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A BIG HEART = AUTHOR SUCCESS written by Carmen Oliver illustrations by Jean Claude
Elizabeth talks about “Heart Art,” the part that makes the illustration magical. For a writer. For me, “Heart Art” or “Heart Story” is author intention. My heart is in everything I write. I believe it’s in every author’s work. Embedded. Woven. Waiting to be discovered. The real reason behind why the author wrote the book. And when a writer tells a story with their heart stitched into the fabric of a manuscript well, then, success. Magic. Bliss. Donald Mass in his novel The Breakout Novelist said, “Success as an author requires…a big heart.” I agree.
I think it takes a big heart to come back to the page, time and time again when things aren’t working. When you’re frustrated. When the doubts creep in. I think a big heart encourages the writer. Trust yourself. Begin again. You can do this. Go on, we’re in this together. A big heart can’t give up. It cares too deeply. About the story. About the characters. But most of all, about the readers. About delivering a story that matters to them. And yes, to you too. A big heart reaches out and extends a hand to fellow writers. Knowing helping them achieve success is a reward unto its own. By serving them, you receive something too. A big heart knows there’s room for everyone.
I also believe a successful author is one that measures all the achievements, big or small. A page written today. A chapter finished. A novel outlined. It’s not always a book sold. #1 in sales. An award in your back pocket. Success comes from working day in and day out. Slow and steady. Writing when you don’t want to. A big heart is open to all possibilities. Knowing that there is more than one way to get to the destination. Knowing that failure is needed to get to success. Knowing that humility and humbleness make us do our jobs better. A big heart knows anything is possible. And we don’t have to step on people to get there. In my heart, I know there are no coincidences in life. That if you allow your heart to be open, big and wide, well there’s nothing you can’t do. So let the people in. Learn from whoever is willing to teach you. Love the work. Lift others. Don’t worry about success. It’ll find you. All you need is a big heart. If you’re in Austin, TX this summer, Carmen is teaching Perfecting the Picture Book I at The Writing Barn and later this September at Highlights with Don Tate’s workshop The Journey: Your Path to Publication with special guests, Alison Green Myers, and Kathleen Hayes.
I am so excited that in Sketchbook Skool, we keep adding amazing artists to our Fakulty. Nina Johansson, who is a fantastic illustrator, urban sketcher and watercolourist is officially joining us, and I just got back from Stockholm, where we filmed a bunch of lessons with her.
She is very inspiring, and so is her art, but Nina is also my kinda gal – positive, passionate, skillful and she has a great sense of humour to top it all off.
We’d been preparing for the video shoot via email and Skype – and then meeting in person is such a treat – especially since she’s been such a great host to make my stay in Stockholm convenient and fun. Thanks to all great prep work and to our creative film crew, everything went smooth and we had a lot of fun during the shoot!
Gabrielle (sound), Me, Peter (camera) and Nina
An extra treat after wrapping up was having dinner and a sketch with Nina in the center of Stockholm, celebrating our accomplishment.
And on my way back, I made good use of my travel time and enjoyed drawing.
I absolutely love how the drawing below turned out – using just a fountain pen and a grey brushpen. It also opened up an interesting conversation with two of the flight attendants who spotted my drawing. I love how art can connect!
FTC Disclosure: I received complimentary review copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The giveaway prizes are provided by the publisher.
Hello everyone! I am happy to announce a great giveaway today--1 winner will receive hardcover copies of Journey and Quest, by Aaron Becker, to celebrate the August release of Return, the third book of this wordless picture book trilogy. US & Canada only please! Giveaway ends on 7/10/2016. Read on for more about the books.
Book # 1 in the Journey Trilogy A 2014 Caldecott Honor Book
Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination — and unexpected friendship.
A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.
Aaron Becker, creator of Journey, a Caldecott Honor book, presents the next chapter in his stunning wordless fantasy.
A king emerges from a hidden door in a city park, startling two children sheltering from the rain. No sooner does he push a map and some strange objects into their hands than he is captured by hostile forces that whisk him back through the enchanted door. Just like that, the children are caught up in a quest to rescue the king and his kingdom from darkness, while illuminating the farthest reaches of their imagination. Colored markers in hand, they make their own way through the portal, under the sea, through a tropical paradise, over a perilous bridge, and high in the air with the help of a winged friend. Journey lovers will be thrilled to follow its characters on a new adventure threaded with familiar elements, while new fans will be swept into a visually captivating story that is even richer and more exhilarating than the first.
One more video, then it's time for the giveaway!
Enter to win hardcover copies (1 each) of Journey and Quest by Aaron Becker. Prize provided by Candlewick Press.
Open to the US/Canada only, ends 7/10/2016.
No purchase is necessary to enter the giveaway. Void where prohibited.
We and the publisher/publicity department are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
One set of entries per household please.
If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address.
Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends.
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Thanks for reading! Did you enjoy this post? Follow us on Bloglovin' to make sure you don't miss a thing! I'll also be back in a couple of weeks with the review post for Return, the latest in the Journey Trilogy.
I'm now sitting at Ganache, a lovely chocolate and tea shop, having a well earned cuppa and three choccies. It's my usual reward for going out to buy books for the kids.
It was hard enough to get them to request what they felt like reading next - I have had more enthusiastic book clubbers in previous years. I mean, yes, they turn up at meetings and chat quite happily about things bookish, but there aren't the same cries of joy as they dive into a box of new books and too many of them read one book at a time and firmly refuse to borrow another one till it's finished.
But in the end, I had a decent shopping list from them - and, oddly, from some non members who turned up today, just in time, asking for such things as the next Magisterium novel(Holly Black and Cassndra Clare) and a series by a Polish gentleman which inspired a video game. And I found both! I bought the first novel in the series, and Book 2 of Magisterium(it was in the children's section instead of the YA and the Polish novel was in the SF). In the SF also I easily found a Terry Goodkind book for one of my book clubbers who wanted to read it because she had seen a TV show based on it. Fine. I imagine some of my spec fic lovers will read it after her.
There was a request for "more Diary of A Wimpy Kid, miss" from a Year 7 - I bought the latest, which we don't have.
I'm afraid the vampire fans will miss out yet again. I did find a couple of the requested books, but not all, and the only Morganville Vampire book they had was the first, which we have. I must ask our bookseller if she can get hold of some more. I keep disappointing that young lady.
My young history lover, who was in my class in Year 8 the other year, asked for "anything about war." I found a couple of books about WWI which he should find of interest but which Year 9 students can also use after him. One of them was actually on the CBCA short list a few years ago, but I must have missed it - I mostly read and buy the Older Readers books.
Speaking of which, I suddenly realised that they had some of this Year's Short List which I had missed. Two were Younger Reader books, but I bought them anyway. It's surprising what turns up there.
Anyway, time for tea and we will have some lovely new books early next term!
DC Comics Rebirth has renewed fans love affair with their stable of characters by bringing back much of what we missed about super hero comics. It’s also brought another group of fans out in full force; followers of the late Michael Turner, who passed away in 2008 after a long struggle with bone cancer. The artist […]
Okay. So now we’re finally getting some interesting picture book biographies on a regular basis. When I was a kid you had your Helen Keller and your Abraham Lincoln and you were GRATEFUL! These days, people are interested in celebrating more than just the same ten people over and over again. Why this year alone I’ve seen some incredibly interesting picture book biographies of comparatively obscure figures. These include . . .
Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer by Diane Stanley, ill. Jessie Hartland
Ada’s Ideas: The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer by Fiona Robinson (Ada’s really hot this year)
Anything But Ordinary: The True Story of Adelaide Herman, Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff, ill. Iacopo Bruno
Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles by Mara Rockliff, ill. Hadley Hooper
Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois by Amy Novesky, ill. Isabelle Arsenault
Esquivel! Space‐Age Sound Artist by Susan Wood, ill. Duncan Tonatiuh
Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Ann Cole Lowe by Deborah Blumenthal, ill. Laura Freeman
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy, ill. Elizabeth Baddeley
The Kid from Diamond Street: The Extraordinary Story of Baseball Legend Edith Houghton by Audrey Vernick, ill. Steven Salerno
Lift Your Light a Little Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop: Slave‐Explorer by Heather Henson, ill. Bryan Collier
Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean‐Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe
Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh, ill. Raul Colon
To the Stars! The First American Woman to Walk in Space by Carmella Van Vleet & Dr. Kathy Sullivan, ill. Nicole Wong
Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super‐Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton, ill. Don Tate
The William Hoy Story by Nancy Churnin, ill. Jez Tuya
And those are just the ones I’ve seen!
It’s encouraging. And then I wonder – do people need suggestions for more fun biographies? Because if they do have I got the woman for you!
First off, meet Kate Beaton. You may only know her from her two Scholastic books, last year’s The Princess and the Pony and this year’s King Baby. But Kate has been running an online comic site called Hark, A Vagrant! for years. There are many lovely things about the site, but I’m particularly fond of her brief biographical comics on obscure historical figures. She’s been doing them for years and once in a while I really do see one turned into a picture book (paging Ada Lovelace . . .). So in today’s goofy post I’m going to pull out some of Kate’s work in the hopes that maybe there’s an author or illustrator there who’d like to write a picture book biography about someone awesome and relatively unknown.
By the way, you can follow these links to read these comics in a clearer format, if you like. And I think you can even buy prints of them, if you want.
I legitimately had never heard of her. A badass Asian-American aviatrix heroine? Um… how is she NOT in a picture book bio? Because quite frankly we could use a huge uptick in our Asian-American women bios in general. Particularly if they involve air stunts.
Is it weird that there isn’t a really well-known Henson picture book biography out there? I guess his life wasn’t completely perfect (second family at the North Pole and all) but as African-American explorers go, he’s fantastic. As it happens, this was the first Hark, A Vagrant! comic I ever read. I was a fan for life afterwards.
Again, never heard of her. And as Kate put it regarding Nightingale, “She is no longer my favorite Crimean War nurse.” This is timely too since as of three days ago there was a report in The Guardian over the huge furor over a statue honoring Seacole’s achievements. Read it, when you get a chance. Then write a bio of Seacole.
Ms Marvel & Squirrel Girl! But are they friend or foe? Guess you have to read the Avengers Annual to find out! pic.twitter.com/haMU15eeeE — Faith Erin Hicks (@FaithErinHicks) June 23, 2016 The All-New, All-Different Avengers Annual #1 comes out in August and was announced with an all-star cast of creators including Mark Waid, G. Willow […]
Sofia Carson Answers Our Would You Rather Questions
In the Disney TV movie Adventures in Babysitting, goody two-shoes Jenny (played by Sabrina Carpenter from Girl Meets World) and artsy rebel Lola (played by Sofia Carson from Descendants) accidentally swap phones. As a result of the swap, Lola ends up babysitting for one of Jenny’s clients and getting into BIG trouble. The night turns into a chaotic adventure as Jenny and Lola hunt for one of the kids who snuck away.
AfterShock Comics, announced with much fanfare last year, has been rolling out dozens of comics since December, but they’ve just announced the one that MAY be their breakout hit. At AwesomeCon I got to catch up with writer Paul Jenkins (Wolverine: Origin) quite a bit, and he couldn’t stop talking about ALTERS, a book about […]
स्टार्टअप इंडिया और सच का सामना स्टार्टअप इंडिया से भारी उम्मीदें हैं देश को पर इसकी धीमी रफ्तार एक बार फिर सवालिया निशान खडे कर रही है … शायद इसी लिए अब इस ओर बदलाव के सकेंत दिए जा रहे हैं … PM Narendra Modi’s dream project ‘Startup India’ to be revamped to […]
With the Nook dragging down profits all around, Barnes & Noble reported a 3,1% revenue fall for fiscal 2016, with a net loss of $24.4 million. In 2015 B&N had a profit of $36.6 so that is…a $50 million swing. Ouch. Actual book sales were still strong however. Revenue in fiscal 2016 was $4.16 billion, down from […]
I am excited that Babl Books, whose mission is to offer bilingual picture books, including mine, to kids everywhere, will be at ALA this weekend. They are sharing a booth with We Need Diverse Books. Check them out if you go! BABL BOOKS will exhibiting at the ALA Conference in Orlando – Jun 24-27 Find […]
In a wide ranging interview with THR to reflect his being named the most powerful person in Hollywood, Disney’s CEO Bob Iger was asked about his relationship with Marvel’s Ike Perlmutter: and the state of the relationship is good, we’re told. How’s your relationship with Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter these days? My relationship with Ike […]
Staying with Free Spirit Fabrics we have some highlights from a collection by their newest designer Juliana Horner. Juliana is the daughter of well known designer Anna Maria Horner and her first fabric collection for Free Spirit is called 'Fast Friends'. Juliana says the designs are a celebration of not one inspiration but of many, and they explore the inclusiveness and togetherness that is
समाज को झंझकोरती बिहार टॉपर धोटाला की खबर 20 लाख रुपये देकर टॉपर बने बच्चे आखिर कसूरवार कौन… बच्चे, माता पिता , शिक्षण संस्थान या हमारा समाज (तस्वीर गूगल से साभार) समाज को झंझकोरती बिहार टॉपर धोटाला की खबर 20 लाख रुपये देकर टॉपर बने बच्चे आखिर कसूरवार कौन… बच्चे, माता पिता , शिक्षण […]
Keep your Master Chiefs, bearded Kratos, fancy flux capacitor powered hardware. E3 2016 had one of the best line ups for those of us who love big comic book experiences in gaming. Batman, Spider-Man, Walking Dead just to name a few. Here’s the games based on comic book characters we’re most excited for from E3 2016: Spider-Man […]
These colourful blooms are by Erin McMorris from her 'Noe' fabric collection with Free Sprint Fabrics. The bright graphic prints were inspired by a trip to San Francisco where she loved the city's crafty vintage style. The collection is available now from stockists including Fabricworm.
Erin's very latest collection for Free Spirit Fabrics is Noteworthy (below) which
It has been a big week in news from Dynamite and here’s a big old round-up with lots of art! § A new original series by Ben Fisher and Adam Markiewicz, The Great Divide In The Great Divide, humanity awakens in the near future to the horrifying reality that the faintest touch from another’s skin results […]