I am thrilled to welcome author extraordinaire and friend Kim Tomsic to the blog today. The day I met Kim at my first SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) I felt like I’d known her forever and it was a turning point in my new life in Colorado. She probably didn’t know the impact she made that day, but that’s the kind of wonderful person she is. Kim is the author of middle grade books, THE 11:11 WISH and THE 12TH CANDLE and a fabulous picture book GUITAR GENIUS: How Les Paul Engineered the Solid Body Electric Guitar and Rocked the World. Her soon-to-be released picture book, THE ELEPHANTS COME HOME, illustrated by Hadley Hooper will be out in the world on May 18th. Go ahead, preorder it now!
Kim is generously offering one lucky winner a classroom Zoom visit where she’ll read THE ELEPHANTS COME HOME and answer questions. Comment on the blogpost to enter the giveaway!
What were you like at the age of your target audience?
I was a wild child! I didn’t like to brush my hair (it took too much time), or go to bed (I didn’t want to miss out on anything), or eat French toast if it was smothered in butter (gross). I loved animals and had a rabbit, cats, and several hamsters. We moved a lot because my father was military, and I remember being painfully shy. Somehow that shifted, because today I am a card-carrying extrovert!
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by reading all kinds of books, be it commercial, literary, poetry, comics, fiction, nonfiction, picture books through YA novels, graphic novels, and also adult novels (including murder mysteries, period pieces, you name it). I love continued learning (I’m working toward my MFAC at Hamline University) and experiencing and studying the variety of forms and structures that can deliver story. I’m also inspired by hearing tales on NPR and little snippets in the news. I’m especially inspired by school visits and talking to children, and by master classes and attending conferences. Lastly, I love taking long walks as I let new pieces of inspiration settle in—ahhhh, there’s nothing like a long walk to get the brain siphon out which new idea to explore next.
What’s something you hope readers take away from your new book?
My newest book, THE ELEPHANTS COME HOME, releases with Chronicle Books on May 18, 2021 (ISBN: 978-1452127835). I hope children fall in love with the elephants and become curious about the magic of these beautiful and wondrous creatures. I hope some children are sparked to investigate what it means to be an eco-warrior. And finally, I hope that children who need a bridge to talk about friendship and death are able to use this story as a safe and comfortable entry point.
What’s next for you?
Next up—THE TRUTH ABOUT FIFTH GRADE, which will release with HarperCollins in Summer 2023. I am co-writing this book with the award-winning illustrator Mark Parisi. This is an epistolary “he said-she said” romp (and of course my character delivers the accurate version 😊). It will be illustrated by Mark similar to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Mark Parisi is an amazing comic whose art is syndicated in over 100 newspapers across the United States. He is hysterical and a blast to work with. I cannot wait for this story to be on bookshelves!
To connect with Kim and find out more about her books: