Remember that tantalizing bit of good news? It's now official! Another picture book, this one picked up by lovely wonderful amazing Jill Davis (Auntie Jill to Maggie and Penny) at Katherine Tegen Books, HarperCollins. The announcement went out today. Hip-hip-hooray! I love love love the work of the artist who will illustrate it, Dasha Tolstikova. It's going to be adorable.
The book trailer trend peaked around 2014 and most publishers don't do them anymore, but now that my first book is just about to be released, I couldn't help myself. Who wouldn't want an adorable audio-visual treat featuring their very own book?
And then there were three ... books by me! It is with supreme delight that I announce Eerdmans Books for Young Readers will be publishing my picture book, Mama Earth's New Year. Yay!
The very first copies of Halloween Good Night!!
I've been doing this writing thing for more than fifteen years. You'd think I would have an airtight process by now. You'd think I could write a book like “how to write a book.” Right? You'd think I wouldn't flounder with each new project as if I were the first one to wonder if a round stone could roll. Because really, this isn’t my first rodeo.
I started the first semester of graduate school knowing just a little more about picture books than I do about worms. Children love them, they come out on rainy days, and if you cut them in half, they really do die.
13 Must-Have Mobile Apps for Writers. Writing has changed since the days of typewriter and correction fluid (remember the little bottle of white-out with the brush, remember how strong it smelled, how fast it dried, how fun it was?). Pen and paper have been replaced in many fields by smartphones, mobile devices and laptops. But until recently it never occurred to me that more than just writing could be aided by technology.
The 3 Act structure provides a perfect framework for any genre of picture book, about any subject. Plus thinking of it in terms of the grid we drew together, it can help immeasurable with pacing and troubleshooting a story that just isn’t working.
I first started thinking about tension when I heard Donald Maass speak at a conference some years ago. He described how the simple scene of a man looking at his watch while waiting for a bus can go from bland to Bang in a matter of words. Since then I have often noticed the varying levels of tension, both in books I have enjoyed and in those I haven’t. Here I'll discuss the ten levels of tension, and what they mean to the writer.
I can't believe how long it's taken me to post these photos. Actually, yes I can. I'm horribly lazy when it comes to keeping up with my online presence. What's worse is I actually like to blog and Facebook and whatnot, but these children! The chickens! The garden! My editor and agent who actually - gasp - expect me to write now and then!
I know, excuses excuses.
I am so full of exclamation points! See, just this morning I was showing Maggie the cover art pdf. She, always attentive, noticed the little square on the back cover where the bar code will go. "What's that?"