November Hedge a Gram

Hi! Happy November,

This is my November hedge-a-gram - the time I take to describe my life as a children's book writer and illustrator for children who want to know more about my profession. When I was in kindergarten, I wanted to illustrate children's books, and although people always were positive about my future profession I wasn't sure what it would exactly be like. I just hoped that I could draw every day!

In the past, this time of year I go from bookstore to bookstore signing my new book which this year is Gingerbread Baby. My publisher, Penguin Putnam arranges the book tour, choosing the store I go to and which states I visit. We all live in an enormous country so I try to visit as my cities as I can in three weeks.

I love to meet book lovers at the wonderful bookstores that host my signings. I meet the children who read my books and they tell me about what's happening in their lives. Teachers tell me stories about their students and classrooms. Often I'm asked questions about Hedgie or how to pronounce Berlioz in Berlioz the Bear, and best of all I hear about the books kids have made at school or projects they've done. Most of the year I work by myself so I try to remember everyone for a night I might get discouraged or frustrated! It cheers me right up.

I also am interviewed by journalists for newspapers in the town or city I go to. I've had many interesting conversations, because as you know that's what a journalist does so well - ask the right questions! When I talk to reporters, I always wonder what other authors say - the creative process is so varied and I'm amazed at how different author's and illustrator's methods are. When I first started, I assumed we all were alike and did things the obvious way - like I do! Not so! Not so at all. Everyone has their own unique and personal way.

I'd like to end with my hedge a gram challenge - find a time in the next couple of days and write down that story you've been working on in your head. You'll be glad.

Bye for now.