My creative process is probably best described as an inspired SPLAT! It involves markers. It involves pens. And it involves a nice clean expanse of butcher block paper— rolled out like the open road as far as the eye can see. And there must be an idea. A fixation. A question. I often have a rhythm… or a beat… or a refrain that accompanies this thought explosion. Then I spill it. All over the page. No judgement. No doubt. Just entertaining curiosity. I draw circles. I make arrows. I write the alphabet again and again to dig for words. The whole archaeological process that is the first draft is the same to me as piecing a puzzle. When I’m finally satisfied with my inspired-splat on rolling paper, I type it up… and start revising. I love revising. I usually revise a manuscript at least twenty times before I show it to anyone. If I’m questioning anything, I consult my trusted critique partners. But if I feel good about it, I send it off to my Rockstar Agent… and cross my fingers!
And then we repeat the process however many times it needs.
I always hope young readers walk away with a sense of possibility, perhaps a new way of looking at the world, and the knowledge that they are loved and treasured for who they are.
Good question! I wear a lot of hats, so typical days vary. Most every day starts with exercise, a walk and coffee. If I'm working on a new book-- that's dreams-- cause I get to sink deep into the process mentioned above. I'm also a fan of revising days because I get to sport my editor hat which is fun in another way. If it's book launch time, there are usually a lot of emails that I need to send and turns out... I make a lot of marketing materials. (Who knew?) And in between creating, revising, promoting and networking I also love to do school visits and read at book stores. So on those days, I'm on the move bright and early.
So that's... not exactly typical, I guess. Sorry about that. But sprinkle a few phone calls in there and answering surprise texts from my kids and that's what I do!
Yes, I do! My next book, due out in 2020 from Beach Lane Books, is a picture book collaboration with Paola Zakimi-- whose work I adore! This story, HERE COMES OCEAN, follows a child who discovers that along with every rolling wave comes a new possibility for adventure. I can't wait for young readers to go beach combing with us!