Picture Book Buzz: Tell us about yourself.
Julie: I am a mum, a teacher and a children’s author. I love picture books and have been fortunate to have a career sharing stories and singing songs with hundreds of children from around the world. My first foray into writing was a winter play for the early childhood centre…dancing snowflakes, ice-skating reindeers and a missing present rap gushed out of my pen. It took a few more plays and a few wobbly manuscripts before I started to find my voice.
Picture Book Buzz: What inspired your book, Little Tiger?
Julie: The inspiration came from a list of tigerish words I had scribbled in my notebook and a ‘50 Precious Words’ story writing challenge. To my delight and amazement my lovable little tiger’s rhyming romp around the jungle won first place! I was so astonished to see it at the top of the winners’ list that I called my daughter, Sarah, to check I wasn’t dreaming. Then things got even better! As my prize I chose an agent critique with Essie White at Storm Literary Agency, and to my delight this resulted in her offering to represent me. I am thrilled that Little Tiger, and Little Panda are now going to be the first two in a series of board books with Amicus Ink in Spring 2019.
Picture Book Buzz: What other books have you written?
Julie: I write both fiction and nonfiction and feel very fortunate to have another two board books in the pipeline for the Amicus Little Animal Friends series in Spring 2020, plus three rhyming nonfiction picture book biographies: Yusra Swims from Creative Editions (Fall 2019); Mr. Joao and Dindim the Penguin, Kids Can Press (Fall 2020) and Sakamoto and the Sugar-Ditch Kids also with Kids Can Press (Spring 2021).
Picture Book Buzz: What are you currently working on?
Julie: I am always researching ideas for baby animal stories for the Little Animal Friends’ series, and I also keep my eye open for inspirational stories for picture book biographies.
Picture Book Buzz: If you could give advice to writers who haven’t published yet, or an earlier version of yourself, what would you want to share?
Julie: Read lots. Write lots. Share your writing with a critique group, listen to what they have to say and revise - lots. Take a chance and enter one of the fabulous Kidlit writing contests on line, you never know where it may lead. And most of all be persistent and patient, because perfecting your story may take longer than you think.
Picture Book Buzz: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
We are a group of picture book authors and illustrators whose first picture books will be released in 2019. Read about our roads to publication here.