The day after we released Messages From Maryam, I took to Twitter determined to get Maryam's story in the public eye. I tweeted at a few friends, colleagues, and my Alma Mater, James Madison University. I was on a roll, so I thought, "Why not tweet at the TV stations while I'm at it?!" Imagine my surprise when just a few minutes later, I got a personalized message from my local news outlet, WHSV, asking me to come in for an interview.
This morning, I woke up and gave myself a pep talk to prep for my big interview. Excitement and nervousness filled me as I walked through the doors of the news station. While I don't plan on making any more TV appearances any time soon, I was really happy with how the piece turned out.
THANK YOU to WHSV for the opportunity to share Messages From Maryam. Find the interview here:www.whsv.com/content/news/New-childrens-book-inspired-by-Harrisonburg-refugees--408617915.html.
After months of anticipation and some bumps in the road, yesterday was a big day! Messages From Maryam is now available via our independent publisher at www.lulu.com/shop/lauren-pichon/messages-from-maryam/paperback/product-22999350.html. The book will also be available via other online distributors such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I expect that the book will be available via these outlets by the end of the month, although I have no control over how long it takes these companies to update their inventory! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the process of getting the books to major retail distributors will go as quickly as possible.
I can't wait for Messages From Maryam to reach your doorsteps! As I see people purchasing the book online, my anticipation builds to hear your opinions and feedback.
I will keep you updated about the availability of Messages From Maryam. In the mean time, stay warm, and enjoy this holiday season with your loved ones!
"Ms. Pichon, I hope you win a Goldicott!"
Those were the words whispered to me as I told some of my first grade students about Maryam! Their innocence and excitement upon seeing illustrations of her filled me with so much joy! Their exclamations about winning a Caldecott (or "Goldicott" as he called it), saying, "she looks just like my mom's friend," and, "I think she lives in my neighborhood," made me all the more excited for the upcoming book release on the 19th!
Today, I had the opportunity to share Messages From Maryam with multiple groups of students at St. John the Evangelist School. This was my first time sharing the full story with any group of students. I had a wonderful time! It was fun to see how students connected with Maryam and Aila and the ways in which they were able to empathize with these girls whose lives were much different than their own.
As a first-time author, I have learned a lot about the publishing process. One of the most joyous parts has been being able to share my writing with children and other groups of people. One of the most challenging parts was the layout and design of the book. While the book will be available via our publisher on December 19th, there is a possibility that there will be a slight delay in making it available on Amazon. Check this page on the 19th for more information and for a link to buy Messages From Maryam.
Thank you for your ongoing support and enthusiasm for our book. I can't wait to reveal the final product!