Saturday, September 1, 2007

Authors and their Books

Wow! I have been getting many e-mails about my blog. Thanks to all.

One author, Likai from China wrote in about his book. He says, "I'm a freelance author in China but writing stories in English. I have just had my story book published by Mill Creek Press in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A. My book is called Shuisheng the Mallard. It tells the adventures of a group of wild ducks flying to the south for the harsh winter. On the way, they met a lot of difficulties and dangers but they managed to arrived at their winter home and had a happy life there."

Laural also wrote to me and said, "My new book, "Catching Forever" is my first middle-grade novel after seven picture books.Catching Forever, Laurel Dee Gugler, James Lorimer & Co. Ltd. (part of the StreetLights series), 2007. This Junior-Grade fictional novel draws on the author's memories of growing up in a rural Mennonite community. The book speaks to universal themes of a need for acceptance and standing up to bullies."

Kevin wrote in and mentioned a book that he is creating with his wife. He says, "Her
name is Kristen Collier.
I am illustrating a children's book for her she has written titled "Joy
the Jellyfish" to be published around Thanksgiving by Dragonfly Publishing." Here is the website:
Anyone else with announcements of their book, please e-mail me.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Famous People Writing Children's Books

What do you think of famous people writing children's books? Madonna wrote The English Roses in September 2003. The book is illustrated by Jeffrey Fulvimari. All of a sudden, a famous singer writes a children's book? Why? She is entitled to produce her creativity as we all do but let's face it, did she receive any guidance or instruction on how to write a picture book? Are there true elements of a picture book in her story? Is it worthy of a Mr. Christie Book award or a Newbery Medal? Read the book and then answer these questions if you please.
Billy Crystal, another famous person, penned a picture book called I Already Know I Love You, illustrated by Elizabeth Sayles. You can find it here:
The famous authors will get automatic recognition when their books hit the shelves. This is their advantage. Thank goodness, the less famous, like myself can at least write this blog and get published and get read right away! (To be continued)

Writer's Block

There's no such thing as writer's block!What is writer's block? I think it's a made up term to prevent writers from writing. Writer's block, I believe is mistaken for "Writer's Break". Every writer needs a break from writing, perhaps "writer's block" is meant to be defined as a writer needing a mental break from the strenuous activity of writing. I only say it could be strenuous if a writer is working hard on a novel or any other intense piece of work and that writing is doing too much but does not realize it until they form a "writer's block". Perhaps it's just the brain, saying, "slow down, give yourself a break!"

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Writing a Picture Book

How do you write a picture book? The first thing you do is to sit down at your computer or find a pen and paper and write, write and write. Get your idea down for the story. Make an outline or scribble what is going to happen in your story. What is it about? What happens? How does it end?
Take another piece of paper or word processor and begin your story in an exciting way. Make certain that first line will grab the reader's attention. Draw the reader pun intended. For example, beginning a story like "The Cat walked across the street." is a bit boring. "Jody was a cat who liked to dance across the street" makes a first line more intriguing. It makes the child or parent reading the story think, "why does this cat dance?" or "where is Jody going" or "what is the cat about to do next?"
The reader wants excitement in the story. If the reader, usually a parent or a teacher is reading the book to children and finds the book exciting then that excitement will be reflected in the adult's reading of the story and in turn excite the children. All will be happy including the publisher!
In Arctic Waters by Laura Crawford published Sylvan Dell Publishing, the story begins "This is the ice that floats in the Arctic waters." This beginning is exciting. The reader is wondering what is going to happen next. The rhythm of the story helps carry the reader through and want to read more as well.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Author of the Month

Beatrix Potter is the author of the month. Have you ever watched "Miss Potter"? I watched it more than five times. It's an all inspiring movie. She passed away in 1943. She seemed to have lived a full life because she expressed her passion through Peter Rabbit and many of her other stories. I love that line in the movie when it says, "There's something delicious about writing your first word, you never know where it will take you..."
Every ounce of that movie tells me this woman had a gift for stories. I think there is a gift in every writer or author who aspires to succeed in children's writing. I know it's hard to break in with your first book but don't give up. If your passion is strong about writing for children, like Beatrix Potters then you can succeed too just like she did. I believe that if we use the writer's gift then we can go accomplish beyond anything we can imagine. We never know what's around the corner.