Picture books possess a light, energy, and hope for opening the doors of knowledge and life to young children. And their authors have a passion to share just that.
Today's picture book author loves creating stories and writing, but not just books. He's also a lyricist, who's work appears in many areas of music from rock to country. So make sure you check out his bio at the end.
Description: This illustrated books tells a poetic story from a six year old's viewpoint. His mother worries too much in his opinion, until they go on a shopping trip and he gets a real appreciation for just how right his mom is.
Excerpt: She watches me with eagle eyes
Like I’m a treasured jewel
She cramps my style, oh man alive
“MOM, THIS JUST AIN’T COOL”
I'd like to thank the author for supplying me with an eCopy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
BRING ALONG +2
My Splats: This story is a sweet exchange between a boy and his mother. He's assuring her that he'll be okay and that he can handle what comes his way. The main character sounds confident and proud that he can tell his momma not to worry. It's quite cute. But when his world takes a turn and his momma's nowhere to be found, he must use a lesson his momma taught him to make things right.
The tale is told in rhyme and is accompanied by nicely done illustrations that appropriately advance the tale.
Now, let's meet the author.
Hi Louie! It's great to have you here. Let's begin with an intro to Louie the Younger. Were you a reader or creator as a young child?
Yes, I read many picture books in my early elementary school years. I recall that in 3rd grade I read this book about this boy who designed Alaska's state flag. I think his name was Benny. I was so taken by that story that I hand-printed the entire book.
Do you think (the answer above) contributed to your desire to create stories as an adult and how?
In 3rd grade a friend and I would write humorous stories about classmates. We wouldn't show them to anyone. In 4th grade we started writing stories about "Gerty the Pig." Our classmates loved them. As an adult, in the 1990s I wrote a more elaborate story and "Gerty the Pig" was published. It's in many schools across the country in the National Accelerated Readers Program. Unfortunately the book didn't have much of a retail presence. I have written 4 more. I would love for a series to develop but that's a long shot. I don't know if reading led to me writing. I would have to guess that it did. I think imagination and the need to be funny played a huge part.
What made you start writing picture books as opposed to older kidlit or adult lit?
I think I'm best at short form. I also write lyrics which is another short form of writing. It's possible I have one long form work in me and I do have the concept but not right now.
We all know about the eBook explosion that started a few years back. Now, MOMMA DON'T YOU WORRY has been released in ebook form. I'm really intrigued about how this differs from traditional picture book releases in paper form. Would you mind explaining the process such as submitting, editing with an ebook editor & illustrator, releasing, marketing, etc...?
Well, I submit my works via email. Many publishers accept them this way. "Momma Don't You Worry" didn't require editing, although I made some last minute changes before release that I think made it even better. Rick Radliff is the illustrator. I live in Wisconsin. He's a childhood friend who lives in Seattle. He illustrated Gerty too. So, I was happy that he did this one too! As far as marketing, this is the tough part.
A very tough part. Many reviewers won't review ebooks. However, I am finding reviewers. I want to continue to find more. To me, unless you're an established author or a celebrity, you have a very slim chance of having a successful book unless it gets reviewed. The odds are not with an author that a reader will rummage through stacks of books in a book store and discover your book. Or for that matter, scroll through books online and see it. Of course, I have let my Facebook friends know about it, but of course that's limited. I just hope that people will spread the word. The responses I have received reviewers have been extremely positive. They like the message of the book and the cute rhymes.
Lastly, what are your future writing plans?
Well, I will continue to write lyrics. Some co-written children's songs will be released down the road. I also write rock, hip hop and folk lyrics. The latest was a folk rock song entitled "One More Father's Son" which is about a homeless veteran. I wrote it with DL Byron who sings it. It's on his album "Satori." DL won a Grammy for Pat Benatar's hit "Shadows of the Night." I really enjoy writing. I constantly get stuck but unstick myself quickly.
Thanks you for joining us, Louie! Best of luck with future picture book writing as well as all that song writing. Very cool...
Louie Lawent is the author of the picture book "Gerty The Pig" which is in schools across the United States. The book is part of the National Accelerated Readers Program. He is also a lyricist with his works featured on rock, country and children's releases. His co-written song "One More Father's Son" is on Grammy award-winning D.L. Byron's latest CD "Satori." He co-wrote "Slippery Forces" with Boz Boorer which appears on Boz's CD "Some of the Parts." Louie co-wrote 10 children' songs with Steve Goodie which are featured on Steve's "Refrigerator Art" CD. Also, he co-wrote "Worms In The Can, Wieners On The Bun" on Canadian children's recording artist Erick Traplin's CD "A Little More." Louie is an avid Green Bay Packers fan and enjoys table tennis. You can find Louie on FACEBOOK.