Most of you know that I am not an illustrator by trade. I have always loved to draw, but pursued other interests like theatre in high school, and elementary education in college. There's an artsy chick just waiting to hatch inside of me! If I can do it, so can you! The image above is my entry in the KidLit Summer School Art Contest. If you are not yet registered for KidLit Summer School, late registration is still open HERE! (You'll also find art contest details.) Come on over to Twitter at #NerdyChicksDraw to see the wonderful entries and show us your support!
July THINK QUICK with author Maria Gianferrari and Penny & Jelly: The School Show + Giveaway!
Hi Maria! Congrats on the July 7th release of PENNY & JELLY: THE SCHOOL SHOW. I love how this story allows kids to internalize Penny’s persistence as she tries so hard to find a talent. All of the THINK QUICK themes below appear in your book. Let’s see which way you lean. Remember, THINK QUICK!
Stand out or blend in?
STAND OUT! Shine & be yourself!
On Trying Something New:
Give up quick or press on until it is mastered?
PRESS ON! As Dory says, “Keep swimming!” You never know where it will lead!
A second career or holding onto your day job?
A SECOND CAREER—opera, anyone, or back-up singer?
Lead or follow? Or two left feet?
LEAD & FOLLOW—Be proactive, but know when it’s time to follow. Go with the flow and find the rhythm.
Can’t live with ‘em or can’t live without ‘em?
CANNOT live without them, especially my dog, Becca. LOVE dogs!
On Problem Solving:
Work alone or consult others?
CONSULT OTHERS! Two heads and four eyes (or more) are better than one!
One best friend or many?
MORE THAN ONE, BUT NOT MANY.
Kazoo or tuba?
Quiet observer or center of attention?
QUIET OBSERVER—I’m a watcher; I like being behind the scenes.
Penny & Jelly or Penny & Jelly?
PENNY & JELLY and JELLY & PENNY!
Thanks for thinking quick with us! Enter the Rafflecopter drawing below for your chance to win a copy of Penny & Jelly from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt!
Click HERE for a review of Penny & Jelly: The School Show.
(Review by Carrie Charley Brown)
Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for sponsoring our giveaway!
When you get to "know" a writer online, it's always so exciting to see them succeed. I was thrilled when Penny Parker Klostermann announced that she had sold her first picture book. There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight comes out on August 4 with Random House Books for Young Readers! It will be followed by A Cooked Up Fairy Tale in the spring of 2017 (Random House).
As an author that writes in rhyme, what came first—prose or poetry?
Poetry. Definitely poetry. It seems my stories tell me how they want to be written. Some say, “Write me in prose!” and others say, “Write me in rhyme!”
What do you feel is the secret to finding your voice as a writer? When did you realize that you had found yours?
Voice is a tricky thing in my opinion. In fact, when I started writing, I wasn’t really sure what voice was. I figured my voice was hidden away on a remote island in a super secret place and would be impossible for me to find. I read blog post after blog post about finding your voice but, alas, mine was like Bigfoot . . . illusive. So I just kept writing, writing, writing and eventually I started noticing that my stories just had a “Penny” element to them and I thought, “Hey! I think I’ve found my voice!” So I say to those who don’t feel they’ve found their voice, just keep writing and your voice will show up.
Tricia Lawrence, of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency is your agent. What do you feel is the single most important factor of an agent/client relationship?
Communication. Tricia is super easy to communicate with. She put me at ease from that first phone conversation when she offered representation. We’d scheduled the call and I was almost sick I was so nervous. She settled my nerves right away. Tricia is open to the type of communication I feel I need at any given time. Some things are easy to handle by email, but other times a phone call is best. Tricia never makes me feel rushed when we communicate. I feel like I have her undivided attention. I have confidence that helping build my career as an author is her priority and she’s always available to discuss any aspect of this.
Before you had an agent, how did you decide which manuscript to lead out with on submissions?
Luckily, I’m part of a fabulous critique group. They are honest and supportive and give excellent feedback. When the majority of them felt a manuscript was ready to go, I submitted it with confidence.
Are you up for a game of follow the leader, Penny? As you know, I am passionate about mentor texts. With every workshop and craft course I take, I continue to hear publishing professionals recommend reading as the #1 way to study craft. Therefore, my last question hits that mark. Follow me to the Reading for Research blog for your last question...
Carrie Charley Brown
As a children’s writer, and a teacher, my goal is to help you carry on. Sometimes learning is challenging, so why go it alone? Your journey will be more meaningful and comfortable with friends to share it with. Together, we'll get up close and personal with authors, illustrators, and the best of picture books. If we work together, great things will follow!