Hi - I'm excited to be part of The Writing Process: Author/Illustrator Blog Tour! My good friend Laurie Thompson graciously chose me out of thousands of applicants (or so I'd like to believe) to take part in this digital extravaganza of children's literary sights and sounds. The tour is a freewheeling, week by week insight into the lives of authors and illustrators and their recent work.
First, a little about the ultra talented, smartly dressed woman who tagged me to write this weeks blog entry. Laurie is a true inspiration who graciously volunteers her time, writes in multiple genres and has a plethora of new releases coming out in the next year, including her debut YA non-fiction book Be A Changemaker: How To Start Something That Matters. Her book is bound to burst open the landscape of youth driven non-profit organizations everywhere. It is truly an amazing work that will alter lives and literally change the world. Am I proud of her? You betcha. Jealous? Not a bit (maybe a little bit).
Also, on this week's tour is the efforvescent Dana Sullivan, a muscle bound phenom of a children's author and illustrator that is as funny as he is adorable. Check out his post for a further understanding of the word adorable and all sorts of other interting insights into his life and work.
As for me--
What Am I Currently Working On?
Well, I just finished the re-write for The Problem With Not Being Scared Of Kids, the follow up to my debut picture book The Problem With Not Being Scared Of Monsters. The text is now in the hands of Robert Neubecker awaiting his illustrating magic. And when I say magic I mean MAGIC. It's hard to describe the feeling as an author when you see your work brought to life by an amazing illustrator who shares your vision. Magic is really the only word to describe it. Check out Robert's other books here to get a feel for his all around talent and artistic greatness:)
I'm also busy polishing a middle grade novel titled Stu Truly And The Great Meat Float Disaster. From the name alone you can tell it is bound to be a literary work of genius with a Pulitzer prize only a short leap of logic away.
Also in the works is the picture book Can One Balloon Make An Elephant Fly slated for a 2015 release from Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I've been plagued since birth with a rather dry sense of humor. This led to all sorts of trouble growing up and continues to plague me as an adult. Some find me adorably witty. Others just find me adorable. A few go out of their way not to find me at all. After years of soul searching (just yesterday as a matter of fact) I realized I have to be true to myself. This explains the plate of cookies I leave under my bed each night in case a hungry monster happens by. BTW - the cookies are always gone in the morning. And my dog has never been happier. Apparently we share a common passion for monsters.
Why do I write what I write?
Tapping my imagination is like reaching into a magic box full of surprises. I never know what I'm going to find. Every story I pull out seems at once both known and completely unexpected. I love it!
How does my individual writing process work?
For starters, ideas come when I'm the least prepared, like while picking up my dog's poop on a walk or holding a bar of soap in the shower. I'm pretty sure my imagination does this on purpose to test me. This requires me to bolt from the shower or throw the bag of poop (sorry neighbors) so I can jot down the idea before it vanishes into the ether. Next, I misplace my scribbled notes for approximately two years. After which time I rediscover them in my sock drawer and think 'Hey that's pretty good, why are they covered in soap?' I then spend the next few minutes/years rewriting. After which I show it to my writer's group. I then sulk while wishing for a kinder writer's group before rewriting the story from scratch. I then show it to my agent, knowing in my heart of hearts it is the worst pile of writing poop ever. My agent kindly reminds me to stop being melodramatic and get a better spell checker. I promise I will. And never do. And that's how my art is born.
Next up on the blog tour:
My longtime friend Lois Brandt is the next leg on the tour. Please visit her author page when you have a chance. Her debut picture book Maddi's Fridge is pretty much amazing and due out in September. Maddi's Fridge is a wonderful story about friendship and childhood hunger that entertains, endears and informs. And all in just 32 pages. Check out what she has to say.