Welcome Our New Children’s Author – Tori Higa!
Hi Friends! We haven’t had an author announcement in eight months, so I’m very excited to be able to share with you TWO announcements this week! YAY!
Every now and then a manuscript comes comes across my desk that carries a an idea that is special in its simplicity. Usually, I will read it, then set it aside for a small bit, only to pick it back up and see if what struck me about it the first time will strike me again.
When Tori Higa reached out in December of 2018, she initially was just introducing herself as an author-illustrator and asking a few general questions about submitting picture books, and inquiring about our interest in seeing her artwork via a picture book dummy (a sample of a what a picture book might look like when complete). As it seems to be the case for us as we wade through many, many email submissions, it took six more months for me to have a chance to really review the story and the art, and set-up our initial phone call to discuss what our thoughts, options and more.
Yes, you read that right…six months. So all you authors out there, just know it takes time in the publishing world! But, I digress.
As someone who LOVES the Christmas holidays, I was initially concerned because I knew it would take us another year to bring our next holiday book to market, but thankfully Tori felt we were a good fit and she was on board (and patient) with joining our flock! So, I’m thrilled to announce that we have acquired worldwide rights to author-illustrator Tori Higa’s debut picture book The Christmas Color, releasing October 2020. The Christmas Color is a whimsical poem that shares about out all the festive, traditional red items that make up Christmastime through illustrations that will delight children, and it highlights the simple and powerful reason the color red leads us to Jesus’ birth during the holiday season. You are going to love this as much as we do!
Tori, currently living in Southern California, has considered herself to be an artist for as long as she can remember, and she has done everything from creating carpet patterns to illustrating greeting cards and creating art for the wall art industry, including for companies such as Anthropologie, Homegoods, and T.J. Maxx Online. We asked Tori ten questions in a quick Author Q&A so you can get to know her and learn how to follow her. Welcome Tori!
Where do you call home? Riverside, California
Describe your family. I am married to my college sweetheart, Branden, who coaches volleyball at California Baptist University. We have two children, Kai, who loves sports like his dad, and Maile, who loves art, like me. My in-laws live down the street and we see my parents often, and I don’t take for granted that both sets of grandparents play active roles in our kid’s lives.
What is your earliest memory of your childhood? I remember my preschool experience pretty vividly. I remember doing crafts, wearing cowboy boots every day, and sobbing on the last day of class because I knew I wouldn’t be seeing my teacher, Miss Franny, anymore.
What do you think makes a good story? I think a strong moral character that a child can relate to makes for a great story – if the child can imagine himself or herself as the hero or heroine in the story.
What is your picture book about? I think a core message of The Christmas Color is that it’s fun to celebrate Christmas with all of the traditions and festive décor, and it’s particularly fun to notice all of the red things that are used during the Christmas season. The other core message (and the main point to ponder) is that when we see red everywhere during this time of year, we can be reminded of Jesus’ ultimate loving sacrifice that He made for us, when He shed His blood for our sins.
What has been your biggest inspiration for wanting to write and publish children’s literature? As an artist, I’ve wanted to illustrate children’s books for at least the last twenty years. It wasn’t until I took a class that encouraged illustrators to try their hand at writing as well that I knew deep down that I had to have a book (or several) inside of me. I want to delight and inspire kids in the ways of the Lord. I believe that so many things we take in as children stick with us for a lifetime, and it’s my dream to be able to try to impact the lives of these little precious ones through art and words.
Do you have any quirky or unique writing habit? I always light a scented candle if I can.
Where are your favorite places to travel to? I love going to the beach as well as the mountains. We live in driving distance to both and we love taking advantage of that.
Are you involved with or are you passionate about any non-profits? Over a decade ago, one of my dearest friends from college, Wendy Daily, co-founded a non-profit called International Sanctuary which helps survivors of human trafficking. I’ve had the opportunity to work creatively with them in the past through my art which was a huge blessing for me.
Do you prefer coffee or tea (or both, or neither)? I love coffee; mostly I love the ritual of it.
We are blessed to welcome Tori to our Little Lamb Books family and encourage you to subscribe to visit her website and get to know her and her art via any of her social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. As the year progresses, we will share with you more about our plans for The Christmas Color, so stay tuned by signing up for our monthly newsletter! Welcome Tori!