Friday, November 29, 2013

Picture Book Month

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving Day. I just returned from a trip to San Jose, California. Spent the Thanksgiving holiday there. Beautiful weather, lovely place.
Before the month of November is over, I’d like to share this post on the Picture Book Month blog. It’s about interviews with famous authors on the subject of why picture books are important. Make sure you read it if you’re into writing picture books or even if you’re not. The discussion is super interesting.
One of the interviewees, author April Pulley Sayer, writes: “A picture book is a delicious form. There’s just enough time for a journey, a concept, a bit of push and pull of language. A picture book can refresh you, teach you, comfort you, and help you set sail into real life with inspiration…” Visit the blog above for more.

Never try to chase trends. Write what you love, and write the best book you can, and worry about publication later. – Writer’s Digest Weekly Planner

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Make Every Word Count

Words have power. As writers, we know that. So when writing, we need to make sure we use our words wisely. On the Highights Foundation Workshop blog, Writers on the Move, Patti Lee Gauch, former editorial director at Philomel, posted  some rich details such as “ … to write with simplicity we must use concrete words; concrete nouns. Be specific. Use words wisely. Understand what particular means. Objects have great value, such as a woman wearing the same hat.”
And on the same post, Newbery award-winning author, Linda Sue Park, writes about “… analyzing each and every word. Every word has to work hard. A noun that appears in the first part of the book is not a force unless it is repeated at the end.” 
On the Publishers Weekly blog, this post, "Inside Stories About Memorable Books” is about interviews conducted with twenty prominent editors talking about their memory of a “personally meaningful children's book project” they worked on. It’s an insightful read. 
Note: The Bookshelf Muse blog has moved to Writers Helping Writers.
F&Gs: Folded and gathered sheets. An early, not-yet-bound copy of a picture book.—Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Literary Agent Representation

I am very happy to announce that I now have an agent and am being represented by the Hummingbird Literary Agency. It happened at the summer SCBWI conference in Los Angeles. Founder and agent, Mira Reisberg, and I hit it off. We talked, emailed back and forth, she asked to see some of my work, and a few weeks later, we signed a contract. I’m looking forward to a long working relationship with Ms. Reisberg who has worked as an illustrator, writer, editor, art director and designer. A woman of many talents!
Here’s an interesting guest post on the Cynsations blog: “Ammi-Joan Paquette on An Abundance of Book Releases: How Much Is Too Much?” How does one handle having too many books released around the same time? (We should all have this problem, right?) Ms. Paquette handles this in a very professional manner. See for yourself.

SCBWI: The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

ESC Conference in Corpus Christi, TX

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Education Service Center, Region 2, TCEA Technology Conference in Corpus Christi, Texas. Four other authors and illustrators were in attendance as well. Librarians and teachers packed the center. We presented and talked about our books. I always enjoy going to Corpus Christi. The city has some fabulous eating places. Watching the seagulls fly over the bay lifts my spirit. It is a great place to visit.
I now have my two latest books in my hands. They arrived a few days ago from the publisher. The books are now in bookstores and online. The illustrations in Lupita’s First Dance/El Primer Baile de Lupita and Let’s Salsa/Bailemos Salsa are gorgeous. The colors are vibrant and full of energy. I am so pleased with the art that the illustrators, Robert Casilla and Gabhor Utomo, did on my books. Such talented people!
There is a brand new SCBWI website where you can view my books, the synopsis for each one, and book reviews. Just click on Member Bookstore and type in my name: Lupe Ruiz-Flores and my books come up! Awesome website!

“The struggle to master a medium, whether it’s words, notes, paint, or marble, is the heroic part of making art.”Chris Van Allsburg