Monday, May 16, 2011

Crystal Kite Winner Interview Week: Deborah Underwood, THE QUIET BOOK

Today we're kicking off two weeks of interviews with the 2011 Crystal Kite Member Choice Award winners!

Our first winner to be featured is Deborah Underwood, whose title THE QUIET BOOK won the 2011 Crystal Kite Award for the California/Hawaii region. To learn more about today's award-winning author, visit her website or follow her on twitter.

Please tell my readers a little about your winning book.

THE QUIET BOOK is an exploration of the various quiets that fill a child's day--everything from "first one awake quiet" to "thinking of a good reason you were drawing on the wall" quiet. My intention was to take kids on a journey in which they experience a wide variety of emotions. This was a bit of a challenge since the word count is so low, but Renata Liwska's fabulous illustrations tell a lot of the story and complement the text perfectly.

How does it feel to receive an award voted on by your peers? What does this award mean to you?

As far as I'm concerned, the sweetest recognition comes from peers (who know how much work is involved in creating kids' books) and children (who are, after all, the intended audience). I learned that I'd received the Crystal Kite around the same time I found out A BALLOON FOR ISABEL made the Children's Choices List. It's hard to imagine a more gratifying week than that!

Despite the fact that I'm a writer, I have no words that adequately express how honored I am by the Crystal Kite and how much it means to me. During my 10 years writing for kids, I've gone through some dark times when it seemed like I wasn't making any headway and would never be able to pull off a career as a writer. This award feels like a vote of confidence from my community, and I'm so grateful.

How long have you been a member of SCBWI? To what degree are you involved? And how has your SCBWI membership been helpful to your career?

I joined SCBWI soon after I decided to write for kids, and whenever anyone asks me about writing for kids, I encourage them to join, too.

I've attended numerous conferences, and have had the privilege of speaking at the SCBWI Golden Gate Conference at Asilomar and at a Beyond the Bay event.

I found my first critique groups through SCBWI events, and SCBWI conferences have taught me so much. One of the things that continues to impress me is how generous and supportive the children's writing community is. It's wonderful to have an organization that does such a good job of connecting people.

What will we see from your next?

THE LOUD BOOK, a companion volume to THE QUIET BOOK, came out April 4th. Next year I have two picture books being published: PART-TIME PRINCESS, illustrated by Cambria Evans (Disney Hyperion) and THE CHRISTMAS QUIET BOOK, illustrated by Renata Liwska (Houghton Mifflin).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I love to hear other writer's success stories. "The Quiet Book" is wonderful.