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?
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.)
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!
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.
*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.