Creative Life During a Pandemic & Publishing News

© Sylvia Liu
How does one stay creative during a pandemic?

My answer is compartmentalizing. I know there's a global crisis going on and I try to keep up to date on the latest science and recommendations, but as a concerned citizen, my primary role is to stay at home. I'm grateful for the ability to do that and to keep my family and myself reasonably safe and healthy.

I've managed for the most part to carve out time to do what I love, writing and connecting with my writing friends. Getting lost in writing or art is a great way to keep worries at bay. I started working on a new middle grade project and began doodling again. Coincidentally, the past two months have been a time of great publishing news, for which I'm so grateful: a book deal, a cover reveal, and a paperback release.

It's strange to celebrate during a time when there's so much death, economic pain, and uncertainty, but I'm putting this out as part of this blog's documentation of my creative journey (looking at the side bar, I realize this blog is 10 years old!).

Great Publishing News: A Book Deal!

© Sylvia Liu

As the lockdowns began, I received an offer to publish my middle grade science fiction novel, HANA HSU AND THE GHOST CRAB NATION from Julie Rosenberg at Razorbill, for Summer 2022 publication. This is a dream come true:

I'm so incredibly grateful for my agent, Jennifer March Soloway, from Andrea Brown Literary Agency, for making this happen. Also, all my critique partners and writing friends, who I listed in my announcement tweet:

More Good News: A Cover Reveal 

At the end of April, I was thrilled to reveal the cover of my middle grade novel, MANATEE'S BEST FRIEND, coming out with Scholastic in April 2021. I love this adorable cover that perfectly captures Becca, my main character, and her love of manatees and dolphins. The cover was designed by Stephanie Yang and the art made by Scott Dorman.

Please consider adding the book to your Goodreads list.

And Yet More: A Morning with Grandpa Paperback Release 

With the release of the paperback edition of Morning with Grandpa, illustrated by Christina Forshay (Lee & Low Books 2016) in mid-April, my book got a bump of interest. Some cool things:
  • A college friend told me the book was being used in an All School Read at his son's elementary school in Los Angeles, California.

Kid Lit Community

Through this all, I'm continually buoyed by my writing communities: The Muse Writers Center (a picture book class I teach and a novel writing workshop I take- and THEIR CLASSES ARE ONLINE this summer); my long-time critique group, the Penguin Posse; Kidlit411; and new MG and YA author friends who will be releasing books in 2021 and 2022. 

And--one other cool thing is I'm an Author Mentor Match mentor this round. My mentee Annette Hashitate has a graphic novel in the works which is fun, funny, and heartfelt. She's working so hard on the revision and I can't wait until she's ready to query it. Here's a brief preview:

In helping Annette, I've learned a lot about kid lit graphic novels and compiled a new resource page at Kidlit411 for Graphic Novels.

Tell me how you've stayed creative during this time. Any good, simple recipes (I've never cooked so many meals in a row before)?