Behind the Scenes: “Building Franz’s Phantasmagorical Machine”

This post is another in my author’s journey. Though my initial attraction to Franz Gsellmann’s story came from the child within, and the writing brought more layers of connection, as I reflect back on it now, I’ve found something deeper.  To celebrate the release of FRANZ’S PHANTASMAGORICAL MACHINE, we’ve got a GIVEAWAY! Just leave a … More Behind the Scenes: “Building Franz’s Phantasmagorical Machine”

Cover Reveal! Franz’s Phantasmagorical Machine

I was a kid blessed with a father who had a workshop—a section of the basement with work benches, tools, hardware, and LOTS of scraps! I could go down there to create, experiment, and “invent” (crude versions of things that had already been invented). I distinctly remember a stirring device I built with a crank … More Cover Reveal! Franz’s Phantasmagorical Machine

Cover Reveal! “Smelly” Kelly and His Super Senses

You’ll have to wait until October 13 for the book, but since today is a special day—my dad’s 93rd birthday—it seems a perfect day to share the cover of “SMELLY” KELLY AND HIS SUPER SENSES: HOW JAMES KELLY’S NOSE SAVED THE NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY. Though my father doesn’t have an extraordinary nose, he’s a … More Cover Reveal! “Smelly” Kelly and His Super Senses

Behind the Scenes: “Being the 1st Is Not Enough”

Being the 1st is not enough.” I’ve heard these words from editors who probably receive way too many picture book manuscripts about someone who did something first. Authors scramble to uncover inventions and accomplishments, discoveries and honors, breakthroughs and court victories. Being first is commendable and implies individual greatness, but it’s not always interesting, engaging, … More Behind the Scenes: “Being the 1st Is Not Enough”

Behind the Scenes: Happy Birthday, Ben Franklin! You’re Quite a Character!

Have you heard complaints about the deterioration of the language? How kids don’t learn cursive anymore? How texting is ruinous? Well, it’s nothing new! Today, in honor of Ben Franklin’s 313th birthday, I’d like to invoke a birthday Festivus and air his grievances. Ben Franklin is a historical rock star with his endless curiosity, sharp wit, … More Behind the Scenes: Happy Birthday, Ben Franklin! You’re Quite a Character!

Behind the Scenes: Out-Takes from An Inconvenient Alphabet

This is the second in a new series I hope to grow – about what goes on “behind the scenes” in writing for children.  If you put together all the writing that’s done for a picture book, it would be enough for a novel. All the revisions. All the cuts. Ideas tried and dumped. Information … More Behind the Scenes: Out-Takes from An Inconvenient Alphabet