The pandemic, with its supply chain issues, was a time of delays and changes. Books that I thought might be coming out sooner were delayed. This was the case with my next book, TOGETHER WITH YOU, which will be released in September 2022 in the UK and January 2023 in the US. But a fun bonus of the delay is that the cover will have different images in different countries. Below left will be the cover in the UK -- a colorful splash of flowers in a meadow. Below right will be the US cover -- a rainy-day walk among the trees. As always, Jarvis' illustrations are gorgeous; I just can't chose which cover is my favorite!
I've discovered that a pandemic year passes very slowly, yet very quickly. The early months of 2020 I worked from home as a library tech assitant -- creating videos to entice readers, compiling socially-distanced talent shows, supporting students with technical issues, and working to update our library collection, among other things. Summer presented time to write, but creative juices flowed slowly. Yet, I sold one more book (news TBA).
Our school returned to in-person classes on Aug. 12th, with a hybrid schedule - half of the students on A Days and the other half on B Days. By strictly adhering to masks, hand-washing, social-distancing, increased ventilation, etc., we've stayed safely in-person for most of the school year (so far).
As an author, I've had fun with virtual visits. Late October/early December were dotted with visits to primary classrooms, sharing the "Picka" books and life as an author. Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom hosted me for two webinars with students throughout the state. In late December, I finally got to "meet" Jarvis in a Zoom program with the Mazza Museum in Findlay, OH, which has a magnificent collection of children's illustration. What a treat!
I began 2021 with a two-part series on writing and publishing children's books via the AnyThink libraries in Colorado. How do you boil down two decades of writing into two hours? By talking very, very fast! Then, just this past week, I "traveled" across the country to Google Meet classrooms for World Read Aloud Day.
I look forward to a return to "normal", though a NEW normal it's bound to be. Until then, take care!