Susie Kralovansky, August 2021
I’m honored to celebrate my fellow Ninjas and friends Michelle Medlock Adam’s and Wendy Lanier’s book birthday for PUPPY DOG DEVOTIONS. To commemorate their special day and the fact that we have all written dog books, today will be a double giveaway! One will receive a copy of PUPPY DOG DEVOTIONS, published by New Hope Kidz, and the other will receive my newest, WE REALLY, REALLY WANT A DOG! (more about that below).
My friends, Michelle and Wendy, are both powers to be reckoned with, so let’s get right to it.
Michelle, tell us about how this book came about for you.
I’ve been wanting to do this one for a while. I did a book with Tommy Nelson in 2018 called Dinosaur Devotions: 75 Dino Discoveries, Bible Truths, Fun Facts, and More! Although I wrote it, Wendy helped me brainstorm devotion ideas, took me to Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas, and helped me take photos for promotional use. When that book came out, we both thought it would be great to have a doggy version of it, and this is it!
Wendy, both of our books use dog photographs and illustrations. Had you planned those combinations all along?
From the beginning, Michelle and I knew we wanted to stick to a format similar to her Dinosaur Devotions book. But since this book is through a different publisher, we had a little more leeway. Originally, we hoped my dad would be able to do the dog drawings, too, but we finally settled on the dogs being photos and my dad doing all the spot artwork. My dad will be 90 this fall, so we’re both tickled that he could be part of this process.
Ladies, how did this collaboration come together?
Michelle – Wendy and I have talked about doing a book together for years. And almost every idea we’ve discussed had something to do with dogs. Her involvement with Dinosaur Devotions meant she was familiar with the type of content I was going for, and it seemed like the perfect first project together.
Wendy – Michelle and I have been friends for almost 20 years. We’ve talked about doing a book together many times. We finally hit on the right project at the right time to make it happen. We love Jesus and dogs, so it’s just a natural fit for us.
How did you decide which dogs to include?
We each called dibs on certain dogs right off the bat. Michelle wanted Dachshunds because she has owned at least one for most of her life. Wendy wanted Dalmatians because she and her parents have owned four over the years. From there we each just made a list of dogs we’d like to do and swapped lists to make sure we weren’t repeating any. It still happened though. We had to redo one because we both chose the same dog, but we worked it out.
Thank you, Michelle and Wendy for dropping by!
Thank you, Susie, for the opportunity to chat about our first (hopefully the first of many) book together!
MICHELLE MEDLOCK ADAMS is a bestselling author of more than 100 books, with close to four million books sold, including her award-winning titles, Dinosaur Devotions and Get Your Spirit On!: Devotions for Cheerleaders. Michelle is married to her high school sweetheart, Jeff. They have two married daughters, two grandsons, two granddaughters, a miniature dachshund named Mollie Mae, and a rescue dog named Bella Marie. Follow her at michellemedlockadams.com.
WENDY HINOTE LANIER is a Texan, dog lover, and only child who always wanted a puppy rather than a brother or sister. She is a former elementary teacher who writes and speaks for children and adults on a variety of topics and is the author of more than 50 books for children.
Susie here: As for my new dog book, I’m paws-itively thrilled with how We Really, Really Want a Dog! (Pelican Publishing) has been received. This lighthearted read-aloud describes a trip to the animal shelter to find that just-right family pet. Sidebars and back matter provide young readers with information on choosing and raising their dog. And, a donation will be made to animal shelters for every book sold.
To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment by September 1st, and I’ll pick three winners at random.
By Lisa Amstutz
“Do I need an agent?” I’m often asked this question by aspiring authors who are ready to start querying. It’s a good question. And the answer is…well, it depends.
It is certainly possible to sell your work directly to publishers – plenty of writers find success this way, and some prefer the DIY method. Most smaller houses are open to unagented submissions. You can also connect with editors from larger houses at conferences, Twitter pitch events, etc. So an agent is not strictly necessary.
Furthermore, if you’re self-publishing, writing articles, or doing work-for-hire projects, there is really no role for an agent in the process. And if your book is mainly of local interest or on a very niche topic, it will be difficult to interest an agent. You’ll want to look for a small press that will be a good fit and submit your work directly. The same holds true if you only plan to write one book.
However, if your goal is to build a writing career in the trade market, an agent can be very helpful. An agent can open doors for you and get your manuscript a closer look. They may help you edit your work. They will handle submissions and contracts so you can focus on other things. Overall, an agent is a business partner who provides advice, support, and vision for your writing career. And that may be exactly what you are looking for.
The truth is, though, that even getting an agent is no guarantee of success. Ultimately, writing success boils down to some combination of skill, tenacity, timing, and luck. So if you’re still in the query trenches, don’t let that hold you back. Keep learning and writing and putting your work out into the world. And agent or no agent, I have no doubt you will succeed!
Lisa Amstutz is the author of ~150 children’s books and an associate literary agent with Storm Literary Agency.
By Wendy Hinote Lanier
This is the fifth installment of a series of posts about five types of nonfiction based on the work of Melissa Stewart (we’ve already addressed the first four). Today’s post is about the fifth type: browseable nonfiction.
(Side note: The spelling of browseable appears to be fluid. I’ve checked several sources. But, for the purposes of this post, I’ve chosen to use the one from Melissa Stewart’s new book The Five Kinds of Nonfiction.)
As a former elementary teacher, I have often noted that browseable nonfiction is especially appealing to reluctant or struggling readers. This is probably due to a format that offers tons of photos and illustrations, short blocks of text, and lets the reader skip around without losing any meaning. It’s great for reading and discussion with a reading buddy. And, while the writing style is generally expository, it packs a lot of information into small bite-sized bits.
Ninja favs in this category include the following:
Tim Flannery’s Weird, Wild, Amazing! books cover such topics as animals, forests, and oceans. Each page is packed with questions, amazing facts, and information about animals on land and in the sea. Colorful drawings depict creatures from around the world. And the conversational text reveals little known facts about well-known animals while introducing the reader to some they’ve never heard of before.
The Bible Explorer’s Guide by Nancy I. Sanders allows readers to get up close and personal with everyday life during Bible times through photos, maps, and illustrations of the people, places, and buildings of the Bible. Brief text and full-color photos reveal what the people and events of the Bible were really like.
Anna Claybourne’s 100 Most series are another Ninja favorite. The topics included are just the sort that kids love since the gross and/or fear factors are pretty high. Amazing photographs depict natural and man-made wonders—each with an awesome rating that ranges from “cool” to “completely awesome.”
We are nonfiction authors who support readers and writers through our writing, author visits, and workshops.
The Nonfiction Ninjas are a group of writers with diverse ideas and a strong belief in The First Amendment. The views expressed in each post are those of the author and may differ from others in the group.