September Round Up ...

September has been a busy month for me! 
Here's a quick round up of the whole shabang ..

This is the first really BIG book festival I have exhibited at .. exhausting, fun - I'll be back!
Jazams Book Store did an excellent job.

 At my table ... It was hot and humid and windy!

 With Linda Barth, author of our book.

  We sold out ... yippee!

 Saw lot's of famous people! John Bemelmans Marciano ...

 Bad Kitty and Nick Bruel (but he wasn't in the costume I hasten to add. This was one HOT Kitty).

  Brian Lies and his wondrous car!

 Michael Buckley!

 The cooler than cool, Peter Brown ...

 Awesome and prolific Roxie Munro!

Brian Floca!

A little later in the month I scooted down to Portland with the high-energy author Lynn Plourde to attend a presentation by Phil Hoose (National Book Award and Newbury Medal Winner) talking about his beautiful book MOONBIRD. Kirsten Cappy, from Curious City, did a great job putting this together.

Just before the month blew out in rain and wind (as it is today) I traveled with Anna Boll (SCBWI RA for Maine) to the Illustrator's Symposium at NH Institute of Art, Manchester. Great faculty, caught up with some friends and feel set for the long nights of winter to come ...

Anne Sibley O'Brien gave an excellent talk of drawing ethnicity in children's books.

Melissa Sweet and the team who designed her book 'Balloons over Broadway' gave an excellent panel.

 Brain Lies gave a great talk on marketing ... a reminder that we only get one go at a launch, so you had better plan!

 And I won a copy of Chris Van Dusen's book in the door prizes. it's a little spooky!!

I am ready for a few weeks at home in the studio WORKING!

Got good news coming in the pipeline too. Stay tuned!

Happy October

Oh and I bought a Brian Lies bat, I love it!!

September, September

Fall is coming quick to Maine. It seems amazing that the summer has come and gone so quickly, but there it is. We've been stacking wood, fitting a new propane stove and insulating. The leaves are tinging red and yellow, birds are gathering, the garden is giving up it's last thrust of produce and it's time to think about submitting dummies. Well, it is in this house anyway!

Submitting is something I haven't been doing much of lately. The last two months I have been deep into finishing the final illustrations for the next two chapter books in the '

All Star Cheerleader

' series for Kane and Miller by Anastasia Suen. Each book has 23 black and white illustrations and colour covers. You can buy the first one on line

right now!

In fact I was so deep into them that I even forgot to blog! Wowser!

So, that is why I am thinking about submitting dummies ... I have several hanging around, and they are no good loafing around on my desk, it's out into the world they go. It's back to  the CWIM to research likely publishers and fingers crossed on interest and not rejections. But, hey ho!

The hurricane passed us by uneventfully (Irene). Power off for a bit, but nothing horrible. Poor Vermont, they had a rough time, we were lucky. I will be glad when hurricane season is over, although all we get usually is humidity and a deal of rain. I don't mind rain, but if I wanted humidity I would have stayed in South Carolina.

I did make time to visit the Camden Book Fair and listen to some excellent authors and illustrators. It was nice to take a few hours out. Here's who attended ... I got some fabby signed copies!

How many do you know? Spot Toni Buzzeo, Jeannie Brett, Chris Van Dusen, Stephen Costanza, Cynthia Lord and Melissa Sweet amongst others.

The beautiful harbour and library in Camden, Maine.

All of which gave me some great inspiration for my own work. It occurs to me that this is the first time since October 2010 that I haven't been illustrating a book for someone else. It has been fantastic, and it has been a little frustrating ... working on my own projects has been limited. Hence no submissions. This week I have been reviewing and rethinking. There are new stories I would like to work on. Heck, I would love to get back to the MG I started back last summer! It's funny though, the plot has thickened and evolved in the time since I last looked at it. Who knows. But then there is the early reader that came from some sketches I did, and that graphic novel and that other picture book ... always, always so many projects and so little time.

Right now I owe it to the work I did on the PB's to at least show them around.  Before a new book swallows me up ... Book 4 in the cheerleader series may be on my desk before Christmas ... I am looking forward to visiting with my cheerleader girlfriends again and finding out their new adventures ... but in the meantime, it's good to have some 'me' time.

It's been a great year so far! Still have 4 months to go!

Thanks for visiting with me. 



On the beside table:

Writing it Right - Sandy Asher

Picture Writing - Anastasia Suen

Terrific Connections with Authors, Illustrators and Storytellers - Toni Busseo and Jane Kurtz

Happy Birthday Hamster - Cynthia Lord/Derek Anderson

Pete the Car Rocking in My School Shoes - Eric Litwin/James Dean

Skippyjon Jones Class Action - Judy Shachner

Burned - Ellen Hopkins