Need Your Input for Books in Progress

Let’s have some fun and choosing which books to self-publish/send out on submission next… I need a little reprieve from making decisions so maybe you can help.

Here’s a synopsis of five different manuscripts I’m currently working on. I’d like to get your impression.  In the comments, let me know which story you’d most like to see made into a picture book!

1. Kelsey Meets the Monsters

Kelsey must face her greatest fear when her little brother is kidnapped by monsters.  Will Kelsey be able to overcome her fear and save Thomas?

2.  Dinosaurs by Design

Finlayson’s autism means he is just as passionate about loving dinosaurs as he is about hating the beach. One day there is no babysitter and no choice… Finlayson must go to his most feared and hated place… the BEACH!

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3. Allison’s Tree

Allison’s best friend is not a girl or a boy; her best friend is a tree.  In this gentle ode to trees, find out why Allison loves her best friend and what Douglas the fir tree can teach her about true friendship.

4. Honey Cakes for Oscar

Find out what happens when Oscar, a very hungry bunny, must reconcile his fear of bees with his love for honey.

5. Finn and Katrina’s Ferry Fairy Excellent Adventure

Journey with Finn and Katrina as they sort out how to keep their new friendship alive after a misunderstanding about what brought them together in the first place.

Which story gets your vote? Why?  I’m excited to hear your responses. Please share!

A Real Life Katie Shaeffer

Though this does not count as inspiration for the book, here’s a great example of a real life Katie Shaeffer.  One of my preschoolers, age 5, wanted to bring something for show and tell and it could not be a toy.  He and his Mom showed incredible initiative, resourcefulness and creativity to visit the beach, collect the items and then using a glue gun, put together this awesome pirate ship.

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Celebrating the real Katie Shaeffers of the world and their trusty assistants who help make it all happen! Creativity can be part of your lifestyle just like Katie’s in the story.

Check out Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker, an inspiring book for you and your child!

Happy Book Birthday, Katie Shaeffer!

Katie Shaeffer is too young to use the stove. Katie is also an avid collector. She has just one wish. One dream. One desire.  Katie wants to make golden brown, fluffy as a cloud, perfectly round PANCAKES all by herself.

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Enjoy this charming story and find out how Katie and her friend Baxter find a way to make Katie’s wish come true.

Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker is written by Cynthia Mackey and illustrated by Paula Nasmith.

Available April 24th on Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com!

Relax and Read

I am pleased to announce that my first big book order arrived this week!  I now have a copy at the preschool; here’s a small fry enjoying Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker at the end of the day.  It feels just amazing to see a child enjoying my book 🙂

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Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker will be released April 24, 2017.  Order from Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.

This charming story was written to instil confidence in emerging readers. Children will enjoy Katie’s pancake adventure and cheer for golden fluffy pancakes!

Joining the 12 by 12 Picture Book Challenge

In January I did something that makes me feel nervous and excited at the same time.  I joined the 12 by 12 picture book challenge. And now I will immerse myself in writing all year long.

Although I’m very new to the world of writing, I believe in myself as a capable creator of children’s literature and I want to be part of that world.  For this challenge, I must write 12 picture books drafts in 2017.  One draft each month.  Revising a draft also counts.  I may need a little stronger tea in my mug this year to help me out with this 🙂

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Joining the 12 by 12 community gives the opportunity to get feedback from other writers in an online format.  This is so valuable as writing is all about getting feedback and doing revisions.  I have so many ideas swirling around in my head and hope to get them all down on paper into a solid draft form.

The challenge is open to new picture book writers and more seasoned writers as well.  There are lots of SCBWI members (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators).  So far I find it to be a very welcoming and supportive online community.

Now it is March and I am right on track with my writing.  The 12 by 12 challenge continues!

Collections

Katie Shaeffer would just love this tray of miscellaneous items!  

It always amazes me how a simple collection of items can be so inspiring for a child.  My group of preschoolers can do amazing things with the most random objects.img_3206

“Katie assembled and constructed; she glued and she taped; she stacked and she hammered, until finally her creation was done.” -from Katie Shaeffer, Pancake Maker

Here are some real examples of creations made by young children with miscellaneous items:

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I believe young children are capable and can do amazing things if given the opportunity! That belief together with the inspiring creations I see children make daily helped inspire the story Katie Shaeffer, Pancake Maker!

Here’s a synopsis of the story:

Join Katie and her friend Baxter in this fun story as they use a passion for collecting and building to find a way to realize Katie‛s pancake dream! This upbeat energetic tale with great potential for reading aloud will appeal to adults and young children alike. The book includes a predictable rhyme that will have children chiming in as the story unfolds. Children will celebrate with Katie and Baxter as their pancake dream becomes reality! Recipe included. Author: Cynthia Mackey Illustrator: Paula Nasmith

Contact me if you are interested in receiving an advance review copy of the story! I hope to have these available soon.

authorcynthiamackey@gmail.com

Proof Copy

 

Yay! Yippee! Hooray!!!

Yesterday I received the proof copy of Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker!  It sure feels like a long journey to get to this point. I am excited and nervous for the book release.

Though it is possible to self publish without ordering the proof copy (I am first publishing through Ingram Spark), I would not advise anyone to skip this step.  There are several two page spread images in this book and the only way to see how it will come out is to have the physical copy.  We worked really hard to ensure that no important parts of the image would be obscured by the seam of the book and still, there are changes that will need to happen to ensure that the images are placed correctly on the page.  So as much as I want to put this book out there right now, mistakes must be fixed. And by the way, I found a punctuation error that I totally missed on the first three revisions… how does that happen! And so the time for final renewal  and revision is now.

It amazes me how we can go over it so many times and still find errors.  I am hopeful that with some final passes, the next proof copy can be approved and the book can be available for international distribution!  Woohoo!!

Pancake day is Tuesday February 28th this year so I hope this book will be out by then!

UPDATE The proof copy arrived the day before pancake day and is now approved so the expected release date will be April 2017.


Story Synopsis:

Katie is too young to use the stove so she dreams of making her very own pancakes. Join Katie and her friend Baxter in this fun story as they use a passion for collecting and building to find a way to realize Katie’s pancake dream!

This upbeat energetic tale with great potential for reading aloud will appeal to adults and young children alike. The book includes a predictable rhyme that will have children chiming in as the story unfolds. Children will celebrate with Katie and Baxter as their pancake dream becomes reality!