The Next Big Thing Blog Tour

This is something completely new for me. A blog tour. I have to admit that I've been very low key about my blog, but maybe it's time to play higher key? So what is a blog tour? A blog tour gives those on the tour a chance to meet different authors by way of their blogs. The Next Big Thing began in Australia. I've never been to Australia, but I'd like to go someday. Each week a different author answers specific questions about his or her upcoming book. The answers are posted on authors' blogs. Then we get to tag another author. On and on it goes. It may go around the world a couple of times.

The tour came to me from Oregon. I was tagged by my virtual friend Eric A. Kimmel. He was tagged by his friend Pamela Smith Hill. She was tagged by her friend Judy Cox. I'll add who I am tagging at the end of this post.

And now for the questions:

What is the working title of your next book?

The title, which is the actual title, not the working title is "Once Upon A Memory." The working title was "Does A Feather Remember?" which shows that working titles do change!

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea actually came from an eagle feather that I found on our beach. There is a belief in Native American/First Nations culture that eagle feathers should be left to return to the creator. I held the feather and wondered, "does a feather remember it once was a bird?" That question led to many others, which led me to write the poem that became the book. The poem is about memory and transformation, but it's ultimately about childhood. It has many layers and is conceptual and deep.

What genre does your book fall under?

"Once Upon A Memory" is a picture book. It is also a poem, but it's not really a poetry book. I have a habit of defying genre with what I write sometimes. I think it's a book that will mean many things to many people, and I hope that everyone will find something in it that they love.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

This is funny. I have other books I've written and illustrated that I would love to pick out actors to play... but this book is not character based, even though the illustrations do have incredible characters in them. I would pick a fine animation house to do a beautiful animated short  that would win an Oscar- in my dreams! Maybe Morgan Freeman with his soothing velvety voice could read the text.

Who is publishing your book?

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers is the publisher. It will be out in December 2013, so stay tuned!

How long did it take you write the first draft of the manuscript?

Truthfully, this was written over a period of a couple of years. I started the initial poem and wrote a good chunk of it. Then I let it sit for a while. When I started to think that maybe it was a book, I thought it was a board book for toddlers, and I submitted it that way. Then it revealed itself to be a picture book, and my editor Connie Hsu at Little, Brown gave me thoughts and comments. We went back and forth as I shaped it into the final evocative piece it became. 

What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

I wrote this book at a particularly difficult period in my life. Up until this point, my previous books (over a dozen titles) have been quite different than "Once Upon A Memory," but I'm quite proud that I had to dig deep to produce this, and I hope that it will show a very enchanting and magical side of my writing that hasn't been seen before. There is a poet that lives in me, and she is in the pages of this book.

The next stop on the tour is the beautiful and talented author/illustrator Ashley Wolff who lives in San Francisco. You will be able to read her post for this blog tour next week by clicking here.  In the meantime, you can go back and read Eric Kimmel's post here

And... soon I will be back to my regularly unscheduled blog posts in a lower key!
Thank you for visiting.

With Love,


  1. Love the title that was finally chosen and that this ISN'T a classic character-based picture book!

  2. Thanks Joanna! I'm very excited about "Once Upon A Memory" and can't wait to share it.


I welcome your comments, but please play nice! If my feelings get hurt I may have to ask you to take a time out and comments will go away. Think constructive if you must criticize.