Welcome Janet Halfman. She is sharing writing tips and has great books like Fur and Feathers and Good Night Little Sea Otter.
How long have you been writing?
Have you always written for children?
No, but my dream of writing for children was born long ago—when I was in my early-20’s and home with our first child soon after graduating from Michigan State University with degrees in English and Spanish. I took a correspondence course in children’s writing, and I was hooked! I had some success freelancing for children’s magazines, like Ranger Rick, but I wanted to make a living writing, so I went back to college and got another degree in journalism. That led to three years as a daily newspaper reporter in Wichita, Kansas. From there, our family moved to Wisconsin so I could help start a magazine for children who live in the country, called Country Kids. Following that, I went to Golden Books, where for twelve years I created coloring and activity books for all kinds of characters—the Lion King, Mickey Mouse, Poky Little Puppy, Bugs Bunny, Spiderman, etc. When a new owner moved all of Golden Books’ operations to New York City, I decided to strike out on my own and write children’s books, my original dream.
What drives and motivates you?
I enjoy writing and playing with words. I also am very curious and like to find out more about things that pique my interest, such as nature and history.
What advice do you have for new writers?
Read, read, read, the kind of books you want to write.
Write, write, write, every day if possible.
Revise, revise, revise, until every word sings.
When you feel every word in your manuscript sings, research markets to see who publishes your kind of project and send it off. Then forget about it and start something new.
Also, write about what you enjoy. Join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and get involved in their state or regional group. You can learn so much by going to writing conferences, workshops, or chatting with other writers in person or in online writing groups.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Since I’m already a grandma and living my dream rather late in life, I hope in five years I have the energy and good health to keep doing what I love.
Here are some other links that may be helpful:
Janet’s website: http://www.janethalfmann.com
Laurie’s website: http://www.lauriekleinart.com
Sylvan Dell Publishing’s Fur and Feathers page: http://www.sylvandellpublishing.combookpage.php?id=FurFeathers
Star Bright Books Good Night, Little Sea Otter page: http://www.starbrightbooks.orgdetails.php?id=300