When I first realized I wanted to be a children's author, my first thought was "Picture Books!". I LOVE picture books, still to this day, and I have all my favorites from when I was growing up (and a few faves purchased as a grown-up). After taking my first writing class - an introduction to picture books - I realized that writing for wee ones was much harder than anticipated. You have to say SO much in such FEW words. Plus, because I see the story in my head, my first drafts are swarming with details. Details that shouldn't be in the text because they can be identified in the illustrations.
Once I learned more about the children's publishing industry, I was heart broken to find out that as an author I have absolutely NO say in the illustrations. "But that's the best part!," I wanted to cry out. So, I made the jump to writing YA.
Over the years, I have completed two picture book manuscripts that are on submission. And sad to say, since publisher budgets for picture books are next to nill combined with me being a no-named nobody, I've given up on finding a home for That's Not Your Mommy and Dizzy, Dance, Wiggle, & Romp ...for now anyways.
So, here comes the hate. I'm SO sick of seeing celebrity children's books taking up shelf space. Now, I can't speak for all, but several picture books I've perused by stars (stars that I like), in a nutshell: STINK. Just because of their name, sparse publishing dollars are being used up by someone who doesn't need or deserve the money and publicity.
Now there are two more celebrities on the scene: Mario Lopez and Perez Hilton (check out article here). I have to admit, that Hilton's title and cover, The Boy with Pink Hair, has me intriguied. Who knows, it may even be a wonderful read. But the publisher, Celebra, only releases one or two chilren's books annually. So what chance do talented, hard-working, yet unknown authors have in snatching a contract? You do the math.
hugs & kisses,