Don't forget to enter the Tons of Trucks by Sue Fliess Giveaway!
Congratulations on your new book! How long have you been writing for children?
I think I started around 2005. I say I think, because it was sometime that year, but I had an infant and a toddler, and wasn’t getting any sleep, so it’s really anybody’s guess! I’ve been writing all my life, but only had the idea to write for children once I’d had one of my own! I started thinking about writing for children – picture books in particular – in 2003, when my son was an infant and I was reading every picture book and board book out there. I wrote a couple of messy attempts at picture books, but didn’t get serious about it for awhile. I have a good excuse for waiting. I had my second son in 2004!
Can you share a bit about your journey to publication?
I wrote a terrible draft of a picture book about outer space, and just as I’d ‘perfected’ it, I heard about a class about writing for children at a local college. I signed up, attended, and left with an arsenal of information and a good dose of reality. I joined SCBWI and truly believe it is that organization that helped me get published. I attended conferences, met editors, writers, and published authors. I joined a critique group and wrote, wrote, wrote. Then I submitted my work—over and over. Finally, in early 2009, amidst all the rejections, someone said yes!
Where do you like to write? Would you describe your space?
Funny you should ask that! For Mother’s Day this year, my husband said I needed a proper office. I should explain that I also work almost full-time as a writer for eBay, and writing at the dining room table was getting old—not to mention I had to hastily pack up my ‘office’ every time we had dinner guests. My desk for my children’s writing was inconveniently in the back of the house (in our guest room), but was not a big enough space to do both eBay and my personal writing. I was scattered and feeling disorganized. When I sold several manuscripts this year, my husband said enough is enough. So, we converted our dining room into an office for me. I’m ecstatic! I still have some boxes to put away (so forgive the piles), and nothing on the walls yet, but here is a photo.
Would you share a before and after of some of your writing? I mean a few lines before it was ready for publication?
Here is the ‘old’ first stanza to Shoes for Me! and what finally got published.
Shoes for Me! once started like this:
Baby shoes are
All too small.
Off we go. Off to the mall!
Feet got bigger,
Heel to toe.
Time for new shoes. Off we go!
Sue’s books can be purchased here:
Click HERE to see the trailer for Tons of Trucks!
Sue can be found at:
Facebook Fan page: Sue Fliess Author
Anything else you would like to add about your art, your writing, or your road to publication?
I encourage writers to apply for grants. I applied two years in a row for the SCBWI Barbara Karlin Grant for picture book writing, and one year for a work in progress grant for a young adult novel I’d written. I received a Letter of Commendation for both Barbara Karlin grants – one for Shoes for Me! and one for Tons of Trucks. These grants are often judged by editors and other people of influence in the industry. It gets you and your work out there and lets people know you are serious about your craft. And, you could win!
and now for the GIVEAWAY!
TONS OF TRUCKS - HOT OFF THE PRESS!