Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Children and YA Author


Cool Tools Show 153: Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Our guest this week is Maggie Tokuda-Hall. Maggie is the author of the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal winning picture book, Also an Octopus. Her debut young adult novel, The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea is due out in Fall 2019. She is the host of the Drunk Safari podcast.

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Show notes:

ARB Awning
“[This is] ARB’s two-meter-by-two-meter awning. It clips onto the sides of cars for camping and for travel. M husband and I spent about a year driving down the west coast of South America and living in our Toyota 4Runner. So, I chose the two best pieces of equipment, from that time, to talk about ’cause I think they were such a great thing. The awning is just what it sounds like, but its attached to the car permanently. When you’re in a bunch of different environments over the course of a couple of months, it’s the best for providing shelter from the rain and from sun, which was a much bigger deal than I’d anticipated. I don’t know what we would’ve done if we hadn’t had that. It’s also really easy to pack up and to put back out.”

Autohome Columbus Rooftop Tent
“The next one is the AutoHome Columbus Rooftop Tent, which was our bedroom for a year. [For this], we did have to do a special, additional rack added and drilled into our car to have that mounted correctly. That was expensive, and the product itself is pretty expensive. The reason I’m such an [advocate] for it is because it is shockingly comfortable. The actual mattress inside of the tent is really comfortable. It’s about the size of a slightly large full bed, but for camping in North America, it’s awesome because it can go pretty cold. You zip close all the windows and it can retain a certain amount of heat pretty well. You still need a good sleeping bag with it. When it gets really, really hot, you can open up all the windows and there’s screens so that you can have fresh air all night.”

“I recently turned in the edited draft of my young adult novel that’ll come out next year. Scrivener has a bunch of different tools within it that make it really easy to do revision and track changes and things like that. It also does things at the beginning of a project for you, like give you prompts for characters and settings and different kinds of things you might want to think about with your book so that you can spend a little bit of time walking around your story before you get going on it. It’s very handy to have that all in one place, so you can refer back to it as you’re writing. You can also write scripts in it. So I just wrote a graphic novel script using it, and I couldn’t believe how much easier it made that, as well. Right at the beginning, you can select script as your format. Then it helps you format it for the rest of the time. So, that was just so exciting ’cause that was my first graphic novel script.”

“I’ve written children’s books for my entire career. On the editorial side, reading for agents, now writing but also having done marketing and a lot of book-selling. Literaticast is hosted by Jennifer Laughran, who’s an agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. She’s also my agent which is why I started listening to it, in the first place. She’s also a career children’s book professional, and she has different people from different parts of the industry on every episode. Her most recent episode had an editor on talking about revision. She’s had publicists on talking about what tools an author should be able to provide their publicist. I’ve just been really pleased by how much I’ve learned from listening to it, even though my entire career has been in children’s books. I just feel like anyone who’s ever thought, even casually, about writing a children’s book should listen to a couple episodes of this ’cause she gets amazing guests, and every episode, I learn something new about the industry or some sort of better practice that I’m really grateful for.”

Also mentioned:

Drunk Safari podcast

iOverlander — mapping project to find your next camping location

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