It was a treat to have a fun conversation with teacher and podcaster Corrina Allen of the wonderful Books Between Podcast for teachers, librarians, parents, or anyone interested in middle grade literature. I’m a listener and fan of the podcast, so it was especially neat to have a chance to be on the show!
Corrina and I talk about Zinnia and the Bees, the metaphors of yarn-bombing and bees, adolescence, recent books I’ve loved, when Roald Dahl visited my school, my favorite picture books of all time, and vermicomposting. You can take a listen here.
My last stop was Collage Collage in Vancouver BC (and my first time to that fantastic city!). It’s a very special art space for kids and we had a two hour slot to talk about the book and make yarn bees! How wonderful is that?
My second tour stop was Seattle, and the Third Place Books Seward Park! Big thanks to Michelle who took care of the event there, and to all who were able to attend. It was such a wonderful evening!
First stop on my trip up the West Coast last week was the gem of a bookstore, Green Bean Books in Portland! (Hi Green Bean!) I hope you get a chance to hang out on their porch someday. I have so many special memories of the weekend there, and so many talented kidlit folks live nearby too. Huge thanks to Jennifer and Earl for hosting me, and to Zoey Abbott Wagner for taking pretty much all of these photos! I gave a presentation and then we made yarn pompoms. (If you’d like to make some, instructions here.)
Last Saturday was the launch for Zinnia and the Bees at Skylight Books! And Michelle Sterling of Avery and Augustine (you’ve gotta check out her Instagram) and the Little Lit Book Series was kind enough to lend her talents and take photos. You see, aside from being a reading expert, she’s also a photographer!
Here’s a visual recap of the event, which was the best ever (as Zinnia would say). Many thanks to all those who were able to attend as well as those sending support from afar. I felt it and appreciate it very much! And a big shout out to my dear friend Bonnie at Thirsty for Tea for Zinnia and the Bees treats of my dreams!
If you’d like to get your own signed copy of the book, you can order through Skylight Books and make a note of that in the checkout—that way, they’ll send you a signed one straight to you from my hometown! And many thanks!
I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to visit some blogs over the past week to talk about Zinnia and the Bees, writing, and more. A big thanks to all the bloggers who’ve hosted me!
Here are those features if you’d like to take a look:
Author Spotlight at KIDLIT411
My guest post about how Zinnia and the Bees came to be on Pop! Goes the Reader.
Interview + fun facts about the book at YAYOMG
Interview at Middle Grade Minded
Interview at Good Reads with Ronna
My book and tour details are up at the wonderful Little Lit Book Series
(which I’m happy to be part of on Instagram)
Writers’ Rumpus Interview
Today’s the day! Zinnia and the Bees is a published book in the world—hooray!
And because Zinnia is a knitter and yarn bomber, here’s a photo of me holding the crocheted cover(!) made to match by yarn bomber extraordinaire, Jenny Brown. So cool, right?
(click to enlarge)
I started this story close to ten years ago. The seed of it was the idea of bees swarming around and settling on Zinnia’s head, a metaphor for all the stuff that’s out of her control. The heart of it is about finding home, both for the bees and Zinnia. The process of it showed me my own writing home, with young readers as my audience. And the best part of it is that now I get to share it with them and you.
Here are places where you can purchase Zinnia and the Bees for yourself, for a middle grade reader you know (that’s roughly 8-12 years old), or for a school library or classroom:
*You can also check it out from your local public library (go libraries!), or request they order it if they don’t have it. (That would be a lovely thing to do and I’d appreciate it immensely.)
And if you do read it and leave a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Goodreads, I’ll be forever grateful as reader reviews are so helpful to authors.
A giant thanks in particular to my agent, Rick Margolis, and my editor, Ali Deering, both of whom made this book possible, and a whole lot better. Plus, Laura K. Horton who created that beautiful cover and the whole team at Capstone!
If you’re in Los Angeles, my book launch is this Saturday, August 5th at Skylight Books! Or if you’re in Portland, Seattle, or Vancouver BC, I’m coming your way soon! Details here. Hope to see you soon.
Zinnia, the bees, and I are traveling up the coast in August! If you’re in L.A., Portland, Seattle, or Vancouver, I truly hope to see you at one of my events!
The following links will take you to each Facebook event for more details, and to let me know if you can make it:
Happy summer, and hope to see you there!