The Process!ย 

The Process…At first glance one might think “Wow! She looks so calm, cool, and collected” -That is what you’re thinking… RIGHT? Haha! That’s funny. 
Let me just say… at this point in my publishing process, I’m beginning to semi-freak out!!! Like literally butterflies in my tummy, freak out! I know November 7th may seem far off to you, but to me it’s like next week! Next week people! 

I have done SO much since the last update in preparation for my first book, Star Fishing! If you think writing a book is hard (it is), try selling it to the world too… especially when you don’t even have a physical copy yet! 

Thank goodness the words seem to be selling themselves as I send out PDF after PDF:) Yay!!! I figure since people love the words they will be smitten over the illustrations by Janet King- she’s brilliant! 

Even though I’m about to freak OUT, I’m also still having fun (for real)! Between all of the school bookings (which are AWESOME!!!), emails, and collaborating on last minute details time is moving REAL real quick! Super fun… super crazy though. Crazy! 
My Launch team grew…
Another intern joined my team, Emily! I’m so blessed to have both Brittany and Emily working along with me through this process. Brittany is already doing such great things with my social media accounts as Marketing Manager- I couldn’t do it without her!  
Emily has taken the role of Communications Liaison. Emily is bridging relationships with bookstores for shelf space and increasing my Goodreads productivity. She’s going to rock it! 
Max Communications (Mimi Schroeder)- Book publicist. Max Communications is an Atlanta based book publicist firm. Mimi will be building my public platform as an author… Kind of crazy! Isn’t it?!?! I can’t wait to see what this means! 
With my launch team in place, my agent Sandy Fuller from Alp Arts, and my publisher Tannya Derby of MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing, I am thrilled to have the best team and support system any new author could ever have! 
My December calendar is BOOKED solid with school visits, and that’s so COOL! January is filling up fast too. This is all super surreal and really happening, and I couldn’t be more excited if I tried. Tune in next week to see what I’m up to. To all of you wanting to write a book, keep the questions coming! I am here to help… Trust me, this is a learn-as-you-go process, and I will offer any suggestions I can to help you! Here’s my first suggestion: Go write the book! You can do it!

Preorder your copy of Star Fishing today! 

http://mcpstore.biz/picture-books/27-star-fishing/
xoxo,

Amy 

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Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day Weekend! I hope you take time to spend this weekend enjoying your family and relaxing:) 

I’m looking forward to having some of our  family over tonight to enjoy food, swimming (for the crazy kids who don’t mind a cold pool), and a bonfire! 

What will you be doing to celebrate Labor Day weekend? 

xoxo

The Process Continues…

Just to catch you up, last week I started a weekly blog series called “The Process”. The most asked question I get as an author is “How do I become an author?” Usually followed by, “I’ve always wanted to write a children’s book, what’s the Process?” I decided I’d blog about the process since so many have asked, and I’m currently right in the middle of everything! 

In less than one week my December calendar for author visits is BOOKED!!!! 

The Process continues…

Booked! AND January is filling up too… Here’s how I’m booking up so quickly:

First, I made a list of schools, pre-schools, and boutiques I wanted to visit. Second, I called them… Afraid of rejection? Me too! But guess what? Out of about 20 of the phone calls I made I only had ONE person say “no”- there ya go! I totally DEBUNKED your fear… and mine!  Next, I followed up each phone call with an email introducing myself, Star Fishing, and what my author visit will look like. Guess what? This process IS WORKING!!! Yay! I think I’ll keep it up:) 


I am so excited about all of the school visits I will be doing:) Dream. Come. True. I’m so happy that I will be sharing Star Fishing with thousands (literally… maybe millions-who knows?!?!) of imaginative little minds from all over! My hope for each author visit is that with each turn-of-the-page the Star Fishing adventure with Billy will spark, captivate, and resonate with each child and bring Star Fishing to life! 

I’ve read Star Fishing probably 2,000,000,000 times (or more) and I’m STILL not sick of it… Heck, I wrote it, and it’s STILL fun to read:) I absolutely, positively, CANNOT wait for you to all read it! I want to share Star Fishing with the whole WORLD! How do I humbly say my book is BRILLIANT?!?! Lol! But seriously? ๐Ÿ˜ณ

So what’s Star Fishing about you ask?!?! 

Star Fishing is about a little boy named Billy (Billy was my dads name!) who sets off to capture a star of his own. While Billy and mommy are sitting on a blanket under the stars they see a shooting star and together imagine ALL of the exciting places the star might land! 

Y’all, the shooting stars travel to places like: A kangaroo’s pouch, Mount Everest, and even the moon! So. Much. Fun! 

So…

What are you waiting for? Zoom! On over to: http://bit.ly/2vhY0a6 and preorder your copies too! 

Let’s go Star Fishing together! Can’t wait to “Catch” you up next week on what I’m up to in this adventurous process! Stay tuned โญ๏ธ 

Dyslexic Font Coverย 

My publisher ROCKS! Like- she literally is so incredibly AWESOME!!! Check out this cover for the “Dyslexic Font” option for Star Fishing! I am so excited, I can’t contain it anymore!!! So sorry for all of the exclamations, but this makes me so happy ๐Ÿ™‚

My heart is literally smiling over this cover! Having a daughter who has dyslexia makes this so special to my heart… It reaches me on a deep level and I’m so proud to work with a publisher like MacLaren Cochrane Publishing! 

When I signed with MCL I had no idea my daughter was dyslexic-  Looking back over the last two years (trying my darnest to get these books published) and through this journey in the publication process… all I can do is smile at God! Wow! I’m in total and complete amazement of it all:) 

Man- I LOVE this cover! How about you? 

The Process…

The process…
Write a book.

Edit the book.

Edit the book.

Edit the book.

Edit the book.

Find an agent. 
Sounds easy right?!?! Guess what… It’s NOT! Landing an agent is as easy as putting a cruise ship ๐Ÿšข in your pocket. It’s almost impossible! You have a better chance of winning the Power Ball- BUT when you DO finally land an agent you feel like you have won the Power Ball until the agent then has to get to work. And then…
Edit the book.

Edit the book.

Edit the book.

Edit the book.
Once the agent that you FINALLY landed gets the edits done and you feel like you’re going to become a rock star author, the agent sends out the first net to publishers. Then you wait a VERY long time for a lot of rejection letters… My personal favorite form rejection letter goes something like this: “Amy is an excellent writer. I loved the characters, but the story just doesn’t fit my list” 
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! Worst. Rejection. Ever! They liked the story… surely they can find room for it! They said they “loved” it, but it doesn’t fit their list. Ahhhh! Then you breathe and continue on.
Fast forward:
Hopefully, by reading my success story you will find encouragement through what seems to be a very hard road when trying to get any book published by a traditional publisher…
๐Ÿ˜ŠAfter all of this process- all of the rejections, waiting, and numerous edits, I can honestly say that I made it through the grueling process and it wasn’t so bad after all. IT’s NEVER IMPOSSIBLE! Even when it feels it may be… keep trekking. You can do it! 
Two years later: 
My first children’s book Star Fishing is coming out November 7, 2017!!! I Love Outside will follow (2018). 
I’ve been a busy bee ๐Ÿ 
In the past two weeks, I’ve collaborated with my illustrator and publisher on finalizing the book. I hired a Marketing Manager, sweet Brittany, to maximize my social media accounts, as well as an Atlanta based Book Publicist! It’s going to be great:) I have an awesome team in place and can’t wait to catch you up next week on the process! 

Picture ๐Ÿ“ธ by creds to my daughter Madelynn! 

Bookshelf cred to The Story Shop!

Pinterest Failure!

I am notorious for Pinterest idea fails! I can’t make the turkey cupcakes look right, the “easy” burlap wreath where you just tie a few pieces of burlap around in a circle- Ha! I mean it should be simple… you just tie burlap pieces around in a circle right?!?! On top of that, I can’t even figure out a fishtail braid that my daughter has begged me to learn for 5 years! 5 years! So, long story short I’m used to failing at Pinterest- So why did I think this would be any different?!?!

A few weeks ago I had some new headshots taken for my children’s books coming soon… Like really SOON! YAY! For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to scroll through Pinterest to find some ideas for poses! (haha!) I came across the cutest images of this beautiful young adult girl blowing confetti out of her hands ever so gracefully, yet fun looking. I thought… “That would be perfect for my celebration photo for my new children’s book”- Well… my poor photographer @heartphotography definitely bit off more than she could chew with me! We were sweating like crazy too! Thank you HOT July Georgia!

DISCLAIMER:

Lets just say- I’m not one of those easy people to capture on camera (it’s bad) and acting well that’s not my forte’ either. Photographer to me: “Just relax, and smile” sounds easy right? IT’S NOT! So we get through the torture of the headshots and then it’s time for my favorite part… The part I was so excited about… The perfect Pinterest idea! Confetti!!! We get the confetti out and she says, “Alright, lets do it!” So I go to blow my very best blow and the photographer looks scared to death! She actually says, “Ummm, that looks pretty ridiculous! Lets try again… JUST relax.” (I’ll post that first picture blow in the comments  for your enjoyment) I try 6 more times!!! Fail, fail, fail, fail, fail, failed!!! Finally, the photographer was like “shape your lips like the girl in the picture” First of all let’s talk about the girl in the picture… she has these beautiful thick un-lined, wrinkle free, lips… I was setting myself up for failure to begin with! I looked at the Pinterest picture again and thought surly I’ve got this! I just need to blow the confetti off of my hands… Elementary right?!?! I blew once more and well- it was just bad! HORRIBLE… Photographer just laughed!

I love Pinterest and I love all of the ideas but there are two people: 1. People who can make a Pinterest idea perfectly and 2. People who CANNOT… I am the latter.

Finally, photographer girl was like, “I have an idea!!!” I get excited like maybe she has some kind of botox or something- Maybe she’s gonna put on some magical lip plumper! I’m thinking: This girl is about to give me Angelina Jolie lips for my session! Wow! How awesome! (For the record I’ve never had botox and I probably will NEVER but in that moment I may have considered!) ๐Ÿ™‚ Instead photographer girl says, “lets fake it!” She has me pose with my very best blowing out candles, (confetti in this case) relaxed face, lips out, pouty face I could muster… It was a catastrophe on my part! Apparently, I can’t do this… Another Pinterest idea I can’t do. I can’t blow confetti out “prettily!”

I can’t stop laughing! It’s just more proof I can’t Pinterest! I just can’t! So, here I am trying to figure out how to shape my lips, holding the confetti in my hands, and getting ready to blow! (Doesn’t work…)

But you know what?

It turns out this happens to be one of my favorite pictures from the session… I never mastered the Pinterest “perfect confetti blow” but my photographer did capture a true moment of me being me! This picture of me laughing at myself is who I am… I can usually find humor in myself! I love Pinterest and I love all of the ideas on their site, but I also love to laugh (especially at myself)! So, if you too are a Pinterest failure welcome to my club! I’d love to see or hear what projects/things you’ve failed at off Pinterest… If you don’t have any that’s awesome too! Tell me about your Pinterest successes!

So when you look at this pic don’t think about why I am holding the confetti in my hands… Think about how I found some humor in my failure.

P.S. Pinterest, I’m going to need some time to think things through. It’s not you, it’s me…

AB5A8547

 “Plumped lips”- Photographer Girl

“Fake it” Photographer Girl 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Middle child…Turning 13!ย 

13! Coke, Jesus, and basketball are his favorites! Reese loves his family and his dogs in no particular order. The boy loves Basketball ๐Ÿ€… I’ve NEVER seen anyone with such dedication to a sport. If he’s not on a team he’s in a camp or training. If he’s not in a camp or training he’s in the driveway working on his game. This boy lives for basketball… like year round! He’s passionate about life -he gives his all to fun living! He has taught me so much about making fun out of all situations… Basically, where there’s a Reese there’s a way to experience fun! Reese has a caring heart for the poor. If we see anyone in need he wants to make sure we offer help. I can honestly say he is a joy to parent and easy to love. Reese is wise. He often overhears adult conversations and offers advice that’s uncannily brilliant… He makes me smile everyday.
 I’ll never forget the day he was born and I looked into newborn baby Reese’s eyes… (sounds sweet so far but wait for it) I saw something in those eyes I wasn’t quite prepared for… I looked up at Kyle and concerned I said, “look at his eyes” hesitantly I continued – “he looks so wild!” I truly wasn’t kidding… Reese had some wild eyes. The first years to follow that first impression Reese didn’t let me down-he WAS a handful! Wild, free-spirited, but oh so fun… a handful! Our “little firecracker” is what we called him and that he was. 
I guess If I could go back to that day in the hospital I’d tell myself: “Don’t worry- the wildness only lasts a little while… take a hug when he has time to stop and give one, let him play in the mud, it’s ok if he skins his knees every week or day, he’s a boy he’s supposed to get dirty, who cares how many legos you pierce your feet with it’s fun for him to build, let him leave his light sabers all over the place you don’t need a clean house, humor him by not letting the cream cheese on his bagel fill the middle hole, also, let him have an occasional coke… etc. 
The good news is we made it through those wild eyed years and sometimes… quite often actually I miss those wild days of keeping him “occupied” and out of trouble and even piercing my feet on legos… 
Today when I look into his eyes the wildness has simmered and he’s calm and mature, loving and kind, and I think to myself wow we did a good job! He’s turning into a fine young man. Then I look back to what I thought were the hard days and realize it wasn’t so bad after all. Now I can look back on my wild eyed firecracker baby not as a moment of hesitation and concern for how he’d be as a toddler or a boy but as a moment of how his character would be molded into who he is today! Reese you make me proud!