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Peggy's Pages Blog 

Start Out the New Year With Some Motivation!

It's mid-January and not too late to start out the 'still' new year with some writing motivation!


One thing that I am doing is to find 'one new idea every day' with Storystorm 2024. It doesn't matter if I fall short of my goal. It's getting started that counts. Throughout January on Tara Lazar's blog you'll find daily posts by published authors on finding ideas, trying new directions in writing, research tools, the power of small steps and much more. Although registration is now closed, you can still read the blog posts by a different published author each day for inspiration and motivation.


I also attended an online class this month on Writing Poetry for Children with April Halprin Wayland and found a new poetry form that I had never tried before, an 'envelope poem.'. Words are still swirling in my mind, but I do know that it will begin and end with the word "Wheeee!" Click here to find upcoming classes by April.


Then there's the new podcast, Way-Word Writers!  Headed up by Literary Agent Heather Cashman and children's authors Nicki Jacobsmeyer and Stephanie Bearce, Way-Word Writers hosts a weekly writers' podcast, classes and workshops and in-person retreats. While there, sign up for their newsletter!


If you are an un-agented picture book author with a finished and polished picture book manuscript, be sure to check out the 2024 PBParty contest hosted by Mindy Alyse Weiss here! I was glad I entered last year!


Finding time is not always easy, and as a mother of six (now grown) children I know how that goes! It can be tricky trying to fit in time to write and learn but putting it on your calendar helps. Setting a goal to write even once or twice a week helps. You may have weeks that are just too crazy to write, but more often than not you'll find yourself exceeding your goal! I will never forget the advice that I once read to compare your writing to something else that you love doing. Then spend as much time as you do on that other thing on your writing.


Last year my husband and I were watching our two-year old granddaughter full time. It did help to have two of us. I managed to attend my zoom critique group meetings, which is great motivation in itself! And somehow I also found time to write. Here's how that went…


I started out with Storystorm—it didn't matter if I reached my goal, but it helped get my creative juices flowing. Writing down my ideas was 'writing' to me.


Then I heard about the 2023 PBParty contest. I pulled out a very old manuscript and told myself, "Ok! You can do this!" I focused on the rules, and with help from my critique partners, learned how to write a query letter and find comps for my story. I revised my story, focusing on the first 60-70 words, since that was what would be submitted. My goal was to complete my submission and learn from the process, as well as having a polished manuscript ready to send out. When I found that my story was in the top 50 and would be one of those 50 featured on the PBParty list of finalists I was over the moon! I had invitations to submit the complete manuscript from four agents and one editor. Here's the chain reaction:


entering the PBParty contest, to

signing with an amazing agent, to

signing a contract for my book with a wonderful publishing company! (more to come on that!)


I'm so happy to be on board with Kristina Sutton Lennon of Focused Artists! And look forward to what comes next!


I don't know what 2024 will bring, but I plan to keep writing and learning. Meeting with other children's authors / friends in my critique groups helps keep me motivated. My list of podcasts to listen to and websites to visit is endless. But I'll just take it one step at a time.


I hope this blog post helps keep you motivated and writing in 2024!



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Happy 5th Birthday to A HIPPY-HOPPY TOAD!

 Spring is on its way! At least that's what the calendar says. You can't tell by the weather here in Northwest Indiana with the high in the 20's today! But if you happen to take a walk in the park, look around for teeny-tiny toads hopping around your feet!


The toad that we saw that day was as only big as the tip of my thumb. Inspiration can come in very small packages! And may just lead to an award-winning picture book about A HIPPY-HOPPY TOAD.


Where does your inspiration come from? It might be…


…from your family! Another inspiration that came in a 'small package' was a new baby in our family and the slightly older siblings who were so excited. I couldn't find that kind of 'new baby' book to read to them, so I wrote my own story. It turned into ONE OF THE FAMILY, a Little Golden Book. Another picture book inspired by the little ones in my family was FROM DAWN TO DREAMS, POESM ABOUT BUSY BABIES.


…from your pets! Whenever I read from or look at my picture book, NAME THAT DOG! PUPPY POEMS FROM A TO Z, I think of my dog, Snickers. All of the fun things that she did and the mischief that she got into! And you have to smile. If you have a pet, write about them! And they'll always be there with you.


Ideas sometimes come from the strangest places. A book about animal teeth might come from something that you read in a newspaper. A Thanksgiving book like TURKEY SURPRISE might come from the smallest thing that you hear on the radio and have to research because you've never seen a turkey fly!


Keep your eyes and ears, and even your nose open to new sights, sounds and smells. Feel the rough bark of a tree, or taste the buttery pancakes that your grandma makes. Read. And Listen.


Then pick up a pencil and write!


A HIPPY-HOPPY TOAD, Schwartz & Wade / Random House 3/18/2018

Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

2019 Crystal Kite Award

2019 Indiana Early Literacy Firefly finalist


Happy Spring!


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Hooray for Cozy Independent Bookstores!

My husband and I recently took a relaxing trip to northern Michigan where we visited Mackinaw Island and then Traverse City and the surrounding areas. As always, I can't resist an Indie bookstore! My husband knows me well and is very patient as I pop in to say hi and look around.


 Here are some of the book nooks that we discovered along the way—click on the names for a link to their websites.   


On Mackinaw Island we found The Island Bookstore and the Mackinaw Island Library. I also loved browsing the books in the gift shops there.


In Traverse City on Front Street we found two wonderful independent bookstores—Brilliant Books and Horizon Books (with three floors! And a beautiful display of handmade quilts).


And in Sutton's Bay, where we met up with children's author Jeanie Ransom and her husband for dinner and ice cream, there was Bay Books. The photo here is a chalkboard out in front of the bookstore with a fun poem about books by Arnold Lobel.


There's always more to see than the main attractions when you wander around new places. Don't forget the Indie Bookstores when you travel!


Happy Reading to you!


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It's Poetry Month!



One black nose is all that shows

in all that fur he's got.

White as snow from head to toe—

I think I'll call him



Spot! Is one of the poems that did not make it into my picture book, NAME THAT DOG! Because it was an ABC book, I could only choose one poem for each letter of the alphabet. But I kept coming up with names that started with the letter S!


Twenty-six years ago, in April of 1996, the Academy of American Poets launched National Poetry Month to celebrate poetry and poets and the role that they play in our culture. Poetry matters!


My love of poetry began with nursery rhymes. In school much of the poetry that we studied didn't interest me—those that were deep and needed to be analyzed. I did enjoy poems by some of those classic poets, but mostly I enjoyed simple poems that touched my heart or made me feel something. Poetry that was mysterious, exciting, humorous, thoughtful, or sometimes prayerful.


Later I discovered Shel Silverstein, X.J. Kennedy, Jack Prelutsky, J. Patrick Lewis, Bruce Lansky, Ken Florian, Kenn Nesbitt and many others including someone called 'anonymous'. Humor hits home with me.


There are many other children's poets that I love, like Lee Bennett Hopkins, Nikki Grimes, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Heidi B. Roemer, David Harrison, Patricia Toht, April Pulley Sayre—and more! I learned from all of these, and I'm still learning.


From reading and listening to nursery rhymes to writing poems and picture books in verse, poetry has captured my heart. I hope that my poetry and my picture books in verse will find their way into your hearts as well.


In the middle of a puddle,

in the middle of a road,

On a teeter-totter twig

sat a teeny-tiny toad….


And so begins the adventure of a tiny toad through the park in A HIPPY-HOPPY TOAD.

Find my book at your local bookstore, online, or at your local library to follow Toad's journey through the park.


Happy poetry reading!


Peggy ?

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Happy Library Month!

Happy National Library Week! And Happy School Library Month! 


Libraries have always held a special place in my heart. Growing up, my school did not have a library of its own. My library was the Tolleston Public Library in Gary, Indiana. I remember getting my first library card there and picking out my first books. They were fairy tales and non-fiction picture books. 


When I had children, they borrowed books from their school library as well as the public library. I read to them when they were little, and later they read to me. After a while, I began borrowing books about writing for children and started writing my own stories for them. For a couple of years, besides working as a nurse part time, I worked in the children's section of our local library in Crown Point. It was such fun helping kids find books about things that they liked and were interested in! 


As a children's author I am grateful to so many librarians in schools and at public libraries!  Through them I've been able to share my books and stories about writing and reading. I love talking with kids (and adults, too!) and answering their questions. Thank you, Librarians, for all that you do to celebrate children's books, and children's authors! 


"Connect with your Library" this month! And please check out my picture books at your local library. A HIPPY-HOPPY TOAD and NAME THAT DOG are also good reads for April which is  National Poetry Month! 


Happy Reading! 

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Sharing Some Great Books!

Happy Spring! And happy anniversary to A HIPPY-HOPPY TOAD!


If you're reading this, I'm going to take a wild guess that it's because you love children's books or writing, or maybe both. To celebrate spring and the day that A HIPPY-HOPPY TOAD was released from Schwartz & Wade I'd like to share some books written by some very talented author friends. Click on the author names to visit their websites and read more about their books. Below the list are some easy ways to share a book that you love and make the author smile!


Picture Books


Kathleen Doherty - 

The Thingity-Jig—Peachtree Publishing—coming April 1st

Don't Feed the Bear—Sterling Children's Books


Judy Roth

Venetian Lullaby—Page Street Books

Hiding Baby Moses—Flyaway Books—coming April 27th


Janna Matthies

Two is Enough—Running Press Kids

God's Always Loving You—Worthy/Hachette—coming June 8th


Kristi Valiant

Poppy Takes Paris: A Little Girl's Adventures in the City of Light—Simon & Schuster

Nellie Takes New York: A Little Girl's Adventures in the Big Apple—Simon & Schuster


Angie Karcher— 

The Lady of the Library—Sleeping Bear


Heidi Bee Roemer

Peekity Boo, What You Can Do!—Henry Holt


Patricia Toht

Dress Like a Girl—HarperCollins

Pick a Pumpkin—Candlewick


Karen Kulinski

The Medal With a Heart—MT Publishing (The Purple Heart) 


Jeanie Ransom

Cowboy Car—Two Lions


Peggy Reiff Miller

The Seagoing Cowboy—Brethren Press  


Non-fiction for kids


Stephanie Bearce

This or That—Questions About Technology, You Decide—Capstone

This or That—Questions About Space and Beyond, You Decide—Capstone


Nicki Jacobsmeyer

You Choose: Surviving the Iditarod—Capstone Press  


Katie Mitschelen— 

Indiana, My State Geographic Regions—State Standards Publishing

Books in the series include: Northern Moraine & Lake, Central Till Plain, Southern Hills & Lowlands, Maumee Lake Plain


Middle Grade books


Sharon Mayhew

Keep Calm and Carry On, Children—Black Rose (WWII)


Vicki Erwin – 

Different Days—Sky Pony (WWII)


Cynthia Reeg

From the Grave—Jolly Fish Press

Into the Shadowlands—Jolly Fish Press


Kristin Nitz

Saving the Griffin—Peachtree

Defending Irene—Peachtree (soccer)  


Young Adult—


Mary Ann Moore

Mandy's Song—Watershed Books


Sharon Biggs Waller

The Forbidden Orchid—Viking


Books for Adults—


James W. Erwin and Vicki Berger Erwin

Notorious Missouri, 200 Years of Historic Crime—The History Press—coming April 12th  (true crime)

Steamboat Disasters of the Lower Missouri River—The History Press


Valerie Battle Kienzle

Ready to Wear, A History of the Footwear and Garment Industries in St. Louis—Reedy Press--coming June 1st  

What's With St. Louis? The Quirks, Personality, and Charm of the Gateway City—Reedy Press


If there's a book that you love, spread the word! Here are a few quick and simple ways that you can do that. My focus is mainly children's books, but much of this relates to adult books as well.


*Share the book on social media. Add a link to where the book can be purchased.

*Rate the book on GoodReads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble or other book websites. Quick and easy!

*Write a review of the book on GoodReads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble or other book websites. Say a few words, or more if you're so inclined.

*Recommend the book to your local school librarian.

*Borrow the book from your local library. The more it gets checked out, the longer it will stay on the shelf. If it's not in your library, request it!

*Buy the book for yourself or as a gift. The better the sales, the longer it will stay in print.


Wishing you spring sunshine and great reads! Grab a book that you love and share it with others!


Picture books by (yours truly)-- 

Peggy Archer

A Hippy-Hoppy Toad—Schwartz & Wade

Name That Dog!—Dial Books for Young Readers

From Dawn to Dreams—Candlewick Press

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Storytime and Activities for A HIPPY-HOPPY TOAD!


Click here to listen as I read my picture book,



As you listen to the story, can you find the rhyming words at the end of the lines (external rhyme)? What about rhyming words in the middle of any lines? (internal rhyme) 


Look for words that show any sounds that you might hear in the story, like Woof! (onomatoepoeia). 


Or words that repeat the same beginning sounds, like hippy-hoppy! (alliteration). 


Then check the Hippy-Hoppy Toad page here on my website for activities to go along with the story. They include: 


a Coloring page 


a Line Maze--where will the hippy-hoppy toad land? 


a Matching activity--match the picture on the left to the picture that rhymes with it on the right 


Connect the dots to discover how the toad tries to make himself look bigger when he meets the dog   


More crafts, songs and activities for A Hippy-Hoppy Toad can be found on the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Guide


Check out the NEW lesson plan for teachers and parents who are teaching at home on the Hippy-Hoppy Toad page here on my website. 


Finally, visit TeachingBooks to hear about how I got the idea for this book! 


I hope you enjoy this book, and the activities that go along with it! Thank you for visiting! 

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Happy Book Birthday, Hippy-Hoppy Toad!

It's Spring! Happy Book Birthday to A Hippy-Hoppy Toad!

In the spring of 2013, five years ago, I had the first ‘toad sighting’ that would lead to the debut of my newest picture book, A HIPPY-HOPPY TOAD. Who knew then what a journey that little toad would take me on!

Journey #1 was the walk that my husband and I took through the park that day. After an early morning rain we decided it was a perfect day for a walk, and headed out to Quail Ridge Park in Wentzville, Missouri. The sun was out and the air felt good. The path winds past fields and trees, around playgrounds and picnic areas. At a shady area on the path was a big wet spot, what was left of a puddle that had not yet dried in the sun. And in the middle sat a teeny, tiny toad. For the rest of the walk my mind was on that ‘teeny, tiny toad’ sitting in the ‘middle of a puddle in the middle of the road!’

Journey #2 came the following year on another warm spring morning, when we walked the same path with our grandson—listening to the sounds of new toads, stopping at the playgrounds, and reading the storybook posted around the lake. This time we ventured off onto a dirt path by the lake and discovered hundreds of tiny, hippy, hoppy toads that had been camouflaged by the dirt and leaves! Later, after convincing our grandson that it was not a good idea to take a wild toad home for a pet, Toad’s own journey began.

Journey #3 was the story of a “Toad in the Road,” which later became A HIPPY-HOPPY TOAD. From the ‘middle of a puddle in the middle of a road’ the little toad flew to a ‘raggy-shaggy tree’ to a flower and other places in the park, meeting new characters along the way. As the story grew, my own journey as an author grew as well.

Journey #4 is the journey that I took as an author with ‘Toad.’. A journey that still continues! Here are a few of the highlights.

It took about a year and a half for me to finish the first draft of “Toad in the Road.” After multiple revisions and getting feedback from my critique groups, it was finally ready to send out into the publishing world.

I submitted it for a critique at the Missouri SCBWI fall conference in 2014 and it got the attention of an agent there. Eventually it was rejected because they ‘weren’t taking on many poetry or picture book texts.’

I continued to revise and play with the language and the rhythm in the story, and to get feedback from my friends who write for children.

In 2015 I submitted “Toad in the Road” for the SCBWI Work-in-Progress (WIP) grant. I’d submitted other manuscripts for the WIP grant before, and knew it was a long shot. But I thought it couldn’t hurt to try again, with a new manuscript. At the same time, I signed up for the KS/MO SCBWI fall conference, and a critique with agent Kirsten Hall. I decided to send TOAD for my critique. And that’s when things started to ‘hop’ forward.

In September I received an email from Steve Mooser, one of the founders of SCBWI, that “Toad in the Road” had won the WIP grant for picture book text! I was stunned. And thrilled! Now what!? I would have to wait a bit and they would create a secure website where they would post the winning manuscripts and invite editors to read them.

The next month at the SCBWI conference I met Kirsten Hall of Catbird Productions. She critiqued “Toad in the Road” and asked about my other manuscripts. We seemed to hit it off, and I enjoyed getting to know her over those couple of days.

Later that month SCBWI posted the winning WIP manuscripts on their new website, and on our way to vacation in Tennessee I received an email from Anne Schwartz (yes, Anne Schwartz!) at Schwartz & Wade saying that they wanted to publish my manuscript!

Kirsten and I had been in touch after the conference, and over the next three days I had an agent and an acceptance for my book from Schwartz & Wade! A few months later I found out that the illustrator would be the amazing Anne Wilsdorf.

I was looking forward to working with my new publisher, and was assigned to an absolutely wonderful editor at Schwartz & Wade—another Ann. I knew that she would have ideas and suggestions for edits in the manuscript that would make it even better, and I was right. Many of her suggestions were small things that would make a big difference. I have absolutely loved working with her!

In the spring of 2017 I finally had a publication date—March 20, 2018!

Since then many exciting things have come Toad’s way which I’ve shared on the book page for A HIPPY-HOPPY TOAD here on my website. I hope you’ll follow along!

If you live near St. Louis or near Crown Point or Valparaiso in Indiana, check out my author appearances on the left of this page. I’d love to meet you if you have time to stop by to say hello!

Happy Book Birthday, A HIPPY-HOPPY TOAD!
And Happy Book Birthday to all the SCBWI members with books coming out this month!

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Success—How Do You Measure Up?

What does ‘success’ mean to you? For some, success might be measured by the number of manuscripts that they finish in a month, by how many words they write a day, or how many rejections they get each year. Or it might be measured by how many manuscripts they sell or how much money they make. And for others it may be more personal.

Whatever means you use to measure your success, it needs to help you move forward in some way. And different things work for different people. Let’s look at a few ways used to measure success.

Amount of time spent writing each week. Whether you count the number of hours spent writing, or the number of words you write, you need to write to be a writer! The more you write, the better you get at it. Success comes with time spent writing.

Tip: Combine your time spent writing with time spent reading books in the genre that you write. You will increase your understanding of children’s books and writing them, and increase your success level.

Tip: Do what works best for you. Someone once said, “If you don’t write every day, you will never succeed as a writer.” Every piece of advice that I read said that you need to write every day. I rebelled! My family came first, and I would write when I could—and succeed!

Then I read something in a writing magazine that validated me as a writer. It said to compare how important your writing is to something else that you love to do. Then spend the same amount of time writing as you spend doing that other thing. I loved my job as a nurse. I was working two days a week. I knew that I could spend two days a week writing if I put it on the calendar. Once I started, I usually exceeded that. And if ‘life happened’ and I didn’t get those two days in, I didn’t let it get to me.

Number of manuscripts completed. A finished manuscript is a huge success! You’ve stuck with it! You’ve written a story with a beginning that catches the reader’s attention, an exciting middle, and you’ve tied everything up at the end. Success comes with following through, all the way to the end.

Tip: All manuscripts start with a first draft. Finish your first draft, all the way to the end, resisting the urge to go back and edit before you’re finished. Then pick the one(s) that you just can’t stop thinking about to polish and revise!

Tip: If you don’t already belong to a critique group, join one now! Having another pair of eyes and ears is invaluable, and you can learn from other’s experiences.

Number of rejections received. Some writers count success by the number of rejections they’ve received. Some even set a goal of getting so many rejections per year! Rejections mean that you’re sending your work out. They mean that you’ve been finishing what you’ve started!

Tip: Make a list of places to send your manuscript, so that when you receive a rejection, your manuscript won’t sit in the drawer until you decide where to send it next.

Tip: After a manuscript receives three to four rejections, take another look at it with fresh eyes. Is there some place where you can revise and make it better?

Manuscripts sold and money made. Some writers measure their success by the number of manuscripts they’ve sold or how much money they’ve made. It’s good to celebrate those accomplishments! But instead of celebrating each small success, some writers may feel disappointed that their success is not bigger. Having your work accepted by a magazine or a publisher is a huge success, no matter how big or small the sale! It validates what you do and encourages you to keep on!

Tip: Celebrate each success, big or small! Enjoy a day off with your family or friends. Or just have a piece of chocolate!

More Tips for Success:

*Set realistic goals. Start with something small. Starting with small, attainable goals will give you a sense of accomplishment, and keep you from getting discouraged.

*Don’t get discouraged if you fail to meet your goals. Do the best you can. Life happens. Just pick yourself up and start again!

* Celebrate! Once you’ve accomplished your goal, reward yourself with a small treat—a piece of candy, an outing with friends or family, or some time to yourself.

*Re-evaluate your goals and set the bar a little higher. Re-evaluating and setting higher goals along the way will give you a push to work toward that higher goal, and one day you’ll be celebrating that book acceptance!

Decide what ‘success’ means to you.
Some things that make me feel successful as an author are these:
When I see a child enjoying a book that I’ve written.
When I ‘connect’ with students at an author visit.
If another writer is encouraged by something that I said.

My favorite quote, and one that I truly believe in, is this:
Many years from now it will not matter what my worldly possessions had been. What will really matter is that I was important... in the life of a child.

Some definitions:
favorable or desired outcome
Success: achieving whatever in this life will bring you joy, satisfaction and meaning
Success: (insert your own definition here)
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Meet Sue Gallion, Picture Book Author!

I met Sue Gallion last year when the Missouri and Kansas chapters of SCBWI (the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators) were talking about merging into one chapter. At that time, Sue was the Regional Advisor for Kansas SCBWI, and her first picture book, PUG MEETS PIG was just coming out. Her delightful characters in the Pug & Pig books have taken her on an exciting journey. In 2013, PUG MEETS PIG received the Most Promising Picture Book Manuscript award from SCBWI. And both books have received starred reviews. PUG & PIG TRICK-OR-TREAT was just released this summer.

Congratulations, Sue! Tell us a little bit about your Pug & Pig books. What was your inspiration? Why a pig and a dog!?

Hi, Peggy! Thanks for the invitation! Both Pug and Pig books were sparked by events in real life. A friend of mine’s daughter owned a pug, named Charlotte. The family then adopted a rescue pig, and named him, of course, Wilbur. I heard lots of stories about Charlotte and Wilbur from my friend during our water aerobics class, and I liked the way the words “pug” and “pig” sounded together. When the family had to find a new home for Wilbur because Charlotte never warmed up to him, the story came together!

Pug’s personality is very similar to my black lab mix, Tucker. The Halloween story idea came from Tucker’s reaction to the dog next door dressed in a glow-in-the-dark skeleton costume.

How did you find your editor? What can you tell us about your ‘road to publication’?

I am one of the many SCBWI success stories! When I signed up for a manuscript critique of Pug Meets Pig at the LA SCBWI conference in 2013, Allyn Johnston of Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster critiqued it and was interested in a revision, which sold about a month later. But my “road” to writing for kids began in 2006 when I took a children’s literature class at a local community college.

How did you acquire your agent?

Liza Voges of Eden Street Literary is my agent. That agent search is one of the most challenging parts of this business to me. In my experience, there are no shortcuts. You need to all the research you can to query agents who you think would be a good fit for your work. I do think it’s important for picture book authors to have several manuscripts that haven’t been submitted to editors to share with potential agents.

What made you want to become a children’s author?

I clearly remember my older sister reading Little House in the Big Woods to herself, which made me determined to learn to read that book, too. My dreams as a child included being Jo March in my garret. Then I majored in journalism and worked for corporations and non-profits as a writer and in public relations. When my kids were born, I loved reading to them and was always happy to read “just one more.” And now I get to read (and buy!) books for two little grandsons!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I am a great procrastinator and will do anything else except write. But then there’s that feeling -- when you’re working on something and it seems to click, it is such a thrill.

What encouragement helped you along the way?

The encouragement of other writers and illustrators has been invaluable. This is such a crazy business, and most of us need advice, affirmation, and honesty (even when it hurts) from other creative people. The joy has to come from seeing your own work improve and turning an idea into a manuscript. It’s also a thrill to see other people’s work become books!

Where do you turn for instruction and inspiration?

I am in a three-person critique group with Ann Ingalls and Jody Jensen Shaffer. I continue to learn so much from Ann and Jody as well as many other authors and illustrators in our region and elsewhere, and I’ve been lucky to go to a number of SCBWI conferences and workshops. Some of the online resources I find most helpful are Picture Book Builders, ReFoReMo, and Tara Lazar’s blog. I check out stacks of current picture books, too.

Do you have any advice for beginning children’s writers?

Read, read, read current books (published within the last three to five years) in the genre you are working in. When you find an author whose work you particularly like, read all their books. Read books featured in the journals such as Horn Book and Publishers Weekly, and read the American Library Association and SCBWI award winners.

Can you share some tips on marketing a picture book?

Sometimes the wildest ideas actually work! I researched social media celebrity pugs and pigs and sent packages with a copy of Pug Meets Pig and a personal letter. Several of them then featured the book in an Instagram or Twitter post. The Pug Diary, a blogger in Australia, did a giveaway and a great feature. Here’s an Instagram post from Priscilla and Poppleton from Ponte Vedra, FL. The post got 10,500 likes and surely sold some books. I’m sending the Halloween book out to a variety of places now.

Building my teacher and librarian contacts on Twitter and doing Twitter giveaways of books or swag is another specific goal of mine. Those groups are terrific book supporters. Twitter is a great networking tool within the children’s literature community and a way to support each other, along with rating other people’s books and doing brief reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. You don’t have to buy someone’s book to do a review, just check it out from the library or read it in a bookstore. Those reviews really help the author and illustrator.

Marketing your own work is challenging if you were raised, like me, not to “toot your own horn.” But it’s an important part of the author’s role, and I’ve actually had a lot of fun with it.

Sue, thank you so much for sharing your Pug and Pig adventure here on my blog!

Sue lives with her family and her black lab mix, Tucker, in the Kansas City area. Sue’s stories, poems, and activity rhymes have also been published in children’s magazines including Highlights and High Five.

You can find out more about Sue and her books on her website.
Sue tweets @SueLGallion. And she frequently adds to her lists of favorites on Goodreads.

PUG MEETS PIG, illustrated by Joyce Wan, Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster 2016. ISBN: 9781481420662

PUG & PIG TRICK OR TREAT, illustrated by Joyce Wan, Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster 2017.
ISBN: 9781481449779

Starred reviews for Pug & Pig books!

Read the PW starred review here.

Read the Kirkus starred review here.

Read the PW starred review for PUG MEETS PIG here.  Read More 
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