Tag Archives: Smelling Sunshine

My Television Interview: How To Make A Children’s Book

Recently I had the opportunity to challenge myself by accepting an invitation to discuss my career as an artist and author on the live local television show, Darlene Carman Presents.  The interview is now on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i77skI2ca-w

My first impulse was to say no to the invitation, too intimidating. So instead, I said yes! I am glad I did because it was a great experience.

discussing a page from my picture book Smelling Sunshine with Darlene and Doug Carman on their cable access TV show; Darlene Carman

Darlene Carman, Doug Carman, and I on their television show, Darlene Carman Presents, discussing my picture book, Smelling Sunshine

From participating in the show I learned:

  • How a television interview is put together -  Darlene’s approach is an exchange of information between the presenter and the interviewer; prior to the interview, Darlene and I communicated through email, exchanging ideas as she gathered information about my career.
  • How to help shape and prepare for a live interview – I gave Darlene as much information as she requested about my career, and she put together questions for the interview which worked as a guideline for my appearance;  I knew what we would be discussing.
Discussing how I illustrated a  page from Smelling Sunshine

A page I illustrated from my picture book, Smelling Sunshine

  • What the people involved in filming the show do, and what a great sense of comradely they share; there are multiple cameras for different angle shots and a floor ‘manager’ to conduct the show and keep track of timing; a friendly atmosphere pervades.
  • What a constructive force the Carman’s are for getting information out to the public – go through their YouTube shows, and you’ll notice their diverse interests; interviews include artist and naturalist John Muir Laws, writer Liz Cunningham, and wildlife photographer Elaine Bond.
Darlene Carman and I talking about the teddy bear page in Smelling Sunshine

Darlene Carman and I talking about the teddy bear page in Smelling Sunshine

  •  How to stop my mind from inventing self defeating stories, and allow an experience that is filmed at the moment unfold – preparation and meditation was the key; I had fun and enjoyed myself.

Find the interview on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i77skI2ca-w or look on You Tube: Darlene Carman Presents, How To Make A Children’s Book. I hope you enjoy the interview and learn something about how to make a children’s book.

Holding up an illustration from my new picture book, A Stick Until (Star bright Books, 2017)

An illustration from my new picture book, A Stick Until (Star Bright Books, 2017)

Smelling Sunshine: book release!

Smelling Sunshine: book release!


Smelling Sunshine, the picture book that I wrote and illustrated, published by Star Bright Books, has just been released! Smelling Sunshine is a story that creates a path through various cultures by describing one world doing an ordinary chore of hanging laundry that becomes extraordinary in its personal nighttime comfort. Kirkus Review said,…when it comes to domestic chores, hanging laundry is about as universal as it gets, and the activity is presented here as an intimate, positive experience for parent and child to share.

So check it out!  And think about supporting your independent bookstore; indie bookstores build community in your community http://www.indiebound.org/ You can also order from the publisher http://www.starbrightbooks.org/details.php?id=411or from amazon http://amzn.com/1595726365

Find out more about how Smelling Sunshine was made by clicking on The Next Thing Blog Tour, here on this blog page.

If you live in the Bay Area, join me:

·         Saturday, November 9th, 12:00 PM at Depot Bookstore in Mill Valley, 415-383-2665 for a booksigning http://www.depotbookstore.com/


Saturday, February 1st, 11:00 AM at Mrs. Dalloway’s Bookstore in Berkeley, 510- 740-8222 http://www.mrsdalloways.com/for a presentation and book signing.
Discover the difference between a rough sketch and a finished illustration, and find out more about how a picture book is made. Listen to a reading of
Smelling Sunshine and pick up a free bookmark!

Hope to see you soon. Happy reading.







The Next Big Thing Blog Tour

I was asked by artist illustrator Sara Kahn to participate in The Next Big Thing Blog Tour, which highlights authors and/or illustrators and their latest  books. You can see Sara’s luminous watercolor illustrations and read her interesting blog tour post from May 16, here. My blog will answer questions asked of all the participants in the blog tour and tell you something about my book, Smelling Sunshine, which will be published in September, 2013. So here we go!

What is the title of your soon to be published book?

The title is Smelling Sunshine.SmellingSunshineCover The laundry lines on the book cover give a hint of the subject.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The book draws upon my experience as a child hanging laundry in my backyard with my mom and siblings. mommy me spread pg 12 & 13 copyWhat genre is your book?

Smelling Sunshine is a picture book for young children. However, I know adults who enjoy reading the book because it recalls a fond experience in their childhood.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Smelling Sunshine would have a cast of international actors since it is a multi-cultural story.

on washing day page 3 spread children revision 3 copy

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Smelling Sunshine is a story that creates a path through various cultures by describing one world doing an ordinary chore of hanging laundry that becomes extraordinary in its personal nighttime comfort.

Who is publishing your book?

Star Bright Books

How long did it take you to write your book? And how long did it take to complete the illustrations?

The idea was percolating for several years before I wrote the first draft which took a month. Then it went through many edits, all with the encouragement of my illustrator/ writer’s group. As the author and illustrator of Smelling Sunshine, I found it helpful to illustrate and write simultaneously, and as a result I made hundreds of charcoal drawings. The final paintings took about six months.

sm sun pg3-30 copy

sm sun floats like a sheet copy





laughing birds with laundry copy

page 1E bird talk 150

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Because Smelling Sunshine does not have a protagonist, I would compare its narrative style to The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

We tend to think of ourselves, our lives, as separate from others. I wanted to show a connection among people from diverse backgrounds. Hanging laundry with someone you love is a simple, shared task everywhere. Compassionate understanding can start with something this elemental.

page 1A courtyard laundry

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

Finding out what the smell of sunshine is and how it is recalled at the end of the day is at the heart of the book. My illustration technique may also be of interest; I use paint and paper in the illustrations that I call collage paintings. I make my own papers and use found materials.

Who is participating next on The Next Big Thing Blog Tour?

yosemite songster book reduced A week from today, May 30, the blog tour features Daniel San Souci, illustrator of the beautifully illustrated picture book, Yosemite’s Songster, One Coyote’s Story, and the author, Ginger Wadsworth. Ginger wraps up the factual information about coyotes in a great story. It’s a wonderful book. You can find Daniel at www.danielsansouci.com and Ginger at www.gingerwadsworth.com



Thanks for stopping by The Next Big Thing Blog Tour.