Hello, wonderful readers!
Hooray, you found your way to the Oasis―it's great to have you visit! This is the place to refresh your spirits, recharge your creativity, and get a literary mood boost!
Now, stretch your smiles wide and get comfy and cozy for a lovely chitchat because today we have an awesome creative on the KidLit Oasis series... Children's author Beth Anderson is here to share some wisdom, insight, and inspiration with us!
Welcome, Beth! Thank you for joining us on the blog. Please briefly describe your journey to publication.
BA: Thank you so much for your invitation! After retiring from teaching, I set out to learn about the industry and go after writing for children. The local and online kid lit community has guided, taught, supported, encouraged, and offered up so many opportunities. Taking advantage of that has brought me to where I am. After 2+ years, I signed with an agent and am forever grateful I decided on that route. With the benefit of a knowledgeable advisor, I’ve been better able to take advantages of opportunities. After meeting an editor at a retreat and revising per her feedback, we submitted and soon had my first contract—An Inconvenient Alphabet. Though that all sounds so simple, there’s been tremendous time invested, much learning, and the usual bumps.
Q: What do you find most challenging in this business, either on the creative or publishing side of things? What do you find most rewarding? What helps you stay motivated?
BA: I think the most challenging part is crafting an irresistible premise and story that will grab an editor. And I don’t think that gets any easier – at least not so far. The most rewarding aspect is getting the books into the hands of kids, engaging their brains and hearts, and witnessing their joy in reading. Young readers are certainly motivators, but curiosity also drives me forward.
Q: Could you share any craft tools or techniques that you find most helpful to you when working on a project? What does your revision process look like?
BA: Finding a way to organize research (nonfiction can be an organizational challenge) and all the ideas that pop in my head as I write was extremely helpful. I did a blog post about it, and if you’re interested, you can learn more about that HERE.
My revision process is long and varied! :) Lizzie Demands a Seat took more than 90 revisions, but this was largely due to my inexperience when I started it (2015) and also that many of the changes I made were minor revisions. Now I do a lot more “pre-writing” work as I plan and gather information and ideas in a spiral before I draft. I work through timelines, delve into characters and setting, plot the arc, and brainstorm special ways to tell the story. I’m also more willing to take a wrecking ball to the writing to experiment with structure and big changes. One of my favorite ways to revise is to print out the draft (one sided), lay it across the desk, and use highlighters to analyze arc, characterization, conflict, scenes, proportions, transitions, beginning and end, and more. I make notes all over it as thoughts pop on how to revise, and then start pulling in bits and pieces, moving text, reshaping, and reworking.
Q: What's coming up for you next? Please tell us about any new releases, exciting news, upcoming events or anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
BA: I’m very excited about upcoming events with the New York Transit Museum. I had sought help from their historian when I researched my Oct. 13 release, “Smelly” Kelly and His Super Senses, which takes place in the NYC subway in the 1930-40s, and then had a few questions in the final stages of Lizzie’s story. (It’s pure coincidence that I ended up with two 2020 books that deal with NYC transportation!) She shared the stories with their education coordinator, and they decided to create a family program around both books. So I’ll be in NY for the Elizabeth Jennings program on Feb. 20, and do an extra reading on the 21st. Then serendipity struck with a couple more opportunities while I’m there…stay tuned!
Thank you, Beth, it was a pleasure having you! And huge congratulations on the recent starred review from School Library Journal for Lizzie Demands a Seat! Check it out here.
Please support our featured authors/illustrators by following them on Twitter, requesting their books through your local library, posting reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and of course, purchasing their books.
I hope you enjoyed this post -- comments and shares are appreciated. Thank you!
Connect with Beth Anderson
Beth Anderson loves digging into history and culture for undiscovered gems, exploring points of view, and playing with words. A former educator who has always marveled at the power of books, she is drawn to stories that open minds, touch hearts, and inspire questions. Born and raised in Illinois, she now lives in Loveland, Colorado. Author of AN INCONVENIENT ALPHABET (S&S 2018) and LIZZIE DEMANDS A SEAT (Boyds Mills & Kane, 2020), Beth has more historical gems on the way.
If you'd like to support my work, please order one of my books and/or invite me to your elementary school for an author visit.
1/28/2020 12:09:46 pm
Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog today, Rosie!
1/28/2020 12:25:43 pm
Pleasure having you, Beth! :)
1/28/2020 07:58:49 pm
Thanks for the great interview, ladies! The NY opportunities sound amazing! Keep at it!
1/29/2020 09:01:32 pm
Thanks for stopping by, Kaitlyn!
1/29/2020 10:39:03 am
I LOVE your new interview series, Rosie! And Beth is the perfect person to kick it off...her new book, Lizzie Demands a Seat, is AWESOME! I enjoyed reading about her revision process...she's one of my favorite critique buddies and I can vouch for the fact that she knows exactly what she is doing - her feedback is golden!
1/29/2020 09:03:45 pm
Thanks, Vivian! After being in some online groups and classes together, it's been great fun to tread this path with you as we learn the craft!
1/29/2020 11:46:37 am
This is a fun place to chat, Rosie. Great interview. Have to hop over to Beth's site now and learn about organizing for NFmanuscripts. Chat with you next time!
1/29/2020 09:06:27 pm
I keep fine tuning that organizing process with each manuscript and the needs and lessons it presents....always learning! :)
1/29/2020 12:09:00 pm
Excellent post, Beth and Rosie! 💙
1/29/2020 09:08:28 pm
Thanks for stopping by, Heather, for Rosie's blog kickoff!!
1/29/2020 08:50:11 pm
I loved hearing how Beth revises--she must have quite the system going. Yay for new releases! Best of luck to you, Beth!
1/29/2020 09:10:38 pm
Hi, Sandy. I'm always trying out new ways to try to "re-vision" the ms - it's an ever evolving process! :)
2/9/2020 05:47:50 pm
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
About Rosie J. Pova
Rosie J. Pova is a multi-published, award-winning children's author and kid lit Writing Coach. She's the creator of Picture Book Mastery System™ that is proven to help emerging children's writers advance their career and get closer to their publishing goals.
Rosie's latest picture book, Sunday Rain, was featured in The New York Times and recommended by Parents magazine. Her upcoming picture book, The School of Failure: A Story About Success will be released in the spring of 2022 in both China and the USA.
Rosie also loves to visit schools and her interactive workshops empower students to unleash their creativity and grow in confidence through reading, writing, and creating. Teachers and librarians love Rosie for her bubbly, upbeat personality which captures students' attention, encourages them to think creatively, and motivates them to pursue big dreams.
She has been featured on TV, radio, podcasts, and print media, and also speaks on women's and moms’ topics, sharing her journey from a Bulgarian immigrant to a published author.
Find out more about Rosie's online courses, mentorships, and her work by visiting her website: RosieJPova.com
Check out her Critique Services here, her Workshops here, and her school visits page here.
Rosie is represented by Jennifer Herrington of Harvey Klinger Literary.