Farren Phillips has written and illustrated a new non-fiction picture book, THE SECOND IN THE WORLD TO SAIL THE GLOBE: Sir Francis Drake, published by Yeehoo Press. Yeehoo Press has agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the US.

Just leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Let me know other things you did to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Farren.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. If you want to make sure you don’t miss seeing that you won, please click “Notify Me of Follow-Up Comments By Email” box. I will leave a comment in reply if you win the book. Thanks!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

An engaging illustrated biography about Sir Francis Drake: famous explorer, feared pirate, and the second person to ever sail around the world.

Sir Francis Drake may not have been the first person to sail around the globe, but he still made history as the second. Along the way, he stole a lot of treasure, lost a few ships in battle and bad weather, and made an enemy of King Phillip II of Spain. Learn all about the life and exploits of this 16th century privateer and explorer in this exciting book packed full of fun facts, vibrant illustrations, and interactive activities.

BOOK JOURNEY:

As a child I always loved non-fiction books; the excitement of going to the library and filling a bookbag to learn about anything and everything from dinosaurs to pirates to robots to the Romans. I had never really dreamed I’d be making those very books someday for the next generation of knowledge hungry children to enjoy!

After previously only working on picturebooks it’s been quite a dramatic learning curve to be working on fact-based books for slightly older children, as it turns out; there’s a lot more extremely in-depth research that goes into the preparation of these books than is shown in the finished result. The amount of history books, papers, and journals stacked on my desk is now taller than me! This is certainly the longest project I’ve worked on to date too – Second in the World to Sail the Globe; Sir Francis Drake took me at least a few months to research, write and illustrate; and that’s before counting the several months of editing, re-writing and changing designs.

The concept for Second in the World was actually suggested by my publisher Yeehoo Press; they were interested in perhaps producing some books covering lesser-known historical characters. While I was listing out pages of interesting historical figures I thought could work, they took a particular interest in Sir Francis Drake; a 16th century privateer working for the Queen of England, who was the second person to sail the entire circumference of the globe after Ferdinand Magellan, (but was actually the first person to make the journey and survive the entire thing). From this we worked together to come up with the idea of producing a series of books on famous seconds- historical figures who did significant things but aren’t remembered for being the first. I enjoy the concept as much as the content; not only is it pretty fascinating to learn about characters you may have never heard of, but it’s a nice message to send to children that just because you don’t succeed in coming first doesn’t mean you won’t still make the history books with your achievements!

When starting out writing about Francis Drake, I gathered every article and book on him I could find to see how others had approached telling his story. One thing that immediately stood out to me was that in the few books about him aimed at young adults or children; his story is very censored. Drake is often written to be a war hero, a great man who saved England from the Spanish soldiers and lead a ship and crew on epic journeys, while blatantly skipping over facts about him starting out as a slave trader, being a murderer, and an all-out vile man; even the Horrible Historys books smooth over the cracks and leave out a lot of important details about the cruel deeds of his character.

This inspired me to take a different direction than initially intended with the story- instead of writing Drake as a hero, I wanted to create a truer re-telling (which comes with some big challenges when writing for children). In the end, there were still parts of Drakes story I couldn’t include that were considered too violent to visualise for younger readers, but I did manage to include many important historical aspects which I think are important to discuss with children rather than glaze over especially in the current economic climate.

I enjoyed narrating Drakes life; his successes, his failings, his incredible feats, and his horrible deeds, the good the bad and the ugly, showing children that he isn’t the hero they might have been told (more the villain), but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t a lot to learn from his story.

My favourite part of the whole process was illustrating some of the wackier scenes; things like Drake and his crew feasting on Great Auks, having their bottoms well and truly handed to them by the great Mapuche warriors, and dumping their treasures in the ocean to free themselves from a sticky situation. Sometimes the illustrations even ended up enhancing the facts; there is section about Drake and his crew stealing tons of gold, silver and jewels from a Spanish treasure ship and I felt it would be fun to illustrate the quantities of treasure weighed up against other things to help children better visualise just how HUGE the amount was. Instead of just drawing stacks of treasures I drew out weighing scales and spent many hours researching, doing math, and even weighing obscene amounts of fruit in my kitchen, and I think the finished result is definitely a lot funnier and more visually understandable.

One part of the book that was a new experience for me as an illustrator was making the puzzles and activities. The publisher really wanted the story to have fun interactive elements to give it a similar vibe to an activity book and to keep the reader more engaged especially in areas with heavier text. Puzzles are, I’ve found, surprisingly difficult to create from scratch, especially things like mazes. For someone like me who doesn’t have the most mathematical mind it took a few attempts to draw up a maze that was difficult enough to be entertaining but that actually worked!

This has been such an enjoyable experience to work on, and throughout the project (alongside an unbelievable amount of 16th century history) I’ve learned something important. That pure desire to learn about everything and anything you have as a child, the unadulterated fascination with the world and everything in it, while it might get buried over time by the societal pressure to focus on only what’s ‘important’, never really goes away. Once you delve into a topic and re-find that passion, it all comes flooding back and it’s just like being a child again cracking open a book on Ancient Egypt or the Industrial Revolution and being excited to fill your mind with facts to share with everyone you know, all over again. I hope this book not only excites and inspires some younger readers, but maybe even ignites the interest of parents and teachers too.

FARREN’S BIO:

Farren is an Author and Illustrator from the UK who has always had a passion for creating funny stories and spreading smiles. Over the past few years after graduating from her masters degree in Children’s Illustration at Cambridge School of Art, she has had four hilarious picturebooks published internationally, and currently has three new nonfiction books making their debut this year.

When not working on books or doing Storytime events and school visits, Farren can be usually be found spending far too many hours in the local library, killing many plants in an attempt to keep a garden, or fruitlessly trying to stop her cat Gordon from stealing her underwear.

Farren, thank you for sharing your book an journey with us. There is so much to love about this book. Pirates, adventure on the high seas, looking for treasure, finding new lands. You have made it so much fun to learn about history and life in the 16th Century. Kids will love this book. Your illustrations and activities will keep children opening the book over and over again. I enjoyed reading the book and discovered things I did not know. Love the acitivities and how you presented all the information. Good luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

 

Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 25, 2022

Illustrator Saturday – Devon Holzwarth

Devon Holzwarth is a picture book illustrator, author, and painter. Born in Washington D.C., Devon grew up in Panama surrounded by nature and her dad’s art supplies, and has lived in many other places over the years. She currently lives in Germany with her family including her husband, two kids, a galgo dog from Spain and a little dachshund from Romania.

Devon earned her BFA in 2000 from the Rhode Island School of Design focusing on screen printing and painting. She has written & illustrated two picture books: FOUND YOU and SOPHIE’S STORIES, with Alison Green Books/Scholastic UK. She has a number of picture books publishing in 2022, including “Tia Fortuna’s New Home” (Knopf Books, English & Spanish language versions), “Listen” (Dial Books and Penguin UK), and “Everywhere With You” (Walker Books US and Walker Books UK).

HERE IS DEVON DISCUSSING HER PROCESS:

My first rough sketch done on the ipad (actually there was one before this but it was just a scribble)…this is the sketch that got approved to go to final art.

I  always do color mockups now before starting. Even if I change my mind about color later, at least I’ll have a guide to start with.

I print my sketches in very light color on the final art paper, then paint directly on them.

First washes with a mix of watercolor and gouache (and salt).

Adding in  some darker colors.

More color washes are going in. I used to do washes to start for skin tones like this example, but now I go straight to gouache.

More color, more detail.

Color pencil is added and other bits of paint where needed. At this point, I scanned the art and moved to Procreate on the ipad. Lately, I try to get much more accomplished on paper before scanning.

The final version after playing around with it in Procreate and tweaking levels in Photoshop. This is what you’ll find in the book (“Everywhere with You” – Walker Books 2022)

INTERVIEW WITH DEVON HOLZWORTH:

Was it your father who encouraged you to paint?

Growing up, my dad’s drafting table was always set up somewhere with a project on it, along with messy bits of things throughout the house and outside. Not everything was necessarily arty, much of it practical like a piece of wood my dad would be turning to replace a broken cabinet leg. I don’t remember my dad encouraging me to make art (though my mom did), but I had a natural interest and the materials and books were always at my fingertips. My uncle was very well known in Panama for his painting and did so full time, while my dad just had time on the weekends. I realized later on how many artists are in our family, and in my teens I met my Austrian cousins who are jewelry designers!

You were born in Washington, DC. What made your parents move to Panama?

I was born in D.C. and lived there for about a year before my parents moved back to Panama. They had grown up in Panama as part of the Canal Zone – an American community of three or so generations who had originally moved there to work for the Panama Canal. My NYC grandparents arrived in the 30’s, and around the same time my California grandfather and Costa Rican grandmother met there when he had to suddenly get off a ship and find work. My parents then actually grew up knowing each other, and still today there is a Canal Zone reunion held in Florida every year. It was a beautiful place to grow up and still inspires me.

How did you end up choosing to leave Panama to attend Rhode Island School of Design?

I never considered staying in Panama for college as there was only a 2 year program with American accreditation, so I applied to all kinds of colleges in the US. I wasn’t completely sure what I wanted to do and was considering creative writing. My art teacher was not encouraging, but I was used to tuning him out and didn’t trust his advice. I had sent applications to UNC Chapel Hill and to Rhode Island School of Design and when I got rejected from UNC it sort of pushed me the way of art school. I was just really excited to be accepted. My parents were totally supportive about me going into art/design.

Did you do any freelance artwork while at RISD?

While at RISD they kept our schedules so full, and I had small jobs on campus as well which kept me busy. I had majored in textile design and adored making large scale paintings, learning about color theory and various screen printing techniques. I didn’t love weaving as much then (required classes in that department!) and I knew I didn’t want to work at a mill or a design studio. My favorite teacher at RISD encouraged me to go into film but I couldn’t see that connection then. There were so many possibilities!

Right now, you are living in Germany. What was your journey to get from USA to Germany?

We live in the medieval city of Aachen, Germany, right next to the Netherlands and Belgium. We’ve been here for 10 years actually. My husband was offered a position with a company here in 2012 and we spontaneously said yes. We were living in CA and had two little kids, one a newborn, and I was often frustrated not having time to make art (I had had a mural/fine art business for the years up to my daughter being born). I figured it would make life more interesting, and it was only a 2 or 3 year commitment. Obviously we liked it so much we’ve stayed much longer!

What was the first book you illustrated.

My first book was FOUND YOU – written and illustrated by me, and published with Alison Green Books/Scholastic UK in 2020. I get so confused with the dates because the journey of that book was winding, and then Covid arrived right before we published. It actually started back in 2018 when I made a dummy for a totally different story and gave it to an art director at the Bologna Book Fair (we had met through a class and she is amazing). She thought it had promise and asked me to write two more stories and then she would submit them to an editor she knew (Alison!). I got an offer for the story that turned into FOUND YOU late 2018, and I wrapped up the art mid-2019. It published in August 2020 in the UK and ended up on Waterstone’s best children’s book prize short list! It so far has not been published in the US, but it would be nice (there is a Turkish edition, but I don’t yet have a copy).

In 2021 ALISON GREEN BOOKS/SCHOLASTIC UK published another one of the books you wrote and illustrated SOPHIE’S STORIES.  It looks like they have printed the book in other languages. How many other languages have been printed?

My second book with Alison Green – SOPHIE’S STORIES (2021) – has co-editions in France and Canada which is really lovely and it’s exciting to see your book in different languages. The art for SOPHIE’S STORIES won a gold medal this year at the Society of Illustrators. I wish I had been able to attend the opening!

Have you used any of the screen printing you learn at RISD in the picture books you have illustrated?

I haven’t! Maybe someday…though I’d prefer a less complicated process instead like maybe gelli printing or a mix of print making and painting.

When did you decide you wanted to make a career how of illustrating and writing children’s books?

In 2016 I started to take some online illustration classes. At that point my younger child was at the kindergarten for more than a couple hours a day and I was ready to jump back into…something. I was doing the Lilla Roger’s MATS classes, going through them but not really seeing a path for myself. Then I took their new children’s book course and had a moment of visualizing myself in the future, working on stories and painting again. It was a little spark. So I took the course again twice to get myself prepared, then planned a trip to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (a small jump from here) and from there made steps for myself to see if I could turn that spark into something real. I definitely felt overwhelmed and intimidated after the fair, but I was motivated to keep going. I wrote a couple of stories, and turned one into a book dummy about a boy and a bee and brought it to the next fair.

When and how did you connect with Nicole at Tugeau2?

After the fair, and getting some interest in my work and the dummy book, I decided to try and find an agent. I knew about T2 from friends of friends and so I sent an email to Nicole. We had a great chat and I just really liked her as a person (still do), and happily, she welcomed me into the agency. I should mention that I didn’t hear back from two agencies I was also interested in, and got a very nice no from another. I was prepared for that though, and didn’t let it get me down.

PAPA, DADDY & RILEY by Seamus Kirst and published by Magination Press May 2020. This was at the height of the Pandemic. Did Covid-19 have any effect on the book? Did Magination consider delaying the pub. date?

It’s amazing that every book I’ve worked on thus far has been during Covid one way or another! I worked on Papa, Daddy, & Riley in the fall of 2019 and there wasn’t discussion about pushing back the pub date as far as I know. This was the first project I worked on for a US publisher (and had gotten through my agency) and I’m so proud of our book.

You started out 2022 with KNOPF BOOKS, TÍA FORTUNA’S NEW HOME by Ruth Behar how long did it take from signing the contract to being published?

It was at the beginning of 2020 that I got the first emails for Tia Fortuna’s New Home. I was thrilled to work with such a poetic author like Ruth, and loved the story. I’m not sure when I actually started work on the art but I’m pretty sure it was all wrapped up early-mid 2021, and then our pub date was January 2022.

In April I featured Dial Books LISTEN written by Shannon Stocker on Writing and Illustrating. I haven’t seen many picture books also available in audio. Was this always part the publishing plan?

Thanks for the feature! 🙂 Yes, I think Dial/Penguin had this idea in the works from early on as it lends itself so well to the book. I haven’t yet heard the audio version but I’m sure it’s wonderful.

Your latest book EVERYWHERE WITH YOU by Carlie Sorosiak just came out at the end May with WALKER BOOKS. Were you illustrating other books while working on this?

Yes, I ended up in a difficult situation in Fall 2020 where I had art for three picture books due around the same time. I had planned to have more time but with Covid, everything got compressed and I felt like the time evaporated. Both my kids were home and one of them needed a lot of help with school. I really had to focus super hard and streamline my process to make it through those months! It was around then that I got an A3 scanner to cut down the amount of time I was spending scanning each piece of art 5 times! I was looking for everything that would help me to meet deadlines, but was also able to get a little more time from the publishers when necessary (an extra two weeks I think). Also, it was such a needed escape from the pandemic drudgery to be able to work on those projects.

All That Is You written by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and published by Henry Holt & Co. is hitting book shelves in Aug 2022. How long did your publisher give you to illustrated this book?

I’m not sure of the exact timeline but I know I signed on to All That is You in March of 2020, but the final art wasn’t due till the following year based on the schedule I had already set up with Tia Fortuna, Listen, and Everywhere with You. It was definitely tight finishing up final art for Tia Fortuna then jumping straight into rough sketches for ATIY!

Have you finished illustrating ALL THAT IS YOU?

Yes, I wrapped up the art in March or April of 2021.

Do you have any books that have not been published in English?

The co-editions of my author/illustrator books are in French and Turkish, and I’m crossing my fingers for others (I would love to see a book of mine in German). Tia Fortuna’s New Home has a lovely Spanish translated version that published simultaneously with the English language version.

How hard was it to illustrate 7 books (2 that you wrote and illustrated) in two years? Did you manage to have any free time?

It was more like 3+ years, but it does feel like it’s been a lot. Maybe if Covid hadn’t come into play it would have been a little easier. But I had always planned to work really hard at this so I could reach a place where things felt more manageable.

What book do you think was your biggest success?  

This is a difficult question actually! I love everything I’ve worked on for different reasons and it’s too hard to choose (and maybe too early to know) which book has been the most successful. I will say that I love how FOUND YOU has touched so many kids (especially those shy ones like me).

Do you take research pictures before you start a project? 

Before starting a project, I typically make a pinterest board for inspiration with everything from vintage to contemporary illustrations, patterns, color inspirations, and often poses/angles that I’m interested in portraying. I also have a huge collection of new and old children’s books which help me decide on the vibe I want to go for. I’ll often spend a lot of time gathering inspiration, but then forget all about it later…I think this is actually a good thing (and not a waste of time). It’s a process at least for me to understand how I want the book to feel and look and once I have that in mind, I can just go from there. There’s definitely times I’ll also just ask my kids to do a certain pose so I can figure it out.

Do you use Photoshop with any of your work?

Photoshop comes into play for me when I’m scanning my painted work and making sure color is balanced. I also use it at the end of my process to make sure everything is good and ready to go. But I hardly do any actual drawing in Photoshop especially since I started using an ipad.

Do you have and use a graphic tablet?

I used to have a Cintiq but really disliked the pen and feel of the system. I was so happy to discover Procreate app and use my ipad pro for any digital work.

Would you be willing to work with a self-publisher picture book writer on a project?

Yes possibly, if the project was especially meaningful to me, or depending on other factors.

Has any of your work appeared in magazines?

I did illustrations for a feature in Highlight’s magazine a couple years ago.

Do you have a studio in your house?

My studio is at home, in a really lovely attic space (super hot right now). I’m so grateful to be back in here after months of trying to fix a leaky roof. I had had to move everything out earlier this year to deal with the problem and then it just wasn’t getting resolved. After the roofing company gave up, my husband ended up climbing on the roof and finally fixed the problem (he’s the best). I was working in a tiny space with barely room to turn around and was really motivated to get the new drywall up and get everything sanded and painted (this took me forever!). I’ve slowly been moving back in and setting up in between work and hope to have it looking nice again soon.

Is there anything in your studio, other than paint and brushes that you couldn’t live without?

My dad gifted me an old drafting table he found at a flea market and beautifully refurbished. It’s my favorite thing in here and gets used daily!

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

I tend to just go towards what’s in front of me, but I’m trying to find a bit more focus and a more manageable day to day life. I suppose one thing that’s really helped me I started a few months ago is writing out the week ahead on paper. I’ll sit down sometime on a Sunday and write down everything I have to do that week, and inevitably will remember things that I’ve wanted to get to. It helps me to see what I can accomplish when I have just a few minutes and is a perfect place for a brain dump so I can stop stressing over certain tasks floating around in my head. I also have a wonderful group of illustrator friends that I meet with regularly on Slack and we actively encourage each other with this type of thing. It’s great to have that kind of support.

Any exciting projects on the horizon?

Yes! I’ve got a few picture books coming up for this year and next that I’m thrilled to work on.

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

Oh yes, definitely. Having a presence online is super important.

What are your career goals?

I love the idea of working to live (as opposed to “live to work”) and want to keep doing what I’m doing in a sustainable way. I’d love to bring more fine art into my day to day, possibly do workshops, and connect with more like minded people. I’d like to write more stories for kids (I have one in the works!) and of course continue illustrating meaningful children’s books.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m wrapping up the final art for a picture book with Athenaeum called “The Story of a Book”. It’s been such a lovely project and I’ve been able to try some new techniques and ways to work with color. Can’t wait to see it in print next year!

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

My favorite materials are Hahnemühle hot press watercolor paper (I also like Fabriano brand) for when I’m making final art. For day to day drawing I’m currently enjoying sketchbooks from the Mossery. When you finish the pages, you can take them out and insert a replacement. I like to use acryla gouache from Holbein, watercolors and gouache from Schmincke. I’ve recently started experimenting with oils but that’s far off in the future!

Technique tips? See my blog, illustration fixation.

I only work standing. The only time I sit for work is on my ipad, and for email or scanning. I think it’s helped me to avoid neck issues.

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

I think the advice I’ve heard that really rings true for me is to make work that you enjoy (and don’t put anything out there that you don’t!).

Devon, thank you for taking the time to answer the interview questions and showing us your process. Please let me know about your future books and successes so I can share them with everyone.

You can visit Devon using the following links:

WEBSITE: www.devonholzwarth.com

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/devonholzwarth

LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/devon-holzwarth-31aa0a1/

FACBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/KidsBookReview/posts/meet-the-illustrator-devon-holzwarth/

AGENCY: https://tugeau2.com/devon-holzwarth

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

ANNOUNCING JUNE’S AGENT OF THE MONTH

REGINA A. BERNARD-CARRENO

MARTIN LITERARY MANAGEMENT

Regina A. Bernard-Carreno , Literary Agent and Manager

Regina is a literary manager currently accepting queries for true crime, memoirs, picture books, middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, cookbooks, and lifestyle artisan books.

Regina joined Martin Literary Management in 2021. She holds a PhD in Education from the Graduate and University Center at the City University of New York, and graduate degrees in African American Studies from Columbia University and Philosophy from the Graduate Center (CUNY). She holds other degrees in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY). Alongside writing and teaching, Regina facilitates Reader Discussion Groups, Private Reading groups and has served as a reader and sometimes editor for both literary and academic journals. She has published widely in academia as well as in trade magazines. The work she hopes to accomplish as a literary manager is to help writers, as well as author-illustrators, think through their projects, see multiple opportunities where perhaps they don’t readily exist and help shape their work into successful books. Ultimately, she looks forward to championing great ideas.

Below is what Regina is looking for:

Picture Books: Regina is looking for picture books that deal with a little magical realism, immigrant stories, bilingual picture books, and stories that deal with children and their relationship to animals, earth, and the environment. She’d love to see folktales from a wide variety of places reimagined, especially from authors-illustrators.

Middle Grade: Regina is seeking chapter books and middle-grade novels dealing especially with adventures, solving mysteries, and facing/overcoming hardships and developing friendships.

Graphic Novels: Regina is looking for Middle Grade, Young Adult, and adult graphic novels. She’d love to see more writers of color telling stories of MG & YA and has her eye out for BIPOC creators in this genre. For adult graphic novels, Regina is interested in projects in the vein of Marjane Satrapi’s work and projects in that spirit telling of immigrant stories.

Young Adults: Regina would love to receive rom coms of all kinds. Think Hallmark cards and movies geared towards young adults, complete with heartbreak, friendships, and triumph.

Non-Fiction: In non-fiction, she’s open to seeing true crime projects (No crimes against children or graphic gore against women/children) as well as memoir. Regina also loves cookbooks that help the reader travel to new places. She wants to see cookbooks that have personal narratives tied to them, whether that’s a personal story woven throughout, cultural traditions and practices, and/or dishes that tie together cultural memories. She is also accepting submissions for artisanal projects such as crafting (think knitting, sewing, crafting, home-gardening/homesteading, apothecary/healing, and alternative health practices).

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HERE IS PART THREE OF MY INTERVIEW WITH REGINA:

How do you like to communicate (email vs. phone)?

I do both when the occasion calls for it.

Once you submit a manuscript to a publisher, how often do you communicate with your client during the submission process? 

It depends on the client. Some clients want to hear every response and some would rather not deal with rejections and only want to hear a yes. I follow their lead.

What happens if you don’t sell a book and the author wants to self-publish a book? Would you be okay with that?

Then this means they likely don’t need an agent to do this.

Do you seek help from other agents at your agency to get suggestions on editors and/or publishers to submit to for the clients you sign up to represent?

Yes, we do share information across the team.

Would you ever send a manuscript to another agent at Martin Literary Management if it was good, but not what you want to represent?

Sure! It might be a treasure for a colleague.

What do you think of digital and audio books? Are they part of every sale these days?

I definitely think there is a market for digital and audio books.

Do you handle your own foreign/film rights contracts or does your firm have someone else who handles those contracts? 

We have a wonderful foreign rights agent.

Do you see any new trends building in the industry?

I see a need for more authentic voices.

Any words of wisdom on how a writer can improve their writing, secure an agent, and get published?

To improve your writing…write all the time and spend lots of time continuing to read as well.

To secure an agent, write a stellar query, join networks, communicate with others and have them review your work, then make sure you’re querying the right agent for you and your work.

Would you like to attend other conferences, workshops writer’s retreats?

Always happy to be present when I can!

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BELOW ARE THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR JUNE 2022 FIRST PAGE CRITIQUES:

In the subject line, please write “JUNE 2022 FIRST PAGE CRITIQUE” Example: Paste the text in the email, plus attached it as a Word document to the email. Please make sure you put your name, the title of the piece, and genre: a picture book, chapter book, middle grade, or young adult, Non-fiction, contemporary, historical, Sci-fi, fantasy, 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).

PLEASE name the Word document file by putting 2022 JUNE  – Your Name – Title of first page. Thank you.

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.

DEADLINE: June 24TH. – noon EST

RESULTS: July 1ST.

PLEASE CHECK BACK NEXT FRIDAY FOR REGINA’S FIRST PAGE CRITIQUES.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 23, 2022

Book Giveaway: A PENNY’S WORTH by Kimberly Wilson

Author Kimberly Wilson has a new picture book titled, A PENNY’S WORTH, illustrated by Mark Hoffmann and published by Page Street Kids. PSK’s has agreed to share a book with one lucky winner. 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 do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Candy and Charlie!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Pennies, worthless? Non-cents!

Hot off the minting press, Penny feels like a million bucks. But as other coins and bills are spent while she sits forgotten, she begins to doubt her value. She is too small to slot-surf with Quarter. Even penny candy sells for a dime! Refusing to be short-changed, she sets out to find her purpose at any cost.

Readers will laugh at a wealth of money puns, learn a basic lesson on US currency, and discover that self-worth is truly priceless.

BOOK JOURNEY:

A Penny’s Worth began as a Storystorm idea. During this month-long brainstorming challenge, I looked at the coin jug on my kitchen counter through a different lens. My main character emerged as a plucky penny on a mission to prove she’s cent-sational, despite her face value.

The first draft flew onto the page, but over the next year and a half, I did six major revisions on the manuscript and saved it approximately 200 times! I did a lot of layering while revising––weaving puns throughout, creating each character’s unique personality, sneaking some early money math into the dialogue, and forming the ever-important emotional arc.

Five months after writing the first draft, I attended a SCBWI NJ conference with my manuscript in hand. It was a critique there that led to a R&R with Page Street Kids. During that revision process, I had to answer several challenging questions. The biggest was how to affectively use “worth” as both the face value of money and self-worth. It was important to me that the message be subtle, but clear. I also had to think about how an anthropomorphic inanimate object like a penny could move around from pocket to purse while remaining active in reaching her goal.

I was so lucky to have my amazing critique partners with me every step of the way, cheering me on through frustrations and celebrations. Their fresh eyes and sound advice helped me in countless ways, including encouraging me to continue following the story in my heart.

Approximately a year later, that story had an offer! Working with the wonderful team at Page Street Kids from R&R to final edits has been an extremely collaborative experience––and such a joy! The editorial process challenged me in so many great ways to make A Penny’s Worth the best it could be, and it helped me grow as a writer too.

I also really enjoyed watching the illustration process unfold. From character sketches to final art, Mark Hoffmann took Penny’s story and put it on the page in a way I never could have imagined––just incredible!

Since A Penny’s Worth hit shelves in April, I’ve been overwhelmed by the support from the entire kidlit community, including my friends from SCBWI Carolinas, Kidlit Caravan, and Storm Literary. I was fortunate to have both online and in-person launch events with my local indie bookstore, Park Road Books, and received praise from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and SLJ.  I’ve also had several opportunities to visit elementary schools, interact with young readers, and share the book with them––and it doesn’t get better than that!

I’m extremely excited to continue this journey with the sequel, A DOLLAR’S GRAND DREAM (Page Street Kids, 2023)!

KIMBERLY’s BIO:

Kimberly Wilson’s prized childhood possessions included a butterfly Trapper Keeper full of her stories, an overflowing bookshelf, and a pocket thesaurus. But it took many years (and a couple careers) before she pursued her dream of writing for children. A lover of puns and wordplay, Kimberly enjoys mixing humor, heart, and educational details into her writing. A PENNY’S WORTH (Page Street Kids), illustrated by Mark Hoffmann, is her debut picture book. The sequel, A DOLLAR’S GRAND DREAM, releases in 2023.

Kimberly lives in North Carolina with her husband, two daughters, and their puppy.

You can find her at kimberlywilsonwrites.com and on Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

MARK’s BIO:

Mark Hoffmann is an children’s book author/illustrator, editorial illustrator, and fine artist. He is also a professor at Montserrat College of Art in the illustration department. He has a B.F.A. Illustration rfrom Rhode Island School of Design and an M.F.A. Visual Design, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Here is his Partial Client List:

A. Knopf (Penguin/Random House), Kids Can Press, Cameron + Company, Groundwood Books, Cottage Life, Apple Magazine, At Buffalo, Orca Publishing, Cooking Light, Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, Canadian Grocers Market, Square NH Magazine, Nuvo Magazine, Land of Nod, D Magazine, Yankee, Professionally Speaking Magazine, Trust for Public Land, Humber Dialogue, Macalester Today, American Lawyer Magazine, T-Mobile, Avenue Magazine, Odyssey Magazine, Baltimore Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Tu Ciudad Magazine, Texas Monthly, Reebok, and many more.

And Awards:

3×3 Illustration 2019 (x3), Joan Betty Stuchner Oy Vey Funniest Children’s Book Award, 3×3 Illustration 2018 (x3), 3×3 Illustration 2017 (x2), 3×3 Illustration 2016 (x2), 3×3 Illustration 2015, Society of Publication Designers 2015, 3×3 Illustration 2014 (x3), Society Of Illustrators West 2012 (x3), Creative Quarterly 27, American Illustration 2008, 3×3 Illustration 2008, 3×3 Illustration 2006

After growing up in Minnesota, I moved to the east coast for college and remained here ever since. I currently live in southern New Hampshire with a lovely wife, a goofy son, two crazy kitties and a lazy dog.

Kimberly, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

 

 

Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 22, 2022

Book Winners

BOOK WINNERS

Angie Quantrell won THE HAPPIEST KID by Sarah Bagley Steele

Judy Sobanski won TOO MANY PIGS IN THE POOL by Wendy Hinote Lanier

Doreen Robinson won THE LITTLE HOUSE OF HOPE by Terry Jennings

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OPPORTUNITY: 

ILLUSTRATORS/ANIMATORS: Please contact me if you are interested in animating a .jpg for an agent’s website.

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CONGRATULATIONS! Laura Sassi signed and two book deal for THE TENDER HEART BIBLE and THE TENDER HEART PRAYER BOOK to Paraclete for publication in winter 2023 and fall 2023. Deal put together by Charlotte Wenger at Prospect Agency 

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Rosie J. Pova has a new picture book, THE SCHOOL OF FAILURE: A Story About Success, illustrated by Monika Filipina and published by Yeehoo Press. Yeehoo Press has agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the US.

Just leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Let me know other things you did to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Rosie and Monika.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. If you want to make sure you don’t miss seeing that you won, please click “Notify Me of Follow-Up Comments By Email” box. I will leave a comment in reply if you win the book. Thanks!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

A charming fractured fairy-tale about how the road to success is often paved with mistakes and the most important thing is to keep trying.

Once upon a time, there were three hopeful fairy-tale characters: Wolfred, Zinderella, and the Non-Evil Queen. Already rejected from classic fairy-tales, a happily-ever-after for these three seems a world away. So, the trio is headed to the School of Failure. Once there, they discover that with patience and persistence, mistakes can also lead to the perfect storybook ending.

From author Rosie J. Pova and illustrator Monika Filipina comes a sweet and sassy fractured fairy-tale about beloved characters who don’t make the final cut to be in a famous story but still find their starring roles.

BOOK JOURNEY:

A few years ago, our family was away for Thanksgiving. We were up in the mountains in Colorado, in a rental cabin, and between cooking the holiday meal and getting ready for our celebration, I sat down to write.

I had just watched a webinar with Jack Canfield, the co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and I felt inspired. I decided to brainstorm possible titles for a picture book, trying to come up with something catchy. Something that would appeal to educators. I wanted a title with a bit of a surprise, juxtaposition, or an element of shock.

THE SCHOOL OF FAILURE flashed through my mind. I thought it was intriguing, and so I wanted to find out what that story could be about.

As we normally associate going to school in order to acquire skills for success, I wondered, why would anyone want to attend a school that teaches you how to fail?

Then I pondered some more…. What if this was the key to success? What if learning how to fail without giving up, and accepting “failure” as part of the process was the missing part that wasn’t taught as much as it needed to be?

So, I was excited that I might be onto something with this story…

The three characters that popped into my mind next were sort of knockoffs of famous fairytale characters. Those misfortunate folks did not make it into stardom since they got rejected as the leads in the fairytales. And moreover, they did not take those rejections lightly. In fact, they were devastated and quite dramatic about it.

Were their chances over forever? Will they ever recover from that failure? What would they do next?

Soon, I had finished the story. I was amused with this trio and their journeys, and happy that I had a new manuscript.

It was a fun story to write. But also, I could totally relate to the pain of rejection, the crashing of hope, and the heartbreak of an unrealized dream…. I, too, had had to learn how to move on through all that in my writing journey, how to learn from mistakes and grow, and even how to see failure as a friend.

There was my juxtaposition again. I incorporated that idea into the story.

I loved the premise and the humor of my new fractured fairytale, but even though I had finished writing it, it wasn’t quite done.

The manuscript went through many, many revisions, both before sending it out on submission and after it found a publishing home. I changed characters, plotlines, emotional arcs, the beginning, the ending, and modified the middle, too. It was a long process of finding the version that worked for me and my publisher.

Marrying the story with the art next was a whole other process of its own to make it work for the book. But that’s where the true magic happens for a picture book, and I am so happy with the way it turned out!

The book released in May of 2022 and has been getting wonderful reviews all around – from parents, peers, educators, and book reviewers, which is quite exciting and rewarding.

I am grateful to Yeehoo Press, Monika Filipina, and her wonderful art, bringing this story to life, and I’m thrilled to have the book out into the world now, finding its own path to success!

ROSIE’S BIO:

Rosie J. Pova is a multi-published, award-winning children’s author and kidlit Writing Coach. She’s the creator of *Picture Book Mastery System* that helps children’s writers advance their career and get closer to their publishing goals through her 10-week online course and her 6-week mentorship program.

Rosie’s picture book, Sunday Rain, was featured in The New York Times and recommended by Parents magazine. Her latest picture book, The School of Failure: A Story About Success is now available in both China and the USA, and has gotten rave reviews from educators, parents, and book reviewers.

Rosie also loves to visit schools and her interactive workshops empower students to unleash their creativity and grow in confidence through reading, writing, and creating. Teachers and librarians love Rosie for her bubbly, upbeat personality which captures students’ attention, encourages them to think creatively, and motivates them to pursue big dreams.

She has been featured on TV, radio, podcasts, and print media, and also speaks on women’s and moms’ topics, sharing her journey from a Bulgarian immigrant to a published author.

Find out more about Rosie’s books, online courses, mentorships, and her work by visiting her website: RosieJPova.com

MONIKA’S BIO:

Monika is a children’s book author and illustrator. In 2011 she completed BA with Hons in Illustration at the University of Wolverhampton and received Dean’s Prize for Excellence in Visual Communications. She was also chosen one of Highly Commended Students at the D&AD New Blood Show in London. In 2014, she completed MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Arts.

In 2013 the book Monika illustrated, “Oh! What a Tangle”, published by Digital Leaf, was awarded the Golden Pinwheel for best International children’s book at Shanghai Children’s Book Fair!

Rosie, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I love how you created a fractured fairy-tale about how the road to success is often paved with mistakes and the most important thing is to keep trying. So true and so important for everyone to learn, especially kids. Using your words Monica created quirky characters which surely will keep children turning the pages. Great job! Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 20, 2022

Agent Thao Le at Sandra Dijkstra & Associates

Thao Le is a literary agent at the Dijkstra Agency. She is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego with a double major in Econ-Management Science and Chinese Studies. While interning at the agency during college, she realized where her true love lies — books — and joined the agency full-time in the spring of 2011.

She represents KidLit (i.e. picture books and graphic novels by author-illustrators, Middle Grade fiction, and Young Adult across genres) as well as Science-Fiction/Fantasy and select Romance for adults.

In picture books: She’s excited to work with illustrators who write their own picture books and is most drawn to art that is emotive and vivid. Her tastes tend towards stories that are character driven, witty, progressive, and ends with a twist.

In Middle Grade and YA: Whether in prose or graphic novel format, she’s currently seeking contemporary stories that are witty, heartfelt, and authentic. She’s especially drawn to stories about family and friendships from the POV of diverse protagonists. She’s a fan of young characters who are passionate about the arts, sports, STEM, activism, and geeky fandoms. She adores stories with a touch of magic and whimsy, and is a fan of mythology and fairytales.

In the Adult: SFF realm, she’s a fan of character driven contemporary fantasy, near future science fiction, and romantic space operas. She is particularly excited about stories with fresh twists to common genre tropes.

Her favorite romantic tropes are: hate-to-love/enemies-to-lovers, slow burn, forbidden/doomed romance, fake dating/marriage of convenience, grouchy curmudgeon and bubbly optimistic, mistaken identities, and she is a sucker for beta second male leads who steal the show (and hopefully the heroine’s heart!).

In general, she loves beautiful literary writing with a commercial hook and tight plotting. She is actively seeking underrepresented voices (including, but not limited to, all ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental and physical health, and socioeconomic status) to her client list.

Thao is NOT looking for: non-fiction, adult literary fiction, adult general fiction, mystery/thriller/suspense, memoirs, poetry, religious/spiritual books, screenplays, or short stories.

Submission Guidelines:

Fiction: A query letter, a 1-page synopsis, a brief bio (including a description of your publishing history), and the first 10-15 pages of your manuscript.

Non-fiction: A query letter and a book proposal. A non-fiction book proposal should include:

  • Overview (1-3 pages)
  • Author Bio
  • Length and Delivery Date
  • 5-10 Takeaways (the key selling points of your book)
  • Comparative Titles (analyzing 5-8 comparable books that have been published in the past 10 years, with 1-3 sentences on why that book was successful and what that book did NOT cover, which yours will)
  • Target Market/Audience
  • Marketing Plan
  • Chapter Outline (with a few sentences describing each chapter)
  • 1-2 Sample Chapters

Picture Book Writers: A query letter, a brief bio (including a description of your publishing history), and full manuscript text.

Illustrators with dummy: A query letter, a brief bio (including a description of your publishing history), full manuscript text, full dummy (in pdf format as an attachment) that includes 1-2 color samples, and link to online portfolio.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 19, 2022

Happy Father’s Day

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

Honoring thy father is a concept that dates back to the very roots of human civilization. But the day meant to really make your dad feel special is far, far newer than that — at least in the U.S. While Mother’s Day was established officially in 1914, Father’s Day had a 64-year long road to becoming an officially recognized holiday. It was President Lyndon B. Johnson who declared the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day, though it was not yet made a permanent national holiday. It took President Nixon’s re-election campaign to get an official proclamation signed in 1972 to recognize this day as a federal holiday, which is now celebrated with food, gifts, and quality time together. 

BHAGYA MADANASINGHE: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

Father’s Day was invented by American Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd who wanted to honour her father, a veteran who had, as a single parent, raised his six children. The first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910. The first American president to support the concept of Father’s day was President Calvin Coolidge, who did so in 1924.

JUI ISHIDA: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

In Germany, Father’s Day is celebrated differently from other parts of the world. Männertag (Men’s day) is celebrated by getting drunk with wagons of beer and indulging in regional food. Police and emergency services are in high alert during the day.

ROCIO ARREOLA MENDOZA (aka DENARMEN): FEATURED ON iLLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

Going for a floral gift? Traditionally fathers should be given the gift of white or red roses. The rose is the official flower for Father’s Day. Wearing a red rose signifies a living father, while a white one represents deceased father.

SHAMAR KNIGHT-JUSTICE: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

Surprisingly, the trusty slipper gift isn’t the most popular Father’s Day present – it’s actually a tie.

AMALIA HOFFMAN: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

The world record for having the most number of children officially recorded is 69 by the first wife of Feodor Vassilyev (1707-1782), a peasant from Moscow. His first wife gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets.

HONEE LE: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

There are 1.5 billion fathers worldwide. 66.3 million of those father’s are in the United States. Father’s Day is the fifth-largest card-sending occasion in America with almost 100 million Father’s Day cards sent each year. Only 50% of all Father’s Day cards are purchased for dads.

TAIA MORLEY: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

Indian man Ramjit Raghav became world’s oldest Dad in 2012 when he fathered his second child at 96.

CARRIE O’NEILL: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

KIRBI FAGAN: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

SAOIRSE LOU: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

ANA OCHOA: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

HONEE LE: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

CHRISTOPHER DENISE: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

KAYLA HARREN: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

XINDI YAN: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

CYNTHIA CLIFF: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY 

VIVIEN MILDERBERG: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

KATY BETZ: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATO SATURDAY

ANDRE CEOLIN – FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY 

ANNA OCHOA: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

KATHRYN HOWARD: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

ROGER ROTH: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY    

PATRICE BARTON – FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY  

HAVE A GREAT DAY, DADS!

OR HAVE A GREAT DAY WITH YOUR DAD!

IF DAD IS GONE, HONOR HIM BY VISITING SOME OF YOUR CHERISED MEMORIES OF HIM

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 18, 2022

Illustrator Saturday – Maithili Joshi

Maithili Joshi is a South Asian illustrator based in New York. Drawing primarily from her personal experiences and her South Asian upbringing, Maithili works with a combination of pencil, watercolor and digital mediums.

She is open to picture book, editorial and cover projects! In 2020, Maithili published two children’s books with Tulika Publishers, India. Find ‘ What Makes Me Me ‘ and ‘ Anya and her Baby Brother.’. Maithili is also is an art/design intern at Macmillan Publishers, USA, working with the MCPG team.

Awards and Recognition

  • The Rhodes Family Award for Outstanding Students, School of Visual Arts, 2022

  • Alumni Scholarship Award, School of Visual Arts, 2022

  • Illustrators 60 , Society of Illustrators, LA, 2022

  • Society Of Illustrators Student Scholarship Award, 2021, 2022

  • Shortlist- Illustration Awards, Communication Arts, 2022

  • Gilbert Stone Scholarship Award, 2021-2022

  • SVA Academic High Term Honors Status, 2020-2022

  • SVA Silas Rhodes Scholarship Award, 2019-2022

  • NIFT All India Rank 1, 2017

Here is Maithili showing her process:

 

I start with a rough sketch.

I’ll have a sketch that I finalise on.

Once I am happy with the rough sketch I finalize the sketch.

I’ll make a solid line drawing and lay out the framework on my canvas. I’ll then mix and match colors separately to see how the mood of the image feels as a whole.

 

The next step in my process is to start laying down the bases of each of the colors and build on the layers digitally for gradients and textures to start standing out. I also like to go in and use line hatching to create shadows. I particularly enjoy drawing wispy soft hair, one line at a time.

I start exporting it to either my phone or my laptop to get an idea of how it looks on different screens, both smaller and larger and work around the observations I make to bring the image to a finish.

INTERVIEW WITH MAITHILI:

How long have you been illustrating?

I’ve been illustrating since I was very young, but professionally for just about a year now!

What was the first thing you did where they paid you for your art?

I was asked to illustrate an article about Malagasy fishers last year, which appeared in Current Conservation magazine.

Did your parents check out SVA and suggest you apply to SVA?

No they did not. My parents trusted me with presenting my college research and options. It was great that we all were thrilled about SVA.

What are your favorite classes at SVA?

Some of my most interesting classes at SVA have been thesis classes with Thomas Woodruff, Yuko Shimizu and Marcos Chin. I also enjoyed technique classes with Jonathan Bartlett, Peter McCarty and Steve Brodner. All very inspiring people who’re brilliant at what they do!

Since your parents live in the United States, do you think you will stay when you finish up at SVA in New York?

Absolutely, I think there’s so many interesting and inspiring people to meet in the industry, I also enjoy the energy of the city.

How did Tulika Books find you to illustrate What Makes Me Me?

What Makes Me Me is published by Tulika Books, a publisher based in India. They found my work a good fit for the book after I illustrated ‘Anya and Her Baby Brother’ with them and asked me if I was interested in one more book.

How long did it take you to illustrate the 11 titles with Storyweaver?

Storyweaver is an NGO run by Pratham Books in India. They had me illustrate eleven e-book titles over a span of 5-6 months! Since they were E-books tailor made for their website, there was no endpapers, jackets or title pages involved. I had initially been asked for fewer titles, but since I finished them earlier than expected, I was asked to interested in more.

Is it hard to illustrate 12 books while going for your degree in art?

The 12 e-book titles I made were over the span of summer and fall semesters before junior year. The e-book illustration process for storyweaver is meant to be quick and doesn’t involve no endpapers, jackets or title pages. It was definitely a tight schedule, but I had a great time working on them over summer.

Is Prathamn Storyweaver a publisher in India?

Yes! They’re great.

Have you tried to find an agent in the US? Would you like to get an agent?

After I started working at Macmillan, a part of my job was to find artists through agents for our book covers. I came across agencies like CAT, Bright and some more and started doing some research. I was reached out by some agents and CAT stood out to me the most!

How did you connect with Chad Beckerman at the Cat Agency and how long have you been with them?”

I’ve been with Chad for a little less than a month, I signed with the CAT agency just when I was nearing graduation. Chad and I connected over social media, I’d always loved the artists CAT represented. We started chatting and got to know each other early in the spring and are now setting up shop.

I looked at your black and white drawings for Inkoctober. I Love them. A lot of publishers look for Black and white drawings. Do you plan to use them in your portfolio?

Absolutely, I think they’d make for great interiors and I plan on incorporating them in my work moving forward.

Do you plan on adding color to any of your B&W work?

Absolutely, I think they’d make for great interiors and I plan on incorporating them in my work moving forward.

What type of things do you do that get your work seen?

Instagram! I regularly post my work on social media, which has a great network of art directors, authors, designers and editors. I also send out promotional emails every now and then to people I’m interested in working with.

I see you have done some animation. Do you think you will do more?

Possibly not. I was a big fan during college but I find that I am not quite as good at it as I hoped I’d be- haha. I plan on keeping that side a hobby.

 

You mentioned that you created an illustration title Jailhouse Rock while listening to Elvis Presley’s ‘Jailhouse Rock’. Has music inspired you with other illustrations?

Do you have any desire to write and illustrate your own picture book?

Absolutely! Fingers crossed and hope all goes well with the ideas I currently have.

What do you think was your biggest success?

As of now, probably graduating School of Visual Arts and having exciting projects coming, which happened less than a month ago.

Do you take research pictures before you start a project?

Absolutely. I collect pictures and photographs in a folder to reference from as I go.

Do you use Photoshop with any of your work?

I’m a procreate girl.

Do you have and use a graphic tablet?

I use procreate on the iPad.

Would you be willing to work with a self-publisher picture book writer on a project?

Sure! If the story is interesting, I’d love to illustrate.

Has any of your work appeared in magazines?

I illustrated for Current Conservation, an Indian magazine, hoping for more editorial projects along the side as we go.

Do you have a studio in your house?

I have a nice desk set up which I keep switching from being my 9-5 job and my illustration job! But I’ve got everything I need in one place, which I love.

Is there anything in your studio, other than paint and brushes that you couldn’t live without?

A giant sketchbook of course, a bright blue colored pencil, my iPad, headphones and picture books.

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

I like to be up early in the morning since I’m most productive before 5pm. I’ll make a list of the smallest to the biggest tasks and keep checking them off as the day goes. It feels like little victories.

Any exciting projects on the horizon?

You’ll definitely see them soon!

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

Absolutely. Instagram, email, websites are all extremely helpful for promotion but also a great way to find, connect and be inspired by so many fellow artists.

What are your career goals?

At the moment, since I like to go one at a time, write, illustrate and have published a picture book with an idea I’ve had for some time.

 

What are you working on now?

A few picture books in the pipeline and some editorial bubbling.

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

See my blog, illustration fixation.

I like to work big, stand up and use my shoulder to draw/ paint. After that it’s all going with the flow, as long as it’s fun! But one tip- colored ink over watercolor is never a bad idea.

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

We’re all feeling the same feelings as you are.

Maithili, thank you for taking the time to answer the interview questions and showing us your process. Please let me know about your future books and successes so I can share them with everyone.

You can visit Maithili using the following links:

WEBSITE: https://www.maithiliart.com/

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/maithiliart

LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maithili-joshi

FACBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/maithili.joshi.7

AGENCY: https://catagencyinc.com/maithili-joshi/

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Here’s her Instagram – @maithiliart

maithilijoshiart@gmail.com

Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 17, 2022

June Agent of the Month – Regina A. Bernard-Carreno

ANNOUNCING JUNE’S AGENT OF THE MONTH

REGINA A. BERNARD-CARRENO

MARTIN LITERARY MANAGEMENT

Regina A. Bernard-Carreno , Literary Agent and Manager

Regina is a literary manager currently accepting queries for true crime, memoirs, picture books, middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, cookbooks, and lifestyle artisan books.

Regina joined Martin Literary Management in 2021. She holds a PhD in Education from the Graduate and University Center at the City University of New York, and graduate degrees in African American Studies from Columbia University and Philosophy from the Graduate Center (CUNY). She holds other degrees in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY). Alongside writing and teaching, Regina facilitates Reader Discussion Groups, Private Reading groups and has served as a reader and sometimes editor for both literary and academic journals. She has published widely in academia as well as in trade magazines. The work she hopes to accomplish as a literary manager is to help writers, as well as author-illustrators, think through their projects, see multiple opportunities where perhaps they don’t readily exist and help shape their work into successful books. Ultimately, she looks forward to championing great ideas.

Below is what Regina is looking for:

Picture Books: Regina is looking for picture books that deal with a little magical realism, immigrant stories, bilingual picture books, and stories that deal with children and their relationship to animals, earth, and the environment. She’d love to see folktales from a wide variety of places reimagined, especially from authors-illustrators.

Middle Grade: Regina is seeking chapter books and middle-grade novels dealing especially with adventures, solving mysteries, and facing/overcoming hardships and developing friendships.

Graphic Novels: Regina is looking for Middle Grade, Young Adult, and adult graphic novels. She’d love to see more writers of color telling stories of MG & YA and has her eye out for BIPOC creators in this genre. For adult graphic novels, Regina is interested in projects in the vein of Marjane Satrapi’s work and projects in that spirit telling of immigrant stories.

Young Adults: Regina would love to receive rom coms of all kinds. Think Hallmark cards and movies geared towards young adults, complete with heartbreak, friendships, and triumph.

Non-Fiction: In non-fiction, she’s open to seeing true crime projects (No crimes against children or graphic gore against women/children) as well as memoir. Regina also loves cookbooks that help the reader travel to new places. She wants to see cookbooks that have personal narratives tied to them, whether that’s a personal story woven throughout, cultural traditions and practices, and/or dishes that tie together cultural memories. She is also accepting submissions for artisanal projects such as crafting (think knitting, sewing, crafting, home-gardening/homesteading, apothecary/healing, and alternative health practices).

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HERE IS PART TWO OF MY INTERVIEW WITH REGINA:

Do you have any tips on how to find comps to use in a submission query letter?

Being well-read in your genre helps. I would also take a peek at industry news/magazines/blogs. Basic searches on Amazon and other bookish places are helpful as well.

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

Draw me in in your query and make sure that what you’re sending is actually what the agent represents.

Will you let people know if you are not interested in their submission?

Yes, I respond to all submissions. It may take time to receive a response but I do get to them.

After you request more, how long do you think it will take to respond?

It depends on the project. If it’s a full manuscript it could be more than a month.

Do you have any pet peeves?

Not really a pet peeve but more that your work is lost in a pile if you are querying another agent (by their name) but send it to me instead. (2) Send multiple submissions without hearing back about the first one. (3) checking in a week later about a project you sent. (4) sending me material I don’t represent.

What are your feelings about prologues?

Sometimes they work.

Do you have a place where you keep writers up-to-date on what you would like to see? Blog?

My profile on Martin Literary Management’s website stays up to date but I am working on additional methods.

Do you give editorial feedback to your clients? 

Each and every one!

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BELOW ARE THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR JUNE 2022 FIRST PAGE CRITIQUES:

In the subject line, please write “JUNE 2022 FIRST PAGE CRITIQUE” Example: Paste the text in the email, plus attached it as a Word document to the email. Please make sure you put your name, the title of the piece, and genre: a picture book, chapter book, middle grade, or young adult, Non-fiction, contemporary, historical, Sci-fi, fantasy, 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).

PLEASE name the Word document file by putting 2022 JUNE  – Your Name – Title of first page. Thank you.

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.

DEADLINE: June 24TH. – noon EST

RESULTS: July 1ST.

PLEASE CHECK BACK NEXT FRIDAY FOR PART THREE REGINA’S  INTERVIEW.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

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