Who would have thought that after 2 decades as a YA/MG author, I'm going to have a picture book published?
I can hardly believe it myself. Of course, it's not like I haven't been learning EVERYTHING about picture books for a very long time. Attending SCBWI conferences means listening to many amazing picture book authors and illustrators. I used to tease that I couldn't write a picture book but I'd learned enough to teach someone else how to write one.
And then several years ago, magic happened.
My author BFF Verla Kay and myself were speaking at a school. While I waited for my talk, I sat with kids in the audience and watched her power point presentation. I stared at a photo of Verla as a child building a snow dog. This picture stuck in my mind and the next day it came with words. I scribbled them down on a napkin since I was in a car. (I have learned to always write inspired words when they come--which is usually at night or when I'm driving). I had lots of advice from Verla and other friends as I shaped those words into a picture book. The most insightful advice came from former Tricycle editor, Abi Samoun, who was considering this book until Tricycle closed. She told me I needed to use all four seasons, not just summer and winter. I argued at first -- pointing out there there's a rule of 3 and having 4 main scenes wouldn't work. She assured me it would work.
And she was right.
On June 14, 2012, I had a call from my agent telling me I was now a picture book author. Sweet words!!!
And in March 2014, the book I called SNOW DOG/SAND DOG (title under discussion) will be published by Albert Whitman. YAY!