[found on parents.com; by Jaclyn A. Zinn]
“If you ask a hundred different authors how they got published, you’ll get a hundred different stories,” says Pam Mu?oz Ryan, author of Mice and Beans, one of Child’s 50 Best Books of 2001. But aspiring writers — and fans — can learn and be inspired by the tales of those who’ve flourished in the field….
“The hardest thing to learn is how to communicate with your audience,” says Hoeye. “You can’t lose your voice. You must have a distinct sense of who you are and who you’re trying to talk to.” One way he honed his skills was by writing letters. “My first book, Time Stops for No Mouse, started as a series of letters to my wife who was traveling in Africa,” says Hoeye. “I didn’t know I was writing a book. It was just a way of entertaining her, but it kept growing and growing. To write a book straight through can be bewildering and intimidating.”
“Ideas come to me from everywhere-my own life, sometimes folktales,” says dePaola. “Strega Nonacame to me out of the blue, but I often get ideas from kids. The Quicksand Book is a good example of that. Children will come up to me and say, `Why don’t you write a story about….'”
“Rejection can be devastating,” says Janet Stevens, author of And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon, a Child Best Book of 2001. “You can get your heart broken. The main thing to realize is that there are so many different editors with different tastes. You have to remove yourself from it emotionally and just keep trying. You don’t have to be the best author and win all the awards; you just have to appeal to kids — that’s what’s most important.”
To read more from the authors of children’s books on parents.com, click here.