Ever wondered how an idea evolves into a complete picture book?
Tune into our conversation with the New York Times bestselling author Ame Dyckman as she pulls back the curtain on the magical world of picture book writing. Ame shares her process and offers priceless tips on story development, the art of collaboration and the importance of knowing the marketplace.
Ame also underscores the vital role of genuine emotions in picture books for them to resonate with young readers. If you're a seasoned author or a budding writer, this episode is your treasure chest of insightful tips, delightful anecdotes, and infectious humor. Don't miss out!
About Ame Dyckman
Ame is the award-winning author of 18 funny books for children; including BOY + BOT; the New York Times bestselling WOLFIE THE BUNNY; the MISUNDERSTOOD SHARK books; etc.—with many more books on the way!
New for 2023 are HOW DINOSAURS WENT EXTINCT: A SAFETY GUIDE; TINY BARBARIAN CONQUERS THE KRAKEN!; and Ame’s 19thbook, DON’T BLOW YOUR TOP!, which pubs on October 17th!
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I have one question for you today. Do you want the best advice you will ever get about writing picture books? If your answer is yes, do write where you are for this week's episode of Riders with Wrinkles. Hi friends, today we are thrilled to welcome author Ame Dyckman to the podcast. We have been so excited to talk to you. We are both huge fans. But a little bit about Amy. Ame Dyckman is the award-winning author of 18 funny books for children 18,. I did say that that is a huge number, including Boy and BOT, the New York Times bestselling Wolfie the Bunny, the Misunderstood Shark Books, with many more books on the way. New for 2023 are how Dinosaurs Went Extinct A Safety Guide. I want that book already. Tiny Barbarian conquers the Kraken and Amy's 19th book, don't Blow your Top, which publishes tomorrow, october 17th. Amy lives in Central New Jersey with her family and lots of coffee. Okay, I'm literally drinking my coffee right now as we record this. You can follow Amy on Twitter for book news, goofy poetry and pretty much everything that pops into her head at Amy Dykeman, and I will put all of this info in the podcast notes so you can reach out to her directly. Thank you so much for being here. As I said already, we're super excited.Ame Dyckman:
Yeah, I don't know if you heard me. I was so excited I interrupted your beautiful intro and thank you for introducing me so nicely. That's the longest I've ever stayed quiet actually, so that at itself was a win.Beth McMullen:
You're going to get a medal at the end of the recording. You get a medal for totally nailing that.Lisa Schmid:
Okay, amy, I have to tell you a story that you will not remember this, but I do, so it involves you. There's always a story.Ame Dyckman:
It wasn't me I wasn't there.Lisa Schmid:
I have an alibi. No, you're an innocent victim in all of this, I can assure you. So I first heard about you, I heard your name from your agent. This was several years ago. Oh, scott, scott Trujell. Yeah, so I saw Scott at. He was a speaker at an SCBWI conference and he was just raving about you and he had slides up and was talking about how you were the Twitter queen and you were just like you had built this amazing following and how incredible you were. And I was kind of I had been on Twitter for a while but I hadn't really kind of taken the plunge. So I'm like I'm going to follow this Amy girls, who seems like she's probably funny, and so I kind of jumped in and I jumped in a little bit too deep. I was like everything that you posted, I'm like, oh, my God, you're so funny. You're the funniest person on the planet. I love you. Blah, blah, blah. And at one point I just said you don't know this, but you and I are best friends now and all you did you came back with like a squiggly face emoji, like you're kind of scaring me and I'm like I think I've gone too far and so then I'm like, I don't think I should do that. I'm like that crazy person on Twitter.Ame Dyckman:
That is totally my humor and I'm so sorry. I forget, like sometimes you know, like emojis and you just like replies via text. They don't convey. No, that is absolutely my allure. I'm so scared. If I scared you thinking you scared me, you didn't scare me.Lisa Schmid:
Your response was perfect. It was that kind of like oh moji, where I'm just like, yeah, I think I'm like I do that, then I lament about it and then I'm like, oh, I need to stop stalking Amy for a while because I have gone over the edge. You are so funny on Twitter Like I just sit there and think how did she come up with this stuff that's so entertaining and so amusing on a daily basis. So you're adorable, and I will just say you're as adorable as in person, as I pictured you. And one more thing I have to say so there's that little on inside out, the little joy emoji. That is you. And so when I saw I'm like, oh my God, that's Amy Deichmann. And so other people have caught on. They're like that's Amy and I'm like I know right, honestly, it's funny too, because that's my normal hair color.Ame Dyckman:
I normally have that blue hair color. I just bleached it and I've been. I've been on deadline and I have been too busy to put any color in my hair. But I normally even have the joy color and we joke like I have a green dress, a green sleeveless dress I just stopped wearing when the movie came out because people would be like he, that's so kind. No, I, absolutely. I love the character.Lisa Schmid:
I love the movie. Yeah well, you personify her, so it was a well-placed character. I have a feeling that the writer knew you and was, like, based on you, so anyway, that's like that's, that's our backstory that you knew nothing about. We love stories, obviously.Ame Dyckman:
We love stories.Beth McMullen:
We love back stories. We are super excited to have you here for lots of reasons, but we get a lot of questions on the podcast about picture books and Lisa and I know nothing really about picture books, so of course we were thrilled when you agreed to come on, because you're going to, you are going to be able to shine some light on this sort of mystery, the mystery of the picture book. And our first question for you today is when you begin a new picture book project, what's your typical story development process, like, how do you get from you know nothing to something?Ame Dyckman:
Oh, wow, that's a great question. And I was thinking about the question you sent me like you know, like these are possible topics. I was thinking about that the other day and I was like, oh, you know, like sometimes I do this, sometimes I do this. And then just this morning, out of the blue, completely asked for I'm like so right now, but a new picture book idea popped in my head and so I was able to like actually pay attention this time and see like, okay, well, now that we're thinking about this new project, how do we go about this? Sometimes that's exactly how it happens, right, you're not setting out to write a picture book, but your brain hears something like a word, a phrase, an idea, something in a certain way, and you just go, ooh, ooh, what's that, what's that? And you can't not think about it. So I was literally this morning. I'm standing, I'm doing dishes, I'm looking at the windows, I'm doing dishes, and all of a sudden I'm like oh, oh, this phrase, I have to go write down this phrase. And then you run to the computer and you've got to tap away as fast as you can, like before this idea just gets away from you. And sometimes it's just like that. It's boom. And then I had to literally text my family. I promised them I'm on deadline and I'm almost done, this is my last bit of homework deadline, and then things could actually maybe get back to normal around here and like clean for what I said. And I texted my family and said this morning I started a new story. I didn't mean to, I'm sorry. So sometimes it's just like that. Other times you know that there's a picture book either a theme, a message you know, a big picture idea and calm, the big picture idea for your book that you want to get out, or there's maybe like a character or a subject or something that you know you want to do, and then it's like a pot of stew and it just kind of simmers on the back burner of your brain for a really long time, and so sometimes a story is like that. But once you kind of get going it becomes very consuming, like I have burned many dinners when I, oh gosh, you have that big, beautiful rush of the new picture book idea. Now, taking all that energy and putting it into your words is awesome. But we also have to remember that there's a market and there's a business and editors like to purchase things that they think might do well, and so you then also have to look at it. You have to put on your business hat and you have to think of things you know with your business hat, because not every picture book idea that you get will go on to become what others may call a good picture book. In our hearts. They're all good picture books and we love these ideas, but sometimes we need to know that we're maybe appealing on this marketing level or appealing to lots of friends that can enjoy the story and hopefully our little books will go on to sell well. So sometimes then you have to put on the business hat and you have to see okay, are there any other books in the market like this, or is anything a direct competitor to this new idea, et cetera. And then there's also like the legacy angle, which is like well, what's new about your picture book that you're kind of putting in the kid lit pool? I like to think of it as, like you know, like a kiddie pool, and you want to bring something good to the pool. So what's new and novel and unique about your picture book that will further picture books everywhere and that's also a goal too, is that you're really adding something of value to what we already have. So all of these things happen when you're just simply sitting there washing dishes and you get an idea. Other stories will start with dialogue too, where I have a concept of what I wanted to and then all of a sudden, one character will speak to me and I will literally hear their voice in my head saying these words. One of the best examples of that happening was with Wolfie the Bunny. I knew I wanted to write a story about wolves. I knew I wanted to write a story about bunnies. I loved the adoption angle, but I didn't have a real voice for the character. I didn't know, like, what the words and especially important that all important catchphrase might be, until I was folding laundry again. Like, it seems like when I actually do some chores I get good ideas. I should do chores more often. But I was folding laundry upstairs and all of a sudden I heard Dot Bunny's voice Clear as day and she said he's going to eat us all up. He's going to eat us all up, and once your character starts speaking to you, make you a better listener, they're not going to shut up, and so it just went from there. So sometimes, like I said, it is dialogue and your character's become as real to you as anybody that you know, and sometimes even worse so, because you know all their emotions and all their feelings and you can't always know that about somebody else, but in this case you do, so listen to your characters. But it's such a fun adventure, even though, like I said, you have to be thinking of all of these things at once. You know your voice and what's new in novel and how's the market going to react and can you sell it? You know, like, be nice to your agent. Will they be able to sell this wacky idea you just had? I struggle with that one a lot. I have ideas that are wackier than the market and we got to rein it in a little bit, eddie. So there's no right way to write. There's no wrong way to write. There's no too weird way to write. You write your picture book the way it works for you. But these are some of the ways that you know. Sometimes a new picture book idea just makes itself known to me.Lisa Schmid:
You know, before I answer or ask question number two, I kind of want to slide something in. Are there like any rules for picture book, like hard and fast rules that somebody who's new to writing a picture book would or should?Ame Dyckman:
know. Yeah, that is a great question, and the biggest thing is to remember that, especially if you're the author only of the picture book, you must leave room for art. This is like the big one, because your job is only part of it, the words are only part of it. And a picture book, the true magic of a picture book. I mean, don't get me wrong, we have beautiful, wordless picture books that completely tell their own story. But when a book has both words and pictures, it only becomes a magical item, this magical, beautiful thing, when the pictures and the words work together. And so when you write a sentence, you have to think not what will the art be, but what could the art be so that your words can reflect that. Then your illustrator I mean the illustrator that's working on your project will come up with something a billion times better than you ever imagined. Collaboration is the best thing, but you have to start by imagining the possibility so that your words can hopefully work as well as they can with that image. The two really, really, really have to go hand in hand, and when we don't, when there's some mismatch, that's when you know like, if sketches come in, you go oh, my goodness, this sketch is so much better than this. Let me fix this sentence. Or you know, unfortunately this sentence is really crucial to the plot of the story. Maybe we could tweak the art and then that back and forth until you get it right and a really successful collaborative picture book should look like it came from, like one person, even though there's so many people involved in a picture book. Like I say, it takes a village to raise a picture book. So it's not just the author, it's not just the illustrator, it's not just the designer, it's not just the marketing input, it's not just the editor, it's not just copy editor, it's everybody. Everybody comes together to make this book. But Again, from the start you have to imagine what the possibilities could be for the art, so that you write the words that will hopefully be able to mesh best with the art, and then you just take it from there. It's never, never, never, never, never done until literally, the guy in the printing house pushes the big red button and everything starts. And up until then you're still working on it, you're still tinkering it and you're still giving your book absolutely, 100%, the best that you can. It means that you can't be too precious about anything Like I change words all the time. We're working on one picture. For cry, I changed the text of three different pages, so it would best work with the amazing illustrations that we got. So you can't have as we go, you can't be too precious about everything. End goal is just create the best picture book and sometimes, especially when folks are starting out, they don't think about the art. They think, well, I'm just writing the words to the story and no, no, no, you're writing the words for the future collaboration, the future picture book itself. So you have to have a mind for the art, even if, like me, I don't draw it all. I mean, bless every single illustrator, I would have no job. But you still have to think visually, even as a picture book author.Lisa Schmid:
That's part of the job right, right from the bottom. That's really interesting. I mean, that is some of the best advice I've ever heard about. I mean, seriously, that is such brilliant advice, especially for somebody who's new or even who's been writing picture books, so that let me ask you this the collaboration process I've always kind of heard that once you turn over your book and illustrators don't like notes that much, that there is no collaboration between the illustrator and the picture book writer. Is that a myth or is there like what you're describing? Is that it really is a give and take going back and forth once they've started illustrating the story?Ame Dyckman:
It varies from editor to editor and publisher to publisher, and project to project and book in the series to book in the series and everything in between it completely varies. So sometimes, especially if the author and illustrator already know each other they're already friends. Maybe they know each other through social media. They're each on each other's wish list. We get to make wish lists sometimes of who you want to work with or who you hope to work with. So sometimes the editors will already know who they want an illustrator to be. Sometimes the designers already know who they want an illustrator to be, the art team, et cetera, and sometimes they say when you were writing this, did you have anyone in mind? So really kind of knows how well the author and illustrator know each other at the outset and then how comfortable the whole team is with you guys talking. Sometimes it works best for the author to do the words and then they go to the editor and then the editor meets with art and then they collaborate and then they go to the illustrator and then they all have feedback and then they check back with the author and it revolves that way and sometimes y'all just get together on an email or a phone call or a Zoom like a one person gang, and that works too. I don't think there's any one right way or wrong way. Again, it's just the ebb and flow of the book. As long as everyone's committed to that best book team effort, then you can't go wrong, whichever way it works. So I've had projects that work both ways, and combinations of those ways too, and it's really just varies by the project, but the only thing that's constant is that every single project ends up being so much better than I could have ever done myself. Once I like, though especially as you get into like multiple books in a series is once you've seen the characters. That's hardest part is writing a book, especially a character driven book or, hopefully, series, where you haven't seen characters yet. You see them in your head, but you haven't had that magical moment when you first click open the first file of sketches or character sketches. But yeah, I know that the all of it is, it's just when it comes together, it's, it's just amazing. Again, it's, it's so many minds and and and everyone's good ideas, and you, you go back and you go oh, yes, the designer said that. No, I remember. The editor said yeah, and oh, remember, copy editing said that, and it's just. We did it, guys, it's a book.Beth McMullen:
I love that. That it sounds the way that you describe it. You make it sound fun like you're just. You have your team and everybody has their directive and you're doing your part, and then to see it all come together into this beautiful whole is gotta be incredibly satisfied.Ame Dyckman:
You were little and you got to do like a group project in school but everybody was friends and nobody like nobody thought about it and everybody like pulled their weight Because we were in school projects where that didn't happen too. But no, but an ideal picture book project is the best little kids school project and there's nothing like it's just you're just going off of each other's ideas and you're just making something awesome and everybody's there and it's just it's. It's so much fun and you just get to do this again and again and again. That's why make picture books is so addictive. I'm saying I'm gonna try something else, like I'm gonna try a different format, novelist, like I don't know how y'all do it. Okay, that just seems like so many words, but it's also so interesting. Like you really get to get into the characters and get into, like, like the plots and all the little details and everything that some. You know. Sometimes we have to trim little details for picture books because we're we're all about keeping like these, these big ideas, small. But to be able to go big with an idea seems so amazing and I keep saying I'm gonna try it, I'm gonna try it. I have no idea if I do, I'm gonna try it, I'm gonna try it. And then, like this morning, then you have another picture book idea and suddenly there you go and you're, you're committed for another couple years. Oh, that's the weird thing too is like no one knows how. I don't know if novels are on the same timeline, but for picture books you're usually looking at a couple years out from from the time you actually even sell it to the time you can hold it in your hand, because you're generally looking at like a two to three year run.Beth McMullen:
Wow, Okay, that's long.Ame Dyckman:
Yeah, I just I just signed up a 2026 or and I'm like, oh my gosh, wow, I don't have my vitamins, you know. But yeah, it does. It takes a really long time, even when you know, like, like I've worked with some illustrators that work, it's amazingly fast, like it's. It's incredible like they get the manuscript and BART is amazingly fast. I mean, he, he got the manuscript for we're doing a series called bat, cat and rat. It's so adorable. They're like three very different roommates, because I'm like we have a lot of roommate books. But this is a scenario that kids know. Like you know, we have all different families right now. So I'm like three roommates, boom. And he got this manuscript and I'm telling you I don't think he ate, I don't think he slept, I don't even think he used the bathroom before he had the entire book sketched out, the entire book. So we're actually working on book four of the series right now. That is my homework and I'm almost like, I'm like, I'm like, I'm like literally like a comma away for for everyone to look at and hopefully, hopefully I brought it, and if they don't, you know, if it's not All like everybody, yes, then we want this to be a fourth book. Then I go back to the drawing board well, the the writing board and I try it again. And I want all picture books friends to know, like, especially when you have a series of books like I have another series where the second one that I hadn't written did not get accepted it was, it was not the shared vision for everybody and that hurts and you're sad and you eat some chocolate and then you get over it and you get back to writing because you have a job to do and you can't let everybody down. So I just turned in that new thing, that new idea for that series and, fingers crossed, I've got a good, I have a good response so far. So I hope that works. But that happens. That's another part of it. Again, you are part of a team, it's not just you.Beth McMullen:
So that's actually very good for people to hear, because I think sometimes, if you get, you have a book that doesn't go the distance or doesn't work out like you planned, and then you think yourself well, that's it, I suck, I quit, and obviously, like you just said, that's not the case. You're part of a team, you have a job to do. You just, yes, eat some chocolate, get over yourself, start again. I mean, rejection is part of the gig. If you don't like it, definitely don't do this job. I would say.Ame Dyckman:
It is absolutely 100% and especially when, when the first book, like the first book, all comes together so well, like the first book, I think we've got it. This is so cute. I don't this one hasn't been announced it, so I don't think I could talk about this. So soon, soon, soon, soon. But we got the illustrator that we wanted. Yay, I can't believe. You said yes, and it's gonna be so fun. I've already seen this character sketches and they're so great. But again, the second story, just it just didn't resonate and maybe because I hadn't met the characters. And now that I see the characters, now I got. So I saw the characters and I finished up the story and I think that one's gonna work. But, yes, there there, there are no, there, there are quote unquote failures. You know, I say like there's nothing's a failure because you take something away. You learn every single process and even when you write lines that or even entire manuscripts that don't quote unquote, make it, something from that story will resurface somewhere else, whether it's the actual lines or characters or situations or even just like hey, that's something that I learned, I can structure a sentence like this and that worked. Then, boom, that was. That was still a lesson worth learning. You know what I mean. And you'll take that away and you'll see it come up somewhere else. You're like, ah see, no, you don't lose anything. So there's there's no failures in this game. There's there's. You know, hey, you get your night of, like I said, chocolate, maybe a little tequila, and, and so that's that is actually good for people to hear.Beth McMullen:
So picture books are generally rely on a strong emotional response, and that's for the kids and also the adults who are reading them to the kids. I'm speaking from experience. So, in order to get to that emotional level and connection with your young readers, what are some strategies or techniques that you engage? Or did you feel it just arises naturally when you're vested in the theme or the topic? How does that work for you?Ame Dyckman:
Oh gosh, what a great question. So emotions the biggest number one overarching rule for anything that you do for kids is that it all has to ring what I say kid true, what I call kid true, and that that's for situations that you know. Your situations have to be real, situations that kids would actually do or be in your dialogue, especially. That's. That's one of the huge big places where you go. I don't think a kid would say something like that. You know what I mean, or say it in that way. And then, especially, emotions Kids have huge emotions and everything to kids is a very big deal Like as adults, we have the luxury of saying you know this tool will pass, or I don't know, or, sir, you know whatever. But because we have longer, we've been longer, you know, we have a longer amount of time. So each individual oh no, my feelings got hurt, or oh, wow, I got really disappointed. As part of the big picture, as part of the big whole, those events kind of hold less weight. But for littles who've been here a much shorter time and they haven't hopefully had so many disappointments or had so many sad experiences or something, each and every one of those huge big thing it's a huge, big part of who they are. You have to recognize the importance of each of these little events, even things that as grown-ups because that's not such a big deal but to a kid it is when you validate those emotions as being big and real and genuine that helps connect with your little readers, hopefully your big readers who go yeah, I saw that be really important to them On some level. Every time a grown-up opens a picture book too, you're connecting with your little yourself. You're connecting with your little, younger self. Where you had all those experiences as well, you go. I remember that. So with the new book, don't blow your top. It's all about being upset when something unexpected happens which is a much bigger thing for littles than us because, again, we've had more experience it's difficult to rein it in, sometimes it's difficult to keep your emotions inside and sometimes you blow up. Especially after you blow up, we have to give the word, we have to give the message to littles. It's okay, we can shake it off, literally and figuratively, and we can move on from there. You acknowledge what happened, you say you're sorry, you shake it off, you move on and it could be a beautiful day again. And that's exactly what happens to little protagonists in our story. So really connecting, really validating the emotions and experiences of little kids, it should be at the heart of every picture book that you write, because this is for them, this is for their bigs, that, like you hinted, you know we're going to be reading it aloud a lot, over and over. It should connect with us too, and it also reminds us of what we're trying to teach them.Lisa Schmid:
I feel like I've just had a therapy session.Ame Dyckman:
You know, like I imagine it is, you get to go through this journey with your characters. Maybe you worked some stuff out, but your characters can and especially in picture books, where you only have 32 or 40 or maybe, if you beg 48 pages to get the job done, you know you can have that entire emotional arc and emotional journey and it is very therapeutic. And I put things in picture books. I mean, like I said, there's a little bit of all of us in our own books. Absolutely People who know me, they go Aha, I know who you're talking about, or I know what happened, or I was there with that party.Lisa Schmid:
This is the perfect time to ask. The big question and this is what all new picture book writers are wondering is what advice would you have for somebody who wants to write a picture book, and are there any elements or tips that you'd like to share to help them get started? Like what when you're, when you very first sat down to write your very first picture book? Like go back to that Amy, go back to little Amy and she was just starting out when she was just a tiny little writer and then she grew into this big writer. So go there, go there and talk to her. Thank you, sir.Ame Dyckman:
So that would be back in 2008. And Amy realized that one of the most wonderful parts of the day was sitting with her own little one your little kindergartner at the time and and doing story time. And I'd been lucky to have a job as a teacher prior to that. And, same thing, I loved having circle time. I loved reading a lot of the stories and making them come alive, and talking about it, and looking at the art, ooing and on over the art and and seeing with my little one. And I thought you know I love words, I love telling stories. I've always wanted to do this. What if I were to try to? And a bunch of things happened and came together in our lives where we're like this is, you know, it's now do it. And the very first thing I did was I basically moved into my library and I mean literally like I sat on the floor in my library in a little picture book section and I pulled out book after book after book and you'll hear the same, the same advice from a lot of picture book authors, which is, if you want to write picture books, read picture books. And it's so true Read as many picture books as you can Read, read all the new things coming out. Read then all the things that did like particularly well in the last, you know last, number of years. Read your favorites from childhood that you, you put in your heart and you never forgot, because there's a reason there in your heart. And then each one of us has that gap somewhere where, when we, we ourselves, grew out of picture books and then we started reading, you know like chapter books and novels and graphic novels and everything else when you kind of like forgot to read picture books. So those years where you had that gap, if you want to write picture books, go and study your gap. Go and study your gap years for picture books and see what came out in those years and see what worked as well, and then you have this wonderful overview of the market. Now I don't know what your limit is at your particular library, but I have a big, beautiful, wonderful library that allows you to check out 50 books at a time, and when you have a library card in your child's name too, you can check out 100 books at a time. And I would do it, I would literally. I'm like very short, I'm like five foot four on a good day and I would have. I would be so loaded down with books, with picture books, that I was checking out of the library and I would check them out and I would bring them home and I would study them and I read them and I'd read with my kid and I'd show the really good ones to my entire family and I would go and do the next thing all over again. I'd turn them in and I'd get more books. I once had so many picture books on like on various bags strapped across my body. I actually fell over in the lobby of my library. It was so embarrassing and I looked like a greedy book hog and I'm telling you picture book writers, it's OK to be a greedy book hog. Go, get your little paws on as many picture books as you can and read, read, read, read, read them and study them and look for the marvelous wonder of a page turn. Page turns are so important. When you have something big, something huge, something important, something emotional or surprising, or your big plot pointer you reveal, put it on a page turn. Make sure you make that page turn work for you. It is OK to have an idea. It's back. You should have an idea where your page turns will come in a story if it helps you to page them out. Go right ahead, make the structure of the book work for you and pay particular attention to the most important thing in picture books, which is what you don't say as an author, because again, you're leaving that space for the art. So you'll see, like words that you don't need. Now there's editing and you'll get there. You'll whittle it down eventually. But if you have an idea from the start of how to phrase the important words and how to limit the words you don't need because, again, it's going to be shown in the art you don't need to do it. So all these wonderful little tips and tricks that, if you're really, really, really like I want to write a picture book and you're sure you do, because, remember, it is completely addictive, you will burn dinner, it'll ruin your life, but it's also so much fun. So if you're sure you want to take that leap, then go read, read, read, study, write and then know the market too Because that, unfortunately or fortunately, is one of the players in the game is the market. The market has to have a spot for your book. So your book should bring something new to the market that we haven't seen before. They'll make an impact on children and children's literature for, hopefully, many years to come. So go do your best work. You got this.Beth McMullen:
This is like a masterclass in picture books. I feel educated. No, seriously, I've been jotting down notes. I like to do a little teaser at the beginning of the episode that I record later. I'd like to jot down a couple of little things that catch my attention, that'll catch a listener's attention and my card is full, so that is evidence that we have gotten some really, really good information here. We do not want to keep you all day, so this is wrapping up our time with Amy, and thank you so much for being here and sharing your wisdom. This has been so informative and I know that our listeners are going to be very excited to get moving on some of the things that you have suggested.Ame Dyckman:
I'm very excited. Now, too, I'm very energized. This was better than my afternoon coffee. I'm going to take my own advice. I'm going to go sit down with my current manuscript and have my new idea that I had this morning, and I'm going to go try and give up my best work. Thank you so much for having me. This was absolutely a blast. Hey, writers, I believe in you. You can do it. Go picture book people. I want to read your stories. I'm, first and foremost, a picture book fan, not just an author, and I want to see what you got.Beth McMullen:
So let's go do it. We cannot leave on any better note than that. And remember you can find out more about Amy and her books on her website, which is wwwamydigmancom, and I'll put links to all her socials and her website in the podcast notes so you can easily get in touch and follow her and enjoy all the content that she puts out there. And, as always, thank you, listeners, for tuning in. Please visit our Writers with Wrinkles link tree or the podcast notes to find out how to support the show by subscribing, following and recommending, and we will see you again next week, which is October 23rd, for a new Marketing Monday episode. We have great intel to share with you then, so please join us for that, and until then, happy reading, writing and listening.