Hello readers and welcome to Kid Lit Village! I’m glad you stopped by today. On Mondays, I do interviews with authors and illustrators, featuring their work. This week, we have Kate Allen Fox with her debut picture book, PANDO, A Living Wonder of Trees. The book is illustrated by Turine Tran and published by Capstone. Kate’s book is a perfect fit for the Kid Lit Village blog with nature theme.
About the Book Pando: A Living Wonder of Trees is an inspiring tribute to Pando, a grove of quaking Aspen trees connected by their roots to form one of the world’s oldest and largest living things. Author Kate Allen Fox engages readers’ senses to help convey the challenges Pando faces and illustrate how we all can be part of the solution. With lyrical poetry, Fox summarizes the science, action, and compassion needed to save this wonder of nature.
About the author Kate Allen Fox is a children’s author and nature lover. After a career as a public health professional, she combined her passions for research and writing and began writing picture books about science and nature. Her debut picture book, Pando: A Living Wonder of Trees, will be published by Capstone in 2021. Her writing has appeared in several publications, including The New York Times.
Hello, Kate and welcome to Kid Lit Village blog! Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions.
Q. Tell us why you write books for children.
A. Picture books are a unique art form containing breathtaking visual art, poetry, narratives—all in under 1000 words.
They connect children and their caregivers, teach kids to read, teach them about kindness, respect, and love. When I was a very new mom figuring out how to be with my son, books gave me a way to be a mom to him. And, I still think there’s no better feeling in the world than when a child settles next to you for a story.
Kate, I know what you mean. I have fond memories of reading to my children when they were little.
Q. Share a piece of advice for children’s writers.
A. Keep experimenting and trying new things until you find something that really excites you. That includes writing new manuscripts, especially when you’re first starting out. Sometimes, writers will revise a manuscript for months, when maybe they actually need a new concept or they need some time away from the manuscript to see it with new eyes.
Time away from manuscripts helps me as a writer too.
Q. Tell us how you build yourself up in the face of rejection.
A. You have to believe in your voice and vision. Know that odds are long with any one submission, but with perseverance, it will happen. I did like to send out queries when I got a rejection, which helped keep me going.
I like the idea that perseverance can pay off.
Q. Do you have any tips for querying editors and agents?
A. Forget about the idea of “dream” agents and editors. A true dream agent supports and loves your work, is someone you trust and someone you can communicate with.
On a more practical note, keep a spreadsheet of everyone you query, and don’t be afraid to re-query an agent after some time has passed.
I’d agree that anyone who loves your work is a dream agent/editor. Thanks, Kate and good luck with your book!
Readers, I hope you’ll stop by next week for another interview!
Did you know, I’ve written a couple of books too?
If you’re curious about books by Cynthia Mackey and Paula Nasmith, please subscribe to my newsletter.