Welcome to DAY SEVEN of our 2013 NAPIBOWRIWEE event where we are ALMOST DONE writing 7 picture books in 7 days! For the past six days, we have somehow managed to write and finish six picture book drafts. And some of us may be behind – some folks have only written one book, or some folks have maybe gotten a few drafts under their belt. But guess what? You folks ROCK, too! Because you are fighting to write every single day no matter what! So give yourself a pat on the back for not throwing in the towel! 🙂
(For those of you who just happened to stop by and have no idea what’s going on, check out the official 2013 NAPIBOWRIWEE FAQs here to get caught up on on all the action! http://paulayoo.com/napi/?p=474)
I just want to say how proud I am of everyone’s efforts. It’s been so much fun to reunite with NaPiBoWriWee alumni (from the Classes of 2009 to 2012) and to meet NEW NaPiBoWriWee participants from the Class of 2013! I have enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and thoughts and had a blast getting to know everyone.
You can also find some souvenirs at our store: http://www.cafepress.com/napibowriwee2013 And don’t forget to come back tomorrow when I will post a follow-up blog after NAPIBOWRIWEE ends with some post-game thoughts and a list of the winners from our 2013 NAPIBOWRIWEE contest drawing. 🙂
And now, my update on my Day Six which was a DOOZY of a day…
MY DAY SIX EXPERIENCE: Let’s just say Day Six could be summed up as “PAULA AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY.” LOL! (And if you’re not familiar with the classic Judith Viorst picture book that I’m referencing, check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Alexander-Terrible-Horrible-Good-Very/dp/0689711735)
Basically, it rained in Los Angeles last night. And we have been postponing re-roofing our house because well, it costs a lot of money. We’ve had problems with one leak in our house for the past few years, so we have used temporary patches until we saved up enough for a full re-roofing.
Well, I think we’ve hit the last of the temporary patch solutions. Our hallway was FLOODED! It leaked ALL NIGHT. I had to keep putting down towels on the floor and empty out pots and pans every half hour from midnight until 5 AM. I couldn’t go to bed, it was that bad of a leak. 🙁 (Picture below…)
AUGGGGGHHHH. I had about 90 minutes of sleep and then had to stay up from 7 AM onwards for the roof repair guys to do one final temporary patch on our roof! But the good news – they fixed the leak! We’re safe from leaks for a few months, but hello new Roof 2.0 later this year. LOL! 🙂
I was REALLY TEMPTED to write a picture book about a leaking roof and other home ownership troubles. How about a picture book on refinancing? LOL!
And then a line popped into my head about a mouse living in a house with a leaky roof. And then I wondered about a fish dealing with a leak in his castle. And so on… And voila… Book No. 6! It was just a fun exercise in writing another picture book poem. Again, I look at my “7 Picture Books in 7 Days” as a way to sharpen my brainstorming skills. A lot of the drafts I written over the past five years will never become published books, but they have been fantastic writing exercises that have led to OTHER ideas that turn into real submissions. And honestly, this was such a cute poem. I am trying to become a better poet, so writing more poetry is a great exercise to improve in the craft of poetry writing. 🙂
I look forward to your comments on Day 7! 🙂
So ready for our final day? We’ve still got another 24 hours left. So here’s our last guest author/artist Q&A blog about The Future of the Picture Book with author/illustrator ERIN EITTER KONO (http://www.eekono-illustration.com). Please comment on today’s blogs with your thoughts about Erin’s Q&A and/or giving us an update on your progress on our final day together! 🙂
(Keep reading after the jump for our interview with Erin Eitter Kono!)
GUEST BLOG – DAY SEVEN – ERIN EITTER KONO
Erin Eitter Kono is an author/illustrator who grew up in Iowa, wandered around the world, and now lives in Southern CA with her husband, daughter, hamster, the neighborhood peacock, and a couple of wild voles. Her latest book, CATERINA AND THE PERFECT PARTY will be published this July 2013 from Dial. Visit her at www.eekono.com and www.caterinascorner.com
Q&A ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE PICTURE BOOK WITH ERIN EITTER KONO
QUESTION: Do you think the rise in popularity for the eBook will help or hurt the future of the picture book? For writers, when you work on a new book, do you think about how it will “read” on an eBook reader as well? Does that affect how you write your book? As an illustrator, what challenges do you face if you know a picture book you are illustrating may also be distributed as an eBook?
ANSWER: Overall I think it means less books will be made by publishers and the midlist will shrink. I think the eBook may hurt certain kind of books and not matter as much to others. As a parent I don’t see books and eBooks as interchangeable. For picture books, at least until now, books are still used differently than an e-reader. Even great eBooks like those produced by Moonbot seem to be perceived by the kids I know, as more of a game than as a book. I think that especially for PB age children the e-reader may enhance a book’s world by having age appropriate games and activities that tie into the theme of a book but I know few parents that would cuddle up to an e-reader, so I don’t think they’ll ever be used as much for ‘book time’. That being said, things change. If we do go more digital, then I think the books most harmed will be those small quiet books that have less production appeal. That, I’m afraid, would be very sad.
As a author/illustrator I don’t think about the eBook at all when making a book. I do think of digital content within the lager scheme of marketing, but not while making the story. Stories, whatever the platform, need to stand alone.
QUESTION: There have been many “Boy Who Cried Wolf” articles in the media recently about how picture book sales have declined as anxious parents try to push their students into reading chapter books instead. Why is it important for children to read picture books? What makes a picture book special as well as important for a child’s educational growth?
ANSWER: I actually think it’s just as much peer pressure as it is ambitious parents. I have a seven year old who was dying to move on to chapter books. I didn’t fight it and now that she’s read a few, I’ve reintroduced older age picture books and she’s happy to go back and enjoy them again. (Yay Bill Peet!) Picture Books actually can introduce far more complex ideas than a chapter book geared towards the very young, so it’s worth it for them to be reading both.
QUESTION: Many aspiring picture book writers are discouraged by the doom-n-gloom reports of the declining book industry (Big Six mergers, lower sales of picture books, more emphasis on the writer-illustrator as opposed to the solo writer). What words of encouragement would you give to these aspiring newbies to NOT give up?
ANSWER: Life’s short; things are difficult everywhere; so you might as well do what you love.
QUESTION: What challenges do you face as a published author/illustrator of picture books in these volatile times of the publishing industry? Have you noticed a change in your career in terms of what agents/editors/readers want?
ANSWER: I think publishers are more inclined to go with the tried and true during these times of transition. I certainly don’t blame them, it’s a business and that’s what is selling. Pretty much everyone I know who isn’t a ‘big’ name has had far less work than before. I think the key is, as it always has been, to know your audience and produce great work.
QUESTION: Any final words of advice or any epiphanies you would like to share with us about your own writing/art journey?
ANSWER: No epiphanies… just work hard.
Thanks again to Erin Eitter Kono for answering our Q&A for Day Seven!
Tune in tomorrow by 6 AM (West Coast Time) for our follow up blog with some post-game thoughts from yours truly as well as the announcement of the WINNERS of our 2013 NAPIBOWRIWEE contest drawing featuring autographed books from myself and some of our guest authors along with fun souvenirs from our store and other surprises! We will also feature a final Q&A with writer JULIE HEDLUND (http://www.juliehedlund.com)!
In the meantime, good luck writing today. Please post any comments below for today’s blog with your thoughts, questions, and writing updates. You can follow me on Twitter @paulayoo. Please feel free to use this HASHTAG – #NaPiBoWriWee
I’m off to write! Again, I am so proud of everyone for hanging in there with me for these past seven days. Let’s make Day Seven a day to remember!
Until tomorrow’s blog, remember… HAPPY WRITING! WRITE LIKE YOU MEAN IT! 🙂