Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Allyn Stotz Blog Tour + Guest Post



Today, I am happy to welcome picture book author, Allyn Stotz, and her adorable story. Don't miss the coloring book version, too, which includes the story first and then lots of fun pages to color. Allyn has agreed to share her journey to publication with us. I thought it might be nice for all the aspiring PB authors out there. Enjoy!!

The Pea in the Peanut Butter
by Allyn Stotz


Blurb:
Kailee loves peanut butter. But a bedtime snack turns into a dance party with all of the foods in the kitchen pantry when they come to life. 

Guest Post: 

I am so pleased to be guest blogging today and would like to thank Shannon for allowing me to do so. She has asked me to talk a little bit about my road to publication. It’s not a very exciting story, but it’s MY story!

My road to publication began about 4 years ago; I am now 55 yrs. old. As a child, I enjoyed writing stories, inventing them, and playing them out with my siblings. We were always putting on some type of skit for our parents. They were so patient and tolerant! Until now, my career mostly consisted of administrative jobs and/or working in human resources. On those jobs, I wrote several procedures manuals, created newsletters and did lots of memo writing. Those were always my favorite parts of the job. My husband’s company has transferred us many times so I’ve lived in several cities in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi; therefore that led to me having quite a few different jobs along the way.

My family is made up of several journalists. First off is my father, who owned and wrote our town newspaper. My mother helped him with that newspaper and wrote a weekly column. One of my sisters majored in journalism and is now a freelance editor and writer. So I believe that writing was always in my blood, it just never screamed out to me in volume.

Then one day while reading my brother’s blog, I came across a story he was toying around with. My brother is not a writer per say, but you wouldn’t have known that by reading his descriptions of a computer game he loved playing. After reading his descriptions of that fantasy game world, I had the big “wow” moment go off in my brain. My first thought was, “wow, he can really write!” Then I thought to myself how fun it would be to write a fantasy story and I decided to investigate into it further. I did a little research about the subject of writing for children and then sat down to begin. The words just began to flow from my fingertips and have not stopped since!

My road to actual publication took a little over 1 ½ years, which in retrospect, was pretty quick. Some authors have to wait years before they are fortunate enough to become published.  I believe what helped me was that I did a good year of research on writing children’s picture books and enrolled in the Institute of Children’s Literature. After doing both of those, I finally became confident enough to send out my first submission. I was one of lucky ones and had that first submission accepted by an online children’s magazine. From there, I spent the next 10 months sending out more manuscripts and receiving many rejections. Then to my surprise, I finally heard back from FutureWord Publishing who wanted to publish my story The Pea in Peanut Butter. Talk about thrilling!

Getting published is not an easy process and most times, not quick but it is a journey that is well worth the time and effort. There is nothing more satisfying to me than hearing that a child or their parent enjoyed the words that I wrote.  But everyone’s journey is different and so is the outcome. If you are one of those people contemplating becoming a children’s writer I would say to you that your first step should be to find your truth. Dig deep into your soul and find the real reason you want to write. Then never forget those reasons, get out that pen and write, write, write! Always remember that you can’t get published if you don’t submit your work. But most importantly, never give up.

And on that note, I’d like to tell you all that after my 83 yr. old mother watched me get published, she decided to work on making her dream of writing a novel come true. She and my editor sister have written a book together and the first of the series will be published soon! So if we can do it… so can you!

Please feel free to visit my blog at www.allynstotz.blogspot.com or drop me a line at allyn_stotz.yahoo.com. I love hearing from other writers and/or readers. 

The Pea in Peanut Butter is available in book format, kindle, and coloring book format (this is where the book is in the front and coloring pages in the back). 

You can purchase your copy on my blog, on amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Pea-Peanut-Butter-Allyn-Stotz/dp/0984589058/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1331137404&sr=8-1 or at Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs, LA.


18 comments:

Shelley Sly said...

That looks like the most adorable book! I'll have to check it out!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shannon and Allyn .. what a fun post - great little book, and I love the addition of the extra colouring pages ...

Interesting to hear about your family of journalists Allyn and then suddenly how it all came together for you, once you'd put your foot outside the door!

Now your mother and sister - what a great project they've got going .. that's wonderful ...

Cheers to The Pea and you both ... Hilary

Jemi Fraser said...

A year and a half is very quick! Sounds like you approached the whole idea with a great plan - congrats! :)

Allyn Stotz said...

Thanks, Shannon for hosting this guest post. It was fun sharing my story.

Allyn Stotz said...

Thanks Shelly, Hillary and Jemi for your comments. If you decide to check out my book, please let me know your thoughts!

Laura Marcella said...

Congratulations, Allyn! I really like the idea of coloring pages included in a picture book. Kids are going to love that!!

Julie Dao said...

Wonderful, encouraging words - thank you so much! Ditto what Laura said above me... if I were a kid, I would be completely thrilled at the idea of having pages to color! Heck, I'm completely thrilled now and I'm a so-called grownup! :)

Allyn Stotz said...

Thanks Laura & Julie. I really hope the kids like the coloring book version and all of us "so called" grownups too!!

Old Kitty said...

Hi lovely Shannon! Hi Allyn! Wow - loved how you come from a most writerly family of creativity and words! It's brilliant your mum has seen you all published and your book sounds utterly adorable - esp. the colouring option! How fun is that!?!?!

Take care
x

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for sharing your road to publication Allyn. Awesome that your family likes to write too. Good luck with your book.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I love the title.

1 1/2 years is very fast. I bet it didn't feel like it at the time. :)

Jennifer Rumberger said...

Great post, Shannon! Thanks for having Allyn share her road to publication.

Deb Hockenberry said...

Great guest blogging, Allyn! Thanks for sharing your road to publishing.

Ishta Mercurio said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Allyn! Your book looks like it tells a fun story - and I love the coloring book in the back. I've never seen a book like that before.

Karen Lange said...

Thanks, Shannon, for the intro to Allyn. I enjoyed reading about her journey. The book sounds delightful!

Happy weekend amigo,
Karen

Claudine G. said...

Your father owned your town paper? That is the coolest! (Rather Dickensian :) ) True enough, we shall not ever give up writing. Our dreams are way too precious for surrender. Thanks for sharing your journey thus far, Allyn!

Giselle said...

Aww this looks really adorable! Interesting post!

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

Inspiring! That was a fast publication. It must be a fantastic story.

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