I’ve been reading articles about friendships and the pandemic. Many of us went through a friend reset after isolation, then were able to come out of our caves because of vaccines or low case numbers. During the darkest days, we zoomed with those we couldn’t visit in other states. We made our regular friend dates like book clubs into video chats. We worked at home. We dined in heated tents or grabbed a beer outside on sunny days, wearing hats, boots, mittens. Being outside last summer allowed us to reconnect with even more friends as infection rates fell.
It’s January, 2022. We’re back inside in the thick of winter, if we’re lucky. All the alarms are going off again: high infection rates, hospitals overwhelmed, pandemic fatigue. In the bright light of day, who do you call?
I resolve to keep in touch with my nearest and dearest in every way I can. It feels harder to do that than it used to. I will forgive myself for quiet days reading a book instead of planning a dinner party. It will get easier. I understand Danish hygge is so last year, and Swedish mys is in strong competition. Either way, now is the time to embrace warm sweaters, handmade socks, hot cocoa, good books, and friends.
The Netahs fits many categories. First, it’s a YA or young adult title because the main character is 14 years old. It is a fantasy because characters can transform from humans into animals. It is a suspenseful adventure, because the hero experiences situations that are far from ordinary and he reacts sometimes bravely, heroically, or timidly. It is a romance because it includes relationships that are fraught with sexual tension. It is mythological because multiple cultures have myths about halflings created by parents who are humans and gods. It is magical realism because it is set in modern-day Colorado, with modern day people, places, technology, and expectations while also introducing a magical, secret society of transformers. In the Wikipedia definition of magical realism, it also includes political critique. Book 1 only tiptoes around that, but it arises more in book 2, so stay tuned! Something for everyone!
That said, Happy Holidays!
When was the last time you got to attend an author event? It's been a long time for me as well. Try to imagine my delight when I not only got to attend an event, but I was invited to be on one of the author panels! Not only that, but there were so many friendly faces I knew in the room from my family and friends as well as family members who tuned in remotely and even offered questions for the panel. My fellow authors were middle grade writers, one wrote fantasy, two wrote non-fiction, and we were all from Colorado.
The event was organized by Rondi from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) with the help of Second Star to the Right bookstore event organizer Lauren. Both ladies knocked the ball out of the park, tirelessly and kindly answering questions, posting reminders, encouraging this nervous author. Now I'm jazzed to do it again.
Lauren is also the school visit coordinator for her store, and I can't wait to hear from her with an invite from a local school. I have fun activities planned for a small group of students and am brainstorming what could be done with a large gathering.
If you are a teacher or librarian, I'm open to suggestions. Thanks Rondi and Lauren!
The RMC-SCBWI BOOK BIRTHDAY BASH is only six days away! You can attend in-person (with cupcakes, candles, balloons, and hats), or virtually (must provide your own cupcake!). Just click on the Eventbrite link below to RSVP. This event is being hosted by the fabulous Second Star to the Right Bookshop and will be held at Platt Park Church - 1601 S. Clarkson St. Denver, CO 80210, from 10:30-3:30 on Saturday, November 13, 2021. There will be four, one-hour panels, featuring: Ana Carol, Haven Iverson, Michelle Schaub, Julie Foster Hedlund, Bianca Schulze, Julie Rowan-Zoch, Beth Anderson, Jolene Gutiérrez,Jessica Speer, Jason Henderson, Lisa K. Cobb, Todd Mitchell, Megan Freeman Burton, Claudia Mills, and Andrea Wang.