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Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Visit From the Author of Katie Woo!

Me (Emily) on the left and the Fabulous Fran on the right.

Last week I had the great pleasure of meeting Fran Manushkin, the author of the wonderful Katie Woo books! I wish we could have spent more time together, because she has so many fascinating stories to share. We (or at least I), don't get to meet the authors and illustrators behind our books very often, but when we do, it's such a treat! Actually meeting and talking with the person who comes up with the stories or creates the illustrations enriches my experience as a book designer, it makes the words and pictures even more meaningful to me. That's also why, in the cases when I don't get to meet them in person, that I always appreciate the "about the author/illustrator" in the backs of our books. It helps me gain a new level of understanding about the story and I like to see what may have influenced them to write it in the first place.

Now we just need to convince Tammie Lyon, the illustrator, to pay us a visit!


Sharon Mayhew said...

How fun! When I sell my first book manuscript I will go and meet my editor...I can't imagine not knowing the person who takes my dream and helps me move forward with it. Is this an unusal concept? I would think you would want to know your writers personally.

That was one of the reasons I submitted a sample to Beth. You guys are only a few hours from me. I never even considered not meeting my agent and/or editor in person. Am I way off base on this?

Beth Brezenoff, Senior Editor said...

Hi Sharon,

It really depends! A lot of our authors are professional freelance writers and working over email and phone does the trick. When authors or illustrators are in town, we love to see them. But in this day and age, it's totally possible to have a great working relationship with someone and know them well without having ever met.

Sharon Mayhew said...


I guess it's just me being me...I like having personal connections. When I went to the Highlights Foundation Summer Workshop at Chautauqua, I really enjoyed meeting and socializing with editors, authors and publishers. Some of them I made instant connections, there were a few people I felt no connection with and would more than likely never send them a manuscript. I left the conference with a great group of editors and writers that I can rely on for honest advice any time.

I do quite a bit or research before I submit to anyone. You know how editors and agents are looking for writers with great "voice," I do the same thing...(maybe I'm too picky) I read interviews, blogs and websites before I do a submission.

Have a great week!

Beth Brezenoff, Senior Editor said...

Sharon, I think that's great! I'm sure you'll find a perfect editorial relationship!