A Perspective on Writing by author, Kourtney LaFavre
Why do writers write? That is a loaded question! There is an immediate list that comes to my mind:
Why do I write for children? Because children need us to. Children need stories and books for
so many reasons:
was written because it’s a story I wish I had as a kid. This story came from a childhood memory
of when I discovered that the sun doesn’t move up and down in the sky. It blew my first-grade
mind that it was the Earth’s movement that created sunrises and sunsets.
That’s where the concept of a book told from the sun’s perspective began, to clear up
any misunderstandings. As I began writing, the story evolved into an invitation to readers.
An invitation to wonder and search for discoveries.
Recently I was stuck on one of my WIP (work in progress), OLENA AND THE PEAR TREE. I had
all these great pieces, but something was missing. It wasn’t until I was listening to a webinar by
Leah Lamb on storytelling, that I heard what I needed to hear. She said that before telling a story,
we should ask ourselves:
some thinking and free writing, I was able to find the answers I was seeking:
that are woven throughout the story, keeping it together, and bringing readers through a journey
on their way through the pages.
Kourtney LaFavre is a writer, educator, and a former elementary teacher. She lives and learns with
the rhythms of nature in the woods of NH. As a homeschooling mother of four, she believes the world is
their classroom and searches for beauty and lessons. Kourtney is a life-long learner, trying to live a life
filled with purpose and passion. She writes to inform and inspire.
Her debut picture book IF SUN COULD SPEAK, illustrated by Saki Tanaka, will be released at the end of 2019.
Written by Sandra Sutter and illustrated by Chantelle and Burgen Thorne
Launched onto shelves March 19, 2019
Yeehaw!! The real story about the farmer in the dell is here!
Sandra Tells Us About Her Book:
Everyone knows the song, The Farmer in the Dell. But no
one knows the real story! Find out the truth from a little
mouse who was actually there (squeak!)
Prepare for a modern twist that turns the original stereotypes upside down and empowers girls and boys to imagine new possibilities. Filled with humor and fun retro-rodeo illustrations, this book is sure to delight and surprise you to the very end.
Meet the Illustrators:
I met Chantelle and Burgen Thorne in the Children’s Book Academy’s illustration course in 2017. When our instructor, Dr. Mira Reisberg, editor and art director at Spork/Clear Fork Publishing, paired my story up with them, I knew everything would turn out beautifully. They took the story and ran with it, and I couldn’t be more delighted.
To learn more about this dynamic illustration team, check out their website at: http://crazycatdesignandillustration.blogspot.com/2017/12/chantelle-and-burgens-studio.html
As an added bonus, Chantelle and Burgen will be illustrating my second picture book with Spork/Clear Fork Publishing, STAN’S FRIGHTFULLY CLUMSY HALLOWEEN. You won’t want to miss it, so stay tuned for more!
Sandra’s Book Birthday Plans Include These Great Activities~
The official release date was much the same as any other Tuesday (except way more exciting!). My first launch party will be at my son’s school. The school librarian returns from maternity leave this week and the two of us plan to get the early grades involved in a reading and celebrations. Since I love cookies, I assume those will be part of the festivities. If my little mouse friend was with us, he’d ask for cheese, of course!
Sandra Shares 5 Fun Facts About Herself~
I taught archery on the shooting sports staff at a summer camp in the Rocky Mountains for the Boy Scouts of America after I graduated high school. They were adorable little kids, but not necessarily the best shots. I may have dodged a stray arrow or two.
I was stung by a scorpion while on vacation in Belize. Sure, I survived, but it was quite the unwelcome surprise.
Writing is my third career. Once upon a time I was an addictions counselor, followed by an attorney, before I found a glass slipper that fit me perfectly. Some people just take longer to figure it out … like me.
One of my favorite mountain biking adventures was with my husband on the Tiddlywinks Trail coming down Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon. I (not so) secretly want to live there.
I don’t like anything in my coffee or tea. No sugar, cream or flavorings. Yuck!
Find THE REAL FARMER IN THE DELL to purchase at these locations:
Barnes & Noble:
UK (ships worldwide):
And don't forget to request a copy for your school and local library!
CROW SPIRIT had a Book Birthday on March 5, 2019! Congratulations!
Written by Debra Bartsch & illustrated by Gael Abary
Debra Tells Us About Her Book ~
It’s Cecily Jane’s first day walking home from school. When she meets friendly Mr.Crow, her life is forever changed. Missing her grandparents, Cecily Jane recalls their conversations and begins to wonder, hmmm, is there a connection somehow?
It’s a story for all ages. Cecily Jane’s unique look at family connections will warm your heart while discovering a deeper meaning. Loss of loved ones is never easy and this story helps keep family spirit alive.
Gael Abary’s dream-like illustrations invoke a soft, soothing tone, instantly matching the feelings, emotion and comfort this book brings.
Plus, there’s a lot of fun back matter including Fun Facts about crows and a delicious recipe for Gram’s Snickerdoodles!
Debra's Inspiration for The Story ~
I wrote this debut story from the backyard of my childhood home in Portland, Oregon. A home filled with stories, laughter, love, faith, family, and music. After the loss of my parents, a crow actually helped guide my path one day and I started to recall how my Mom would talk about crows being family birds, … and the story almost wrote itself! Gram’s Snickerdoodles are HUGE in my family!
Always creating, I jumped into my second chapter of life by taking writing and illustrating courses on children’s books, attending workshops and conferences, learning everything I can on kid-lit! A library card holder from age 5, I knew that someday I would just have to create beautiful books for kids, I am so thankful that my someday is here.
We Asked Debra if She is Active in Any Professional Writing Organizations?
Yes! When I’m not writing or spending time with my family & grandchildren, I’m involved with SCBWI Oregon and I’m a volunteer and site coordinator for SMART, sharing the joy and love picture books through reading with the pre-kindergartners
Debra's Plan to Celebrate CROW SPIRIT's Book’s Birthday ~
We’re having a big party of course! The main meal will naturally be Gram’s Snickerdoodles. I’m also a guest speaker on Google Hangouts with a first grade classroom in Connecticut and will be reading CROW SPIRIT with pre-kindergartners at a local Head Start program.
A heartfelt thank you to my dear family, and friends for helping with this special story.
Thank you for celebrating with me!
Find CROW SPIRIT for purchase at:
Connect with Debra Bartsch at: www.debbartschillustration.com
Life is a blessing, take time to be grateful, thankful, and always count your blessings
Connect with Gael Abary on Twitter: @gaelabary
Happy March, dear readers! Like many people, I consider March
to be a very green—and lucky---time o’ the year. Being Irish,
March is packed with parades, jigs on Main Street, catching
sneaky leprechauns and of course, wearing lots o’ the green!
But when it comes to writing and querying, “luck”
doesn’t play a major role. In fact, Lady Luck hardly
plays at all.
Several years ago, I was certain I would be the luckiest girl at SCBWI conference. Why, I was destined to have my very own “Cinderella Moment.” After all, I’d been writing for kids for several years and knew I had the “write stuff.” With a little bit of luck on my side, I felt sure I’d hook an agent that very day.
I had booked a face-to-face critique with an agent. I just knew she’d love my work; I felt we were the perfect match! I sailed into the meeting, handed over my manuscript and waited. And waited some more.
She was supposed to jump up and cry, “THIS is THE manuscript, the one I’ve been waiting for all my career!” Instead she remained seated. She was supposed to whip out a contract then and there for me to sign with a flourish! Instead, she wrote down a few additional comments and tips.
Needless to say, Lady Luck did not shine on me that day. And although I never signed with this particular agent, my meeting proved to be quite constructive and helpful. No glass slippers required.
Fast forward two years later and I signed my first picture book contract.
Was Lady Luck finally gracing me with her presence? Perhaps a smidge. Rather, I now had two years of hard work in my pocket, a list of fantastic contacts to use, and a hefty resume of published kid lit articles and manuscripts to share.
To be sure, luck has its place when it comes to writing or querying or contests, but it’s a small one at that. Talent, Hard Work and Persistence play much more important roles.
With that in mind, I’m going to finish researching & crafting my leprechaun trap. After all, how else am I ever going to catch one?!