ReviMo Get Ready . . . Ann Whitford Paul & Susanna Leonard Hill Love Being Picture Book Authors

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Why I Love Being a Picture Book Author

by Ann Whitford Paul

What I love about writing picture books is that they feel like pearls, small, perfectly shaped and shining with rhythm. I love spending time making sure each word expresses not only the story, but the emotion behind it. Even move I love imagining adults and children, sitting skin to skin, sharing my words. My hope is that those children will like my book enough to want to hear more books and then learn to read their own books. What would a society be without a reading population! The responsibility we bear to start children onto that path is both humbling, terrifying and exciting.

That's really lovely. Thank you Ann! 








I became inspired to write after years of bedtime reading to my four children and now to my grandchildren. My publications include many award winning prose and rhymed, fiction and non-fiction, picture books, plus a collection of poetry and three early readers. Some of my recent titles include Tortuga in Trouble, Word Builder and If Animals Kissed Good Night. I’ve also published a craft book for adults titled WRITING PICTURE BOOKS: A Hands-on Guide from Story Creation to Publication.

http://www.annwhitfordpaul.net/ 


If you are writing picture books and do not own Ann's book already, I highly recommend purchasing it!





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Why I Love Being a Picture Book Author

by Susanna Hill

I was that kid with her nose in a book.
Oh, I did other stuff too - climbing trees, riding ponies, playing The Orphanage Game with my siblings (you know, the one where we pretended we were mistreated orphans running away from the evil orphanage lady? :)), trying to set a world record in pogo-sticking, and making my little brother laugh at the dinner table so he spit milk out his nose.
But many a happy winter evening or summer afternoon or precious ten minutes before classes began found me lost in a story.
So it's really no big surprise that I also love to write.
My writing career began with that seminal piece: "My Cat".
That was the whole story.
It was written above a picture of - you guessed it - my cat.  It may have been less a story than a way to make sure everyone knew what the picture was of.  Who can tell?  I am no artist :)
My work increased in word count from 2 to a bunch more than that for stories such as The Girl And The Witch.  I dare you to guess what that one's about :)
In middle school I moved on to dabbling in epic poetry (The Gods And Goddesses of Ancient Greece is a thrill a minute, let me tell you :))  I wrote some truly special Nancy Drew mysteries, and I wrote horse stories of all kinds.
In high school and college, I imagined I could write "literary fiction" - heavy emphasis on the imagining.
And then, for one dark period in college which is best forgotten, I experimented with romance novels (on a dare :))
I always loved to write, but as you can see I didn't really know WHAT I wanted to write.
When my first child was about a year old, I found out.
I wanted to write picture books.
I loved having them read to me as a child.
I loved reading them with my own children.
There's something special and magical about picture books that no other genre can touch.
For children, they're about exploration and wonder and delight.
For parents they're about sharing something you love with someone you love; about that special time with a beloved child curled in your lap while you open the treasure chest of reading and show them the beauty it holds.
For writers they're about capturing the moments that matter in childhood - the emotions and milestones and struggles and achievements - to educate, entertain, and enchant.
I love the way picture books feel in my hands.
I love the smell of the ink on the paper.
I love the words and the pictures.
I love the difference they can make in children's lives.
And I love the magic :)

ME too. Thank you Susanna!!!!



Susanna is the award winning author of nearly a dozen books for children, including Punxsutawney Phyllis (A Book List Children's Pick and Amelia Bloomer Project choice),No Sword Fighting In The House (a Junior Library Guild selection), Can't Sleep Without Sheep (a Children's Book of The Month), and Not Yet, Rose (a Gold Mom's Choice Award Winner.) Her books have been translated into French, Dutch, German, and Japanese, with one hopefully forthcoming in Korean. Her newest book, Alphabedtime!, is forthcoming from Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Books, in Fall 2015. She lives in New York's Mid-Hudson Valley with her husband, children, and two rescue dogs.


If you are writing picture books and have not taken Susanna's class, Making Picture Book Magic, I highly recommend it!

28 comments :

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Meg, thank you so much for inviting me to participate in ReViMo, and for putting me on the same page with Ann Whitford Paul - probably the closest I'll ever get to fame and celebrity :) Now that I've had a chance to read Ann's and Tara's I see what you were aiming for with the post, so I apologize for being long-winded and starting off-track!

Joanna Marple said...

Sweet, and I love Susanna's and Ann's picture books. Susanna, your post was you and just perfect, not too long, not too short!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

You're so nice :)

Juliana Lee said...

It's so nice to hear how and why other authors got into the biz!

Joanne Sher said...

I love BOTH of these! And, as different as they were, I can totally relate to both of them (and Meg, you REALLY have to stop teasing me with that craft book that IS in the mail to me. REALLY! It's COMING! I'll READ IT. Get off my back already. wink wink!)

MegMillerWrites said...

LOL! You're going to looooooove it!! :D Come to Word by Word and study with us if you want. https://www.facebook.com/groups/536519409761124/

MegMillerWrites said...

I agree! Thanks Juliana!

MegMillerWrites said...

Me too Joanna! Such wonderful writers!!

MegMillerWrites said...

She's right, it's perfect, Susanna! :D

MegMillerWrites said...

Pshaw! Whatever, I love your post!!! It's perfect for what I wanted!!!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

It really is the go-to book in the business, Joanne, along with the new one from Linda Ashman - her Nuts & Bolts Guide. Chock full of excellence :)

Teresa Robeson said...

Ann's "Writing Picture Books" is one of the bibles of the genre, and Susanna is the Queen of the Best PB Wring Class! How appropriate to bring both of them together here. :) And Susanna is totally hilarious to boot!

Joanne Sher said...

SO looking forward to digging in to BOTH of these, Susanna. They're definitely on my "to-read/study list." Ann's first :)

Joanne Sher said...

I just might - once it arrives (if you aren't all the way through it by that time!). Thanks for telling me about it!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

:)

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

I love you for appreciating my sense of humor Teresa :) (And for saying nice things about my class :))

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Thanks for coming by to read, Juliana :)

Pamela Courtney said...

Two superstars in one place. Love it! Excited by studying Ann's book in Word by Word!! They really love Ann over there. And I cannot say enough about my bestest author friend in the wide world, Susanna Hill. Her Making Picture Book Magic writing course is the one on one needed for writers like me. She's such an amazing resource and is quick to pull out the cattle prod to ensure writing is practiced. She's the best. So glad I stopped by. I learned a great deal about each of these amazing women.

Stacy S. Jensen said...

Thank you both (plus Meg) for sharing your time and talents with us. This post is pretty magical.

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

So glad you enjoyed it, Stacy :)

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Aw, thanks for all the sweet words, Pam :)

pennyklostermann said...

Great post! Both of these wonderful writers have influenced me. I have studied Ann's book and have been a regular participant in Susanna's generous learning experiences via her blog and in a couple of her classes! Great to hear their passion expressed in this post!

Linda Ashman said...

Loved these posts by Ann and Susanna, who not only write wonderful picture books, but share their wisdom so generously with fellow writers. Thanks to you both, and thanks for bringing them in, Meg!

Cathy C. Hall said...

I thought I'd commented here, but no matter, I'll just say it again. :-) Love Ann's book--and this time, I'm going to read every last word! And Susanna, I don't know why you can't just write everything? I went through a very stinky spell of writing gushy poetry, but did I quit? Well, yeah, I did.


Um...never mind. :-)

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

I'm glad you liked it, Penny, and thanks so much for visiting and reading! Especially when I have still not gotten over to read your EMUs debut post yet. But I am coming! Eventually... :)

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Thanks for reading and saying nice things, Linda :) You are at least as generous with your wisdom too!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

I can write everything... just not sure anyone would (or should!) read it :)

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Thanks for coming by to read, Damon. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)