I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family in spite of having to stay close to home this year. For us, it was our first time to have Christmas with my side of the family in over ten years.
This week I'm on Kim Chaffee's & Kirstie Call's podcast, The Picture Book Look with my wonderful editor, Joanna! It's only about 15 minutes long.
And I'm the featured author at Linda Sue Park's KiBooka's page, Kids' books by Korean Americans.
In other good news for THE OCEAN CALLS, it comes out as an audio book on January 19!
You can hear a sample here.
Lastly, Teaching Books emailed that my name is now part of their list of authors' names! You can hear me pronounce my name!
What have I been up to? I just finished scouring over sketches of my lyrical graphic novel coming out from Harper Alley in 2023. The title changed to The Other Side of Tomorrow. About North Korean refugee kids. Illustrator Deborah Lee is doing an awesome job bringing my text to life. It's been fun seeing them as she progresses through the manuscript.
I'm also enjoying my short winter break from school. I ordered some library books and did the curbside checkout for the first time. Some fabulous books I just read:
*When Stars Are Scattered, a graphic novel built on a true story, a necessary read for all upper elementary & teens. This book shows what life in a refugee camp is like.
*Fauja Singh Keeps Going, a picture book biography about the 108 year old Sikh who runs marathons!
*Playing from the Heart, a picture book in which a father never stops loving his son's piano playing.
Next on my list: Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park
What children's book do you recommend? Happy New Year!
Well, moving during a book launch in a pandemic--I wouldn't recommend it. But I'm so thankful to all of you who have supported me, through watching my online activities or even buying and sharing about the book!
If you missed out, you can see me and the illustrator Jess at Little Shop of Stories on Facebook here or me reading the book at Warwick's Bookstore on Instagram here.
And good news--The Ocean Calls is on the Fall 2020 Kids' Indie Next List by the American Booksellers Association!
I'm in Iowa now. Big difference from the lightning fast Internet of Korea. That's the main thing we miss. In fact, it took over two weeks just to get service. Which means I had to go to a hotel to use their Internet to do my LIVE book launch online!
And now I'm back in the classroom with two hybrid groups of kindergartners teaching them how to walk in a line like zombies, arms out to measure social distancing.
What are some new things you're adjusting to? How's your writing?
You could win a picture book critique from me OR this swag which includes a Korean bag, haenyeo stuffed animal, a Jeju Mirror, a Korea magnet, and Korea bookmark. (US residences for the swag. Anyone for the critique.) To enter the contest, you must pre-order the book and then fill out the form below. I'll announce the winner on my blog & at my virtual launch. Details about that coming soon.
With two books out this summer, it's time my website gets a new look. Please take a look around. What do you think? What could I do to make it even better?
News: My new picture book My Breakfast with Jesus is getting reviews on social media. If you've read it, I'd love for you to leave a book review on Amazon, Good Reads, B&N & share about it. It's a great way to segue into a discussion about race and culture with kids. I'm @TinaMCho on Instagram & Twitter.
Star-worthy news: The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story has received THREE stars so far! One each from Kirkus, Booklist, and Publisher's Weekly. I'm grinning from ear to ear. Only my teens don't get it. haha Only my writing tribe understands.
My daughter painted this verse for me for my birthday. It's what I base my writing on.
Happy official summer! How are you doing?
They are almost twins. My Breakfast with Jesus publishes with Harvest House Publishers June 2, 2020. The Ocean Calls publishes with Kokila/Penguin Random House August 4, 2020. It's been so much fun watching them come from story idea, to selling to a publisher to being assigned an illustrator to seeing the final covers! Now I'm awaiting the arcs. My Breakfast with Jesus was actually the story idea of my awesome agent, Adria Goetz, who told me I should write this story. She knows my writing better than I do! And it sold. The Ocean Calls started with a tweet on Twitter that I read about haenyeo. I was fascinated with these granny divers, looked them up and was hooked. There were no picture books about them. So I wrote it after lots of research and traveling to watch them. More on that later!
In the meantime, more book news is on the way. While I wait, I continue to write & revise my WIPS with my three critique groups. And I'm thankful to attend SCBWI online webinars and hear more great writing advice. How's your writing?
Tina M. Cho, children's author
I'm a children's author and freelance writer for the educational market. Welcome!