Wanna Get Lost in the Library with Me?

Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience & Fortitude Cover

Yesterday, the New York Public Library (yes, that New York Public Library) revealed the cover of Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience & Fortitude, a book I wrote as part of a Macmillan team-up with the NYPL, illustrated by Stevie Lewis.

Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience & Fortitude Cover

Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience & Fortitude is the first picture book about Patience and Fortitude, the two lion statues that faithfully guard the New York Public Library. When Patience goes missing, Fortitude realizes the secret to Patience’s disappearance may be within the Library itself.

The NYPL Twitter feed says, “With clever rhyme and vibrant art, Lost in the Library introduces young readers to Patience and Fortitude, the noble lions who stand guard in front of NYPL.”

Here’s a picture from one year, one week, and one day ago (1.9.17) when I visited the library to do research for this book (at the time, Patience in his rightful place).

IMG_5709.JPG

I’m particularly excited about this book because Stevie Lewis’s illustrations are utterly glorious – and the writing isn’t half bad, I guess.

Lost in the Library will be released on August 28, 2018. You can pre-order it everywhere and mark it ‘to read’ on goodreads right now!

Indiebound   B&N   Amazon   Goodreads   BAM!   Book Depository   Indigo

 

Where I’ll Be Next

Two for You

1. I Love You for Miles and Miles written by Alison Goldberg and illustrated by Mike Yamada

2. Accident written & illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi

Featured Interview in Huffington Post

I was interviewed by The Book Doctors in the Huffington Post today in an article entitled “Josh Funk on the War Between Pancakes & French Toast, SCBWI & Getting Published” – it’s probably the most in depth interview I’ve done to date, with some seriously awesome questions, such as:

  • How did you go about getting a book contract not only for Lady Pancake, but also for your next two books which are coming out?
  • Hasn’t anyone told you that rhyming books don’t sell? How did you overcome this ridiculous idea, and why do you think people keep saying that?
  • What are some of the most horrifying things about being a professional author?
  • How has being a member of SCBWI helped you in your career and as a person?
  • Why in the name of all that’s good and holy would you choose to get into the publishing business? Have you had your head examined recently? Been checked for brain parasites?
  • How do you keep it so funky?
  • and more …

And I got to share the #TeamKrush logo designed by Jessie Devine.

Team Krush Logo TeamKrush

Check out the entire interview here.

Two for You

(two books I highly recommend)

1. Backhoe Joe written by Lori Alexander and illustrated by Craig Cameron

Backhoe Joe

Want a backhoe for a pet? Of course you do!

2. There Was a Wee Lassie Who Swallowed a Midgie written by Rebecca Colby and illustrated by Kate McLelland

there was a wee lassie

A Scottish twist on this much-loved rhyme!

My Guest Post on MuggleNet [My Marriage with Harry Potter…]

Funk Wedding Cake

I had the fortunate pleasure of writing a guest posting on MuggleNet.com, The #1 Harry Potter Site. I’m also giving away a signed copy of Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast at the end of the guest post. See the excerpt below:

My Marriage with Harry Potter… and Getting Pancakes Published

It’s not what you think. My wife’s name isn’t Harry Potter. Her name is Mrs. Funk. But Harrywas there when we fell in love. And Ron was there when I proposed. And Hermione was at our wedding.

Let me backup. I started reading Harry Potter in 2000 when Goblet of Fire came out. When I started dating the future Mrs. Funk in 2002, she hadn’t yet read Harry Potter, so we read them out loud to each other. I remember one particularly late night when we stayed up reading the last 120 pages of Prisoner of Azkaban until sunrise (because once you hit “Professor Trelawny’s Prediction,” there is absolutely no good stopping point)….

Click here to see the rest of the post on MuggleNet.com.

Josh Funk’s Guide to Writing Picture Books (in 12 easy steps)

Yesterday I updated my official website (joshfunkbooks.com) to include a new Resources for Writers section.

Josh Funk's 12 Step Guide to Writing Picture Books

For those of you that have been following this blog for a while, those 12 lessons may look familiar. I took my Tips for Writing Picture Books series and reorganized it a bit to make it a little cleaner and available all in one place.

See all of Josh Funk’s 12-Step Guide to Writing Picture Books

Lesson #1: So, You Wrote a Book. Now What?
Lesson #2: Picture Books Are Short
Lesson #3: Every Word Counts
Lesson #4: The Illustrator Is Your Partner
Lesson #5: Show Don’t Tell
Lesson #6: Write with Active Emotion
Lesson #7: Story Arc Components
Lesson #8: Don’t Write In Rhyme
Lesson #9: Rhyming Is All About Rhythm
Lesson #10: Some Ideas Don’t Work
Lesson #11: Keep Learning
Lesson #12: Now You’re Ready! Dive In!

I hope that these lessons help any prospective picture book authors, as it’s basically a massive brain dump of things I’ve learned in the last ~4 years.

Feel free to share – and enjoy!

Tips for Writing Picture Books: Keep Learning

It’s important to know ONE thing: You don’t know EVERYthing. So …

Keep Learning

I debated on whether to call this post Find the Right Critique Partners or Be the Worst … and Learn from People Better than You. I think there are a couple points I want to touch on regarding progression with your craft.

First, you don’t have to do it alone. The kidlit community, both online and in person, is full of friendly people who cheer each other on. Whether through SCBWI, PiBoIdMo, 12×12, or one of the many social networking groups, there is a profusion of resources available. You just have to ask.

Baby Hedgehog *

Find a critique group. This is critical. It sounds like a cheesy acknowledgements section of a middle grade novel, but the truth is that I’d be nowhere without the many critique partners who’ve made my writing better over the years.

But don’t be the best in your critique group. If you want to keep improving your writing, be sure to work with people who are better than you (by this, I mean better at writing). I can definitively say I have never been the best one in any of my groups – and that fact has played a large role in any success I may have had.

There are many other ways to continue learning. One is by going to conferences, retreats, and workshops. This can get expensive and potentially prohibitive, but luckily lots of classes have popped up online that range from very affordable webinars to even free (see Nerdy Chicks Write Summer School, currently in session).

Read books in the genre you write. This is important for several reasons. It will help keep your focus on the audience for which you’re writing. It will also give you an idea of the business side of the writing world. What are publishers buying? What are librarians, teachers, parents, and children enjoying?

How do you keep learning? Do you find it important to continue expanding your knowledge of kidlit? Why?

Next time I’ll share why it’s important to …

[fill in later before you post this, otherwise you might look kind of silly and you wouldn’t want that, would you, Josh?]

Wow, that sounds like an interesting topic! Betcha can’t wait to hear about that!

 

See all of Josh Funk’s 12-Step Guide to Writing Picture Books

Lesson #1: So, You Wrote a Book. Now What?
Lesson #2: Picture Books Are Short
Lesson #3: Every Word Counts
Lesson #4: The Illustrator Is Your Partner
Lesson #5: Show Don’t Tell
Lesson #6: Write with Active Emotion
Lesson #7: Story Arc Components
Lesson #8: Don’t Write In Rhyme
Lesson #9: Rhyming Is All About Rhythm
Lesson #10: Some Ideas Don’t Work
Lesson #11: Keep Learning
Lesson #12: Now You’re Ready! Dive In!

* You might be wondering why I inserted a picture of a baby hedgehog earlier in this post. If you are, then you’re not thinking hard enough.