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!
Wow…we received garden tomatoes from a neighbor, and I tossed a Caprese salad. An Italian party is in full force in my mouth!! Simple ingredients: excellent tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, extra virgin olive oil, salt + pepper. That’s it! I’m sure this doesn’t qualify as “cooking,” but I was so proud of the results that I took 15+ photos 🙌😁 #imalmostvegeterian #summersalad #caprese #authorlife #quicklunch
A fabulous new discovery for me: @arvidabookco in Tustin, CA. What a charming bookstore-cafe! 💕 They’re hosting a bookfest this entire weekend, and yesterday was such a fun time. I saw some friends I hadn’t seen in decades, and hung out with authors/illustrators/booklovers who renewed my sense of purpose! 🙌❤️ . . . #authorsofinstagram #kidlit #booklovers #childrensbooks #arvidabookco #picturebook #authorlife #illustrator
Happy summertime, everyone! Join me and an amazing lineup of authors/illustrators at @arvidabookco in Tustin, CA this weekend for a fun reading fest + coffee/tea! I’ll be there with the wonderful @bshum79 & @averyandaugustine on Saturday, July 1 at 2:30. I’d love to hang out with you & chat about stories! ❤️ (Thanks to Arvida Book Co for these fun images + hosting/organizing the event!) . . . #bookfest #readingfestival #reading #picturebooks #books #ilovebooks #authorsofinstagram #kidlit #arvidabookco
Before becoming an author, I had no idea that public speaking came with the territory. And what’s shocked me most is…how much I enjoy it! I love connecting with people of all ages over our shared love of stories—it’s so energizing & inspiring…just try to get me to leave the stage! 😂 Some highlights from last month: a TV interview, a virtual program with the one & only @lapubliclibrary (the re-play is on YouTube—link in bio!), a fun launch event at @cbwchildrensbooks and author visits at four fabulous schools! Check out the giant banner 😮😮😮 I wish everyone a safe and happy summer, and thank you so much for all the warmth & book love ❤️ . . . #authorsofinstagram #authors #authorlife #childrensbooks #childrensliterature #picturebooks #picturebook #illustratedbook #kidlit #writerlife
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