By Traci Sorell
In addition to covering publishing news pertaining to Native creators for Cynsations, I am excited to shine a spotlight on fellow Epic Eighteen authors and illustrators, all of whom have a debut picture book coming out in 2018.
From the promotional copy:
Just like snowflakes, no two sisters are alike, but that doesn’t mean they can’t work together to make the perfect snow day!
When snowflakes fall, two sisters react very differently. One is excited and the other is wary. The first sister spends the morning outdoors, playing until she’s all tuckered out. Meanwhile, the second sister stays indoors, becoming ever more curious about the drifts outside.
Soon, they switch places, and spend the second half of the day retracing each other’s footsteps. But each sister puts her own unique spin on activities like sledding, baking and building.
Since winter has descended upon most of the nation, I thought it would be the perfect story to start off this series.
Upon reading Kerri’s book, I noticed how the marriage of her text and Teagan’s art come together seamlessly.
Kerri, what was your initial inspiration for writing this book?
|Kerri at Snow Sisters! book launch|
I played around with several different story ideas over a long period of time before landing on this particular story.
The two sisters’ stories are told parallel to each other with the first sister’s story unfolding on the left panel of each spread and the second sister’s story unfolding on the right.
What were the challenges (literary, research, psychological, logistical) in writing this story?
Because of its unique structure, described above, writing Snow Sisters! was very much a logic puzzle. Any minor change I made affected other parts of the book.
|Kerri’s Post-it Note work board|
Because of this I pretty much wrote this story on Post-it Notes. I laid them out on a tri-fold board so I could see the whole story at once and easily reposition or change text. Each spread started with a column of Post-it Notes for the text on the left panel and a column of post-it notes for the text on the right panel.
Once I had editorial interest, my editor, Katherine Harrison, also helped me draw out ways each sister’s action could build off the other’s to help them connect during the parts of the story where they are apart. More columns of Post-it Notes!
Seriously, I probably should have dedicated this book to 3M.
An important takeaway for me was that in some ways, this very limiting structure also had a way of freeing up my creativity by narrowing my focus.
What did Teagan White’s art bring to your text?
Teagan White’s art brought my text to life! Without the illustrations, there would be no story.
Enter below for a chance to win a copy of Snow Sisters! in a giveaway.
Traci Sorell covers picture books as well as children’s-YA writing, illustration, publishing and other book news from Indigenous authors and illustrators for Cynsations. She is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
Her first nonfiction picture book, We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga will be published by Charlesbridge on Sept. 4, 2018. The story features a panorama of modern-day Cherokee cultural practices and experiences, presented through the four seasons. It conveys a universal spirit of gratitude common in many cultures.
Traci is represented by Emily Mitchell of Wernick & Pratt Literary Agency.
No purchase necessary. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on Feb. 15, 2018 and 12:00 AM on Mar. 1, 2018. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about Mar. 1, 2018. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.