Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Authors Supporting Authors

As I wind down to head off to bed, I can't help but think how amazing the last two years of my life have been.  My son just turned two, and my my first print book of children's folk tales becomes available in just a few weeks.

Reflecting on why things have been so great, I keep coming back to the other writers and authors who have supported my on my journey toward become a children's author.  While I have a long way to go, I feel blessed to have made so many wonderful contacts, acquaintances, and yes–friends.

Just as many have supported me an my works, I'd like to give a 'shout out' to them.  Here's to the great authors I've come in contact with along the way.  I hope you find them and their writing as inspirational as I have, and choose to support them as I have.  It's a tough business we're in, and these are some of the strongest men and women I know.

The writers in my local critique group–Linda VanderHeyden, Angie Flanagan, Elizabeth Jaeger, Stephenie Hovland, and Jennifer Daniels.  Without you, my work would be frogs instead of toads!

Kristin Simons–one of the most inspiring people I've met, her picture book "I CANcer" is forthcoming in late April / Early May 2011.

Susan Manzke–Writing her column for longer than I have been alive, Susan has taught me much about life, writing, and how to never give up on the things you love.

Kelly Bradley (Kelly Hashaway)–Although I wish I knew her better, she's taught me a lot through her blog and on focusing toward a desired goal.  Plus, she rocks at "What Am I?" games :)

Lynne Marie Pisano–Here's a woman who is going places–big places.  How many picture book authors can say their first book was picked up by, um, Scholastic?  I know my daughter will be reading "Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten" the night before her first day of Kindergarten this fall!

Daniel Errico–If there's a heart that's bigger than his, I don't know whose.  He publishes his stories for children, for free.  And, he illustrates them.  The most talented and unselfish picture book writer/illustrator I've come across to-date.

Claudia Mills–I owe Claudia a good bit of thanks for her insights and comments into one of my manuscripts.  It's going out to publishers and agents this year...thanks for the encouragement.  Also, thanks for signing books for my son and nephew–I know they are going to change the world!

Jill Esbaum–If it weren't for Jill, I'd have never made it to Iowa and my daughter would have no idea what Stink Soup is.  I realize that sounds strange to everyone reading...  But her books (e.g. "Stink Soup") are fantastic and she's an honest, friendly writer who is sincere about helping other writers through her critiquing service.

Nancy Sweetland–A lifetime of writing, and still going!  You inspire me to remember the reason we write, and why children read.  The children at my daughter's school can't wait to meet you.

Crave Cravak–One of the most imaginative writers who has ever shared his rough manuscripts with me, I have learned a lot about keeping enthusiasm and passion alive when writing for children.

Lucille Clifton–My first instruction on how to write children's books came from one of the best poets and children's authors ever.  I feel blessed that I got to study amongst the best during my undergrad years.  I hope you've thrown away every assignment I turned in eight years ago...

Michael Glaser–The writers' retreat at St. Mary's, the Lannan Fellowship for Poetry, all those experiences–I can't believe I never took your class!  Anyway, a little belated, but congrats on the poet laureate of Maryland thingy...well-deserved.  (It's fun to say "I know him!")

Kaia Sand–Taught me the importance of substance.  Write stuff, not fluff–and shove it in the Man's face!  Thanks for giving me my first audience at the Women in Poetry 2003 summit.

Melissa Gorzelanczyk–Last, but certainly not least.  Perhaps one of the most influential people in my writing career.  She quit her corporate day job (she was my editor!) and wrote a novel in 30 days.  Driven, passionate, inspirational woman.

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