So much has happened since I last wrote ten long months ago!
I signed with agent Kelly Dyksterhouse at The Tobias Literary Agency AND I have a book coming out with The Minnesota Historical Society Press in the Fall of 2025. How to Draw a Tree is written by David LaRochelle and illustrated by meeeeeeeeee!!!!!
I am so excited for this book. Trees are one of my favorite things to draw and this whole book is about trees. It’s been so much fun doing research and deciding on which trees to include. I have so many favorites, so this has been harder than it sounds.
For those who have followed along. And for those who listen to me talk about picture books, writing and illustrating endlessly, guess what? There’s even more of that to come! :) It has been 15 years of hard work to get my career to this point. Perseverance and hard work have been just as important as the skills I have developed over the years.
My first SCBWI conference about 12 years ago, there were several lecturers who talked about going slow and taking your time. Nothing happens quickly was mentioned several times. Back then, I was thinking maybe a year? Two at the most? Ha! I wonder if I would have moved on to something else if I had known it would be another 12 years.
But you know what? I needed those 12 years. I started out illustrating and over time realized that I really enjoyed writing stories too. So I painted and I wrote. I took classes in both art and writing. I entered contests. I attended conferences. I made great new friends. I joined critique groups. I kept writing. I kept illustrating. I kept submitting. Rejections flooded in. But after a few years, I was getting “good” rejections. Then better rejections. I kept working and submitting. Then there was a point a couple of years ago when I could feel like I was close. I knew my work was getting better. I pushed myself and was surprised at what I was producing. I could see the results of all that hard work paying off.
Soon enough, other people saw it too. Kelly and I connected through a friend, and my social media posts paid off and resulted in a book contract.
I feel so lucky to have signed with the best agent in the world!!!! She’s the perfect combination of feedback and encouragement. Kelly has worked so hard for me in the last ten months. I’m so excited about our projects and overall plan for the future.
How to Draw a Tree- written by the amazing David LaRochelle will be out in 2025 by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. I’m currently hard at work on sketches and research. I am so grateful for this opportunity!
And now after all the time and all the work…I am working even harder than before!
Keep writing! Keep drawing! Keep working!
It may take 15 years but eventually it does payoff.