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Artist, Joyce Wan
The first week of PiBo is always a productive one for me. This year was no exception as yesterday I came up with a great idea and this morning I came up with one that was so exciting to me that I went on to write a very rough draft! Thanks to author Tammi Sauer’s wonderful post yesterday, I was able to come up with 5 titles that I thought were fun and exciting. One of those inspired the idea and then the rough draft. Awesome! Here are some (very rough) sketches from yesterday and today’s sketchbook. I hope all of my writer/illustrator friends are having as much creativity flowing! Have a great weekend!
Day One : Squirrel crazy!
Day 2: A kiss and a dragon
I am proud to be a 2013 Picture Book Month Champion!
My guest post for the month-long celebration will be featured on November 7th at www.picturebookmonth.com, and I’m truly honored to be participating in this important initiative alongside so many of my picture book heroes.
Schools, libraries, booksellers, and book lovers around the world will come together throughout the month of November to celebrate print picture books. Now in its third year, the event has become a viral phenomenon. Thousands join the celebration, from the United States to Australia, Hungary, India, Jamaica, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Bloggers write about their favorite picture books using the daily themes on the Picture Book Month Calendar, created by Elizabeth O. Dulemba. Last year, a school in Budapest, Hungary, read over 6,000 picture books during the 2012 Picture Book Month celebration!
PictureBookMonth.com features daily essays from thought leaders in the children’s literature community. My fellow 2013 Picture Book Month Champions are: David Adler, Dianna Aston, Rick Anderson, Larry Dane Brimner, Julie Danielson, Carmen Agra Deedy, Tomie dePaola, Rebecca Emberly, Sue Fliess, Zarah Gagatiga, Candace Fleming, Lee Harper, Jannie Ho, Steve Jenkins, Daniel Kirk, Jesse Klausmeier, Mercer Mayer, Bobbi Miller, Wendell Minor, Hazel G. Mitchell, Jerry Pinkney, Robert Quackenbush, April Pulley Sayre, Rob Scotton, Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Michael Shoulders, Wendi Silvano, Heidi Stemple, and Rosemary Wells.
Downloadable certificates, posters, and bookmarks created by Joyce Wan are available on the website, along with a new Teacher’s Guide created by Marcie Colleen. The initiative is supported by the American Booksellers Association, the Children’s Book Council, Reading is Fundamental, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, among others, as well as industry trade journals such as Hornbook and School Library Journal.
To top it off, Katie Davis’s “Brain Burps About Books” Podcast – the #1 kidlit podcast on iTunes – is dedicating the entire month of November to Picture Book Month… and Katie has created a lovely video celebrating what picture books mean to a number of beloved children’s authors and illustrators. Join the celebration!
I have signed up for Picture Book Idea Month, and today, November 1 is Day 1. I have my idea written down this a.m. in my journal, and I will post a small scan of it when I get back home from work (I always have a drawing or two with an idea).
PiBo was started in 2009 by author, Tara Lazar. PiBoIdMo is a challenge to write a picture book idea every day for the 30 days of November. It has grown so much in participation since the first year (in which I was one of the random winners of the grand prizes). Now, we have over 300 participants and loads of wonderfully inspirational posts every day on Tara’s blog by accomplished writers, authors, and literary creatives. It has grown into a wonderful community that inspires not only through out November, but the rest of the year as well via Facebook and Twitter. I wish all of my fellow participants good luck! To my fans, please check back for updates and new sketches related to PiBo. Have a great weekend!
Isn’t this little illo adorable? This years artwork and badge were created
by artist, Joyce Wan. Check her art out, it’s so sweet!
“There will be nothing left.”
(Spoken like a wolf about to strip the meat from the bones of a sheep.)
I’m always looking for a more visceral tease into the ideas I’ve laid down in “Story Structure to Die for,” and this one perfectly describes the tragic trajectory of every good protagonist.
“There will be nothing left.”
I tried it out this week. I began my presentation with it and kept returning to it. It’s from the Oscar-winning screenplay, Moonstruck.
Loretta Castorini (Cher) is newly engaged to a momma’s boy. Then she meets her fiancé’s estranged younger brother. Ronnie (Nicholas Cage) is an animal, a “wolf” she calls him. Ronnie is what Loretta needs. But she is playing it safe in love. She’s been hurt before. Loretta is all about playing it safe. But now, in Ronnie’s apartment, after a disagreement, he picks up his brother’s bride-to-be and drops her on the bed.
“Take everything!” she cries, “leave nothing for him to marry,” to which Ronnie replies, “There will be nothing left.”
End of Act I.
This is the writer telling us where the story is going. I love it when that happens!
This is the writer preparing us for the heart of the story. This is the writer telling us about the fate of every good fictional protagonist—she will be left with nothing. She will be stripped of everything she believes in. Why? Because belief systems are prisons. Prisons we chose to live inside.
Every good story ushers the protagonist to her moment of truth where she is set free.
Nothingness may be our most precious possession
I’m always making a pitch for failure, but it’s a hard, hard sell. Damned if people aren’t always clamouring for success. Sure, all conventionally good stories depict a protagonist on a journey to accomplish something. Something that will grace her life with more truth, independence, or freedom.
But it turns out that freedom isn’t a function of acquiring anything. It’s about losing, escaping, surrendering. All good protagonists, after much suffering, come to understand this.
The worthy protagonist discovers that freedom is about shedding what is false about him/herself. Which is everything.
“There will be nothing left.”
At the moment of disillusionment, the hero realizes that his whole life has been a bad habit, “the heavy curtain of habit,” says Marcel Proust, “which conceals from us almost the whole universe.”
Or “the luminosity of what is always there,” according to American poet Jim Harrison.
Or “the inexhaustible world that exists beyond our selves,” as novelist John Gray puts it.
“This nothingness may be our most precious possession,” says Gray, “since it opens to us the inexhaustible world that exists beyond ourselves.”
Story structure exists to deliver protagonists to this precious moment. But they can’t see it coming, never do, never will. Not even if the writer throws the hero on a bed and stands over her and growls:
“There will be nothing left.”
Readers pay to live vicariously through this nothingness. It’s terrifying. It is (arguably) the supreme human accomplishment.
Dare I say it…? It’s…it’s…
This dispatch comes to you from the hour of the wolf.
Not that I can’t sleep, no, the last thing I want to do is fall back to sleep. My brilliant idea would vanish. It came to me as I emerged from dreamland. You know, “when the mind is too weak to tell itself lies.”
When the mind is too weak to tell itself lies.*
The Holy Grail of altered states.
Here it is, pre-dawn, black bear still foraging for garbage in the alley below my office window, while my fingers prance around the keyboard as if they’ve broken out of jail.
The mind is too weak to tell itself lies! Write quick, PJ!
Conventional wisdom would appear to have no traction in the crepuscular hours. My principles aren’t up and running yet, they can’t obscure the truth. You might say that, having not yet showered or checked my email, I’m not quite me.
Trust me, I’m writing as fast as I can.
If this is an ode to early-morning drowsiness, we should hear from more writers. Novelist Nicholson Baker likes to arise with the birds because he finds “the mind is newly cleansed, but it’s also befuddled.” He discovered that he “wrote differently then.”
Joy Williams—I’ve quoted her before—she says,“A writer loves the dark, loves it, but is always fumbling around in the light.” She reminds me of artists who say they see better in the dark.
Marcel Proust took opium to induce the desired effect. Charles Bukowski drank. Some writers practice “morning pages,” streams of bafflegab becoming ever more truthful. At least that’s the idea. You shovel hard with great faith—and doubt!—endless shovelfuls of gravel, superficial overburden, tons of it. Somewhere down there lies the bedrock of meaning. Maybe.
What about monks? Every night at three a.m. the search begins anew for…what? Meaning? God? Freedom? A monk’s life is a Zen koan, a cosmic question. Never mind an answer—beware the answer!—just show up. Faithfully. Doubt keeps us coming back for more.
Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk-poet-existentialist. Here’s what he says about faith and doubt:
“Faith means doubt. Faith is not the suppression of doubt. It is the overcoming of doubt, and you overcome doubt by going through it.”
That’s it, that’s the truth. We have to push through. At dawn, my mind is too weak to warn me away.
Ah! The eastern sky is lightening. I gotta go.
An hour from now my best interests will be hijacked by appearances and the everyday mind, and I will be buried under gravel, again.
* “When the mind is too weak to tell itself lies,” is a line from The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paulo Giordano.]
The story is really heating up. It has now moved to France. The end is in sight, then comes the fun part: The re-write.
Many aspiring children’s book authors are confused about the difference between young adult (YA) and middle grade novels. Aren’t all teens and pre-teens young adults? But within the industry, middle grade and YA are two totally separate genres, and it’s important to be able to differentiate between the two, to know where your manuscript fits in the marketplace.
Below is a chart highlighting some essential differences:
YOUNG ADULT (YA)
||Hero is usually 13 or younger, and in middle school (grades 4-8.) Age of reader is approximately 8-12.
||Hero is mid-to late teens; in high school (grades 9-12) Age of reader is 13 and up.
||Themes focus on the challenges of youth and ‘coming of age.’
||May be multi-themed; often not written according to popular themes, but what the author knows or has researched.
|Novels emphasize character and his/her emotional struggle, or coming of age, more than plot.
||More complicated, plot-wise. Hero experiences internal change, often triggered by external events. Adult problems encountered for the first time.
| SECONDARY / ADULT CHARACTERS
||Parents or other significant adults are often strong secondary characters.
||Adult characters play a backseat role.
||Stories generally resolve happily, or if not, it’s bittersweet – there is a strong sense of hope.
||Stories don’t always have happy endings, though resilience and hope are still evident.
| LANGUAGE & EDGY “CONTENT”
||Little to no profanity. Think ‘darn’ vs. ‘damn.’ Also little violence or substance abuse. If any, usually involves ‘friend’ or secondary character, rather than hero.
||May include a lot of profanity. May also include violence, substance abuse, or any ‘edgy’ content relevant to teens today.
||Often (though not always) told in 3rd person narrative form – though usually close 3rd person, i.e. always ‘with’ the protagonist.
||Often told from the viewpoint of or in the 1st person voice of the young adult hero, as opposed to a 3rd person narrator. Language may be more lyrical/poetic – may even be in verse.
|ROMANCE / SEX
||Romance is largely innocent and sexuality is at a minimum. Think “first kiss” or hand holding, if anything at all.
||Romance and sexuality abound – though sex scenes are not usually graphic. (Save that for adult fiction.)
| FOCUS / PERSPECTIVE
||Perspective is internal; focused on self-growth and hero discovering who he/she is in the world.
||Perspective becomes external. Hero notices world around them and how they fit in. Often moves from more selfish developmental stage to awareness of feelings and circumstances of others.
| SUBJECT MATTER
||Most MG kids’ lives are still controlled by adults – so fantasy and magic are popular.
||Characters are old enough to be independent and get into trouble, so grittiness and realism abounds.
I finished reading Ghost Hawk this fall, and now I’m seeing a fair amount of conversation about the historical accuracy issues surrounding the book, as we head into Newbery season. (I’ll admit, I thought it was wonderful until the very end, though I’m woefully incapable of determining how true to history it is).
At the same time, I’m wandering around the stores, and seeing that there are beginning to be “Indian” items around, in advance of Thanksgiving. Feathers and teepees. I find myself assuming, based on the comments surrounding Ghost Hawk, that the way schools approach Thanksgiving has changed a lot since I was a kid. That they no longer dress up in loosely arranged feathers and play out the story of “Pilgrims and Indians.” I’m wondering what they offer instead. How much of the story?
So as we head into the Thanksgiving season, I’m thinking about how we educate our kids (or don’t), how we give them (or don’t) actual information, as opposed to myth. I’m thinking I have some work to do myself.
All my life, I’ve known versions of the Pilgrim/Indian story, of course. I’ve watched the Peanuts and Pocahantas. I’ve argued the merits of telling that story in a benign way with kids, and I’ve argued the age at which kids can learn the real story. But shamefully, in all those years, I’ve never learned about the TRIBE. The actual tribe. How is that possible? At the very least, Ghost Hawk pushed me out of that complacency. And the conversation surrounding the book is having an even stronger impact on me in that way.
They weren’t “Indians.” And “Native Americans” doesn’t cut it either in this day and age. They were The Wampanoag. And while I’m aware that they didn’t actually share a turkey with “us” (says this Irishy/Jewishy girl with no Mayflower blood in her at all, but who was still somehow taught the language of us/them), I know absolutely nothing about The Wampanoag.
I think, this year, Mose and Lew will try to learn about the tribe. Which is not to say “Indians.” We’ll read about their culture and language, about Massoit and Squanto/Somoset, and about King Philip’s War. I hope this will help the boys navigate the myth/truth of this season (and me too!). So often, specificity helps us see people as people. Because the more general we get, the easier it is to slip into stereotypes.
What does your school teach in this season? How much do you know about the Wampanoag?
(For the record, we’ll still be eating turkey. Because… you know, turkey.)
Review is on Page 21.
Link to On line magazine. http://digital.turn-page.com/i/187959
So… I’m scribbling a ton of new picture books. Most of them won’t work out.
One or two might.
But as I’m working, I’m flip-flopping about tone, and I wondered if you might chime in and vote.
Conventional wisdom is that editors hate rhyming manuscripts. I have not found this to actually be true, but in a lot of cases, rhyme distracts from a book, or undercuts humor. And of course, if it’s done poorly, rhyme is horrible.
if you had a choice between these two bits of text, which would you prefer?
On velvet paws he slunk downstairs
And much against her wishes,
Jim gobbled up his mother dear.
She really was delicious!
Jim went downstairs.
And ate his mother up, in three quick bites.
Please leave your vote in the comments! I really would love to know how people feel about this.
In every blogger/book reviewer, is a book that started it all for her/him. In my case, I started to be very interested in reading back in late 2010. A friend of mine bought a book called Twilight. What I know is it's a vampire story--that's it, I wasn't a little bit interested even in it's cover. But this friend left it to me at lunch, and from that hour-break, I opened the book and read its first chapter, the next thing I know I've read the whole series.
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Hi Bookshelf Confessioners,
Today, October 1 2013, marks Bookshelf Confessions' SECOND YEAR in BLOGGING- REVIEWING BOOKS/MOVIES, PARTICIPATING IN GIVEAWAY HOPS, BLOG TOURS,COVER REVEALS AND PROMOTIONS, INTERVIEWING AUTHORS AND INTERACTING WITH READERS.
This year also marks milestones I never thought would happen:
Bookshelf Confessions now has:
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Emma Walton Hamilton
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, children's writing
, childrens books
, middle grade
, picture books
, secondary characters
, writing characters
, writing tips
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Whether your manuscript is a picture book or novel, it can be tempting to create a wide variety of supporting characters to help tell your story. But too many characters can be hard for young readers to keep track of, and can dilute the focus. So how do you decide which secondary characters to keep? Keep these tips in mind:
* All characters should be multi-dimensional, authentic, believable and interesting to young readers – even if they’re bad guys.
* All characters should have a role to play in relationship to your main character. Whether they are a catalyst, a foil, a mentor, an antagonist, a challenger, a sidekick, the voice of reason, a tempter, or something else, they must serve a purpose in relationship to your hero’s journey.
* All characters must be in pursuit of something: a want, or a need, or a goal. They should also have to make their own choices to pursue that want or need.
* Consider whether or how the story would change without them. If you removed this character from the story, would it affect the course of events one way or another? If not, they should probably go.
* Secondary characters should also learn something or grow by the end of the story. They need to have journeys of their own. For example, in Where the Wild Things Are, the secondary character is Max’s mother (even though we never actually “see” her, she has a huge influence on the story and on Max’s journey, and is a presence nonetheless.) We know Max grows and changes by the end, but Max’s mother does, too… because she delivers dinner to his room after she’s promised that he’s going to go to bed with no supper. We can infer from this that she has softened and forgiven him. We want all our supporting characters to have the same kind of journey.
By: Angela Muse,
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Monsters Have Mommies
, children's ebook
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Halloween is just around the corner. Soon we will be surrounded by ghosts, witches and maybe even some monsters. Your little monster is sure to enjoy this picture book about family and parents.
Age Level: 0-6
Have you ever wondered if monsters have mommies and daddies? It turns out monsters families are a lot like our families. This monstrous tale about parents and family is perfect for children aged eight and under.
On sale for only $.99 this weekend, September 27th though September 29th (normally $2.99).
I am now into the home stretch with Bagger Island. The ending is outlined and the characters are playing their parts.
My writers group (Village Writers Group) has been a huge help with this task. I have multiple monthly critiques from other writers and will use all of their input when I do the re write. This work will be well-polished when it gets published.
If you are an upcoming writer. Go find a writers group. You will get constant feedback and encouragement and also return same to them.
Conor stood in the doorway of the Harbor Bar waiting for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. He scanned the bar with his “detective look” and his eyes met Anne’s. They pulled him toward her as he walked over to her seated on a barstool. Then kissed her softly on her neck before settling down next to her.
“I’m ready for this day to be over,” said Anne running her warm hand over his.
“Yeah, it’s been a tough few days. I’m looking forward to getting back on the boat and being together on the water,” Conor replied.
“There’s nothing like the wind in your face and the tightening sheets to get your mind off work and the daily grind. I’ve planned my trip toBaggerIslandnext week with Soren, so that’ll get me back on the water or under it,” Anne replied.
“That’s not quite what I had in mind,” Conor replied with a little edge in his voice.
“I’ve got to go where my story leads and next week I’ll be on the island one way or the other. I can also follow your investigation at the same time.”
More to come.
It’s a full moon rising over western Tanzania.
The ragged ribbon of moonlight you see down there—that’s a rough and tumble highway known affectionately in south-central Africa as the Hell Run.
And that 5-ton truck—look closer—it’s a load of car tires in a metal cage. At the wheel is a hungry looking Tanzanian and riding shotgun is a large Sikh. Up ahead, three boys stand on the road, forming a roadblock. What are children doing up at midnight?
And who’s that mzungu with them?
The mzungu is me. I’m the white boy making my way back to Zambia after steaming my way up Lake Victoria and then hitchhiking through Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania to resume my duties as a hydrological field officer in the Zambezi River basin. My last lift dropped me at the edge of this sleeping village, and I decided, what with a full moon and all, to keep going.
I was confidently vanishing into a valley when these kids called after me. I yelled back, “What?” and they said, “Simba!” and I said to myself, “Simba-schmimba.” So much talk about simba, but how many people have actually seen a lion with their own two eyes?
“Simba eat man yesterday!” the oldest kid shouted.
So, there we are as the tire truck approaches. The boys, bless them, are going to commandeer this vehicle. The truckers have no choice but to let me climb aboard, not in the cab but in the cage, which the big man locks, and off we go.
Oh, what a magical moonlight ride! I’m not sure I’ll live to see the dawn. Seriously, what’s wrong with me?
When the truck stops unexpectedly in the middle of nowhere, I’m sure they’re going to kill me, but, no, they’ve stopped to strip an abandoned car of its tires. The cage door opens long enough for the highwaymen to toss in the tires and lock the gate and here we go again.
What a moon! The earth seems unearthly. I have never felt so far from home.
I’m in God’s hands, now, although I can’t say I believe in what passes so conveniently as God. And yet…and yet I would appear to have faith in something. This brilliant night seems to hold something of value for me, but what? Truly, is there something wrong with me?
Years later, I discover the words of a writer who speaks about “faith in the joyous tragedy,” and I think, yes, that’s it! At the edge of the abyss—an inexplicable trust.
“Whoever was born with faith in the joyous tragedy, with enthusiasm for the ironic mystery; whoever sings YES; whoever risks disharmony because he desires beauty…”
According to Nikos Kazantzakis, a Christian mystic, this counter-intuition is “the supreme human achievement.” If he’s correct, then our everyday minds have things utterly ass-backwards.
“The Muse most worthy of the real man is Difficulty. She chases the easy victory away from life and art: the kind of victories that humiliate the victor.”
Does that explain why I was hitchhiking the Hell Run? A test of some kind.
“Life should not be comfortable; it isn’t to a person’s advantage to have it so. Nor should art. Never have the masterpieces of life or art been pleasant or easy. They are always rugged peaks to be ascended by the few.”
Kazantzakis, my brother! He says that contentment—even the absolute perfection thereof—only perfects our “little selves.” Easy victories don’t begin to serve our greater needs.
“If you respect your own soul, you have to spend yourself… be willing at every moment to gamble all you have, so that you may practice your strength. So that you may never lose the assured feeling that you can do even without victory and are ready to begin again.”
To hell with victory! Does the conventional mind even know what winning means? I mean winning in the larger sense? My everyday mind, what would it know about what Kazantzakis calls “the brave and hopeless YES!”
The brave and hopeless ‘Yes’
My first novel, , fictionalizes my Hell Run adventure. It was written before I had ever wrapped my wee brain around “the brave and hopeless YES.” And yet it perfectly defines my young protagonist as he negotiates his own Act II dilemma.
The essence of my novel—that’s it!—the brave and hopeless YES.
Look again, PJ—hasn’t it become your main article of faith as a writer? Perhaps it’s every writer’s act of faith. Is it? I’d like to know.
That dim landscape down there—it’s the writer’s life—and there we are hitchhiking the Hell Run of our imaginations, making our way along that ragged ribbon of moonlight by the grace of the brave and hopeless Yes!
(Quotes are from “England: A Travel Journal” by Nikos Kazantzakis.)
The Birds (Gli Uccelli) is a picture book I published with the now dormant publishing house Despina, based in Milan. Two printings were issued, which are both sold out. So, I’ve decided to put the whole book online, with a couple minor changes.
I hope you like it, and if you do, feel free to spread the word.
Click here to open the PDF file: TheBirds
In was September 11, 2001.
I’d moved back from Manhattan about a week earlier, my tail between my legs. I hadn’t lasted 6 months in NY. I was ashamed, but also relieved to be back in Iowa.
I was crashing at Chris’ house, but he and his roommates were gone, playing some shows at Jimmy Buffet’s place (weird detail, huh?) in Florida.
So I was alone in the house when I woke up, turned on the TV, and saw that the world had fallen apart.
I’d been at the WTC a few weeks earlier, for a Laura Cantrell show, and somehow that detail drove me nuts. As though somehow, listening to country music, I should have been able to sense what was coming. As though any of us ever know what’s coming…
I called my family. My friends in NY. I was able to get some of them on the phone. I was scared for everything.
That was also the summer I published my very first bit of prose in an actual magazine (No Depression). That was the summer Chris and I decided to “make it work.” That was the summer a lot of things happened. Only none of them seemed to matter much after that day. In the retelling.
I don’t listen to Laura Cantrell anymore, but I can’t stop thinking about her today.
Let’s be honest. There have been lots of horrible events since that day. Millions have died. Natural disasters and terrorist actions. This single event is not bigger than those events.
And yet, in my own memories, it always will be. Bigger.
I felt safe, and then I didn’t.
It wasn’t until later that I found out a classmate of mine had gone down in Pennsylvania, on flight 93. Liz. We danced in the school plays together. I was horrified. That part still feels unreal, impossible. Trying to imagine that plane. “Let’s roll.”
Nobody I knew died in NY. And yet, it’s still the towers I see in my mind.
By: Angela Muse,
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, children's books
, Christmas and holiday season
, My Favorite Time of Year
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I don’t know about you, but this is my absolute favorite time of year. The weather is getting cooler, football is on t.v. and soon leaves will be falling off the trees. We have Halloween, Thanksgiving and then the Christmas season to look forward to. This is my favorite time of year. I love seeing the pumpkins already in the produce departments and knowing that soon I’ll be able to decorate my home for the upcoming holiday season.
In gearing up for fall I found this great children’s book, You Are My Pumpkin, and it is FREE through 9/13/13. A beautifully illustrated bedtime story to tell your own little pumpkins you love them. Also, a fun way to get children excited for Halloween with adorable characters, colorful scenes and a sweet story.
Make sure to pick up your copy today while this fall freebie lasts!
Welcome to Massachusetts
It’s been a while since I posted on this blog, but a lot has happened in my personal life that caused me to neglect it. One major thing that I am excited to announce is my family’s move to the East Coast. We now live in Western Massachusetts and love it! I look forward to meeting my fellow New England writer, homeschool, and illustrator friends. Thanks for visiting my blog and check back again for new art.
Many thanks to Yumiko Fukumoto for the translation and the big help in getting The Room of Wonders published in the Land of the Rising Sun!
Here is the cover, with and without the typical band over the jacket.
In a few days, I’ll begin my fall travels, and life will get hectic. But for the moment I’m without deadlines, and I find myself staring at the dog, asking her, “What should I write next?”
I have the beginnings of a chapter book trilogy. About two kids who MIGHT have found a magic tree. They aren’t sure.
I have the beginnings/outline to a novel. About ten kids living alone on an island.
I have a secret research project, which will maybe result in a picture book, but will also probably require actual travel/archival research.
And then there’s season five of West Wing…
Please, universe, tell me what to do?
“Melissa Manlove at Chronicle has bought two beginning readers from Laurel Snyder, in a debut series called Charlie and Mouse, a collection of stories about the daily adventures of two curious brothers. Publication is set for spring and fall 2015. Tina Wexler at ICM negotiated the deal for world rights.”
I am very very very very excited about this. Mose (Charlie) and Lew (Mouse) are pretty thrilled too!!!
The inspiration for these stories (besides the boys themselves) came from my friend Susannah Richards. She was here, taking a walk with me in my very special neighborhood, Ormewood Park. She had just finished taking a picture of a Little Free Library when she said, “You should write about this place. We need neighborhood books”
It had been in the back of my head to try to write about the boys, but somehow, her comment shook something loose in my brain… and THIS was what happened.
One super cool thing about the deal is that the editor, Melissa Manlove, was cool enough to suggest that we let the boys pick their own names. A way of including them in the process. Isn’t that awesome?
So, yeah. Remember when I took off this summer, to scribble some picture books? Well, sometimes a little time off is a good thing!!
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