Behind the Scenes: “Using Placeholder Words and Stanzas until the Lightbulb Moment” by Debra Shumaker

I absolutely loved Debra Shumaker’s book, FREAKY, FUNKY FISH, so when I learned of her new one, PECULIAR PRIMATES, I invited Debra back in hopes she might share something about it. Her topic in this post is valuable not only for authors, but educators, too! I get stalled way too easily and frequently on imperfect … More Behind the Scenes: “Using Placeholder Words and Stanzas until the Lightbulb Moment” by Debra Shumaker

Behind the Scenes: “Composition 101” by Julie Rowan-Zoch

I’ve been in a local critique group with Julie Rowan-Zoch for nine years (Oh wow, has it been that long!) and have had the good fortune to learn a lot of from her. It’s always fascinating to see another creator’s process, especially illustration, since it’s foreign to me.  Here’s a great post from Julie sharing … More Behind the Scenes: “Composition 101” by Julie Rowan-Zoch

Mining for Heart: “Setting as a Window into Character”

Writing CLOAKED IN COURAGE: UNCOVERING DEBORAH SAMPSON, PATRIOT SOLDIER was a challenge in many ways, just one being that the misinformation about her made it difficult to find HER, the person in history. Why did she do what she did? and What made her who she was? As always, setting was key. And books of … More Mining for Heart: “Setting as a Window into Character”

Mining for Heart: “The Heart Can Surprise You” by Jeanette Bradley

So many of us have manuscripts in a “drawer”—waiting for a block to clear or a better ending or a new take. I love hearing about the rare occasions when the lightning strikes and the manuscript emerges from doom with a revelation that transforms it. Here Jeanette Bradley shares how a manuscript became more than … More Mining for Heart: “The Heart Can Surprise You” by Jeanette Bradley

Behind the Scenes: “Writing a Picture Book Sequel” by Isabella Kung

Every once in a while, kid lit creators get a chance to create a sequel to a picture book they’ve done and let their beloved characters live on. Yay! But there are a few important things to consider. Isabella Kung takes us through her process of creating a sequel to NO FUZZBALL!—her latest release, NO … More Behind the Scenes: “Writing a Picture Book Sequel” by Isabella Kung

Behind the Scenes: “Find the Spark that Ignites Your Story” by Kristen Nordstrom

Though we often hear the phrase, “write what you know,” a good many of us are drawn to topics and ideas that we don’t know about, by a natural urge to know more. And kids are, too! I can totally identify with author Kristen Nordstrom’s experience. In this post, Kristen shares how she turned a … More Behind the Scenes: “Find the Spark that Ignites Your Story” by Kristen Nordstrom

Mining for Heart: “Highlighting the Essential in Biographies” by Donna Cangelosi

After a short lull in posts, we’re back digging into the “heart” of a story. I’m guessing most all of you are familiar with Mister Rogers and know that he made music a part of his show. Here Donna Cangelosi examines music as her focus in writing a bio on Fred Rogers.  GIVEAWAY! For a … More Mining for Heart: “Highlighting the Essential in Biographies” by Donna Cangelosi

Behind the Scenes: “A Perfect Symphony, Mining for Gold in The Greatest Song of All” by Megan Hoyt

I can totally identify with the problem of finding so much goodness in a story that it becomes overwhelming! Megan Hoyt shares how she pulled multiple threads into one in THE GREATEST SONG OF ALL: HOW ISAAC STERN UNITED THE WORLD TO SAVE CARNEGIE HALL (releases 7/5/22). Megan is offering a GIVEAWAY of a picture … More Behind the Scenes: “A Perfect Symphony, Mining for Gold in The Greatest Song of All” by Megan Hoyt

Especially for Educators: “Climb Aboard the Yellow Submarine: A Study in Research and Activism” by Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw

Here’s a great story of the birth of MIGHTY MAHI from Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw, a story that sprang from project-based learning with excited and engaged  students. Authors will enjoy learning about the genesis of the book, and educators will surely find inspiration for their own classrooms. While Suzanne wrote the book as a result of … More Especially for Educators: “Climb Aboard the Yellow Submarine: A Study in Research and Activism” by Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw

Behind the Scenes: “Marketing Your Book” by Rochelle Melander

One aspect of publishing many struggle with is marketing and promotion. It’s hard to know how to put you and your beautiful new book out there. Here, Rochelle Melander shares some tips and strategies to get you focused, build a team, and launch your book into the world. GIVEAWAY! Rochelle is offering a 30-minute consult … More Behind the Scenes: “Marketing Your Book” by Rochelle Melander