Pre-publication: My cover art was revealed on September 15, 2012. Shortly thereafter, I worked with my publisher on flap copy. With the help of Linda Kaufman, my website designer, I overhauled my blog and website. Wendy Hostetter Davis designed my book trailer. You can watch it here:
Publishers Weekly gave The Ballad of Jessie Pearl its first professional review. Kirkus, Booklist, SLJ, and several others soon followed. My publisher collected all my reviews and posted them on the namelos website.
The Ballad of Jessie Pearl's official book birthday was February 1, 2013. JESSIE and I were featured on the front page of my hometown newspaper, The Yadkin Ripple. My friend Regine Gordon threw a launch party for all my Tampa friends. I had a book signing at my hometown library in East Bend, North Carolina. This picture is at the library with Brad Matthews, one of my friends from elementary school.
Since the initial launch, I have spoken at the 2013 ALAN Conference on a panel of Southern writers, cheered when Booklist Online named JESSIE'S cover art as one of the year's best, led a workshop at the North Carolina Reading Association Conference, and been interviewed in the ALAN Review.
My debut author journey has been a satisfying experience and winning a Crystal Kite Award was like getting an extra cherry on my nut sundae. The only thing more exciting is that I get to do it all again! My second novel, Carolina Girls will be edited by Andrea Pinkney and published by Scholastic. Stay tuned!