We are so glad you could come back today for the second of two posts featuring Sharon Solomon, picture book author. She has three published picture books, Science Theatre, A Walk With Grandpa and Cathy Williams, Buffalo Soldier. Last week we learned a little about each of her three books, about how she researches each biography before sitting down to write and what inspires her to write. Today we’ll learn about her writing process and other good things. Hi Sharon, welcome.
CBJ: Tell us about a day in your life. How long do you spend on writing each day?
SS: A day in my life doesn’t always involve writing. I may be doing research or sending out manuscripts to publishers. All of this is as time-consuming as writing the actual book. I may also be revising a book or meeting with one of my critique groups.
CBJ: Do you have a work in progress right now?
SS: I have several works in progress that I am hoping to get published. One is about a Hopi Indian who won a silver medal in the 1912 Olympics for running the 10,000 meter race. I am working on a book about a reading assistance dog, a therapeutic riding horse, and a funny picture book inspired by my grandchildren.
CBJ: Can you tell us about submitting and querying part of your books? What is the time-table like from idea to publishing?
SS: I do not have an agent, although I would like to have one. I submit manuscripts by snail mail or email, depending on the requirements of the publisher. Once a manuscript is accepted, it takes anywhere from a year or two for publication.
CBJ: Have you thought of getting an agent or are you happy without one?
SS: I am not sure where to find an agent because I write both fiction and nonfiction. I get tired of having to search out publishers and realize that many of the bigger houses would be open to me with an agent. I’m just not sure how to go about it. I write so many types of books and usually agents specialize in one area.
CBJ: What made you choose the publishing houses you chose? Is it different for each book?
SS: I choose manuscripts that I think publishers might be interested in. Pelican publishes a lot of nonfiction picture books, so I know I can write to their market. I have also written fiction and some of them have gone unpublished. Fortunately, I hooked up with Solstice Publishing for the early chapter fiction book that will come out next year. It is time-consuming, but I have to search and know what different publisher s want.
CBJ: And is one in Spanish as well, right? How did that happen?
SS: A Walk with Grandpa is published in English and Spanish. Raven Tree Press is a bilingual publisher. They wanted a picture book about a family and they automatically publish in both English and Spanish.
CBJ: Thanks so much for your time, Sharon. Can you tell us your website? How can we get in touch with you?
SS: People can get in touch with me by visiting my website www.sharonsbooks.net. I am also on facebook.
Sharon K. Solomon is a retired elementary reading specialist with over thirty-five years of educational experience. Her first book, Primary Science Readers Theatre, is a series of science plays published by Pieces of Learning. Raven Tree Press published her bilingual picture book, A Walk with Grandpa, in May of 2009. Sharon likes to write a variety of genres including plays, picture books, early chapter books and middle grade fiction and historical fiction. Her picture book biography of a freed slave who became a Buffalo soldier, Cathy Williams, Buffalo Soldier, was published in 2010 by Pelican Publishing Company. Cathy Williams is the only documented female Buffalo soldier to serve in the U. S. Army. Another picture book biography about mariner Christopher Newport will be published in 2013, as well as a fiction chapter book by Solstice Publishing.
Sharon is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and a member of a local critique group. Observation is a great way to gather fodder for books. Sharon uses real life experiences in some of her writing and enjoys doing research. She is currently writing another picture book biography. Sharon and her husband are avid travelers. Visiting new places always gives fresh ideas for writing. Sharon’s free time is spent reading, traveling, and enjoying her three grandchildren.
Here is my PPBF about Cathy Williams.
- Perfect Picture Book Friday/Cathy Williams, Buffalo Soldier (clarbojahn.wordpress.com)