2017 NAPIBOWRIWEE DAY TWO – GUEST AUTHOR Q&A WITH JASON GALLAHER! (May 2, 2017)

Meet Guest Author Jason Gallaher!
WHOBERT WHOVER, OWL DETECTIVE By Jason Gallaher, illustrated by Jess Pauwels (Simon & Schuster July 2017)

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PAULA’S 2017 NAPIBOWRIWEE DAY ONE RECAP (May 1, 2017)

Congratulations, everyone, on completing Day 1 of National Picture Book Writing Week! I was so excited to read everyone’s comments on my Day 1 Blog and also on our Facebook group.

My Day 1 was a bit eventful… see, when I’m not writing books, I am also a TV writer/producer. I currently am a writer/producer for the show SUPERGIRL which airs on The CW.

And of course May 1st was also the last day of our negotiations between our writers’ union, the WGA (Writers Guild of America, Inc.), and the studios (AMPTP – Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers). Our three-year contract expired at midnight on May 2nd, and our union was ready to strike if a deal was not made by that deadline.

So work was a bit surreal as we all waited anxiously… especially because many of us had been through the 2007 WGA strike as well. (For more information on the history of all this, go here: http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/01/media/writers-strike-2007-history/ and https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2017/04/24/will-tv-writers-strike-heres-what-you-need-to-know/?utm_term=.9894340b1713)

Thankfully the good news happened right before 1 AM – a deal was made! No strike! 🙂 YAY!

All this anxiety actually had a happy ending for my NAPIBOWRIWEE Day One experience though… thinking about unions and activism inspired me to FINALLY write a rough draft of a picture book biography I’ve been researching for the past year on a famous Asian American activist.

And then that inspired me to have a theme for this year’s NAPIBOWRIWEE. See, every year, I usually end up trying to write 7 pictures in 7 days based on a theme. One year it was 7 picture books inspired by my three cats. LOL! Another year it was 7 picture books inspired by my musical background as a violinist.

So this year, I will write 7 picture book biographies. That’s kind of my wheelhouse as a former journalist and as a kid lit author whose picture books are all biographies.

I’ve been researching several historical figures for the past year, so I have my research already done. So I will work on doing rough drafts of each biography this week. I wrote up a list of which six other historical figures I want to write about, so I was happy about that!

So I would say Day One was a success… albeit a stressful success. 🙂

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DAY 2 – GUEST AUTHOR Q&A WITH JASON GALLAHER

Now it’s time to welcome our first Guest Author JASON GALLAHER! 

BIO: Jason Gallaher loves to create stories that mix the flamboyant and wacky with the slightly dark. When not writing, Jason zips about Austin, Texas, with his Pomeranian, Pom Brokaw. He loves dinosaurs, unicorns, Anjelica Huston, and dressing as a merman. Jason is a tried and true Hufflepuff, and he is actively looking for an Andalite friend. His debut picture book, WHOBERT WHOVER, OWL DETECTIVE, comes out from Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster on July 18, 2017. Subscribe to his merman adventures on YouTube at youtube.com/c/JasonGallaher

PUBLICATION INFO: WHOBERT WHOVER, OWL DETECTIVE by Jason Gallaher, illustrated by Jess Pauwels, from Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster – out in stores July 18, 2017. Help Whobert Whover, Owl Detective, keep his woods safe in this hilarious who-who-dun-it. What happened to Perry the Possum? Whobert Whover, Owl Detective, is on the case! Did Debbie the Duck whack Perry with her wicked wings? Or did Freddie the Frog soak Perry in his sickening slime? And what if the culprit is closer to home than Whobert expects?

Q&A INTERVIEW WITH JASON GALLAHER

— What inspired you to write or illustrate picture books?

I actually started writing them because I was scared silly of them. I worked as an intern and assistant for a while at a literary agency, and my boss would have me look at picture book submissions and have me tell her what I thought of them. I was so, so, so flabbergasted. How could you tell a story in under 500 words with emotional resonance? And in manuscript form, without pictures? Every time I read a picture book manuscript I would say, “I like this…I think.” So I started to take picture book writing workshops to learn about them and how they could be crafted, and that is where I fell in love with them and realized that writing was my calling rather than pursuing the business side of publishing.

— Do you write in any other genres? If so, what?

I do! I feel like I bleed middle grade fantasy-adventure. I have one on submission right now, and it’s all I can think about. I also have another middle grade fantasy with my agent right now, and I’m about to send her a YA magical realism, gay romance!

— What do you like most about picture book writing versus other genres?

I like thinking the world is full of unicorns and rainbows. The picture book format is where I can actually write about those things! It’s also a huge honor to be able to create works that ignite imagination in our youngest generation. Jon Scieszka was the person who did that for me when I was a kid, and I really hope I can have that kind of impact on a reader today.

— What is the most challenging part about writing picture books?

I am a sucker for puns, so my biggest challenge is making sure that I’m not relying on the pun alone to carry my work. With WHOBERT, I wanted to write a who-who-dun-it, but it had to be more than just an owl who was a detective. I hope readers find the wordplay fun, and Whobert’s antics hysterical.

— Tell us about your first published book – what inspired the idea? 

I’m a guy who writes by titles. So one day, “Whobert Whover” came to me. I had no idea who he was or what he did. It’s usually when I’m doing something mundane that the rest of the story comes to me. And one day while driving home, it just hit me: Whobert’s an owl who’s a detective, but he’s really not very good at it.

— How long did it take to write (for artists – or illustrate & write)? 

From title idea to the draft that I first submitted to an editor took about 6 months. WHOBERT went through a couple revisions from there and sold about 6 months later.

— Any fun or interesting details about the road to your first book’s publication?

The publication of WHOBERT is a direct result of an SCBWI critique, so I tell people to get their worked critiqued wherever and whenever they can. It was the fall of 2014, and I submitted my work to be critiqued at the CenCal SCBWI Writers’ Day. Annie Nybo of Margaret K. McElderry books looked at my work, left some fantastic suggestions, and then wrote something along the lines of, “If you like these suggestions and choose to revise, feel free to submit the manuscript to me.” Here is my number one piece of advice: if an editor or agent tells you to submit a project to them, do it! I revised, got my fabulous agent (Tricia Lawrence of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency) about a month later, and then she submitted it to Annie the following month. And now we are here on the cusp of Whobert’s birth!

— Do you have a favorite picture book or a picture book that most inspires you? If so, which one is it and why?

I have such a hard time picking a favorite, but one I will say I absolutely adore that came out recently is Jessie Sima’s NOT QUITE NARWHAL. The world she created in that book full of unicorns and narwhals is literally the world I picture myself in every day. Also Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith’s THE TRUE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS. I remember reading that as a kid and literally LOLing.

— Where is the best place for you to write your books?

I rented out an office space in Austin, TX, where I live now. I realized that writing at home didn’t work for me because I’d want to be playing with my puppies or binge watching Grace & Frankie with my partner on Netflix. So I had to get out of the house. I found this great office that has glass walls that I can outline all over, so while I’m writing I’m literally surrounded with my story ideas.

— If you weren’t a writer/artist, what would you be?

A Pokémon Master

— If you could give one piece of writing advice for our NaPiBoWriWee participants, what would it be?

Don’t get in your head too much. Just write, even if you know what you’re writing down isn’t going to be the finished product. You’ve got to start somewhere!

— There’s been a growing demand for more diversity in children’s book publishing. What are your thoughts on that?

I’m an openly gay man, and it’s a writing goal of mine to get a picture book published that features gay dads. I think one way to end discrimination against the LGBTQ community is for the youngest generation to see romantic couples of all types to learn that love is love. If anybody wants to include gay characters in their work and would like a sensitivity reader, hit me up!

— There’s been increasing pressure for writers to be active on social media. Are you on social media? If so, where can your readers reach you? Has social media helped your writing journey and career? Any advice for writers who might feel overwhelmed by the social media “burden”?

I am on social media! You can find me on Twitter and Instagram @draftingjason, but my absolute favorite right now is YouTube. I struggled for a while to figure out how to make myself stand out on the interwebs, and I realized that I could combine my two favorite things to make a unique mark: merpeople and books. So each week I grab my merman fin (because who doesn’t have one of those?), the book that I most recently read, and my iPad and record the Merman Minute where I give a rundown in around a minute-ish (usually closer to two, TBH) of the book. It is so much fun for me to just get to be silly and gab books. If anyone wants to subscribe I will send them merman juju forever: www.youtube.com/c/JasonGallaher

I fully understand that people can think social media is a burden. But with young readers increasingly living their lives digitally, I do think it’s important that all of us children’s literature creators have some social media presence. I’ve been pondering this a lot lately, and I’ve come to this conclusion: all of us writers and illustrators have at least a tiny extrovert spark within us. Some more—maybe even WAY more—than just a spark, but we all have at least a tiny bit of outgoing tendencies. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t seek publication where everybody has access to our books. Instead, we’d just create for ourselves. So grab onto that extrovert spark and harness it for your social media. Even if it’s just to say, “Here’s what I’m reading right now!” Readers are such a warm and welcoming community, and most want to talk about what they should include in their TBR pile.

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Wow Jason! Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions so thoughtfully and thoroughly. Congratulations again on your new book!

NAPIBOWRIWEE participants – Jason has also graciously agreed to donate a signed copy of his book for the lucky winner who will be chosen at random for our drawing at the end of the this week. I will announce the winners in our final blog on May 8th! (Note: To participate in the contest, all you have to do is post at least one comment on my blog and I’ll include you in the drawing!)

Also – on our Facebook group, participants are posting pictures of where they are writing – at home, in their offices, at work, at the park, at a favorite coffeehouse, outdoors…

… so I have a DAY TWO REQUEST… in the comments below, let me know WHERE you wrote today and why! 🙂 I’m curious to see where everyone writes today! 🙂

Now it’s time to WRITE. Good luck with Book No. 2 and please remember to comment on my blogs about your experiences! HAPPY WRITING! WRITE LIKE YOU MEAN IT!

And stay tuned for tomorrow, Wednesday May 3, 2017 with Guest Author Q&A with COURTNEY PIPPIN-MATHUR! 🙂

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72 Comments »

  1. Who, who Whobert knows the answer! Such a fun interview. Jason, titles pop into my head often, too. All single, solitary creatures waiting for a story! Paula, I am thrilled that the struck was averted. I am gravitating toward a PB bio this week, too. I sty them, love them; I have one I’ve rewritten many times. However, I am going to start a new one this time that’ been percolating, too. Today I write @ the library this afternoon. TY both!

  2. I have a packed schedule today, so I had to get up super-early and knock out my draft, meaning I wrote in the farthest corner of my house where I could have a light on and make a little noise and not wake anyone else up, except the cats, who appreciated having a lap to sleep on in the wee hours. So I’m 2 for 2! Actually, unbelievably, I wrote three versions of today’s story, but it still really only counts as one, because they can’t all become books. Thanks for the motivation!!!

  3. Congratulations Jason and Whobert. I can’t wait to read. I envy your ability to craft just the right title. I struggle with that on both sides. If I start with a title I like, it often goes nowhere or doesn’t fit the story I’ve written. If I write the story first, I often struggle to title it. Thanks for your social media advice.
    Today I am writing in my living room, by the woodstove, bookended by two Great Danes who are not impressed that it is raining outside and only about 8 degrees Celsius!

  4. THANK YOU for what you said about that “extrovert spark” seeking publication! I am naturally an introvert, and pushing myself to go to critique groups, conferences, and more is definitely outside of my comfort zone, so this is a helpful reminder! I love that viewpoint.

    Congrats on WHOBERT, looking forward to reading it!

  5. This interview was inspiring in so many ways! I especially love the perspective on social media – thanks for sharing 🙂 I do my fiction writing after my son, Odin (age 4), goes to bed so I haven’t written yet today. But, I typically lounge on the couch with a notebook and a blanket when writing at night. I find inspiration always hits me in the form of the best lines I’ve ever imagined while I am lying in bed with my son waiting for him to fall asleep – I’m still working out how I can write them down in that moment before they disappear forever and without keeping him awake????

  6. The most encouraging bit about this was discovering I’m not alone in my write-by-titles approach. It’s great to know there are others and at least one has been quite successful with it. Thank you, Jason!

  7. I wrote in my car after I was inspired by a trip to the Garden Center to find some colorful annuals. Better to write than plant, since it is a cold, wet 50 degree day and I am wearing a thick fleece jacket and wool sox!

    Congrats on Whobert and thanks for sharing your perspective on bookish things!

  8. Thank you Jason, Whobert sounds awesome. I also get hit by titles first – but usually struggle to find a story behind them. Maybe they just need to marinate in brain soup for a bit longer.

    Today I’ve been researching my draft in the garden, watching my hand-reared crow, Mr Tickle, teach himself to fly (and rewarding him with treats for good effort). I wish a benevolent giant would pop a treat into my mouth every time I made a good effort at drafting a PB!

  9. I am so looking forward to Whobert! What a fun journey, Jason, and I love your merman minutes. I am writing from my home office amongst the trees in Portland, OR.

  10. Wow Jason! I just popped over to your Merman Minutes. You really know how to stand apart from the crowd. I’m still slogging away to create a website and lay to rest my sad blog.
    Hi, Paula! I love your PB Bios. I’m curious about your current Bio list. And I’m thrilled that you aren’t going on strike!
    I’m happy with yesterday’s first draft about another endangered critter. Today, I’m writing at my kitchen island with the wind pounding our windows. The pups are on high alert. Maybe the wind will enter my story.

  11. I just finished draft 2, enjoying a lovely breeze through the windows of my office on a sunny 70 degree day. Can’t wait to read Whobert Whover!

  12. Thank you, Jason. I usually write serious picture books, but you just inspired me to write something silly and totally fun that uses a pun and is also a nod to Paula Yoo’s cat stories (I have two cats myself that provide plenty of inspiration). Good luck with Whobert. Can’t wait to read it!

  13. I was up and at it early, writing in my cozy bedroom chair before our morning mayhem. I’m 2/2 also and excited about number 3. I wish I could send some of our wonderful spring weather to those of you who are still chilly.

  14. Thank you, Jason, for sharing and inspiring. It’s so helpful to hear others stories on getting to that first (or secon or thirtieth) book-birthday. It tells me I am on the right path. Congratulations!

    And yay, Paula, so glad the day ended well and strike averted!

    In Maine, it is another drizzly, cold & foggy day. My last meeting of the day-job just cancelled so I will be snuggling in by the fire with a cup of tea and drafting out number 2!

    Really hoping our weather improves during this or I’m going to be mighty boring!

  15. Jason, I’m so excited about your book. Two things I LOVE, owls and detective stories.

    I live in a small town and have small children, so I write on the floor in the living room surrounded by cars, tracks, blocks, and puzzles.

  16. Another great day! I don’t do funny/silly AND YET… today’s idea came from a brainstorming I did on day #23 of Tara Lazar’s STORYSTORM that is actually pretty funny. Which made today a hoot (<that's for you, Jason).

  17. Day 2 story (written during break at work): story of a paletero man and his kid. His daughter is initially embarrassed by him selling ice cream from his push cart after school. But she comes to see the pride in his hard work and sacrifices.

  18. I finished my 2nd draft. But, most importantly I got a couple of ideas for my writing from Jason G. And, I hooked myself up to Merman….lol lol love it….Everyone enjoy the rest of your day…
    holly

  19. You all are so phenomenal! Thank you for the WHOBERT love! I can’t wait for him to be out in the world, and for him to hopefully make you laugh! And thank you for the merman love as well! What a crazy fun wild ride this all is!

  20. I’m writing on my iPhone in bed next to a sick, napping toddler, who intermittently wakes to demand “milk” and “other side,” because this is decidedly my most productive writing hour. Nailing it.

  21. PAULA: YEA, TO NO STRIKE!!!

    JASON: I LOVE the Q&A format of this post! I LEARNED SO MUCH!!! I ABSOLUTELY ADORE Whobert!!!

    • So, I forgot to mention where I wrote yesterday, which was actually the BIGGEST part of my writing experience. First of all, have you noticed how your calendar isn’t busy, and then you have something come along that will demand A LOT of dedication and time (as does our WONDERFUL NAPIBOWRIWEE), and then EVERYTHING in the ENTIRE UNIVERSE DEMANDS YOUR ATTENTION? That’s my week so far, and it’s ONLY WED!!! So, yesterday was SO HECTIC I ended up not being able to do my usual morning writing routine. The day filled up, and I found myself at work (I work evening hours). There was some downtime, and I ended up doing something I have never been able to do before: I WROTE AT WORK! I am one of those people who writes in the wee small hours of the morning to avoid noise, comfy-cozy in my bed and pajamas. Now, I didn’t get to write long or finish my book for day #2, but I accomplished something important to me: proving to myself that I can write ANYWHERE!!! I definitely feel that it wasn’t a loss, though I plan to add a day to my week to make sure I get my full 7 manuscripts. YEA!!!

  22. Can’t wait to read Jason’s “who-who-dun-it.” So creative! I usually write late at night, but today I was able to squeeze it in during my kiddos naptime. Yahoo!

  23. I watched one of Jason’s video right before reading this post and now will be a happy follower. What a positive person he is. The world needs more Jason’s. Can’t wait to read his new book.
    Oh – I wrote in the children’s section of the local library today.

  24. I was crazy about Aquaman as a kid and now I have fallen for an adorable merman named Jason! I just want to put him in my pocket and take him home. 🙃 Fun interview– I look forward to reading the book and looking up Jason’s v-blog. Thank you for sharing.

  25. I’m writing today from my office in Round Rock, Tx. Thanks for another inspiring boost of encouragement!

  26. I just subscribed to Merman and ready for some wackiness! I am so excited to read Whobert Whover, what a creative idea! We have two owls that live in our palm trees in the backyard and the Who Who Who always makes me smile.
    It is so inspiring to hear Jason’s journey and I wish him luck on his books and life’s adventures.
    I am writing in the kitchen nook looking out at my desert oasis.

  27. In my messy office. Overlooks a parking lot with lots of trees. It’s prettier than it sounds. :-). Loving all of this.

  28. Congratulations, Jason! I look forward to meeting Whobert!

    Today I wrote at my dining room table with a toddler in my lap, then on the couch with a toddler in my lap, eventually in my studio while said toddler took a nap, and finally a bit while exercising on my elliptical. Three cheers for momlife!

  29. This made me smile, thanks Jason! I wrote today in my bed & on my couch in Houston TX. I feel bad it wasn’t as exotic as it could be! I found it a little easier today, once I had my idea I felt much less resistance than yesterday. Two down, onwards & upwards 🙂

  30. Tricia raved about your book in her ReFoReMo post this year, Jason! I’ve been looking forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing with us today.

    I wrote in my office today, but I admit that I was so tired after work that only 143 words came out of me. Not a complete draft, but still! My butt was in my chair again and I’ll mark that in the success column!

    Congrats on your progress, everyone!

  31. You guys have so much energy! I have my drafting table/desk set up in the middle of the living room due to a lack of space. I have decided the whole house is a potential workplace.

  32. Today’s draft is in rough shape (but totes counts!) I found it hard to finally spit out what I was trying to say–I think mostly because in this early stage, the story is highly malleable with lots of directions parts could go.
    Nevertheless, checking off #2, and winding down the day with this fantastic blog read. Oh–I wrote in 3 rooms of my house this evening… on first my paper tablet then my phone, then back to a quick sketch of characters on the paper. That’s just where my meandering took me, almost as if I was chasing down the idea!

  33. Day 2 – I just put the finishing touches on the rough draft idea that I had last night. I can easily see it turning into a chapter book.

    Great interview, Jason. I can’t wait to read Whobert… I love owls, even though the one I’m writing about, Speckles, has a mind of his own and if he doesn’t want to cooperate he gives me great big old raspberries and thumbs his nose at me… while his buddy, Giggles, just stands there and laughs.

  34. Thank you, Jason, for your advice, and I can’t wait to read Whobert!

    NaPiBoWriWee continues to be fun and inspirational! I used an idea from Storystorm (the idea-a-day challenge in January) and just started writing, and I’m not sure if it’s going to become a picture book or something longer, or if it will stay in a draft folder, but we’ll see!

    Today I’m just writing at my regular table and computer at home, but I’m listening to Pandora and sipping coffee, so it’s comfy and the Muse has even stopped by!

  35. So far my books have had a lot to do with languages – I am writing bilingual picture books and am fascinated by the different variations in vocabulary across Spanish speaking countries. Today´s book involved a lot of notecards with vocabulary words as well as a fair amount of Whastapping friends of different countries for help. Thanks for the kick in the pants to get this down on paper!

  36. Thanks for an awesome interview! I love the advice to not get in your head too much. Believe it or not, I actually wrote today’s manuscript ‘voice to text’ on my commute to work! It was enlightening to realize that not being able to read what I had written really freed up my process. Looking forward to another day!!

  37. Hi! Almost midnight and I am home after a busy work day and a scheduled dinner with some writer friends. I did some research/outlining of a picture book biography in my work office today during a break but then ended up writing a totally different book later that night at home! Stay tuned for details of my Day 2 adventure recap in tomorrow’s blog that will post on May 3, 2017 at 9 AM EST/6 AM PST featuring a Q&A with author/illustrator Courtney Pippin-Mathur! Thank you everyone for your fun comments, Tweets and Facebook posts. I’ve read everything and regret that I cannot respond individually because of my work and commute schedule. I am hoping to catch up later this week and respond more specifically to everyone soon. Until then, so proud of you guys and really appreciate everyone’s writing anecdotes. Wow I can’t believe Day 3 is coming up – time seems to be flying by at this year’s NAPIBOWRIWEE! HAPPY WRITING! xo P.

  38. Such a fun interview. It sounds like the book will be in the same vein – well worth tracking down.
    Today I wrote at the dining table in my parents’ home in Australia where I am currently staying.
    As is happens, I do have a submission-ready PB featuring two fathers. I’d welcome your feedback on it, Jason.

  39. Day 2 was much more of a struggle than Day 1, probably because I was trying to flesh out an idea that was really only a couple of lines. I really, REALLY had to make myself keep going, and it was worth the effort because, miraculously, a story started to take shape, going in a direction I really wasn’t expecting … my original idea was going to be about a big sister/little sister relationship, but ended up being about a lion and a kitten. My bum was firmly on the seat for many hours in our spare bedroom, with lots of looking out of the window for inspiration from the big, wide world (otherwise known as the back garden … which is neither big, nor wide, unless you are an earwig!). Whobert Whover sounds like a PB I’d love, thanks for sharing your thoughts Jason. Okay, enough chit chat, onto Day 3 …

  40. I don’t have a specific writing spot, but I do have a particular draft notebook. Whenever my muse hits me with an idea I write as much as I can on a piece of scrap paper, and then transfer it (when I can) to my first draft notebook. I have such a hard time ” writing” directly into a computer, anyone else have that issue? Regardless, day 2 was real tough for me; but I did manage to get 1/2 an idea on paper so we will call it a win. 🙃

  41. Oh and Paula, I wrote in the memo section of my phone on a train on the way to pick my aunt up from the airport, so she and my Mum could get a cross country train (sleeper) interstate for a sister’s holiday. No easy, while still being social and polite, but now have an entire first draft. Yesterday’s was much more patchy.

  42. Great post Jason! Can’t wait to read Whobert. I started a PB ms on napkins at Bruegger’s Bagels in Charlotte, NC. Then finished it in bed last night at 11:15. Thanks for hosting NaPiBoWriWee, Paula.
    Cindy

  43. Thanks Jason or Pokemon Master! Great post! Actually, living in the boonies, I lose internet dish service often because of thunderstorms, so yesterday I wrote from my bed, next to my tornado backback, boots by the back door ready to run for the cellar, surrounded by pistaccios’ and a bottle of chardonney…so it’s all good! I’m back on line…….Lots of inspirations to work with!

  44. I had a very limited time to write yesterday, so I buckled down or shall I say planted my feet (I have a standing desk) and wrote fast and furiously in my home office. I have a little statue of the main character about whom I wrote yesterday (I painted her at one of those pottery places with my kids one day) and I kept asking her, “what would you do in this situation?” I probably looked rather strange– no I know I looked a bit crazy– but I did it! I finished a first draft of a new book in her PB series (shhh, I know we’re not supposed to talk about writing a series.)
    Paula– I’m so happy the contract negotiations sorted themselves out in a positive (albeit stressful) way. I love your theme for this year! Today’s journey includes writing a first draft of a NF PB I’ve been researching for months.
    Jason’s post was EXCELLENT! Thank you, Jason. I appreciated hearing about your path, including the value of the critique you received. I LOVE the glass wall writing environment. That is fantastic! I can’t wait to read your new book! Thank you for taking the time to share so much valuable information, and for making me laugh with your terrific sense of humor!

  45. Super excited for you about the release of your upcoming book. Whobert Whover sounds funny, and I can’t wait to read it! Thanks for your inspiring post today. It was encouraging to hear about having your talents noticed during a critique at an SCBWI conference.

  46. Yesterday I wrote at my home computer. I had to wake up at 5 in the morning to have time to write before getting ready for work and getting my kids to school but I did it!

  47. What a fabulous post! Thanks for giving us insights into your path and process, Jason. I agree that critiques are the magic sauce for improvement (As a matter of fact, I’m anxiously awaiting a post-conference critique right now). Can’t wait for Whobert Whover’s release – it sounds hilarious!

  48. Oh – and I forgot to say that I write at the kitchen table. My ultimate goal is to get out of the kitchen :-), but for now that’s all I’ve got!

  49. I wrote in a park watching ducks. I do my best writing outdoors, but in Las Vegas with summer coming it wont be comfortable much longer. I plan to find a different park each day this week. Today’s story was a cute idea that just went nowhere, then after about an hour of struggle, the solution clicked into place.

  50. Besides learning some things, reading your post just made me happy. Your enthusiasm is contagious! I wrote some today on my front porch in the middle of nowhere in the middle of Texas.

  51. Yay for not having a strike, Paula. I’m happy dancing for you!

    Thanks Jason and Paula for this inspiring post. Whobert sounds amazing, and I can’t wait to read it. 🙂

    I’m a bit behind on the posts, but have been writing one draft each day, so I have three completed drafts now. Wahooooo! They’ve all been written in my writing cave (I mean office). I write best in a quiet room with the giant monitor and full sized keyboard that are hooked up to my laptop (which sits under my desk).

  52. Hey Jason. I’m also big into wordplay and I appreciate it when I read others who are doing it.
    I’m interested in your experience in the film industry and the versatility in your writing career–a similarity there too (I write lyrics, screenplays, books, articles, etc.) I started out at age eight writing poetry until I realized there was no money in it (I did win $500 and first place in a San Diego slam but that came 40 something years later).
    I have five children’s books I’m seeking an agent for and it’s good to take a break and just write for the sake of writing and stop pursuing agents for a week. It’s an endless puzzle, adding pieces every week until I can find the write (play on words;-) one. Day one of this thing I stayed up until 2 a.m. and write an entire children’s book–now I’m playing catch up after patting myself on the back for two days.
    I’m not gay but most of my friends are so I support you writing for that audience.
    I write everywhere but probably my favorite is on this thrift store couch which comforted me when someone I loved died. Now it’s a happy couch from which I hope to write the great American novel (not really). Congrats for your success–I will check out your Youtube.

  53. What a great interview! I saw whobert whoever mentioned during REFOREMO and I am so excited to check it out! On day 2 of Napibowriwee I wrote during lunch in my classroom. Sometimes when I’m not sure what to write next, I pick a kid I am teaching and I try to write a book that I think they would love. That definitely helped me draft this week!

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