[ UPDATE: I've started posting about the process of working with Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers. ]
I have been dying to share this ever since I first received the offer but now that the contracts are all negotiated and signed, it's OFFICIAL:
I am (so very very) pleased to announce that I just signed TWO (!) book contracts with Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers.
One contract is to illustrate a picture book.
The other contract is to WRITE and illustrate a picture book.
To say I am excited would be a vast understatement.
Even now, I am fighting the urge to insert exclamation marks at the end of every sentence.
The good people at S&S are looking for a picture book story for me to illustrate right now (yes, RIGHT NOW). Michael Ian Black's I'M BORED was such a perfect fit for me, and I had SO much fun working on it - I can't wait to see what my next illustration project will be.
As for the picture book that I write AND illustrate: I'm very much looking forward to working again with Justin Chanda, my editor on this project. I've already sent him some ideas, and he'll be helping me choose and work on the story that ends up getting published. MY VERY FIRST OWN PICTURE BOOK!!!! Oops, accidentally let some extra exclamation marks escape there. Sorry, can't help it.
THANK YOU, JUSTIN AND GINGER!
Ginger Knowlton is my goddess of an agent at Curtis Brown Ltd.
Justin Chanda is the publisher of three flagship imprints at Simon & Schuster: Atheneum, Margaret K. McElderry Books and Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers. He is crazy-enthusiastic about children's and YA books.
He was also one of the illustration portfolio showcase panel judges at the SCBWI Summer Conference in 2010 (thank you thank you, SCBWI!), where he offered me a book contract to illustrate Michael Ian Black's I'M BORED (I later asked Justin about why he picked me, and here's what he said).
I've already learned so much from Justin about the craft and business of creating children's books, and I look forward to learning more.
So much more I want to say, but it'll have to wait.
But for now, just this: