Monday, November 5, 2012

A defining book review

Because I simply did not have enough on my plate....I lined up an occasional gig reviewing newly released picture books for Daily Candy Kids-and my first review ran today! Woohoo!

They're called "Book Reports."
I don't get a byline or anything fancy like that, (well, maybe a little street cred). Mostly I'm doing it because 1. I love to write, and 2. I think there are so many wonderful picture books coming out now that may go unnoticed, or simply not get the publicity they deserve. Unless they have 'hat', 'cat' or 'llama' in the title these days, I fear the masses won't hear about them. So it's my personal mission (along with Daily Candy), if you will, to discover and reveal the golden eggs being laid by talented authors everywhere.

So, I invite you to read my review of Noah Webster & His Words by Jeri Chase Ferris, illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Teddy has found a home--and my cousin lost hers

So, I know I don't blog too much (trying to get better at blogging more regularaly--it's on my new year's resolutions like everyone else), but I do want to stop and share some good news I just got, that started my week off on a high note, and then some bad news that has made me feel less than great.

Last week my agent and I heard from my editor at Little Golden Books that they want to buy my pet book. Hooray! I'm doing backflips! I'm so so happy I could fly. Not just because I sold a book (by the way, that feeling of an editor saying yes, never EVER gets old) but because this was a manuscript I'd almost written off--literally. Just sort of put it aside and wasn't sure I'd ever revisit it.

When my new office was finished, I made a point to get more organized in my writing life, starting with putting all of my final manuscripts on Dropbox (finished/published/most updated draft). And I started reading them all again. I found that I still really liked this one, and decided to give it more attention. I turned it into a real rescue story, where the family goes to the local rescue to choose a pet. I called it To the Rescue! It's since been changed to "We're Getting a Pet", which I understand, but I will say that I liked my clever title a smidge more. Anyway...I managed to work into the story my own rescued Lab, Teddy, so it is that much sweeter.

This is Teddy. We rescued him last August from the Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue. How cute is he?

While on the high of the book sale, Hurricane Sandy was about to tear up the East Coast. I've learned that my sister and family are safe, but without power. My cousin Kate, however, lost her beachfront house in Rockaway Beach--the house she and her siblings (my other cousins) grew up in, and the house that as a child, I spent a bunch of time in (I grew up in NJ).

From the photos, it looks like the ocean just came in and swallowed up the bottom half of the house. They'd just finished remodeling it, and ironically, were in the process of building a sea wall. Not sure if that wall would have held back the ocean's force, but still. Makes me sick to my stomach. Makes me drop my jaw at the power of mother nature.

This is the view from the beach, looking at the house. This house was 2 stories.

I know they'll rebuild, and Kate is a very strong person, but just wish they could have come out of this unscathed. Thanks for listening.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Full COLOR cover reveal of Robots!

Yes, I know I JUST posted the cover sketch for my Robots book, but I didn't realize the color version of the cover would be done so quickly! I am so excited to share this and know it means good things are coming for the inside spreads as well! I hope you enjoy looking at this as much as I do...

Bob Staake is the artist, and he does so much more than children's books. Check out his website if you get a minute or five...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sneak Peek: Robots book cover sketch

Did I mention already how incredibly LUCKY I am to have Bob Staake--BOB STAAKE!--illustrating my next book? Well, I'm super lucky!

Finding out he was illustrating it was just the icing on top of the 'Really, I'm going to be part of the Little Golden Books family?' sweet cake.

Sometimes I wonder if it is all real. I've been so very fortunate in children's books and I have such a wonderful feeling about this book. So without further ado...

Here is the winning sketch (Bob said he presented 5 or 6 to LGB) for the cover of Robots, Robots Everywhere!, due to publish in August, 2013 from Random House, Little Golden Books.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

It's the burning question on everyone's mind today...How did you get your agent?
Well, maybe not burning, but if you're curious, go to Julie Hedlund's How I got an Agent blog, where I spill all about my agent hunt and eventual win. Happy querying!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tons of Trucks animated trailer is here!

I am feeling so lucky lately. And one reason for that is because my amazing illustrator for Tons of Trucks (pubs July 3) created this totally fun, sweet, book trailer that makes me wish I drove a truck. Betsy, along with her very talented husband--who happens to be an animation specialist--sent it to me and my editor this week. I'm blown away!Please watch it. Honk you like it!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My book trailer for A Dress for Me! Check it out!

I had a date with iMovie a couple of weeks ago. We created something beautiful. Well, at least, I think so. If nothing else, it's super cute!

Please check out my book trailer for A Dress for Me!, (companion book to Shoes for Me!) that comes out March 1, 2012. Hippo is on the hunt for the perfect dress. Perhaps she's going to the Oscars?

Bursting with Book News!

I am sooooooooo thrilled to announce that I've just sold TWO books to Golden Books! I'm over the moon. The titles that will join the Little Golden Books line are:

A Pirate's Life, about a yound landlubber who, while getting a tour of a pirate ship from the captain, earns his sea legs in battle and becomes an official pirate himself!

Robots, Robots, Everywhere!, is a rhyming collection of all the many robots of today - from toys to working robots that help us clean, explore space and sea, farm, and more.

Both are written in short, playful rhyme.

Big thanks to my wonderful agent, Jennifer Unter.

Today has been a fantastic day!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

12x12 Challenge

It's almost a month in, but I'm finally getting the chance to post that I'm participating in the 12x12 challenge started by Julie Hedlund and supported by author Tara Lazar. What's that you ask? Write 12 drafts (not necessarily submittable) in 12 months. Er, no sweat.

I'm so glad I joined because work has been giving me more reasons than ever to ignore my children's writing. I write for my job. I write all. day. long. My world is full of words, and none of them are mine! A Frog and Toad quote comes to mind: "The whole world is covered with buttons, and not one of them is mine!" That's how I feel sometimes.

So I'm thrilled to say I just finished a draft of a picture book that I'm actually super excited about. I may not write 12 stories that become actual submissions, but writing this one reminded me how fun and surprising writing can be when you just let go and write. I kept having those "oh! and then he can do this!" moments throughout--that I didn't see coming. Love that.

Anyway, glad to be writing again, not to mention, it's giving me a reason to keep up with my blog!