If you're looking for funny, smart middle grade books and lots of entertaining animal facts, you need to check out Jess Keating's "My Life Is A Zoo" series. I met Jess through Torkidlit and Nerd Camp. The third book in her series, HOW TO OUTFOX YOUR FRIENDS WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE, comes out from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on October 6th.
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 Illustrators, Writer'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
Happy National Punctuation Day! Be kind to a comma today, and beware of misplaced apostrophe's.
Just finished AWKWARD, an absolutely wonderful middle grade graphic novel by Svetlana Chmakova (Yen Press/Hachette, 2015). Omigosh, this needs to be in every school library. Why? Because it Svetlana does SUCH a great job at capturing the awkwardness of middle school personal interactions, especially for the insecure and shy. I wish this book had been around when I was that age, because it would have inspired me to take more risks, to not be so afraid of making mistakes when it came to social situations.
One of my favourite Neil Gaiman quotes: "Just write. Many writers have a vague hope that elves will come in the night and finish any stories for you for you. They won’t." You can see the original video in which he offers advice for young writers:
Just finished THE KIDNEY HYPOTHETICAL: OR HOW TO RUIN YOUR LIFE IN SEVEN DAYS by Lisa Yee (Arthur Levine Books, Mar/2015). I've been a fan of Lisa's since MILLICENT MIN, and I thoroughly enjoyed her new YA. What I love about all of Lisa's books, including this one: the wry sense of humor, flawed and appealing characters, how the relationships develop throughout the story. And who could NOT love a character named Higgs Boson Bing? :-)
Every journey to publication is different. Don't compare yourself to others. Find your OWN path, at your own pace.
You can find links to ALL my free, print-ready bonus goodies at Debbie's Print-Ready Archive.
Anyone who thinks that picture books are easy to write because they're short needs to read this advice from my Simon & Schuster editor, Justin Chanda.
Did you know that Madeleine L'Engle almost gave up writing when she turned 40 after getting yet another rejection notice? "With all the hours I spent writing, I was still not pulling my own weight financially." She discovered, however, that her subconscious wouldn't let her NOT write.
"I had to write. I had no choice in the matter. It was not up to me to say I would stop because I could not. It didn't matter how small or inadequate my talent. If I never had another book published, and it was very clear to me that this was a real possibility, I still had to go on writing." (Source)
Yay, my copy of LADY PANCAKE & SIR FRENCH TOAST by Josh Funk and Brendan Kearney (Sterling) just arrived! Such a delicious read, plus I love the surprise fold-out ending. This would make a great readaloud, with lots of potential discussion with young readers about the fun art details, food and friendship.
If you haven't already, do read my Three Questions interview with Josh Funk.
You can also find out more about the book (plus there's a free activity kit) on Josh's book page.
I've added some free print-ready templates for creating finger puppets related to I'M BORED and WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? You can preview the I'm Bored puppets here and download here. You can get the Where Are My Books? puppets here: Spencer & Mom preview/download, Sis and Dad preview/download and Squirrel/Narwhal/Book preview/download. For all my free, print-ready material, see my Print-Ready Archives.
According to a Time interview with Kathryn Stockett, The Help was rejected 60 times by agents before being picked up by Susan Ramer at Don Congdon.
The book was Kathryn's debut as a novelist and took her five years to complete. Since it came out in 2009, The Help has been published in 35 countries and three languages.