Welcome to the Kid Lit Love blog series where new release picture books are featured on Mondays! I’m excited to have Sue Macartney as today’s featured author. Her debut picture book, Benjamin’s Blue Feet, published by Pajama Press, will be released June 16th, 2020
This is a special post for me because Sue and I are critique partners. We first met through Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Picture Book Challenge, discovering that we live in the same city! Now we meet regularly as part of Vancouver Island Children’s Writers and Illustrators, our local SCBWI chapter. I had the pleasure of reading and critiquing an earlier draft of Benjamin’s Blue Feet so it is a thrill to see it come through to publication.
Synopsis: Benjamin the blue-footed booby is coming of age in his flock’s world of flying, diving, swimming, and fishing. But he already has a unique gift: treasure-hunting. One day, after finding a mirror, Benjamin becomes convinced that his beak is too long, his wings are too wide, and his feet are too big and blue. He decides to use his treasures to change himself. But without his beak, wings, and feet, is he even a blue-footed booby anymore?
Welcome, Sue, to Kid Lit Love. It is a pleasure to connect and get a behind the scenes peek at writing for children from your unique perspective.
1. Tell us why you came to write books for children.
Thinking about the “why” of how I came to write books for children takes me back to my childhood experiences.
My family traveled extensively overseas when I was young. We didn’t have a television but we always had books – early on reading and drawing became my favourite go-to activities. I treasured my little “library” of books even the ones I had outgrown and they came with me to each new home. The magical feeling of being transported to other worlds through the images and text of these early stories has stayed with me. Being able to revisit and share this feeling with children through my own work is what motivates me to write.
2. Tell us about the inspiration for your book or how you came up with the idea.
I’ve been playing with the idea underlying Benjamin’s Blue Feet for a while now. Two years ago when I was doing my daily, January “Story Storm” challenge I finally hit on the version that felt right – a little shout out here for the wonderful Tara Lazar! Ultimately, many things lead to that “Aha” moment for me – inspiring blog advice, takeaways from good writing classes and conferences… and that elusive pixie dust that eventually brings everything together in your brain at the right time!
3. Share a piece of advice or a resource for children’s writers.
Hang onto your passion and determination! There are a multitude of tools to help you on this journey – online blogs, writing classes, professional associations, conferences, critique groups – deep breath, take the plunge and find the mix that works for you.
You can connect with Sue Macartney through social media in the following ways: