The dragon that haunted me

My tour began with a very special appearance from the most adorable shark!

I’m half way through my Shark Party tour. I visit a lot of schools and I present about my books and my path to becoming an artist. I take requests from the kids and draw live.

A series of sharks I drew live, including one upside down!

At my first school I drew a dragon. At the end of my presentation a child came up and asked to take it home. Without thinking, I said yes. I was wrong. The teachers corrected me (I should know better!) because the dragon would stay at the school for all the kids to enjoy. He wanted to color it in. I told him there *might* be a dragon coloring page on my website.

I checked later. I was wrong (again).

He emailed requesting a dragon coloring page. I told the hubbahubba about the kid and the dragon. He replied “Awww he really wants it! It’s so sweet.”

Thus began my haunting.

I wanted to draw a coloring page for him but I had days of events ahead of me.

I went on to Portland.

Jenny, a librarian in Portland with lots of *sharkle*
Kids in their colored in shark princess crowns!
Signing stacks of shark books, thinking about dragons

Portland was wonderful. I love the soft and lush scenery of the pacific northwest. I visited schools that were kind and welcoming. Most of the kids had colored their own shark princess crowns and were excited to learn about sharks, books and art.

I also had the opportunity to meet cartoonist friends that I made in the pandemic. It was our first time meeting in person and it was joyous! Aron Nels SteinkeJonathan Hill and Breena Bard all make wonderful, award-winning books (and they’re fabulous people too!) It was a lovely visit.

Still no time to draw a dragon.

I did a set of local school visits in the East Bay. Then I went on to LA.

The perfect school for a SHARK PARTY. I mean c’mon!
After a great event at the Palisades library with librarian Gail

After a quick two days in LA, I came home late last night. This morning I woke up, took my daughter to school and sat in my studio for the first time in 2 weeks.

There are piles of email, copy edits and two very love-starved cats asking me for attention.

But first, the dragon.

A dragon coloring page, no longer haunted

I am no longer haunted! It is here for the kid at my first school and now, everyone.

I’ll be in San Francisco tonight for Vashti Harrison’s Big book tour. Then on to Phoenix, Dallas and Atlanta.

Hopefully the rest of my tour will be haunt-free.

Pre-tour reality

My launch event on Tuesday has changed location to the Lafayette public library. I will have print giveaways and some fun surprises (while supplies last) it should be a fintastic SHARK PARTY!

Also, pre-tour I wanted to share some behind the scenes reality. Shark Princess book 1 released last year in September. It did not do as well as I hoped. Any book takes years of work to make – from pitch, to writing, drawing and copy editing. It’s VERY hard to launch a new series without a tour. A series is successful because readers know and love the characters and want more of them. They can’t know them without marketing. It’s a partnership.

Marketing info for Shark Party on Edelweiss

At the first marketing meeting for Shark Party, no tour was mentioned. Again. I asked and was politely declined. Local events were offered. Which I took, of course! None of these are paid appearances. When Pashmina released years ago, a similar thing happened. I pushed back and asked if I could plan and *pay for* my own tour. I stayed with friends and family (thank you to those who hosted me!) and my publisher supported the tour by offering a publicist to book school visits and public events. Pashmina, my debut is the book I’m most known for – I believe that is partly because of the tour I fought for. It was also 6 years and a dozen books ago. I didn’t think I would have to revisit that kind of hustle.

But I am. My Shark Party tour is self-funded with the support of a wonderful independent publicist (who is paid by my publisher). I am paying for my flights, rental cars, lyft rides, will crash with friends and family and do my best to find cheap eats. It’s a strange to admit this – I feel like I’m sharing a big secret. But it’s only the truth. I am fortunate enough to have the ability to pay for this and thankful for a network of folks who will host me along the way.

I believe in Kitana and Mack. I love them. Even when parents tell me that showing a male shark who wants to be a princess is indoctrinating their kids (into what? sparkles and play is for every kid. Shannon Hale shared a thread about this exact thing yesterday), I remain committed. Publishing is a hard business and most major marketing plans are a calculated risk. I am investing in myself and taking that risk on.

So, if you’re in any of the places I’m visiting, I hope to see you there! I am ready to share my love of sharks, the ocean and reading with you.

Let’s party!

One week away

SHARK PARTY releases next week! I hope to see you at my launch event at Bel and Bunna books on May 2nd! There will be treats and fun giveaways.

I will be on the road for a few weeks with Shark Party events in California, Oregon, Texas, Arizona and my first trip to Georgia! I’m still hammering out details for my tour stops, so please check my events page for updates.

In Portland I will be joined by two of my favorite cartoonists, Aron and Jon and I can promise a lot of drawing fun!

I can’t wait to party with you!

Rejection 18

My next SHARK PRINCESS book, SHARK PARTY releases on May 2nd. Join me on the 2nd to shell-abrate at Bel and Bunna Books in Lafayette. Come by at 4:30pm – every copy purchased will receive a free print (while supplies last).

I will also have an event in Atlanta at Little Shop of Stories (my first time in Atlanta!) on May 20th as well.

I will update my events calendar as things are confirmed. I’m excited to share SHARK PARTY so very soon!

Shark Party!

Do you know what it’s like to draw hundreds of sharks?! I do! It’s painful but also fin-tastic! I’m excited to share the cover of the second book in my new early reader graphic novel series SHARK PARTY!

And it’s only 6 weeks from the release of the first book SHARK PRINCESS! A slew of bay area events are planned (more on that soon) but you can pre-order your copy now from your favorite local bookstore!