You know there’s one thing that’s almost as exciting as Kevan Atteberry’s new book BUNNIES!!!
…and that is WINNERS!!!
Random.org chose two lucky winners who commented on one of the posts this week. Both will receive a signed copy of BUNNIES!!!
Before the WINNERS!!! are revealed, we want to thank all of you that came by the blog and helped us celebrate with Kevan. You made the week extra special.
Just in case you don’t win, order your copy of BUNNIES!!! from any of the following links!
. . .
It’s been an exciting week celebrating Kevan Atteberry’s BUNNIES!!! thus far. And to keep the party going, we welcome Kevan’s stupendously wise, warm, and talented agent Erin Murphy to join in and share some insider info on Kevan, the book, and hypothetical movie roles…
Let’s hop to it!
LR: How did you and Kevan first come to know each other and start working together?
EM: I heard through the grapevine (aka Joan) that Kevan, whose work I admired and personality I adored on Facebook, was seeking an agent, and it just so happened that I was about to be in Seattle, where he lives, for an ALA convention. We managed to meet up one morning for coffee to chat. It unfolded from there. (Thanks, Joan!)
LR: What about BUNNIES!!! made you think that it needed to be out in the world as a real, live BOOK?
EM: What DIDN’T is a better question, the answer to which is: NOTHING.
When I sign a new client there is often one manuscript that is so clearly the right one to lead with as we go out on submission. Others need development or discussion or wrapping my head around, or feel like better follow-ups. With BUNNIES!!! it was just so obvious that I would send it and it would sell pretty quickly.
LR: Are there any fun details associated with the submission process that BUNNIES!!! underwent and the eventual deal that was reached on its behalf?
EM: There was one editor who really wanted it, but had something too similar on the list already. His impression on the phone of a parent reading the book aloud to a child was absolutely hilarious and adorable.
LR: Can you spill the beans about any fun, little-known quick of our kindly Kevan Atteberry?
EM: He sends FABULOUS mail–envelopes with art on it that I have to keep it’s so good. And it’s always interesting to see how he’s going to sign an email, like, “Kevanticipation.”
LR: If BUNNIES!!! was going to be made into a motion picture, and you were the director, who would you want to cast as the love-seeking monster?
EM: Wow, fabulous question, and my first reaction was, “There’s no good way to answer that,” followed very quickly by “Jack Black,” so we’ll go with that.
LR: What jumps to mind first as a fill-in when you read this line: “If BUNNIES!!! the book made me want to dance, I would do the…”
EM: Bunny Hop, obviously!
LR: What do you love most about the book?
EM: It expresses such a universal need–to love and be loved–in such an incredibly simple, childlike way.
Thanks for joining us, Erin, to talk about Kevan’s positively perspicacious and beautiful book, BUNNIES!!! And ye wise, lovely readers: remember that two signed copies of this gem of a book are free this week–just leave a comment on any of the posts from the week to be entered into the drawing.
No, not those kinds of packages.
Have you noticed? All those new book covers along the left? In the past several weeks, a bunch of us have gotten cover art. We now know what our books are going to look like on a bookstore or library shelf. Take a minute to scroll down the left side and see the different styles.
Aren’t they glorious?
Cover art is a big deal. That cover has to get the right reader to pick up the right book. Like visual matchmaking. The cover has to say, “You should open this book. You are going to love this story.” All this has to happen in the one or two seconds that it takes for a casual glance.
So, how well do these covers do? Try something. Imagine all of them without the titles, without the names of the creators. Just the art. Even without being able to see the trim sizes, can you still tell which are YA, which are middle grade, which are picture books? Can you still tell which ones are funny? Which are mysteries? Pretty nice, huh? (I think this even works with Susan’s book where the title is the art. If you preserved that cover just as splashes of color with those quirky drawings, I think it would still say contemporary middle grade, funny.)
It makes me want to pick up a stack of these books and spend a few days curled up on the couch.
All of us at Emu’s Debuts will be taking a short break over the holidays. But in January, you actually will be able to curl up with Kevan Atteberry’s BUNNNIES!!! and Laurie Thompson’s EMMANUEL’S DREAM. Stay tuned for the wild rejoicings.
Riffing off Tara Dairman’s piece, The Second Time Around, from a week ago in which she explored why the excitement factor of her second book paled in comparison to her first book, I’d like to explore the panic factor of the second book.
The first book I penned, BUNNIES!!!, was sold in a two-book deal to Katherine Tegan Books/HarperCollins a little over a year ago. It was, for all practical purposes, a finished manuscript needing very little editing. I had written it one day in December, 2012. It was inspired by a drawing I had done a couple months earlier and the story just came to me. Seriously. It was that easy. I hate when people talk about banging out a story in a day, an hour, twenty minutes. It is usually people new to the industry and with no clue of what it takes to write a picture book. It seems disingenuous and sounds both dismissive and braggartly at the same time. I don’t know if it was a rare alignment of the stars, or if I had brushed up against some strange talisman in an antique store, or if it was just dumb luck, but if I spent more than two hours writing and rough-dummying the book I’d be surprised. My critique pals all agreed that with a couple minor tweaks, it was ready for submission. My amazing agent sold it in no time in the afore mentioned two-book deal. I spent most of the rest of last year doing the illustrations and probably prematurely resting on my big fat laurels.
The manuscript for book number two is due at the end of this month. And I’m in second book panic mode. It will feature the same characters from BUNNIES!!! I’ve been working on it pretty regularly since the first of the year with what I thought were some pretty good ideas. They have morphed from one storyline to another to another to another. And I still don’t have it nailed down. I’m close, I think, but not as close as my critique pals suggest after last night’s meeting. Agh. They are right, of course, the story is almost there, but it is lacking the particular style and delivery of book one. So I am up at 4:15 this morning, unable to sleep and panicking once more about this book. The first one was so damn easy! Why is this one so damn hard? Why doesn’t it just come to me? When I wrote my dear, sweet editor in a panic late one night last week, she told me to take a break from thinking about it, it needs to simmer. Go see a movie! Relax! She also suggested that maybe this second book does not have to be about the same characters, maybe it could be something else – take a break from them and come back to them later. She was making it so easy for me. And it worked. For a while. I started thinking about other manuscripts I had that I could tidy up and send to her, other new ideas that I haven’t fleshed out. After considering this for a while, I decided that I love the characters in my first book and need to give them one more shot before I temporarily shelve them. So, panicked or not, (panicked) I am back in the land of BUNNIES!!! I will put on my thinking ears and channel the panic into something brilliant. No, really, I have 25 days. Maybe when it is done and it is accepted, the rest of the process of book number two will be the calm that Tara alluded to.
by kevan atteberry