THE HAPPY BOOK Children's Book Podcast

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Hello, I’m Tania McCartney. I’m an author, illustrator and editor of children’s books. I’ve always wanted to live inside a book, and now I practically do.

I'm here to share with you over thirty years of writing and publishing experience. This is where you'll find insights, insider info, interviews and inspiration to take with you on your kids' book journey. I’ll be discussing the publication journey in all its incarnations—from baby books to young adult literature—from emerging status right through to taking your career up a level.

I’ll share with you my own journey and experience, and will also regularly pick the brains of some amazing people—authors, illustrators, editors, publishers, booksellers, librarians and other industry professionals.

In Series One, we’ll be covering a wealth of ideas, from sowing story seeds through editing, picture book construction and into illustrator journeys. We’ll look at assessments, plotting and planning middle grade, conferences and festivals—there’s just SO much to cover.

As the series of 10 podcasts goes live, you’ll see details of each one listed in the space below. Content will suit both emerging creators and those who’ve been in the game a while.

If you have any questions or comments, you can say hello at books@taniamccartney.com.

So, let’s get started. Fire up your device, cram in those earbuds and enjoy this foray into the magical world of kids’ book creation. Welcome to this happy place—The Happy Book.

The Happy Book – Chapter Three

Picture Book Creation and Illustration with Jess Racklyeft

Air date: 16 January 2019

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HELLO!
Welcome to Chapter Three of The Happy Book. In this chapter, I will be talking to illustrator, author, and friend, Jess Racklyeft. Jess and I have published three picture books together, with another two in production. We’ll be taking you through the picture book production process and how we created our books—from how the ideas were formed through how we actually liaised and worked together with our publishers.

I’ll also talk to Jess about her book illustration journey—where it started and where she’s going now. She’ll have some wonderful tips and tricks on illustrating that you won’t want to miss.

Fire up your device, cram in those earbuds and enjoy this foray into the magical world of kids’ book creation. If you have any questions or comments, you can say hello at books@taniamccartney.com.

I’m Tania McCartney and I’m an author, illustrator and editor of children’s books. I’ve always wanted to live inside a book, and now I practically do. Welcome to The Happy Book.

GUESTJESS RACKLYEFT
Jess Racklyeft is a Melbourne based-illustrator, working as a picture book illustrator, card designer, and for various freelance illustration clients.

She began her working life in publishing, working for almost a decade in customer service and sales roles before having her first child—which gave her the nudge to work harder than ever before launching her own business as an illustrator.

Since then she’s illustrated over a dozen books, and has seven books out in 2019. She’s also the illustrator coordinator of SCBWI Victoria, and mum to two young kids. Most of the time, she’s either drawing picture books, visiting the local bookshop or library, or reading them to her kids.

SHOW NOTES
00:35 Introduction
01:35 Introducing Jess Racklyeft
03:45 When Jess first passed thought to illustrating children’s books
05:22 Returning to your 8-year-old self and what you loved
06:26 The first book Jess worked on as an illustrator
09:24 What does a typical workday look like for Jess?
13:40 The collaboration route
17:19 Illustration notes
19:24 Collaborating by email – Ivy Bird
21:45 The importance of digital illustration skills
22:20 Jess’s illustration process
24:50 Producing Smile Cry
28:38 Animal or human characters
29:19 What advice would Jess give authors on working with illustrators
30:58 The author and illustrator as equal creators
32:12 The many and varied people involved in creating a book
32:30 Jess’s new role as author
33:41 What’s the difference between being an author/illustrator and just an illustrator?
36:08 The benefits of being an author/illustrator
37:27 Tips and Ideas for emerging illustrators
38:20 Courses in illustrating picture books
39:49 Expression and movement in your illustrations
41:55 Parallel/dual narrative told in illustration
43:39 Other ideas on how to make revenue from illustrating
47:16 Getting your work out there
47:48 Your online presence
48:08 Digital portfolios
48:55 Sending your folio to publishers
49:50 Meeting publishers in person
51:35 Your illustrations fitting with the right manuscript
52:34 Showing portfolios at conferences
54:46 The most difficult parts of illustrating a picture book
56:33 Balancing work with family and life; being present
57:45 Weighing up the pros and cons of opportunities
59:12 Progressing your illustrator career and making the right choices
1:00:06 What’s the most enjoyable part of creating books?
1:01:09 What would Jess’s ultimate book dream be?
1:02:37 What’s coming up for Jess
1:04:52 Jess’s favourite children’s book right now
1:07:12 Wrap-up
1:08:07 Coming up next week
1:08:40 The End 
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Music: Ukulele Whistle by Scott Holmes

PODCAST LINKS
Jess Racklyeft website
Jess Racklyeft instagram
The 52-Week Illustration Challenge
Lilla Rogers
CAE : Children’s Picture Book Illustration Course
Nina Rycroft Picture Book Illustration and Online Courses
Skillshare
Craftsy : The Art of the Picture Book
Illustrators Australia
The Style File
Smile Cry
Merry Everything 

See Hear 
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LINKS
taniamccartney.com
facebook.com/TaniaMcCartneyAuthor
twitter.com/TaniaMcCartney
instagram.com/taniamccartney

COMING UP

CHAPTER FOUR – Planning your future as a creator—and taking your career to the next level.



 
The Happy Book – Chapter Two

Picture Book 101

Air date: 9 January 2019

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CLICK TO LISTEN ON SPOTIFY


HELLO!
Welcome to Chapter 2 of The Happy Book. In this chapter, I’ll be taking you through the entire picture book creation and production process. What more could you want? Truly? Is there anything better?

You’ll learn about where ideas come from, what themes are overdone, the types of picture book narrative, the layout and structure of the pages, who comes together to create a picture book, which books excite publishers, narrative and visual narrative, dialogue, illustration, story craft, word count, pacing, and insider info that will make your toes curl with delight.

Fire up your device, cram in those earbuds and enjoy this foray into the magical world of kids’ book creation. If you have any questions or comments, you can say hello at books@taniamccartney.com.

I’m Tania McCartney and I’m an author, illustrator and editor of children’s books. I’ve always wanted to live inside a book, and now I practically do. Welcome to The Happy Book.

SHOW NOTES
00:35 Introduction
01:23 A cup of green tea and a protein bar
01:31 Picture books are not really for 3- to 8-year-olds
02:26 Why do I write picture books?
02:50 Coming up with an idea
03:04 Ideas being stolen
03:25 Find a ‘different’ way to create stories of common theme
04:41 How do I get my ideas?
06:30 Reflecting back to when we were children—An Aussie Year
08:37 Top tips for finding ideas
10:37 Books for trade AND educational markets
11:07 Don’ts!
11:32 Moralistic, didactic and message-driven books
13:12 Writing to fill a market gap
13:38 Themes that are done to death
14:48 Write what you love
15:10 Themes that resonate with kids
15:58 Age groups for picture books
16:48 Using more difficult words
17:50 Writing Peas in a Pod and Smile Cry—writing for early childhood
18:55 Page-turning potential
19:55 Types of narrative—linear, cyclical, episodic
21:20 Peas in a Pod—as an example of rounding a story with reference to the beginning
23:04 Smile Cry and See Hear as examples of episodic books with an overall arc
23:40 An Aussie Year as an episodic narrative
24:18 Word count
25:53 High text picture books
26:39 A picture book as dual narratives and the visual narrative
27:11 Show Don’t Tell
29:25 Dialogue—one of my bug-bears
30:37 Conflict and resolution
31:55 Protagonists
32:05 Adults in picture books
33:23 Plot points
34:10 Stories versus accounts
35:19 Ivy Bird as an example of nuance and parallel meaning for early childhood
37:04 Rules and breaking them
37:35 Marrying text with image
38:44 Illustration notes
40:08 Working with an illustrator
42:36 Illustrating text + adding ‘more’ via nuance
43:17 The importance of the direct author/illustrator collaboration
44:25 How Jess added ‘more’ to Ivy Bird via visuals
45:10 Adding more to the text, This is Captain Cook with Christina Booth
46:03 A caffè lattè
46:10 Picture book layout and page construct – pause the podcast and grab a picture book (Peas in a Pod, if you have it)
55:53 How I lay out my PB text as I write it
57:55 The use of Google docs
58:42 The story ending—referencing This is Captain Cook
1:02:04 Rhyme—ach!
1:05:50 Don’ts
1:08:06 A cup of Earl Grey tea and no snack!
1:09:10 Coming up in Chapter 3
1:09:41 The End

Music: Ukulele Whistle by Scott Holmes

PODCAST LINKS
An Aussie Year
Peas in a Pod
Smile Cry
See Hear
Jess Racklyeft
This is Captain Cook
Christina Booth
The Fantastical Flying Creator
Jackie Hosking

LINKS
taniamccartney.com
facebook.com/TaniaMcCartneyAuthor
twitter.com/TaniaMcCartney
instagram.com/taniamccartney

COMING UP

CHAPTER THREE – The author/illustrator collaboration. Illustrator Jess Racklyeft and I talk about the creation of our books, the production process, and the collaborative relationship we’ve built.





The Happy Book – Chapter One

The Many Routes on the Publication Journey, and Submitting Your Manuscripts

Air date: 2 January 2019

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HELLO!
Welcome to Chapter One of The Happy Book. In this chapter, it seems fitting to start at the starting line. I’ll be discussing the children’s book creator journey, how mine came about, how the careers of others came about, and how yours can come about.

You’ll learn that not all journeys are the same nor created equal. You’ll also learn the importance of Getting Industry Involved and forming friendships with other creators. On top of that, I’ll go over the submissions process, and how best to do it, and give my top tips for submission success.

Special guests mentioned in this chapter are: Dee White, Jacquie Harvey, Dub Leffler, Sheryl Gwyther, Danielle McDonald, Emma Quay, Gus Gordon and Jen Storer.

Fire up your device, cram in those earbuds and enjoy this foray into the magical world of kids’ book creation. If you have any questions or comments, you can say hello at books@taniamccartney.com.

I’m Tania McCartney and I’m an author, illustrator and editor of children’s books. I’ve always wanted to live inside a book, and now I practically do. Welcome to this happy place—The Happy Book!

SHOW NOTES
00:35 Introduction—a cup of coffee and a pile of blueberries
01:30 My publication journey
02:13 The start of my children’s book journey
02:30 Self-publishing – Riley and the Sleeping Dragon
03:41 Becoming involved in the industry
05:42 My journey with the National Library of Australia
06:58 My collaborations with Jess Racklyeft
08:38 My contracts with Windy Hollow
09:45 Relationships in publishing are everything
10:14 The collective nature of your publication journey
11:05 My illustration journey + the 52-Week Illustration Challenge
14:24 The story behind Australia Illustrated
15:28 My Australia and World Illustrated Maps journey
16:28 Why you will be more likely to secure contracts once you’re published
17:08 My commissioned book with the National Library—The Gum Family Finds Home
17:50 The Mamie journey—my book on May Gibbs (HarperCollins)
21:17 Not all journeys are the same
21:56 Being afraid to share your ideas
23:54 The publication stories of friends and colleagues—and advice!
24:02 Dee White
24:47 Jacqueline Harvey
26:42 Dub Leffler
27:25 Sheryl Gwyther
28:27 Danielle McDonald
29:29 Emma Quay
30:58 Gus Gordon
33:04 Jen Storer
34:35 Another cuppa and a mandarin
35:00 Advice for submissions
35:54 Target the right publisher
37:00 Submitting work that is well-edited
38:45 Large v indie publishers
39:32 Top tips for making submissions
40:15 Following publisher submission guidelines
40:48 Keeping a submissions database
41:37 Multiple submissions
43:11 If you receive a no…
43:53 Keep your career goal in focus—no selling out
44:52 General submissions
47:27 Wrap-up
48:21 A piece of Christmas cake and a glass of champagne
49:00 Coming up in Chapter Two
49:38 The End 

Music: Ukulele Whistle by Scott Holmes

PODCAST LINKS FOR CHAPTER ONE
Kids' Book Review
The Style File
My Grammar RantA Crash Course in Grammar and Punctuation
52-Week Illustration Challenge 
The Fantastical Flying Creator
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
Children's Book Council of Australia
Australian Society of Authors 
Dee White
Jacqueline Harvey
Dub Leffler
Sheryl Gwyther
Danielle McDonald
Emma Quay
Gus Gordon
Jen Storer

LINKS
taniamccartney.com
facebook.com/TaniaMcCartneyAuthor
twitter.com/TaniaMcCartney
instagram.com/taniamccartney

COMING UP
CHAPTER TWO – Picture book creation. From concept to publication. Learn the total ins and outs of this divine creation.



1 comment:

hazel said...

A timely initiative for many writing or contemplating writing & illustrating children's books. In the past year I've decided that podcasts are the most efficient way of learning and of sharing relevant experiences.

Hazel Edwards

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