Welcome to KidLit Oasis!
I am excited to chat with the talented Erin Dealey and find out more about her author journey, books, and her best writing tips! Join me for this inspiring conversation and enter the double giveaway at the end!
Welcome, Erin! Thank you for being my quest on the blog. Please briefly describe your journey to publication.
A: First of all, thank you for inviting me to be on your blog, Rosie.
As for my journey, it has come full circle with the recent release of PETER EASTER FROG, Illus. by G.Brian Karas. Caitlyn Dlouhy, my editor, is the same amazing human who pulled my very first manuscript, GOLDIE LOCKS HAS CHICKEN POX, out of the slush pile 22 years ago. LITTLE BO PEEP CAN’T GET TO SLEEP (both Atheneum / Illus. Hanako Wakiyama) followed soon after. I am so thrilled that PETER EASTER FROG has found a home with Caitlyn Dlouhy Books / Atheneum/ Simon & Schuster, where she is now VP/ Publisher of her own imprint. And yes, there were many years in between where I submitted manuscripts to Caitlyn that were not quite right for her list. Fast forward to the moment when Caitlyn said, “Yes!” to PETER EASTER FROG, and we all did a happy dance! I love this book SO MUCH. That thing about writing #kidlit and never giving up? It’s real.
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?
A: For me, the waiting is the hardest part. I always tell students that if they want to know what their grade is the second they turn in their assignment, waiting is 100x harder when you submit a manuscript. That’s not to say that I haven’t had some quick YESes (and NOs…) but for the most part, we wait. A lot. Right? PETER EASTER FROG is my 16th book and the waiting still happens. I try to remind myself that there are many other hoops that little manuscript has to jump through, and in the long run, the YESes are always worth the wait. Having young readers find themselves –or a giggle or a hug or possibly some eco-friendly motivation—in my books is the BEST. Getting to put the stories from my heart on paper and see some of them become books is such an honor. Seriously, aren’t we lucky?
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?
A: My “technique” starts with paper and pencil—or possibly a pen. If my idea book isn’t handy, I write my first drafts out on a legal pad or in a regular old notebook. I feel like this connects more with the crazy world in my brain than typing. I know some who go straight to their computer keyboards, but to me—and I’ve said this before-- that’s like Michelangelo heading to the scaffold in the Sistine Chapel without sketching things first. Your story will change and evolve, but the initial ideas flow much more freely on paper. Writing is our art form. The first draft is your sketch.
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?
A: Next? Yikes! PETER EASTER FROG hopped onto shelves on January 19th, barely a month after DEAR EARTH…From Your Friends in Room 5 (Illus. Luisa Uribe/ Harper Collins / an Indie Next/ Kids’ Pick) so I think next up is some time to catch my breath--haha. No, really, there are certain manuscripts currently out on submission, whose titles shall not be named at present—one which involves a big switch in genres, so send good thoughts, please friends!
Thank you, Erin -- this was fun and so insightful! Congrats on all your success!
Readers, please support our featured authors/illustrators by following them on Twitter, requesting their book through your local library, posting reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and of course, purchasing their books.
D O U B L E G I V E A W A Y!
Comment on this post and share it on social media for a chance to win a PB critique or a copy of PETER EASTER FROG. Two winners will be announced next week. (US address for the book please.)
Connect with Erin Dealey:
Erin Dealey's original career goal was Olympic Gold Medal tetherball player. When that didn't pan out, she became a teacher, theater director, actor, mom, and author--and welcomes any opportunity to visit schools (or zoom) around the world. She lives in northern California with her husband and a very energetic Golden Retriever. Now go read (or write!) a book. : )
..................................................................................................... Order Peter Easter Frog HERE
And the winners are. . .
Danielle Hammelef won the PB critique and Eloise Freeman won a copy of Erin's book!!! Congratulations, Danielle and Erin!!!
2/10/2021 11:04:10 pm
Congratulations, Erin. I can’t wait to read your latest! I love hearing the full circle story of publication and the reminder that the waiting game never ends in this business
2/11/2021 08:44:10 am
Thanks for including me on your blog, Rosie! LOVE your new book, SUNDAY RAIN. Cheers to #kidlit friends!
2/11/2021 09:11:42 am
Erin, reading that you start your writing with a pen and paper brought a big smile to my face! I find my ideas are better that way also. I was fortunate to “meet” you via Zoom last April at a SCBWI (North Texas) weekend event. I’m so happy to see your new work now on the shelves.
2/13/2021 04:09:57 pm
Congratulations, Erin. So glad to read I'm not the only one who starts the first draft with a legal pad and a pen.
2/13/2021 04:10:43 pm
Love this interview and the whole process that authors have to go.
2/13/2021 04:30:21 pm
Next to Christmas, I love Easter too and what a way to celebrate Easter with a new book. Congratulations! Thanks for the inspiration.
2/13/2021 04:57:37 pm
Loved your description of your journey into writing your stories, Erin!
2/13/2021 09:17:57 pm
Every answer was an interesting story in itself :)
2/14/2021 06:36:01 am
Thanks for sharing this great information!
2/14/2021 10:56:18 am
Thank you for the interview! I always jot down my ideas on paper too before I ever think about getting out my laptop. I can't wait to read your books--I'm headed to the library today to collect my holds for my mentor text reading and study. I'll have to see if I can find your books. I shared on tumblr: https://yesreaderwriterpoetmusician.tumblr.com/post/643114285182156800/chitchat-with-author-erin-dealey-plus-double
2/14/2021 11:43:30 am
Hi Erin, thank you for this cute and informative blog. I've been writing for some 30 plus years and just had my first PB book published. Wiggle Your Hips Wildebeest debuted in September 20/20. Talk about waiting! I laughed when you mentioned your dog. All of my books include animals. It's almost as, if in my head, humans don't exist. My next book, A Train, A Moose and A Mess is due out this spring with Clear Fork publishing. I can't wait to read Peter Easter Frog. I love the title! Congratulations.
2/14/2021 04:51:44 pm
Great interview! Congrats on our newest book, Erin. It sounds adorable!
2/14/2021 07:47:23 pm
Add me to the list of those who start stories on paper before working on the computer. That's a relatively recent process for me, but for some reason it seems to work. Congratulations on Peter Easter Frog!
Kevin B Ronan
2/14/2021 08:19:24 pm
2/14/2021 09:14:00 pm
A nice, long career. Congrats. The Easter book sounds great.
2/16/2021 01:09:34 pm
Hi Erin: Thanks for the tips about using that writer's idea notebook. I have posted this on my Facebook page and ordered the books from the library.
2/22/2021 06:51:24 pm
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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.