WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES
INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION FOR WRITERS
EMMA WALTON HAMILTON
We are so very lucky! Our guest today is one of those rare people who has attained success and then is anxious to reach out and generously help mentor others.
EMMA WALTON HAMILTON is a New York Times bestselling children’s book author, editor and educator, and the host of the Children’s Book Hub. She has co-authored 20 children’s books with her mother, Julie Andrews, including THE VERY FAIRY PRINCESS (#1 NY Times bestseller), JULIE ANDREWS’ COLLECTION OF POEMS, SONGS AND LULLABIES (illustrated by James McMullan) and the DUMPY THE DUMP TRUCK series of picture books and board books and her own award-winning book, RAISING BOOKWORMS.
She offers unique resources for children’s book authors, including editorial services, workshops and courses and an online writers salon. Emma has graciously given her time and expertise to the 12×12 community with her query critique sessions…she definitely knows how to make your query sing. I’m thrilled to have her join us here.
Thank you so much for participating, Emma. I know everyone is excited to greet you!
We talk about how important books are for young kids. Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?
So many! And this list will date me, of course… but, in no particular order:
Dr. Seuss, Marguerite Henry, Enid Blyton, Beatrix Potter, Roald Dahl, Mary Norton, Beverly Cleary, E.B. White, A.A. Milne, C.S. Lewis, Mark Twain, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Gerald Durrell, Madeleine L’Engle.
Other books I loved – The Secret Garden, The Wind in the Willows, Anne of Green Gables, Watership Down, The Black Stallion, Pippi Longstocking, the Nancy Drew books and, probably my all time favorite, The Phantom Tollbooth. That was my rainy-day book, and it taught me how delicious – and powerful – words could be.
What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started writing for children?
How hard it is to do well – and how important it is to assess (and re-assess!) every single word for its right to exist on the page. Writing for children and young adults is so much harder than it seems. We have to be masters of economy and action. The kinds of indulgences one can get away with in adult fiction (lots of exposition, for instance) can kill a children’s book. Kids are much Continue reading