Upcoming Author Appearances


September 22-24, 2017
Author book signing
Friday, September 22nd
12:00 noon to 3:00 pm
Saturday, September 23rd
2:30 to 4:30 pm
ICD Catholic School Book Fair

Dardenne Prairie, MO

Listen to a past Author Interview
with Brenda Fraser of
Butterfly & Moon
November 11, 2016
BlogTalkRadio.com
Author Interview

Click to listen to the recording

Archives


Recent Author Visits


With Kim Vernon (R) and Rhonda Roberts (L), wonderful coordinators of the White County Creative Writers' conference in Searcy, AR! 9.2.17

White County Creative Writers conference in Searcy, AR on 9.2.17

Reading from NAME THAT DOG at the St. Charles Arts & Literary Festival on 8.26.17--with help from Author, Stephanie Bearce.

Even Batman and Superman stopped to read at the Arts and Literary Festival in St. Charles! 8.26.17

Making paper-cup puppies at the St. Charles Arts & Literary Festival on 8.26.17

Providence Classical Christian Academy May 2017

Guest author at Nancy Polette's children's writing class April 2017

South Central Elementary School, Kinmundy, IL April 14, 2016

ICD School visit March 1, 2016

With Nancy Polette, Writing for Children instructor, October 1, 2015

Picture Book Intensive, SCBWI conference September 2015, Soaring to New Heights

Author visit, with Author and Instructor (Writing for Children), Nancy Polette May 2015

Author visit at Troy Buchannan HS March 2015

Scholastic Book Fair, St. Charles, Missouri December 2014

Scholastic Book Fair, Fenton, Missouri December 2014

Scholastic Book Fair, Columbia, Missouri December 2014

Saturday Writers presentation on writing and marketing a picture book, June 2014, St. Peters MO

Lakeview Elementary School, O'Fallon, MO in April 2014

With Kim Piddington, Missouri SCBWI Regional Advisor, at the Missouri Association of School Librarians convention in St. Louis, April

Indiana SCBWI Spring conference April 2014

Chesterfield, MO children's writers group at Christmas 2013

scholastic Warehouse Book Signing December 7, 2013

At Main Street Books with owner, Vickie Erwin November 30th

B&N with authors Mike Force, Chris DiGiuseppi, and Valerie Battle Kienzle November 22nd

Local Author Open House at MK Library in O'Fallon, November 21st

Carlin Park Elementary School Angola, IN

Sherwood School Scholastic Book Fair in Arnold, MO

ICD Scholastic Book Fair with students--Immaculate Conception Dardenne Prairie, MO


Peggy with children's author Karen Guccione-Englert at the MK Library Local Authors Open House in O'Fallon, MO

Book signing at Indianapolis Fairgrounds, with Mary Igras

Author Visit to Immaculate Conception School (ICD) April 2012

ICD library staff

Edison Elementary School Hammond IN

Lincoln Elementary School Hammond IN

Beta Delta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, Hammond IN

Keynote Speakers
MO SCBWI Fall Conference


Heather Alexander, editor at Dial Books for Young Readers

Quinlan Lee, agent, Adams Literary Agency

Suzanne Morgan Williams, author of BULL RIDER

Author Visits
Spring 2011


Kids Ink Independent Children's Bookstore, downtown Indianapolis

Shirley Mullin, bookstore owner, with children's authors Janna Mathies, Peggy, and Nathan Clement

Thank You cards from Holy Family School in South Bend

Fieler Elementary students

Ms Hanneman's class at Northview Elementary

In the classroom at Northview Elementary School

Talking to students at Northview Elementary

Working together to create a poem in Starke County

Talking with students at Starke County

Author Judy Roth and students at the Starke County Young Artists Day

Indiana SCBWI PAL Luncheon and Bookfair at B&N Bookstore


Booksigning at B&N Bookfair

Anderson's Bookshop Children's Literature Breakfast


Anderson's Children's Literature Breakfast, with author and keynote speaker Tim Green

December Booksigning at The Bookstore in Michigan City


friendly staff at The Bookstore

Holiday Author Fair
Hosted by the Indiana Historical Society


Author Book Signing

Butler University Chorus entertains with Christmas Carols

Bellaboo's Play and Activity Center


Turkey for Thanksgiving?

Stuffee and the author

Stuffe's lunch!

November: Picture Book Idea Month

October Author Events


Author Panel: the Road to Publishing--Kathryn Page Camp moderating

Kate Collins: adult trade publishing, mysteries

Peggy Archer: children's trade publishing, picture books

Katherine Flotz: self-publishing, memoir

Michael Poore: adult trade publishing, fiction

Cynthia Echterling: e-publishing & small press, science fiction

Author visit to Portage Public Library, October 23rd


IN SCBWI presents Esther Hershenhorn:
Getting Your Stories Right
October 9, 2010


Esther Hershenhorn talks about the Reader's story and the Writer's story

Esther shares resources, experience, and opportunities

Trish Batey, Indiana RA

Yellow paper on your back gave a hint of 'What author are you?' for the day

Smiling faces

Peggy Archer gives an overview of the 2010 SCBWI conference in LA

Karen Kulinski gives an update on Indiana's HoosierLinks

Janna Mathies at the piano sings "Why It Matters" by Sara Groves

door prizes

IN SCBWI steering committee with Trish: (L to R) Karen Kulinski, HoosierLinks, Kristi Valiant, Website Coordinator, Alina Klein, Listserv Coordinator, Peggy, ARA (not pictured: Sharon Vargo, Illustrator Coordinator)

New Regional Advisor, Kristi Valiant, talks about plans for 2011

Indiana SCBWI: Outgoing RA Trish Batey, ARA Peggy Archer, Incoming RA Kristi Valiant

Author visits at Citizen's Financial Bank and ROAR's (Reach Out and Read) Evening With the Authors


Visiting with author/illustrator Nathan Clement and son Theo at the ROAR author event

Autographing for a young reader

Story Time at ROAR's (Reach Out and Read) Evening With the Authors Event in Indianapolis

Reading to young bankers at Citizens Financial Bank in Valparaiso

2010 SCBWI Conference for Children's Writers and Illustrators in Los Angeles, CA


Some of the crowd at the SCBWI conference in LA

Ashley Bryan, Golden Kite winner for Nonfiction

with Keynote speaker and Golden Kite winner, Marion Dane Bauer

Illustrator and Keynote speaker, Loren Long

E.B. Lewis, Keynote speaker

with Keynote speaker, Gennifer Choldenke

Keynote speaker, Gordon Korman

Chris Cheng, Australia RA and SCBWI Member of the Year

Kris Vreeland, Independent Bookstore manager, Vroman's Bookstore

Eva Mitnick, LA librarian and reviewer for SLJ

Greg Pinkus and Alice Pope on networking

Bruce Hale--Skyping

with Lin Oliver, co-founder of SCBWI

Steve Mooser, co-founder of SCBWI, with Sally Crock RAE

Indiana SCBWI members Mary Jo, Shannon, and Peggy celebrate in LA with Heart and Soul.

East and Midwest members celebrate at the Golden Kite Luncheon in LA--Peggy, Courtney, Julia and Mary Jo.

Peggy with Alice and Lisa, co-RAs from IL--friends and roommates

Linda V., formerly of Indiana, with her 'dog-in-training,' Dusty.

IWC Writers' Picnic


Anyone for Literary Bingo?

Children's Corner



Knee-high by the 4th of July!


This is the cornfield just down the street from my house on July 13th. That's me with the boot on my foot again!

Springtime Author Visits


Local Authors Day, Valparaiso B&N

Welcome to the Young Artists Fair in Plainfield, IN

Signing books at Van Buren Elementary School in Plainfield, IN

Book Launch Party for NAME THAT DOG!, Valparaiso Public Library


Happy Birthday, Name That Dog!

Little reader loving that dog book!

Celebrating the Book Launch!

Doggy treats at the book launch party

More springtime author visits


With Jocelyn at the Porter County Expo Center for the Be Kind to Animals Celebration

Speaking to readers and writers at the LaPorte County Public Library in April

Our new grandpuppy, Dudley!

Chad & Sara's Wedding Day


The new Mr. and Mrs. Biggs!

Focus on the Novel:
Indiana SCBWI Spring Conference


Trish Batey, Indiana SCBWI RA, Stephen Roxburg, Lisa Graff, Helen Frost, Peggy Archer, Indiana SCBWI ARA

Stephen Roxburg, Publisher of namelos, talked about writing the YA novel, the current state of publishing, and his new company, namelos

Lisa Graff, Middle Grade author, talks about writing the middle grade novel and the Slush Pile

Lisa autographs books with a smile

Introducing Helen Frost, YA author and poet

Question and Answer panel--Lisa, Stephen, and Helen

Registration, getting to know you

Schmoozing with other writers

Trish with author, Valiska Gregory

Books for sale--writers can never have too many!

Taking it all in.

School visits
Chesterton, IN








Mitchell, IN
Library Event


Afternoon Tea with the author in Mitchell

Alexis talks about storytime for the very young

Starke County Young Artists Day
North Judson, IN


My little corner--I love when students come up to talk.

HOW many dogs do you have?!

Authors of the day

Keynote address: Growing an Author with Peggy Archer

Making a book with Katie Mitschelen

Research--detective work, with Peggy Miller

Crafting a poem with Mary Ann Moore

Becoming an artist with Edwin Shelton

Music with the Band

One small hand holding onto another

Sharing the Christmas holiday with writer friends


Name That Dog! Sharing F&G's and write-up in Dial's catalog with group.

Writers Christmas lunch and meeting in Michigan City

Meeting up with Esther and Karen in Chicago

F&G's for Name That Dog!


Name That Dog! ISBN: 978-0-8037-3322-0

Christmas Writing Celebrations


Writing friends from the beginning!

November Author Visits


Drawing a turkey at Hussey-Mayfield Public Library-- Zionsville, IN

Autographs at Hussey-Mayfield Library, Zionsville

"Who likes to eat turkey at Thanksgiving?" --Morton Elementary School, Hammond, IN

Thank you cards from Morton Elementary students

Reading to my grandson's pre-school class at Zion Lutheran School-- Bethalto, IL


Ladies Tea
St. Mary's Church


Family Book Basket


Indiana SCBWI Fall Picture Book Conference


Courtney Bongiolatti, Editor S&S

Laurent Linn, Art Director S&S

Terry Harshman, Editor CBHI

Author-Illustrators, Kristi Valiant and Sharon Vargo

Kristi Valiant, IN-SCBWI logo winner

Our volunteer crew (minus a few)

author Katie Mitschelen and Peggy enjoying the conference

...Pawprints on the heart.


Snickers 2009

Snickers 1998


IWC Dinner Event
The Business of Writing


Janine Harrison, opening remarks

Sharon Palmeri, President IWC and speaker

Kathryn Page Camp speaks on Taxes for Writers

Kate Collins, mystery book author and Keynote speaker

Gordon Stamper, secretary IWC

Peggy, Sally, and Karen--writing friends enjoying the dinner event together

Autographs with a smile :)

Smokies in the morning


Writing the Picture Book
Rensellaer, IN


Smile and say 'author'!

Ready to start!

"Ghostwriting" with Sara Grant, Editor,
Working Partners


Sara Grant, Editor, Working Partners

One on one with Sara

Author and Editor...

Getting to know you...

Sharing thoughts... connecting

Schmoozing...

Smiling faces...

Our Kentucky friends...

Trish, RA, Peggy, ARA, Christi and Alina, steering committee members

Writing the non-fiction picture book


Picture book author, April Pulley Sayre, speaking in South Bend.

Writers and Friends


Surprise!

Esther and Heidi

Esther with Steve and Sally from National SCBWI

Heidi and Peggy, friends and poets

We came from Indiana...

...from California and Iowa

and enjoyed the friendships.

Peggy, Karen & Esther--connecting once again.

Summer Critique Meeting


Critique group gathering at Peggy Miller's house. Karen, Fred, Mary Ann, Katie, Judy, & the two Peggy's in front.

Songwriters in the Family


Our daughter, Sarah & our son, Dan both sang original songs at the Porter County Fair in the Colgate Country Showdown.

Indiana SCBWI Summer Schmooze


From Fort Wayne to Whiting, we gathered to talk & gain some bit of insight into the world of creating children's books.

Enjoying the company of other children's writers & illustrators.

Schmoozing.

Meeting other children's writers.

Sharing thoughts.

Smiles were free.

Peggy Archer talks about trade publishers.

Judy Roth talks about working with a small publisher.

Karen Kulinski talks about working with an agent.

Karen fielding questions.

ALA 2009 Chicago


Peggy with the Cat in the Hat

Katie and the Cat in the Hat

I won a collection of autographed books from the IL SCBWI (Society of Children's Writers & llustrators) booth at ALA for the Valparaiso Public Library. An awesome prize! Thank you IL SCBWI!

Peggy, presenting books won at ALA to Connie Sullivan, Branch Manager and Leslie Cefali, Youth Services Assistant, Valparaiso Public Library.

Children's Thanksgiving Books

November 24, 2010

Tags: Thanksgiving, children's holiday books, turkey, book reviews

I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! It’s a time for family, good food, and remembering what really matters. It’s spending time and playing games together, too. And of course the football games after dinner. After everyone pitches in to help with the dishes.

I didn’t realize that I had so many children’s Thanksgiving books on my shelf until I decided to list them on my blog this week. There’s not room for all of them, but here are a few of my favorites.

THANKS FOR THANKSGIVING, by Julie Markes, illustrated by Doris Barrette, HarperCollins 2004. Wonderful rhythm and rhyme carry you through the many things that a child is thankful for. The illustrations are from a child’s view, and the colors and detail give richness to the book as a whole. This book captured my heart, and I actually paid full price for it when I saw it.

THIS FIRST THANKSGIVING DAY, by Laura Krauss Melmed, illustrated by Mark Buehner, Harper Trophy 2001. A countdown book to Thanksgiving dinner, each scene shows a piece of an earlier time as pilgrims and Indians prepare for a special feast. It ends on a note of harmony and friendship as all join together in a prayer of thanks for all that they have that first Thanksgiving day. Once again the rich fall colors and detail add so much to the story.

‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE THANKSGIVING, by author/illustrator Dav Pilkey, Scholastic 1990. A humorous story about 8 children on a field trip to a turkey farm who befriend 8 turkeys, doomed to be the main course for Thanksgiving dinner. A rescue plan is carried out and everyone enjoys a delicious vegetarian meal on Thanksgiving Day. The illustrations add to the humor, especially as the children waddle away ‘stuffed with turkey.’

THANKSGIVING IS HERE! By Diane Goode, author/illustrator, Scholastic 2003. This book celebrates family as each time the doorbell rings, more and more relatives join in. The celebration continues after dinner and on through dessert. At the end of the day everyone leaves to go home, but not to worry, because “we’ll be back!” The illustrations show a large loving family, happily enjoying being together at the holiday.

THANKSGIVING DAY AT OUR HOUSE, by Nancy White Carlstrom, illustrated by R. W. Alley, Scholastic 1999. A great collection of Thanksgiving poems starting with The Day Before, and ending with Goodnight Prayer. You’re sure to connect with the poems here, as well as with the illustrations which picture children and family the way we really are.

THIS IS THE TURKEY, by Abby Levine, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye, albert Whitman & Co 2000. A good read-aloud with fun repetition throughout. When the turkey slips from the pan and ends up in the fish tank, the reader wonders if dinner is ruined. Grandma reassures them “…we have all we need because everyone’s here.” And Grandpa adds “No turkey? No problem! I’m hungry—let’s eat!” Illustrations compliment and add to this fun Thanksgiving story.

A few other books are:
SILLY TILLY’S THANKSGIVING DINNER, by Lillian Hoban, HarperTrophy 1991.
MINNIE AND MOO AND THE THANKSGIVING TREE, by author/illustrator Denys Cazet, DK Publishing, Inc 2000
TURKEY RIDDLES, by Katy Hall and Lisa Eisenberg, illustrated by Kristin Sorra, Puffin Books 2002

Happy Thanksgiving to All! Save room for the pie!

The Road to Publishing

November 5, 2010

Tags: IWC, Indiana Writers Consortium, trade publishing, e-publishing, small press, self-publishing

On october 28th, the Indiana Writers Consortium held their 2nd annual Writers' Banquet at Strongbow Inn in Valparaiso, IN. After dinner, a panel of authors moderated by Kathryn Page Camp discussed the Road to Publishing as it happened for them.

The panel consisted of: Kate Collins, mystery book author, Cynthia Echterling, science fiction author, Katherine Flotz, memoir author, Michael Poore, fiction author, and
yours truly (me), children's picture book author. (Photos are on the left).

One of the questions that we were asked was why we chose the publishing route that we did, and the pros and cons of each. I thought that I'd share this with you.

I chose to pursue children's books via traditional, or trade, publishing. I did not have any knowledge of marketing, sales or book promotion, nor did I have any interest in learning that part of it. I just wanted to write the stories. And with a growing family, I had little time or money for selling and promotion. I'm not sure what my expectations were at the time , but I decided to give it a try. I was lucky enough to find editors who liked what I wrote, and wanted to publish my books.

My first book was a Little Golden Book. After three revisions, I was offered a contract and they bought my book outright for a flat fee. I received no royalties, and was not notified when the book went out of print. It was a great experience, and validated my ability to write for children. But I decided that I wanted something more, and after that I sought out publishers who would pay an advance and royalties, and with whom I could be more involved.

Over 20 years later I sold my second book to Dial Books for Young Readers, and my third book was accepted by Candlewick Press six months later. During those 20+ years between my first and second sales, I learned to write better, and made occasional sales to children's magazines.

Some of the pros of publishing with a larger trade publisher are:

I do not pay any money to have my book published. Rather, the publisher pays me an advance, and when that advance is earned out by book sales, I receive royalty payments.

I am not required to do any marketing or sales. The publisher places my books in major bookstores, and markets them to libraries. My books are sold online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online bookstores. They are promoted on the publisher's website and in their catalogs. Pre-publication copies of my book are sent to major reviewers of children's books. Any book promotion that I do for my books is appreciated and helpful to sales, but I am not required to do any book promotion. Through my publsiher, my books have been picked up by Scholastic Book Club. They've been listed on the accelerated reading lists.

I work with an editor who makes suggestions for revisions that will improve my book. She is expereinced in publishing books for children, and that experience helps me to make good revisions.

The publisher chooses an illustrator who compliments my text. An Art Director works with the illustrator to create a book that is appealing to readers, both children and the adults reading to them.

Cons?

The publisher decides when the book goes out of print. At that time I can request that the rights be returned to me.

The publisher has the final word on the illustrations for my books. I do have some input, but they make the final decision. Sometimes the pictures are not what I had imagined, but I have to trust their judgment and experience in publishing children's books. And the final result has resulted in great picture books, with the story told through words and pictures together. It's exciting to see how my words inspire what the illustrator sees.

I'm happy with the route that I've chosen. I don't have total control, but I doubt that I have the knowledge or experience necessary to make my books as successful as they have been on my own. Thanks to all of the people behind the scenes who've helped do that part for me.