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Spread the Joy with Erin Dealey!

Ahoy, parents, librarians, book fanatics, writers, and readers of all sorts! We're absolutely thrilled to have Erin Dealey with us today sharing her and Kayla Stark's new holiday book, Christmas Ahoy. In Christmas Ahoy, everyone is enjoying the boat parade that's underway, especially the 10 spectacular boats and crafts that float by. Only everyone soon wonders where Santa and his reindeer are. Surely Santa can't miss the parade. Will he join them for a night of tun? Want to know more about Erin, her beautiful new book, PLUS want a chance to win a picture book manuscript critique, an Ask the Author session, or a Write with the Author Session via Zoom? Read on...

Q: Thanks so much for joining #SeasonsOfKidLit! We’re thrilled to have you back to celebrate a new season with us, and can’t wait to hear all about your book Christmas Ahoy! Readers, if you missed Erin's Spring into Storytime interview this past spring, click here.

Please share a little bit about your journey up until this book.

A: My kidlit journey began 20+ years ago with the publication of GOLDIE LOCKS HAS CHICKEN POX (Atheneum/ Illus. Hanako Wakiyama), which editor Caitlyn Dlouhy pulled out of the slush pile! Miracles can happen, friends!

Q: Christmas Ahoy is such a fun book – having lived in Florida for many years and enjoyed the holiday boat festivals, it was nice to see that excitement captured in a book. Please tell us what got you the idea to write about this.

A: Thank you so much! The idea for this book came during the Pandemic, when many of the boat parades were cancelled. Our boating family was so sad to miss their annual tradition, I thought I would send them a picture book about it to cheer them up—but there wasn’t one! That didn’t seem right, so I got busy.

Q: Please share a little bit about the manuscript’s journey after becoming an idea. Did it change or evolve over time?

A: Honestly, it didn’t change much once the story started spilling out onto the page. I tightened up a few rhymes and researched the back matter, but that was about it. I like to think it had been waiting to be written for a long time.

Q: That's incredible - thanks for sharing!

You have some fun activities to go along with this book? Please share a little bit about them and share a link if you can.

A:  Yes—thanks for asking!  I have a STEM activity here – FREE on TPT. And I have a coloring page as well.

AS_Christmas_Ahoy coloring pages
Download PDF • 3.88MB

Q: We loved your book and happened to notice a gondola in the boat parade. Too cool! Can you share the story behind this?

A: The answer is in the back matter but I’ll share it here as well. It is in honor of the very first Boat Parade in Newport Beach, CA, which began over 100 years ago, with one gondola and eight canoes, inspired by the gondola parades in Italy.

Q: What brings YOU joy in the holiday season?

A: I get so much joy sharing my holiday books (DECK THE WALLS, CHRISTMAS AHOY! and the winter themed SNOW GLOBE WISHES –all with Sleeping Bear Press) with young readers and their families and friends. It’s such a fun time to celebrate in bookstores, libraries and schools. Books truly are the gift that keeps on giving. And story times bring people of all ages together.

Q: BONUS QUESTION: What is your favorite holiday treat?

A: ANSWER: Our family’s traditional cookies – spice cookies, peanut butter cookies with the dark chocolate “Kiss” in the middle, and Magic Cookie Bars. Yum!

Thanks SO much for joining us, Erin! It was so fun to connect with you and hear all about your beautiful new book, Christmas Ahoy!

Readers, want to check out the trailer for this book? Click here for a closer peek!

Q: How would you like to Spread the Joy this holiday season?

A: I'd love to gift one of the following to a reader:

A picture book manuscript critique, an Ask the Author Session, or a Write with the Author Session via Zoom (this can be with an author or a classroom)?

How exciting! Thanks for such a generous treat!

Giveaway details:

Readers, to enter to win this fun giveaway, 1) share this post on social media and 2) leave a comment below and let Erin know why you can't wait to check out her new book! Boat GIFs are appreciated and welcomed, too. :)

Spread the Joy winners will be chosen on or about December 17th.

*Books will be shipped in the US only*

Note: Those who leave a comment on all posts will be eligible to win one (1) of three (3) Rate Your Story Speed Passes, perfect for quick MS feedback, provided by Agent Mentee Lynne Marie & Author Heather Macht.

About Erin Dealey:

Erin Dealey has worn many hats besides children’s author-- including teacher, mom, theater director, SCBWI Co-RA for Nor Cal, bookstore manager, lifeguard, a maid in Yosemite National Park, and she spent one full day on the assembly line at a pineapple factory in Hawaii.

CHRISTMAS AHOY is her 14th book. Erin also has one more not-yet-announced project, and a few on editors’ desks... During the pandemic, Dealey started writing screenplays, and those projects are moving forward too, “So positive thoughts are always welcome!”

For more about Erin, visit her at the below links:

Website /blog:

Twitter: @ErinDealey

Pinterest: Erin Dealey

Songs & Freebies at Dealey/Links

To purchase Erin's books, or to leave a review for them, click here.



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