It’s a HOT summer

Hello! I hope you’re staying safe, strong, and sane during this time of continued uncertainty. Is it crazy hot where you are? We’ve been having some blistering days (and wildfires) in California. What a nutty summer (and a nutty year).


These past few months of lockdown have been some of the busiest months in our household.

First, the good stuff…

I have a new book deal! This one happened back in April/May, but the news only recently became public. The official announcement is below, and I’m thrilled that Pascal will illustrate the story and that I get to work with the amazing team at Penguin Random House again.

ROSA’S SONG is based loosely on my childhood in L.A. The story is about a friendship between two kids from radically different backgrounds. And one has a pet parrot! They say you should write the book that only you can write, a story unique to you – I think ROSA’S SONG falls into that category, much like THE PAPER KINGDOM.

This book deal happened in a very cool way. Earlier in the year, my editor Maria reached out to me to say that she wanted to bring me and Pascal back together for another book project. And might I have a new manuscript? Why yes!

I’d been working on ROSA’S SONG for a while even before my editor reached out to me. So I polished the story and sent it to my agent, who then sent it to my editor. She loved it! She showed the story to her boss, and got the green light to acquire it.

It’s a writer’s dream to have an editor reach out and ask YOU for a new manuscript, rather than the usual course of events: which is for a writer to work with an agent to submit a manuscript to various publishing houses, hoping and praying someone will want to buy the story. So this situation was a dream come true.

Hinting at huge news (again!)… 

In my last post, I referred to some HUGE news I was waiting to disclose. I’m still waiting! I promise, I’m not purposefully trying to be secretive. I’ve been told to continue keeping things confidential. Hopefully I’ll be able to share the news soon, because my lid is about to burst open!!

And in other news

My upcoming book, SORA’S SEASHELLS, will be delayed for publication. It was originally supposed to be released in early 2021, but due to circumstances out of Candlewick’s (the publisher’s) control, the release date will be pushed to early 2022. I’m just glad that the book is looking so lovely. Here is a glimpse at an interior watercolor sketch from SORA’S SEASHELLS:

Courtesy of Candlewick Press and illustrator Ji-Hyuk Kim. A lovely watercolor sketch from SORA’S SEASHELLS. I love the light and the mood. And how adorable is little Sora with her grandmother!

So I’ll have two books out in 2022: SORA’S SEASHELLS and ROSA’S SONG. I can’t wait!

My website subscribers are in for a big treat soon. I plan to do an exclusive first glimpse — a cover reveal of SORA’S SEASHELLS! So if you haven’t yet subscribed, I encourage you to do so here.


In case you missed my virtual author event with the L.A. Public Library, the YouTube replay is below. After a brief technical glitch, I give lots of tips to aspiring authors as well as a pretty thorough overview of the making of THE PAPER KINGDOM.

Check out the wonderful loot in the photo below! Everything was designed by the illustrator of THE TURTLE SHIP, Colleen Kong-Savage. If you’d like a notebook, notecards, or even some face masks featuring Colleen’s collage illustrations, head on over to the Kongaline page at Redbubble.

A poster print of an image from THE TURTLE SHIP, some notebooks and cards are some of the cool things that you can get from Colleen’s page (Kongaline) on Redbubble.

When it’s not too unbearably hot, we’ve been having meals in our backyard. Below is a photo of a recent brunch. I made some lemon pancakes (yes, with lemons from our overabundant lemon tree), but the main reason why I’m showing this photo is because one item on the table has been giving me GREAT JOY! And that item is…THE CHIPS! If you like black truffles, you will love Torres chips from Spain. I’m obsessed! I’ve been averaging around two bags per week for the past few months. If you’re in L.A., you can get them at a gourmet deli or grocery, like Bay Cities in Santa Monica or Larchmont Wine & Cheese. Or you can get them on Amazon (but you’ll pay double).


I’ll leave you with a video of Sherwin getting a massage in our backyard.

Stay safe and be well! More fun updates to come soon 😊