Picture Book Biographies

Fictional POV Characters to Introduce a True Story

This post published in 2012 If it isn’t obvious by now, I’m that grown up kid who disassembles gizmos to figure out how they work-all because I want to learn how to build my own. But, in my case, the gizmos are books. This blog thread is about sharing my observations as I dissect nonfiction… Read more »

Picture Book Biographies with First Person Point of View

Welcome to part one of my new thread on nonfiction and historical fiction picture books. Today, let’s take a look at some “biographies” told through first person point-of-view (POV). I know what you’re thinking. Wouldn’t a first person biography actually be an autobiography? Well, welcome to the world of picture books where good storytelling often… Read more »

To Nonfiction or Historical Fiction. That is the Question

October 1, 2012 If it’s not already obvious from my past blog posts, I’ve always been a nonfiction purist. In fact, I’ve engaged in my share of debates in defense of the genre, most specifically in terms of picture book biographies. If dialog, characters, or events are created, the book is fiction, I’ve demanded. Maybe… Read more »

Revising like a Sculptor

It’s been a while since I posted something new here. Wrapping up summer, with travel, family, and myriad commitments took a grand total of six weeks. In the midst of all that fun and frivolity, I had revisions to do – the third round for an interested editor. I’m guardedly optimistic. Deep into those revisions,… Read more »

From Befuddled to Eureka- Clarifying my narrator’s lens-P.B. Biography

My currrent work-in-progress has had me befuddled. That’s a good word, isn’t it? Befuddled. My Webster’s Dictionary defines the word as, “To confuse or stupefy.” Yep, that sums it up. Said manuscript is complete and it’s not half bad. Yay!  I’ve got a compelling story with suspenseful scenes and historical significance. But, my inner-editor has… Read more »

Do nonfiction picture books always have a story arc?

An interesting question was posed during a recent critique group meeting. Do all picture book biographies need a story arc? Put another way, does every NF PB need dramatic highs and lows in physical and/or emotional elements? Opinions vary on the subject. First, let’s clarify that picture book biographies, as opposed to adult biographies, don’t… Read more »

Why I Love Nonfiction Picture Books

I love to read nonfiction picture books and the reason may surprise you. As a kid, I was as interested in history as I was in learning to bake the perfect muffin in home economics class. Not! In the eons before home computers, internet, and narrative nonfiction, history meant dry, boring text books, and pop… Read more »

A Fresh Angle – Bringing “Overdone” Subjects back to Life

In a previous post, I mentioned the importance of having a fresh angle when writing nonfiction picture books. You might think historical subjects like George Washington, Charles Darwin, Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, and Frida Kahlo have been “overdone.” Here are a few titles that remind us of the remarkable and little known chapters… Read more »

Truth Inspired – How Story Dictates Itself

What inspires your stories? Our imaginations are constantly bombarded, yet it takes but one little fact to grab us, holding us hostage until we pay it’s artful ransom. When that nugget of inspiration strikes, we must listen. When truth pulses as a nucleus, our job is to take dictation, building a form around it as… Read more »

Nonfiction vs. Creative Nonfiction vs. Historical Fiction

Thank you for visiting my blog. Please note that this post was published in 2010—long before my first published book, and long before I pursued an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where I dedicated half of my critical thesis to the murky nonfiction-fiction threshold and how the classification process adds to… Read more »