Friday, June 29, 2012

Bio flap

I've been working on my bio to go on the flap of my picture book coming out next year, PENGUIN CHA-CHA. 

Do you read author and illustrator bios on books? I sure do. I especially love to see where the author and illustrator live. I don't know why that's so interesting to me. Maybe because I plan children's book conferences and if someone happens to live near here, I go, "Ooooo... I should totally keep them in mind to speak at an event." 

Bios on book flaps are usually short - most seem to be 3 to 6 sentences plus websites - but I find them hard to write. I've been reading dozens of them this past week to see what works best and what is the most important info to list. Here's what I've found: 
1. First, I want to relate my flap bio to the story somehow. Say something witty about why I wrote the book or how I'm connected to the characters or theme of the story. 
2. Then I want to share a bit about my other books. 
3. Optional pieces of my bio might include my education (does anyone care?) and my leadership role in SCBWI. 
4. Then finish up my bio with where I grew up and where I currently live with my family and my room full of hippos, monkeys, and sneaky penguins. 

I like to see a photo of the author and illustrator on the bio flap; it helps me feel like I know them. I especially like it when the photo relates to the story. In BIG SISTER, LITTLE SISTER, the author/illustrator, LeUyen Pham, shows us a photo of herself with her big sister when they were kids. I guess that means I should include a photo or illustration of me dancing or playing with penguins or dancing with penguins. Oh, that'd be fun.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Illustration Friday - Shiny

My cover illustration for Little Wings Book #3: STAR-BUBBLE TROUBLE that just came out this month. I need to head to Barnes & Noble and see how the series looks all lined up on the shelf. I'll probably squeal and take pictures. Gotta celebrate, right?

Friday, June 01, 2012

Illustration Friday - Hurry!

I'm posting this piece again because it works for Illustration Friday's theme "Hurry!" (the father hurried to meet his returning wayward son and embrace him with joy), and also some of you have asked if prints are available, and I'm happy to answer yes!

My church, Christian Fellowship Church, in Evansville, IN will continue to sell unframed 8" x 12" giclee prints through their bookstore for $150. You can buy one by calling 812.867.6464 and asking for Sheryl Walts. The title of the piece is "Love That Lifts A Child." I've decided to stick with CFC selling my prints so that the commission goes to Olive Tree Arts, the ministry that hosts the art show I originally entered this in.

In other news, the Indiana SCBWI conference that I had been planning since some time last year was a couple weeks ago and was a fantastic success! We had the friendliest, most helpful faculty ever and I came away excited to revise my latest picture book manuscript. My favorite parts of the conference were seeing which illustrations the editors and art director marked as their favorite in each portfolio in the portfolio display and attending Jessica Garrison's picture book workshop where we filled out a Title Info Sheet on our WIP manuscripts comparing them to picture books on the market, coming up with selling points for them, and so on. If you write or illustrate kid's books or even want to, these SCBWI conferences are super encouraging, inspiring, and helpful.

I'm hurrying to make deadlines on other books I'm illustrating right now, including my own picture book, PENGUIN CHA-CHA, that will come out next year. I'm sneaking in people I know as extras in PENGUIN CHA-CHA and it's so much fun! Think of anyone and put them in whatever pose I want in the background of an illustration. Hee hee. Book 3 in the Little Wings series that I'm illustrating for Random House is now out and Willa Bean's antics are as funny as ever.

Hope you're enjoying this summer-y weather!