Taking action in the time of COVID-19
Was it just over a month ago that WOOD, WIRE, WINGS finally took flight? It seems like an eternity after four weeks at home. With many of my book events postponed or canceled over the coming months, I’m focused on what I can do right now, both physically and emotionally.
- Continuing to create – I’m revising a graphic novel and researching a new STEM picture book. For me, creating is an anchor in turbulent times.
- Reading books for inspiration (and reviewing them) – I was lucky enough to pick up a stack of print books two hours before my library closed its doors. I’ve read and reviewed most of them already, so I’m also reading ebooks/audiobooks via Amazon Prime Reading and Libby/Overdrive linked to my library account. (I love listening to audiobooks on Libby while working jigsaw puzzles or baking). Audible is another source for free children’s audiobooks, and countless creators are offering readings and book clubs online. I review as many books as I can on Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads. Since book creators can no longer host in-person events, book reviews are more important than ever for helping readers discover new books. If you’ve read WOOD, WIRE, WINGS, I would be deeply grateful if you would leave an honest review on the book platform of your choice.
- Boosting booksellers – Local bookstores are suffering terribly right now, though many remain open for online and phone orders, often with curbside pickup or inexpensive delivery. You can contact your bookseller directly or shop your local indie at Bookshop.org. Don’t need books for yourself? Consider placing an order to stock a local Little Free Library or buying a gift certificate for later use. Audiobook-lovers can support indies by buying through Libro.fm. Finally, if you are an Amazon fan, the good news is physical books have been reclassified as “essential” with faster ship times and deep discounts (WOOD, WIRE, WINGS is currently discounted to $14.34).
- Connecting with readers online – I’ve created a YouTube version of my engineering design workshop, and have done a few Zoom/Skypes with classes who have read my book. It’s always a delight to connect with young readers, especially when the opportunities are scarce. If you are trying to keep kids busy at home, the number of resources available is overwhelming, but you can find many wonderful ideas from my debut picture book group, The Soaring 20s, on our website.
Here’s hoping you are able to stay safe at home, while your dreams soar in books.
Oh, the places I’ve been (virtually)
It’s been a busy couple of months with lots of podcasts, guest blog posts, and media appearances. Here are a few of the places I’ve been.
- I discussed my Top 5 Tips for (un)Writing Narrative Nonfiction as the April featured author on the 12×12 blog.
- I shared an engineering design activity for kids on Patricia Newman’s LitLinks blog.
- Several Soaring ’20s pals and I revealed little-known facts about our protagonists on KidLit.tv.
- I was featured on the University of Maryland’s Maryland Today, where I recounted my journey from NASA to business school to writing children’s books.
- For Women’s History Month, fellow authors Elisa Boxer, Lindsay Metcalf, and I discussed “Filling in the Gaps” when it comes to writing women’s history.
Coming soon: appearances on Jedlie’s Reading With Your Kids podcast (4/21), Matthew Winner’s Children’s Book Podcast (week of 4/27), Chris Wood’s STEM Everday Podcast (TBD), and much more. Follow me on Twitter @kirstenwlarson or follow my Facebook page so you don’t miss my upcoming appearances.