One of my fabulous critique partners, Elaine Kiely Kearns, has tagged me in a blog hop. I never hopped a blog before, I feel I should wear some bunny ears, or at least eat some chocolate while hopping. Hmm, yep, that works! Luckily, there is not too much actual hopping, instead, blog hopping involves answering a few author related question.
And when you have read them you can hop along to some other fabulous blogs.
Why is Elaine so fabulous? She loves picture books as much as I do, for one. Then there is the fact that she is a grade two teacher and has a Masters education on top of a creative spirit means that she has great insights when critiquing stories. On top of all that she has a wicked sense of humour and knows how to buoy you up from frazzled low downtown to the energized part of uptown.
If you want to know more about Elaine, check out her website:
1. What are you working on right now?
I work on several things at once. At the moment I am working on a creative non-fiction picture book with an Australian focus. Two picture book dummies (slow process) and revising several picture book stories.
2. How does your writing process work?
I get my ideas, brainstorm, think, and think so more. Lots of day dreaming involved. Then when I start writing usually the first draft takes around 15 minutes. At this stage I have fallen in love with the story and think it is my best ever. I look at it again every few days, still in love and make a change here and there. Then over to my critique groups. I have a fabulous international critique group of picture book writers on Facebook and a most supportive small community of picture book writers on Scribophile as well as a very motivated face to face critique group that meets once a month. I might ask for feedback on my latest story from one or all of these critique groups.
Then I hit a wall. I fall out of love. I make changes to the story. I can only see its faults and then I leave it and move on to the next story, ready to fall in love again. After a while I have another peek at the previous story and decide that, yep, leave that one alone or, wow, that story is pretty good and I rekindle the flame, make some change if needed and send it out to one or more of my groups again. And if at this stage our love has grown stronger, I will submit it to an agent or publishing house that I have researched and think might be a good fit.
3. Who are the authors you most admire?
Aagh, really?! It changes but some of my favourite PB writers and illustrators are Maurice Sendak, Peter Brown, Mem Fox, Mo Willems, Shaun Tan, Tomi Ungerer, Oliver Jeffers, Margaret Wild and for MG I really like Jacky French’s book and in particular her non-fiction books. I grew up in the Netherlands and I have always loved Annie M. G. Schmidt's stories and poems and illustrator Fiep Westendorp. In picture books I love the quirky and slightly dark or downright silly. I really could go on for much longer, but that will have to do for now. I might have to devote a whole blog post to this instead.
Now, you know a little about my writing and if you would like to read a more about other authors, why not tag along and check out the fabulous blogs of the following talented children’s writers and/ or illustrators:
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