Four New Book Babies Are Born!

I fell hard off the wagon of writing children’s books during the disruption, emotion and confusion of Covid shutdowns this summer. I really hadn’t yet regained my footing from when my Mom died last October. I usually like to write sweet or fun rollicking rhymes… and it has been a struggle to get back on that track. Having five of my local author friends produce fantastic books this summer is helping me refocus. I’m so proud of them all!

Today is a very special day for my kidlit friend Amanda Malek-Ahmadi. She launched her very first and absolutely delightful picture book, 10 Ballet Dancers, and even mentioned me yesterday during her live launch event online (at 17:30). What a sweetheart! Today she has a special Storytime Live launch event with her favorite author/illustrator mentor, Michelle Nelson-Schmidt.

Amanda published locally here in Arizona with a publisher I had put her in touch with, Sean Buvala at Small Tooth Dog Publishing Group. (I’m looking forward to working with them soon also.) She reads her clever book starting at minute 50 of the author interview. Illustrator Kathrine Gutkovskiy’s illustrations are so pretty!

I was impressed during the interview with Sean how much Amanda has dreamed and worked toward this day since a child, and surrounded herself with successful author mentors along the way. It’s a perfect first book for her — she’s a dancer, teacher and now published author. I’m excited to share it with you all!

I posted recently about my other SCBWI friends Jill Purtee and Betsy Etchart who are nearly ready to launch an excellent new story online. Those two ladies are incredibly talented rhymers and storytellers. Now we know Betsy is a fabulous picture book illustrator as well! It was inspiring to be in the room where it happened.

Can you guess what their story is about?

Check out our other critique group friend Teresa Krager’s beautiful, impactful book, Before Your Birth Day. I’ve always adored her excellent poetry and her kind desire to turn people’s hearts to God. This book with art by Thalita Dol is breathtakingly gorgeous. I’m so happy for her to get it out into the world!

Another gorgeous picture book, Babies Bond, has been born by Arizona SCBWI friend Phoebe Fox. She crafted a whole collection of haiku poems to celebrate the precious bonding relationship between mama animals and their nursing young. I love it so much! She partnered with her watercolor artist father Jim Fox to create a true treasure. The two of them had a fantastic launch party online, also.

It’s a joy to cheer on my friends! It’s like I’m running alongside their success train, waving as it chugs ahead and gains momentum. I have a ton of book ideas and manuscripts in various stages of progress. It will be fun to have these special friends cheering alongside my own train soon enough… Mom, too. 💕

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