Mining for Heart: “The Heart of Humor” by Michael Sussman

If you saw last week’s Perfect Picture Book Friday post on DUCKWORTH THE DIFFICULT CHILD, you might be curious as to how Michael Sussman comes up with his ideas. Well….here he is to share his process of “mining” for the heart of humor. Thanks, Michael! The Heart of Humor Is anything more delightful than the … More Mining for Heart: “The Heart of Humor” by Michael Sussman

Behind the Scenes: “Writing a picture book biography – Stop or Go?” by Anne Renaud

Today we go Behind the Scenes with author Anne Renaud as she explores the writer’s all important decision of whether to go ahead with a picture book biography or not. Heading down the rabbit hole of research involves a lot of time and effort. I love historical figures that have been lurking in the shadows, … More Behind the Scenes: “Writing a picture book biography – Stop or Go?” by Anne Renaud

Behind the Scenes: “Craft Nuggets and Heartbeats” by Kim Tomsic

Take a peek “Behind the Scenes” as Kim Tomsic shares some of the learning from her writing journey, including some great resources. Thanks, Kim! “What’s your story about?” In my early writing days, I’d answer this question with, “…and this happens, and that happens, and so on.” I thought layering on multiple exciting events was … More Behind the Scenes: “Craft Nuggets and Heartbeats” by Kim Tomsic

Behind the Scenes: “Mood, Tone, Theme & Story Weaving” By Sophia Gholz

Today Sophia Gholz, author of THE BOY WHO GREW A FOREST, gives us a look “behind the scenes” at a few of the finer threads in the fabric of story. Mood, tone, and theme, done well, work seamlessly to ground a story and let the characters and plot shine.  Mood, Tone, Theme & Story Weaving … More Behind the Scenes: “Mood, Tone, Theme & Story Weaving” By Sophia Gholz

Behind the Scenes: “Parallel Paths” by Caroline Starr Rose

When a historical fiction or narrative nonfiction story features two characters, such as An Inconvenient Alphabet, the task of researching becomes more complex. But when your two characters are going around the world in opposite directions, the challenge of connecting them is even more difficult. Here, Caroline Starr Rose shares her research and organization process for … More Behind the Scenes: “Parallel Paths” by Caroline Starr Rose

Mining for Heart: “Start with the Heart!” by Cathy Ballou Mealey

Thank you, Cathy Ballou Mealey, for sharing your process in writing WHEN A TREE GROWS. Besides the quest for heart, Cathy gives us a peek into how she worked out the unique structure for her concept.  As I began writing WHEN A TREE GROWS, I envisioned a series of calamitous, connected events that would be … More Mining for Heart: “Start with the Heart!” by Cathy Ballou Mealey

Mining for Heart: “The Battle Within” by Elizabeth Brown

Elizabeth Brown found the heart of her story by examining how her character overcame obstacles. What pulled her through? How did that perseverance manifest itself? Then, how could the author thread that through her story for children? Today we dig deep into DANCING THROUGH FIELDS OF COLOR: THE STORY OF HELEN FRANKENTHALER by Elizabeth Brown, illustrated … More Mining for Heart: “The Battle Within” by Elizabeth Brown

Behind the Scenes: Jo Ann Allen Boyce, Debbie Levy, and This Promise of Change

What an honor to have a “Behind the Scenes” guest post from Jo Ann Allen Boyce, and Debbie Levy on how they teamed up to create THIS PROMISE OF CHANGE: ONE GIRL’S STORY IN THE FIGHT FOR SCHOOL EQUALITY (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2019)! Jo Ann Allen Boyce, a retired pediatric nurse and sometime jazz singer, lives in … More Behind the Scenes: Jo Ann Allen Boyce, Debbie Levy, and This Promise of Change

Behind the Scenes: “Knowing the Why, Finding the How”

Got the luck o’the Irish this month with an extra guest post! In anticipation of her debut picture book bursting into the world on March 19, Elizabeth Brown shares a bit of the story behind the book: DANCING THROUGH FIELDS OF COLOR: THE STORY OF HELEN FRANKENTHALER by Elizabeth Brown, illustrated by Aimee Sicuro (Abrams … More Behind the Scenes: “Knowing the Why, Finding the How”

Mining for Heart: “Knowing When to Stop” by Mara Rockliff

I am such a fan of Mara Rockliff’s books: MESMERIZED, GINGERBREAD FOR LIBERTY, AROUND AMERICA TO WIN THE VOTE, and soooo many more! Plus a few brand new ones! Thank you, Mara for sharing your process of “mining for heart.” Where should a story end? If your story—like many of mine—is a biography, the answer might … More Mining for Heart: “Knowing When to Stop” by Mara Rockliff