SCBWI Carolinas Fall Conference - wrap-up!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of hanging out with the SCBWI Carolinas region, and wow, was I impressed! For covering only two states, they have some amazing talent in their region - and a TON of illustrators who eagerly participate. The portfolio show was one of the best I've seen, and the 3 minute read-alouds left me wanting to hear more. (At Jo's prodding, I shared LULA'S BREW on my iPad!)
     I conducted nine picture book critiques (in a row!), and felt they all went well. I've since received several thank-you emails, so am heartened that I offered good advice.
     I also spoke twice: "The Nuts and Bolts of Creating Picture Books," which was basically an uber-condensed version of the weekend-long workshop I teach at the John C. Campbell Folk School; and "Picture Book Dummies," for both writers and illustrators. Again, lots of great comments from folks about both. And my first workshop was standing room only! Woosie.
     Jo Hackl and Teresa Fannin, Carolina's Regional Advisors, were our hosts and those ladies run one tight ship.
     I had the great pleasure of hanging out with: Laurent Linn (Art Director at S&S), who I just adore; Alvina Ling of Little Brown; Liz Waniewski of Dial; Lionel Bender of Bender Richardson White; Chris Richman, agent with Upstart Crow Literary Agency; author Alan Gratz; marketing guru Shelli-Johannes Wells; awesome Assistant RA to our Southern Breeze region, Heather Montgomery; and more! Dang. We had lots of 'sit and chat moments' and I had a fantastic time. (They all gave wonderful talks as well.)
     I'll post photos as I find 'em - as usual I am just not the photo bug. But needless to say, if you are a member of SCBWI in the Carolinas - you are one lucky, lucky creator! Thanks to all for such a great time!

Coloring Page Tuesday - Folk Tale lovin' Possum

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     Hang out with a good book!
     I love folk tales - Southern Appalachian folk tales especially. It's why I illustrated Paco and the Giant Chile Plant and wrote and illustrated Soap, soap, soap - both are adaptations of Jack Tales. What's your favorite?
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send your colored image (less than 1mb) to and I'll post it to my blog! Click here to find more coloring pages.

     Check out Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón and Paco and the Giant Chile Plant ~ Paco y la planta de chile gigante.

Please follow my copyright policy when you use my images! And share your creation on the Coloring Page Tuesday facebook page!

GAG - Pricing & Ethical Guidelines

The Graphic Artists Guild has released the latest Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines. Every freelancer should have at least one copy of this book in their library. It is the definitive resource on how to price out projects - one of the trickiest parts of working on your own.
Thanks to Escape from Illustration Island for the heads up.

The Trailie Awards

School Library Journal has created a new award for best book trailer! It's called the Trailie Awards and voting on the finalists will be open to the public tomorrow (September 27). I'm hoping my trailer for SOAP, SOAP, SOAP will be part of it - cross your fingers!
     I wonder what the award looks like? A sticker maybe? Gotta love the stickers...

Banned Book Week

Begins September 25th - Learn more about it at or at the National Coalition Against Censorship.
     Join the latest censorship battle over Laurie Halse Anderson's SPEAK via twitter: #SpeakLoudly.

The National Book Festival

The National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. is this Saturday. It's put on by the Library of Congress and has become the creme de la creme of book festivals. If you're there, you should definitely stop by. But if you can't make it, they do a great job recording the festivities which you can view afterwards on the Library of Congress website.

SCBWI Carolinas Fall Conference!

Tomorrow I'm off to speak at the SCBWI Carolinas Fall conference in North Carolina: Inventing Story: Oh, the Places We'll Go!
     For the first time, I'm doing manuscript critiques (picture books) and I'll speak about "Picture Book Dummies" - How creating dummies helps both writers and illustrators make picture books shine. I also get to hang out with folks in the industry who have become friends, and who I only get to see at conferences. It's a party!
     It would seem this is the busiest weekend of the year in this biz as it coincides with SIBA trade show in Daytona, Florida and the National Book Festival in Washington, DC. I wish I could clone myself so I could have done them all!
     Whatever you do this weekend - it's going to be hard to avoid the world of books! (And who would want to?)

Teaching at the University of Georgia

I have big news. Monday I started teaching two classes, Drawing and Advanced Illustration in the Graphic Design program at the University of Georgia in Athens. I'm filling in for a professor taking medical leave for the rest of the semester.
     The irony is I received my BFA from the University of Georgia (a while ago) under the Professor who is now head of the department and who contacted me to fill this position. What an incredible honor!
     And I'm amazed how my life is full of circles. Along with writing and illustrating, I have always had the teaching bug. I have wanted to teach at the college level since the day after I graduated. But I needed an MFA to do it - something I haven't been able to pull off yet. So I've taught everywhere I could where an advanced degree wasn't required. Like at the John C. Campbell Folk School, speaking at conferences (four over the next few months), and doing school visits (three over the next two months).
     Apparently at some point in life, your experience becomes just as valuable as an advanced degree, and I seem to have reached that lovely tipping point. Woohoo!
     Of course, I always say beware what you wish for. When dreams are answered they don't always come in the prettiest package or at the most convenient time in life. Athens is a 1 1/2 hour commute (3 times a week), and teaching will be in addition to my writing and freelance (and other speaking engagements). In other words, I'm going to be a bit busy until Christmas.
     So please forgive me if I miss a few blog days or don't return your emails as quickly as usual. I'm going to try to keep up with everything, but I'm sure at some point a few things are going to have to slide as I embark on this exciting new adventure. It's going to be a wild ride, but I couldn't be more thrilled!

Coloring Page Tuesday! - Hop Into Reading!

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     Leap into a good book!

     What's your favorite book? Don't know yet? Then maybe you need to read some more! Hop on over to your local library or bookseller. They can help you find something you're sure to love.
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send your colored image (less than 1mb) to and I'll post it to my blog! Click here to find more coloring pages.

     Halloween is coming! Click the iPhone to learn about my app - Lula's Brew - also available for the iPad!

Please follow my copyright policy when you use my images! And share your creation on the Coloring Page Tuesday facebook page!

Check out what Martha Steele created for the Missouri City Branch Library! (Click here to see all of the banners she created.)


I am thrilled to introduce you to a fabulous new book today (and an amazingly talented author). My bud, Vicky Alvear Shecter is the author (and photo collector) of CLEOPATRA RULES! (Boyds Mills Press)
     In the same vein as her first book, ALEXANDER THE GREAT ROCKS THE WORLD, the voice is honest, modern and a bit... snarky. Fabulously fun and accessible for a generation who demand history be presented in a manner they can enjoy.
     And why not!? Cleopatra was one heck of a woman. History has painted her with some rather ugly stereotypes, but CLEOPATRA RULES sets the record straight.
     Even better, Vicky is a docent at the Emory Carlos Museum (home to Ramses for a little while), so she really knows her stuff. (Walking through that museum with her is a complete blast.) She also has a fabulous blog which gives you even more fun information at History With a Twist.
     So, without further adieu - I asked her some questions...

Q. I adored CLEOPATRA RULES! You wrote with such a fun voice, kids will be sucked in (I was) and without meaning to, they'll learn about this powerful woman. Where does this voice come from?

A. A couple of reviews have mentioned the voice sounding more like a “gossipy blog” than a history book, which made me happy because that’s exactly what I was going for. I think the voice comes from a deep desire to show kids, especially young teens, that history can be just as awesome, funny, and entertaining as the stuff they read in People or watch on TV.
     With so many distractions pulling kids away from reading and history, I was determined to engage them in a way that they instantly “got.” There’s plenty of time in late high school and college to adopt the more staid voice/approach to history. And, because my research was thorough, kids don’t even realize their getting “schooled” on a lot of classical history.
     Finally, I have to say that I’ve always been inspired by my big brother, Michael Alvear, who is a brilliantly funny writer. But he could care less about history. He became my barometer. If I could keep him interested in the story, then certainly (I hoped) I could keep a kid interested.

Q. You also wrote ALEXANDER THE GREAT ROCKS THE WORLD in a similar way. Why did these two stories need to be told, in your opinion. And is there another book screaming to be next?

A. In the end, I think, we write about what fascinates us. I loved ancient history as a kid and dreamt of becoming an archaeologist. But I lost that dream, somehow, as I grew up. I remember once, when I first started playing with the idea of writing a kid’s book about Alexander the Great, someone (not a writer or artist!), said, “Why on earth would you want to do that?” Talk about being doused with cold water! But it was a great question because ultimately I answered it like this: Because I’m fascinated and awed by the subject matter.

Q. I know you are a docent at the Carlos Museum - one of the best small museums representing Greek and Egyptian history in the US. Why the fascination with Cleopatra?

A. Originally, I wrote a book about several ancient “killer queens” and even sold the book that way. But then the publisher closed its doors and I had to start over and resell the book. Larry Rosler at Boyds Mills, eventually picked it up and he wanted to focus solely on Cleopatra. I remember what he said too, which was something along the lines of, “I’m sorry but once you read Cleopatra’s story, nothing else matches it for drama and entertainment. Let’s just focus on her.”
     How could I disagree?

Q. You're also in the middle of edits on CLEOPATRA'S MOON - an historical novel about Cleopatra's daughter coming out from Scholastic in 2011. Can you tell us more about it, and has it been difficult to switch between the different approaches to writing mid-grade and young adult?

A. In the process of researching Cleopatra, I discovered many things about her that surprised me, many of which never made it into the glamorized retellings of her story. The one that shocked me the most was that she was the mother of four children. Four! Who knew?
     She had one son, with Julius Caesar and three children—two boys and one girl—with Mark Antony. And she was fiercely protective of them too. Yet only her daughter survived childhood. This was a child who ended up being reared in the home of the man responsible for the deaths of her parents and the destruction of her world. And yet she lived on to have a full, powerful life of her own. I just HAD to tell her story. And thank goodness for friends like you who encouraged me to do so!

     I cannot wait for the public to read both of these amazing books because I am truly awed by Vicky's writing and storytelling. I'm lucky she's my friend! Thank you Vicky!

GIVEAWAY!!!! Go visit Vicky's blog and leave a comment to be entered in a drawing to win your very own copy of CLEOPATRA RULES! (Contest ends September 30th.)
It's Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Losing Libraries

Across the country libraries are facing budget cuts, staff cuts, and sometimes even suffering from pure politics. Remember the story around my "Save the Library" coloring page?
     You only need visit your local library for an hour to realize our libraries are resources we cannot afford to lose. Too many people rely on them. They are vital to our communities and to literacy in general.
     So how can you help? Part of the battle is in staying informed. Visit Losing Libraries where you can learn more and report cuts to libraries in your area.
     And remember, my "Save the Library" coloring page is available to any library in high resolution. You can print it out to color, make postcards to mail your City Councils, use it for book bags, t-shirts, hats, whatever. It's my way to try to help.

Caldecott Winners

There was a cool post at Squidoo recently - a full list of Caldecott winning books with thumbnails of most of the covers at The Best Children's Picture Books Are the Caldecott Medal Winners.
     The Caldecott is like winning an Oscar for best picture book illustration each year. It's wonderful to see all the books displayed together, although there was a major miss in that all the titles are then attributed to their authors - not their award-winning illustrators! (Unless the person was one in the same.) Um....
     Anyhow - I'm not sure I've seen them all gathered in one place online like this before, so it's a good resource, nonetheless.


Look what the nice UPS man brought me!!! These are my illustrator copies of my newest book, THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS IN GEORGIA written by Susan R. Spain, published by Sterling Children's Books. Even though the book isn't officially released until October 5th (at which time I will do my obnoxious TA DA!!!! stuff all over my blog - with giveaways!), Susan and I got a chance to do our thing with the new book at the recent Suwanee Festival of Books. And let me tell you - this is a FUN book!! Can't wait to share more.... soon...

Ruckus Media Group - This changes everything

The big dogs have entered the arena.
     According to Publishers Weekly (Richter Launches Ruckus Media, a Kids' Digital Publishing Venture), Rick Richter (former head of Simon & Schuster Children's Publshing) - has begun a mobile media company creating picture book apps - Ruckus Mobile Media.
     And Rubin Pfeffer is involved (no surprise after his amazing speech on adapting to new media at the SCBWI LA conference: Pfeffer Challenges SCBWI to Join the Digital Age). And a whole slew of the very top people in children's publishing are on board. And wait - is that Robin Williams? And Elvis Costello? Doing voice? Hooo boy.
     Yup. Like I said, this changes everything. The picture book app market has just gone up a notch. This is HUGE!

Hispanic Heritage Month

Kicks off today and runs through October 15th.
     Why September 15th? Because five Latin countries celebrate the anniversaries of their independence that day, with others celebrating soon after that.
     There's a great resource for teachers at TeacherVision for all kinds of ways to share Hispanic culture with your students. There are also some interesting facts about the Hispanic population in the US at PR Newswire's Hispanic Heritage Month 2010. For instance, did you know that Ranking of the size of the U.S. Hispanic population worldwide, as of 2009. Only Mexico (111 million) had a larger Hispanic population than the United States (48.4 million)?
     Another great way to share Hispanic Heritage with your students is to use my bilingual titles:

     Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón and Paco and the Giant Chile Plant ~ Paco y la planta de chile gigante.

Coloring Page Tuesday! - Pirate 2010

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     Talk Like a Pirate Day is Sunday the 19th! It's my favorite unofficial holiday! Every year I create a new pirate to celebrate - you can see them all here.
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send your colored image (less than 1mb) to and I'll post it to my blog! Click here to find more coloring pages.

     Click the covers to learn about my newest picture book, Soap, soap, soap and Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón.

Please follow my copyright policy when you use my images! And share your creation on the Coloring Page Tuesday facebook page!

Three Ladies By The Sea

I love it when treasures return. Recently, New York Review Children's Collection has reissued the classic THREE LADIES BESIDE THE SEA written by Rhoda Levine and illustrated by one of my personal illustrator heroes, Edward Gorey.
     Do you remember Masterpiece Theatre? The lady with her feet tied up, who with her free hands dramatically lamented, "Oh! Oh!"
     I ran around doing that a lot as a kid, so have long been a fan of Edward Gorey's artwork.
     Well, one of his classics is being re-released. THREE LADIES BESIDE THE SEA written by Rhoda Levine and illustrated by Edward Gorey was originally published in 1960. However, it reads with a whimsical romanticism more akin to the Victorian era (suggested as well by the illustrations).
     Two friends have a third who insists on staying in a tree. Why?
     I adored the story with its lyrical and quirky rhyme. Although Mr. Gorey is no longer with us, I jumped at the chance to interview the talented and successful Ms. Rhoda Levine...

Q. Ms. Levine, you have had an amazing career as an accomplished opera-director and choreographer and are currently on the faculty of some of the finest music schools in the country. What inspired you to write children's books?

A. I have no idea what inspired me to write children’s books, although I have always been an avid reader. (I have over 5000 books in my small apartment!) My first story was written in my head on the way to the dentist’s. I clearly did not want to go to the appointment, so I escaped by creating a story. I told it to my friend Sandy Wilson who wrote the Musical THE BOYFRIEND. He said he loved the story and would be delighted to illustrate it, and that he would bring it to a publisher in London. The publisher accepted it!! And that was the beginning of my creating books for children.

Q. THREE LADIES BESIDE THE SEA was first published in 1960, and yet the story is still relevant fifty years later. Why do you think that is?

A. The story doesn’t depend on any particular time period, and the drawings, by Edward Gorey are both witty, beautiful and everlasting.

Q. Was there a particular reason the story of THREE LADIES BESIDE THE SEA came to you? What was your inspiration?

A. I have no idea what my inspiration was, I just made it up.

Q. As an illustrator, I've been a long time fan of Edward Gorey, but will sadly never get to meet him (he passed in 2000). He illustrated two of your books. Did you know him, and if so, can you share any stories?

A. Yes, indeed, I knew Mr. Gorey. I would be happy to talk with you about our friendship, but these written responses are the best I can do at the moment.
     My initial reactions when I first saw his illustrations were that they were so profoundly “accurate” in terms of what the stories were dealing with. As you know, Mr. Gorey was a great admirer of the works of George Balanchine, and he did think about Three Ladies in a choreographic way. Since I, myself, was a dancer and choreographer, his response to the characters seemed absolutely fitting.
     His wonderful choice of the breed of dog (Old English Sheepdog) for He Was There From The Day We Moved In was perfect for a dog who has been sitting in a garden for many a long day.

Q. Finally, I am thrilled THREE LADIES BESIDE THE SEA is now available to a new generation. How has it been to see new life breathed into your creation?

A. I am so delighted to see our book resurrected by the New York Review of Books. I feel so lucky. I am only sorry that Ted is not around to enjoy its reappearance.
     I yearn to see He Was There From The Day We Moved In republished. I have had so many children respond to the original publication of the book that it seems sad to have it unavailable to a whole new generation of young people.
     Thanks so much for your interest in the book and in Ted’s work.
There was a tech glitch with iTunes, so LULA'S BREW will now be free through the weekend!

Woot, woot to Debbie Ohi!

Need some inspiration?
     Read "How a rejection got me a book deal: My career-changing SCBWI Summer Conference experience" by Debbie Ridpath Ohi.
     Remember Debbie? She did that awesome comic strip of me in my office during my blog tour for Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón.
     Debbie has been entertaining us for years with her Inkygirl writing-related cartoons (among others) and I've been cheering for her for a long time. Well, she's finally landed a picture book contract - yay! It's a good feeling when a good person succeeds!!!
     Go Debbie!

You write like a GIRL!

Or maybe you write like a guy? Go find out at The Gender Genie at Bookblog. Plug in a writing sample and it will study your use of certain words which are apparent giveaways as to whether you are male or female.
     I am happy to report, it couldn't figure me out!!

Skype School Visits

School Library Journal recently did a story called "An Author in Every Classrooom: Kids connecting with authors via Skype. It's the next best thing to being there." Kate Messner did a fantastic wrap-up of the trend more and more educators are taking advantage of as their schools become more comfortable with technology.
     I've personally done two Skype visits (read about them HERE and HERE) and really enjoyed them. No, you don't get the hugs. But you do get to connect with students you wouldn't be able to otherwise because of either budget constraints or pure geography.
     Virtual Visits are becoming more popular, and they're really not that hard to do. Read about my first virtual visit for tips. Or go to:

LULA'S BREW on Moms with Apps!

RhodeSoft (a.k.a. Reading Rhino), the developers of my picture book app LULA'S BREW is featured on Moms with Apps this week in "App Sound Effects: How RhodeSoft Created Their Own Sound Studio for Mobile Apps."
     In the article they talk about some of the challenges we hit while adding narration to LULA'S BREW. In particular, that I learned the hard way not to eat spicy foods or dairy before doing a voice recording!
     The cool thing about the feature is that this Friday, LULA'S BREW will be set to FREE for one day in iTunes, for you to download to your iPhone, iPad or iTouch. So be sure to check it out! And hey - if you love it, please leave a comment on iTunes!

UPDATE!!! Holy !@#%*!! During those two days LULA'S BREW was downloaded 7,572 times!!! In TWO days!!!!!!

International Literacy Day!!

Today is International Literacy Day! A day to celebrate the world reading opens to us, and become aware of those in our world who still don't have the gift of literacy.
     It's always been my opinion that a reader learns how to form independent decisions, which leads to a free thinking, contributing adult. In other words, literacy makes our world a better place.
     Learn more about International Literacy Day at the International Reading Association website.

Coloring Page Tuesday - Story Time

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     When is your favorite story time? It can be hard to squeeze in time with school back in session and all the activities that surround it - but don't forget to read to your kids!
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send your colored image (less than 1mb) to and I'll post it to my blog! Click here to find more coloring pages.

As the school year sends our schedules into chaos, make your day a little easier by learning about proper parenting language and the power of choice in, Ready for Bed! , Ready for the Day!, and Ready to Play! - click the covers!

Please follow my copyright policy when you use my images! And share your creation on the Coloring Page Tuesday facebook page!

Wow - look what Alicia's son did. Good job!

DBF Wrap-up

The Decatur Book Festival was HUGE, as always! It's probably my busiest weekend of the year, and one of my favorites. Friends in the biz fly in from all over the country to talk about their books, and it's a nonstop party. Our SCBWI region (Southern Breeze - Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi) hosts a tent near the children's stage where we promote our local author's wares and it becomes home base for the weekend.
     For me, the festivities began Thursday evening when I had the pleasure of hanging out with authors Kathleen Duey (Skin Hunger) and (my bud) Vicky Alvear Shecter (Cleopatra Rules).
     Friday was our SCBWI Southern Breeze third annual ILLUSTRATOR'S DAY, which was awesome and will soon have a post all it's own.
     It ran late, until about four, and afterwards several of us (the visiting speakers and organizers went to The Brick Store Pub to unwind, and then the organizers went on to the Iberian Pig (our fave restaurant) to unwind some more. Dang.

     Saturday I awoke early to man our SCBWI booth first thing. Here are just some of the amazing creators we represented: (from the back, left to right) Peter Huggins (Trosclaire and the Alligator), Jan Godwin (She Sang Promise), Susan R. Spain (author of The 12 Days of Christmas in Georgia - I'm the illustrator), Jennifer Jabaley (Lipstick Apology), Donna Bowman (Big Cats and Did Dinosaurs Eat People?), and Moi with a copy of Soap, soap, soap.
     We arranged all our members' books (wow, there are a lot) as we watched the parade arrive at the children's stage (right next door).
     Since I was also on for the last shift, I hung out at the festival all day. For much of the time I enjoyed the company of David (D.J.) Steinberg, author of my dear friend, Liz Conrad's 'Ball' books, and the Daniel Boom and Loud Boy series. What a treat to feel reconnected to Liz through such a nice guy - if just for a few hours. (She passed away last year.)
     Throughout the day, I enjoyed speakers like Shelia Moses (Joseph), Deborah Wiles (Countdown), Cinda Williams Chima (The Warrior Heir series), Kathleen Duey again, Vicky again, Nancy Werlin (Extraordinary) - all amazing writers to have in one place, and I'm proud to call them all friends.
     I sold and signed several copies of my books while back in the booth then Donna Bowman (our Regional Advisor) and Robyn Hood Black, and I went to dinner at Parker's on Ponce. Can you say 'tired'?
     But we weren't done yet. Oh no!

     Sunday, hubbie and I were moving slowly but got to the festival just in time to see David Steinberg on stage with several other mid-grade graphic novelists. They were awesome together as they created a new super hero (Waffle Boy!) and villain (Evil Toaster Man!). Hilarious!
     We listened to Laurel Snyder (Any Which Wall) and Jeanne Birdsall (The Penderwick's).
     Afterwards we helped pack up our Southern Breeze booth then went to chill out with illustrators Mark Braught and his wife Laura Knorr. But only for an hour as we had to meet more friends, Jessica Handler (Invisible Sisters) and her hubbie Mickey, at Eddie's Attic for one of the most amazing shows I've ever seen...

     Can you imagine Marshall Cahpman and Rodney Crowell TOGETHER!!?? These two master bards read from their books, reminisced on their long friendship, and played amazing music. They made me laugh, they made me cry - honestly, I've seldom been so moved by a performance.
     Finally, hubbie and I are home. Thank goodness today is a holiday as I doubt we'll have the energy to do more than roll bonelessly from one soft surface to another. What a weekend!

Update: More pictures coming in!

And it turns out PW (Publishers Weekly) was blogging our affair. (Thanks to Jessica Handler for letting me know!)

Donors Choose

Want an author visit but can't afford it for your school? Check out It's a fund-raising site especially for schools and teachers. And you can apply for all sorts of things, not just author visits. Although that would be a good one.
     Want to know about my school visits? Go to VISITS (and email me for pricing at elizabeth at dulemba dot com).
Thanks to my agent for turning me on to this one!

A Book Chair

How's this for new? It's a chair, that's actually a book. It's called the Darwin Chair. You can flip to the page that matches your decor, or mix it up, changing it out with your moods (there are 200 designs available). Very groovy.
Thanks to Betsy Bird at Fuse #8 for the link.

2010 Decatur Book Festival!

It's Book Festival season!
     Last weekend was the first ever Suwanee Festival of Books, this weekend is the Decatur Book Festival!
     I will be celebrating the title of my latest picture book soon (THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS IN GEORGIA), however, for the first time in five years, I won't be onstage during the Decatur Book Festival to do it! (There will be parties closer to the holidays.) I'm actually really looking forward to enjoying the festival from the outside for once... Although, I will be manning our Southern-Breeze SCBWI booth Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon. If you can drop by, I'd love to see you!

2010 SB Illustrator's DAY!

     As Illustrator Coordinator for the Southern-Breeze region (GA, AL, MS) of the Society of Children's Book Writers and ILlustrators, I'm pleased to host our 2010 Illustrator's Day tomorrow (Friday) at the Decatur library in Decatur (Atlanta), Georgia.
     This is a great way for our budding illustrators to learn more about the biz of illustrating children's books, and how to market oneself. Sound interesting? If you can't make it to our Illustrator's Days, look around your part of the world for your local SCBWI chapter (international) as they may have something similar.

1st Suwanee Festival of Books

Sunday I had the pleasure of speaking with the author of THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS IN GEORGIA, Susan R. Spain, (I'm the illustrator) at the very first Suwanee Festival of Books in Suwanee, Georgia!
     Our books made their first public appearance, as did Susan and me together, and if I do say so myself, it was FABULOUS!!! We had a GREAT crowd as we sang and went through the fun and sometimes crazy things you can find in our fair state of Georgia. I drew like crazy as Susan described each layout.

I may do a few things differently next time to create better drawings, but as it was, it was an hilarious adrenalin rush to draw "12 kangas bouncing..."! Everybody was laughing as I tried to keep up (in a good way)!

     (Notice the superheroes who dropped by to help us out?)
     Afterwards we signed a ton of books. Barnes & Noble bent over backwards to get our new title in stock (it's only just now starting to reach warehouses - expect the big TA-DA! soon). Boy did they make us look good. And Kolinda Scialabba was a wonderful hostess. Boy can that woman throw a party. She even recorded us and other visiting authors for quick television promos!

     (Mark Braught and Laura Knorr can be seen in the background signing their books; and Heather, our B&N sales guru.)
     All said, the day was a huge success and I hope to go back!