“Whoosh!” Research and texting with Lonnie Johnson


So in this installment, I’ll talk about research for the book Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions, written by Chris Barton. For research, I wanted to interview Mr. Lonnie Johnson. I had so many visual questions. But for awhile, I didn’t think I would be able to talk to him. I tried calling and sending […]

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Illustrating Lonnie Johnson’s story, Whoosh!


Sometime in the early 2000s, I received an email from writer Chris Barton inviting me to lunch. That meeting began a friendship that would last well into the future and result in the collaboration of two picture books. Our first collaboration, The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch (Eerdmans, 2015), published last April, 2015. Today marks the […]

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Photo Report: Ezra Jack Keats Book Awards ceremony


Last week, I had the honor of accepting the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award for new writer, for my book POET: THE REMARKABLE STORY OF GEORGE MOSES HORTON. The awards ceremony was held at the University of Southern Mississippi, as a part of the 49th Annual Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival. It was a […]

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2016 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award


I’m pleased to announce that I am a winner of the 30th Annual Ezra Jack Keats Book Award for my book POET: THE REMARKABLE STORY OF GEORGE MOSES HORTON. “You are the first!” said Deborah Pope, Executive Director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, “to win an EJK Honor and the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award.” Three years ago when […]

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Pre-#NY16SCBWI Interview: James Ransome


I can’t believe it, 2016 is in full swing and #NY16SBCWI is only three weeks away. This conference looks to be so much fun, I just can’t wait. In fact, I didn’t wait. I reached out to award-winning illustrator and author James Ransome, who will be on faculty there and asked him a few questions. Ransome has […]

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Pre-#NY16SCBWI Interview: Sophie Blackall


Dear Illustrators, Haven’t decided whether to attend the 17th Annual SCBWI Winter Conference in NYC or not? Well, here’s a reason to sign up today: beloved illustrator Sophie Blackall will be on faculty leading a pre-conference illustration intensive. Now don’t procrastinate any longer, go sign up! Blackall is a Brooklyn-based Australian artist who has illustrated […]

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Pre-#NY16SCBWI Interview: David Saylor


Here it is, the week of Christmas, when I should be decking halls and wrapping gifts. But I love my job, so the fa-la-la-la-la will just have to wait. Instead, I’m conducting a pre-#NY16SCBWI interview with a super cool conference faculty member. Luckily, David Saylor was totally game, this last second (quite literally) before his holiday break. I guess […]

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Freedom Tour Austin Launch

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Last month, I launched my book, POET: THE REMARKABLE STORY OF GEORGE MOSES HORTON, in the North Carolina area, under the banner of the Freedom Tour: A Children’s Literature Book Tour. Last weekend, I bought the tour home to Austin, with a celebration at the George Washington Carver Museum. I was honored to be joined […]

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While visiting schools last week in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, I asked students why authors have book launches. Their answers varied. “Because they like parties,” they answered, and “Well, why not?” My answer: because creating a book is not easy, and when it finally publishes, authors need to celebrate that milestone. Last week in the North Carolina “triangle” area, I did […]

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Eric Rohmann: The Pre-#LA15SCBWI Conference Interview


For my next and final #LA15SCBWI pre-conference interview, I had the pleasure of interviewing Caldecott-winning author and illustrator, Eric Rohmann. I first met Eric and his marvelously talented wife, author Candace Fleming, at a Texas Library Association conference. Since then, I’ve come to know Eric and Candace as two of the nicest and most generous […]

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