September, how I’ve longed for you. My new picture book, Evelyn del Rey is Moving Away, is finally out in the world on September 8th – in both English and Spanish. So far, so good. It’s garnered five starred reviews and the honor of being selected as the Jumpstart 2020 Read for the Record title. Have you pre-ordered and signed up for the pledge?
Until then, enjoy the most delightful book trailer…
Are you missing your friends? Evelyn’s publication has had me thinking a lot about friends, those from childhood as well as the ones in both my personal and professional life now. I found this old shot from one of my birthdays back in Queens. (I can still feel the plastic slipcovers on that couch.)
Anyway, I really find myself longing for my friends now, and I’m guessing I’m not alone in this. It’s just the little things that I miss. Meeting someone for coffee. Hugging a hello. Taking in a movie or a drink somewhere. These days, even photos of myself with maskless friends, readers, and librarians can make me a little a little teary.
But you know what? The universe has a way of helping sometimes. This month it turns out that I am doing a lot of video events in support of author friends, from debut to superstars. Four conversations in eight days – and I’m asking all the questions. Here’s the lineup:
Sept. 10, 6 pm ET: Fountain Bookstore in Richmond will host Mary Cecilia Jackson in conversation with me about her debut young adult novel, Sparrow, which is a look at intimate partner violence in the life of a teenage ballerina.
Sept 15, 1 pm ET: Thanks to the Junior Library Guild, I’ll be doing a webcast with the fabulous Jason Reynolds. We’ll be talking about the process of having someone else interpret the world of your heart through their art. In case you don’t know, his wonderful novel, A Long Way Down, is being turned into a graphic novel! (I know. You’re swooning at the idea.)
Sept 16, 7 pm ET, Children’s Book World in Haverford, PA will host a conversation with me and Christine Kendall, moderated by Lori L. Tharps, Associate Professor of journalism at Temple University and the host of My Melting Pot blog/podcast. I met Christine a few years back at the 2017 Gaithersburg Book Festival. (Festivals. Another thing I miss.) Her latest middle grade novel, The True Definition of Neva Beane, is so timely. It’s a story that looks at activism and protest. It tackles generational views on “proper” protest and how kids decide what they’re ready to take on.
Sept. 18, 6:30 pm ET: I’ll wrap up the week with Bookbug and one of my favorite people, Kelly Baptist. Kelly’s new novel Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero evolved a lot like my novel Merci Suárez Changes Gears. The main characters in both our novels began in short stories that were part of the anthology Flying Lessons and Other Stories. Neither one of us could let those characters go, so we decided to follow them into a novel. I’m wondering how the process went for her… if it was as fun and unexpectedly challenging as I found it to be.
If you or your kids want to hear about my work, specifically, you can join me at any of these three virtual events in September, too,
- Manatee Library, Sept. 19 in honor of Hispanic Heritage month
- Broward County Conference on Children’s Literature, Sept. 25
- The Los Angeles Public Library Libros Fest, a fully bilingual book festival, on Sept. 26, and
- SCBWI San Antonio for a webinar on Sept. 29 entitled Nurturing Your Artistic Voice. We all take a different path, but I’m happy to share what worked and what didn’t for me in publishing.
So much for slowing down…