Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Surprise in the Mail!

Look what I got in the mail today:

What is that, you ask?
I asked myself the same question.
And then I remembered.
It's that book! The one about revising. The one that has a whole chapter devoted to how I revised the first chapter of Julia's Kitchen.
I'm not kidding when I say I had forgotten all about this book. I think it was four years ago when I gave Sandy Asher some drafts of my first chapter and answered her questions about the revision process.
A lot has happened since then.

I was a little scared to read the chapter about me. I wondered if I'd said anything embarrassing. It turns out I did, but it was just one thing. One teeny tiny thing. One thing I plan to forget all about. Obviously, I'm good at forgetting.

Writing it Right is an excellent book, one that should not be forgotten at all! It shows how 20 children's book authors (of picture books, short stories, and novels) tackle revision. There are examples of early drafts, middle drafts, and published versions, so you can see the progress the author made. Sandy Asher offers up wonderful commentary on what is missing in the earlier drafts and how the author fixed things in the later drafts. She frames it all in terms of nine essential questions writers should be asking as they revise. There are also interviews with the authors, a few editors, a manuscript consultant, and an agent. Lots of wisdom to share.

I really believe this would be an excellent book for anyone interested in learning more about revision. But don't take my word for it. Look at what all these experts are saying! You can purchase the book at the Writer's Bookstore.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ever Wonder How Much Money You'll Make as a Picture Book Author?

Planning to retire?
Think selling that book will be the answer to your money woes?
Think again.
Author Barbara Kanninen polled over 100 authors (first time, veteran, agented, and unagented) about their advances and contracts for picture books they sold, and the results are here.

The truth is, I've never met a children's book author who is in this business for the money. We like making money, but we are compelled to write stories.

Bottom line... keep on writing, but make sure you have another source of income!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Another Jemma Hartman Lookalike!

Introducing Eva...

What a cutie! She even has a flower barrette, just like Jemma. Eva is the latest winner in the Jemma Hartman Lookalike Contest, so I'll be sending her a free, autographed copy of my book. If you know someone who looks like Jemma, send me a photo, and they can win, too!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

One Kid Home, Two to Go

Sammy is home from summer camp! All three of my kids go to different camps. Why? Because all three are different kids with different likes and needs. Sammy goes to a theater camp called Harand. He loves it! One of the things that sets Harand apart is their philosophy about sharing starring roles. Everyone who wants to be a star gets a chance to shine. So for example, if they were putting on The Wizard of Oz, there might be 5 Dorothys, 3 Scarecrows, etc. The kids take turns being a star and being in the chorus. This way they learn the importance of both parts.

There are a couple of great things about being a boy at theater camp. First of all... there are plenty of girls! There are probably 3 or 4 girls for every 1 boy. But second of all... you get to have some pretty choice parts. This summer, Sammy got to have starring roles in two plays! He was Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls. And he played Harvey Johnson and Conrad Birdie in Bye Bye Birdie. Here are a few highlights from his performances:

Pretty impressive considering he learned both plays in about 2 1/2 weeks!

Since Sammy's been home, we've seen the Harry Potter movie (disappointing) and we've gone to the Museum of Science and Industry to see the Harry Potter exhibit (terrific, yet strange we didn't see any mention of JK Rowling or the books!) Now if I could only get him to unpack!