Posted by: nancyisanders | June 12, 2012

Book Launch Party: Frederick Douglass for Kids

Welcome back to my book launch party to celebrate the release of my newest book, Frederick Douglass for Kids!

Today’s stop on my virtual Book Launch Party is taking place at the site Write What Inspires You, hosted by children’s author Donna McDine.

Visit Donna’s site today to learn more about Frederick Douglass and what a typical day looks like for me as a children’s writer.

Today’s contest is a chance to win a free critique of your picture book OR the first 5 pages of your manuscript. For about 10 years I was an editor with a professional manuscript critique service and since then I’ve helped judge contests (both local and national) for SCBWI as well as do manuscript critiques for various writing conferences I teach at. I love to help writers polish their manuscripts!

Just post a comment here today to say hi, or answer the question below and I’ll put your name in the hat today for another chance to win the prize. (A winner will be announced on Monday, June 18 here on my blog.)

If you’re a writer, what’s a typical day like for you?
Or if you’re not a writer, what did you learn about writing today?

About Frederick Douglass
Here on my blog during the book launch party, I’m sharing photographs I took with my husband Jeff and our son Ben as we traveled through the eastern states where Frederick Douglass once lived.

In the middle of our carefully planned trip, a sudden change of plans occurred that freed up a whole day. We decided to take advantage of the change and headed to New Bedford, Massachusetts, the city Frederick and Anna chose to live in after he escaped from slavery. It ended up being a highlight of our trip! We were able to join a ranger-led tour and learned many things we hadn’t known before. Here, in this picture above, you can see an example of a “sailor’s protection papers” similar to the ones Frederick Douglass borrowed and carried as part of his disguise to pretend he was a sailor traveling freely through the states.

In the photo above, you can see a view of the docks where Frederick tried to find work as a caulker. This is how this street looks today.

Here is a photograph, our ranger showed us of what this same street and docks looked like back in the days when Frederick Douglass lived in New Bedford.

We were excited to learn that William Carney who was awarded the Medal of Honor during the Civil War and who was depicted in the movie Glory, had come from New Bedford with the 54th Massachusetts! In the photo above you see a sign commemorating this.

And finally, the greatest highlight of all during this day was to find this amazing mural painted on a wall! I took several close-ups of this mural and these photographs became some of the main ones in my book. You can see these photos as well as others that have never before been published in a book about this great man when you purchase Frederick Douglass for Kids.

This definitely was a trip of a lifetime. I’m glad this unexpected opportunity came up! And thanks for sharing in the journey.


  1. Love the mural. Thanks for sharing.

    • Isn’t it just amazing, Nancy?! I’d love to know who painted it…I’m gonna have to do some digging around to see what I can discover!

  2. My typical writing day looks like this: write when the kids are occupied. 🙂
    Actually, during the school year when homeschooling, I write in the afternoons and evenings! I’m enjoying your photo history blurbs. Good lessons for me. So was Frederick’s wife’s name Anna? a good name, hehe

    • Good for you to write when you can! And you get so much writing done, too. And yes, Anna’s a beautiful name isn’t it?! Just like your precious daughter. :o)

  3. Hi Nancy,

    Truly fascinating! Ahh, the unexpected usually always turns out better.

    My typical writing day… I begin the day off with exercise and journal writing, I then spend at least 30-60 minutes editing/writing a current manuscript, then I move onto email, promo work and client work.

    Have a great day!

    Best regards,

    • Donna, it’s great to hear what your writing day is like! And thanks for being a host for today’s stop on my Book Launch Party!!!

  4. It’s hard to find time to write. Too many distractions. I am trying to do better tho. And with the nice weather, I can do some of my writing (and reading) outside! I hope to be alot farther along by the end of the summer.

    • I’m so glad you’re trying to do better at finding time to write, Debbie! That’s half the battle. I hope you are encouraged to carve out those minutes to follow your dreams!

  5. Nice to see what other writer’s days are like. I liked your research technique. Thanks for sharing. I loved the murel, too. I love finding those unexpected treasures. Good luck with your book.

  6. Nancy, just a note to thank you for inviting me to be part of your book launch party and hosting you on my blog. I have learned so much about Frederick Douglass and really enjoyed the photos from your research trip.

    My typical day begins with breakfast and my triple shot Americano with chocolate and cream. Then checking e-mail for ten minutes before my morning meditation. Then writing time for two to three hours with a break for breakfast number two. For many years I exercised and practiced yoga in the morning before writing, but lately I have been saving the exercise for the afternoon. I also try to work on promotion stuff in the afternoon.

    • Two breakfasts. Smile! Sounds a little bit like elevensies with the Hobbits. :o) Thanks for sharing your daily writing routine, Mary!

  7. I enjoy visiting here, Nancy. You have so much great information. When I visited Donna’s blog, I really liked your writing schedule–working 4 out of 5 days, taking the summers off. I’m trying to get to the point where I can create a schedule that works for me and the family. You’re definitely an inspiration.

    All my best,


  8. Hi Nancy, 🙂

    A BIG Congratulations to you on the publication of Frederick Douglass for Kids!

    I am a writer and I try to include some time in for fiction writing along with freelance writing projects. Thank you for sharing your writing schedule, I admire your well organized schedule. I wish you great success on your latest book and upcoming books!

    🙂 Abigail

    • Thanks for your kudos, Abby. And that’s a great idea to find time to pursue both!!!!

  9. I always enjoy your site, Nancy, along with your wise and warm advice. I have 3 school-age kids, I homeschool, and I also try to exercise every day, so writing gets squeezed in where I can find room! Today it looked like this: after chores and schoolwork were done (and after I had taken a quick walk), I took the kids to the library. While they looked for books, I hunted down picture books I wanted to read. Later, when the house was quiet, I sat in bed with a pot of tea and read through the pile of books. At other times, my writing routine is more regular (especially if I’m writing under contract).

    Warm regards,

    • Rebecca, I love the idea of relaxing like that while reading your pile of books. What a great inspiration for us all!

  10. Congrats on the new book. I can’t wait to read it.
    I am a writer. I usually start my day by answering important e-mails. Then I spend most of the rest of the day researching or writing.
    I would love to win a critique.

    • Thanks for sharing, Janet! Your name is in the hat!!! :o)

  11. Hi, Nancy,
    I’m new to your website, recommended to me by a writer friend. I couldn’t figure out how to respond earlier, so I emailed you on the 12th.
    Since I’m settling in to a new apartment in a new neighborhood my writing schedule is not yet firm. I hope to do better with my time in the near future.

    • Oh it’s so nice to have you join here on my site, Virginia! And best wishes with your new move. I hope you get settled in soon with lots of new ideas for writing!

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