Friday, August 8, 2014

My Author & Illustrator Friends in Bookstores

One of the most exciting things about getting more involved in the kidlit community is the number of people I know who I count as friends and mentors whose books are sitting on bookstore shelves. Going into a bookstore is a completely different experience now, because the books are truly like friends.

For example, amazing mentors in the Nevada SCBWI mentor program:

Jim Averbeck (his new MG thriller A HITCH AT THE FAIRMONT):

Ellen Hopkins (her YA verse novels CRANK and others. Be sure to check out her Indiegogo campaign to fund the filming of the play, CRANK, to benefit Ventana Sierra, a nonprofit helping youth at risk):

Talented picture book authors and illustrators I've met in person or befriended online:

Brooke Boynton Hughes (illustrator of CUPCAKE COUSINS, by Kate Hannigan), who I met at David Diaz's Lost Weekend last fall:

Lori Nichols (author-illustrator of MAPLE):

Debbie Ridpath Ohi (picture book illustrator, and illustrator of new covers for Judy Blume classics):

Corey Rosen Schwartz (her latest fractured fairy tale, NINJA RED RIDING HOOD, is on the same shelf as WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE):

And others I've interacted with online and learned from:

Cynthea Liu (author of WOOBY & PEEP), who ran a great writing contest last spring, Red Light Green Light:

Drew Daywalt (horror film maker and NY Times bestselling author of THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT), who we interviewed on the website I help run, (in which he reveals that he was raised by a family of anchovies):

Actually, many of these friends have also been featured in interviews (check them out: Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Brooke Boynton Hughes, Lori Nichols, Jim Averbeck).

I imagine that it is such a thrill to see one's books in the stores and hope to experience that thrill myself one day.

What about you? Whose books would you like to be displayed next to?

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

How I Got My Agent: Lori Ann Levy-Holm

Today I am thrilled to feature my friend, Lori Ann Levy-Holm in my How I Got My Agent series. 

I first met Lori Ann through Julie Hedlund's 12x12 picture book writing challenge; we were in a critique group together; and we were in the Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program together as illustration mentees. So I've had the great pleasure of enjoying her hilarious and wonderful company both online and in person. 

Lori Ann writes and illustrates picture book manuscripts. She recently announced that she has signed with Jodell Sadler of Sadler's Children Literary

Here she is to tell us about it.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Daily Doodles: or How Little Doses of Work Add Up

RABBIT prompt © 2014 Sylvia Liu
I know it and you know it. Every successful author or illustrator tells us the same thing: keep your butt in the chair and do a bit of work every day.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Tomie de Paola Award - 2014 Edition

© 2014 Sylvia Liu
I've been busy with end of school activities, family in town, working on client and other projects, and finishing up my entry for the SCBWI Tomie de Paola Illustration Award.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How I Got My Agent: the Multi-talented Teresa Robeson

I've been sitting on really exciting news.

My picture book critique buddy and good friend Teresa Robeson has signed with an agent: Ella Kennen of the Corvisiero Agency. She is multitalented: she writes picture books, middle grade, YA, short stories, and illustrates (not to mention homeschools, paints, knits, gardens, cans food, etc.). She tells us about The Call and how she ended up here.

Tell us about your writing journey. How long have you been writing, and what sorts of stories do you write?

I’ve enjoyed writing ever since I learned English after moving to Canada in third grade, but I didn’t think about writing professionally until 1990 when I took my first course from the Institute of Children’s Literature. I decided to take the course because kid lit, along with science fiction, was one of my first loves. Within a year of completing the class, I joined SCBWI and sold my first short story to Ladybug Magazine and my first article to Outdoor Indiana.

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Whirlwind Month of Creativity

I've been quiet here because I've had an amazingly busy few weeks. A quick recap:

Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program Concluding Conference

I went to the concluding conference of the Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program in Virginia City, Nevada, last weekend, where my six month mentorship program concluded with a huge bang. We met with our mentors, reconnected with friends, and had an art and conversation filled weekend. A few photos:

The five women illustrators in the program (we had one guy, Steve Roe, who was the photographer) with David Diaz (Sidne Teske, Heidi Woodward Sheffield, Lori Ann Levy-Holm, Kary Lee, and me):