Second Helpings

The other day, I called my publisher’s customer service line to request extra copies of Sarah Gives Thanks. I’m planning to visit a few libraries in November and I wanted to sell books after the readings.

The woman I spoke to was named Kiki and, upon hearing her name, I became very happy. Prior to this conversation, the only Kiki I had ever heard of was a character on the show The Fresh Beat Band. Fresh Beat Kiki dresses in pink and plays the guitar. Her catchphrase is “Kickin’!”

Doesn’t she look like the kind of person who might say “Kickin’?”

I am not a fan of The Fresh Beat Band, but I have earned many Karma points by watching the show with my son. And now, as I chatted on the phone to the other Kiki, I was enjoying the glow of recognition. “I have now met an actual Kiki,” I thought. “Kiki is a real name.”

Personal amusement aside, I still had work to do. So I told Kiki I would need about 50 books.

“Oh, well,” Kiki began. “I have good news and bad news.”

“I’ll take the bad news first, Kiki,” I said. Even when faced with bad news, I couldn’t stop saying Kiki. Try it. Kiki.

“The bad news is we only have 16 copies in the warehouse,” Kiki said.

“Oh, I don’t need them now. When will you restock?”

“Probably December.”

Considering that Sarah Gives Thanks is a Thanksgiving book, and that Thanksgiving is a November holiday, this did strike me as curious. Just as I was about to bring this tidbit to her attention, Kiki continued.

“You see,” she said, “the book is going into its second printing.”

“Wait, what?” I asked.

Sarah Gives Thanks is in its second printing.” Kiki said. “That’s the good news.”

“Kickin’!” I said.

Kiki didn’t know how to respond to that.

I once saw The Fresh Beat Band in concert. Jealous?

Sarah Gives Thanks is still available, mind you. It can be ordered online or through bookstores. The distributors have plenty on hand. You can easily get copy if you want one.

But the publisher is sold out!  And the publisher is gonna print more!

I attribute this good news to you guys. Since I came onto the blogging scene late last year, I’ve made many wonderful online pals. I have also been interviewed by six very supportive and generous people:

Susan Rocan
Roxie Hanna
Max Opray
Julie Hedlund
Lauri Meyers
And David Gardner (Sarah’s amazing illustrator)

All of these folks, by the way, have excellent blogs. Do check them out.

Another person of note is the great Stacy Jensen, who selected Sarah for her Perfect Picture Book Friday, and, ever since, has been all over the internet singing the book’s praises. Stacy also has an incredible blog; you should check hers out, too.

To the folks above, and to all of you who bought a book, I just want to say how very, very grateful I am.

Kiki’s news (and name) may have made my day, but you guys have made my year.

WIN MY BOOK! WIN MY BOOK! WIN MY BOOK! (But first, have a look at my new business card.)

My card.

My new business cards came in. Well, they’re not business cards, exactly; I was going for the genteel feel of calling cards.

“We had good fun, didn’t we?” I’ll say in my best British accent as I reach into my breast pocket. “Allow me to give you a small memento of our time together. I ask for nothing, nothing at all. I just hope that we will be able to rekindle what we have here at a later date. Good day, sir-or-madam, my newfound friend!”

Alright, to be honest, the cards are for business. I’ll be giving them out to teachers, librarians, bookstore managers, and anyone else who may or may not have a scintilla of interest in my upcoming book, Sarah Gives Thanks.

My book.

The book will be out on September 1, and I must admit that the looming release date has gotten me a little tense.

I won’t bore you with the particulars of my marketing plan – even if I had particulars, which I most certainly don’t. I am happy to report, however, that the lovely marketing person at Albert Whitman and Company doesn’t seem too troubled by my antics thus far – so I suppose I am stumbling in the right direction.

One sort-of-marketing thing I thought would be fun would be to interview my illustrator and new buddy, David Gardner, on this blog. I plan to post the interview after the book comes out in September.

I want to ask David questions that are odd, eccentric, fun, and/or off-kilter.

I would love it if you folks might provide these questions. I’ll make the effort worth your while, of course, with…


In the comments section below, please ask – and answer – a silly question that you would like me to ask David. The best 10 questions (if there are 10, oh, please, people, let there be at least 10) will be asked in the interview. You will, of course, get full credit for your question when the interview is posted, with a link back to your blog, if you have one.

Now here’s the contest part. If at least 20 commenters suggest questions, they will all be entered in a random drawing to receive a free, signed, hardcover copy of Sarah Gives Thanks

Yes, Little Sally, it’s true!

But wait, there’s more! Actually, there isn’t any more. But I think that’s plenty, don’t you?

So tell your friends to stop by this blog and post a question, because if I only get 19 questions, nobody’s gettin’ a book – and the lovely marketing person at Albert Whitman will think I’m really bad at this book promotion nonsense.

The deadline is Sunday, July 29. So start asking! And don’t forget: to be eligible for the drawing, you can’t just ask a silly question, you have to answer it too.

Good luck!


UPDATE (July 24): Thanks to all who have entered so far! We don’t have 20 yet, but we’re getting there. Based on a few of the responses I’ve received, I wanted to make a little clarification: When you answer your question, you are not expected to telepathically channel David Gardner and speak in his voice. ‘Cause, well, he can do that. Answer your question as YOU.

Just think of it as a nice little opportunity to interview yourself. Good luck!