Because its the season of giving, I thought I would run a short and sweet interview of picture book author L.A. Jones along with a giveaway of her latest book Surprise, signed by the both of us. Please do complete the rafflecopter give-away section at the end of the interview to be considered for the prize.
Please introduce yourself.
My name is Lisa Jones and I live in the North East of England. I have 3 children and two grandchildren. My older daughters have left home now so it is just myself and Jamie at home and our little dog Lola. Ever since reading Enid Blyton, when I was younger, I realised how powerful books are. No matter what is happening around you, reading a good book transports you somewhere magical, using one’s imagination to visualise a story is wonderful.
How long have you been writing picture books? What else do you write?
I have been writing books since 2013, and I have been writing picture books for the last couple of years. I also write poetry and children’s chapter books.
Tell us more about your writing process for picture books.
For me, the writing process for picture books starts off the same as for chapter books. I work out the main characters, plot and storyline, then visualise how I want it to look. Once I am done with the manuscript and have read it and got it critiqued and edited several times, I then try my best to explain how I see it to my illustrator.
Do you have specific tools you use to make revisions to your manuscripts?
For picture books, any revisions have so far been made by either myself or by my illustrator. For chapter books I use a grammer checker and adjust my manuscript accordingly.
Do you have any revision partners and if you do, who are they? (critique group/agent/editor?)
I am part of of few critique groups on FB. The childrens picture critique group and a manuscript swap group for feedback. I also find family and friends are great for telling you what they love or dislike about the book I am writing.
How do you know when your story is ready for publishing?
It’s only ready for publishing when the manuscript has been proof read many times, and both myself and the illustrator are happy with the end result. Seeing a proof copy is a must, it helps you spot things you may not have noticed otherwise.
Do you write full time? How do you balance your family/home life and your writing career?
Yes I write full time, my son is now at middle school so I get a good few hours in the day and I also find a couple of hours in the evening to focus on my writing. Its good as it fits around my family life.
What about marketing? How do you market yourself and your writing?
I do some marketing on facebook and other social media platforms, but I find that informing different schools and updating websites is a better option. Paid ads on social media and sometimes ads in local papers work also very well. But every book is different, you will need to figure out how to get the best exposure for your book.
What advice would you give to aspiring picture book authors ?
My advice is to visualise how you see your book and try to make it as close to that as possible. Sometimes, compromises must happen, and you may have to change a few things here and there, but the overall end product is something that you are happy with. If you don’t think something is quite right, change it until you love everything about your book.
Finding a good illustrator is also a must, I was so lucky to find mine, she has now illustrated two books for me and her artwork brings my stories to life.
Lastly, never give up, all the hard work will be worth it I promise.
Thank you for reading so far. Please remember to enter the rafflecopter giveaway below to be considered for the prize.a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js