Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 25, 2016

Can Writing be Hazardous to Your Health?

LS Photo no. 2_2012Can Writing be Hazardous to Your Health?
Written by Linda Swingle

Say What?

Are there occupational hazards associated with our profession? The unfortunate answer is “YES”!

Whether one parks their hind-quarters in a chair positioned in front of the computer, a laptop, or nestled down with a good book while researching in a large overstuffed chair at the local coffee house, library, or book store, our profession requires a great deal of sitting.

As we apply our passion toward mental exercise, most times, we neglect exercising the body. Minutes of daily prolonged sitting easily leads to hours: those hours turn to days, and days into months.

While many view our passion for the profession as romantic and an idyllic way to ink out a living: unfortunately, our profession requires daily sitting and regardless how romantic, it does come with a price.

According to recent reports, doctors consider prolonged sitting hazardous to our health while dubbed by researchers as the “Sitting Disease.”

Imagine that! The advancements within our working world via technology will mark an era of creativity ‘dis-eased’ by prolonged sitting! The truth of the matter: this is as real as it gets.

Now get up and move! Dance! (Most likely, no one is watching) Take the dog for a walk, play cat and mouse with the cat, take your parrot to the park, clean that fish tank, swim, jump for joy….just move!

For more information and to learn how to avoid contributing to and counted amongst the statistics, click on the following links:

http://www.livescience.com/36200-tips-sitting-work-day.html
http://www.livescience.com/49518-sitting-cancer-heart-risk.html
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/sedentary-lifestyle
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/29/sitting-health-risks-_n_5692271.html
http://www.npr.org/2011/04/25/135575490/sitting-all-day-worse-for-you-than-you-might-think

Linda’s Favorite:

Fitness

A little about Linda Swingle: Works as an aspiring Author-Illustrator of humorous Children’s Books and board books. Lives with darling husband Scott and rescued, devoted Great Pyrenees-Mix Pooch Tieshka in Southern California. Born and raised in Baltimore and after twenty-five plus years in SoCal, still misses the beauty of seasonal changes, crabbing along the Potomac, the Inner Harbor, and the Orioles!

Linda, thank you for contributing to Writing and Illustrating. Your article helps reminds us to take care of ourselves, so we can write better.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 24, 2016

Book Giveaway – Gabe and Goon

Congratulations to Iza Trapani for her new book, GABE AND GOON. I won this book through a giveaway. I did not know Iza and I was pleasantly surprised that I absolutely love the book. It is everything you want from a picture book. See my Goodread review at bottom of this post.

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 on August 30th to discover the winner.

blogGabe and Goon cover

Can a monster-loving kid and a kid-fearing monster ever become friends? Gabe is a boy who loves monsters, though he has yet to meet one. Goon is a monster whose biggest fear is facing a real, live kid—how spooky! Well, Goon is about to be discovered in Gabe’s closet…

Book journey: 

I am often asked how an idea for a story comes to me, and usually I don’t have a clear answer. My eyes and ears are always open, taking in the wondrous sights and sounds of nature and animals, of fun-sounding words, poetry or songs, or of something someone says or does… Ideas swarm through my head like flies, and some go on to become books, while others are swatted, But some just keep circling around and around and won’t leave me alone. Gabe and Goon was one of those.

The idea first buzzed into my head in 2012. I wanted to expand on a concept from my Halloween book, Haunted Party, in which some ghouls, mummies and other spooky sorts are frightened by children. I thought a kid-fearing monster and a monster-loving kid might be a fun pair. I decided to make the child a boy, and name him after my stepson, Gabe. As a lover of alliteration, I chose the name Goon for the monster. Okay, so now I had the characters and some conflict. What about the plot? This is when the fly swatter comes out. I contrived various scenarios, but didn’t have enough of a story arc. It was rhyming verse and, though the words flowed well, I thought that, perhaps, the limits of rhyme were holding me back. So, I wrote the story in prose form. The rhyming version was better. I kept revising and eventually arrived at a story my agent felt was worth submitting. We had a couple of rejections and one not so stellar offer. Based on the feedback, I decided to revise the story, but nothing was working. I put it aside.

In 2013, I was invited to a book singing at Books of Wonder in NYC with three other authors, one being Marc Brown, whom I’d always admired. He spoke about a book he was illustrating (The Little Shop of Monsters by R. L. Stine), and how he’d discovered that he “really liked drawing monsters.” Marc is a soft-spoken and unassuming man, and there was something in the way he said it that inspired me. On the bus ride back home, I started doodling monsters. It turned out that I really liked drawing them too!

Of course, I had done monster (and boy) sketches when I first started writing the story, but they also needed improvement. Marc Brown’s words motivated me to return to Gabe and Goon with fresh energy and I reworked the story, drew new pictures, and my agent sent them on to Charlesbridge, where my editor, Yolanda Scott, had a fly swatter of her own! Together, we brainstormed and revised and eventually, I arrived at a plot twist that made the story much stronger.

I was very pleased when Kirkus Reviews said the book has, “a familiar message, but a crucial and timely one, charmingly presented.” But, let it be known that I never write a book with a message in mind. A marketing director/friend had once told me. “Don’t ever write to teach. Write to enchant children. A message will come out on its own if it needs to.” Her words have always stayed with me. Isn’t it wonderful—the things people say?

blogIza 2016

Iza Trapani immigrated to America from Poland when she was seven years old. Upon arrival, her relatives gave her a Mother Goose collection. Little did she know, as she was learning English through the rhymes, that someday she would be retelling them in picture books. Iza is the author and illustrator of a best- selling series of nursery rhyme extensions, in which she starts with the traditional verse then adds additional stanzas to create a story. Among her titles are The Itsy Bitsy Spider (which was featured on PBS Storytime), Row Row Row Your Boat,The Bear Went Over the Mountain, Old King Cole and many more. Her books have received the IRA/CBC Children’s Choice Awards, Bank Street Best Books of the Year, ABA Pick of the Lists and the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Book Awards. Most importantly, her books are widely used in schools and libraries to help children learn to read. Now and then, Iza will write and illustrate a non-nursery rhyme story, such as the recently released, Gabe and Goon—her 25th book.

Website: http://www.izatrapani.com

Blog: In and Out of My Studio http://izatrapani.com/wp/

Facebook: Iza Trapani Author/Illustrator https://www.facebook.com/Iza-Trapani-authorillustrator-124524564224468/

Twitter: @IzaTrapani https://twitter.com/izatrapani

Goodreads Review: Absolutely a beautiful, high quality, fun picture book with great illustrations. The concept of a turning the tables and having the monster be afraid of a little boy, is very funny and of course there’s a twist at the end. Kids and their parents will love to read this book. The rhyming text will keep parents from getting tired of reading it over and over. Definitely deserves the 5 star rating.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 23, 2016

Agency Looking for New Clients

Ethan-EllenbergEthan Ellenberg, President

Ethan Ellenberg opened his literary agency in late 1984 after holding jobs at both Bantam and Berkley/Jove. At Berkley/Jove he was manager of the Contracts Department. At Bantam he was Associate Contracts Manager. He represents a wide range of book authors, though his specialty is commercial fiction. He is very active in Romance publishing with a number of New York Times Bestselling authors represented. He also does some non-fiction and has a strong children’s list including the Caldecott winner Eric Rohmann.

He is an acknowledged expert on the practical aspects of publishing including the publishing agreement and royalty accounting, and a long time industry observer and author advocate. His opinion and educational pieces have appeared in the newsletter of Novelists, Inc., the Romance Writer’s Report, and a number of F&W guides to publishing.

Looking For:

Actively looking for established and new writers in a wide range of genres. We are looking for storytellers of all kinds and remain confident that books, in whatever format they are published, will continue to play a key role in our society to entertain and to instruct.

They’re interested in all kinds of commercial fiction, including thrillers, mysteries, children’s, romance, women’s fiction, ethnic, science fiction, fantasy and general fiction.

They are also interested in literary fiction as long as it has a strong narrative.

In nonfiction, they are interested in current affairs, history, health, science, psychology, cookbooks, new age, spirituality, pop-culture, adventure, true crime, biography and memoir. They are also open to reviewing other genres and topics, as long as the material is for a trade or general audience and not scholarly.

They accept unsolicited manuscripts and seriously consider all submissions, including those from first time writers. We also consider submissions for works that are self-published or previously published through other small or non-traditional outlets, though they ask that you follow our normal submission guidelines when sending submissions for these works.

We DO NOT represent poetry, short stories or screenplays.

How to Submit by Mail

Please mail submissions to the attention of ETHAN ELLENBERG at 155 SUFFOLK ST., #2R, NEW YORK, NY 10002. All submissions should be made on standard-sized paper, we will not review any materials stored on CD/DVD or any other electronic storage device.

For fiction, your submission should include:

  • a brief query letter
  • a synopsis (1-2 pages long)
  • the first 50 pages (approximately) of your manuscript
  • a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE)

For nonfiction, please include:

  • a brief query letter
  • a book proposal (outline of the material, sample chapters, author bio, etc.)
  • SASE

For picture books, please include:

  • a brief query letter
  • complete manuscript (text only)
  • if applicable, color copies of sample illustrations (4-5 examples)
  • SASE

Illustrators, please send:

  • a brief query letter
  • representative portfolio of your work
  • color copies only—no original artwork
  • SASE

SASE instructions
We will not respond to submissions that do not include an SASE. In order to conform to postal regulations and ensure that you receive our response, please follow these guidelines:

  • Use US postal stamps only, not metered mail or international reply coupons.
  • Envelopes must be addressed and should include our address as the return address in the top left corner of the envelope.

Also:

  • Please use self-sealing envelopes.
  • We prefer business-sized (#10) envelopes (and like sized envelopes) that will be used for our response only—all submission material will be discarded.

If you want your materials returned to you, large mailing envelopes with sufficient postage are acceptable. Please keep in mind that this is a courtesy; we do our best to make sure that you receive your manuscript/materials back but cannot guarantee it.

International submissions
They welcome international submissions but can only respond on a limited basis. We do not return any material outside of the United States regardless of what arrangements are made for its return.

  • If possible, please include a self-addressed envelope with correct, US postage for response. US stamps are available for purchase on the US Postal Service website (www.usps.com). We will not redeem international reply coupons.
  • Please include an email address. If a proper SASE is not included, we will respond to submissions by email if we are interested.

How to Submit by email

Please send submissions to agent@ethanellenberg.com to the attention of Ethan Ellenberg

For email submissions, we ask that you paste all materials into the body of the email in the order mentioned below. For example, if you were submitting fiction you would begin with a brief query letter, followed by your synopsis, followed by the first 50 pages of your manuscript. We will not open attachments.

For fiction, your submission should include:

  • a brief query letter
  • a synopsis (1-2 pages long)
  • the first 50 pages (approximately) of your manuscript

For nonfiction, please include:

  • a brief query letter
  • a book proposal (outline of the material, sample chapters, author bio, etc.)

For picture books, please include:

  • a brief query letter
  • complete manuscript (text only)
  • 4-5 images of sample illustrations pasted into the body of the email

Illustrators, please send:

  • a brief query letter
  • 4-5 images of sample illustrations pasted into the body of the email
  • Link to online portfolio (if applicable)

Because of the large volume of email we receive we will not respond to your email unless interested. If you do not hear back from us after two weeks from sending your submission, you can safely assume that we are not interested in that project. You may submit to us again if you have a new project you think might interest us, but please do not submit the same project to us multiple times, and please do not submit more than one project at a time.

Dos

  • Print or type your submission on regular Letter sized (8½ x 11 inch) paper in twelve point font
  • Double Space your synopsis and sample chapters
  • Send us detailed color copies of your illustrations on photo paper if possible
  • Enclose all your materials held together with a paper clip, binder clip, or large rubber band
  • Use self-sealing envelopes for your SASE
  • Send us brief and concise query letters
  • Provide your contact information on your query letter
  • Write “Query” followed by the title of your submission in your email subject line

Don’ts

    • Call or email to check on your submission status.
    • Send us handwritten submissions
    • Send us bound books, or complete manuscripts
    • Send us submissions in folders, binders, bubble wrap or any additional packaging aside from the envelope your submission is mailed in
    • Send us personal checks, money orders or cash
    • Send us disks, CD’s, or any other materials besides your paper submission
    • Attach materials to your emails
    • Include images in your emails that are larger than 1MB (one megabyte)
    • Send submissions via FedEx, UPS, or any other courier service
    • Send us more than one submission at a time
    • Send us the same submission multiple times
    • Send us only a query without sample materials or visa-versa

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 22, 2016

Kudos and Cover Reveal

Kudos to Charlotte Bennardo (on left) for her first solo authored book and to Cathleen Daniels for providing the illustrations to make the book sing. Can’t wait to talk more about this book and do a Book giveaway in September.

Charlotte and Cathleen

Evolution Revolution: Simple Machines (Book 1) is the story of a gray squirrel, befriended by a young boy who names him Jack and teaches him about wheels, the first simple machine. When bulldozers and trucks come into Jack’s wood, threatening his tree, Jack believes that with the help of the other woodland animals, they can stop the machines- by using the wedge, another simple machine. Their war draws attention from the humans, and that won’t be good.

The age range is 8-12.

Cover final_500pixels_72dpi_RGB_ResizedSaturated1

 

Kudos to the following Industry Professionals:

Keely Kundell has joined Harlequin as editorial coordinator.

Joanna Cardenas was promoted recently to editor at Viking Children’s.

At Pegasus Books, Katie McGuire has been promoted to assistant editor.

Kristin Dulaney has joined Macmillan Children’s as executive director of subsidiary rights. She was at Little Brown Children’s.

Peter Knapp has rejoined Park Literary Group as an agent, focusing on middle grade and young adult fiction. Previously he was an agent at New Leaf Literary & Media.

At Harper Christian, Becky Monds has been promoted to acquisitions editor for fiction, and Karli Jackson moves up to associate acquisitions editor.

Simon & Schuster Children’s Sarah McCabe has been promoted to assistant editor, Simon Pulse.

Congratulations, everyone!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 21, 2016

Take a Look Sunday – Manuela Pentangelo

CALL FOR “TAKE A LOOK SUNDAY” SUBMISSSIONS

organisationcropped

2016 marks the 30th Anniversary of The Organisation!

Cue the popping of champagne corks and hurrahs!

They have agreed to host Take A Look Sunday from June through August!

organisation

ILLUSTRATOR’S DO NOT MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY!

The Organisation is run by Lorraine Owen with the fabulous assistance of Richard Merritt, Pauline Mason, Jane Gelosa and Steph Vickery. They are an international agency with offices in London and New York and their client base covers every genre and age group within Book Publishing. In addition they supply artwork for use in Advertising, Magazines, Design, Packaging, Apps, Games, Greetings Cards and Art for Interiors.

The company is built on the ethos that every artist should have a distinct style. They would be able to stand out and would never feel that their unique style was being duplicated within the agency. Currently the maximum amount of artists they represent is 60 and they operate a policy of adding new talent only when someone leaves.

“Lorraine and her agency are pretty much publishing royalty; The Organisation work with some of the very, very best illustration talents, and it’s always a thrill to be working with one of their stable They are on our ‘go-to’ list for all new commissions.

Organisation agents without fail are a joy to deal with, and contribute so much more than simple deal-making.” STRAWBERRIE DONNELLY, ART DIRECTOR.

Here is Lorraine’s review for Manuela Pentangelo:

Dear Manuela,

Your submission is very strong. I am impressed by the dynamic compositions and angles you are using in the work, as this really adds to the sense of action and drama in the scenes. It is a sophisticated approach and shows real skill.

tkl manuela-pentangelo-publishing-boy1 (1)

I love the soft colours you’ve used, and I actually really like the b&w sketch you’ve included too. We often encourage artists to do b&w work as it is great for interior book art for young fiction- early teen titles, and I can see your line work fitting in well with this kind of thing. It’s often overlooked by artists putting together a folio of work and publishers are always on the look out for it!

tkl manuela-pentangelo-publishing-children

The characters you draw are also very expressive which is great, though there’s something I don’t quite like about the boy’s mouth – I’m not entirely sure what it is, perhaps the lips are a little large? It’s a minor issue here as it wouldn’t require much tweaking, but more often than not, it is the facial features that clients pick up on as they have to be right for everything else to work so it’s worth pointing out in a general sense.

tkl manuela-pentangelo-publishing-laboratory

Overall, A really lovely set of illustrations, well done!


Here’s a Little Bit About Manuela Pentangelo:

Manuela is working with Author John Arthur Nichol from Australia at the Sascha Martin’s Adventures. It’s a series about 3 kids. http://saschamartinadventures.jimdo.com/

From last year I draw with a pen on a monitor, and I use Photoshop, but it’s nearly 15 years I’m into this field and love doing it.


Lorraine. Thanks for taking the time to share your expertise with all of us.


 

A Little Bit about LORRAINE OWEN:

Prior to the birth of The Organisation I had been Art Director/designer for a number of major publishers designing book jackets. I loved working with illustrators and I can proudly say that I gave a number of successful illustrators their very first job. After 10 enjoyable years I followed my passion for illustration and became a founder of The Organisation.

My main job within the company is now finding new talent and helping existing artists develop their portfolio by critiquing and supplying ideas for new samples.

Someone once said that if you love your job you’ll never work a day in your life and that’s exactly how I feel.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE:

If you do not have an agent and would like to be featured and hear what is working or how it could be tweaked to help you sell your work, then please send Two or Three SEQUENTIAL illustrations (Two/three with the SAME “story/characters‎”) to:

Kathy.temean (at) gmail.com. Illustrations should be at least 500 pixels wide and your name should be in the .jpg title. Please put ILLUSTRATOR PORTFOLIO in the subject area and include a blurb about yourself that I can use to introduce you to everyone.

Each Sunday one illustrator will be featured.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 20, 2016

Illustrator Saturday – Rafael López

slide1_rafael-480x375

The work of Rafael López is a fusion of strong graphic style and magical symbolism. Growing up in Mexico City he was immersed in the rich cultural heritage and native color of street life. Influenced by Mexican surrealism, dichos and myths he developed a style with roots in these traditions.

His illustrations for Book Fiesta! written by Pat Mora were the recipient of the 2010 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award given by the American Library Association to honor work that best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children’s books. In 2014 he was awarded the Pura Belpré Honor for Illustration for Tito Puente Mambo King, written by Monica Brown. In 2012 he was selected by the Library of Congress to create the artwork for the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. That same year he received the Pura Belpré Honor for illustration with The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred written by Samantha Vamos. His artwork for Yum! Mmmm! Que Rico! America’s Sproutings by Pat Mora won the Américas Award for illustration in 2007. He received a Pura Belpré Honor and the Américas Award for illustration with his first children’s book My Name is Celia written by Monica Brown in 2006.

His work on the Urban Art Trail Project transformed San Diego’s blighted East Village with colorful murals. This was the catalyst for development of a graphic style giving children and families the opportunity to paint large scale murals with the artist. These murals can be found in California, Colorado, Illinois and Washington.

Rafael divides his time between his studios in the colonial town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and a loft in downtown San Diego where he works and lives with his wife and son.

You can work with Rafael at the Children’s Book Academy.

HERE’S RAFAEL EXPLAINING HIS PROCESS:

Here’s a demonstration step by step on how I create a final illustration from an early doodle, using mixed media.

One of my regular clients is Scholastic. They have seen the poster I created for the National Book Festival in Washington DC a few years ago with all the animals and the kids reading. The Art Director wanted a similar concept that would include a possum, monkey, sloth, snake, bath and iguana and 2 kids hanging upside down from a tree. That was quite a challenge considering all the elements and the space I had to leave for the masthead. While I am on the phone with the Art Director, I begin to doodle.

Image 1

The next step is to do the research and familiarize myself with all the animals I will illustrate. Once I have several photos I begin the process of drawing giving them a personality and an attitude. The challenge here is to give them certain human qualities such as them reading books, I need to blend the way an animal moves with the way human anatomy works and try to find a balance that makes the character believable. (See the next 4 images)

Image 2

Image 3

Image 4

Image 5

The next step is to sketch our two heroes. The Art Director requested they would be around 10 years old. One Afro-American boy and a red headed girl to show diversity. We wouldn’t see their faces as a giant book will cover them. The purpose of this giant book was to have an area for extra text.

Image 6

Some early drawings are eventually edited from the final illustration as you can see with this hanging iguana. It didn’t feel right and there were already too many animals hanging upside down, however I wanted to incorporate a snake that would have a certain Aztec quality to it and did some research to create my character. I want to make sure none of the animals look threatening so I exaggerate their friendly expression.

Image 7I then make a second sketch where I think I need to have all the elements positioned.

Image 8

One thing I find very useful is to draw my characters and elements on tracing paper so that I can move them separately from each other, flip and change directions and allow me to consider the best composition. It’s like playing a game of chess.

Image 9

It’s time to create a final drawing making sure all the elements fit nicely around the copy and masthead, making sure no important element is cropped or hidden behind it.

Image 10

The next step is to create the shapes of the animals and the 2 kids. I talked in the interview about not letting technology define you but rather using it as a tool to create your own personal style. I made the decision to not use the “curve tool” on Photoshop. Instead I prefer to cut my shapes giving them a “hand touch” quality,  where the lines are not perfect but reflect my personal style. I use black construction paper and #11 x-acto blades to cut my shapes and then scan them. (the next three images)

Image 11

Image 12

Image 13

Using Photoshop I introduce a texture from my collection I have created with paint or photography. In this case I used a piece of old paper I Here’s the step by step progress while creating the possum character.

Image 14

I begin by scanning the cutout paper shape, crumpled and scanned that reminded me of animal skin. I use either the “lighten” or the “screen” mode on the layers section to combine the texture with the paper shape.

Image 15

I draw the possum fur and features on either tracing paper or vellum paper using black Prismacolor pencil and scan it.

Image 16

In Photoshop I blend the 2 layers together using the “multiply” mode on the layers section.

Image 17

The rest is adding final touches to the character, adding eyeballs, changing the color of the tail, darkening the legs and adding the book. He is ready to go and hang upside down!

Image 18

Now it’s time to create the background and environment. In this case they are in a jungle. I use an old piece of wallpaper and by copying and pasting it I created a larger background with green leaves. Using a brush I painted a black silhouette of branches and leaves for the foreground where the animals and the kids will be hanging. I then scanned a texture I painted with watercolor to resemble the texture of tree trunks and superimposed it on the black painting. This took the most time.

Image 19

The next step is to use the approved line drawing as a guide to make sure where to position all the finished animals and the 2 kids. This work is done in Photoshop using layers. I use the “warp” mode on the “transform” section to do some fine-tuning of all the shapes and elements, making sure they all fit and wrap nicely around each other.

Image 20

Almost there! This is the final illustration without the copy and masthead. All the layers have been flattened, color corrected and ready to go. This is the file I send to the Art Director. As you can see I give him extra room for cropping around the edges.

Image 21

And here is what the final product looks like. The Art Director was very happy, I found it to be a fun challenge considering all the elements they wanted, allowed me to experiment with mixed media and I hope the readers enjoy the next cover of Scholastic Storyworks!

Image 22

Here are two videos where Rafael talks about his process:

Here is number two.

Some Book Covers:

celcia

Another

Maybe something beautiful

Another one

sugar

Another one

Tito Puente

Horn Book Cover

Horn Book Guide

How long have you been illustrating?

I’ve worked professionally as an illustrator since my graduation from Art Center College of Design in 1985.

51093c_7fef3b3e6ff84e6eab434a963b576863

Have you always lived in California?

I was born in Mexico City and continue to be influenced by the colors, textures and street life of my native country. At the age of eleven, I had the chance to live for a short time in Exeter, England with an artist friend of my family. Now I split my time between San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and a loft in downtown San Diego.

baseball

What was the first thing you painted where someone paid you for your work?

The first thing I remember painting was a parade of Mexican skeletons on a giant paper roll my uncle who happened to work at a paper mill gave me as a present. My mother helped me clear the furniture from the living room and I rolled the giant tube from one end to the other. Inspired by the engravings of Guadalupe Posada I included skeletons of dogs, cats, roosters and donkeys in the parade. Every skeleton was having a great time and playing some kind of instrument. There were at least 30 figures and had a blast doing it although it required to paint laying on my belly for long hours, something I might find difficult to do now. When my Uncle saw it he gave me 20 pesos and hung it up at the paper mill.

book festival

What made you choose to attend Art Center College of Design?

I was lucky to take an art class at the University of Texas taught by a recent graduate from Art Center. He saw my work and told me I belonged there then followed up by bringing me a catalogue. When I opened the pages I was hooked! The work seemed to have been created by highly trained and talented instructors but my teacher reminded me that it was student work. I couldn’t believe the level of professionalism. I credit the unique and inspiring instruction, friendly yet intense competition there as formative forces during my education.

sun moon stars

What did you study there?

My major was in Illustration and my minor Graphic Design.

california

Do you feel College helped develop your style?

No, but it exposed me to many different styles and techniques. ArtCenter didn’t encourage young students to develop a style but fostered more the curiosity to explore and experiment. They correctly believe that style develops with time and practice. ArtCenter put more emphasis in conceptualization, teaching you to think outside the box depart from thinking literally to problem solve and discover the solution in a conceptual way. This opened many doors and opportunities for me once I graduated because I established myself as a conceptual illustrator. This is something I still apply to my illustrations for children’s books.

Deli

Did art school help you get work when you graduated?

My first professional job was given to me by one of my teachers. She worked for a video company and asked me to illustrate one of their video packages. For this project I implemented a Western Style which led to meeting another person who worked at another video company who gave me additional work. (cont.)

sleeping on a drum

ArtCenter’s well deserved reputation opened many doors for me giving me chances to show my portfolio around. This gave me a shot and made it easier to get through the door of many designs and advertising companies.

eyes

Have you seen your work change since you left school?

Yes! Several times. I now make conscious changes in my style to reflect who I am and stay in touch with what the market is demanding. I always stay true to what I connect to emotionally. I caution young artists to stay away from imitating the latest “hot” style in demand but instead listen to their own inner voice. This will help them connect to a style that is truly theirs and they will discover a lifetime of passion for making art. True style doesn’t come looking for you but comes from the inside out.

hot air balloon

When did you decide you wanted to illustrate for children?

One day I got a phone call from an editor of a small publishing company in northern Arizona. She had been following my work as a conceptual illustrator and told me I was the perfect guy she had in mind to illustrate a story on her desk. I thought she had the wrong guy and reminded her that I painted Mexican diablos, flames and skeletons. She calmly reassured me I was the guy she had in mind. My first book was My Name is Celia and it received a Pura Belpré honor and won the Americas Award back in 2004. That was how I got my start and thankfully other books followed.

dancing

Can you tell us about the book your made when you were eleven?

I was living in England at the time with a friend of my parents, the painter Felipe Ehrenberg. He lived on a beautiful farm in the southwest of England. This was back in the early 70’s and many people lived in a communal way, raising their own chickens, planting and growing their own food and milking cows. Coming from Mexico City this was all very fresh. At the end of my stay he encouraged me to create a small book illustrating some of my most memorable experiences. Being an artist he had a studio with a small hand press. I learned every step of the process and the result was my very first book at age 11. We created 50 copies that I gave to family and friends on my return. I still keep 2 copies at home, one that I will give to my son Santiago.

moon gazing

kick up your heels

Did you do other types of illustrating before you got the Celcia book contract?

Yes, mostly conceptual Illustration, annual reports, posters, book covers and magazine articles. I still spend 50% of my time doing commercial illustration as I like to diversify and have the opportunity to take other challenges.

dog cat girl book

How did you get involved with Murals?

In 1997 my wife and I bought an old warehouse in the East Village of San Diego that we converted into a live/work home and studio. After fixing up our place we realized the neighborhood needed our attention as it was impacted by blight and crime. As I come from Mexico City, I connected to the impact murals had made in my own hometown. To really create change we knew that we had to engage our community so I developed a large scale mural style that could work like a giant paint by numbers.

mural

Did that work lead you to getting the contract to illustrate Maybe Something Beautiful? Did you know the author?

The editor that gave me my first opportunity to illustrate a children’s book is the co-author of Maybe Something Beautiful. She was contacted by Isabel Campoy and both were very enthusiastic to create a story inspired by the work we had created through the Urban Art Trail in the East Village of San Diego. We coordinated a visit and I took them to see in person some of the projects that included murals, sidewalk poetry, benches and painted electrical boxes. On our return to the studio I saw in their eyes the determination that this would one day become a book. It was inspired by the real story of people from many different walks of life coming together to create a sense of community through art. (cont.)

dreams

Yum!, Mmmm Que Rico was a Blue Bonnet Book Award winner, Américas Award for Children’s Literature Award winner, Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Book Award winner, an ALA Notable Book, the Great Lakes Great Books Award, and Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year. That is a lot of awards to win for only your third book. How exciting was that when it happened? Do you feel it helped get you more work?

First of all I have to admit that I really didn’t know it had won so many awards. Much credit goes to the amazing writer Pat Mora and the excellent job Lee and Low does promoting their books. I do believe winning awards has helped me to get more offers and select exciting stories that I really connect to.

drumbeats

In 2015, Drum Dream Girl won a ton of awards. Do you have someone who submits your books to get them in front of award committees?

Publishing houses have a department of very skilled, committed folks who make sure books get the best exposure and get to where they belong, in libraries and hopefully into the hands of children. It is always a good idea to stay up to date with the deadline for submissions and check that your books have been submitted.

policeman

How many picture books have you illustrated?

9 books so far and working on 3 new books projects including my very first book written and illustrated by yours truly. A scary yet incredibly exciting challenge but I know in my gut I have what I believe is an important personal story that needs to be told.

desert

arms

How did you meet Mira Reisberg, founder of The Children’s Book Academy?

I believe she had become familiar with my work on children’s books and we have several common friends including Isabel Campoy. She is one of the most important scholars in the industry and has done a great job creating scholarships for young writers and illustrators. I was honored to have her name one of the scholarship in my name. I have been a teacher and believe strongly in education. I still love to teach workshops and speak to young students at every opportunity. It’s a chance to share the love and passion I feel for telling diverse stories.

submarine

I know you contributed a video interview for the Craft and Business of Illustrating Children’s Books where you shared about your art techniques. Could you give a brief description of the materials that you use and what it was like doing the interview?

Talking to Mira was like having a chat with an old friend who shares similar interest and the same passion for children’s books and literature.

She wanted to share with her readers as much information as possible about me, my art and what makes me tick and inspires me. The conversation was very casual but hitting some very informative points. (cont.)

oprahWe talked about my technique and how I have been using wood panels to paint and take advantage of the grain and texture. This is what has given my style a certain recognizable “look” if you wish. I explained how I use masking tape to create sharp edges and use tools I find in different hardware stores and antique shops to scratch and create different textures dragging the tools across the wood surface while the paint is still wet. The interview took place before I starting experimenting with more mixed media and doing more digital work which is what I do currently. I still scan my traditional acrylic paintings done on wood and then apply other techniques such as Prismacolor pencil, cutout paper and watercolor washes. It allows me to do things faster and give me more flexibility to change things in Photoshop.

house

Finally, how did it feel being honored for your art and social activism with their diversity scholarship?

Naming one of her scholarships after me was a great honored. I’ll be honest, I was a bit surprised and humbled to find out that people knew about my work and have been following it all these years. I thought only my family was doing it. I believe she wanted to not only recognize all the years of illustrating especially children’s books but recognize my engagement in social activism. I do community murals with kids of all ages around the country in areas that have been affected by blight or neglect. These murals and the participation of the community is one of my most rewarding experiences I can think of. Using art as a tool to make positive change in the community is a very powerful thing and a collaboration kids will remember for a very long time. Doesn’t get any better than that!

everyone painting

What do you think is your biggest success?

Other than raising my son and trying every day to make him a good person and world citizen I believe I have had some moments that have defined my career. One that comes to mind is the creation of a poster for President Obama in his first term. I originally created it in a grassroots way to bring attention to the Latino vote hoping to help bring attention to a candidate I believed in. Friends helped me post it on the internet and immediately it went viral. This image was very effective in reaching this demographic and field workers brought it to the attention of the national campaign. Before I knew it, I became one of only eight artists to create an official poster that was used to raise campaign funds and awareness.

daddy

Do you have an artist rep.? If so, who and how did you connect?

I did have an artist rep for many years while my name and my reputation was evolving. I made the decision to go at it on my own several years ago as the Internet and my two websites were keeping me busy without a rep. I do think it is a good idea for young illustrators who are starting their careers to look for someone to represent them and instead spend their time more productively in the studio making art. A good rep that respects and likes your work will be a great ally looking for good job opportunities and bring the best price for your talent. (cont.)

reading in the clouds

I am with Full Circle Literary and absolutely believe it is vital to have a literary agent. She has been a great friend and we knew each other before she started representing me. She does a much better job that I could ever do with book contracts and royalties.

abc

Do you illustrate full time?

Yes, knock on wood! Paint on wood too.

music lesson

Do you have a favorite medium you use?

I have been painting with acrylic on wood panel for many years. Recently I started experimenting with more mixed media that includes construction paper, digital art, pen and ink in combination with my acrylic paint.

sailing

Do you take research pictures before you start a project?

I do take lots of pictures of textures, walls and peeling paint that find their way into my work. I take photographs of things I find interesting and feel that will help me with the project but I draw from my mind as my illustrating style is not realistic. It is more interesting to me to speak to my audience with drawing that represent a memory, a feeling instead of giving them a realistic representation. (cont.)

paint brush

However I do believe in doing research. It is one of the most important steps in the creation of a project. To become familiar with your subject, to look for imagery that will inspire and trigger an idea, looking for the spark that will initiate everything. I create what I call “mood boards” and plaster the wall of my studio with this boards that help me get in the mood and surround me through the whole process from beginning to end. I always play appropriate music as well.

picking produce

Have you worked with any educational publishers? If yes, is there any difference working with them?

Many, I made a conscious effort many years ago to change gears in my style as the Silicon Valley bubble was bursting in the end of the 1990’s. At the time I was working on mostly annual reports for financial companies and saw the end coming. I switched gears and started developing a style and imagery that the educational and healthcare industry could relate to.

music waves

Do you use Photoshop with any of your work?

Yes, sometimes but carefully as I don’t want it to have a digital style but rather still give the feel that it was hand done.

riding the bird

Do you have and use a graphic tablet?

No

book feista

Has any of your work appeared in magazines?

Yes, for many years.

Talent Show

Do you have a studio in your house or do you do everything at the college?

I have 2 studios. One in my loft in downtown San Diego and one in my home in San Miguel de Allende Mexico.

performing

Is there anything in your studio you couldn’t live without?

Music! I need to have music to create. I believe they go hand in hand. I listen to an eclectic mix of music but my favorite has to be Latin Jazz. Just love the beat and makes me happy.

on stage

Do you follow any type of routine to attain your career goals?

I believe the moment of inspiration can strike at any time so I don’t limit myself to a routine but I try to find balance in life and spend a good deal of time exercising. I swim and bike and many ideas have come to my mind while biking down the hill or being underwater. (cont.)

elephant

It’s always good to strive to be better and push yourself with the next assignment but that only comes if you feel love for what you do. I never considered what I do a job but rather feel blessed I was given this opportunity in life to create something out of nothing, on a blank piece of paper and perhaps this creation will inspire someone in a positive way. To be curious to learn something new every day even after illustrating for almost 30 years is a good start to help you achieve your goals.

music crown

Do you think the Internet has opened any doors for you?

Yes, the Internet came to change the game and make it easier to expose your work to a larger audience in real time. You can paint something, scan it and put in in the internet immediately for the world to see. How can you beat that?

night music

What are your career goals?

Continue to create quality work and collaborate with writers I admire. I want to continue creating community murals and develop diverse books for young minds. I guess I’m already doing what I love to do.

stroller

What are you working on now?

My own story plus a new story written by Margarita Engle and a new book about free libraries.

making music

Are there any painting tips (materials, paper, etc.) you can share that work well for you? Technique tips?

Don’t be afraid of a blank piece of paper. Start instinctively to draw and let the hand and the mind wander and you wonder. You may not end up with the final piece but at least you get started. Experiment with different techniques and make them your own. Never stop being curious. Visit as many museums and hardware stores as you can. I usually come out feeling incredible inspired and ready to go back to the studio. (cont.)

alligator with a tail

Try to give your work a personal touch, don’t let the technique or the technology define or limit you. Instead make it simply another tool or instrument to help you create your own voice, vision and viewpoint. Use this technique or technology in a different way than most people do. I use Photoshop but refuse to learn the “curves” tool because it look too digital and perfect. Instead I create my shapes by cutting construction paper that I later scan. It looks more hand made, therefore I’m using the technology in my own way rather than having the technology define me.

flaoting

Any words of wisdom you can share with the illustrators who are trying to develop their career?

Feel the love for what we do. We are so fortunate to make a living striving to create beauty in a world full of imperfections. Illustration is a beautiful trade that goes back for centuries and continues to be an essential part of what we are. Celebrate and learn about the legends and encourage young illustrators finding their way. (cont.)

haning artwork

Make a plan for what you want to achieve and remind yourself of those goals. Tape it to your studio walls. Travel as much as you can, experience different things and be open minded to discover fresh ideas and images every day. Listen to a diverse repertoire of music, thoughts and opinions. Be true to yourself and stay away from the temptation to copy or imitate styles that are in vogue at the time. Remember that by the time you are going there, the people that created that style are miles ahead of you and on their way back. (cont.)

ship

An illustrator friend of mine told me many years ago something that stuck with me all this years. “you will have a huge stack of rejections and a small stack of successes, focus on the small stack.”

stilts

Thank you Rafael 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 Rafael’s work, you can visit him at website at: http://www.rafaellopez-books.com/

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

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 19, 2016

Free Fall Friday: Interview with Julia Maguire Part 2

AUGUST FEATURED EDITOR & GUEST CRITIQUER:

jullia macquire5727512

Julia Maguire is an Editor at Knopf Books for Young Readers. Prior to that, she worked at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

She currently edits picture books and middle grade and YA novels. She also, is working with illustrators and picture book writers during a 5 week online course at the Children’s Book Academy, starting next month.

She received her degree in communications from the University of Massachusetts and her Masters in Publishing from NYU. She started her publishing career interning at Bloomsbury Children’s Books in 2006 and has worked on picture books ever since.

Writer’s and Illustrators, you can register for a Free Picture Book Webinar with Julie taking place on Wednesday August 24th 2016 at 5.30PM PDT / 8.30PM Eastern

Here is Part Two of Julia’s Interview:

Do you accept unsolicited submissions at Knopf?

No, but I will look at submissions from attendees of conferences and classes that I attend.

Do you like rhyming picture books or would you prefer prose?

I do like rhyming but only when it is done perfectly, which is difficult to do. Sometimes it can read like the author is just trying to work backwards to get the rhyme scheme to work rather than have it come organically. I say if it is not absolutely necessary to the story, consider dropping it. 

Do you publish picture books over 600 words?

Yes, I have a few non-fiction biographies that are longer than that, but most of my other books are around 500-600 words. But don’t worry about the word count as you’re writing. If you feel like the story needs more text, commit to it. As the editorial process goes along, there could be some trimming but there is no hard and fast rule.

Do you lean more towards certain types of picture book? Funny? Quirky? Family stories? Anamorphic characters? Fairy tale retellings? Folklore? Fantasy, Non-fiction?

I like stories that walk the line between sweet and silly. Stories that lend themselves to re reads and feel universal. If the voice is there, I’m less concerned about the genre.

How often do you publish a picture book where the author is also the illustrator?

I do have several books that are author/illustrator but I don’t have a quota I need to fill. It just depends on the submissions I get.

Can you share any common mistakes you see made with picture books today?

I think that new authors and illustrators can get bogged down in making things too similar to books that are already successful. It’s important to make your own path while still being knowledgeable about the current marketplace.

Have you ever worked to publish a wordless picture book?

When I was assisting another editor, I helped with a book she was working on, but I haven’t published any myself. But I am a fan of them and would love to find the right illustrator to work on one with.

What genres do you prefer with a middle grade novel?

I prefer realistic stories, but I do have more allowance for fantasy or magic in middle grade. I like stories that finds kids outside of their elements, struggling with friendships and their parents and the tragedies and ecstasies of growing up.

Are you open to YA books having some sexual content?

Yes, but don’t include sexual content if it isn’t organic to the story and the characters. Just because it’s YA doesn’t mean it needs to be racy or graphic. Write the story the way you want to write. 

What genres do you favor?

As with middle grade, I prefer realistic stories. I’m not as connected to fantasy in YA. But in all novels, I look for voice first and foremost. If the writing is there, I am open to so much more.

Are you willing to work and help shape a novel submitted to get it ready for publication?

Yes, if there is something in the manuscript that I love—a great voice, terrific characters, strong plot—then I am willing to work on fixing any issues that I see, as long as the author is also open to those revisions.

How important do you feel the first line, first paragraph, first page, first chapter is for a writer in order to obtain a contract offer? Any tips along that end?

It is all important. I usually take a quick glance at a new submission right away and if the first few lines don’t grab me, I move it a little further down my to-read pile. Avoid being overly expositional in your opening so the reader wants to keep reading to put the pieces together themselves. Have some faith in your reader that they won’t give up if they don’t get all the answers from the start.

Will you stop reading if you run across typos in a submitted novel?

No, unless they are absolutely egregious. I would recommend reading your manuscript thoroughly before submitting. If you miss one or two, it’s understandable, but more than that can seem careless.

Any writing or submitting pet peeves?

Please try to spell the editor’s name and company correctly. It’s also not helpful when authors say there book is the next “insert hugely popular and bestselling book here.” Let your book speak for itself!

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES For FIRST PAGE CRITIQUES:

In the subject line, please write “August First Page 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).

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: August 19th (12:00pm EST).

RESULTS: August 26th.

Please only submit one first page a month. Thanks!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 18, 2016

Book Giveaway – MY BIG TREE

Maria Ashworth has agreed to offer a book giveaway for her new book, MY BIG TREE. 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. Please make sure you check back on September 5th to discover the winner. Make sure I’m able to find your contact information, in case your name is drawn.

Maria ashworth my big tree.

One bluebird has found her favorite tree to nest in until other animals realize it’s their favorite tree also. It all starts when two back bears love to nap in the big tree. The story continues as more multiple of colored animals (counting to 10) fill the tree and push the one little bluebird and her nest all the way to the top of the tree. She doesn’t want to share her big tree so she sets out to find a new one. She discovers there are a few things missing in her new home. In the end, it’s not the tree that makes it so special. It’s her new best friends.

Ages: 4-8
Genre: Concept Picture Book
Synopsis: Think Brown Bear meets Where’s Waldo.

Maria’s Book Journey:

As a child I don’t remember being read to by my parents. I don’t think it was purposeful on their end. My parents were young and not readers themselves.  I don’t think they saw the importance in sharing a good book and making a life-long reader. I didn’t have a shelf full of books. I maybe had a few. The one I do remember was an old Snow White book with the scary witch offering the young girl an apple through the window.

In my elementary years, I didn’t love reading so I found it difficult in school. My comprehension wasn’t where it needed to be so I fell behind. We had SRA boxes in class. I cringed every time I had to pull my reading assignment from the color-coded box. An embarrassment as I was stuck in the sky blue level. I wanted purple. I hoped to be in anything besides the low-leveled colored cards. It was like a competition. I hated them.

When I got into high school I realized I could express myself and my teen frustrations through writing. I wrote short poems on my free time. I wish I still had the composition book that held my thoughts. I have one that’s been stuck in my brain since I was thirteen which may never get out there. So here’s my chance. No title.

The sun rises joyfully through the clouds.
After it rises it will eventually come down.
The lake before it shows sorrow and grief;
for the sun is leaving until the next dry leaf.
The flowers stop blooming.
The birds stop chirping.
For the winter is near.

Ta da! It’s published. Ha!

In 2006, I journaled about my crumbling marriage and impending divorce. I believed someday I would publish it to help other woman to become empowered. Someday, I hope to get it out there. I left it on the back burner after I remarried.

The new man in my life had five children. I had a boy and a girl who loved him, but once my daughter knew his boys would occasionally have a place in the house she wasn’t thrilled. I wrote a picture book about it and my family loved it. Especially my daughter since it was her story. That’s when I knew I would make writing my career. I had to perfect my craft if I was going to be an author. I went to my first SCBWI conference in 2009 and became inspired.

I had an agent for two years where she tried to sell My Big Tree and Tommy James, a cowboy series. I received great accolades for both. Tommy James, The Littlest Cowboy In Reckon’ got all the way to the editor’s table in NYC. It fell short when they said, “…we’re already fluxed with cowboy books.”  I enjoyed the agent/writer relationship but felt it was a long process. With forty-eight manuscripts waiting for homes I’d be in the grave before they came to life. After the two manuscripts exhausted the industry I went out on my own.

After nine years of writing, being agented, a hundred and seventy-five rejections (from a bulk of my work) and the IRS telling me my profession was now a hobby I decided it was time to take responsibility for my career.

I found an illustrator and we began collaborating on a book that I was told wasn’t marketable. With fifty percent of the nation being blended I knew it needed to get out there. My blended family book, Step One, Step Two, Step Three and Four was born in January 2016. It has been received well by many and will now be in the children’s theater in 2017 with the Katy Visual Performing Arts in Katy, Texas. They hope to share it with other schools and theaters all over the country. With September 16th as National Step Family Day and I hope to connect with those with blended families so they can share the story with their children.

I loved having control of my destiny. I started working on My Big Tree since it had exhausted the industry and I believed it was an adorable concept book that needed to get out there. I acquired an illustrator who had nailed down the drawing of animals, especially dogs. Even though a dog wasn’t in the story line I wanted him in. So I created a way to get readers to question the dog’s existence to the story. It works.

I went to the TLA in Houston 2016 in hopes to sell my blended family book. While it didn’t fly off the shelf I met some great people and loads of connections. A gentleman came to the booth and introduced himself and his publishing house. He mentioned my name to an editor of a small press. She contacted me. We met for a three hour meeting and the rest is history.

My Big Tree was picked up by Spork, and imprint of Clear Fork Publishing. It’s warm watercolor illustrations make the story come to life. Each page filled with lovable animals paired with a wonderful message about friendship.

So I look back at my journey and how it all started. No matter what the challenges I faced, if I wanted it, I knew I could have it if I worked for it. One must never give up on hope.

maria ashworth2

BIO:

Maria is the author of Step One, Step Two, Step Three and Four. She lives with her family in Richmond, Texas. Her picture books are inspired by her children and her own personal experiences. When not writing you can find her at the gym, in the garden or digging through a pint of ice cream, especially chocolate chip.

Congratulations Maria. Wishing you the best with your book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 17, 2016

Opportunity: Agent Building List

A few days ago I told you about the Scholarships available for the 2016 Craft and Business of Illustrating Children’s Books! Great News – The Applications DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO SATURDAY AUGUST 20th!!! – Click here to apply
Shannon_Powers_McIntosh_and_OtisSHANNON POWERS is a graduate of New York University. She began her career in publishing at McIntosh and Otis as an intern in 2011, and then went on to intern at The Book Report Network and W.W. Norton & Company. She has also worked as a bookseller. She returned to M&O in 2014, where she assists Shira Hoffman and Christa Heschke and is also looking to build her own list as a junior agent.

Shannon is interested in representing a range of both adult and children’s genres. Above all, she looks for projects with a strong hook, smart plotting, memorable characters, and an addictive voice. She is open to both lighter projects and projects with a darker edge.

In YA and middle grade, she is searching for mysteries and thrillers with high emotional stakes, projects with romantic elements (whether fun or angsty), horror, light sci-fi or fantasy, and contemporary with a unique premise.

For adult, her reading interests include literary fiction, mystery, horror, popular history, and romance.

Twitter: @S_E_Powers / Blog: Spine & Page

How to Submit:  To query Shannon Powers please email: SPquery@mcintoshandotis.com. Please include all text in the body of the email as outlined in the M&O submission guidelines. Emails containing attachments will not be opened and will be automatically deleted due to security reasons.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 16, 2016

Entangled Fall Wish List

entangled bannersubmit-header

entangledfalllist

Submissions

Entangled Teen (simultaneous print and e-distribution) and Entangled digiTeen (digital first distribution), our young adult imprints, publish the swoonworthy young adult romances readers crave. Whether they’re dark and angsty or fun and sassy, contemporary, fantastical, or futuristic, Teen and digiTeen have exactly what teen (and teen at heart!) readers want. We are seeking fresh voices with interesting twists on popular genres.

We are seeking novels in the following subgenres of romantic fiction for the Entangled Teen print and Entangled digiTeen digital-first lines:

Contemporary Upper YA (16-19 year old protags) that will appeal to crossover audiences
Younger YA/MG (13-15 year old protags) that will appeal to crossover audiences
Historical
Romantic Thrillers
Science Fiction
Paranormal and Urban Fantasy
Fantasy

Guidelines:

All submissions must have strong romantic elements.
YA novels should be 50k to 100k words in length.
We are not an erotic romance publisher, however we consider all heat levels, so long as the erotic elements are secondary the story.
Revised backlist titles will be considered on a case by case basis.
We accept both agented and unagented submissions, though agented submissions receive first priority in the slush pile.

To submit a YA manuscript for consideration, please use the following link:
Submit to Entangled Teen

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

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