Alison Reynolds is one of Australia’s most successful authors of children’s picture books, adventure books and books for grown-ups, publishing 30 books. Alison is here today to launch her latest picture book, A Year with Marmalade. The story of Marmalade, the ginger cat and her adventures through the seasons. Marmalade is a fantastic story with wonderful lyrical language, published by Five Mile Press in Australia, UK and USA. Illustrated by the super-talented Heath McKenzie. Purr-fect for kids and cat lovers.
I interviewed Alison to find out her publishing process and her SECRETS …
1. How did you get your first book published?
In 1997 Macmillan Education asked for submissions for their Crackers series. I chopped a thousand words off The Ghostly Hand (which is still paying me ELR and PLR) and polished and polished and received the phone call about eight weeks later. The very next day I received a rejection for the same ms in the mail from another publisher. That was the one rejection I didn’t care about.
I’ve worked with the Five Mile Press quite a bit in the past. Publisher, the lovely Poppy Grijalbo, asked if I wanted to write a picture book for her. Over brunch we brainstormed. She wanted to show the seasons and somehow we both decided it should feature a cat. A couple of weeks later, I sent in the ms for A Year with Marmalade.
No illustrator was firmed up for a while. Then The Five Mile Press asked Heath McKenzie who has done a terrific job. I haven’t met Heath, but for this book I did write illustration guidelines. Heath has run with these and produced something better than I could ever have imagined.
The entire process took about fifteen months.
3. What’s your top #5 secrets in getting Children’s books published?
1. Read, write, revise. Repeat countless times.
2. Don’t submit too early.
3. Get out and about. Everything can help fill the creative well.
4. Target your publisher and follow submission guidelines.
5. Don’t be a prima donna, and the publisher will probably want to work with you again!
A Year with Marmalade Blog Tour
7th Aug Dee White http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com/
9th Aug Karen Tyrrell http://www.karentyrrell.com/
11th Aug Tania McCartney http://www.kids-bookreview.com/
13th Aug Pass It On http://jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com/school-magazine/
14th Aug Kathryn Apel http://katswhiskers.wordpress.com/blog/
17th Aug Dale Harcombe http://orangedale.livejournal.com/
20th Aug Peter Taylor http://writing-for-children.blogspot.com.au/
22nd Aug Susan Stephenson http://www.thebookchook.com
23rd Aug Robyn Opie Parnell http://robynopie.blogspot.com.au/
27th Aug Sally Odgers http://spinningpearls.blogspot.com.au/
29th Aug Angela Sunde http://angelasunde.blogspot.com.au/
31st Aug Chris Bell http://christinemareebell.wordpress.com/
Marmalade’s personality really shines through in Alison Reynolds and Heath McKenzie’s newest picture book A Year with Marmalade. Share your favourite picture showing your cat’s personality to win … The winner will receive a signed copy of A Year with Marmalade and a copy of the picture book Lighty Faust the Lion, a book about a much bigger cat.
Share your favourite picture of your cat by uploading it to author Alison Reynolds’ Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/alison.reynolds.524 or email it to Alison as a low res jpeg file at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll upload it on her website www.alisonreynolds.com.au
Entries close on the 1st of September
Which of Alison’s publishing tips was the MOST helpful to you?
Will you be entering Alison’s PICTURE competition?