Saturday, June 27, 2009

Making a good first impression

I'm sending my first dummy package to Hyperion today and it may be my only submission unless/until I get an agent...because they won't except anything unagented due to legal reasons. But conference attendees get one month to submit.

So I've checked my Ps and Qs and dotted my Ts. I've scanned my art and dummy, and covered my cover letter. So even if they don't want it, I think they will be pleased with my professionalism and presentation (but maybe they'll want it???!!!!) and they will ask for more. Figners figners figners crossed.

AND let's not forget Knopf...they are getting it too. Let's hope they feel the same.

(And I have a new idea for my floating mice illustration....oh boy.)

Once in a lifetime you have to make a good first impression because it may be only once in a lifetime.

As my illustrator critiquer said, "You want them to remember you!"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New Stuff.

I've got some new artwork up on my site and I am excited about it.

Per just about every AD's recommendations I have decided to stick with collage mixed media and forgo straight watercolor...except my birds. They say my collage is much more distinctive and I am wild about that art form. And that is okay.

Time to query...

and time to finish another dummy....

And now back to the insane work week

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lasting greatness

I've been thinking a lot about what I think makes a picture book great. And there is no one thing or formula.  But gosh, I want to find a common denominator. And I think that that is the big idea and or the format of text and or visual. These are the ones that last. They must be universal, innovative (and original in the way they are done and what they say), accessible, expressive, narrative and very visual with both language and art...and I also love movement and gesture and body language. And I am sorry but they appeal both to children and adults because we are the same except for the accumulation of years in don't insult our intelligence)

I think I have done that with mine out there...God I hope so................

Long live Steig, Sendak and you newercomers like Portis, and not so newcomers but in the middle like Small and Bliss etc..

You rock.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Yesterday, an artist friend and I treated ourselves to manicures and pedicures ( a yearly event at best). This was spurred on by our daughters' prom. And elephant like heels.

I was discussing potential subject matter for my next pb biograhy. I want to write about an artistic person who had an extremely interesting and possibly turbulent life. Lots of action and visual material. And it is so hard to find someone in the vein of my currently circulating subject. He really circulated.

But I want a woman. 

My friend mentioned someone.

"How about Alice Neel?"


Perfect. I got a lot of research to do. (Before someone beats me to it.)

(Oh, I gots pretty feet now!!! Pretty beautiful feets)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

In the Spirit of Teenage Party Downness

I call myself Promniscient.

I can spend 10 hours looking for the right dress at the right price that isn't hideous or tacky for an extra petite. I can convince her that she looks stunning in it.

Then I can wade through the thousands of pairs of shoes and find the perfect pair at the very LAST SHOE STORE. And they are gorgeous, the right price and not too high in the heel (she won't come home with a twisted ankle and put a damper on our vacation). I can convince her that she looks stunning in them.

And for the final purchase: I can convince her that not everything has to be real patent leather. Not for a simple clutch. And I can convince her that she looks stunning. And she does.

Tomorrow nails.

Next day hair

and delivery to the prom.

I am promniscient. I know.

Oh...and I get a free pedicure, too....ooooh.


PB editors are looking for more plot in their submissions. It seems that the market is concept heavy at the moment. They say that plotty books hold up to more readings.

Voice is everything. Authentic voice...especially in MG is hardest to find.

One Art Director's favorite is another's toss.

Editors are looking for more "experimental" formats/structures in PB but be careful not to sacrifice plot.

Most writers have an internal age group where they write from.

One agent said that novelists have a hard time writing pb, but pb authors seem to manage longer works.

Quiet book still sell but they need real hooks. Not everything has to scream.

One writer (who I know) asked,"In this economy what one thing are editors and agents not looking at." An agent answered something like...his vacation on a tropical island.

One writer asked,"If my agent doesn't want to represent something I wrote can I have another agent do it." The agents seemed to agree that if you were persistent about it and insisted that they were probably not the right agents for you. "We're trying to build a career with you and specific us." Something like that.

Witnessed a pb writer's school act/show/performance!! At first I thought...oh no...
But she was quite good and I can see how the little guys would eat it up and how more books would sell. Good job Klesmer Girl.

I also learned how nice editors can be. My critiquer was as sweet as they come. Honest, but not patronizing. Told me to sub my packages to the art department.

More later maybe.

(And when you are make typos.)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Confearenza 2009: What I learned...and what i know

1) Good thing I didn't register for Friday. That intestinal bug knew which day to strike.
2) Good thing I didn't stay up too late listening to Bill's band at the party last night...because it doesn't matter how late I go to bed I still wake up with the birds

3) Okay...back to the conference
a) listened to the panel of eds and agents...I know what agent I want if I get a contract and I share their philosophy. I love her agency's philosophy thru and thru. I tried to find her but... there was like no time to pin someone down in the tightly mapped out schedule.  But I heard her out and LISTENED to her. 
b) I know why /DisneyHyperion is agented ONLY! It is not why you think!  Ha..Ha. Gonna send the AD a package ONE MONTH. I hate lawyers.
c) First pages... nice voice and language for me...some logic problems (duh...I know) but read on....
d) Nice critique with lovely Knopf editor who heard my first page. Showed her my art. If you are a writer/illustrator she suggested sending a dummy package to the art department. She said that this is a different situation from the pb author alone one because we/such people use both skill sets to tell the story and the eds often don't see that in the the text.
e) Had a folio critique with E.B. White. My goodness he did something completely different than what I am used to. And he told me what he thought was my strongest piece which is my favorite. More later...

I got lawst and am tres fatigue maintenant.

Bon soir...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Bon nuit.