Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 19, 2017

Book Winners and Remember Goodreads Final Round Voting!

            Judy Sobanski won Mr. Fluffernutter by Jennifer Gray Olson

            Saloni Verma won The Ghost Chronicles 2 by Marlo Berliner

                                Please send your addresses! 

 

                   VOTE! DON’T MISS PICKING YOUR FAVOITES!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 18, 2017

Illustrator Saturday – Old and New

Since today’s featured illustrator ended up getting very ill, I decided to visit a few illustrator’s who were featured in 2016 to see what they were up to and found some wonderful new illustrations on their websites. I would like to share them with you. Here the are:

LAURA WOOD: Illustrator Saturday Feature link: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2016/06/25/illustrator-saturday-laura-wood/

BELOW: Laura’s New Work.

LEA VERVOORT: Illustrator Saturday Feature link: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/illustrator-saturday-lea-vervoort/

BELOW: Lea’s New Work.

KATY BETZ: Illustrator Saturday Feature link: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2016/07/23/illustrator-saturday-katy-betz/

BELOW: Katy’s New Work.

LAUREN GALLEGOS: Illustrator Saturday Feature link: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/illustrator-saturday-lauren-gallegos-2/

BELOW: Lauren’s New Work.

MARIA MOLA: Illustrator Saturday Feature link: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/illustrator-saturday-lauren-gallegos-2/

BELOW: Maria’s New Work.

RAFAEL LOPEZ: Illustrator Saturday Feature link: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2016/08/20/illustrator-saturday-rafael-lopez/

BELOW: Rafael’s New Work.

VERUSCHKA GUERRA: Illustrator Saturday Feature link: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2016/05/14/illustrator-saturday-veruschka-guerra/

BELOW: Ver’s New Work.

SUSAN GAL: Illustrator Saturday Feature link: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/illustrator-saturday-susan-gal/

BELOW: Susan’s New Work.

SHANE McGOWAN: Illustrator Saturday Feature link: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2016/08/06/illustrator-saturday-shane-mcgowan/

BELOW: Shane’s New Work.

JAMES LORMAN: Illustrator Saturday Feature link: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2016/03/12/illustrator-saturday-james-loram/

BELOW: James’ New Work.

Hope you enjoyed seeing a few new pieces from some of the fabulous illustrators featured on Writing and Illustrating.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 17, 2017

November Featured Agent – Carlisle Webber Interview Part Two


Carlisle Webber, Associate Agent at Fuse Literary

Would you like the opportunity to win a first page critique with Carlisle? Scroll down to Submission Guidelines after Part One of my interview with Carlisle for details.

Carlisle Webber refused to major in English in college because she didn’t think there was anything fun to read on the required lists. No Stephen King? No R.L. Stine? No thanks!

After college, she took her love of commercial, YA, and middle grade fiction to the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, where she earned a Master of Library and Information Sciences. She worked as a public librarian for years before deciding to move to the business side of publishing. She attended the Columbia Publishing Course, interned at Writers House, and worked at the Jane Rotrosen Agency in New York City.

She considers herself to be an editorial agent and holds a Professional Certificate in Editing from University of California, Berkeley. She belongs to the American Copy Editors Society and Bay Area Editors’ Forum. When editing, she aims to make a book the best possible version of itself, shaping it in a way so it can best use its unique voice to appeal to a wide audience.
Carlisle is looking for high-concept commercial fiction in middle grade, young adult, and adult. If your book is fresh and exciting, tackles difficult topics, reads like a Shonda Rhimes show, or makes readers stay up late turning pages, she’s the agent for you.

Diverse authors are encouraged to submit their fiction. Within the genres she represents, Carlisle is especially interested in stories by and about people of color; with both visible and invisible disabilities and illnesses; who are economically disadvantaged; who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer; or who are members of religious minorities.
Take a look at her manuscript wish list. But if you don’t write exactly what’s on her list, don’t worry! She’s happy to look at any work that falls into the categories she represents.

She represents middle grade, YA, and adult fiction in a variety of genres.

In general, I’m looking to represent mystery, suspense, thriller, horror, contemporary romance and family stories, women’s fiction. I represent science fiction and fantasy for YA and MG only, and Although anyone who writes in these genres is welcome to query me, I do have some favorite things I like to read about.

Right now, I’d love to see:

– Books set in prisons, hospitals, and shopping malls, or any other closed environment with rules different from those of everyday society
– Workplace dramas, especially if they’re YA
– Edgy, envelope-pushing, potentially controversial, and dark YA
– YA and MG about body issues
– Psychological thrillers
– Domestic thrillers (I describe these as “murder and mayhem in suburbia”)
– Characters who work in law enforcement
– Anything with a creepy, spooky, bloody, or gothic-style setting
– Friendship dramas, including friendship breakups
– Stories about sisters
– Characters who are ballet dancers, gymnasts, and cheerleaders
– LGBTQ stories for any audience
– Magical realism for any audience
– Medical thrillers

Twitter: @carliebeth

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carliebeth/

Website: http://www.fuseliterary.com/carlisle-webber/


 

Here is Part Two of my interview with Carlisle Webber:  

How far do you normally read before you reject a submission?

Not very far. I need thirty to fifty pages to know if a book is for me, but I only need one to know if it’s not.

Any pet peeves?

In terms of the submission package, I’m most peeved by writers who think that the rules don’t apply to them. I expect a query letter, not an excuse as to why you’re not good at writing query letters and therefore didn’t write one. That shows me you’re unprofessional, not cute or quirky.

Do you let people know if you are not interested?

Yes.

How long does it usually take to respond to requested material?

I do my best to reply to queries in six to eight weeks. Full requested manuscripts take longer because they’re more of a time commitment.

Have you noticed any common mistakes that writers make?

The most common mistake I see is writers querying before their manuscript is ready for submission. I only give writers one chance per book. If I’m considering a query and hear from a writer with a new! improved! version of their manuscript, that tells me they weren’t ready for submission in the first place. The exception to this is if I ask for a revise and resubmit (R&R) on a full manuscript that may be almost ready but has a few smaller issues that I think a writer could fix.

Do you have an editorial style?

I’m a certified professional editor, so I edit for grammar and mechanics as well as big-picture items like voice and plot. Usually I’ll give a book at least two passes: one for small things and the next for big things. Then I write an edit letter to my client. When editing, I always believe that my suggestions are just that, save for grammar fixes. The work belongs to the author. I am here to help them make their book into the best it can be while remaining true to what’s at its heart.

Do you give editorial feedback to your clients? 

Yes, always.

If you are submitted something you think is good, but better for another agent at Fuse Literary, would you ask them to take a look?

Yes. At Fuse, we often give out our colleagues’ names if a book is good but isn’t quite what we’re looking for.

Do you have any thoughts about how a new client can keep their relationship with you on the right track?

Be open to new ideas about what you can write. Try writing out of your comfort zone. Also, publishing authors in many ways is important to us at Fuse, so I like authors who are willing to try different formats and avenues for their work.

What is your typical response time to email/phone calls with your clients?

I answer all client emails and phone calls within twenty-four hours.

How do you like to communicate (email vs. phone)? And how often do you communicate during the submission process?

I prefer to communicate by email, though I will often set up times to talk on the phone with my clients if there’s something that would take a lot of back and forth on email to resolve.

Stop back next Friday to read part three of my interview with Carlisle.


 

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES For NOVEMBER FIRST PAGE CRITIQUES:

In the subject line, please write “NOVEMBER 2017  Critique” and paste the text in the email, plus attached it as a Word document to the email. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it’s a picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top on both the email and the Word document (Make sure you include your name with the title of your book, when you save the first page).

REMEMBER: ATTACH THE WORD DOCUMENT AND NOT GET ELIMINATED!

Your First Page Word document should be formatted using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double space – no more than 23 lines – only one page. Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES: Your submission will be passed over if you do not follow the directions for both the pasted email and the attached Word doc. This is where most people mess up.

DEADLINE: November 20th.
RESULTS: November 27th.

Please only submit one first page a month, but do try again if your first page wasn’t one of the pages randomly picked. Thanks!


Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 16, 2017

First Page Picture Book Critique – Alli Brydon

Alli Brydon is a creative editorial professional and writer based in the New York City area. She has nearly 15 years of experience developing and editing children’s books for U.S. publishing houses. Having worked as both an acquiring editor and an agent for children’s book authors and illustrators, she brings a unique blend of skills to all projects. While her specialty is in children’s books, Alli is available to hire for any of your editing and writing needs.

Here is Alli’s last Picture Book First Page critique:

MOMBIE by Amanda Sincavage – Picture Book

I want my mom back.
She hasn’t been herself since the baby arrived.
She grunts and groans and shuffles around in a trance.
She never showers – baby vomit, PEE-EW!
…or sleeps.
And she calls the baby Pumpkin and Muffin instead of Stevie.
Then she smells behind his ears, snatches his nose, and gobbles his toes.
And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I heard her whisper…
“I could eat you up!”
There’s only one conclusion.
My mom is a…
MOMBIE!
That’s a mom zombie.
Time to take matters into my own hands…before Stevie gets served for supper!
First, I broke Mombie’s trance with a game of hide and seek.
I hid. She still shuffled…until I hid in the backyard with Stevie.
“Violet!”
I’ve never seen her run that fast!
Next, I tricked Mombie into a bath.
After I sploshed in the mud, I snuck inside and sludged Stevie with mud too.
“Violet!”
Mom gave us both a bath and then needed a shower herself.

HERE’S ALLI:

Hi, Amanda. Thanks for sending in a first page that I can really relate to! 😊 That’s the first thing I want to talk about today: relatability. This first page not only takes a well-worn subject (new sibling story) and makes it fresh, but the main character is relatable to a child and the situation is relatable to a parent. Nicely done!

Also, I love the title. I’m sure new moms have been calling themselves “Mombies” for decades, but honestly this is the first time I’ve heard that term. The title is funny and suggests to the reader that what they’re about to read will also be funny. And the narrator’s spunky personality told through 1st person POV is a good vehicle for the story’s humor. We can hear her interior thoughts—make sure you use that device as best you can to convey her feelings to the reader. It’s a great opportunity you’ve presented to yourself as the author.

There are some spots where you can draw out the humor in the text. No need to define “Mombie” halfway down the page. The reader can understand the implication of the term, and it’s funnier if you just leave the word (and the artist’s illustration) there. I can imagine a great, surprising page turn around this spot. Making more zombie references could also bring out the humor and really pull out the irony. For example: “I’ve never seen her run that fast!” Perhaps change this to “She must be one of those fast-moving Mombies.” And there are some spots where the narrator still calls her “Mom.” Why not keep the “Mombie” thing really going throughout?

Quite a few of the actions are told through too much exposition, and can be scaled back in order to leave room for the illustrations. In the beginning, after the line “She hasn’t been herself since the baby arrived” I’d like to see less explanation and more building on the theme of the story. So instead of saying “She shuffles around in a trance,” maybe we only see this in the illustrations and then have a few onomatopoetic words to detail what’s happening, like “GROOOOAANNN,” and “shuffle shuffle.” Same with the bath scene: there is so much explained about the action where the reader could benefit more from understanding more about the main character’s relationship with her new baby sibling. Use this space and scene to build that.
One last thing that I think could be improved is that I’m not quite sure what the conflict is here. I know that Violet is lamenting this new “Mombie” in her life, but what does she want? Does she want her old mom back? Does she want the baby to go away? Does she blame the new baby? Figure out what will be the main source of conflict (or what actually is the conflict later on in the story) and introduce it right at the beginning.

Thanks again for sharing this, Amanda. And if this story is based on your own true life experience, I hope you can reward yourself with a nap!

REMEMBER: ALLI IS OFFERING A TEN PERCENT DISCOUNT OFF HER SERVICES FOR ANYONE FOLLOWING WRITING AND ILLUSTRATING.COM UNTIL NOVEMBER 30, 2017

Thank you Alli for sharing your time and expertise with us. Good luck!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 15, 2017

Book Giveaway – Little Mouse Finds A Friend – Jessica Linn Evans

PLEASE CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR ALLI BRYDON’S LAST FIRST PAGE PICTURE BOOK CRITIQUE.

Congratulations to Jessica Linn Evans on her new book – LITTLE MOUSE FINDS A FRIEND. Jennifer has agreed to give one book away. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Join Little Mouse as he stumbles upon a new little friend who is full of big surprises. This Little Mouse adventure weaves together the life cycles of both caterpillars and relationships all set in beautifully detailed illustrations.

BOOK’S JOURNEY:

The Journey of Little Mouse Finds a Friend

Several years back, our family moved into a house that was kitty-corner from one of my good friends, Jeni Leidenfrost, and her family. Jeni and I renewed our friendship from years before and began having coffee together on a regular basis. On one of our visits Jeni told me the story of Little Mouse finding a friend and I told her I loved it. We decided to make a book together. That was before we knew anything about making books. Now we know that we did just about everything wrong to begin with. But we sure learned a lot!

The first draft of the story was incredibly long, and very different than the final copy. Since we were neighbors, it was fun to get together and decide how the characters would look, what the scenery might be, how the house might appear on the inside and out. And drink coffee. Lots of coffee! Essentially, we built an entire community, with neighbors and pets…everything!

It took us about seven years to finish Little Mouse Finds a Friend. As I mentioned earlier, we didn’t know what we were doing when we started. We would spend a month or two frantically working, only to have to wait months for the next step. That was a big adjustment to what I imagined would be a smooth process.

One of the things I didn’t know is to never create finished illustrations of the entire story before the manuscript goes to an editor. I think I had to repaint 90% or more of the illustrations because the story changed so much. The appearance of the characters changed a lot. I put a lot of research into making sure I got the caterpillar just right, and I never want to paint it again! Please, no more caterpillars!!

Editor extraordinaire, Tim Travaglini, gave some great input early on in the creation of this book, and I’m so grateful for his corrections and changes on perspective of illustrations, and the importance of capturing the action of the story. At last our fantastic publisher, Jason Farley at Jovial Publishing, read the book and became excited about the project, and everything finally came together and the book is a reality.

JESSICA’S BIO:

Jessica Linn Evans is an illustrator. She was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest where she grew up into a love of the outdoors and fairy stories. She graduated from the University of Idaho with a BFA in Studio Arts. After many years in the role of Art Director/Graphic Designer, she moved forward full-time with her passion for illustrating and writing books for children, creating whimsical characters and settings, emphasizing the wonder of God’s world. Jessica resides in Idaho with her husband and four delightful children.

Thank you Jessica for sharing your new book and journey with us. It looks like a wonderful picture book. I’m sure the winner will love it. Jessica was featured on Illustrator Saturday. Here is the link: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2017/11/11/illustrator-saturday-jessica-linn-evans/

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 14, 2017

ASK DIanne – When Is A Manuscript Ready?

Q: Because I was part of a special workshop at a writer’s conference, I was given permission to submit ONE manuscript to the editor teaching it. How do I know when my manuscript is ready to send to her? I don’t want to blow this chance at publication!

A: Good question! There are lots of thoughts out there about how much writing and re-writing you need to put into a WIP (work-in-progress) before sending it out there to see what feedback you receive. Here are a few of my own thoughts:

Of course, you want to look over the submission guidelines the publisher has posted on its website and/or published in children’s publishing marketplace directories to make sure that your manuscript is not a genre or format that the publisher your editor works for does NOT wish to receive. Then review your workshop notes for any categories of fiction/nonfiction which the editor has said he or she is NOT interested in receiving as a submission. If your story doesn’t fall into the ‘no, thank you’ bins from either the editor or the publisher, you’re good to proceed to the next step.

It’s tempting to rush the work so your submission can be one of the first ones to arrive on the editor’s desk post-conference. However, doing so may mean you’re not submitting your best work. Please give yourself permission to delay submission for a reasonable time—say, within two weeks of the conference close—so that you can hone your story along with its cover letter to the very best it can be.

Try not to confuse ‘best’ with ‘perfect’. Your submission would not be perfect even if you gave yourself two years to hone the submission before sending it in. Just keep at it until you think it’s working, and then ask yourself some questions:

Have a used the most specific and interesting language possible for the age and reading level of my target reader?

Did I engage the five senses somewhere within the manuscript? Is my dialogue natural, and interesting?

Do I ‘show, not tell’?

Is my narrative pacing too fast or too slow in some places?

Have a created an MC (main character) that readers will relate to, and cheer on?

Is my MC given a flaw to make him or her more dimensional and emotionally believable?

Have I created a cast of supporting characters that support the MC and the plot without distracting the reader?

Have I set the plot in a compelling setting, whether it’s a familiar or foreign one?

And so on. In short, you need to make sure that you have demonstrated to the editor that you know how to write well.

You also need to show the editor that you have a complete vision of the story on the page, and not still in your head. Think of the 80/20 rule: you’ve got 80% of the story firmly set in stone, yet there is room for you to be flexible in response to editorial requests to tweak narrative elements here and there.
Once you’ve double-checked to make sure your submission is on target and reflects your best writing efforts, it’s time to let it go….and go on to the next project as you wait for the editor’s response.

DIANNE’S BIO:

Dianne Ochiltree is a nationally recognized author of books for the very young. Her books have appeared on numerous recommended reading lists, classroom desks and library shelves.  Her bedtime book, LULL-A-BYE, LITTLE ONE, was a selected for the Dollywood Foundation’s childhood literacy initiative, Imagination Library in 2007. Her picture book, MOLLY BY GOLLY! THE LEGEND OF MOLLY WILLIAMS AMERICA’S FIRST FEMALE FIREFIGHTER, received the Florida Book Awards (FBA) Bronze Medal in the Children’s Literature category in 2012 and was chosen for the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer list of feminist literature for girls. Her picture book, IT’S A FIREFLY NIGHT, won the FBA Silver Medal in 2013. Her 2015 title, IT’S A SEASHELL DAY, was given the FBA Gold Medal/Gwen Reichert Award as well as the Gold Medal for Florida picture book from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association. For more information about Dianne’s books, go to http://www.dianneochiltree.com.

Dianne, thanks for sharing your expertise with us. Another great answer.

REMEMBER: To send in your questions for Dianne. Use Kathy(dot)Temean(at)gmail.com. Please put ASK DIANNE in the subject box.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 13, 2017

Book Winners and Opportunity: Sand Hills Literary Magazine

CONGRATULATIONS!

Aleen Fuelling won PIZZA DAY by Melissa Iwai

Chrissa Pedersen won BUNNY BUS by Ammi-Joan Paquette

Harry Caulfield won READ THIS BOOK, LEMMINGS by Ame Dyckman

Carol Federlin Baldwin won FAMOUSLY PHOEBE by Lori Alexander

Leslie Zempettis won WRITING IT RIGHT! By Sandy Asher

PLEASE SEND ME YOUR ADDRESSES – THANKS!

Sand Hills is now accepting work from all artists and writers in the U.S. Our first national publication will debut in Spring 2018.

Sand Hills, Augusta University’s premiere little magazine, has been committed to publishing the highest quality of creative writing and visual art since 1973. Formerly a student-only publication, Sand Hills has featured work by award-winning authors and alumnae Louise Shivers and Judith Ortiz Cofer. More recently, our contributors have also published in The Oxford American, Seventeen, and Playboy. Named for a 19th century rural Augusta suburb, where the Summerville campus of Augusta University now stands, Sand Hills has a tradition of honoring and preserving history and place through art, as well as to breaking new ground. As Blaney Prigden wrote in his preface to the first issue, “our title [. . .] alludes to a place of transition between related areas.”

General Guidelines: We seek to publish the best drama, poetry, prose (creative nonfiction and fiction), and visual art created by U.S. residents. We also have an ongoing interest in and commitment to publishing work by Augusta University students.

While we do accept simultaneous submissions, we do not accept previously published work (including self-published material in print or online) at this time. If your work is accepted elsewhere, please withdraw your work from Sand Hills as soon as possible.

Genre-specific submission guidelines and forms are available below. Failure to adhere to the guidelines may result in disqualification.

All submissions are read blind by the Sand Hills staff (Augusta University students and faculty). A $200 prize will be awarded in each of the following categories: poetry, prose (fiction, creative nonfiction, drama), and visual artwork.

For questions about the magazine, email sandhillsmagazine@augusta.edu.

Ends on December 15, 2017

$3.00 USD

Contributors should include only one short story per submission. There is no limit to the number of submissions per contributor; however, please only send us your best work.

Each short story may be up to 5,000 words in length. All work must be typed (preferably in 12 point, Times New Roman), double-spaced, and paginated. Include the title of your work and the total word count on your manuscript.

Do not include any identification or contact information on your manuscript, or in the file name. 
Cover letters are also unnecessary, as all submissions are read blind (i.e., anonymously). Should your work be selected for publication, we will contact you for a contributor’s note.

Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in disqualification.

Ends on December 15, 2017

$3.00 USD

Contributors may include three to five (3-5) pieces of art (any medium) per submission. There is no limit to the number of submissions per contributor; however, please only send us your best work.

The acceptable file type is TIFF (at least 300 resolution).

Do not include any identification or contact information on your artwork, or in the file name. Cover letters are also unnecessary, as all submissions are read blind (i.e., anonymously). Should your work be selected for publication, we will contact you for a contributor’s note.

Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in disqualification.

HERE IS THE LINK TO SUBMIT: https://sandhillsmagazine.submittable.com/submit

Talk Tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 12, 2017

No Fee: Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest (no fee)

Now in its 17th year, this contest seeks today’s best humor poems. No fee to enter. Submit published or unpublished work. $2,250 in prizes.

Please submit one humor poem during August 15, 2017-April 1, 2018. No fee to enter. We will award a first prize of $1,000 and a second prize of $250. Ten Honorable Mentions will receive $100 each. The top 12 entries will be published online. Judge: Jendi Reiter, assisted by Lauren Singer. Length limit: 250 lines. No restrictions on age or country. When the contest is open, please click the Submittable button below for full details. The results of our 16th annual contest will be announced on August 15, 2017.lomp Humor Poetry Contest, the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest, and the North Street Book Prize. Now in its 17th year, this contest seeks today’s best humor poems. No fee to enter. Submit published or unpublished work. $2,250 in prizes.

Please submit one humor poem during August 15, 2017-April 1, 2018. No fee to enter. We will award a first prize of $1,000 and a second prize of $250. Ten Honorable Mentions will receive $100 each. The top 12 entries will be published online. Judge: Jendi Reiter, assisted by Lauren Singer. Length limit: 250 lines. No restrictions on age or country. When the contest is open, please click the Submittable button below for full details. The results of our 16th annual contest will be announced on August 15, 2017.

Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 11, 2017

Illustrator Saturday – Jessica Linn Evans

Jessica Linn Evans was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest where she grew up into a love of the outdoors and fairy stories. She graduated from the University of Idaho with a BFA in Studio Arts. After many years in the role of Art Director/Graphic Designer, she moved forward full-time with her passion for illustrating and writing books for children, creating whimsical characters and settings, emphasizing the wonder of God’s world. Jessica resides in Idaho with her husband and four delightful children.

See this lovely article by Shelle Lenssen on GoIdaho.com featuring Jessica’s illustration and her vision for children’s literature.

Jessica says, “When I paint, I strive to amplify the wonder of creation and awaken an awareness in children of the every day miracles in the world around them.

“I also write. Mostly fairy tales, because that’s what I love. They clearly portray good and evil. They help kids name the dragon in their own lives and teach them how to kill it. Besides that, who couldn’t use a little more magic?

“Stories are food for children. They need stories to grow up properly. And you are what you eat, right? So I strive to serve up good meals. But nutritious doesn’t have to be boring! …And I’m not into skipping dessert.”

Here is Jessica explaining her process:

After I do many character sketches, I’ll do several, more developed sketches of the page I want to create, experimenting with different character movement and composition of the scene. Once I settle on a composition, I’ll make the outlines of the main shapes darker and more defined so I can easily trace it onto tracing paper. Then I apply graphite to the back of the tracing paper and position the composition where I want it over the watercolor paper. After transferring the desired outline to my watercolor paper, I paint in preliminary shading, usually with a neutral gray. Next, I add more definition to the shading. Finally, I add the color and detail over the top of the shading. The result, in this case: Bun Bun has (pretend) tea from a fancy cup while demonstrating bad posture.

Interview with Jessica Linn Evans

How long have you been illustrating?

I made a trilogy of little picture books for my mom when I was 5 years old. I put them in a little milk carton with the top cut off so she could have a box set.

What made you choose to get your BFA at University of Idaho?

I got a full ride volleyball scholarship to play at University of Idaho. They didn’t have an illustration or graphic design program, so I chose the closest degree. But it was really a good fit to hone my illustrating focus as well.

Why did type of classes do you take when you study Studio Arts?

Oil painting, sculpture, Visual Composition and the Design Process. VCDP was a killer. That’s when I started drinking coffee for my all-nighters.

Do you think art school influenced your style?

Yes, my technique is better and I pay attention to color and composition.

What type of job did you do right after you graduated?

I started out as a graphic designer for the University of Idaho print shop.

How did you get the Art Director/Graphic Designer job? Was that in Idaho?

I started out with page layout and photo adjustment at the Appaloosa Horse Club in Moscow, Idaho. We produced a full color magazine monthly and that really taught me about deadlines! I eventually became the art director for the magazine (Appaloosa Journal). Later, I moved up the highway 8 miles to be a graphic designer at Washington State University’s University Press.

When did you decide you wanted to illustrate for children?

I’ve always wanted to illustrate children’s books. In fact, when I started the art program at the U of I, I thought that’s why everyone wanted to study art. Isn’t that the only reason to study it? Of course, most (if not all) of the other students had different reasons for pursuing an art degree, but I was all in for kid’s books!

Do you have an Artist Rep. to represent you? If so, how did you meet and how long have they represented you? If not, would you like to find representation?

I don’t have an Art Rep. yet, but I’ve started my search and I’d love to find a great fit.

Was WAITING THROUGH WINTER your first illustrated picture book?

Yes. If you don’t count the box set for my mom.

How did that opportunity come your way?

The publisher and his family used to live in Moscow, Idaho, before he owned a publishing house. He emailed me one day and asked if I was still illustrating children’s books. Still? I hadn’t done any yet, but I was ready to start. “Yes I am!” I told him. And it went from there!

SOLAR THE POLAR is coming out in December. How did that job come your way?

I was contacted by the agent representing the author. They loved the bears in Waiting Through Winter and asked if I would consider polar bears this time.

Was it hard to illustrate LITTLE MOUSE FINDS A FRIEND while working on SOLAR THE POLAR?

Yes. It was definitely the most hectic summer of my life!

Have you illustrated other types of illustration projects?

Yes, I did several illustrations for the Appaloosa Journal and various pubs at WSU Univerity Press as well as illustrations for educational books. I’ve also done commissioned artwork for private parties.

Have you illustrated any book covers for novels?

Not novels. I illustrated the cover for a children’s history book called Trial and Triumph (Canon Press).

Would you like to write and illustrate a children’s book?

Absolutely. I love fairytales/folk tales and adventure stories. I’ve written both. They aren’t published yet, but I’m working on it.

Would you be open to illustrating a book for an author who wants to self-publish?

I’d consider it on a case by case basis.

Have you ever tried to illustrate a wordless picture book?

Yes! It’s super hard. But I have a completed one out on a couple queries.

What educational publishers have you worked with?

Canon Press and Logos Press, both here in Moscow, Idaho. They develop a lot of curriculum for homeschool families.

What is your favorite medium to use?

Graphite and Watercolor.

Has that changed over time?

I’ve always liked graphite. Watercolor came later.

Do you have a studio set up in your home?

Nope. I paint on the dining room table.

What is the one thing in your studio that you could not live without?

Natural light!

Do you try to spend a specific amount of time working on your craft?

I attend SCBWI conferences, but I’m a full time mom and volleyball coach, so I have to catch as catch can. I usually get in about 20 hours a week if I can.

Do you take pictures or do any types of research before you start a project?

Absolutely. I almost always use reference.

Do you think the Internet has opened doors for you?

Oh yes. So much easier to do research at the click of a mouse.

Do you use Photoshop or Painter with your illustrations?

I use Photoshop to make small corrections and make color consistent, but all my illustrations are done with traditional mediums.

Do you own or have you used a Graphic Drawing Tablet in your illustrating?

Not yet!

Do you have any career dreams that you want to fulfill?

Make beautiful picture books for children. That’s about it.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently marketing Little Mouse Finds A Friend and polishing up some manuscripts, but I’m also developing a wordless picture book.

Do you have any material type tips you can share with us? Example: Paint or paper that you love – the best place to buy – a new product that you’ve tried – A how to tip, etc.

I love to use Hahnemülel Bamboo Watercolor paper blocks. I don’t have to stretch the paper and it takes all kinds of scrubbing and erasing without damaging the tooth.

Any words of wisdom on how to become a successful writer or illustrator?

Keep writing and drawing. Practice makes… better. Also, get in a critique group for both disciplines if you can. They’re extremely helpful and you make a lot of great friends. SCBWI is a super resource for being successful in the children’s’ book industry.

Thank you Jessica for sharing your talent, process, journey, and expertise with us. Please make sure you keep in touch and share your future successes with us. To see more of Jessica’s work, you can visit her at her website: https://jessicalinnevans.com/

If you have a minute, please leave a comment for Jessica. I am sure she’d love it and I enjoy reading them, too. Thanks!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 10, 2017

November Featured Agent – Carlisle Webber Interview Part One


Carlisle Webber, Associate Agent at Fuse Literary

Would you like the opportunity to win a first page critique with Carlisle? Scroll down to Submission Guidelines after Part One of my interview with Carlisle for details.

Carlisle Webber refused to major in English in college because she didn’t think there was anything fun to read on the required lists. No Stephen King? No R.L. Stine? No thanks!

After college, she took her love of commercial, YA, and middle grade fiction to the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, where she earned a Master of Library and Information Sciences. She worked as a public librarian for years before deciding to move to the business side of publishing. She attended the Columbia Publishing Course, interned at Writers House, and worked at the Jane Rotrosen Agency in New York City.

She considers herself to be an editorial agent and holds a Professional Certificate in Editing from University of California, Berkeley. She belongs to the American Copy Editors Society and Bay Area Editors’ Forum. When editing, she aims to make a book the best possible version of itself, shaping it in a way so it can best use its unique voice to appeal to a wide audience.
Carlisle is looking for high-concept commercial fiction in middle grade, young adult, and adult. If your book is fresh and exciting, tackles difficult topics, reads like a Shonda Rhimes show, or makes readers stay up late turning pages, she’s the agent for you.

Diverse authors are encouraged to submit their fiction. Within the genres she represents, Carlisle is especially interested in stories by and about people of color; with both visible and invisible disabilities and illnesses; who are economically disadvantaged; who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer; or who are members of religious minorities.
Take a look at her manuscript wish list. But if you don’t write exactly what’s on her list, don’t worry! She’s happy to look at any work that falls into the categories she represents.

She represents middle grade, YA, and adult fiction in a variety of genres.

In general, I’m looking to represent mystery, suspense, thriller, horror, contemporary romance and family stories, women’s fiction. I represent science fiction and fantasy for YA and MG only, and Although anyone who writes in these genres is welcome to query me, I do have some favorite things I like to read about.

Right now, I’d love to see:

– Books set in prisons, hospitals, and shopping malls, or any other closed environment with rules different from those of everyday society
– Workplace dramas, especially if they’re YA
– Edgy, envelope-pushing, potentially controversial, and dark YA
– YA and MG about body issues
– Psychological thrillers
– Domestic thrillers (I describe these as “murder and mayhem in suburbia”)
– Characters who work in law enforcement
– Anything with a creepy, spooky, bloody, or gothic-style setting
– Friendship dramas, including friendship breakups
– Stories about sisters
– Characters who are ballet dancers, gymnasts, and cheerleaders
– LGBTQ stories for any audience
– Magical realism for any audience
– Medical thrillers

Twitter: @carliebeth

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carliebeth/

Website: http://www.fuseliterary.com/carlisle-webber/


 

Here is Part One of my interview with Carlisle Webber:  

How did you get interested in becoming an agent?

I was a full-time YA librarian for years before moving to the business side of publishing, and I still work in a library part time. My favorite thing to do is reader’s advisory, where you match books to readers based on their interests. Agenting interested me because incorporates a lot of that skill. You’re still in the business of matching books to readers, who in this case are the editors buying the books. Like librarianship, agenting is also an advocacy profession. We advocate for the business interests of our clients so they have more time and energy to write.

Do you think you will limit of the amount of clients you represent?

All agents have to at some point for their own sanity. I don’t plan to stop taking new clients anytime soon, though.

What are your favorite genres?

Horror, mystery, suspense, thriller, and contemporary, and I’m also looking for light/real-world SF and fantasy. There is no topic too dark or spooky for my taste. That said, I also love fun, lighter stories! When I reviewed for Kirkus, I specifically told the children’s book editor to send me any MG or YA book with a cover that was pink, shiny, sparkly, or all three.

Are there any story or themes you wished someone would submit?

I’m always on the lookout for stories about sisters, toxic friendships, people with invisible disabilities or illnesses, and nonsupernatural horror. You can see more at my Manuscript Wish List page: http://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/mswl-post/carlie-webber/. All authors are encouraged to submit their manuscripts if they write what I represent even if they don’t see their particular topic on my MSWL. Sometimes I don’t know what I want until I see it.

I know you specialize in children’s books, but would you represent a YA author who writes a story about a college age character?

Most books with college-age characters are sold as adult, not YA. I’d have to be able to see potential for a YA market in the manuscript. I might also have a talk with the author about bringing the characters into high school rather than college if they’re interested in building a brand as a YA author as opposed to adult.

Do you think it is okay for an author to write picture books, middle grade novels, and YA novels? Or do you feel it is better to focus on one age group and genre?

If you can do all those things well, I see no reason to not write for multiple age groups. Lots of authors do.

What do you like to see in a submission?

Professionalism. I promise authors that I will never reject them for sounding too professional in their submission materials. It shows me that you’re someone who takes their potential writing career seriously.

How important is the query letter?

It’s secondary to the sample pages, but I still think it’s pretty important. Treat the query letter like you would a cover letter for a job: Your skills and experience will be on your résumé, but you still need to present a strong overview. The query letter tells me what kind of book to expect and how well you know your audience.

Any tips on how an author can get you to ask to see more?

Put me in front of a multidimensional character with an unforgettable voice. Then, make me wonder what your character is going to do next. I always feel it’s more important to have a character who is interesting than one who is likeable. Think about the show How to Get Away With Murder as an example. No one on that show is very likeable. No one wants to go to the mall with Annalise Keating. Everyone, however, wants to know what will happen in next scene, episode, or season.

Stop back next Friday to read part two of my interview with Carlislie.


 

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES For NOVEMBER FIRST PAGE CRITIQUES:

In the subject line, please write “NOVEMBER 2017  Critique” and paste the text in the email, plus attached it as a Word document to the email. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it’s a picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top on both the email and the Word document (Make sure you include your name with the title of your book, when you save the first page).

REMEMBER: ATTACH THE WORD DOCUMENT AND NOT GET ELIMINATED!

Your First Page Word document should be formatted using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double space – no more than 23 lines – only one page. Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES: Your submission will be passed over if you do not follow the directions for both the pasted email and the attached Word doc. This is where most people mess up.

DEADLINE: November 20th.
RESULTS: November 27th.

Please only submit one first page a month, but do try again if your first page wasn’t one of the pages randomly picked. Thanks!


Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Older Posts »

Categories

%d bloggers like this: