Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 2, 2020

Book Giveaway – HOW LONG IS FOREVER by Kelly Carey

Kelly Carey has a new middle grade book, HOW LONG IS FOREVER, illustrated by Qing Zhuang and published by Charlesbridge. Qing has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Kelly and Qing, especially at this stressful time when authors and illustrators need to promote their books completely online.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


Waiting for the first blueberry pie of the season is taking forever. At least that’s what Mason thinks until Grandpa challenges him to figure out how long forever really is. Is it as long as Grandpa has had his tractor? No. As long as it took Nana to grow the roses to the top of the chimney? Not even close. After a trip around the farm to figure out the answer, Nana’s pie is ready. And Mason’s finally got the answer.

Parents and grandparents will love sharing this heartwarming story of love, family ties – and blueberry pie!


How Long Is Forever? is my debut picture book published by Charlesbridge and illustrated by the talented Qing Zhuang ( ). I’ve been publishing children’s fiction stories in magazines for over ten years, but this is my first book and I’m excited to share it with readers. I wrote this story in 2013, sold it in 2017, and it will be released in April of 2020. The road to book publication has felt like forever!

The inspiration for this story happened when I was a teenager. My friend and I were in a car when a song we loved came on the radio. I squealed, “Turn it up! This is the best song ever.” My friend’s Dad scoffed and replied, “Really? This is the best song ever?”

That exchange stuck with me and became the kernel that launched HOW LONG IS FOREVER?. I liked the idea that the young and the old can have vastly different perspectives.  Originally, the story was about a boy impatiently waiting for his parent to arrive home with a new sibling. But the new baby theme took over. Add in Patricia MacLachlan’s All The Place to Love, that had explored this theme so masterfully, and it was time for a revision.

I thought hard about my audience. What makes an eight year old impatient? And the answer was lots of things much simpler than a new sibling. So I replaced the new sibling with dessert!

Now Mason complains that waiting for Grandma’s pie is taking forever but Grandpa challenges that hyperbole. It’s easy to see that what can seem like the best song ever to a teenager or what can feel like forever to an eight year old can be very different for a 78 year old.

By the way, my friend’s father was right. Thomas Dolby’s, She Blinded Me With Science was clearly NOT the best song ever!

From first draft on paper in 2013, major revisions two years later, two classes at The Writers’ Loft taught by my future editor Karen Boss at Charlesbridge, more revisions and HOW LONG IS FOREVER? was under contract in 2017. I think studying the existing market allowed me to revise my story so that it was unique and I also believe really diving into the mindset of my eight year old main character made a big difference in the strength of my story.  The last piece that fell into place was taking classes from Karen Boss. That class time allowed me to understand what she was looking for as an editor and she had a chance to get to know me as a writer. Taking advantage of workshops and classes offered by agents and editors is a wonderful way to move your story on its publication journey. It was for me!


Kelly Carey’s debut picture book, How Long is Forever?, will be released by Charlesbridge in April 2020.  Her award winning magazine fiction stories have been published for over a decade in Clubhouse Jr., Highlights for Children, and Girls’ World. 

Kelly’s writing received the Higher Goals Award from the Evangelical Press Association in 2008, 2009 and 2015. She is a graduate of The Institute of Children’s Literature and an active member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She belongs to The Writers’ Loft in Sherborn, MA and is the proud co-founder of the blog 24 Carrot Writing (  She has participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month), ReFoReMo (Reading for Research Month) and Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Picture Book Challenge.

Kelly lives in Upton, MA with her husband and three children. Learn more about Kelly at her website

Qing Zhuang (“ching juong”) is an artist living in New York City.

Qing was born in a coastal province in China, where her mom lovingly nicknamed her “Strange Sea Creature” as a child. She moved to NYC when she was 7 years old.

She currently specializes in watercolor illustration but experiments artistically whenever she can. Quin likes to sprinkle heart and humor in everything she does.

Fun fact: When Quin was in 6th grade, she won the citywide children’s version of the Ezra Jack Keats Award and got mentioned in the New York Times! Yet they made fun of her name in the article so naturally, she resolved to become a professional illustrator of picture books with her Q without a U Chinese name. She says, she is so grateful to be able to work towards this childhood promise every day!

Qing earned a B.F.A. in Illustration from Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore and a Master of Art in Teaching from School of Visual Arts, New York. Her work has been recognized by Society of Illustrators NY and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators NJ.


  1. this one looks so sweet, i love the intergenerational connection!


  2. Congratulations Kelly and Qing!


  3. Such a beautiful book! Congratulations, Kelly and Qing!


  4. Congratulations! Such a lovely storybook.


  5. I was hooked just from the awesome title!!


  6. This looks like such a lovely book! I can’t wait to read this one. Congratulations!

    I will Tweet this, Kathy. And I follow your blog by email. 🙂


  7. […] loves blueberries, farms, kitties, and grandparents? I do! Thank you, Kathy Temean, for hosting Kelly Carey and Qing Zhuang. Thank you, Kelly Carey, and Qing Zhuang, for sending me a […]


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