Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Guest Blog with Tameka Brown and a Giveaway!

It is my honor to host Tameka Brown, a local Charlotte, NC picture book author. Her latest book,  My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood was just released last week. Here she talks about the inspiration for the book and the impact she hopes it will have on readers. At the end you'll see how you can win a copy of this kid-pleasing and wonderfully illustrated book that belongs in every family and school library! 

Carol: I love your title. What is the story behind My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood? Did the title just come to you? Any events in your own life prompt the story?

Tameka: Actually, the title was a major group effort. Along with myself there was my editor, my agent, the art director, and several sales and marketing folks involved in coming up with it. I love it, too.

For this story, I happened to be thinking to myself one day, “Boy, am I in a mood.” My writer’s ear zoned in on the “in a mood” part; it sounded like a great first line or title for a picture book. That was the spark that resulted in the story of a boy and his emotion-filled day...complete with two, pushy older brothers. Personally, I’m a lover of bright colors because they make me feel so alive; I suppose I intuitively married the concepts of color and emotion together.

Carol: If you could wave a magic wand and create the takeaway from this book, what would it be? In other words, what are you hoping readers (both little and big!) will gain from reading it?

Tameka: I hope to encourage readers to own ALL of their feelings, the good and the not-so-good. I want them to recognize that they have a right to feel each and every one of their emotions, to express them verbally or in writing, in a constructive (maybe even a creative) way.  At the very least, I hope they will focus on identifying and acknowledging their true feelings to themselves. That’s a necessary life skill that precedes effective problem-solving.

Carol: What was your path to publication? How long did it take to go from the idea to the book? Did Jennifer Rofe' make editing suggestions?

Tameka: My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood is my second picture book. I secured an agent (Jennifer RofĂ© of Andrea Brown Literary Agency) with my first book, Around Our Way On Neighbor’s Day.  Jen is what is known as an “editorial” agent, which means that she critiques all of my manuscripts before submitting them to editors to ensure that they are as strong as they can be. Not all agents are editorial and when seeking representation, a writer should consider which they would prefer. Although it may add an extra stage to the submissions process, I have learned to truly value Jennifer’s astute feedback. Even if an editor feels a manuscript of mine isn’t a good fit for their current list, they almost always request to see more of my work. Jen’s focus on making sure I put my best foot forward plays a significant part in that.

Here was my path to publication:
·         I wrote a story called In a Mood and worked with my critique group to get it in the best shape possible.
·         I sent it to Jen. She didn’t have any revision suggestions (a rarity!), so we sent it out on submission.
·         The amazing Joy Peskin, expressed interest on behalf of Viking Children’s early in the process.
·         Joy bought my manuscript and worked with me on minor revisions.
·         An illustrator (Shane W. Evans) was secured.
·         Joy left Viking.
·         My project was reassigned to Joanna Cardenas—who took great, loving care of both me and my book.
·         Sales & Marketing suggested that we change the title because buyers might assume the plot was something it’s not.
·         After a great team effort, a new, dynamic title was developed.
·         On March 7, 2013 My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood was officially born into the world!

Congratulations, Tameka, on birthing your second picture book and for a great review in Publisher's Weekly!

Here are the giveaway rules:

  • Post a link to this blog on your favorite social media site OR become a follower of my blog.
  • Leave me a comment as to which you did. If you are a new follower PLEASE leave your email address. If you don't, I'll have no way to contact you if you win!
  • Enter by midnight on March 15th. Winner will be drawn on March 16th.  
If you live in or around Charlotte, Tameka will be autographing books at Park Road Books on March 23 at 2 PM. Hope to see you there!


beth said...

Congrats to my friend Tameka! I'm a new subscriber to your blog, Carol. THANKS!

Linda Phillips said...

Thanks Carol and Tameka for sharing the process towards publication of this great book. I will be posting on FB so please enter me in the giveaway.

Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

I for sure, want to enter. And I have grands who want to enjoy this with me.

I linked on Facebook.

Joy said...

I posted the link on my facebook page. I'd love to win a copy of her new book.

Rosi said...

I love this book. I just wrote a review for the Sacramento Book Review that, I think, will be in the April issue, and believe me, it was a very nice, well-deserved review. Don't enter me in the drawing as I have a copy, but I won't for long. I'll be taking it into my granddaughter's classroom, and I'm sure the kids won't let me leave with it!

Clara Gillow Clark said...

Congratulations to Tameka, and best wishes for success with MY COLD PLUM LEMON PIE BLUESY MOOD.

Carol Baldwin said...

Welcome Beth, and thanks for following my blog. Leave me your email address in case you win!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Joyce, Joy, Clara, Rosi & Linda for stopping by and leaving comments for Tameka and I!

Anonymous said...

I sure love that happy cover, and the even happier news that the book is OUT. Congrats on your newest success Tameka!

Young Authors Program said...

Hey Carol, just posted Tameka's PW article on my fb page. Also going to post on twitter, too! Thanks for sharing this great new book!

Tee Brown said...

Thanks to all of you for your kind words of encouragement!

Kami said...

Tweeted it twice! Forgot to mention that above. Thanks again for the interview. :)


Niki Schoenfeldt said...

I tweeted it. Chirp, chirp! On Twitter too.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Niki. You're in!

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Carol, Thanks for posting an interview with Tameka. I posted a link to this blog on my Joan Y. Edwards author page. I'd be honored to win a copy of Tameka's new book.

Dear Tameka,
Congratulations on your new book.

Dear Carol and Tameka,
Celebrate you and your love of writing today.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Joan! You're in!

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