As I wrap up the old year in holiday paper and finish it off with a bow, I want to take the time to thank you, my faithful readers, for all the book love and support. I appreciate every like, share, PM, email, fan letter, recommendation, purchase, read and review of my books. It means the world to me! Your support allows me to do what I love—create books for kids.
This year has been a fun but wild ride. Here’s a recap:
- My “GNU” picture Book, ONE BLUE GNU, hit the shelves on March 8th! We welcomed her into the world at Face in a Book with a fun book launch. Blue Gnu is such a party animal! A paperback edition will be released in March 2023.
- 20 days later, my shaped board book, WAKE UP, FREIGHT TRAIN, pulled into the station to all sorts of fanfare and celebration. I’m so proud of this fun, chunky little book.
- April 12th had me signing from the rooftops when ROOFTOP GARDEN was released. This book about urban gardening is a singalong book which means you can scan the QR code on the book and watch the video or dance to the original tune! How fun is that?
- May 30th brought my debut novel to the world. THE COMPLETE BOOK OF ASPEN is my young adult novel in verse based on my true DNA experience when I learned through an in-home DNA test kit that the man who raised me was not my biological father. Aspen and I sure went through a lot, but we have a beautiful book that we hope you enjoy.
- Joined the book promotional group, #bookcrew2022 (IG, Twitter & FB), where I met new writerly friends and found new amazing books to love and share with others.
- Visited bookstores, bookfairs, craft boutiques, and libraries where I shared my books and I spoke with and sat for interviews with newspapers and online bloggers.
- Taught the craft of writing for children on many online sites as a guest blogger. And I critiqued a ton of manuscript for my critique groups and for pre-published writers.
- I continued to write more manuscripts to send to my agent who works so hard for me, finding the perfect home for each story.
- Some of my manuscripts received rejections from editors, and I had to shelve a few projects that weren’t working.
- I continued to write poetry and post on my poetry blog, POETRY POP whenever I could. Pop over and follow the blog, we have tons of fun with words!
- When I am not writing stories and poems, I like to draw and paint. I call this my “Writer’s Block Art” and I was finally able to open my ETSY SHOP with a dozen or so of my art prints (I hope to add more soon).
- Then in September my board book, THE THANK YOU BOOK was released. It has been so well received and I am extremely grateful for and proud of this colorful little book.
- In October I received an offer on two new Little Golden Books. The deal hasn’t been announced in Publishers Weekly yet, but I look forward to sharing more when I can. I’m so excited to be adding to the LITTLE GOLDEN BOOKS I’ve authored.
- November had me grateful to Face in a Book in El Dorado Hills, CA once again as they welcomed me for a signing and book launch of THE THANK YOU BOOK where I met so many wonderful kids who practiced saying “thank you” when I signed their books. Plus, there were cookies 🙂
- Illustrator, Juliana Perdomo and I created a thank you card to accompany The Thank You Book. Kids can write or draw on the back of it and mail or give it to someone they are grateful for. You can download this activity and activities for more of my books here.
- November also had me dancing around the isles in Target when I walked by and saw my book on the shelf! I am happy to say The Thank You Book is inside Target stores nationwide.
- It is now December 20th and as we near the end of the year, I received some hopeful news before publishing shutdown for the holidays that I hope will spill over to a sale in the new year.
- And last but not least, in the new year, I look forward to the lift-the-flap board book, PEEK-A-BOO-HAIKU, illustrated by Tegan White. It is so darling! As a poet, I am doubly happy because this is my first book on haiku. Introducing poetry to little readers is a dream! It will be released on February 21, but you can preorder it now.
On a personal note, my husband and grown kids are healthy and happy. It has been five years since I met my “Bonus Dad” through my DNA test and I’ve been making up for lost time by getting to know him. And I got to meet my bonus family this year which was so lovely. Peanut, our family dog, turned 13 in September. I’m right behind her with a milestone birthday next month. We are both trying to age gracefully :). I enjoyed my garden all summer long and have now planted my winter garden. Here in Northern California, lettuce, some herbs, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and onions can survive the few nights of frost we receive in wintertime. I’m a summer girl at heart so while I enjoy the changing seasons and the magic of the holidays, I am looking forward to the new year, new books, and warmer weather for my nature walks.
Happy Holidays with love,