Monday, August 15, 2011

Having Fun on the Road to Publication

View hannahhol...jpg in slide show  View Hannah Ho...jpg in slide show

Say Hello to Hannah Holt, children's book author and illustrator with a "lightbulb" vision. If there's a child in your life, head over to her free-reading section and activities for kids (starting in September). Let's get to know Hannah.
Renae: Lightbulb Books. What a great title. Did it just 'pop into your head'?
Hannah: Ha, ha! Yes. You might say I had a lightbulb moment. I wanted a name that reflected my goal of igniting imagination and discovery. "Lightbulb Books" seemed to capture that spirit.

Renae: I read the three books in your free reading library and they are great. Do you produce them as e-books or self publish as printed books? If not,why?
Hannah: No, I don't produce them as either e-books or printed books. As an experiment, I produced a limited printing of one of my books. I earned a few hundred dollars; however, I could see that it would take a significant amount of time and capital to make a career in self-publishing. It's not for me. I'd rather spend my time writing.

Renae: Wouldn't we all! Those of you with success in this area, please share your secrets and strategies. Contact me at renaemackley at gmail dot com for a blog interview. Hannah, tell us about your writing journey. Have you submitted to traditional publishers?
Hannah: Two Christmases ago I created a comic book for a family member as a gift. I loved the process and so began my writing addiction. Since that time, I've submitted my work to a few “big five” editors, and I've had requests for additional material. However, only nibbles so far.

Renae: Good luck on that! I know you are accomplished in many areas from an Engineering degree to a full-time mother. How does writing fit into your life?
Hannah: Ha! Very carefully. Even so, I don't always stay in balance. I try to follow this priority chain for my writing. 1) Journaling: If nothing else, I write in my journal. 2) Critique Group Deadline: My goal is to bring new pages for my current work in progress to each meeting (once or twice a month). 3) Blogging: As time permits.

Renae: Priorities are important. What are your  future plans or goals?
Hannah: I'm excited about a new series coming to my blog this September called "The Creation Station." Every Tuesday, I feature a hands-on activity for children ages 2-6. The first post shows children how to turn vegetables into Martians. It's going to be fantastic fun.
In the longer term, I plan to continue writing picture books and the occasional chapter book. With four children in my home ages five and under, my time is definitely not my own right now. So, I'm anticipating a slow journey to publication, and that's OK.
Renae: I'm sure those twin babies keep you hopping. Tell me about your illustrating.
Hannah: Most of the illustrating I do these days is digital. I prefer illustrating the old fashion way (with paint and pencil); however, digital illustrating fits my schedule better. Paint dries when it will, not when it's convenient. It's easier to press pause in the middle of digital illustrating. Some day when my life is less hectic (it will be less hectic someday, right?), I hope to return to more organic illustrating.
Renae: Great attitude. Anything else you'd like to share about yourself?
Hannah: Yes! I love being a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). They have lots of helpful resources and networking opportunities for children's writers. Check them out at
Renae: Thanks, Hannah. She's also worth checking out at


Donna K. Weaver said...

Nice interview and good luck to Hannah.

Renae W. Mackley said...

Thanks, Donna.

hannah said...

Yes, thanks Donna and thank you Renae!