Together at Heart
What have you been creating since staying home due to the pandemic? I’ve been busy the last two months conceiving, writing, illustrating, editing, formatting, and indie-publishing my first picture book.
Indirectly about COVID-19, Together at Heart While We’re Apart is a simple picture book to help lift children’s spirits and cope with changes resulting from the worldwide pandemic. Friends living apart learn in new ways, stay connected and hopeful, grow in strength and resiliency, and look forward to being together again with friends, cousins, and grandparents. The story and illustrations normalize new practices like staying home, connecting with friends and family remotely, hand-washing, wearing masks and gloves, and sharing and caring. It encourages deep heart connection and positivity and is a message of hope for today and the future.
I’ve learned so much in the process of making this book, and drew on notes from past SCBWI events and from my many unfinished books that went to the wayside for one reason or another. (Hmm, did this book take forty years or two months to make?) I would have preferred finding an editor/agent and publisher, but because of the time-sensitive theme of my story, I decided it was more important to get this out there quickly in the hopes that it may help families during this difficult time of social distancing.
You can find more at andreesantini.com. The Kindle version of Together at Heart While We’re Apart is now available at Amazon, and the e-book can also be purchased through Apple, Kobo, and other stores. Currently, the paperback version is stuck in Amazon review because KDP is backlogged, so I’m still learning and looking for a second way to get a print-on-demand version published quickly, possibly with IngramSpark or LuLu. I’m abysmal at social media and self-promotion, so any suggestions, reviews, shares, or likes are appreciated. I made this for children everywhere, and next may make a YouTube video of the whole book to get it out there to children far and wide. So many steps! Once finished (Will it ever finish?), I’ll compile my indie learnings in another post.
Andree Santini teaches, writes, and illustrates to promote positive imagination and balanced movement toward creative, joyful well-being. She’s been a member of SCBWI since 2011. Also a chemist, she has over twenty-five years of experience inventing art products for children and holds seven US patents with additional patents pending. You can find her creative blog at www.inspirationforcreativity.com, and you can visit her website at www.andreesantini.com.