The ants go marching one by one
The ants go marching one by one
The ants go marching one by one
Christine debuts with some buggy fun
And they all go marching down
Into the ground
To curl up with a Tuesday Debut picture book! 😊 😊 😊
It’s Tuesday, everyone! And I can’t wait to introduce you to today’s Tuesday Debut-ess, Christine Evans, and her bug-a-licious book, EVELYN THE ADVENTUROUS ENTOMOLOGIST!!!
Evelyn the Adventurous Entomologist: The True Story of a World-Traveling Bug Hunter
by Christine Evans (Author), Yasmin Imamura (Illustrator)
September 24, 2019
Trailblazing entomologist Evelyn Cheesman embarks on eight solo expeditions, discovers insect species, and tangles with sticky spider webs in this biography about a hidden figure.
SUSANNA: Welcome, Christine! We’re so excited to have you here today! Where did the idea for this book come from?
CHRISTINE: I knew I wanted to find an unknown woman in science to write about. When my google searches led me to a short article about Evelyn Cheesman I got a fluttery feeling and as I started to learn more about her I knew I had my subject.
SUSANNA: How long did it take you to write this book?
CHRISTINE: I first read about Evelyn in around May 2017. It took me a few months to have a first draft. Then the revising and the revising and the revising began. I took the manuscript to conferences for professional critiques, to my fabulous critique partners, and I sold it in April 2018.
SUSANNA: Did you go through many revisions?
CHRISTINE: In that year from when I first started working on the manuscript (and even after the sale) I must have gone through around 50 different revisions.
I love putting my manuscripts through different tenses and points of view to help nail the voice. I also spend the revision process looking for places where I can add a repetition or refrain I can use. I love the one we landed on for Evelyn—which happened in the revisions with my editor after I sold it.
SUSANNA: When did you know your manuscript was ready for submission?
CHRISTINE: When I wasn’t getting any major issues back from my critique partners except line edits I knew it was time to send Evelyn out in the world.
SUSANNA: When and how did you submit?
CHRISTINE: I entered a Twitter pitch contest and Asia Citro from Innovation Press liked my pitch. So I submitted to her and meanwhile I submitted to agents I thought would be a good fit. I signed with Elizabeth Bennett (Transatlantic Agency) and we got a formal offer from Asia a few days later. It was an exciting whirlwind!
SUSANNA: How did you celebrate signing your contract? (If you care to share 😊)
CHRISTINE: I can’t remember. I have two small children so I probably had to carry on cooking them dinner and get them to bed before I could really celebrate!
SUSANNA: Was the contract what you expected in terms of advance, royalty percentage, publication timeline, author copies etc.?
CHRISTINE: I didn’t know what to expect but my agent guided me through the process. I’m so happy I had her in my corner!
SUSANNA: Can you tell us about a little about the editorial process?
CHRISTINE: During the very collaborative editorial process we really nailed the structure and the repeated refrain. The final book looks quite different to the original manuscript.
SUSANNA: What was your experience of the illustration process like?
CHRISTINE: I was thrilled when my editor shared Yasmin Imamura’s work with me and asked if I thought she’d be a good person to illustrate Evelyn Cheesman’s story. Of course I said yes! I got to review the book at both the sketch stage as well as later when the art was almost finished. And then again at the proof stage.
SUSANNA: Did you get to see advance reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, etc? What was that like?
CHRISTINE: My editor shared some reviews from SLJ and Booklist which was really exciting to see. I can’t wait to hear what readers think!
SUSANNA: How long did it take from offer to having the first copy in your hand?
CHRISTINE: I sold the book in April 2018 and here we are in September 2019 and I have a real book! That’s pretty quick in the publishing world – I’ve heard tales of five years for some people although I think two years is average.
SUSANNA: Describe any marketing/promotion you did for this book.
CHRISTINE: I’m having a launch event at a local bookstore and have made bookmarks, buttons, and even custom cookies.
My biggest promotion tool has been my debut group, Picture Book Buzz. We have been promoting each other’s books, held giveaways, and even took over #PBChat on Twitter.
SUSANNA: How long was it between the time you started writing seriously and the time you sold your first picture book?
CHRISTINE: Around two to three years — I started really writing with intent at age 36, got an agent and a deal at age 38, and now I’m 40 and my book is out in the world! I know that sounds fast but I’ve been writing my whole life in one form or another—I was a communications manager and wrote copy all day pre-kids and pre-moving to the US.
SUSANNA: Anything else you’d like to share about your book’s journey from inspiration to publication?
CHRISTINE: I would like to encourage fellow writers to follow their passions outside of writing, read widely about what interests you, and follow the little nuggets of information that make you get a fluttery feeling. You never know where it might take you!
SUSANNA: Thank you so much for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience with us today, Christine! It’s so helpful for all of us to have a chance to learn from one another! I’m sure I speak for everyone when I wish you all the best success with this and future books!
Readers, if you have questions for Christine, please post them in the comments below and if she has time I’m sure she’ll respond!
You may purchase Christine’s book at:
(all links below are book-specific)
We can help our debut authors successfully launch their careers by:
– purchasing their books
– recommending their books to friends and family
– recommending their books to our children’s teachers and librarians
– recommending their books to our local libraries and bookstores
– suggesting them as visiting authors at our children’s schools and our local libraries
– sharing their books on social media
Thank you all for stopping by to read today! Have a lovely, inspiration-filled Tuesday! Maybe today is the day you’ll write your debut picture book 🙂
Missed any previous Tuesday Debuts? Check them out!