It’s been awhile since I checked in with you. I hope you’ve been well! I haven’t been blogging much but I have been writing. A lot! So much writing actually and so much revising. I’m working on a manuscript that has totally reignited my love for writing middle grade… not that I ever lost my love for writing middle grade! But after writing a three book series, it has been fun and energizing to create a new world. I’m not ready to share details yet, but I will soon. First, I need to talk a little bit about the Crimson Five series—the books that made me an author.
Tomorrow, the final book in the Crimson Five trilogy will be out in the world. POP THE BRONZE BALLOON will no longer be mine alone. It will be for readers to enjoy and take from it whatever they can. Maybe inspiration. Maybe motivation. Maybe an escape. Maybe closure. I hope it’s all of that and more. I hope readers reach the end of Kia Krumpet’s story better for reading it because they took a ride on her aero-scooter. Better because they rode along on the aero-bus with her team. And definitely better because they traveled in the megacar with Kia and her team, their preceptors, and teams France and Switzerland all around the globe!
I never dreamed that this story about a little girl who dreams of being accepted in the Piedmont Inventor’s Prep School would take her on so many adventures… from Camp Piedmont in Maryland, to Université de Créativité in Québec, and eventually to eleven more countries around the globe—Brazil, Morroco, Norway, China, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and England! This story grew into something bigger than I ever imagined and I’m so proud and grateful to finally share the conclusion with all of you! Kia finds many things on her travels, not the least of which is friendship, independence, courage, and a better understanding of herself. But most of all, Kia learns that a dream is born to become a dream come true and finds the courage to chase hers fearlessly—with a little help from her friends.
So. If you take away one thing from reading my books or reading my posts or simply connecting with me somehow, I hope it’s the same thing…
A Dream is Born to Become a Dream Come True.
Because mine certainly has and I know yours can too. Thank you all for supporting my journey as a writer first and as an author. Exactly 34 months ago today, when Spin the Golden Light Bulb released on January 9, 2018, I officially became a published author. Later that year, with the release of Flip the Silver Switch, I became an author times two! And tomorrow, when Pop the Bronze Balloon finally soars around the globe, I’ll become an author times three! I still have to remind myself that this is all really real! I guess I am a little like Kia that way. Her journey through the stages of a creative, task-solving, invention-building competition absolutely feels surreal sometimes. But I guess that’s what happens when dreams come true!
Pop the Bronze Balloon was an ambitious novel to write and there were times I cursed myself for committing to the Swirl and Spark worldwide creativity tour for these kids! I mean, eleven countries is a lot for one book! But as I settled in to write it, I found inspiration from one of my very favorite places: Walt Disney World!
For all my fellow Disney fans out there, as you read Pop the Bronze Balloon, you may feel a little like you’re walking through World Showcase in Epcot. That was absolutely intentional! I was very fortunate to have parents who were able to take me (and my siblings) to Disney when we were younger and also helped my husband and I introduce our kids to its magic as well. Each trip to Disney became a trip of a lifetime and it’s one of the many reasons I dedicated this book to them.
Besides an incredible amount of research that I needed to do to write about each country, I took inspiration from the set up of the countries in Epcot. As guests wander through the various pavilions, they get a feel for what it would be like to really be there. That’s what I wanted for my readers. Hopefully Pop the Bronze Balloon will give them a glimpse of the countries the characters travel to and leave them with a bit of wanderlust!
And so tomorrow the final book in the Crimson Five series is out in the world. Today, I guess I’ll take a few more hundred pictures of my three books together. Because this milestone, the day before my third book is born, feels a little surreal—like my book kids are all grown up and heading out in the world to make their mark. Hopefully together they will!