But, I have been asked by friend and fellow author, Rosanne Kurstedt, to participate in a Children's Author Blog Hop and I thought it would be a perfect way to fill you all in to what I have been busy doing.
First, I want to thank Rosanne for bringing me along for the Hop. Rosanne and I met at a New Jersey SCBWI event last November and have become friends. I have had the honor of reading some of her writing and it is always a joy. Rosanne also has her PhD in Education and is an Adjunct Professor, Fordham University, co-author of Teaching Writing with Picture Books as Models (Scholastic, 2000) and former upper elementary school teacher. Quite a cool lady. You can read her Blog Hop post at http://rlkurstedt.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/childrens-author-blog-hop-2/.
For this Blog Hop participating authors answer four identical questions and then invite three more kidlit authors to join in the “Hop.”
And now...my responses....
What are you working on right now?
Well, I recently went out on submission for the first time! I know, right? Super cool! Shout out to my amazing agent, Susan Hawk of The Bent Agency. So...my job right now is to not think about the fact that I am out of submission. Not sure I am succeeding. But I try.
I am working on revising a few other manuscripts and gearing up to mine for more ideas during PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) in November. If you have never participated, you will want to this year! Check it out at www.taralazar.com/piboidmo.
How does it differ from other works in the genre?
My stories are usually pretty quirky...yet on the sweet side. One of my WIPs (works-in-progress), however, is quietly sweet. No jokes, really. So, I am not sure it is very different from other works in the genre, but it feels good to branch out and try something new for myself. It is also based loosely on a true event that happened in my neighborhood in Brooklyn. So that is new for me, as well.
Why do you write what you do?
I have always been drawn to picture books. In fact, even when I taught High School English, I created an elective class on Children's Literature in which we studied the themes and issues in picture books.
I also love that picture books are little packages. I don't have commitment issues, but they seem more accessible to me than sitting down to write a 75,000 word novel.
AND, I love being incredibly silly and acting like I am 5 years old. So, why not be 5 and get paid for it!?
What is the hardest part about writing?
Taking my incredibly active and silly imagination and making it translate on to paper. In words. Sometimes I have such amazing ideas, but the words fail me.
Its important to have patience. Let the idea simmer and sautee for a bit. Play with some words. Jot down ideas. Don't force them. Trust your personal process. That's when the magic happens.
Alright! Now I get to introduce you to three very special ladies who I am tagging on this Blog Hop!
Joanna Marple has been telling stories ever since she learnt to speak - long and short stories, true and not-so-true stories, stories to entertain friends and children. Now she is busy writing these stories into books - picture books and YA, almost always with a strong element of adventure and multicultural locations and characters. She is now living on her third continent, studying for an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook University, New York. Follow Joanna's blog, Miss Marple's Musings at www.joannamarple.com and on twitter @joannamarple.
Jen Hill is the illustrator of THE BOY WITH PINK HAIR by Perez Hilton, and the author and PERCY AND TUMTUM: A TALE OF TWO DOGS.
Jen's award-winning career as an animator, illustrator, and writer of children's books undoubtedly informs her jovial fine art paintings. In her gouache compositions, Jen uses folkloric characters to drive playful narratives rife with mischief, humor and mystery. Her work is a pictorial encapsulation of the creepy charm that ghost stories, tall tales, folklore, and fairy tales make us nostalgic for.
Jen is also an animator. Her children’s television credits include Time Warp Trio (Discovery Kids Channel), Home Movies (Cartoon Network), and Sesame Street.
Jen is a graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design, where she studied children's book illustration with David Macaulay and Judy Sue Goodwin-Sturges. She lives in Brooklyn, NY. Visit her at www.jenhillstudio.com.
Amber Alvarez is a Hawaiian-girl gone Brooklyn. A graduate of New York's Pratt Institute, she has had the good fortune to slip behind the wizard's curtain and give life to heart-warming characters everywhere from Scholastic Entertainment to Sesame Workshop. A passion for K-3 education lead her to a development position at BrainPOP Jr. There she helped create award winning animated content currently seen in classrooms across the world. She now lends her creativity to the role of senior games designer at BrainPOP's GameUp. Amber is currently channeling more than a decade of experience in award winning children's content into the dream role of picture book author/illustrator. Find her on twitter @SheSureis.
Alright, these ladies are super fabulous! Follow their blogs and to see their answers! Blog Hop away!