My description or text might spark an idea for Ginger, or she might send a picture that gave me an idea for a line in the book. TBD: How did you determine how much text and how much picture would be on every page?
RE: We have a pretty good sample size of kids in the year old age range, so for early drafts we just thought about what they would understand. TBD: We hate to ask you this, but what advice do you have for picture book writers?
- Presentation of the problem of racial and gender equality in Maya Angelous poetry.
- Romance by the Book!
- Harry and the Dinosaurs: First Sleepover?
- Biarritz France Holiday (The Illustrated Diaries of Llewelyn Pritchard MA Book 2).
RE: Young children read books differently than adults do. Adults form a mental picture of the action as they read the words. Kids mostly look at the pictures while someone reads the words aloud to them, so the picture has to tell part of the story. Ginger and I learned this the hard way. She lives in Miami, Florida, with Rudy and his now two!
Ginger Seehafer is an illustrator who works as a commercial storyboard and concept artist in the Chicagoland area. Ginger loves making art that inspires joy and creativity, especially in children who may become future artists themselves. She lives with her husband, two little humans, and two cats in Roselle, Illinois. He likes lunchmeat, cheese, long naps, and medium-length walks. Join our newsletter to receive more interviews and tips on how to get published. And when we found out his debut picture book was going to be dropping, we had a wonderful wave of serious goofiness come over us.
I got a tweet from a friendly bookseller at PSB who said she found my book, so I immediately rushed to Cambridge. The first thing I noticed was the amazing design. I knew it was going to have an embossed cover with foil, but it was really stunning. The book creaked a little when I opened it. I had seen a digital copy, but the clarity of the images on the pages was overwhelming compared to seeing it on the screen.
And I think it smelled a little bit like maple syrup. And then I jumped around giddily for about ten minutes before the booksellers asked me to leave out of fear I was scaring away all of their customers. But the real reason is that I always read a lot of books to my kids. But I also noticed that the kidlit community is so warm and welcoming and just plain fun.
I quit my fantasy football leagues and started taking writing more seriously. JF: In the May of , I gave up on trying to acquire a literary agent. I was getting almost no responses to my queries.
Out of 35 queries for Lady Pancake , 1 agent responded with a rejection implying she read it or at least read the title. The other 34 were made up of 10 form rejections and 24 black holes. I felt I was better than that, so I submitted Lady Pancake to 10 publishers via snail mail. The Scholastic editor was looking for material suited for ages , and the only manuscript I had written for that age group was Pirasaurs!
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And then as late summer rolled around, I finished revising another manuscript Dear Dragon and decided to send it out to publishers that accepted submissions via email and online form. By early November, Scholastic told me they were taking Pirasaurs! All of that, plus a personal recommendation from a friend helped me obtain representation with an awesome agent. JF: Oh, boy. I have thought about this a LOT. Many rhyming picture books get published every year. So why do people say not to write in rhyme? Why is there this stigma?
Everyone grew up reading and loving Dr. Therefore, many people think that picture books are supposed to rhyme. This includes me. Not everyone is cut out to write rhyming picture books. I personally believe that a good rhyming picture book has an added level of charm. And I completely understand and agree with that policy. Second, I bypassed agents. But an editor is more concerned with a single manuscript. And at least in this case, I was correct.
JF: I love getting to meet fun people. Like other awesome authors I admire. And super cool teachers and librarians like those in the Nerdy Book Club. I also get to travel a little more than I used to. I guess a Misery -type situation would be horrifying. TBD: We are big lovers of pancakes and French toast around here.
I, myself, leaned toward the pancake. Olive, our eight-year-old, often leans toward the French toast. I think you can divide all of humanity into these two categories. How did you come up with this fantastic idea for a book? JF: One Saturday morning, I asked my kids what they wanted for breakfast. While the arguing continued, I checked the kitchen, and as you might have expected, all we had were waffles. To top it off literally and figuratively , we had enough maple syrup left to fill a single square on a waffle grid.
JF: Zaneta Jung my editor at Sterling is terrific. We had one phone conversation discussing her revision notes, went back and forth for a week over email finalizing the manuscript, and that was pretty much it. She has a great eye for picking out illustrators, too. She definitely had a hand in finding Brendan Kearney. Rumor has it that the publishers like it this way. Author talks to editor editor talks to art director art director talks to illustrator.
This way, the publisher maintains complete control of the message good or bad. My agent, Kathleen Rushall, is a rock star!
MBR: Children's Bookwatch, February
I was extremely fortunate to sign with her while she was actively building her picture book list. We, her clients, affectionately refer to ourselves at TeamKrush. We even have a logo designed by author Jessie Devine for PitchWars. Conferences avail the opportunity to connect with agents and editors for critiques or casual conversations networking is so important. SCBWI kickstarted everything for my writing life.
Related Dana The Dancing Dinosaur - A Funny Rhyming Childrens Picture Book (A Funny Rhyming Story 3)
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