Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ting Ting

It is the strangest thing. I have started writing this post at least six times, and each time I have ended up hitting the delete key. I just can't seem to find words big enough to fit what I have to say. I have put my heart and soul into something, something that has been a dream for as long as I can remember, and that dream has finally come true. 

I grew up a reader. I devoured books - books from the library, books purchased through our school's Arrow Book Club (I was allowed $5 an order, and back then that would buy quite a few books), along with the Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon books I would get as birthday and Christmas gifts. 

Then while homeschooling, my kids and I were immersed in a world of books. If you asked any one of them what their fondest memory of homeschooling is, I have no doubt they would tell you the hours we spent reading together. We laughed and cried our way through so many wonderful stories, stories that have left their mark on each of us. (Note: my children would be quick to point out I was the one doing most of the crying, but I will save that story for another post.) "Just one more chapter, please..." was heard on many an occasion.

For a very long time I have wanted to write a book. I wanted it to be the kind of book my kids and I liked to read on cold winter days when the snow was gently falling outside, and we were all cuddled up together on the couch, lost in the words of a good story. I wanted it to be the kind of book that would elicit that phrase that was the highest praise my kids could bestow on a story. "Just one more chapter, please..."

I'm both excited and terrified to announce I have actually done it. I have written a book, and it is going to be published. Soon. Very soon in fact. I spoke with the publisher yesterday and it should be available for purchase in early October.

 Introducing Ting Ting.



The book is being published by Sono Nis, and I have enjoyed every moment of working with the owner, Diane Morriss. She has been wonderful about walking this rookie author through the often confusing world of book publishing.

From the publisher's web page:

Ting Ting
Eight-year-old Ting misses her parents, but her comfortable life in China hasn’t changed too much since they both went away to Canada. She’s living with loving relatives who care for her like their own child (even though her cousin is so annoying!). She goes to the same school with the same classes, including boring history and loads of homework. She has the same friends and the same favourites: hawthorn-berry candy and sticky taffy, outings to the park, visits with her grandfather in the country. If only she could be with her parents, life would be perfect!
When Ting is reunited with her parents, it’s not what she hoped for. After the Tiananmen Square disaster, the Chinese government has become suspicious of all students. It isn’t safe for Ting’s parents to come home, so Ting must travel to Canada to be with them. In a matter of days, her whole life is turned upside down. She’s living in a strange country in a tiny, bare apartment, and she sleeps on an old sofa. She doesn’t understand a word at school. Everything is new and puzzling and just plain difficult. She’s even teased about the affectionate name her family calls her: Ting Ting.
But Ting is brave and hardworking and soon graduates from the English-learners’ class. She discovers new favourites: doughnuts, hockey and the red-haired Anne in the book her teacher is reading. She makes a friend and sees a glimmer of hope: to finally belong in this new country a world away from China. But how can she make her parents understand?
Kristie Hammond has crafted a heartwarming tale of a young Chinese immigrant’s step-by-step entry into a new country and new life. Her character’s plucky determination will inspire new and old Canadians alike!

JUVENILE FICTION • Ages 8+ • 208 pp • 5.25 x 7.75 ISBN 978-1-55039-210-4 • paper • $9.95

If you follow this link you will see a "Notify Me" button. If you are interested in ordering a copy you can submit your email and Sono Nis will let you know when the book has been released into the wild. If you order directly from the publisher shipping in Canada and the US is free. Details on ordering from overseas should be available shortly. The book will also be available from Amazon.com. 

There's a whole "story behind the story" and I will talk about that in a future post. Also, if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comment section. 

I would like to close by saying that although the book is classified as juvenile fiction, it truly is a story for all ages. I think that adults will find this story every bit as enjoyable as children, and perhaps even more so. I think C.S. Lewis is right.

"No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally - and often far more - worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond."

Now I am going to take a deep breath and hit the "Publish" button. 





43 comments:

  1. CONGRATULATIONS!! I'm so happy for you, Kristie! This is going on my "to read" list, for sure!

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  2. Oh my gosh, Kristie, this is FABULOUS news. Congratulations!!! I will be buying a copy for myself and also my MIL -- I think she would really love this story AND she'll be visiting us in mid-October. Again, what wonderful news. I am so happy for you. :-) :-) :-)

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  3. Ruth in Ontario, CanadaAugust 28, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    Congratulations, Kristie! Bravo! (I see my guess was a pretty good one, after all!)

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  4. Congratulations to you, my friend! This is such wonderful news. I know this story will be loved by many.

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  5. Very cool! Congratulations Kristie! I can't wait to read it :-)

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  6. Thrilling! Will be ordering it as well.
    LisaRR

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  7. Everyone should read it!!! Love the cover work. So happy for you, Kristie.

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  8. Congratulations! That is so exciting...What an amazing accomplishment!

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  9. Amazing! Congratulations! I considered this a possibility (but you were right, another grandchild was my guess). This is a tribute to your determination. So many people talk about writing s book, but few see it through. Congratulations again!

    PS - I have a good idea for a book, but I know it will never happen--I grew up a listener. ;)

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  10. Yea, you! Publishing a book is an incredible thing to have done! Here's hoping it becomes one of the must-read classics.

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  11. Kristie, this is wonderful news!! Congratulations!

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  12. Way to go, Kristie!! Can't wait to read it!

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  13. Congratulation, Kristie. I was half correct on my guess. I didn't think of fiction. I thought your memoir would be very interesting.

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  14. How exciting, and yes, an example of not sharing everything on the blog! Congratulations, I am so pleased for you. I think I will be buying a few copies for my great nieces and nephews.

    All the best
    Dawn

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  15. Hugest Congratulations!!!! SO exciting Kristie. And amazing you have been able to keep it under your hat for this long. It sounds truly gorgeous and I know my Kids will love it. Off to add my e-mail tot he list. Mel xxx

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  16. Wonderful, exciting news Kristie, congratulations!! I would definitely love to buy your book, and of course, to know the story behind the story... I am in awe of you for becoming a published author - YAY!! xx

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  17. Oh wow that's so exciting, no wonder you found it hard to put down on here. Many, many congratulations :)

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  18. Wahoooooooooo!!! That is soooo exciting! Well done. It sounds like a lovely book. Have you done the illustrations as well, that picture is gorgeous :)

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  19. Well done! A dream come true, how fantastic. I look forward to reading it.

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  20. Congratulations Kristie! I can't wait to read your book.
    Erin in PA

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  21. Adding my congratulations, Kristie! That is just wonderful! I will be adding a copy to the stack I am saving for my granddaughter. So pleased for you.

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  22. Congratulations Kristie. I never guessed that the surprise was so exiting. Can't wait to get my paws on a copy. it is earmarked for my granddaughter who devours books
    Love
    Wanda

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  23. That is amazing! Congratulations!!!

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  24. That is amazing! Congratulations!!!

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  25. Wonderful! I look forward to reading it.
    -- stashdragon

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  26. OMG, that is such a wonderful news! My absolute hearfelt congratulations!!! I hope I will be able to read it, look forward to it.
    I can't tell you how awed I am my jaw actually dropped.
    I am so happy for you.

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  27. Oh Kristie, CONGRATULATIONS! I'm so happy for you! (Did you do the illustrations too?)

    I can't wait to read about Ting Ting. If there's any way to get an autographed copy directly from you, I'll be first in line for that. Please let me know. This is so exciting!

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  28. Congratulations Kristie what an achievement to realise a dream and write and publish a book. It must mean so much to you especially as you are have such a love of books.
    Sarah x

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  29. Okay, a book was my second guess, but I still think that another grandchild would have been a good announcement too!

    Congratulations on your upcoming book release. I've already hit the "Notify Me" button.


    Mary G. in Texas

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  30. Kristie, I have tears in my eyes right now. I didn't guess but I had a feeling that this might be what you were alluding to. How absolutely wonderful! Congratulations!! I will be hitting the "Notify Me" button shortly.

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  31. Congrats on your 1st book! What an amazing accomplishment. I can't wait to hear more on the whole writing and publishing process.

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  32. Well done Kristie! so that's a house move, a grandchild and a book? I don't know how you manage it all, but how wonderful for you.

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  33. Oh Kristie, this is wonderful news! Is it going to be available by Christmas? I have a ten year old granddaughter who would love this story!

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  34. Congratulations Kristie! I'm on the Sono Nis "notify me" list, and waiting impatiently to be able to order your book.

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  35. Congratulations! This is wonderful.

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  36. Big congratulations! You deserve every last little bit of delight and smugness that you feel! What with all the other things going on in your life, how on earth have you managed to do this?
    Well done you, from someone who knows she never will

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  37. Oh wow, oh wow! That is the most exciting news, Kristie. Many, many congratulations. I'm a lifelong lover of children's fiction and agree entirely with C S Lewis about it. Roll on the overseas ordering procedure. :-)

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  38. I so totally guessed that this was your news ... it just had to be a book of some sort to be as big a thing as you'd hinted at. Go you!!!!! I can't wait to here more about it from you when we meet in, ooh, less than 4 weeks now! Can't begin to tell you how chuffed I am for you ... I'm sitting here typing this with a great big grin!

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  39. Oh, that's wonderful Kristie. Many Congratulations and good luck. My dream was always to write a book, non fiction and I'm so absolutely inspired by your determination to write and it's now paid off. Well done.
    Patricia x

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  40. Congratulations! Sounds exciting!
    And beautiful picturs. Fall has arrived here too, but we have had a warm weekend with temperatures up around 20 C, which is rare at this time of year.

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  41. O most hearty congratulations! I'm off to sign up for the "notify me"!

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  42. Wow! Awesome! I am.excited and I plan on buying this at some stage in the future!

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