On August 3, my middle grade novel, Manatee's Best Friend, was published by Scholastic! I had a wonderful week of celebration on social media and at home.
I'm really grateful to be able to share this story of 12-year-old Becca Wong Walker, who must overcome her shyness to fight for her manatee friends, while also dealing with complications of a viral video and new friendships. If you have a child in your life (8-12 years old), please consider sharing the book with them.
A Dolphin Video
To celebrate the release, I chatted with MG author Kate Albus (A Place to Hang the Moon) on IG Live, In our conversation, I described an encounter my friends and I had with dolphins who visited our boat. Here's the video of those amazing moments:
The Friends We Made Along the Way
It's a surreal experience to have a book come out to the world. It lived for so long as a series of 1s and 0s in my computer, and now it's a book with an adorable cover (thanks to artist Scott Dorman and designer Stephanie Yang). The moment I held the actual book was truly special (check out my unboxing video).
But even more awesome is the community of writers, friends, and family who have supported me throughout the process. Instead of recapping all the names, I'll post my acknowledgements from the book. (Ever since I became an author, I've loved reading these. Don't you?).
After I wrote this, I continued to make great writing friends, especially other debut authors in 2021, mentors and mentees in Pitch Wars, and more.
A Gallery of Celebration
Here are some pictures of this memorable week.
I got lovely gifts from friends and family:
I took my book for a walk on the beach to get a photo for the release announcement:
The evening before the release, my IRL CP group (insanely talented MG, YA, and adult authors) met and we had cake and champagne.
And photos at the bookstore (signing pre-orders, visiting the store on release day, and book signing a few days later)! (Prince Books in Norfolk, Virginia)
All in all, it was a wonderful experience. I received such an outpouring of love on social media, and I thank each and everyone who helped cheer on this book. ?
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