Sunday, November 20, 2016

Is it still 2016???

There would be no way of knowing from reading my blog!

Apologies for the lack of updating since June.

I'll update soon with a WHOLE BUNCH of news, I promise. But for now here are the highlights over the past five months to whet your whistle:

  • Golden Kite Award and SCBWI LA National Conference (OMG amazing!)
  • Summer at SAM open artist (Super fun and a perfect excuse to draw outside!)
  • Finished making a book with my husband (BEST collaboration ever!)
  • Won the Washington State Book Award (WHAT????? YES! OMG!!!)
  • Picture Book Panel for the Seattle Public Library (SOOO much fun, I could talk about books all day!!!) 
I will elaborate on these amazing items soon- hopefully in a post Thanksgiving haze next weekend...

BUT Until then- I'll be riding a party bus with Sherman Alexie and a ton of other amazing writers for Indies First this coming weekend. Oh yeah!!! It's going to be CRAZY!

And if you are in Seattle, come to one of our stops!

I'll also be doing a story time at the Seattle Public Library on December 3rd and their winter book fair on December 17th. Stay tuned and come out if you can!

More to come!


Friday, June 24, 2016

Urban Craft Uprising this weekend!

Hey all!
I wanted to mention that I'll be signing and selling copies of Before I Leave this weekend at the Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle! (UCU is an AMAZING and huge indie craft show where you can buy oodles of amazing wares from crafters both local and abroad.) I'll be there to draw in books and I'll have some fun little giveaways for folks to enjoy too!

Also, my husband Aaron Bagley will be drawing in copies of the book Rocking Fatherhood which he illustrated. The books author, Kris Kornelis will be there signing as well!

So come on out for some book and crafting fun. The signing schedule is below. We'll be at the UCU booth. Hope to see you there.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Good News!

Hey everyone!
I've been meaning to share some recent good news with everyone. Boats for Papa was given the Golden Kite Award for Best Picture Book Text for 2016! I'm so thrilled by such a great honor. This book means so much to me and to have it acknowledged by SCBWI is sooooo huge!
Thank you so much! I even get to put a big shiny gold sticker on my book!!! woo hoo

I will be accepting the award at this year's SCBWI Conference in L.A. alongside other amazing and talented peers in the picture book world. Ahhhhh!!!

And if that's not enough, just this past weekend my second picture book Before I Leave was reviewed in the New York Times Book Review! I'm having another one of those "am I dreaming?" sort of moments. To have received a review once was a lifetime achievement, but twice??? Uh-mazing.

Okay, glowing moment over. But I had to share it online so one day when I'm old and forgetful I can go onto my blog and get a reminder for this cool moment.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Thank YOU!

Hey everyone!
I've been meaning to write a little something about my amazing school visits that I went to during February and March. I went to the Silverwood and Pearson schools in Washington and then was down in Portland and visited Jason Lee K-8, Hiteon Elementary, and my alma mater Chehalem Elementary! I talked to over 250 kids among the 10 class presentations spanning k-5th grade. It was SO MUCH FUN!!! I loved getting to share my books and my book making process with so many awesome kids. All of the classes were so engaged and respectful and they asked great questions. They even sent me stacks of amazing thank you letters and drawings! Opening the mail was like Christmas morning!!!

It was such a fun experience especially to go back to my old elementary school and walk the halls where I spent 1st-6th grade. So much had changed and yet so much was different. I even gave a presentation in my old 5th grade classroom! Needless to say that was a surreal experience being in the same place I once was 24 years ago-sitting on the carpet watching a picture book illustrator talk about their books and book making process- but now I was the one standing up in front of the class talking about my very own books. (AND they let me go in the Teacher's Lounge and have Rice Krispy treats!-BOOYA!)

The privilege of making picture books has been one of the highlights of my life- achieving a lifelong dream and getting to share it with the world is something that is hard for me to put into words. And it turns out the sharing part was even more rewarding than I'd hoped it could be. I loved every second of sharing my passions with kids and I hope that they took away even the smallest bit of inspiration from my visit. I looked out onto a sea of little faces, and saw myself staring back at me. It was a moment that transcended time. Rarely does one get such an opportunity to experience their life in such a full circle manner, and I am forever grateful to have had the chance.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Book Events

Hey everyone!
Things have been BONKERS busy the past few weeks since my book launch! Most notably I have some super fun book events coming up... like starting tomorrow!!! I'll cut straight to it and not waste more time and list them here:

March 5th- Storytime, Third Place Books, Ravenna, WA 12pm
March 6th- Storytime, Once Upon a Time, Queen Anne, WA 12pm
March 12th- Storytime, Powell's Books, Portland, OR 12pm
March 19th- Storytime, King's English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, 11am
March 26th- Storytime, Mockingbird Books, Seattle, WA 11am

Notice that I do have a book event coming up in Portland as well as Salt Lake City! Come on out with the little ones for reading, drawing, signing, and some fun giveaways!

Hope to see you!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Exciting week!

Hey everyone! 
It's been an exciting week leading up to my book launch this coming Tuesday! I've had more hedgehog fun as well as had a couple of interviews! Before I get back to preparations, here's the latest hedgehog montage from the past week and my interview links!

Thanks to Jama Rattigan for making me a hotTea on her blog this month:

And huge thanks to Don Tate for inviting me to Brown Bookshelf this month as part of the 28 Days Later campaign which celebrates vanguard African-American children's book authors, as well as emerging and established authors who are flying "under-the-radar" of teachers, librarians and parents.

Okay, back to it! Enjoy the hedgies!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Two weeks until the book launch!

Hey all! 
Just two weeks until Before I Leave makes it way into the world! I'm super excited and have a bunch of fun school visits and readings planned after the launch! I'll post the schedule in the next week or so. For now, here are my most recent hedgies from my hedgehog a day postings!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Nine days of hedgehogs!

Hey everyone!
The book launch for my second picture book Before I Leave is just a few weeks away and I've been sharing out a drawing a day of Zelda the hedgehog on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as a way to celebrate the leading up to the launch. Here are my hedgies from the last nine days. Enjoy! And find me on those other platforms to follow along! 

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Hey everyone!
I've been tweeting about this and posting notices on Facebook, but I wanted to mention that I will be part of a Twitter Event this evening for the 2016 WrestleMania Reading Challenge! Say what?! Oh yeah! The awesome Yuri Morales will be joining the conversation as well!

The details are below! Follow along and participate!

What: Twitter Party with @WWEmoms (invite here)
Thursday, January 21st
Time: 7-8 pm ET
Hashtag to follow for party: #WWEmoms

Saturday, January 16, 2016

It's 2016 ALREADY?!

Wowza wowza! Where did the time go? I feel like I just posted in my blog and it's already been over two months! So much has happened in my little corner of the world. The holidays were so much fun, a bit of a blur now, but I really did savor every second as much as possible. I was even fortunate enough to do a couple of interviews over the past couple of months. I was on the Podcast Storybook Spotlight hosted by Karen Santhanam.

It's sad to 2015 go because it was the best year of my life so far, but 2016 is already off to a great start!

In book world, there was much talk about Boats for Papa and the infamous Caldecott Medal, but alas, it was not meant to be. It was so exciting and flattering to be included in conversations with some of my favorite illustrators, it made me feel like a winner! I DID however get listed as one of the Notable Children's Books for 2016 by the ALA- such a HUGE honor!!!

I have to also make a special call out Sam Juliano for his generous and loving review of Boats for Papa on his blog. It was such a special review, I was truly touched.

And with the new year comes the launch of my second picture book, Before I Leave, staring the adorable hedgehog Zelda (pictured above). I've been lucky to receive a couple of starred reviews already from the School Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly and a lovely review from Kirkus! This was such a fun and sweet book to work on I'm excited for the world to see it on February 16th! As always you can pre-order through Amazon, but whenever possible, buy local and support your indy bookstores! And if you are in Seattle on February 16th, I am having a book launch for my book at Secret Garden Books in Ballard at 7pm. Hope to see you there!

AND in leading up to my book release, I will be posting a hedgehog a day until February 16th.

So much more to come for 2016! I can't wait. I hope you have a happy happy new year!