Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 18, 2016

Book Giveaway – Lisa Rose

Lisa Rose has agreed to offer her new book, SHMULIK PAINTS THE TOWN, to one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave a comment to get in the running. Reblog, or 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 before drawing the winners on March 1.

blogShmulik Paints the Town cover


SHMULIK PAINTS THE TOWN by Lisa Rose and Illustrated by Catalina Echeverri published by Kar-Ben Publishing is about a town artist who has to paint a mural for Israeli Independence day. But he can’t decide what to paint–luckily he gets some help from his dog!

blog lisa Chottier


Everyone always asks, “How did IT happen? How did the editor pick you?”

My answer: “Flip-turns.”

You see, long before I was a writer, I was a swimmer. I was trained to go as fast as I could into a cement walls. If you are a writer, you crash into lots of cement wall rejections. However, swimmers never let the wall stop them. Instead, swimmers do a flip-turn and go as fast as they can to another cement wall. Successful writing takes a lot of flip-turns!

A few years ago, I was working with an agent. If fact, two agents—one for novels and one for picture books. Surely, I would be published. I had two agents, right? WRONG! The economy was bad and the book business was in a slump. Any book that didn’t have a vampire in it was hard to sell. However, thanks to a generous grant the PJ Library was buying and sending free Jewish-themed books to any Jewish kid who signed up. So my agent who is Jewish suggested I write Jewish books because after all, I am Jewish.

I admit I wasn’t so thrilled about making Jewish books. I like my heritage, but I really didn’t want to write about it. But, I could be at the Jewish Book Fair. This was always the first question a Jew asks when I say I write children’s books. “Are you at the Jewish Book Fair?” So I was willing to try—I already had every Bubbie in Detroit lining up to buy my book.

Also, I needed to get a foot or toe in the door somewhere. So I wrote a few stories. My agent loved them! However, she couldn’t sell them. And she couldn’t sell a lot of other picture books by other clients too. So my agent decided no longer to represent picture books.

After crying and eating a tub of ice cream, I decided to send the stories out on my own. Kar-Ben accepted unsolicited manuscripts. Kar-Ben is the largest children’s Jewish publisher. The other small Jewish presses rarely publish new picture books, and if they do they are more religious than my books. So I submitted. The editor asked for a revision. Then she rejected it, but encouraged me to send more.

And I did.

I wrote about Shabbat fairies, dogs having bark mitzvahs, magic tallis rides, and dragons coming to Shabbat dinner. I wrote twisted tales with such titles as Little Red Hoodowitz, Mr. Wolfman and the Boarman’s, Golda and The Bearbergs. I even wrote a story about making pickles and included pictures of me and my grandmother in a yellow flowered wallpaper kitchen circa 1978.

The editor rejected every story–personally. In fact, we were on first name rejection basis. However, she always encouraged me to send more.

And I did.

I decided I was going to keep sending until she either accepted a story or gave me a restraining order! When one story didn’t work, I just did another flip-turn and went onto the next story idea.

Meanwhile the free Jewish books kept arriving monthly for my daughter. Each one mocked me—“You didn’t get picked.” And responded to each book, “YET!”

Okay at this point I have to give a shout out to the best critique partner ever! Patti Richards! Patti, who attends Church every Sunday, diligently read all what we nicknamed my “Jew tales.” I am so grateful for her insights and encouragement. She deserves a huge Mazel Tov too! Also, I have to add that I revised this manuscript after Shutta Crum did a very helpful picture book workshop.

And finally, on December 10, 2013, as I was doing a quick email check before I made dinner and completed all the “mom jobs” I got the email! Good News re: Paint the Town

It took over two years and twenty manuscripts!


So my advice to all writers is practice your flip-turns and keep swimming.

BIO: Lisa Rose lives near Detroit, Michigan. She likes to swim, practice yoga, and eat ice cream, but not at the same time.

Congratulations Lisa! Good luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Congratulations on finding publication and not giving up! Maybe one day I will be published, too!


  2. Great story of getting knocked down and right back up again! Thanks for sharing so writers like me don’t think we are the Lone Rangers of rejection! I tweeted this to my followers, thanks for the opportunity to win a copy 🙂


  3. Inspiring! Wishing you all the best. Would love to win a copy of this book to review! It would be a great addition to your writing exercise featured on my blog! XO


  4. Such a great success story – congratulations 🙂 And thanks for your generosity in providing a prize copy to a lucky someone!


  5. Love your swimming analogy.


  6. What an inspiration you are! Thank you so much for sharing, and for making me laugh – especially at Bark Mitzvah! 🙂 – Dow


  7. Woo-hoo, Lisa! Fun to see you here. No need to enter me in the giveaway because I already have the book. 😉


  8. Hooray for your perseverance, Lisa! I’m a dog lover, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the Bark Mitzvah–that’s hilarious! Congrats!


  9. Congratulations! Can’t wait to read this book. I never thought about how swimming related to writing until this post.


  10. Lisa, I laughed and loved this post. Especially the ‘restraining order’ bit. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing experience in a difficult industry. I really think you and your grandmother making pickles sounded great. And you have such imagination, well done for writing all those stories, even though they didn’t get picked but wow, you have worked so hard. Congratulations on Shmulik, I can’t wait to read it one day.


  11. Great post. Thank you for sharing your flip flops and your road to publication. I can’t wait to read your book.


  12. If this book is anything like your mini-bio above, I’m sure it will be hilarious. It looks and sounds like a great story. I’ll have to try that flip-flop.


  13. Way to hang in there! As a former swimmer, love the flip turns! The book sounds wonderful, and I love your humor. And, I have three entries.


  14. Such a great post! I also love to swim and write, but must obviously learn those flip turns! Your picture book looks lovely!


  15. Your words of encouragement to continue with the “flip-turns and keep swimming,” are appreciated, Lisa Rose. All the best.

    I reblogged, posted on FB and shared a tweet. Thank you, Kathy.
    ~Suzy Leopold


  16. Congratulations, Lisa! I will keep practicing my flip-turns 🙂 I’ve tweeted this post @ChristieAllred


  17. Wow, Lisa, that’s a great journey. Congratulations!


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