Tuesday Debut – Presenting Jolene Gutiérrez!

Hi Everyone!

It’s Tuesday, and I’m so excited to introduce you to a new debut-ess! Let’s give a warm welcome to the lovely and talented Jolene Gutiérrez and have a look at her book about learning to respect personal space!

Mac and Cheese and the Personal Space Invader
written by Jolene Gutiérrez
illustrated by Heather Bell
published on August 11, 2020
Clear Fork/Spork Publishing
Fiction, ages 5-9

Oliver hopes he can learn to be a good friend by observing how guinea pig friends Mac and Cheese interact. Snuggling might be OK for guinea pigs, but Oliver’s classmates don’t like him getting in their personal space bubbles!

SUSANNA: Thank you so much for joining us today, Jolene! We are all excited to hear about your journey to publication! Where did the idea for this book come from?

JOLENE: Based on some of my experiences as a teacher librarian and a parent, I know that many kids struggle with the concept of personal space and friendship/social skills. I wanted to write a story that would give kids and adults talking points and tools around these topics.

SUSANNA: How long did it take you to write this book?

JOLENE: My first draft took me a few weeks to write, but something about it wasn’t quite right. I tinkered with it on and off over a couple of years (in addition to writing other things).

SUSANNA: Did you go through many revisions?

JOLENE: Yes, I went through many revisions! Originally, the story included tiny aliens in flying saucers who were zooming into people’s personal space. In 2018, I had a critique with Callie Metler-Smith, owner of Clear Fork Publishing. While we were looking at the manuscript, Callie said, “Why not take out the aliens and just make this about a boy who struggles with personal space? Lots of people can relate to that.”

SUSANNA: When did you know your manuscript was ready for submission?

JOLENE: After my initial critique with Callie, she said she’d be interested in seeing the edits I made to my manuscript, so I shared them with her. We went back and forth for 3 or 4 months, tweaking the story and making edits.

SUSANNA: When and how did you submit?

JOLENE: At the same time I was making edits on Mac and Cheese and the Personal Space Invader with Callie, I was wrapping up one of Mira Reisberg’s Children’s Book Academy courses, the Craft and Business of Writing Children’s Books. I didn’t have an agent at this time, but Mira had invited me to submit one of my other manuscripts to Clear Fork Publishing and Callie invited me to submit Mac and Cheese (then called The Personal Space Invader), so in the summer of 2018, I submitted both manuscripts to Clear Fork.

SUSANNA: When did you get “the call”?  (Best moment ever! 😊)

JOLENE: At the end of October in 2018, Callie reached out via email and asked for my address and phone number. . .I was cautiously optimistic. I didn’t want to get too excited and be disappointed. 😉 So when Callie called me and said she and Mira would like to publish Mac and Cheese and the Personal Space Invader, I was over the moon happy!!

SUSANNA: How did you celebrate signing your contract? 

JOLENE: After I finished screaming and jumping up and down, my family and I went out for dinner at a nice restaurant and I ate chocolate!

SUSANNA: Can you tell us a little about the editorial process?

JOLENE: Much of the revision process happened before Callie offered me a contract. After I signed the contract, there was more work with fine-tuning the manuscript and language and making sure the pagination worked. Although I never say it in the text, my main character Oliver is a boy on the autism spectrum, so I had a few sensitivity readers including people with autism and school counselors who have worked with children with autism, and I incorporated their feedback into my edits as well.

SUSANNA: What can you tell us about your experience of the illustration process?

JOLENE: Before Callie and Mira signed an illustrator, they did show me a few options and asked their favorite illustrator, Heather Bell, to create character sketches. When they shared Heather’s character sketches, I fell in love with her gorgeous illustrations. Mira hosted various video meetings with Heather and I where we looked at the spreads and talked through edits.

From the very beginning, I knew I wanted Oliver to have a notebook where he wrote and sketched his observations about the world, so I included that information in the form of art notes. My first art note in the manuscript read: Mac and Cheese are guinea pigs. Oliver watches them and takes notes/sketches pictures in notebook. Oliver’s notebook is with him throughout the book, and I love the adorable sketches Heather created within. Here’s an example of Oliver with his notebook and one of the sketches he made based on what he saw Mac and Cheese doing.

SUSANNA: Did you get to see advance reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, etc.? What was that like?

JOLENE: Yes, and that was tough. I made a conscious choice not to label Oliver as a boy with autism, and my reviewer from Kirkus didn’t like that. The reviewer wrote, in part, “Gutiérrez’s simple story, sprinkled with a few Spanish words from the teacher, lacks the context needed to explain why this young, apparent middle grader has no socialization skills, introducing his difficulty with the simple line “I’ve always wondered how to be a good friend.” The author’s note discusses how acceptable personal-space boundaries can vary culturally and individually but does not illuminate Oliver’s particular challenges further.”

I still feel strongly that a person (or reader) doesn’t need to know a child’s diagnosis (if they have one) to treat them as an individual and with respect and compassion. Many people are challenged by personal space, and I didn’t want it to be viewed as something that only people with autism struggle with.

SUSANNA: I understand your reasoning and think it is sound! (And a lot of us have had less than complimentary reviews from Kirkus! 😊) How long did it take from offer to having the first copy in your hand?

JOLENE: A little over 1½ years—it felt like a long time, but honestly, this is pretty fast in the picture book world!

SUSANNA: What kind of marketing and promotion has your publisher done for this book?

JOLENE: They’ve promoted Mac and Cheese in blog posts, on their websites, in Mira’s Children’s Book Academy, and on social media.

SUSANNA: Describe any marketing/promotion you did for this book.

JOLENE: I created a teacher’s guide, activity guide, and craft sheets (with the help of illustrator Heather Bell and my daughter, Shaian Gutiérrez), and created book swag like bookmarks, stickers, and pins (again, with the help of Shaian). I made a book trailer and sell sheets. I am a member of debut book groups Picture Book Buzz and Perfect2020PBs. I was part of a blog tour, participated in Twitter parties, and have done a few virtual school visits. I partnered with my local SCBWI chapter on some events, did a book launch party with local book store Second Store to the Right, was hosted on the Reading with Your Kids podcast, and presented to the Detroit Writing Room. I’m scheduled as a guest presenter for Children’s Book Academy as well.

SUSANNA: Wow! You’ve been busy! How long was it between the time you started writing seriously and the time you sold your first picture book?

JOLENE: Oh, boy. Well, I joined SCBWI in 2008, and at that time, I wanted to write picture books. A friend who was also a writer told me that the picture book market is really difficult to break into, especially since I’m not an illustrator, so she encouraged me to write within another genre. I tried young adult first, but in 2013, I joined Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 group. I still worked on young adult and middle grade as well, but I finally allowed myself to follow my heart write picture books. I received my contract in 2018.

SUSANNA: What is the most important/helpful thing you learned on your way to publication? (Or what is your most helpful piece of advice for up and coming writers?)

JOLENE: I always knew the writing journey would teach me patience. It has also taught me persistence. There were times during this journey that I considered giving up. I’m a teacher/librarian as well, so I would say to myself, “What are you doing? You already have a day job and there aren’t enough hours in the day! You don’t need to write.” But the truth was, I did need to write. Not to pay the bills, but to feed my soul. So I told myself I’d just keep writing as long as I was moved to do so. I gave myself permission to stop if the joy in the process disappeared. But the joy never disappeared, because writing is like magic—you’re conjuring something larger than yourself. I self-talk like that a lot, and another thing I’ve told myself in regards to reaching my goals is that I have two choices: to stop working toward a goal (in which case I’ll never reach that goal), or to continue working toward a goal (in which case I’ll get there eventually). The other thought I would offer is try to surround yourself with a supportive community. The KidLit community is one of the kindest communities you’ll find anywhere. Connect with others who are moved to make magic like you are. Share tips and tricks. Read others’ work. Read their books and leave reviews. Settle in with the people who will hold you up when you’re falling and lift you up when you’ve done well.

Author Jolene Gutierrez

Website: www.jolenegutierrez.com
Facebook: facebook.com/writerjolene                   
Twitter: twitter.com/writerjolene
Instagram: instagram.com/writerjolene/

This is me with Daffodil, a baby squirrel we found right before a blizzard in April 2020. My daughter and I fed him every 2 hours and released him in our back yard in July. He still visits us.

And these are our 3 rescue dogs, Wynter, Echo, and Summer. 😊

SUSANNA: Great advice! Thank you so much for taking the time to participate in this series, Jolene, and for paying it forward to other writers! I know I speak for everyone when I wish you the very best of luck with this and future titles!!! 😊

JOLENE: Thank YOU so much for this amazing opportunity! I’m so grateful!!

Readers, if you have questions for Jolene, please post them in the comments below and if she has time I’m sure she’ll respond!

You may purchase Jolene’s book at:
(all links below are book-specific)

Indiebound
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

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

– reviewing their books on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other sites where people go to learn about books.

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!

Christy Mihaly – Hey! Hey! Hay! A Tale of Bales And The Machines That Make Them

Jessie Oliveros – The Remember Balloons

Beth Anderson – An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin And Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution

Hannah Holt – The Diamond And The Boy

Laura Renauld – Porcupine’s Pie

Annie Romano – Before You Sleep: A Bedtime Book Of Gratitude

Melissa Stoller – Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush

Sherry Howard – Rock And Roll Woods

Kate Narita – 100 Bugs! A Counting Book

Vivian Kirkfield – Pippa’s Passover Plate

Laura Roettiger – Aliana Reaches For The Moon

Matthew Lasley – Pedro’s Pan: A Gold Rush Story

Natalee Creech – When Day Is Done

Margaret Chiu Greanias – Maximillian Villainous

Wendy Greenley – Lola Shapes The Sky

Danielle Dufayet – You Are Your Strong

B.J. Lee – There Was An Old Gator Who Swallowed A Moth

Cathy Ballou Mealey – When A Tree Grows

Pippa Chorley – Counting Sheep

Sandra Sutter – The Real Farmer In The Dell

June Smalls – Odd Animals ABC

Jill Mangel Weisfeld – Riley The Retriever Wants A New Job (self pub)

Kathleen Cornell Berman – The Birth Of Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound

Eleanor Ann Peterson – Jurassic Rat

Sarah Hoppe – Who Will? Will You?

Marla LeSage – Pirate Year Round

Stacey Corrigan – The Pencil Eater

Shannon Stocker – Can U Save The Day?

Nadine Poper – Randall And Randall

Christine Evans – Evelyn The Adventurous Entomologist

Karen Kiefer – Drawing God (religious market)

Susan Richmond – Bird Count

Dawn Young – The Night Baafore Christmas

Heather Gale – Ho’onani: Hula Warrior

Ciara O’Neal – Flamingo Hugs Aren’t For Everyone (self pub)

Theresa Kiser – A Little Catholic’s Book Of Liturgical Colors (religious market)

Lindsey Hobson – Blossom’s Wish (self pub)

Kirsten Larson – Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents An Airplane

Valerie Bolling – Let’s Dance!

Janet Johnson – Help Wanted: Must Love Books

Susi Schaefer – Cat Ladies

Heather Kinser – Small Matters: The Hidden Power of the Unseen

Kelly Carey – How Long Is Forever?

Mary Wagley Copp – Wherever I Go

Nell Cross Beckerman – Down Under The Pier

Claire Noland – Evie’s Field Day: More Than One Way To Win

Sharon Giltrow – Bedtime, Daddy!

Gabi Snyder – Two Dogs On A Trike

Sarah Kurpiel – Lone Wolf

Vicky Fang – Invent-a-Pet

Lisa Katzenberger – National Regular Average Ordinary Day

Pam Webb – Someday We Will

Abi Cushman – Soaked!

Teresa Krager – Before Your Birth Day

Lindsay H. Metcalf – Beatrix Potter, Scientist

Nancy Roe Pimm – Fly, Girl, Fly! Shaesta Waiz Soars Around The World

Tuesday Debut – Presenting Eleanor Ann Peterson!

Hello, Everyone!

Time for another epic installment of Tuesday Debut!

Everyone’s publication journey is a little bit different.  Today’s author achieved publication by winning a Golden Ticket!

I’m delighted to introduce you to Eleanor Ann Peterson and her fascinating debut picture book, Jurassic Rat!

Title: Jurassic Rat
Author. Eleanor A. Peterson
Illustrator: John Seckman
Publishing house: Clear Fork Publishing- Spork Imprint
Nonfiction
Age range 5-8 years

EP 3

‘Jurassic Rat’, introduces children to the fascinating world of a rat that lived in the Jurassic Period. Young children will enjoy the rat’s clumsiness and misadventures while he’s out hunting for food and will learn other dinosaur’s names of that period, and that rats have been around for a long time.

 

SUSANNA: Welcome, Eleanor!  Thank you so much for joining us today!  Where did the idea for this book come from?

ELEANOR: While researching how to remove roof rats from my old rambling house, I found an article about discoveries in Spain and China of a rat as big as a cat belonging to the Jurassic period. Bingo! I thought, why not introduce young readers to the evolution of a species in a fun way with Jurassic Rat?

I’m very curious and eager to learn new things. I surf the web looking for a variety of information that interests me at the time, and many have sparked an idea for a new picture book. I eavesdrop on conversations between parents and their children and jot down notes. Kids can be funny! Observe your environment.

 

 

SUSANNA: Great advice for finding ideas!  How long did it take you to write this book?

ELEANOR: The first draft took me a few weeks to write. I let it sit for a month then took it out of the drawer and read it out loud. I tweaked it a bit then set it aside once more.

 

SUSANNA: Did you go through many revisions?

ELEANOR: The book went through many revisions.  I’d put it aside once more while working on other manuscripts.

 

 

SUSANNA: When did you know your manuscript was ready for submission?

ELEANOR: I didn’t.

 

 

SUSANNA: I love your honesty on that, Eleanor.  I think we all feel like that – at least to some degree!  When and how did you submit?

ELEANOR: I don’t have an agent at the moment but would like to have one. I didn’t submit. What happened is that I followed an illustration course at the Children’s Book Academy. I used Jurassic Rat for the text. I illustrated the book dummy and had brilliant critique partners that encouraged me along the way. Then…

 

SUSANNA: When did you get “the call”?  (Best moment ever! 😊)

ELEANOR: The Children’s Book Academy have a contest at the end of the course called the Golden Tickets.  I got the call from Mira Reisberg, she was one of the judges. She wrote to me saying she loved the story but asked if I were willing to let another artist illustrate it?

My illustrations were not kid friendly for the age range. I accepted immediately.

Here’s a pic of one of my illustrations.

EP 1

SUSANNA: Your illustration is amazing! But very different from what ended up being in the book – so interesting!  How did you celebrate signing your contract?

ELEANOR: My husband and I went out to dinner.

 

SUSANNA: Was the contract what you expected in terms of advance, royalty percentage, publication timeline, author copies etc.?

ELEANOR: No secrets. I had no advance, but I got higher royalties, and the more books I sell, the higher the royalties. Being a small house, I can understand that they can’t risk paying advances with a newbie author. I help run a family business, so I know how risky it can be when we take on a new employee. The important thing for new authors is to get their foot in the door. They will understand how the publishing world works and be better prepared when the time comes to submit new projects to publishers or agents. From the time I got the call, it took 20 months for the book release, which is a standard timeline for publication. There’s a lot of work involved in creating a picture book. I will receive three hardcover copies.

 

SUSANNA: What can you tell us about the editorial process?

ELEANOR: I was impressed with the support of my publisher, editor, and illustrator. Mira Reisberg edited the text, but few changes were made.

 

SUSANNA: How about your experience of the illustration process?

ELEANOR: As a rule of thumb, authors do not butt in. We can’t give our opinion unless requested by the publisher. In my case, a few months after the call, I received an email requiring feedback about the setting and the protagonist. For example; the birds in the Jurassic period were toothed birds as big as hens. The illustrator had drawn a sort of ostrich which didn’t exist then. He promptly changed the illustration to better suit the period. It was a delightful experience working with Clear Fork and Company.

 

 

SUSANNA: Did you get to see advance reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, etc? What was that like?

ELEANOR: Not yet.

 

 

SUSANNA: Describe any marketing/promotion you did for this book.

ELEANOR: I’m very ambitious, and as soon as I signed the contract, I was thinking about marketing tactics. I’ve contacted book bloggers for early reviews, posted teasers on social media, created a puppet of Rat, my protagonist for school visits. I’m preparing a video where I interview Rat,  to post on social media to create engagement with my readers. I have bookmarks and will have T-shirts printed with a scene of the book. I’m negotiating prices for a plush toy of Rat with a vendor to add to my giveaways (all depends on the price and my budget), and I’m in contact with a developer for a book trailer. I’ll have free downloadable coloring pages of the book on my revamped website, courtesy of the illustrator John Seckman. I could go on and on.

 

 

SUSANNA: I can’t wait to see that video!  How long was it between the time you started writing seriously and the time you sold your first picture book?

ELEANOR: I’ve been writing for ten years, and in the past three, I’ve dedicated my time writing for children. I signed the contract for my debut picture book in 2017. My book will be released on June 4th,2019

 

 

SUSANNA: Anything else you’d like to share about your book’s journey from inspiration to publication?

ELEANOR: For Jurassic Rat, I can thank my lucky star and Dr. Mira Reisberg and my publisher for believing in me and my story. I never thought I would win a Golden Ticket at the Children’s Book Academy. I worked hard and long hours to create my book dummy, and my hard work paid off in the end.

 

 

SUSANNA: It’s a great feeling when hard work pays off!  Thank you so much for taking the time to participate in this series and paying it forward to other writers, Eleanor! We all so appreciate getting to share your knowledge and experience!  All the best of luck with this and future books!!!

EP 2

Author Eleanor Peterson

https://www.facebook.com/eleanorannpeterson/

https://eleanorannpeterson.com/

https://www.instagram.com/eleanorannpeterson/

https://www.pinterest.it/eleanorannpeter/

https://twitter.com/eannpeterson

https://www.goodreads.com/EleanorAnn_Peterson

 

Readers, if you have questions for Eleanor, please post them in the comments below and if she has time I’m sure she’ll respond!

You may purchase Eleanor’s book at:
(all links below are book-specific)

Indiebound
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

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

– reviewing their books on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other sites where people go to learn about books.

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!

Christy Mihaly – Hey! Hey! Hay! A Tale of Bales And The Machines That Make Them

Jessie Oliveros – The Remember Balloons

Beth Anderson – An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin And Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution

Hannah Holt – The Diamond And The Boy

Laura Renauld – Porcupine’s Pie

Annie Romano – Before You Sleep: A Bedtime Book Of Gratitude

Melissa Stoller – Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush

Sherry Howard – Rock And Roll Woods

Kate Narita – 100 Bugs! A Counting Book

Vivian Kirkfield – Pippa’s Passover Plate

Laura Roettiger – Aliana Reaches For The Moon

Matthew Lasley – Pedro’s Pan: A Gold Rush Story

Natalee Creech – When Day Is Done

Margaret Chiu Greanias – Maximillian Villainous

Wendy Greenley – Lola Shapes The Sky

Danielle Dufayet – You Are Your Strong

B.J. Lee – There Was An Old Gator Who Swallowed A Moth

Cathy Ballou Mealey – When A Tree Grows

Pippa Chorley – Counting Sheep

Sandra Sutter – The Real Farmer In The Dell

June Smalls – Odd Animals ABC

Jill Mangel Weisfeld – Riley The Retriever Wants A New Job

Kathleen Cornell Berman – Birth Of Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Debut – Presenting Sandra Sutter!

It’s Tuesday, everyone!

And that means it’s time for another Tuesday Debut Treat!

I’m so excited to introduce you to Sandra Sutter and her fabulous debut picture book, The Read Farmer In The Dell!

THE REAL FARMER IN THE DELL

Author: Sandra Sutter
Illustrators: Chantelle Thorne and Burgen Thorne
Publishing House: Clear Fork Publishing (Spork, imprint)
Date of Pub.: March 19, 2019
Fiction
Ages 4 to 8Cover The Real Farmer in the Dell

Synopsis:  Everyone knows the song, The Farmer in the Dell, but no one knows the REAL story. Find out the truth from a little mouse who was actually there. Prepare for a modern twist that turns the original stereotypes upside down and empowers girls and boys to imagine new possibilities. Filled with humor and fun retro-rodeo illustrations, this book is sure to surprise you to the very end. 

 

SUSANNA: Welcome, Sandra!  Thank you so much for joining us today!  Where did the idea for this book come from?

SANDRA: It started with an innocent question from my son (4 years-old at the time) about whether I knew the farmer had taken a wife in the familiar childhood song. Of course I did, but I realized it was all new to him and there was an opportunity to change it up, to take out the default gender bias and modernize it a bit. So, I did.

The basic structure was easy to put in place since the song already had structure. I studied the most common versions and then inserted my ideas for the original lines. I was careful to match the meter and flow of the song and used repetition as much as possible. However, I had one major flaw in that first draft: there wasn’t a specific narrator. He came later, after I let the manuscript sit for a month or two. When he appeared, it was pretty much done.

 

 

SUSANNA: How long did it take you to write this book?

SANDRA: The first draft was finished within a day or two. I played around with ways to tell the story that first month but nothing felt right so I put it away. Once I figured out the missing piece – the narrator – I was able to finish it up rather quickly. Altogether I tweaked it about seven times.

 

SUSANNA: Did you go through many revisions?

SANDRA: Since I touched on that above, I won’t expand on it here. But yes, there were a few.

 

 

SUSANNA: When did you know your manuscript was ready for submission?

SANDRA: This is the part where everyone gets to laugh because I never got it ready for submission. Read on to find out why.

 

SUSANNA: When and how did you submit?

SANDRA: This is my serendipitous story. (By the way, I love the word serendipity.)

I quit my full-time job in February 2017 after attending the SCBWI Winter Conference at the suggestion of my very supportive spouse. I soon realized I needed help, both with how to write for kids and also in getting people to critique my work. My poor husband and sister read almost every one of my first stories, this one included.

I researched online classes and settled on the Children’s Book Academy’s Picture Book writing course. I did not get a book contract in that class but I did learn a lot and started to develop my craft. It also gave me those important first connections to other members of the writing community.

It was during a second class – the CBA Illustration course – that I “submitted” this story. I’m not an illustrator but I thought the course would teach me how to think more like one and to figure out the “show, don’t tell” principle. I had signed up for a critique with the instructor, Dr. Mira Reisberg, who asked that I send thumbnail sketches for one of my stories. Mira is an editor and art director at Clear Fork Publishing, and when she read the story she loved it. She asked to share it with her publisher, and so my “submission” went out.

 

SUSANNA: When did you get “the call”?  (Best moment ever! 😊)

SANDRA: I got the final call about two months later, just before Christmas. There were a few minor edits, but I was agreeable and the deal was done.

 

SUSANNA: How did you celebrate signing your contract?

SANDRA: I didn’t do anything special. It was a great feeling, but I also knew it was just the beginning of a wonderful road ahead. I looked forward to the journey more than the physical act of signing a contract.

 

SUSANNA: Was the contract what you expected in terms of advance, royalty percentage, publication timeline, author copies etc.?

SANDRA: There weren’t any surprises. I understood going in that smaller presses work on smaller budgets and less resources, but there were positive trade-offs and an almost immediate start on editing and illustrations.

 

SUSANNA: What can you tell us about the editorial process?

SANDRA: I think I mentioned earlier that there were very few edits. There was one initial edit I didn’t love but was willing to accept; however, it was edited again in a way that fit squarely with my vision. By the time I signed the contract, the edits were done.

 

SUSANNA: What was your experience of the illustration process?

SANDRA: This has been one of the most enjoyable parts of working with my publisher. I was involved right away, including selection of the illustrators and seeing the initial sketches. Mira, who is both an editor and art director, did a great job of lining up illustrators with a similar vision and working with us together throughout the process so that we were all informed and on board. I was consulted regularly and if I had any concerns or requests, they were addressed right away. Chantelle and Burgen Thorne are an illustration dream team and I am eager to work with them again (which I am, so stay tuned for more information on that later this year)!

Also, there were no art notes. I like art notes when they are necessary to the story, but generally tend to trust the illustrator to “get it.” That was something the illustration course helped me to understand better.

 

Screen Shot 2019-04-29 at 8.22.25 PM

 

SUSANNA: Did you get to see advance reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, etc? What was that like?

SANDRA: No, but again, with a smaller press things run on a different timeline.

 

SUSANNA: How long did it take from offer to having the first copy in your hand?

SANDRA: It took under a year and a half which feels like lightning speed in the picture book making world. I credit my editor and publisher with being task-masters, keeping it all flowing along a reasonable timeline. Also, the illustrators, Chantelle and Burgen Thorne, worked diligently to have it all come together seamlessly.

 

 

SUSANNA: If your book has been out for at least one statement cycle, has it earned out yet?

SANDRA: It has not been out that long.

 

 

SUSANNA: What kind of marketing and promotion has your publisher done for this book?

SANDRA: Again, a smaller publisher won’t have as many resources to devote to marketing as a larger one. However, my publisher, editor, the illustrators, and I have worked together on promotions, giveaways, and sharing information about the book.

 

SUSANNA: Describe any marketing/promotion you did for this book.

SANDRA: I didn’t make a book trailer or send out flyers, but I did generate a “buzz” by slowly introducing the book and its upcoming debut on social media sites and locally with friends, school teachers, and other parents at my kids’ schools. I also joined debut author groups like New in ’19 and Book Blastoff to assist each other with marketing and promotion of our books.

Chantelle and Burgen made some wonderful coloring pages that can be downloaded from the Clear Fork Publishing website and I got busy ordering book “swag” (stickers, pencils, tattoos, etc.) for school visits. Fortunately, I have young kids and am on the board of one of their former preschools, so there was a network of schools and daycares ready to share the news.

I haven’t set up a formal “blog tour” but have worked with other members of the Kidlit community who have blogs (like you!) to arrange for interviews or guest posts, particularly in these first few months after publication. I see marketing as a slow, steady race rather than a short sprint.

 

 

SUSANNA: How long was it between the time you started writing seriously and the time you sold your first picture book?

SANDRA: I started writing a few things in 2013, but I had a new baby and was working full-time as an attorney so my attention was pulled elsewhere. After my second child was born I started to feel more serious about writing and completed a few stories. I even submitted to a couple of agents, but I laugh when I think about the high word counts and lack of plot development. In 2017, I was in a place to get serious and pursue writing full-time. By the end of that year I had my first contract!

 

 

SUSANNA: Anything else you’d like to share about your book’s journey from inspiration to publication?

SANDRA: I want to thank you for having me on your blog today and for supporting this wonderful book made possible by my publisher at Clear Fork Publishing, Callie Metler-Smith, my editor and art director, Mira Reisberg, and illustrators Chantelle and Burgen Thorne. It truly has been a group effort in bringing The Real Farmer in the Dell to life. I have enjoyed the journey as much as I love the finished product!

 

SUSANNA: Sandra, thank you so much for taking the time to participate in this series and paying it forward to other writers!  We all so appreciate you sharing your experience with us, and we wish you all the best with this and future books!

 

IMG_0590

Sandra has worn many hats, including counselor, attorney, and now children’s book author. Originally from the beautiful Front Range of Northern Colorado, she now lives in the heart of Kentucky’s horse country with her husband and two adorable, spunky kids. When she’s not busy writing stories, you might find her hiking the Red River Gorge with her family or on a local mountain bike trail. 

Website:  www.sdsutter.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sandradsutter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sandrasutterauthor/

THE REAL FARMER IN THE DELL is Sandra’s debut picture book. A second, STAN’S FRIGHTFULLY CLUMSY HALLOWEEN, is set to arrive later this year. Both books are with Spork, an imprint of Clear Fork Publishing.

 

Readers, if you have questions for Sandra, please post them in the comments below and if she has time I’m sure she’ll respond!

You may purchase Sandra’s book at:
(all links below are book-specific)

Indiebound
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

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

– reviewing their books on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other sites where people go to learn about books.

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!

Christy Mihaly – Hey! Hey! Hay! A Tale of Bales And The Machines That Make Them

Jessie Oliveros – The Remember Balloons

Beth Anderson – An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin And Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution

Hannah Holt – The Diamond And The Boy

Laura Renauld – Porcupine’s Pie

Annie Romano – Before You Sleep: A Bedtime Book Of Gratitude

Melissa Stoller – Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush

Sherry Howard – Rock And Roll Woods

Kate Narita – 100 Bugs! A Counting Book

Vivian Kirkfield – Pippa’s Passover Plate

Laura Roettiger – Aliana Reaches For The Moon

Matthew Lasley – Pedro’s Pan: A Gold Rush Story

Natalee Creech – When Day Is Done

Margaret Chiu Greanias – Maximillian Villainous

Wendy Greenley – Lola Shapes The Sky

Danielle Dufayet – You Are Your Strong

B.J. Lee – There Was An Old Gator Who Swallowed A Moth

Cathy Ballou Mealey – When A Tree Grows

Pippa Chorley – Counting Sheep

 

 

 

Tuesday Debut – Presenting Sherry Howard!

Good morning, my friends!

Welcome to another exciting episode of Tuesday Debut!

Pull up your favorite comfy chair, help yourself to some breakfast…

Continental Breakfast

…and get ready to enjoy chatting with Sherry about her book!

ROCK AND ROLL WOODS
Author: Sherry Howard
Illustrator: Anika A. Wolf
Clear Fork Publishing
October 5, 2018
Fiction Picture Book
Ages 4-8

Cover Rock and Roll Woods

Kuda is a bit of a grumpy bear when loud noises invade his quiet woods. He finds the courage to join his friends, and discovers he loves music after all.

 

SUSANNA: Thank you so much for joining us today, Sherry!  We are thrilled to have the opportunity to hear about your journey to publication!  Where did the idea for this book come from?

SHERRY: This is one of my favorite things to talk about. I asked my then 8-year-old writing partner what she’d like to write about next. She suggested a bear named Kuda, the name of her bearded dragon. Kamora is very excited that she’s recognized for the idea in the back of the book. She often helps at book events.

The rough draft poured out from the initial idea, combining my love for rock and roll with my heart for special needs children. It was a family collaboration to determine what the loud noise would be. We needed something not obvious to a wooded setting.

Whenever I get an idea, I write it down immediately, even if it’s in the middle of the night or driving. (I dictate then.) I have more ideas than I’ll ever have a chance to write.

 

SUSANNA: How long did it take you to write this book?

SHERRY: The first draft poured out. The revisions didn’t change anything substantial except the title. For this manuscript, it was a pretty quick journey, a couple of months of tweaking. I wish I could say that for all of my writing. It’s important to know the manuscripts that show the most promise if you’re a prolific writer. I knew right away that this was a manuscript that “worked” and should find a home.

 

SUSANNA: Did you go through many revisions?

SHERRY: ROCK AND ROLL WOODS went through different critique groups several times. I’m in several critique groups, which I find helpful.

My personal bias is that fresh eyes are really important during revision, especially at the end when your regular partners might have seen a manuscript several times. I usually have “blind” eyes look at a manuscript through either a paid professional review or somewhere like Rate Your Story, which I’ve been a fan of for years! These are my last steps before submission.

 

SUSANNA: When did you know your manuscript was ready for submission?

SHERRY: That’s hard to quantify! I think when critique suggestions are minor, and when your gut says it’s ready, then you can try. That’s how I judged ROCK AND ROLL WOODS.

I’m not agented, so I don’t have the benefit of an agent’s eyes on my work, and my writer friends who do have agents like to be sure their work is really polished before they send it to an agent. But, that layer would be nice for feeling confident about submissions to publishers and editors.

 

 

SUSANNA: When and how did you submit?

SHERRY: I’m not agented. I submitted directly to Clear Fork. I sent Callie Metler-Smith, the lovely owner of CF, a query for another book. I’d met her on Facebook, and saw her interaction related to criticism of small publishers. She was gracious, and not defensive in that conversation. I really admired that. I made sure they were recognized as a PAL publisher through SCBWI. She didn’t accept the first manuscript I sent, but offered to look at other work, so I eventually sent this one. I’d only sent this to a handful of agents.

I go to SCBWI conferences and sometimes follow up on submission opportunities, but most often I don’t.

I enter contests sometimes, and have done well in some. The one time I won a query opportunity, it involved one of the agents who has experienced some problems, so that opportunity was lost.

I don’t have much of a submission plan. Unfortunately, I enjoy the writing more than I do querying and submitting. If I see an opportunity that fits something I have, I’ll submit. I queried some of the 12×12 opportunities. But, I actually query and submit seldom. 2019 will be my submissions year! It’s hard for me to take a break long enough from the writing to do it.

 

SUSANNA: When did you get “the call”?

SHERRY: Callie’s acceptance was by email, and at first I wasn’t sure she’d accepted it. Yes, when she said that I had a publisher, it was super exciting. She was one of the only places I’d submitted ROCK AND ROLL WOODS because it was recently finished. Callie asked for the ending to be tweaked. When I didn’t hear back from her for a month after I changed the ending, I assumed she didn’t want it, but I checked with her to be sure before I queried further. She did want it.

 

SUSANNA: How did you celebrate signing your contract?

SHERRY: I didn’t. I know that sounds terribly boring, but it’s true. I was happy, but no one in my immediate life understood what it meant, so it was just me. I might’ve eaten a Snickers!

 

SUSANNA: Was the contract what you expected in terms of advance, royalty percentage, publication timeline, author copies etc.?

SHERRY: I worked with an entertainment attorney who happened to be one of my critique partners. One member had very graciously told our group that she’d review our first contracts free. With small houses like Clear Fork, there’s not much wiggle room in contracts, and I understood that. Generally, with small publishers, the advances are small, but the royalties are there. When you consider that advances are just that, an advance on royalties, it may not make as much difference to you as you think. It was most important to me that Callie shared my vision: This is a picture book that I wrote thinking of children who struggle with “new” in the way children with autism usually do. I wrote it to have a broader appeal, but that was in my heart as a I wrote and revised.

 

 

SUSANNA: Please tell us about the editorial process…

SHERRY: I was privileged to have the AMAZING Mira Reisberg as both editor and art director. She was so kind, and thorough. She made videos to collaborate and made it all so simple. She and I chopped lots of words after illustrations were completed, and we could see the actual illustrations.

There was one major editorial session with Mira, and we were on the same track. The revisions were primarily losing words that weren’t necessary. The heart and vision for the story never changed. Along the way, we decided to add an author’s note and back matter about sensory integration, and that had to be written, and tweaked.

 

SUSANNA: Please tell us about your experience of the illustration process…

SHERRY: I saw only a few preliminary sketches at first. I’ll share one of the first illustrations, and when I saw it I fell in love!

Howard1

When I saw the art in digital files, it was pretty much finished, but we did exchange over thirty emails for one facial expression. I think we drove Anika crazy with that one!

When I saw the cover, I was shocked. I’d imagined an ordinary scene in the woods. My limited imagination could never have seen anything as awesome as they produced! Kids are so drawn to the bright cover, both boys and girls!

Anika’s vision, with Mira, was better than mine could ever have been! The art added immensely to the story! I have nothing but LOVE for the art!

I only had two illustration notes.

The first was this one:  (Illustration note: Please join our rock and roll celebration.)
which turned out like this:

Howard2

 

 

 

The second was this one: (Illustration note: tiny print: boom, whappa, whappa)
which turned out like this:

Howard3

 

SUSANNA: Did you get to see advance reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, etc?

SHERRY: Because Clear Fork is a small publisher, those reviews weren’t available to me. (I think Callie is working on changing that as she moves forward.) There weren’t advance copies to send out in time for reviews. It’s a print on demand company, so that limited certain things. I didn’t understand all of those limitations ahead of time, but that wouldn’t have changed my decision if I had. I look forward to a continued relationship with Callie and Clear Fork. Callie just announced the sequel for Rock and Roll Woods, which she contracted soon after this manuscript.  (Insert from SLH: Ooh! Squeeeee!  Congratulations, Sherry!!! 🙂 )

I did submit to Kirkus when I received the digital ARC. I happily paid the fee to have an independent review. ROCK AND ROLL WOODS earned a rare starred review through Kirkus. I literally had to sit down for that. And, while I didn’t celebrate when I was offered the contract, I shared the Kirkus news with anyone who would listen! (Another insert from SLH: Ooh!  Squeeeeee again!!!  That is fantastic, Sherry!)

 

SUSANNA: How long did it take from offer to having the first copy in your hand?

SHERRY: The timeline was less than two years, which is very rare! Contract was signed in April, 2017, and I held the book in my hands September, 2018.

 

SUSANNA: If your book has been out for at least one statement cycle, has it earned out yet?

SHERRY: The book just released, so I don’t really know how it’s doing yet.

 

 

SUSANNA: What kind of marketing and promotion has your publisher done for this book?

SHERRY: I think Callie has plans for a big push for ROCK AND ROLL WOODS this spring. Callie uses Facebook for promotion. She also owns a bookstore in Texas. She does market fairs in Texas as well, and I assume she takes her published books to those.

 

SUSANNA: Describe any marketing/promotion you did for this book.

SHERRY: I’m still working on marketing, but I’ve done a book trailer, bookmarks, a Kuda model crocheted to order, book signings at Barnes and Noble, blog visits, social media giveaways, created a teacher’s guide with coloring pages, participated in fairs, and tried to work with kidlit influencers. It’s an ongoing process since the book just released. I have an appearance coming up with Jedlie’s Reading with Your Kids, a video coming soon from a little reviewer in Canada, and the book will visit Story Time with Miss Becky. My granddaughter has a book review channel on YouTube, and she just posted her review.

I haven’t sent out press releases yet, but plan to. I have an article coming out soon in a local magazine that I pitched, and they loved.

The School of Rock is involving me in their local program in an ongoing basis, which is fun.

 

 

SUSANNA: How long was it between the time you started writing seriously and the time you sold your first picture book?

SHERRY: In short, a few years. But really longer.

I’ve written and taken classes for the last twenty years, but only zeroed in on kidlit six or seven years ago. Of course, with degrees in Education, I already had a strong background, but writing for publication is different.

At first I wrote novel length, and have several finished novels, which have been revised to death. One recently came very close to getting picked up by an agent, phone call and all. (My novels have won or placed with RATE YOUR STORY openers for the past several years.)

When I had eye surgeries, and some real struggles with my vision, I worked more on short stories, poetry, and picture books. The novel-length books were too hard with my vision for a while. The vision is still a struggle, but I’m back to doing all age levels again.

 

SUSANNA: Anything else you’d like to share about your book’s journey from inspiration to publication?

SHERRY: I was just reaching my career goals as a successful principal in a large middle school when I was assaulted and left with a spinal cord injury that crippled me. I was devastated at having to leave my work for children. Fast forward many difficult years, and I feel like I’m once again able to help and inspire children. I use a walker to make appearances. I use adaptive pens to write lying down, so I can write whenever I want to. I keep two iPads rotating to accommodate my vision problems. I’m not saying this for pity, but to tell writers: No barrier will keep you from writing if it’s in your heart to do it. Carry on!!

SUSANNA: Sherry, I’m so sorry to hear of what you went through – are still going through – but you are an inspiration to us all.  I know your courage will help give all of us some as we go forth in our writing.  Thank you for sharing.

SHERRY: Thank you for having me, Susanna! I love to meet other readers and writers, so please be in touch on social media here:

Sherry Howard| Facebook| Twitter| Instagram

Meet Kuda and Rock and Roll Woods here.

 

Sherry Howard (4)

Sherry Howard

Sherry Howard lives with her children and silly dogs in Middletown, Kentucky, a stone’s throw from the beautiful horse farms Kentucky is always bragging about. During her career in education, she served as a middle school principal in one of the largest metro school districts in the US; she and cat-herders share many common skills. Sherry loves to read, write, cook, and sit in the sand watching the waves when she can. She credits her ability to write a complete sentence in English to her training in classical Latin. Now her picture books and chapter books are arriving through Clear Fork Publishing. She also writes for the educational market.

 

Sherry, thank you so much for taking the time to participate in this series and paying it forward to other writers!  We are all very grateful for your time and expertise and wish you the very best success with your book!

Readers, if you have questions for Sherry, please post them in the comments below and if she has time I’m sure she’ll respond.

You may purchase Sherry’s book at:
(all links below are book-specific)

Indiebound
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

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

– sharing their books on social media

– reviewing their books on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other sites where people go to learn about books.

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!

Christy Mihaly – Hey! Hey! Hay! A Tale of Bales And The Machines That Make Them

Jessie Oliveros – The Remember Balloons

Beth Anderson – An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin And Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution

Hannah Holt – The Diamond And The Boy

Laura Renauld – Porcupine’s Pie

Annie Romano – Before You Sleep: A Bedtime Book Of Gratitude

Melissa Stoller – Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush

Tuesday Debut – Presenting Melissa Stoller!

Hello, Everyone, and welcome to another exciting episode of Tuesday Debut!

First, just a quick note: The Halloweensie Contest finalists will be announced for your reading and voting pleasure on Thursday.  Since I wasn’t able to get them up before the weekend, and I already had today’s Tuesday Debut and tomorrow’s Would You Read It scheduled, I thought it was best just to wait until Thursday when we could have an uninterrupted stretch of days for reading and voting.  The winners will be announced on Monday.  I’m sorry to have kept you all waiting so long, and truly appreciate your patience.  The judging was extremely difficult, and kept getting interrupted with family stuff and work deadlines and other things of that nature which have a tendency to suddenly appear out of nowhere when you’re trying to get something done!  If by some chance you’ve been under a rock and not seen the Halloweensie Contest entries, hop on over and have a look – well over 200 amazing stories await your enjoyment!

Now then, allow me to introduce today’s Debutess, Melissa Stoller!  She shares her first picture book with us, but has a series of chapter books already to her credit (The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection: Return to Coney Island and The Liberty Bell Train Ride) as well as another picture book forthcoming any minute (Ready, Set, GOrilla!)

MELISSA: I’m so happy to be included in your new blog series, Susanna! You know I am a huge fan of your Making Picture Book Magic course and of your books!

SUSANNA: I am thrilled to have you, Melissa, and you are very sweet to say such nice things.  There will be a little extra something chocolate for you in your holiday celebrations this year 🙂 Now then, let’s have a look at your beautiful debut picture book!!!

SCARLET’S MAGIC PAINTBRUSH
Written by Melissa Stoller
Illustrated by Sandie Sonke
Clear Fork Publishing/Spork
October 16, 2018
Fiction, Picture Book
Ages 4-8

Picture1

Scarlet paints perfect pictures with her magic paintbrush until the brush is lost, and she fears she’ll never be able to paint again. When the brush is found, will Scarlet’s own magical creativity emerge?

 

SUSANNA: LOVE that gorgeous cover! 🙂 Where did the idea for this book come from?

MELISSA: The idea for SCARLET came to me when I was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City gazing at my favorite Impressionist paintings. Standing in front of a Monet canvas, I wondered what it would be like to have a magic paintbrush and paint like Monet. Over time, I thought of other questions: Would the brush would help me paint everything perfectly? What would happen if I lost the brush and then found it later? And what would I do if I wanted to paint something and the brush wouldn’t let me? These questions became the basis for my story.

Picture4

Melissa at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in front of a Monet

 

SUSANNA: How long did it take you to write this book?

MELISSA: It took several months to write this story. My mother is always my first reader! And then my children and husband weigh in as well. I have trusted critique partners who helped me dig in through multiple drafts to focus on the theme and underlying layers. And I also had a professional critique as well. Through it all, I kept refining and shaping the story.

 

SUSANNA: Did you go through many revisions?

MELISSA: I like to write in many drafts, making large and small changes as I go along, so my work always has many iterations.

 

SUSANNA: When did you know your manuscript was ready for submission?

MELISSA: I knew my manuscript was ready when my critique partners all came back saying “this one is done!”

 

SUSANNA: When and how did you submit?

MELISSA: My publisher Callie Metler-Smith from Clear Fork Publishing was already publishing my chapter book series, The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection. Turns out Callie and I both love Impressionist paintings so I pitched her my art history-based idea and that manuscript became a book!

 

SUSANNA: How did you celebrate signing your contract?

MELISSA: I definitely celebrated with my family and there were lots of smiles and tears of gratitude!

Picture5

Melissa’s dog Molly who sits patiently next to her when she works (and was no doubt part of the celebrations! 🙂 )

 

SUSANNA: Was the contract what you expected in terms of advance, royalty percentage, publication timeline, author copies etc.?

MELISSA: This was my second contract with Clear Fork so I knew what to expect.

 

SUSANNA: Tell us about the editorial process…

MELISSA: Mira Reisberg is editor/art director at Clear Fork/Spork. I know Mira well from many Children’s Book Academy courses and I was thrilled that she loved the manuscript and would be editing and art directing. We did several critiques and Mira offered many excellent suggestions during the editorial process. And I know that she worked closely with Sandie Sonke on the art. I am so proud of the final book!

 

SUSANNA: Tell us about your experience of the illustration process?

MELISSA: Mira selected the amazing artist Sandie Sonke as the book’s illustrator. I couldn’t be happier with this collaboration. Sandie’s vision surpassed my expectations. I just love all the details she added in the illustrations and I love the expressions on Scarlet, the magic paintbrush, and the adorable animals. One benefit to working with a small publisher is being involved throughout the process. Mira and Callie consulted me about the illustrations and I saw the art at various stages which was very exciting.

Picture3

 

SUSANNA: Did you include any art notes with your manuscript?

MELISSA: I didn’t include art notes with this manuscript. In fact, Sandie created a cute story line with the dog appearing in many illustrations that I had not even contemplated. I do include art notes in other manuscripts if they are integral to an understanding of the story.

 

SUSANNA: How long did it take from offer to having the first copy in your hand?

MELISSA: I signed the contract in November 2016 and the release date is October 2018.

 

SUSANNA: Describe any marketing/promotion you did for this book.

MELISSA: I am in the process of having a book trailer produced, and I have lots of swag including bookmarks, stickers, postcards, magnets, and a t-shirt. Kids love swag! I’m also having an educator guide created for teachers and librarians by Deb Gonzalez.

 

SUSANNA: How long was it between the time you started writing seriously and the time you sold your first picture book?

MELISSA: I started on this KidLit writing journey in 1997 when my oldest daughter was one! Seriously! I joined SCBWI that year and attended many workshops. And I have a file drawer full of rejections. After that initial burst, I worked on many other writing projects, including parenting articles and a parent-child book club resource book. About five years ago I got immersed again in writing for children. I started taking more classes and joined several critique groups. I started submitting picture books and ultimately signed my first contract for my chapter book series. My next picture book is Ready, Set, Gorilla!, illustrated by the very talented Sandy Steen Bartholomew.

SUSANNA: Anything else you’d like to share about your book’s journey from inspiration to publication?

MELISSA: It’s so amazing to hold the finished book in my hands! My message to pre-published writers is to keep going. Work hard; study your craft through in person or online courses (like Susanna’s Making Picture Book Magic which I took twice!); attend conferences; participate in writing challenges and workshops; make connections with other creatives; establish relationships with trusted critique partners; and just write and submit!

I’m so happy to be featured on your blog, Susanna! Thanks, again for chatting!

 

Picture2

Melissa Stoller, Children’s Author

Find Melissa online at:

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to participate in this series and paying it forward to other writers, Melissa!  We are all very grateful for your time and expertise and wish you the very best success with ALL your books!

Readers, if you have questions for Melissa, please post them in the comments below and if Melissa has time I’m sure she’ll respond.

You may purchase Melissa’s book at:
(all links below are book-specific)

Indiebound
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

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

– sharing their books on social media

– reviewing their books on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other sites where people go to learn about books.

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!

Christy Mihaly – Hey! Hey! Hay! A Tale of Bales And The Machines That Make Them

Jessie Oliveros – The Remember Balloons

Beth Anderson – An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin And Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution

Hannah Holt – The Diamond And The Boy

Laura Renauld – Porcupine’s Pie

Annie Romano – Before You Sleep: A Bedtime Book Of Gratitude