Happy 2015!

My 2015 is getting off to an exciting start!  I hope yours is off to a great start, too.

First some good news: I’ve received the long anticipated final art for A BEAR’S YEAR. The illustrations by Gerry Turley are perfect for this story of the seasons in the life of a bear family. The soft palette captures the feel of  changing seasons beautifully, and the scenes alternate between vast landscapes and intimate scenes of mama and her cubs. Thanks, Gerry! I can’t wait to hold this book in my hands.

I also want to thank my editor, Lee Wade at Schwartz and Wade for masterfully pulling all the pieces together for this beautiful book. And of course, many thanks to my super agent Erin Murphy, for making it happen.

Now comes the preparation for this book’s launch in October— the perfect time for a story that starts in the dead of winter.

On April 18-19, I will be at Houston’s SCBWI Conference. Guest speakers will include author-illustrator Kelly Light; art director Isabel Warren-Lynch executive editor at Random House Children’s Books; agents Susan Hawk at the Bent Agency, Molly Jaffa at Folio Literary Management, and John M Cusick with Greenhouse Literary; and editors Wendy Loggia, Executive Editor at Delacorte Press, and Annie Berger at Simon & Schuster. They will offer critiques and portfolio reviews.

Local author Kimberly Morris, Sherry Garland, Crystal Allen, Joy Preble, Anna Maria Rodriguez,and myself will also offer critiques.

Check here for more information about submission guidelines.

I will also be giving another picture book workshop at Writespace Houston on April 25.  Make It Shine is hands-on— we  will focus on revision of completed picture book drafts to ready them for submission. Writespace is heading into 2015 with a great line-up of workshops for writers of children’s and adult lit. Click here for more information.

All this and some upcoming Skype visits are in my future. Last year I started delving into doing Skype visits and found I love them! I do 15-20 minute free Q&A visits for classes or groups that have read at least one of my books. Kid ask me questions.  I can do this from my home. It’s great. I do get out of my pjs and wear regular clothes, however.

I’m looking forward to this year. May it be good to us all!





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