Interview: Terry Pierce

I recently “sat down” with author-illustrator Julianne Black for an interview at The Book Turnip! Please check out the interview and the treasure of children’s book-related posts on her blog. Cheers!

Book Turnip

I got a chance to catch up with superstar Terry Pierce about her new release My Busy Green Garden! Terry has several published books out, two coming soon and  (fingers crossed) another manuscript going through the acceptance process right now. Her contact links are below the interview – definitely check out her work!

MBGG (My Busy Green Garden) is full of wonder! The intricacies of all the critters going about their routines plus the engaging rhythms of the story make it a joy to read at bed time. When creating it, do you ever read the work-in-progress text aloud to children?

First, thank you for the interview, Julie! It’s always a pleasure to talk about children’s books and writing. And what a great first question to answer. While I’m writing a picture book I always read the story aloud (as I write it) because picture booksare

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Blue Sky White Stars, the book journey

Author Sarvinder Naberhaus shares the journey of her new book, BLUE SKY, WHITE STARS. Every book has its own unique journey and this one is no different. Plus, Sarvinder shares her personal experience in working on the revisions. Enjoy!

EMU's Debuts

My journey with this book started with getting my agent. I had given Joan several of my manuscripts and was excited when she called and took me as a client. 

She sent Blue Sky to my editor, and when Lucia saw this manuscript, she asked if she could call me.Of course I was very excited!  I had just gotten a few rejections and I was planning on revising it. Lucia had a vision for this book right from the start. It was really her vision that brought it all together.

Of course that vision included Kadir Nelson as the illustrator. When I went to his website and looked at his artwork (this was before I knew who Lucia had in mind), it hit me that he was the perfect artist for this book, with his rich blues and deep browns. He has also done books that contained several of the…

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After the Ecstasy, the Editing

Author Christina Uss offers some insight into “Mind Games Writers Play On Ourselves” after getting that first book deal.

EMU's Debuts

Everything editors, agents, and authors have told me at SCBWI conferences has turned out to be true, particularly the things I didn’t believe would be true for me.

For example, I’ve been told that getting a book deal will not magically transform me into a permanently satisfied, optimistic, and resilient human.  When SCBWI folks said stuff like that, I remember thinking, “Oh, I’m sure that’s true for the other pre-published writers here, but not me. Once I get a book deal, I may still be an easily-exhausted anxiety-prone weirdo, but then I’ll be that weirdo WITH A BOOK DEAL AND THAT WILL MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE.”

Nope. Sigh.

After the ecstasy of getting “the call” in 2016 from my darling agent and connecting with my talented editor to begin the publication journey for my debut middle-grade novel, I expected to wallow in utter contentment for a long time. Years of…

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Summer Is Coming and It’s Time to Write!

The UCLA Extension Summer catalog has recently come out! This summer, the Writers’ Program is offering two courses in writing for young readers:

Writing Picture Books for Children: A Beginning Workshop, taught by Sherry Shahan (online course).

Writing the Young Adult Novel, taught by Lilliam Rivera (on-campus course).

For a complete list of all writing and journalism courses being offered, click HERE!



NaPiBoWriWeek–My Turn!

Today marks the halfway point in Paula Yoo’s NaPiBoWriWee, and it also happens to be my turn as a Guest Author. So, here’s the tease…Want to learn something about me that only a handful of people know? (seriously, only my family knows this and some of them even raise an eyebrow at it).

Read my interview on Paula Yoo’s NaPiBoWriWee blog. I’m also chatting with participants so stop on by!


Using a Mentor Text to Figure Out Picture Book Plotting

Laura Purdie Salas gives an excellent demonstration on how to use a “mentor text” on her blog. Enjoy!

Mentors for Rent

All of my trade published picture books are either nonfiction, poetry, or a mash-up of the two. I want to write fiction picture books, too, but I struggle with plot/structure. Over the past year or so, I’ve analyzed many fiction picture books and typed out a bunch of my favorites, too, hoping to absorb their secrets to success. I was trying to use them as mentor texts by osmosis, I guess. (“Mentor text” is a term from the education world for a text that you use as an example for some element of writing that you ask your students to study and then incorporate. If you go to my website at and type in “mentor text” in the search box, you’ll find some other things I’ve said about using mentor texts in writing.) But osmosis just wasn’t working.

Recently, I tried something new. I literally used a picture book…

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