Unexpected Connections

Tamara Smith’s Another Kind of Hurricane is the story of two kids, Henry and Zavion, separated by geography, who connect in an unexpected way. So to welcome this book into the world, we’re sharing our stories of unexpected connections today.

Another Kind of Hurricane cover

Penny Parker Klostermann

It was Fall 2010. I was dreaming about getting a picture book published. I knew it would be challenging, but I also knew I needed to get with it if I was serious. We were headed to my in-laws for Thanksgiving. My mother-in-law called us while we were driving. There was a little chit-chat about the traffic, then this:

My mother-in-law: “Tell Penny that there’s going to be a guy joining our Thanksgiving get-together that writes children’s’ books.”
Me: “What’s his name?”
My mother-in-law: “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask Bev (my husband’s sister).”

All this plus inspiration

All this plus inspiration

It turns out it was Peter Brown! Yep! I couldn’t believe I was sitting across from someone who was doing what I wanted to do. (Well, the writing part. I’m NO illustrator.) I shyly said that I had written a few stories. He responded politely and appropriately, but I’m sure he was thinking, “How many times have I heard this??? Everybody wants to write a children’s book!” I can’t say I was brave enough to take the conversation further. I just listened as he told some others at the table about his writing. But, meeting him was the connection I needed to move forward in pursuit of publication.

Maria Gianferrari

I have the perfect connection for Tam’s launch—my connection with Tam! As I’m writing this, we have not yet met in person, but we’ll be meeting at my own book launch. Another planned meeting at her parents’ farm was foiled by heavy rain, luckily not a hurricane, and yet it feels like we have some kind of otherly bond, one in which I feel like I’ve somehow known her for a long time, connected by common threads, strange as it may sound. Who knows—maybe we were sisters in a past life, and now we’re Emu-sisters. I look forward to the day when we can hang out together!


Tamara Ellis Smith. And we’re happy to report that Tam and Maria have finally met in person at Maria’s book launch party last week.

Carole Gerber

When my daughter Jess was a college student at Elon University in North Carolina she drove back to our home in Ohio during holidays and summer break. She always stopped for gas and a snack in Beckley, West Virginia, which had a large tourist stop with multiple pumps, restrooms, and fast food outlets. While waiting in line for an ice cream, she saw old family friends we’d lost touch with – except for annual Christmas cards –  when they moved out-of-state. Later that year, while waiting to run a half-marathon in Washington, D.C., she saw them and two of their children who were also participating. Since then, my husband and I have also re-connected with our old friends and visit back and forth a couple of times a year.

I think I know that person

I think I know that person

Megan Morrison

I’ve been really lucky on the Internet. Through the power of shared interest in books, I’ve connected with people who have turned out to be my best friends, my writing colleagues – and even my husband. That’s got to be the best unexpected connection I’ve made. I met him because he posted something funny and snarky on a Harry Potter message board. It was a sentiment I wanted to express, but as a moderator I was trying to set a good example. Privately, I messaged him to tell him I appreciated his comment – and he messaged back some very complimentary things about my writing (fan fiction, at the time). His own writing was excellent. The man knew how to spell and punctuate. What’s more, it turned out that we lived in neighboring boroughs of New York City: me in Manhattan, him in Brooklyn. We got together that very weekend, and when we parted at the subway entrance later that evening, I had a very, very funny feeling. My gut was not wrong. On July 30th of this year, we will have been together for ten years.

I've got a good feeling about this

I’ve got a good feeling about this

What about you?

Share your unexpected connections below or comment on any of the posts this week to be entered to win a signed copy of Another Kind of Hurricane.

Purchase a copy of Tamara’s book through Indiebound, Powell’sBarnes & Noble, or Amazon.


Filed under Book Giveaway, Book Launch, Celebrations

10 responses to “Unexpected Connections

  1. I met my best friend on the SCBWI-C Listserv. We’ve been writing and visiting each other for 10 years now!


  2. Oh, I love this post! So fun hearing about these connections.


  3. Oooh, Megan! I know the attraction of a man who can spell AND punctuate! 🙂
    My unexpected connection: going to an SCBWI meeting where David Patneaude was speaking. He mentioned that you could get a master’s degree in writing for children. This was while I was searching for a meaningful, exciting master’s degree. It lead to finding Vermont College of Fine Arts, which has an amazing limited residency program. (Which lead to meeting Tam Smith and other fabulously talented writer friends!)


  4. mariagianferrari

    Great post, Mylisa! And I love the connection that we Emu’s have! I hope to someday meet all of you! Congrats to you, Tam <3!!


  5. Janet Fox

    Tam, I’m so excited for your book. We are missing you here something fierce!! Many congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My unexpected meeting was meeting my husband. For two quiet people who never drink, we met in a bar. I fell in his lap, is how the story goes…. He was there because he had told a classmate he’d go, and this was the last night of classes. I was there to check with a few people I knew would be there about a project we were working on. Very crowded, so I was sitting on my girl friends lap conducting our meeting. She had been talking to this tall, dark and handsome man. When he got up to go to the restroom, I sat in his seat. When he returned, I gave him his seat back. He said, “You can sit in my lap if you like.” I sensed he meant it, so I sat. Twenty minutes later we exchanged phone numbers and a week later I knew he was the one. Truly a miracle we ever met.


  7. So fun to read about these connections. And I can’t wait to read your book, Tam!


  8. I love these connection stories. Fate is a twisty, turny thing, and somehow the right people find each other. These stories are smile-makers.


  9. Hayley Barrett

    Peter Brown?!? I’d have passed out in my pumpkin pie.

    Liked by 1 person

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