Happy Book Day to me!

Hello!

Hope you are all doing wonderfully, wherever you may be. I’m drinking tea and sitting in a tiny blue office. It has been raining all night and into the day, but I have sunlight pouring out of me. Because today, today! My book Little Apocalypse has flown the nest and is out in the world waiting for any and all people to pick it up and read it. It wears a beautiful cover and had all kinds of experts pour over it to make it the best book it could possibly be. I’m really proud of it, and love the story it tells.

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Little Apocalypse is a middle-grade book for younger readers, but I think it’s one of those books that anyone could read. It’s about a lonely girl who finds herself plunged into a strange adventure after a catastrophe hits her city. It’s also the story of a ragtag group of misfits who decide to change the world when everyone tells them that’s not possible. Or maybe I should say it’s a story about how friendship and love are a certain type of potent magic that is just as powerful as spells and prophecies. If you read it, I would love to hear what you think about it.

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I’m going to be giving a lovely copy to one of you: email contact@katherinesparrow.net to let me know you want to be entered, and hopefully you will win. If not, it is available for purchase at these links:

https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062849762

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/little-apocalypse-katherine-sparrow/1128064631#/

https://www.amazon.com/Little-Apocalypse-Katherine-Sparrow/dp/006284976X

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Also, if you happen to be in Seattle on Saturday, March 23rd, you are invited to my book launch party at the University of Washington Book Store at 4pm. I would love to see you there!

Many Thanks,
Katherine Sparrow

 

Book Cover Love

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There’s so much I love about this book cover. I love all the lurking monster mayhem in the background and the total feeling of doom all over the place. Most of all, I feel like the illustrator did an amazing job of capturing Celia, the main character. Thanks, Eric Deschamps!

Little Apocalypse! My book! Wow!

So, every day I’m getting more and more excited about my book, Little Apocalypse, coming out. It is being published by HarperCollins, who have been a real dream to work with. They helped make this book as shiny and perfect as it could possibly be (which is to say, it will still be imperfect and have some errors, I am sure, all of which are my fault).

I am so excited for kids to read this book, in part because it’s the kind of book I really wanted and needed to read as a kid. Without giving a lot away, it has a kind of heroism and friendship that I think is really important. It’s not about being the strongest or bravest, but about seeing people in trouble and doing something about it.

Also, it’s a monster book. With really cool monsters and a whole underground world of monster hunters, resistant movements, and stories that may or may not be exactly truthful. Read it, why don’t you!

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/little-apocalypse-katherine-sparrow/1128064631?ean=9780062849762

Little Apocalypse Review!

One of the fun things about getting a book published is that people read your book before the book is even published (Little Apocalypse is hitting the world March 12th!) And some people even like it! I really love this blog post from the might emma at Books Beyond Binaries, and especially like this part of it:

 

“My favourite things about this book are that, 1, it was written for book lovers. It has a bookworm MC, features a library in one of its settings, and even some of the most dramatic apocalyptic imagery was book-evocative. 2, it’s a friendship book. There are little hints at romance in places in this novel, but ultimately, it is all in on nuanced, complicated, platonic relationships. 3, the monsters are awesome. 4, the author does not shy away from moral ambiguity in this book, and I love the depth and complexity of that gray area.”

 

Emma also talks about how this book might have some relevance for queer, non-binary, and trans youth, which makes my heart sing! Read the whole thing at:

https://booksbeyondbinaries.blog/2019/02/04/affirming-middle-grade-gems-spring-2019/

 

Book Launch Party

You, and you, and yes, even you are invited to my super shiny and amazing book launch party for Little Apocalypse! Though the book is coming out March 12th, the event will be a bit later. It will be a party of massive proportions, or maybe I mean I will read a little from the book, take questions, sign some books, and we will all eat cupcakes. It would mean the world if you (yes you!) could make it.

It will take place on March 23rd at 4pm at:

University Book Store
4326 University AVE NE
Seattle WA 98105

Hope to see you there!

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The Countdown Begins!

People! Did you know, did you know, did you know that my middle grade book Little Apocalypse comes out in less than a month? It is very very easy to pre-order at anywhere anyone buys books. Here are some lovely things people who know books are saying about it:

“Be prepared to devour this magical, fast-paced adventure about friendship, appearances, and power in one sitting.” (School Library Journal)

“Vivid imagery and plenty of cool monster-fighting sequences.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

“Impending danger drives the fast pace of the plot. A darkly magical, high-stakes adventure.” (Kirkus Reviews)

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Little Apocalypse Cover Reveal!

I have been in love with this cover ever since I got a very rough image of it a while back. There’s something the artist really nails about a feeling of loneliness as well as the uneasy sense that things aren’t quite right. Many thanks to the fine folks at HarperCollins for putting together a cover that feels perfect for the book. And thanks to Middle Grade Mafia for doing the reveal!

Drum roll please… here it is!!

Presenting Little Apocalypse

So, something pretty unbelievable and huge happened, which is that my middle-grade book, Little Apocalypse, is going to be published by the super fine people at HarperCollins. I have been working toward this for so long, and it feels like the shiniest rock in my pocket that I can touch all day long and every time it makes me happy. I can’t even express how much I love this book and how thrilled I am that it is going to be out in the world soon. Cover reveals and more information coming soon….

How do you write books and have kids?

Well, that’s the question isn’t it? At least, that’s the question a lot of my writer friends ask me. How the hell do you write books and have kids, especially if you aren’t rich enough to farm out parenting labor and you’re the primary caretaker of your kids. Let’s be real: when kids are young, it’s a dawn to dusk work of forming the creation myths and realities of your kids, and while there is down time, it tends to be sporadic, brief, and random. Let’s also be real: the U.S., for those of us who live here, does not have family friendly social or labor programs for families.

So to start, here’s my biggest trick: I have a lot of privilege. Period. Full stop. There are a ton of people on this planet who cannot, for all kinds of reasons, write books. I’m thinking war, unrest, access to literacy, access to food and water, economic precarity, disability, etc.  Things I have: stable housing where kids can safely play, a partner who has a job, a car that makes my weekly chores way briefer, the ability to only work part-time paid work, and friends and neighbors with kids. So I’m writing this from the vantage of already having a lot of things going right.

So, if you are damn lucky enough to have those sorts of things, and are having a hard time making it work, here are some things that have helped me:
1. Let them watch TV every day for an hour while you write. Be vigilant in this time and do nothing else, nope nothing else at all, nope, go away alluring internet of shiny things. During these sixty minutes, write! Also, keep it to an hour, what with young brains and all.

2. Set up a dope milieu. Arrange warring stuffed animals on the floor, put out some duplos, make some snacks, and put on some music and pray, pray, pay that your kids fall for it and do stuff without asking you for a million things a second. I can usually get a solid hour’s work over a couple of hours time this way, which works for me for editing but not so much in drafting.

3. The stars do not need to align and twinkle for you. Don’t expect beautiful writing time with pink wine and smooth jazz playing in the background. Type on your snot-covered laptop balanced precariously on your lap while someone is pulling your hair and kicking your nose and know that life is good.

4. Kill lots of birds with stones (says the bleeding-heart vegetarian). Go on runs or walks and think about your book. Exercise is super for this kind of work, and your animal needs exercise. So try to do both at the same time.

5. Get down with your squalor. You want to write some heartbreaking books? Something, or maybe a lot of somethings have got to give to make this happen. My house is super-gross all the time except for when people are coming over and then it becomes slightly-less gross.

7. Go slow. Life is long, hopefully. Little ones are big ones tomorrow, so counterbalance your life work with your kids and try to really see them and be with them in deep ways all the time first and foremost. Really, I think we will all regret this if we’re so busy with work that we don’t make the deep and wild intimacies with our kids a priority. So kiss them and throw them in the air and remember to catch them on the way down and know that a deep life is good for writing.

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Summer

Summer is flying by so fast and it made me cry this morning with the bittersweet feeling of wanting to hold on to something and having it just keep falling away. Everything is rushing and moving past like the Sacramento River I spent the week gazing at. My kids change in slow motion so I can never see it happen but all of a sudden they are so huge and competent and can’t we all just stop barrelling through time for a moment? And then there’s the news of the day which also makes me cry. Let’s keep fighting the fascists everywhere and in every way we can, shall we?