I am so pleased to host Kristin O’Donnell Tubb today in celebration of her newest novel, Luna Howls at the Moon — and not just because she’s a fellow dog lover. She’s a generous spirit, as you’ll read below (be sure to comment quickly to enter to win a copy of Luna!) and tender-hearted as well. I read Luna Howls at the Moon over the summer, admiring the risks Kristin took in creating a cast of kid characters who have trouble managing their feelings and are, at times, unlikeable. But not unlovable as the story clearly shows. It was also my privilege to host Kristin on my Write Space program and you can listen to the replay of that lively conversation here.
When LUNA HOWLS AT THE MOON released this past summer, my fantastic publisher (Katherine Tegen Books) asked me to include a letter about the hows and whys of writing Luna in the Advance Reader Copies. It still summarizes Luna with pure heart and honesty, so I’d like to share it again today:
Hello, friend! Thank you for being here!
Luna Howls at the Moon is a book of my heart. Luna is probably more “me” than any character I’ve ever written. Yes, Luna. The dog. ☺
I was a “sensitive kid.” Labeled exactly that way. I cried easily. I laughed too loud. A large part of my childhood was spent wondering why no one else seemed to FEEL as much as I felt. What I didn’t know at the time? That label that I thought was a burden was actually empathy, a superpower. I sure wish I’d seen the world that way when I was younger.
The idea kept creeping up on me, how some humans seem to know how to manage their emotions, while others of us (ME!), need extra support in that area. How do many of us find that support? Counseling! And what “tool” do many counselors use, particularly with kids? Therapy dogs!
I felt like many kids are familiar with the idea that you see a therapist or a counselor after a traumatic event, like Amelia does in this story. But are they as familiar with seeing a counselor because of social-emotional challenges, like Beatrice? Or seeing a therapist because they need a neutral third-party listener, like Caleb? Maybe, but the idea of sharing a story that normalizes counseling for these challenges really sang to me.
In writing Luna, I learned a lot about what it means to be a highly sensitive person. I still cry too easily. I still laugh too loud. And I’m so, so grateful I do.
Thank you for choosing to spend some of your reading time with LUNA HOWLS AT THE MOON! I whole-heartedly believe that the best way to empathize with others is through story. I hope Luna wags her way deep inside your heart.
Kristin O’Donnell Tubb
Thank you to Kirby for hosting me and LUNA HOWLS AT THE MOON on your Friend Friday feature. Kirby is such a gracious, wonderful supporter of children’s literature, and I’d love to give something to her loyal visitors. I’ll randomly draw five people’s names who comment on this piece, and they’ll each receive a signed hardcover of LUNA HOWLS AT THE MOON. Thank you all for supporting Kirby and children’s literature! Luna would lick your face!
Kristin O’Donnell Tubb is the author of Luna Howls at the Moon, Zeus Dog of Chaos, The Story Collector series, A Dog Like Daisy, John Lincoln Clem: Civil War Drummer Boy (written as E.F. Abbott), The 13th Sign, Selling Hope and Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different. In 2022, watch for The Decomposition of Jack, about the son of a roadkill researcher. Kristin lives near Nashville, Tennessee with her bouncy-loud family. Just like her two dogs, she can be bribed with cheese.
Kristin can be found far too often on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/kristin.tubb), Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/ktubb), and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/kristintubb/) . Oh, and she has a website, too: www.kristintubb.com.