Tag Archives: Kevan Atteberry

BUNNIES!!! And We Have Winners!!!

BUNNIES coverYou 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!

And

the 

WINNERS!!!

are

. . .

Meg Miller

and

Lyndi Jones

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under Book Giveaway, Launch

BUNNIES!!! and the Bunny Buzz in the Bunny Bulletin

BUNNIES coverIt’s been all over the news! BUNNIES!!! by Kevan Atteberry is now out in the world. And BUNNIES!!! has created quite the bunny buzz. Just check out the latest Bunny Bulletin below!

 

Slide01 Slide02 Slide03 Slide04 Slide05 Slide06 Slide07 Slide08 Slide09 Slide10 Slide11 Slide12 Slide13 Slide14 JANET Slide17 susanpenny Slide19

You can also add it on Goodreads!

23 Comments

Filed under Celebrations, Launch

Celebrating Bunnies!!! with Agent Extraordinaire Erin Murphy

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.
Declan?

Declan?

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.

23 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

It’s the launch party for BUNNIES!!! by Kevan Atteberry!

!!!

Please forgive me if I use too many exclamation points in this post, but with a title like BUNNIES!!!, it’s easy to get excited!

First, if you’ve been a long-time reader of this blog, you’ve already gotten some sneak peeks from the talented (and wonderful) author/illustrator Kevan Atteberry himself (like this one, or this one, or this one)! If you’re new, check out this Publishers Weekly review!

Second, you gotta love this adorable cover, with its expressive characters and eye-poppingly bright colors!

BUNNIES cover

 

Third, just take look at this unbelievably cute book trailer!

 

Finally, let me tell you a little backstory. Kevan is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. I’m fortunate enough to be part of an amazing critique group with him, and we all try to meet every two weeks to give each other feedback and cheer each other on. It’s a talented, generous, supportive group, but it’s also got the perfect amount of honesty and tough love. We don’t hold back if we see something that isn’t working for us or have a question, idea, or suggestion. We all have strong opinions, and sometimes it can even get a little loud. But that is exactly what you want from a critique group! There have been very few times when we don’t have much to say about a manuscript. I’ll never forget the night Kevan came in with even more humility than usual, giving us disclaimers about this new thing he’d done, and telling us not to hold back on any opinions. We read it through the way we usually do, then went around the group asking for comments. You could have heard CRICKETS!!! All of us unanimously agreed it was done. Not just ready, but perfect! OMG! Brilliant! We all loved BUNNIES!!!

And I know you’re going to love BUNNIES!!! as much as we did (and still do)! For a chance to win a signed copy of your very own, just comment on this or any other post this week! Or, if you can’t wait (and trust me, you don’t want to), you can order one (or ten) right now from any of the following links!

Oh, and you can also add it on Goodreads!

Be sure to check back every day this week, as we’ll be putting up special posts to celebrate this very special book!

Welcome to the world, BUNNIES!!! We’re so glad you’re here!

 

 

31 Comments

Filed under Book Giveaway, Celebrations, Launch

Shiny Packages

115061459_c3f31c4ae2_zNo, not those kinds of packages.

500px-Arrow_facing_left_-_Green.svg

Over there.

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.

BUNNIES cover9780449817445All 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.

7 Comments

Filed under cover art

At Least You Love What You Do

bunnysConsole01 bunnysConsole02 bunnysConsole03 bunnysConsole04 bunnysConsole05 bunnysConsole06 bunnysConsole07 bunnysConsole08 bunnysConsole09 bunnysConsole10

 

-kevan attteberry

kevanatteberry.com

21 Comments

Filed under Anxiety, Launch, Picture books, Thankfulness, Uncategorized

The Second Time Around the Second Time Around

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.

thinkingEars

by kevan atteberry

http://kevanatteberry.com

22 Comments

Filed under Anxiety, Colleagues, Creativity, Editing and Revising, Editor, Panic, Writing

Books Behaving Badly

Remember those days when writing was just about writing for the thrill of it? And you only shared your freshly printed pages with your friends and family members who were blown away by your budding talent . . . or at least surprised by it?

I can hardly recall that time, it was so long ago.

Although my love for writing itself never fades, the pursuit of publication adds challenges which make writing start to feel a lot like work. In fact, these days, if it doesn’t feel like work, I know I’m doing it wrong.

Finding an agent. Getting a book deal. Anticipating editorial notes. Meeting a deadline. Missing a deadline. Is anyone going to buy my book?? What will the reviews say?! What if I never sell another manuscript?!?! This all causes me stress.

So once in a while, I find it healthy to unwind. Write something ridiculous! Free write for the love of wordplay and humor. And what’s better than letting loose and writing for fun? How about writing for fun and PRIZES!?

Anyone out there want to win a free book?

Our theme for today is Books Behaving Badly. We want to hear your best ideas for bad titles, bad pitches, and bad, bad beginnings.

Here are a few examples to get your juvenile juices flowing:

Judge a book by its cover, do you? I came up with a bad title for each of these talented author/illustrators to work with (and check out the awesome covers they created!):

* * *

Lice

Illustrated by Kevan J. Atteberry
http://www.kevanatteberry.com

* * *

Illustrated by Ruth McNally Barshaw
http://www.ruthexpress.com

* * *

Unicorns

Illustrated by Deborah Underwood
http://www.deborahunderwoodbooks.com

* * *

Now, imagine sitting with an editor in a private pitching session. Let’s make her day with a truly horrible, cringe-worthy pitch:

.

coupon clipper
Clairvoyant eleven-year-old, Stella, can see into the future. She uses her skills to predict coupon specials and become an expert clipper, but is ostracized by her friends who just don’t get it.

.

inflammation-broken-foot-leg-cast-2

Brutilda breaks her foot and uses her cast to flirtatiously stomp on the foot of the boy she likes. For reasons unknown, he doesn’t return her affection. Angst and heartache ensue.

.

hippolkaJane Austen (almost) meets Charlotte Bronte . . . an exposé of those ten or so missing years between the Regency and Victorian eras that authors skip over for no apparent reason. (I’m guessing the lost-to-the-ages Hippopotamus Polka was a big thing during this mysterious era. Maybe that’s why nobody writes about it?).

.

Editors often tell writers that they need to grab a reader’s interest in the first few sentences. I’m pretty sure these beginnings would be epic fails:

.

big nose cold
You know that feeling you get when mashed potatoes are stuck up your nose? Yeah, that’s the kind of cold I have.

.

.

.

.

.

goat sticking tongue out, blog

Rollin’ in the hay really can be fun. Billy may be a goat, but our first kiss was still an eight out of ten.

.

.

.

.

.

promMy cousin is looking seriously hot today. I think I’m gonna ask her to Homecoming.

.

.

.

.

.

So let’s hear it: Your worst titles, pitches, and beginnings. Leave them in the comments, along with a category for your entry.

A winning entry in each category will be selected by a prestigious judge—someone who reads good (and bad!) titles, pitches, and beginnings for a living. The winners will then get to choose a book written by any of the EMU’s Debuts members, past or present, as long as it’s at least available for pre-order. Entries are due by midnight Eastern time on Oct 15th, and winners will be announced here on Oct 17th!

You don’t have to be a “writer” to play along! Anyone at all can join in for a chance to win a book! Good luck!

_________________________________

IMG_0723-2Amy Finnegan writes Young Adult novels and is a host at BookshopTalk.com. Her debut novel, NOT IN THE SCRIPT, will be published by Bloomsbury, Fall 2014. You can follow Amy on Twitter @ajfinnegan, and Facebook (Amy Finnegan, Author). She is represented by Erin Murphy.

31 Comments

Filed under Advice - Helpful or Otherwise, Anxiety, Writing

The Emus Retreat

One of the many special things about the Erin Murphy Literary Agency is the annual client retreat. This summer, the retreat took place at Big Sky Resort in Montana. Emus came from all across the country–often at great personal expense–to connect, recharge, learn, explore, and laugh. The whole experience reminded me once again how blessed I am to be a part of this community and how important this community is to me, both professionally and personally.

We heard insights and advice from guest speakers and a panel of experts. We broke into small groups to discuss our own individual career quandaries. We shared our works in progress and the ugliest sweaters we could find (or make). We got serious, and we also got plenty silly. We wrote, hiked, ate, drank, took in the scenery, and didn’t get nearly enough sleep (well, some of us didn’t). We took notes, pictures, and videos. We listened to our very own in-house band, sang, clapped, cheered, and maybe even shed a tear or two. For many of us, events like these can tax our introverted natures, causing us to retreat from the retreat. That was not only allowed, but understood and valued. Through it all, in doses we could all be comfortable with, we got to know one another better. What a treat!

 
Some Emus

[Some of the current Emu’s Debuts: Christine Hayes, Kevan Atteberry, Pat Miller, Laurie Thompson, Joshua McCune, Carol Brendler, and Tara Dairman.]

 

I’m mostly an analytical type, so I like to try to quantify things: What exactly did I get out of this retreat? What is one thing I can point to that makes the retreat worth the time and money I spent to go there? What will I be able to directly use from this experience to further my career? I don’t have a satisfactory answer to any of those questions.

Still, I know it was all worth it. The connections made and relationships built will keep me going when things get hard. They make me feel like not only am I a part of something magical, but I actually belong there! I think so many people are drawn to writing because at some point in their life they felt awkward, marginalized, forced to stand on the sidelines and watch the “cool” people have all the fun. Well, at an EMLA retreat, we get to hang out with some of the coolest people out there, and we find out they’re actually a whole lot like us.

Priceless.

 

p.s. We also got to see an advance copy of Pat Miller’s SOPHIE’S SQUASH, and we were absolutely charmed and delighted. You will be hearing more about this fabulous book, I guarantee it! In fact, you might just want to pre-order your copy right now, before they’re all sold out.

12 Comments

Filed under Colleagues, Happiness, Thankfulness, Writing and Life