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Here are some questions I get when I tell others I am writing picture books. 

  • What do you write?
    My passion is picture books. I find joy in writing a variety of picture books. I write many different topics and age levels within the picture book genre. Some of my books are to snuggle up and read with young ones. I have a few books that relate directly to educational standards and can be used to help introduce a new concept. I have a STEM themed fiction adventure. I have a mindfulness story. I have holiday themed stories and stories about tough emotions. I have stories that make kids laugh out loud. I have ideas for nonfiction stories. I am willing to try a new concepts and structures to see how it could work as a picture book. While picture books is my focus right now, I am interested in exploring writing early readers or chapter books one day.
  • How long have you been writing picture books?
    The first story I wrote was when I was student teaching (15 years ago) to model a literary device for my students. I used that story for years in my classroom. I wrote stories here and there for my students when I needed a story to teach a concept. After I had my own children, I started writing stories for them. I started taking my writing seriously in 2018 and sought to improve my craft. I have attended a few writing conferences, joined the Twitter writing community, and have regular critique group meetings.
  • How have you learned to write picture books?
    First, I have learned what makes a good picture book from constantly reading them to my students and my children and evaluating how they responded. Then, I read books about writing picture books and started attending conferences. The game changer was attending the conference Writers and Illustrators for Young Readers. It was a full week of writing classes and workshops. I was in a picture book intensive class with Kristyn Crow. Now, I soak up podcasts and YouTube videos about writing, query letters, getting agented and published. Joining writing communities has made a huge difference. I can watch webinars and take classes from pros through Julie Hedlund' s 12x 12 picture book challenge and Storyteller Academy. Occasionally, I attend a conference. I consistently meet with my critique group. My critique partners over the years have meant so much as they have cheered me.
  • Have you tried to get an agent yet?
    Yes, I have been working on finding an agent on and off for a few years. So yes, that means I have received plenty of rejection letters. A couple of them have been bittersweet. One top-notch agent said she adored one of my stories, but wasn't "moved enough" by the other stories to sign me. After that letter, I paused querying for a long time. I decided I needed to learn how to add more heart to my writing. I am finally jumping back into the query trenches the fall of 2023.
  • Do you illustrate your books?
    I do not illustrate, at least not well enough to create quality art that is a good match for my stories. I dabble in art, but in my attempts to learn to illustrate I realized it doesn't bring me nearly as much joy as writing the stories. I am focusing on my writing for now. However, I am a member of Storyteller Academy. They have wonderful classes on illustration. I hear the classes calling my name. So one day, I will venture over to see what I can do. I do hope to illustrate at least one of my books.
  • Have you considered self-publishing?
    I have thought about it, but it just doesn't feel like the right fit for me. I have a friend that is doing well with her self-published books. However, "my gut" says go the traditional route, get an agent, and seek a publisher.
  • How many licks did it take you to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?
    It took me 818 licks to reach the center of the Tootsie Pop.
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