The Box

The box has the words NEW RELEASE stamped on it with black ink and is sitting on my doorstep. It’s from HarperCollins and I have this feeling of anticipation bubble inside, it’s my books!

If you’ve been following me for a while, you may know that I have 2 books coming soon. What I didn’t anticipate was them all releasing this Ramadan! Since LAILAH’S LUNCHBOX got published in 2015, I worked and worked and wrote and wrote and gave up and gave up and prayed and prayed and tried and tried again and after 6 loooong years, 2 books are releasing within the month of Ramadan! I assumed after having one book out in the world, the rest would be easy and would automatically come, but that wasn’t the case when I waited for manuscripts to sell.

My picture book AMIRA’S PICTURE DAY got delayed a week which was actually quite nice, it was released the first day of Ramadan and there was lots of excitement! Fahmida Azim’s illustrations are gorgeous and infused with joy and humor and you can see that we got starred reviews here! We actually just got a starred review from Publisher Weekly here!

UNSETTLED is released on May 11th, my grandparents anniversary, and within the final days of Ramadan! It also got a starred review from Kirkus here.

I just got my box of books yesterday and it’s quite rewarding to see your work in a real book after years and months of work!

I started writing UNSETTLED when my 3 year old was in pre-school, the program where you barely drop off your child and return to pick them up 4 hours later, where you barely crack open your laptop, attempt some words and then its’ time to go get them up again!

So now that 3 year old is an 8 year old, a preschooler turned into 3rd grader who was recently reading my story and looking for mistakes.

8 year old A

During those writing years, I did give up on my novel – it felt like so much work. I’m glad it finally paid off. YOU can read more about querying and getting an offer there.Thank you all for all the support! For those asking about upcoming read alouds of AMIRA’S PICTURE DAY, you can look here for events and catch a virtual read aloud, order books from your local bookstore or Amazon, and if you want signed copies of AMIRA’S PICTURE DAY by both illustrator Fahmida Azim and I, do check out Charis Books or Little Shop of Stories.

And for signed copies of UNSETTLED and virtual launch, Brave and Kind Bookstore.

I used to blog a lot more on this space, but it felt more doable when I wasn’t writing other things and when I had younger and less children. Now, all our time seems to be whirled away and with virtual school going on in the background, I feel like I’m in school! I also have a 3 year old attempting to feed me play food every few minutes while I type this.

Some pictures here:

H after throwing clothes gleefully
Z – braids in the sunlight never grow old for me; my mother does these neat braids.
braids by my mom!
the benefits of virtual school is you can house-hop-while-you-learn-virtually so here we are enjoying a younger toddling cousin! I Love the sunlight on their hands!

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