New Client Alert — Amberlea Williams

  • By: Tracy Marchini | Date: May 12 2023

Amberlea Williams


What you Write and illustrate:

Picture books



Tracy Marchini


Why BookEnds?

The welcoming and approachable vibe; the helpful, thorough information available on their website and YouTube channel about the market and the industry. It was clear to me that BookEnds is committed to supporting authors and illustrators, to further the impact of the kidlit world.


What book do you wish you had written, and why?

Telling Stories Wrong, by Gianni Rodari (illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna, translated by Antony Shugaar), it’s such a simple concept, but done so well. It’s fun, silly, joyful, and imaginative, and captures the relationship of reading to a child (my parents used to do this with me when I was little). Also, Alemagna’s illustrations are brilliant, as always, and wonderfully imaginative.


If you’re not reading or writing, what would we catch you doing?

Hiking, renovating my house (learning to tile, lay flooring, etc), biking around Ottawa, scouring antique stores or flea markets for treasures, or saying hi to any dogs I meet.


Where can readers find you on the web and social media?


What’s the last book you read?

Memory Wall, by Anthony Doerr. I love all of Doerr’s books, and am so excited that All the Light we Cannot See is going to be a movie!


If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location?

Switzerland – up in the mountains overlooking the Lauterbrunnen valley (with lots of fresh, local cheese and chocolate for snacking)


What’s your favorite quote about reading or writing?

“Consider everything an experiment.” Corita Kent


What’s your favorite piece of writing/illustrating advice you’ve received?

In Lisa Congdon’s excellent book Find Your Artistic Voice, she lists 10 Steps to Building Skill – and most of them are PRACTICE. It’s reaffirming to re-remember that that’s what it is: just keep going, keep practicing, and don’t worry about what others are creating. And remember that everything is an experiment.


What excites you most about joining the BookEnds family?

Being part of a team that wants to create (picture) books as much as I do!


What advice would you give to other authors in the query trenches?

Keep going—wait until you find the right fit. You don’t want to be represented by someone who’s not passionate about your projects.


What was the most important question you asked when interviewing agents?

It wasn’t as much a feeling but the overall sense of how excited and aligned they were about my ideas as I was.


How did you know your book was ready to submit?

When I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and was bursting to share it, that was around version fourteen (after having had a number of critiques from other writers).