trying to do “slow travel”—fully immersing in a small area, no to-do list, making earth-friendly choices (like buying reef-safe sunscreen, etc). I even helped a desperate caterpillar move off of a scorching sidewalk onto a tree 🙌 We already know this island quite well, so it’s pretty easy to pinpoint our area of focus—near Kua Bay, north of Kona. @eugene_rhee says that slow travel gels w/us, bc I’ve been making lots of sketches of the island and he’s been napping in every shady spot 😎 This place really feels like home…until my mom texts a photo of Sherwin moping on the sofa and then I can’t wait to leave!! 😂😭 . . . . #bigisland #hawaii #hualalai #slowtravel #kona #travelsketchbook #travelsketching #travelsketch #watercolor #watercolorsketch #bookresearch #researchtrip #authorsofinstagram...
While my muse takes a nap, I flip through my “meditation sketchbook.” I’ve been making quick, 10-min watercolor sketches of Sherwin to relax and let go of perfectionism. If you have any other de-stress techniques, let me know! (Regular meditation hasn’t worked for me bc my brain is too busy, but art meditation works 👍🙌—I feel so relaxed afterwards 😎 . . . #sherwinthedog #artmeditation #moleskinesketchbook #winsornewton #winsorandnewton #watercolorsketch #dogart #meditation #relax #frenchie #frenchiesofinstagram #authorsofinstagram #authorlife...