When I first read Julie’s submission picture books, I cracked up laughing and started over again. Halfway through my second read-through, I sent an email about setting up a call. (She made me wait a whole weekend to gush about these books!) I think we clicked right away, and I’m so excited to be working with her on bringing more wonderful books to kids’ shelves.
Get to know Julie a bit more:
Tell us a bit about your writing process. Where do you write, and how often?
I’m a busy mom, so I often write on the run – in waiting rooms, coffee shops, libraries, book stores, parks, airports, and the stands at my daughter’s sporting events. I try to work at my desk, however, from 7-9 every morning.
Do you have any writing rituals? (e.g. burning a candle if you’re having trouble getting started at the computer or writing longhand first if you’re feeling uninspired.)
Yes! I’m a big believer in rituals. I carry a notebook wherever I go and always write longhand first. Also, a print of Fragonard’s Young Girl Reading hangs above my writing desk. I grew up with this image in my home, and gazing at it pulls me back to my childhood.
What do you love about writing picture books? Why did you choose to write them?
I’m definitely addicted to the challenge. Whenever a story is not working out, I feel like I have a fun puzzle to solve. (Yes, pulling my hair out in frustration is my idea of fun.) Plus, I love pictures! Knowing pictures will tell half the story frees me. I don’t need to describe or explain anything. Readers will see what is happening, and my text can be more creative.
What is the hardest part about writing picture books?
Finding a concept that’s unique yet relatable is the hardest part for me. I can fill a whole notebook before the right idea strikes.
If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location?
Great question! I always wanted a tree house when I was young, so if money (and responsibilities at home) were no object, I’d conquer my fear of heights and write in different tree houses all over the world. Imagine the views . . . and the animals I’d meet!
Do you belong to any writing organizations?
I’m a member of the SCBWI and the KidLit Authors Club, a group of picture book, middle grade, and YA authors who’ve banded together to attend book festivals, appear on panels, present workshops, and visit schools. We’re also really good friends!