Wednesday, April 11, 2018

This Is Us by Patricia Keeler

Together we grew stronger. 

SUNDAY, APRIL 15 at 11 AM 
100 Bloomfield Street in Hoboken
we celebrate with three new books from DRAWN TO PICTURE BOOK group

Dreams come true! They do!

Working together made us stronger.

Like Barbara DiLorenzo's 
we struggled to fit in.



Like Deborah Cuneo's 
we resisted change.


Like Patricia Keeler's 
we found change and growth inevitable.

And then it happened!


Thank you friends for helping us all by critiquing—but also for organizing conferences and workshops where we could make contacts, all the likes and sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the childcare and cooking, tech support, and that smile of encouragement you always gave. What an amazing community you are!

Facebook:  PatriciaKeelerBooks
Twitter: @patriciakeeler
Instagram: @patriciakeelerbooks

represented by Liza Royce Agency

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Power of (Book) Friends - By Barbara DiLorenzo

Our group in this blog, Drawn to Picture Books, consists of two men and four women. We are friends as well as critique partners. But we all also belong to other groups as well. Some of us have local art groups, or writing groups consisting of members spread across the globe. I used to Skype regularly with a writer in Brooklyn, one in Germany, and another in South Africa. We are members of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and CBIG (Children's Book Illustration Group). We seek out the advice of our peers, those above us, with more experience, and those folks new to the process with a fresh eye.

Basically, we network. 

And yet–most of us will tell you that social connection does not come as naturally as it looks on the surface. We be shy! 

So why struggle to make new friends and connections when writing and submitting is a solitary experience? Why listen to the very friendly Lin Oliver at an SCBWI conference when she tells you, from behind the podium, to reach out and connect with others? I remember hearing her say that in 2009, 2012 and 2014 in NYC. I thought it couldn't possibly be as important as she made it sound. But she is charming, sweet and funny. How could I not try her advice?  

At each conference or event, I might make one or two friends. Sometimes those friendships thrived online. And sometimes they developed into critique partners. Becoming part of this blog was an organic process with SCBWI friends picked up by Deb Cuneo along the way. She really pulled the group together! 

We shared our work, occasionally met up after a CBIG or SCBWI meeting, talked on the phone, and texted when we just needed help. We've been a group for a while now–and though we don't operate with the same organization that we did in the beginning–we are all such good friends, we just like to stay connected. 

So what is the point of all this connection?

It's so hard to see up close, in the moment. I wanted to be published immediately and thought friendship was too slow to make a dent in my goals. But today, I look back and see that each and every person that I shared work with, that also shared work with me, helped me to get here: two books published within a year. That could be luck or a fluke. But of the six members, two of us have books that launched on the very same day (April 3, 2018). And one more member had a book launch two weeks before us. 

3 out of 6 people in our group launched a book within the same two weeks. 50% of our group. Published by traditional publishers. Within two weeks. 

I'm not mathematically inclined, but I do think that speaks to the power of connection within a group of like-minded people constantly striving to improve their craft. 

The three of us plan to celebrate together at Little City Books in Hoboken on Sunday, April 15th, 2018 at 11am. Stop by and say hello! There will be games, and drawing, and cookies and fun. But mostly, you will be making one more connection that might make a difference in your own journey!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Public Speaking... YIKES! By Mike Ciccotello

I can trace my fear of public speaking back to my sixth grade student council elections. As I walked up to the podium, I tripped and fell over a bunch of metal folding chairs. My heart started pounding. I was so embarrassed. I barely got through my speech. The same year, my mind went blank during my piano recital. I could only get through the first stanza of music. After three attempts, I got up, walked away from the piano and started crying my eyes out. Those two incidents set the stage for my fear of being singled out in front of a crowd. 

It's not a comfortable thing to watch. I start talking and inevitably my voice cracks. My eyes glaze over as I stare blankly into the audience, and then my arms start shaking. 

Last year, I insisted on getting over this fear. It took many conversations with friends and loved ones. This past year, I ran a workshop for NJ SCBWI, I hosted a Lunch and Learn at Johnson & Johnson headquarters, I spoke at my county library, and I did a full day school visit for 300 children. I decided that the only way I was going to get over it was to keep doing it. I will be the first to tell you, its not easy, but it's getting better. 

On Thursday and Friday this week, I'll be leading four Character Design workshops for the NJ Teen Arts Festival, hosted by Monmouth County Arts Organization at Brookdale Community College. I'm somewhere between excited and terrified. 

I'm not too worried about the speaking part, I just hope to connect with the kids, and let them know that nurturing their talent and following their dreams is absolutely worth it. 

Don't Let Go, by Mike Ciccotello

Represented by Rachel Orr
For more info contact 

Instagram: @ciccotello 
Twitter: @ciccotello 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

It Really Does Take a Village - By Deborah Cuneo

Little Dragon and the New Baby/Back Cover - Sky Pony Press March 20th 2018

To say that the journey to publication has been somewhat of a roller-coaster ride, would be a complete understatement!  Being totally honest, at times, it took every ounce of my being to be able to continue forward. 

Fortunately, I have had the best support system in my family and friends, my faith, my crit group and special people, who have known me since I started the journey into Kid Lit, who virtually held my hand while listening to me sobbing endlessly, as my deadline approached and my computer completely choked, destroying more than half of my final art files. There is a piece of each one of them in this book. 

Little Dragon and the New Baby/Interior - Sky Pony Press March 20th 2018

And on the other side of the desk, there was the amazing editor, who saw something in my scribbly little storyboard I presented at one of the always awesome NJ-SCBWI conferences. She believed in me and my vision enough to take this on, even though it was a risk.  And as she passed the baton, each one of the editors and support staff that I've had the pleasure of working with, also had a supportive hand during the course of this project, sometimes during some of the toughest hurdles in the production. 

I always thought that I would just sit down and draw and presto...a book, but it's really not like that at all. Each and every one of the people I mentioned, all played an important role in how this came to be. There is no way it could have happened without their involvement, and I'm truly grateful for them all!

So ... on behalf of myself and my "village", I'd like to present OUR debut book...

  Now Available for Pre-order!

(Click on the link below to Sky Pony's page for more information) 

Blog: Creating Out Loud
Twitter: @debcuneoart 
 Instagram: @ataleof2studios

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Keep Creating by Diana Ting Delosh

"Don't think about making art, just get it done.
Let everyone else decide whether it's good or bad, 
whether they love it or hate it. 
While they're deciding, make even more art." 
- Andy Warhol  

I don't know about you, but if I get a good review, I'm floating up high and if it's bad, I'm down in a dung heap. Either way, I'm temporarily derailed. With the good review, I feel validated and I'm soon back to making more stuff.  A bad review makes me question my instincts and along with the insecurity comes paralysis. 
Sleeping Giraffe © Diana Ting Delosh.
Experimenting with my art process.
The trick of course is to keep creating despite the critics. After all, you can't control other people's thoughts or tastes. Whether they're positive or constructive or pure negative, it's all fleeting. One day you're a FAVE. The next day you're not. Your work can be daring, bold, trail blazing. Some people will love it. Others will hate it. For whatever you create there will always be an opinion; good, bad, even meh. And it's always changing. Absorb what's helpful. Move on. Keep creating.
Rabbit's Tomato Red Rain Boots © Diana Ting Delosh.
Another art process experiment. Is it FRESH? Is it ME? 

Twitter: dtdelosh

For your picture book storyboarding process
Check out: 
The BIG ThumbNailer

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Preorder SCOOP & Choose A Free Gift! by Patricia Keeler

It's annoying to Preorder SCOOP THE ICE CREAM TRUCK and then to wait a month or more to receive it. Therefore, preorder giveaways! A treat to get in the mail while you wait for SCOOP!


Square buttons with attitude that read Be Opinionated! Comes on a ribbon with a postcard too! I kind of love them. I have a lot of these!

GREETING CARDS - limited addition

Here is a collection of greeting cards with envelopes. They have art front and back, and quotes inside from some of my favorite children's book authors from the past. Six cards in the package measure 7" x 5".




Giving away original art may seem like a big deal, but most of my early drawings are on tracing paper and full of smudges. It feels kind of cool to sign the sketches and send them to a new home. I'd have to pick the sketch as each is unique, but you could choose either Spunky or Scoop.  
Image measures 5" x 6"        ©patriciakeeler

To Preorder on Amazon type in SCOOP THE ICE CREAM TRUCK in the top bar. When SCOOP comes up, tap the Preorder button on the right and checkout! You won't get SCOOP for a month yet, but your publisher's giveaway will arrive soon!

After choosing a gift from above 

message me from Facebook 
or email me at 
with your snail mail address.



Three of us in Drawn To Picture Books have books being released this Spring. Whoo hoo! Barbara DiLorenzo, Quincy: The Chameleon Who Couldn't Blend In (Little Bee Books), Deborah Cuneo, Little Dragon and the New Baby (Sky Pony Press) and Scoop The Ice Cream Truck (Sky Pony Press)!

We're having our launch party together at Little City Books in Hoboken— my New Jersey hometown—at 11 am, April 15! You are all invited! More info coming soon.

Facebook:  PatriciaKeelerBooks
Twitter: @patriciakeeler
Instagram: @patriciakeelerbooks

represented by Liza Royce Agency