Three Questions For Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

Welcome to Inkygirl: Reading, Writing and Illustrating Children's Books (archive list here) which includes my Creating Picture Books series, Advice For Young Writers and IllustratorsWriter's and Illustrator's Guide To Twitter, interviews, my poetry for young readers, #BookADay, writing/publishing industry surveys, and 250, 500, 1000 Words/Day Writing Challenge. Also see my Inkygirl archives,  and comics for writers (including Keiko and Will Write For Chocolate). Also check out my Print-Ready Archives for Teachers, Librarians, Booksellers and Young Readers.

I tweet about the craft and business of writing and illustrating at @inkyelbows. If you're interested in my art or other projects, please do visit DebbieOhi.com. Thanks for visiting! -- Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Thursday
Nov052015

Comic inspired by a tweet by Arthur Slade today

Thanks to Arthur Slade for his permission to turn his tweet into a comic. :-)

Thursday
Nov052015

Short on writing time or falling behind in NaNoWriMo? Try this more flexible challenge.

Too often, I find that writers start motivational challenges like NaNoWrimo with enthusiasm and good intentions, but give up when they start missing their daily targets for more than a few days in a row...undermining their confidence and defeating the purpose of the original challenge.

If you need a motivational writing challenge with some flexibility, try checking out my 250, 500 or 1000 words/day challenge. I'm doing NaNoWriMo right now as a way of helping kickstart my middle grade novel....but I'm already falling a wee bit behind the "1666 wds/day" goal.

If I do end up having to bail out of NaNo, I'm vowing NOT going to get discouraged but am going to keep going, but try a lower wordcount instead.

To those of you with lots of writing time and don't need these challenges: I envy you! :-) These days for me, paying work has taken priority and my non-contracted projects keep being pushed to the back burner. I find that wordcount challenges can help motivate me to get into the habit of putting in at least a little bit of time EVERY DAY on my novel-writing. 

Some of you may snicker at my measley wordcount goals but for me, even 250 words a day is better than nothing at all. 

 

Wednesday
Nov042015

Writers & illus: How you live your life affects your work, so make sure you have one. A life, that is.

Wednesday
Nov042015

Free Picture Book Thumbnail Templates for Writers and Illustrators

With some sketches for picture book NAKED! (Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, author Michael Ian Black)

When I was asked to illustrate my first picture book (I'm Bored) and I started researching picture book formats, I was confused. I knew a standard picture book had 32 pages, for example, but I discovered that these 32 pages might also include the title page and other non-story pages. Plus some books had the story beginning on the right-hand page while others started on the left. 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov022015

Advice For Young Writers, Traveling Office Space and BRAZEN: Christina Farley Answers Three Questions

CHRISTINA FARLEY is the author of the Gilded series, a YA contemporary fantasy series set in Korea. GILDED was nominated for Korea’s 2014 Morning Calm, Ohio’s 2015 Buckeye award, and the Tome’s It List. As a child, she loved to explore, which later inspired her to jump on a plane and travel the world. To learn more about this series, visit the Gilded Series website.

Christy is also one of my awesome writing critique partners, and I continue to be grateful for her advice, encouragement and friendship over the years.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov022015

Comic: Productivity Tip For Writers, Sort Of

Sunday
Nov012015

Comic: Daylight Saving Time writer

 

Hope you all changed your clocks last night!

Sunday
Nov012015

Tip: Write first, edit LATER.

This is something I've been struggling with for years. My tendency is to try editing as I write and while this works for some writers, I know, I find that it bogs me down to a snail's pace.

What I'm trying for my new middle grade novel: to do a lot of in-depth prep and thinking about the structure ahead of time, hammer out a VERY rough first draft, and THEN revise.

Saturday
Oct312015

A comic for others starting NaNoWriMo tomorrow

Good luck, everyone! I'm "inkygirl" on the NaNoWriMo website, but I'm not sure how far I'm going to get in my novel since I'll be away for part of the month and also have a book deadline. :-\

BUT I just found out that you no longer have to start from scratch to participate in NaNoWriMo. You can also be working on outlines and other types of writing.

Friday
Oct302015

Comic: A NaNoWriMo Halloween

Don't forget to check out my friend Errol Elumir's daily NaNoToons during November!

Thursday
Oct292015

Comic: Death and the Writer

Thursday
Oct292015

THE NEST by Kenneth Oppel, illustrated by Jon Klassen


I read middle grade novel THE NEST (written by Kenneth Oppel and illustrated by Jon Klassen) in one sitting last night. Totally lives up to the hype. I'm a horror fan and this was genuinely scary, with tension and dread gradually building to a nightmare-inducing climax. Yowza.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct272015

LOUD LULA by Katy Duffield and Mike Boldt launches today!

LOUD LULA launches from Two Lions today! Written by Katy Duffield and illustrated by Mike Boldt, LOUD LULA is southern-flavored tall tale about a little girl with a big voice. "...Little ol’ Lula’s big ol’ voice wreaks ten kinds of havoc from the day she’s born, and that doesn’t change one smidgen when Lula starts kindergarten. As you might imagine, Lula’s oversized voice isn’t a great fit for the classroom—or maybe it is…"

See Katy Duffield's answers to my Three Questions.

See Mike Boldt's answers to my Three Questions.

Monday
Oct262015

Halloween Reads: BOO-LA-LA WITCH SPA and THE GHOSTS GO SPOOKING

Looking for some new Halloween books to share with young readers? Here are two recent releases that would make fun read-a-louds:

BOO-LA-LA Witch Spa, written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Isabel Roxas (Penguin Random House):

 and THE GHOSTS GO SPOOKING, written by Chrissy Bozik and illustrated by Patricia Storms (Scholastic Canada):

Friday
Oct232015

New free, print-ready poster: "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend" Groucho Marx quote

With a slightly creepy feel appropriate to Halloween coming up, I've added one of my favorite Grouch Marx quotes about books to For The Love Of Reading as a free print-ready poster.

For all my free, print-ready material, visit Debbie's Print-Ready Archive For Teachers, Librarians, Booksellers and Young Readers.

Thursday
Oct222015

HAPPY #CAPSLOCKDAY, EVERYONE!

More about Caps Lock Day.

More about Picture Book Month.

Wednesday
Oct212015

Three Questions With Mike Boldt: Advice For Young Writers, Storm Troopers, LOUD LULA

Also see Three Questions With Katy Duffield, author of LOUD LULA.

Mike Boldt has been illustrating for kids for the last 16 years. Over that time he's worked on puzzles, video games, comics, and even toy design. He now spends most of his days writing and /or illustrating picture books such as 123 VERSUS ABC, COLORS VERSUS SHAPES, and I DON'T WANT TO BE A FROG. Mike lives just outside Edmonton, Alberta, with his wife and three children.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct202015

Three Questions With Katy Duffield: Advice For Young Writers, Persistence and LOUD LULA

Katy Duffield is the author of twenty books for children including the picture books FARMER MCPEEPERS AND HIS MISSING MILK COWS (illus Steve Gray Rising Moon), LOUD LULA (illus Mike Boldt, Two Lions) and the forthcoming ALIENS GET THE SNIFFLES, TOO (illus K.G. Campbell, Candlewick).

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct182015

Be aware when research & prep becomes a crutch. At some point, you need to jump in & WRITE.

Be aware when research & prep becomes a crutch. At some point, you need to jump in & WRITE.

I love creating found object doodles and post them on Instagram"Found Object Art" gallery on Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr  and in my Found Object Art portfolio.

Sunday
Oct182015

Tips for SCBWI Conference newbies and 2nd-timers plus challenge for many-timers

Registration opens tomorrow for the SCBWI Winter Conference! You can follow the pre-conference excitement virtually via the #NY16SCBWI hashtag on Twitter as well as the SCBWI conference blog. Do read Jennifer Laughran's recent "Ask The Agent" post about SCBWI-NYC.

I'm excited about rooming with my friend Hazel Mitchell again this year. Hazel's also my agency sister! Both of us adore Ginger Knowlton, our agent at Curtis Brown.

Here's my updated SCBWI Conference Advice post for first-timers (as well as a challenge for the many-timers):

Click to read more ...