Friday, April 26, 2013

The Next Big Thing

A friend of mine, Joy Chu, tagged me in The Next Big Thing, a blog hop in which children's book bloggers answer ten questions about what they are working on. So this post is about me and "The Warthog Smoked." I have tagged my excellent writer friends Sarah Tomp and Melissa Wiley so they will be answering the same ten questions on their blogs in the near future! Here goes...


1. What is the title of your work-in-progress? 
"The Warthog Smoked."
2. Where did the idea come from? 
I've wanted to do an anti-smoking story for a long time.
3. What genre does your book come under? 
It will be a picture book app.
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?  
Justin Bieber as Bo the Warthog and Selena Gomez as the mouse named Bijou. I'm going for box office here!
5. One sentence synopsis for your book? 
While out looking for butterflies, Bo the warthog finds a pack of cigarettes and decides to try smoking.
6. Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
I'm working on "The Warthog Smoked" with my son Alex, a software engineer and we are creating it for Liddery, my new app enterprise. If all goes well, it will be appearing in the App Store this summer.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 
Weeks. The initial writing of a picture book manuscript may just take a day, but the rewriting can be over a period of weeks or months.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 
It is a patterned story so I could compare it to my own book, The Cow Buzzed, illustrated by Paul Meisel, because in that book one farm animal after another catches a cold. In this story, one wild animal after another tries smoking.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book? 
As my own children grew up I saw some of their young friends turn into smokers. I think more can be done to put anti-smoking ideas in the minds of very young children. As a picture book creator, I wanted to do something about that.
10.What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? 
There is almost nothing out there in the way of books for the very young with an anti-smoking theme. It is a big challenge to teach without being didactic and preachy. I'm making the story fun as well as leaving kids thinking that smoking is a lousy idea!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Graphic Novel

I know that a graphic novel isn't a picture book but...the two forms share some things like storytelling and illustration, so it's close enough, since I want to show a blog post by Raina Telgemeier. She explains how she makes her books. I just love seeing that sort of thing! (I really enjoyed her book, Smile.) Check out her process here.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Enlisting Others

We all know that writing can be a lonely business. But it doesn't have to be and it probably shouldn't be. In an article on the Purple Crayon website one writer describes how help from family, critique groups, SCBWI, and editors moved her story along. As she says, "...the author has to try to make the story even better than their first, best try, and being better than your best is almost impossible without help." Read about it here.  More about the book itself, The Dirty Cowboy here. The author's website here.