5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, January 27, 2017!
The city is still fast asleep when a young girl and her father leave the house. But slowly, little by little, light starts to creep up over the buildings, and the city starts to wake up. As they walk through the drowsy streets, a woman begins her morning jog, street sweepers clean up the roads, stores begin to open, and food deliveries are made to stores and restaurants. Join these two on their morning walk to school through the city in this beautifully illustrated picture book.
Exclusive interview with the author:
1) No matter how many books you write, I’m sure each one has it’s own challenges. How was this book more challenging to write than your others? How was it easier?
The challenge for this was the format. It had to be couplets. It had to fit a certain number of pages and be fairly short and simple – a lot of cutting went on. And of course, as with all picture books, the challenge is to keep the scenes changing, to keep the story moving forward, and to give the artist many dynamic images to work with. A lot of revision went into meeting these demands.
But it was also really fun to write because I was drawing on rich memories from childhood that made me happy. And I was working closely with an editor who was right there with me. We were on the same page, had the same vision of what it should be. We had great back-and-forth process going. And then, I drew on so much sense memory. Working on this book was a pleasure, it put me in touch with how much I love city living. And even though I’m not a morning person, when I happen to be up early, I always find it to be such a magical time. I always think, I should do this more often! I hope my readers get as much pleasure from taking this city morning walk with me as I had creating it.
2) The art for Wake Up, City is beautiful. Where did you find the artist?
A common misconception is that writers of picture books pick our own artists. This rarely happens. Editors and art directors choose the artist and direct the illustration process. Most of the time, they are really good at what they do, and I’ve been very happy with the art for my books over the years.
I’m absolutely thrilled with Wake Up, City! Laure Fournier is a French artist, so she brought a European sensibility to our work. We never communicated until after the art was completed, and yet, she captured the mood, the feeling, the rhythm, the movement, the quiet joy, the overall tone of my words perfectly. Her use of color and light is exquisite and that little girl is so quietly expressive.
3) Is there a playlist for your picture book? If so, please share!
I often turn to music for inspiration. In this case, I found myself listening to:
Chelsea Morning (Joni Mitchell), Morning Morgantown (Joni Mitchell) Morning Has Broken (Cat Stevens), I Live in a City, (Malvina Reynolds), I’ll Take Manhattan(Rogers and Hart), I Love Paris (Sinatra), Wake Me Up, (Avicii), I Left My Heart in San Francisco (Bennett), Downtown (Petula Clark), Windy (Association)
4) Considering a book from the first word you write to the moment you see it on a bookstore shelf, what’s your favorite part of the process? What’s your least favorite?
My least favorite part of the process is when I realize I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m lost and the road has disappeared. The spark that ignited the book is flickering helplessly and I don’t know how to fix it, to bring it back to life. I don’t know how to find my way through the muddle. It’s a period of panic and despair.
My favorite part of the process is that moment – which comes if I stick with it – when I get clarity, I see where it’s going, what it’s about. I hear the voice – whether it’s a character’s voice or the narrative voice. Then I can dig in, follow the story, play with language, sharpen the focus, figure out how to get the words just right – the fun stuff! Of course it isn’t linear. There are moments of sliding back into the muddle all along the way, but usually there is a “click”, a turning point at which I know I’ll be able to pull it all through.
5) Do you have a favorite writing beverage/snack?
Coffee, but I try to limit it. Green tea – lots. Chocolate, especially chocolate covered espresso beans – that’s a vitamin, right?
About the author:
Award-winning author, Erica Silverman, has written over twenty-five picture books and early readers, including the popular Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa series. Her new early reader series, Lana’s World, – about a little girl with a big imagination – launched in 2015 with two books: Let’s Go Fishing! and Let’s Have a Parade! – which Kirkus review described as “a just-right book for reading fun” Book three, Let’s Go to the Moon, launches in Spring 2017. Wake Up, City is her new picture book, a lyrical celebration of a city morning. Visit Erica online at www.ericasilverman.com.
5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, January 27, 2017.
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