How long does it take to make the pictures for a book?
It can be a long process — it usually takes months of work, and hundreds of hours planning, sketching and painting. As a result, I'm only able to make one or two books a year.
What were some of your favorite books as a child?
Where do you get your ideas?
Do you prefer writing or illustrating?
I’ve written a story for a children’s book, do you have any tips on how to get it published?
Everyone who plans to work in the children's book industry should get a copy of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market by Chuck Sambuchino. This will tell you about all of the different publishers, what kind of books they publish, what kinds of books they are looking for, details on how to submit a book to them, and their contact information. Many famous books were rejected first by several publishers, so be persistent and keep trying if the first publisher you find is not interested.
Also, join the SCBWI — Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (http://www.scbwi.org/). The organization provides many resources for writers and artists working in (or hoping to work in) the children's book industry. They also host local workshops and conferences — you can find a wealth of educational material on how to prepare your artwork or manuscript and how to submit it, and can ask questions and join in online discussions.
If you are a writer, submit your story alone to publishers without artwork. Editors like to read and judge a story on its own merit. And if they wish to publish it, they want to be able to find the perfect illustrator out there that they feel will help your story come to life. Actually, the wrong illustrations for your story could hurt its chances of getting a serious look from an editor. This is just my two cents worth. But if you have a dream to work in the children’s literature field, consider the tips above, plug in and find your own answers. Every published author and illustrator I know in the field has taken a different path to get where they are.
Also, click here to read a helpful step by step piece on how to write a picture book by Mac Barnett and editor, Taylor Norman.
I’ve written a story for a picture book; if I send it to you would you consider illustrating it?
I’ve written a story for a children’s book; may I send it to you for some feedback?
Will you sign books for me?
Yes, I’m happy to sign as many books as you want to send. Please include return postage and a note with names if you want them personalized or indicate if you just want an autograph. It is a good idea to remove the dust jacket so that it does not get damaged. Send your book(s) to this address:
P.O. Box 43038
Cincinnati, Ohio 45243
Do you have a pet?
Yes, I’m a dog lover and friend to all animals! We have two dogs, Ellewoods (Ellie) and Moon. They are Weimaraners. That is a picture of Moon when she was a puppy at the top of this page. The Weimaraner on some of my website pages is my beloved Stella. She is no longer with us. If you look carefully, you can find her in many of my earlier books.
We also have a handful of deer that we’ve become friends with. They walk out of the woods and stare in the front window waiting for us to feed them corn.
What is your favorite color?