Christopher Cheng – Will Write for Cookies Goes to Australia






Going to writing conferences rocks! You attend great workshops. You listen to amazing presentations. You learn so much. One of the best perks, though, is that you meet incredible people.

I connected with award-winning author/illustrator Christopher Cheng at the AFCC/SCBWI conference in Singapore last May. His presentations sing…his books sparkle. When I asked him if he would participate in Will Write for Cookies…and he said YES…I’m sure he was able to hear my happy hip hip hooray – all the way on the other side of the world!

Chris is a sought-after speaker for SCBWI and other groups…and travels all over the world – he just returned from the Bologna and London book fairs. If you check out his website, you’ll find his blog where he shares what he sees and hears at these conferences.

Chris Cheng and bini in LondonWith wife, Bini, in London.


Chris…I’m so happy you could do this. I know that everyone is anxious to hear more about you.


Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?


CS Lewis, CS Lewis, CS Lewis (I still have my very first copies) – oh and very early on … A.A Milne
What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started writing for children?


That it is so much fun … and lots of work too!



Where do you like to write/draw – inside, outside, a special area in your home, on the computer, in a notebook?


I have notebooks that go everywhere with me and then when each is filled – on one side only, the opposite side *might* be needed for Continue reading

Goal-Busters: Moving Ahead in 2014

2013 was a year of change for me. I moved 2000 miles across the country to be closer to our daughter and five-year old grandson.

3 generations on new years eve

2014 will also be a year of moving closer – closer to my dream of having one of my picture book stories published.

Along this journey, I’ve met many others who share this dream – and every month this year, I’ll be turning the spotlight on them and asking them to:

  •  Reveal their goals for 2014
  • Tell us the steps they are taking to reach them
  • Share how they will reward themselves

I hope you will return every 1st Monday of the month to meet them – there will be familiar faces – and some new ones, too.

I thought it only fair for me to go first…so for today, you are stuck with me.



I believe that clever Mr. Franklin knew what he was talking about.

Success in any undertaking calls for preparation. I’ve been Continue reading

Will Write for Cookies – Children’s Author and Advocate Susanne Gervay







I first met Susanne Gervay in the lobby of the Hotel Grand Pacific in Singapore. I attended several of her presentations at the 2013 AFCC/SCBWI conference and sat next to her for many of the functions.

Susanne is kind and generous and funny and smart…I was thrilled when she agreed to step into the spotlight today. I know you will find her answers enlightening. I’m going to be printing out her writing tips to keep posted on my wall – I need to remember them – especially #4. And she is sharing a really special recipe that I am sure you will want to try!

Susanne…I know you are extremely busy with your own writing, your speaking engagements all over the world, your hotel in Sydney, your family and the many children’s causes you advocate for. It was kind of you to agree to be interviewed and I know everyone is anxious to hear from you.

Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?

Johanna Spyri – Heidi.


Elizabeth George Speare – The Witch of Blackbird Pond


Lucy Maud Montgomery – Anne of Green Gables .


Eleanor H. Porter – Pollyanna


May Gibbs illustrator of the gumnut babies


Beatrix Potter illustrator of Peter Rabbit



What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started writing for children?


I wish I knew I should have worked on my manuscripts, edited them, let them sit for a while, until I looked at them again, before I sent them to publishers.  It would have reduced the heart aches of rejection.


I also wish Continue reading

Talking to Kids about War: Ships in the Field

Today is Friday – I have a children’s book to review to add to the  Perfect Picture Book resource list that author Susanna Leonard Hill is building on her blog. For more wonderful reviews from authors, educators and others who contributed today, please go here

My picture book pick today is another one of the treasures I scooped up in Singapore last week at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content.

Talking to kids about war: Ships in the Field

Ships in the Field

Written by Susanna Gervay

Illustrated by Anna Pignataro

Publisher: Ford Street Publishers – Melbourne, Australia (2012)

Ages: 5 and up


Family togetherness, immigrants, war, hope

Opening Lines:

“Every night, Brownie and I wait for Papa to come home.” Continue reading