I am absolutely floored by this review of The Denim Jungle I just received from the 24th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Books Awards.
And it couldn’t come at a better time. Last week was the one-year anniversary of finally having my book (MY book!) in my hands, and tomorrow is the sixth anniversary of losing Sue, who inspired me to make it. To say it’s a bittersweet time of year would be a profound understatement.
I miss you, Sue. Thank you for being you. Thank you for motivating me (and so many others) to imagine and commit and create. Thank you for giving me this connection to you. But most of all, thank you for helping me be the kind of mom who can show her kids that dreams can be made reality with hard work and heart.
24th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
Entry Title: The Denim Jungle
Category: Children’s Picture books
Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding.”
- Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5
- Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
- Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
- Plot and Story Appeal: 5
- Character Appeal and Development: 5
- Voice and Writing Style: 5
Visually stunning and engaging, designed for multiple reads that will reveal new details each time. Author has put a lot of excellent thought and work into designing this book with multimedia elements, creating visually pleasing pages to delight the young reader and older reader alike. Author scores with a terrific premise Continue reading
Who wants to join me in a happy dance? I just discovered The Denim Jungle has its first blog review.
At which point I pretty much did this…
From Loralee Leavitt of CandyExperiements.com:
“A new picture book invites parents everywhere to get down to kid level and look at the world their children see. In The Denim Jungle, a child explores a forest of blue-jeaned grown-up legs, as ordinary objects magically become exciting.
Angela Taylor Hylland’s easy verse feels like natural conversation, quite an accomplishment for a debut author.
“This fun little book reminded me how important Continue reading
In this week’s installment of book progress: building a beta reader dream team.
What is a beta reader? A person who reads a book before publication and offers feedback. Although beta readers can be professional editors or writers, they don’t need to be. More importantly…
Pick someone who is:
1. Interested in your project, whether as a friend, spouse, cause supporter, beneficiary, mentor, teacher, etc.
2. Brutally honest. You don’t need “yes men” who will pat you on the back and withhold valid critique. You need people you can trust to rip your manuscript to shreds, if need be. If they don’t do the ripping, I can guarantee you that less supportive readers will. Continue reading
Yep, you heard me right. Criticism is awesome. It may go against our very nature and need for acceptance, but “attaboys” don’t really get us anywhere. If anything, they give us a false sense of security and a tendency to relax and let things happen as they will.
Great things don’t happen as they will.
Have you read this article by game designer Raph Koster? I instantly recognized several themes, not just from my game playtesting days at Cranium, but also as a writer, entrepreneur, and mom.
Though you really should read the whole thing, I know you’re busy, so here are the crib notes: