When I sat down to write out my resolutions for the year, something occurred to me. The very place where I work, the public library, holds the key to many of my future goals and desires. How can that be, you might ask? Check it out here!
I am always amazed to hear stories of authors and illustrators who never connect during the picture book process. How can this be? I know publishers can be a bit leery of any author-illustrator relationship pre-publication. After all the author might attempt to influence the illustrator, or squash her creativity. But I LOVE to find my illustrator on social media right away. If the chance arises to meet her in person, all the better. And the ultimate meet up? You got it! A book signing together.
Chronicle Books was the perfect matchmaker when they paired illustrator, Alina Chau, with my story Double Happiness. Besides being uber-talented, she’s delightful and humble and fun. While I’ve known this for some time, this summer was the first time I was able to see her in action at our signings in California.
We had a few celebrities join us at our signings, too. Here’s Mike Jung and his famous donuts:
The next weekend we were privileged to be part of an inaugural event thanks to the Book Shop West Portal and West Portal branch of the San Francisco Public Library. Alina and I read Double Happiness in two voices (Gracie’s and Jake’s) at the library. Alina showed the audience how to draw a few of the characters.
Our last stop was a totally new venue for me. Trickter is a gallery/bookstore in Berkeley, run by Anita Coulter.
Now if I can only entice Alina to visit the east coast for a few double signings here. That will be extra happy occasion, for sure.
(As an aside, I had the best fig pizza ever from Summer Kitchen in Berkeley, but I didn’t get to try Mike’s donuts)
What an honor to be with these amazing authors! Thank you for reading between the lines, Boston Authors Club, and giving The Story I’ll Tell a “highly recommended” title. Click here to view:
I had such a fantastic visit at the Hardy Elementary School in Wellesley last week. Together we created seasonal poems about winter and summer. I also gave them a creative writing assignment. They answered 10 questions about their favorite place. These questions served as prompts for their Poetry of Place poems. You won’t believe what amazing poems these first graders wrote. Click on FirstGradePoemsMsGiampetro to read their work!
This makes me happy, a nice endorsement of Double Happiness will be appearing in their February 1st edition:
“Enchanting.”—School Library Connection
I wrote this post for Lee & Low. As I mention in the article, The Story I’ll Tell was one of those amazing gifts that we sometimes receive as writers. The idea came to me in a day dream. Click here to find out more.
Confession time, my fellow authors. You, too, must have experienced what I call “THE Book” Syndrome. Yes? Please tell me so! It happens when someone else’s story is published at the same time as your book, but THE Book is far more flashy, in a golden orbish kind of way. It gets all the attention and you’re curious why, so you check it out. In your heightened state of jealousy, you give it a whirl. And after you read it cover to cover, you’re still puzzled. Say what? Yet THE Book follows you everywhere. You pick up a magazine at the gym or at your hairdresser’s, and there it is. You go to your library, and it’s on prominent display. Kids are reading THE Book in the middle of the park (Okay, slight exaggeration). But the final straw is when you do a signing yourself. It’s your big day. Readers are excited about your book. And when you’re finished, the event planner hands you just one book as a “Thank you!” for your participation. And guess which book it is? Yup, It’s THE Book! And you take it home and reread it and think, “Okay, maybe it’s worthy of a bit of that glory and glitter. Maybe just a little.”
It’s fascinating to learn how my illustrator, Jessica Lanan, paid attention to the finest details when creating The Story I’ll Tell. At one point, dressed up and carrying firewood, Jessica had her husband take her picture so she could more accurately depict a scene in the story. Read more here so you can see how the story’s father ultimately replaces a cat in that very illustration.
A novice children’s author rarely has a say in the choice of illustrator for her book. That said, I’ve been delighted every time by my publishers’ match-making abilities. When I first saw Jessica Lanan’s illustrations, I fell in love. In great part this was because her art carried me into the story. It flowed beautifully. If you click here, you can learn about the Golden Spiral and how it helped Jessica illustrate The Story I’ll Tell.