Sunday, September 14, 2014

From Spark to Flame: A Picture Book's Path to Publication

Amanda Driscoll is the author of Duncan the Story Dragon.  She is represented by Rosemary Stimola and Kelly Delaney at Knopf is her editor.


Amanda Driscoll gets ideas when she is walking her dogs.  She does thumbnails so she can see when the story is flowing.

When she wrote Duncan, she had been writing for about five years.  She previously been submitting to editors directly, but decided to seek representation from an agent.  She made a short list of dream agents and queried them when she received a request from Rosemary Stimola.

Rosemary loved the book, and she set it on her desk for a few days.  When everyone in the office stopped to ask about it, she knew for sure it was something special.

When Rosemary Stimola sends something out, she always expects there to be revision. 

Kelly Delaney loved the book and was able to get approval and make an offer quickly.  She thought the text was nearly perfect but wanted to push her outside of her comfort zone on the illustrations.  They asked to her experiment with different drawings of Duncan.  They eventually settled on a kid-Duncan.  They want through multiple extensive revisions to get it exactly right.

Rosemary was able to sit back and watch it unfold because of the excellent collaboration between Kelly and Amanda.

Amanda advises that authors and illustrators need to be open-minded and flexible.  Remember that revisions are a normal part of the process.  

If you wanted to hear the whole story...sign up for SCBWI Midsouth next year!

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