March 15, 2021

Have Swag Will Travel: COW SAYS MEOW and other titles by Kirsti Call

Hi friends. Today, I'm pleased to share an interview with author Kirsti Call, whose darling book, Cow Says Meow, (illustrated by Brandon James Scott, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) launches into the world on March 16, 2021. 

Kirsti was kind enough to answer some of my questions about her book event plans and experiences.  This is Kirsti's second book launch during the pandemic, and third launch overall, so she has lots of experiences to share with us. 

Let's get to it!

Dawn Prochovnic: Thank you for stopping by the blog to share some of your event-related experiences and ideas, Kirsti. 

If I understand correctly, your first book, The Raindrop Who Couldn’t Fall, (illustrated by Lisa M. Griffin, Mazo Publishers) came out prior to the pandemic and your second book, Mootilda’s Bad Mood, (co-authored with Corey Rosen Schwartz, illustrated by Claudia Ranucci (Little Bee) launched during the pandemic. 

This year you’ll be launching two new books: Cow Says Meow (illustrated by Brandon James Scott, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and Cold Turkey (Little Brown). Reflecting on the book events you have facilitated in the past and have planned for the future, both traditional, and remote, are there any elements/activities that stand out that the kids (and/or their teachers/ parents/caregivers) have enjoyed the most? 

Kirsti Call: My in person book launch for The Raindrop Who Couldn’t Fall was incredibly fun.  We sang songs, read the book, ate cake and I signed books! 

The kids loved the interactive STORY IN A BOX activity. 

But for Mootilda’s Bad Mood, we had a virtual book launch where we sang songs, read the book, and offered signed books with stickers! 

My 10 year old son played the part of Mootilda the puppet--and the puppet was a big hit. 

DP: That sounds like a marvelous time. I especially love the bookplates and stickers! 

KC: I’ve got more tricks up my sleeve for my Cow Says Meow book launch where illustrator, Brandon James Scott, is joining me, on Tuesday March 16, at 7pm EST at Unlikely Story

The wonderful  thing about virtual book launches is my ability to have the illustrator with me, although he lives in Canada.  It also broadens my audience. Instead of people who live in my area coming to the launch, a virtual book launch includes my family from across the country, and people from all over the world. 

DP: Yay for silver linings! 

Are there any resources you relied upon to plan your event(s) that might help others plan their own book launch events, particularly during these unique times? 

KC: COVID not only opens up who can attend a book event, but also who hosts them. You can host a virtual event from anywhere.  I’ve taken several classes from The Writing Barn, so my MOOTILDA book launch was hosted by them in Texas as I participated from my home in the Boston area. The possibilities for book events are endless! 

DP: Nice job thinking outside of the box (ahem, barn), and what a great photo. I love how you went all in on the cow theme! You've given me some great ideas for my own remote launch in April

Shifting gears a bit, you co-host a picture-book related podcast along with Kim Chaffee. What do you currently enjoy most about it? 

KC: We interview authors and illustrators and their editors. We sometimes have the privilege of talking to the book designer or art director also. Sometimes our zoom interview is the first time the author and illustrator has ever seen each other. Bringing the creative team together is a privilege--and I adore talking about how each book comes to life!

DP: That sounds as if it's as much fun to create and participate in as it is to listen to! 

In addition to your podcast, you are involved in MANY kidlit-related “extras,” including co-coordinating ReFoReMo, participating as a "12x12 elf," blogging for Writer’s Rumpus, and judging for the CYBILS award. How do you balance your time between your own creative work and these extra endeavors? 

KC: I’ve always loved being super involved and I truly believe I learned to juggle it all because I have five children. When I have an open 10 minutes here or there, I take advantage of it!  I’ve become super efficient with the time I do have to devote to writing and volunteer activities within the kidlit community.  And I always schedule time for writing, family,  and self care. Sticking to my schedule helps me balance my life in a way that works well for me.  

DP: What a beautiful family! (And folks, let Kirsti be an inspiration to us all as we balance our creative work alongside the other roles and responsibilities in our lives.)

I’ve noticed we share an interest in incorporating songs and music into our book-related activities. I’d love to hear more about how the song for Mootilda came to be, and if there are any songs in the works for Cow Says Meow and/or Cold Turkey? 

KC: My 15 year old daughter, Sydney, writes incredible music. I asked her to write me a song for MOOTILDA’S BAD MOOD and I loved it so much we’re doing a song for each of my books. The song for COW SAYS MEOW will debut at our book launch.  

DP: I look forward to it! 

Do you have any new projects coming up that you’d like to put on the radar? and/or is there something you wished I would have asked you that you haven’t had the opportunity to share? 

KC: My first board book is coming out in the summer of 2022!  And I just transitioned from being a marriage and family therapist, to coaching creatives!  I’m super excited about my GET YOURSELF UNSTUCK program! 

DP: That sounds like an exciting new venture, Kirsti. I wish you continued success. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences with us. 

Friends, the best way to express your thanks to Kirsti is to add one or more of her books to your collection. They are available everywhere books are sold, but you know I'm partial to indies

And, if you'd like to win a copy of COW SAYS MEOW, follow both Dawn and Kirsti on Twitter (@DawnProchovnic and @KirstiCall) and reply to one of our tweets with the blog post, tagging a friend before 11:59 ET on March 22, 2021 (US Addresses only.)


Kirsti Call co-hosts the PICTURE BOOK LOOK podcast and co-runs ReFoReMo. She's a critique ninja and elf for 12x12, a blogger for Writers' Rumpus, and a Rate Your Story judge. She's judged the CYBILS award for fiction picture books since 2015. Kirsti is a therapist trained life coach for creatives. Her picture book, MOOTILDA'S BAD MOOD (Little Bee) released last fall. COW SAYS MEOW (HMH) and COLD TURKEY (Little Brown) release in 2021. Kirsti is represented by Emma Sector at Prospect Agency. 


Have Swag, Will Travel is an occasional feature of Dawn Babb Prochovnic's blog. Dawn is the author of multiple picture books including, Lucy's Blooms (Spring '21), Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty?, Where Does a Pirate Go Potty?, and 16 books in the Story Time With Signs & Rhymes series. Dawn is a contributing author to the award-winning book, Oregon Reads Aloud, and a frequent presenter at schools, libraries, and educational conferences. Contact Dawn using the form at the left, or learn more at

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