Susanna Leonard Hill — Interview!
As I continue this week-long celebration of the first year of Perfect Picture Book Fridays (PPBF), I am happy to be able to share with you all an interview with the founder of PPBF, Susanna Leonard Hill. Besides having a blog in which she encourages writers and readers with features such as PPBF, Would You Read It Wednesdays, Short and Sweets, Oh Susanna!, etc., Susanna is also a prolific author who has written such delights as Not Yet, Rose, Can’t Sleep Without Sheep, Punxsutawney Phyllis and April Fool, Phyllis! among others.
I came to know Susanna through PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) 2011, and discovered her blog. When she suggested Perfect Picture Book Fridays, I eagerly became involved, and over the course of the past year, I have developed a treasured friendship with Susanna, as well as becoming part of a very special community in PPBF.
Susanna has provided us with a brief biography: Once upon a time I grew up in New York City with my parents, two brothers, one sister, and an average of 3 cats. I went to some very good schools and eventually earned graduate degrees in a field I ended up not pursuing for very long because what I really wanted to do was be a mom and a writer. I am very fortunate to have 5 amazing kids and 11 books to show for myself. 🙂
May I say that we are very fortunate to have those books, as well, Susanna! And now, to learn more about the person behind the books and the blog:
Beth: Congratulations, Susanna, on the first anniversary of Perfect Picture Book Fridays. It is such a joy to participate with you and the rest of the PPBF community every week, in bringing wonderful picture books to people’s attention.
You had already been writing for quite some time, and had several books published, before I got to know you. Could you tell us something of how you got your start in writing for kids, and the progression of your career to the point where most of us connected with you?
Susanna: I always loved to write. But I had to experiment with a number of genres before I discovered what I liked best. At age 7 I wrote The Girl And The Witch, which did not receive the acclaim I had hoped for from my 2nd grade teacher, but seems to be very popular now with first and second graders on school visits. In 4th -6th grade I added extensively to the Nancy Drew Mystery series but luckily those remained for my eyes only. 🙂 During 6th grade, I switched my focus to epic poetry long enough to compose The Gods And Goddesses Of Olympus, which I devoutly hope there are no surviving copies of 🙂 but this was a brief flirtation and I swiftly turned my attention to writing horse stories… lots and lots and lots of horse stories. 🙂 Then there was the romance period. Enough said. But when my oldest daughter was a baby, and I began reading picture books by the minivanful, I finally knew what I really wanted to write. I took a correspondence course from the Institute Of Children’s Literature (it was by snail mail when I took it, back in the last millennium, but I think it’s available online now 🙂 ) and learned as much as I could about writing for kids. I was very fortunate to meet my agent (too long a story to add in here!) and sell one of my first manuscripts to Little Simon. Somewhere along the way, it became clear that an online presence was desired and expected, so I started my blog and found that I loved it – and that’s how I got to know you! 🙂
Beth: Your blog as it is now is almost totally geared to creating experiences that will benefit other writers, and that writers can participate in. How long have you been blogging, and was your focus always on helping other writers?
Susanna: I began blogging on December 1, 2010, so my two year blogiversary is only a few days away! When I started, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. I had learned that authors were expected to create a platform, be visible and accessible online, and do their best to help get their work known. I knew nothing about it and the whole idea made me desperately uncomfortable. I didn’t want to sound like some kind of door-to-door salesman peddling my books. I didn’t want to compete with the many, many excellent and well-established writing blogs that already existed – nor did I think I could! – and I didn’t think anyone would be particularly interested in me or my life as a writer, so I stumbled around a bit in the beginning, trying to find a way to connect and provide something helpful and valuable. I have not had an overnight success story. After 2 years of blogging, in spite of a lot of hard work, I still have a relatively obscure little blog. But I have met a lot of wonderful people, have a lovely group of loyal followers whom I treasure, and have found a few things that seem to appeal to people – Would You Read It Wednesdays, Short & Sweets, the writing contests, author/illustrator interviews and book giveaways, and Perfect Picture Book Fridays. My goal is to host a fun, friendly blog where writers are comfortable coming to share their work and are hopefully inspired, by the activities provided and/or by each other, where people can learn a little about the publishing industry and feel free to ask questions and discuss, and also to help parents and teachers learn about and make use of the many wonderful picture books out there. I love the children’s book community and am grateful every day to be a part of it.
Beth: Where did the idea of Perfect Picture Book Fridays come from?
Susanna: The idea for PPBF came, indirectly, from a conversation I had with my sister about finding good books for my nephew. He had actually grown beyond picture books, so we were discussing middle grade titles, but I got to thinking about how many books were out there, and how, if you hadn’t grown up reading lots of picture books, and if you didn’t work in a career that exposed you to them, how would you know what was good and what wasn’t? How could you easily find titles that were appropriate for your particular child – for their interests, or needs? As a busy, overworked teacher, daycare provider or homeschooler, how could you easily find books that would fit with what you were teaching? Of course you can always ask your local librarians, but we seem to be moving more and more into a world where people expect things to be available at the touch of their keyboards, so I thought it would be interesting, fun, and hopefully helpful to parents, teachers, homeschoolers, daycare providers, grandparents etc. to have a great resource that would help them locate just the right kind of books for the children in their lives.
As the face of publishing is changing, though, I also wanted to encourage people to continue to value picture books for the wonderful, unique, enriching experience they are.
Beth: What did you originally expect from PPBF? Has it met your expectations?
Susanna: I’m not sure what I expected. I wasn’t even sure the idea would appeal to people or take off. 🙂 But what I hoped was that I’d find other bloggers as passionate about picture books as I am who wanted to share their favorite books, and that word would spread and parents, teachers, homeschoolers, etc. would learn about PPBF and make use of it. I have certainly found the former – a group of amazing, dedicated bloggers who post fantastic books and resources almost every week if not every week – with you right at the top of the list, Beth – I don’t think you’ve missed a week yet. 🙂 I don’t really know how much use is made of it. The PPB tab on my blog has only had 6316 views to date, and I assume most of those are from PPBF bloggers checking to see if titles have already been covered, and though I don’t actually know, either way, it’s not like it’s had 2 million hits. 🙂
Beth: What has been the best part of PPBF for you?
Susanna: The best part, hands down, has been the enthusiastic participation of my fellow bloggers who have entered into the spirit of PPBF so wholeheartedly. I also love being introduced to tons of new picture books every week that I’ve never heard of or haven’t read yet – it’s like opening presents every Friday. 🙂
Beth: Are there things you would do differently for PPBF if starting it today?
Susanna: The only thing I can think of that I would do differently is the presentation/organization of the list itself. It is a BEAST to update – terribly unwieldy and very time-consuming. And I don’t have enough time, so I’m always behind. I wish there was a way to make it easier, but I haven’t thought it up yet. If anyone has any bright ideas, please let me know immediately!!! 🙂
Beth: What are your hopes for the second year of PPBF?
Susanna: I hope it will continue as it has, with lots of wonderful new entries each week, increasing everyone’s collective knowledge of the world of picture books and all the things they have to offer. But I do really hope that word will spread and that more people will make use of this resource we’ve all worked so hard to put together.
Beth: A question that must be asked – with all the wonderful things you do on your blog, how do you find time to write?
Susanna: There’s no beating around the bush on the answer to that, Beth. It’s very hard to find time for everything and I never seem to have enough. I overwork my kitchen timer 🙂 – setting it repeatedly so I make sure to get at least some of everything done each day. I work a lot and I probably don’t sleep as much as I should 🙂 and I confess that there are days I wouldn’t mind if the internet took a vacation and I could just write! I feel like it’s an issue I’m going to have to address as the new year approaches and it’s time for a little reflection. I would love to find a better way! But I do make sure to fit the writing in. After all, that’s what everything else springs from.
Beth: Is there anything you would like to add? Teasers for what might be coming next on your blog? Reminders of weekly or extraordinary events?
Susanna: Let’s see… I already mentioned most of my features. I do have a Holiday Writing Contest coming up for which the top five prizes will be picture book manuscript critiques from some great published writers, and I hope lots of people will want to try their hand at that. 🙂 And I also have a little something else up my sleeve that I’ve been working on for months – since early June actually. I’m hoping to announce it soon, but that’s all I’m going to say for now, except that (alas!) it’s not a new book!
Beth: Where can we find you online?
Susanna: Please visit me anytime at my blog (http://susannahill.blogspot.com), or my website (http://www.susannahill.com). If you’d like to follow me on twitter, you can find me at https://twitter.com/SusannaLHill and I’d love it if you want to “like” my Face Book page at http://www.facebook.com/SusannaLeonardHill
Beth: Thanks so much for this interview, Susanna! All the best of success and joy to you!
Susanna: Thank you so very much for having me, Beth! I really appreciate the opportunity to be on your wonderful blog, as well as all the support you have shown me and my crazy hair-brained blogging schemes. 🙂
I heart Susanna! Such an inspiration! Thank you so much for this lovely interview Beth. I heart you too. 🙂
Thanks, Elizabeth! It’s a mutual *heart* thing! 🙂
I heart you , too, Elizabeth! So much hearting going on around here 🙂
Thank you so much for having me, Beth! I am honored to be interviewed on your wonderful blog. I’m looking forward to many more fun weeks of PPBF and hopefully getting more and more people to make use of it! Thanks for all you do! 🙂
Thanks, Susanna — I am so glad you come up with these wonderful ideas and keep us working together to read and write. You ROCK! 🙂
Great interview guys! Ms. Hill is such an awesome person and author! I really enjoy doing PPBF 🙂 I will ask my Mom if I can participate in the Holiday writing contest!
Thanks, Erik! It’s great to have you in PPBF! Hope you’re able to participate in the Holiday writing contest!
I hope you’ll be able to enter the Holiday Contest, Erik! (I hope I think it up soon, too :))
Susanna! So lovely to see you over here at Beth’s blog. I enjoyed your interview and getting to know more about your genre hunt to discover what you truly wanted to write for your authorial career.
Isn’t it great to learn more about people? I so appreciated having Susanna tell about her experiences in the genre hunt.
Someday I’ll share a few lines of The Gods And Goddesses Of Olympus and you’ll see why I chose not to go the epic poetry route 🙂
Wonderful and FUNNY interview! I always enjoy a morning smile with my cup of tea and I can totally relate to Susanna’s kitchen timer strategy. That’s how I get a little bit of everything done as well!
Thanks, Laura — and thanks for the retweet!
Ah, where would we be without our kitchen timers? Someone could make a fortune making a writer-specific version 🙂
Lovely interview, Susanna and Beth. You have a wonderful blog and I hope you’ll put more horse riding pics up and have breaks when you want them. Call it an at home retreat. I wish there was an easy way for you to add books, or find a kid to do it 🙂 You rock, Susanna!
Thanks, Catherine. And yes, surely there’s someone who could lend a hand to Susanna on that massive book-adding project!
I think I have a picture of Velvet’s ears, Catherine – maybe I can post that 🙂 And thank you for your sympathy in the book adding dilemma – I’m sure there must be a better way, I just haven’t figured out what it is 🙂
I love Susanna’s blog. I’m not sure if the librarians at my local library would even know much about the children’s section. They aren’t the ones who make the purchasing decisions. And there is no one in the section. But they do have someone read to the kids once or twice a week, so she must know. I just don’t know if the person is a librarian or a volunteer.
Stina — thanks for visiting and sharing your puzzlement. We have bookmarks for PPBF that would certainly help both the librarians and patrons find “perfect picture books” — just contact Susanna on her blog if you’d be interested in a few.
Yes, Stina, I have PLENTY of book marks 🙂 If you want to hand some over to your local library let me know and I’ll send you some. It’s free! 🙂
Super interview, dear friends. Susanna’s blog is truly one of my real favorites, for writerly encouragement and resources, but also for the warmth and community she has created. I do so love participating in Perfect Picture Book Fridays and I should probably get some more bookmarks to keep spreading the word! I do hope someone will unearth THE GODS AND GODDESSES OF OLYMPUS one day! I need to plan a trip up to Poughkeepsie, too!
Thank you, Joanna! You’ve certainly hit on all the reasons Susanna’s blog is a winner. And now that you’re nearer (can’t quite say “in the neighborhood”) hopefully you and Susanna can meet up! (Lucky both of you!)
Thank you, Joanna, for all your lovely kind words! I so appreciate them – and you, and Beth, and everyone who makes up the wonderful community we’re all part of! You may have more book marks any time – just let me know where to send them in your travels :)… or better yet, maybe it’s a good excuse to come to the city – we could have coffee and I could hand over the book marks 🙂
I’ve so enjoyed this interview, Susanna and Beth! Congrats, Susanna, on the anniversary of your blog and PPBF. It’s an honor to be a part of it all…you are an inspiration!
Thanks, Jarm — it was a delight to be able to interview Susanna!
Thank you, Jarm – you’re so sweet! I’m so glad that you’ve joined us in PPBF, and I hope you’ll enter the Holiday contest again 🙂
Thank you so much, Beth, for a fantastic interview of our beloved Susanna!
Susanna…I would never have realized that you’ve only been blogging two years!!!! And I loved hearing about your writing journey…I’ll bet that epic poem was pretty good. 🙂 🙂 It amazes me that your PPBF page does not have a million views…I know the SEO of blog pages is important…I don’t understand the inner workings of it, unfortunately, or I would be doing a better job of it myself. 🙂 I love your posts and writing exercises and contests and…it’s a joy to know you and be part of this generous and supportive kidlit community. 🙂
Vivian, I second that emotion!
Thanks, Vivian — I think Susanna’s blog should be getting gazillions of views, too!
What a treat for me, two of my favorite ladies! I thoroughly enjoyed this interview. Although I don’t participate in PPBF, I am one its appreciative beneficiaries. My early learners have so much fun with the choices I make from your awesome list, Susanna. I cannot tell you how much I’ve gained and learned from your blog. What a teacher! And I am glad that the amazing Beth is celebrating you, Susanna. You ladies rock, MAJORLY! Continued success to you both. Happy Anniversary, Susanna!
Thank you, Pam! I so appreciate your support and friendship — and it’s great to hear that the PPBF list is benefiting your early learners!
I am always so glad to know when someone is actually benefitting from PPBF, so thanks for letting us know you really use it, Pam! I will think of you every week when I’m posting a new book 🙂 Thanks for all your kind words, and may I say, you rock too 🙂
Aw, you guys are all making me blush! But you are certainly making my day! I so appreciate knowing you like my blog, and it has been such a pleasure to get to know all of you! The epic poem would make Homer turn over in his grave 🙂 And I wish I was better at SEO stuff too – but there are only so many hours in the day 🙂 I’m so very glad that you are part of this wonderful kidlit community too, Vivian, and that I’ve gotten the chance to know you and your wonderful blog!
How fun is this!!! The Interviewer-Beth (absolute awesomeness) and The Interviewee-Susanna (absolute awesomeness)….which together make an absolutely awesome interview filled with absolute awesomeness.
Truly, I love this interview. I feel a connection to both of you and it all began on Susanna’s blog. I, for one, am extremely impressed by the format on Susanna’s blog. It is a place to learn about picture books and to grow as a writer. Obviously, it is a place to form relationships as witnessed in these comments and in the interview.
PPBF has proved to be an incredible resource for me. Not only does it provide me with endless titles to check out at the library, but it has also made me think about why I would chose a book to review. What makes it special to me? I believe it is such a valuable resource for teachers and parents and that as we spread the word, it will be used more and more.
Thanks, Beth and Susanna!
This comment is absolute awesomeness! Thank you Penny! I am soooooo loving reading all these comments and seeing how many people feel the way I do about Susanna and her blog!
I’m so glad you love PPBF, Penny! You are such a big contributor to it too! I do think it has a great place for writers – we can learn so much from knowing what books appeal to people and why, and as you said, choosing books for the list makes you think about what works in a book for you. Thank you for being such a big part of the awesomeness!!! And Beth, it’s not just me – don’t forget to realize how much everyone loves you 🙂
Beth – thanks for this FUNderful interview about one of my favorite author/bloggers. Susanna – I did not know you’d only been blogging for a little under 2 years. (Hmmm-2nd anniversary gift – is that cotton? ) I think what we all like about your blog is how much you include everyone, whether it is in increasing our knowledge, challenging our skills, or being frankly funny. Now if you’ll share one of your horse stories or a peek at ‘olympus’ – I might be able to help with that PPBF list. I’ve written programs for XCEL and ACCESS to both catalog and invoice inventory. Depending on what you are using now, we may be able to tame the beast. You have my email – let me know if I can help-
Thanks so much for this comment, Laura — and wow, if you could help Susanna tame that beast, it would be WONDERFUL!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the interview, Laura, and thank you so much for your kind words about my blog – it means so much to me to know people actually like it! Ah, the horse stories… and the epic poem… they would certainly be good for some laughs! 🙂 And I am happy to accept and and all gifts whether or not they are made out of cotton 🙂 You are the second person to suggest a potentially clever idea for helping the PPBF archive – Catherine suggested using Pinterest. You can be sure I’ll be contacting you both. There’s GOT to be a better way! 🙂
Susanna, your blog is my favorite one. IF I don’t read any others, yours is one I don”t want to miss. It so speaks to me. You have found my button. I just love PPBF and even if I don’t read everyone else’s selection I love being part of it. I eagerly gave your bookmark to our children’s librarian at Rust Library in Leesburg.
It is unbelievable that you have come as far as you have in only two years and I think the focus of your blog is right spot on for many of us picture book writers. Thanks so much.
Thanks also, Beth, for this awesome interview. It was great getting to know Susanna better. 🙂
Thanks, Clar — you said it. Susanna and her blog are a total joy to us all.
Thank you so much, Clar! You have made my day! Imagine, being someone’s favorite! That is high praise indeed. I’m so glad you enjoy PPBF – thank you for spreading the word and for all the wonderful books you have contributed to the list.
Wonderful interview, Beth. You ask the most intriguing questions! And Susanna is just a gift to the kidlit world. I am heading to her blog now to let her know!
Thank you, Linda! Susanna is, indeed, a gift to us all!
I’m going to book mark this page, and every day when I’m feeling like I haven’t amounted to anything and I’ll never sell another book, I’m going to come over here and read it. You guys are all so, so nice! 🙂 Thank you so much for your very kind words!
It certainly shows you how much you mean to us, doesn’t it, Susanna! We love you!
I love the warm community Susanna has created on her inspiring blog, and thoroughly enjoy PPBF. I feel very connected there, and often come away smiling (or feeling very hungry) 🙂 This is a wonderful interview of a very lovely, kind, and generous lady. Thankyou to you both.
Thanks, Diane. Yes, hunger is often something that happens to me while reading Susanna’s blog, as well. Hmmm… 😉
Thank you for your lovely words, Diane – I appreciate them so much! And just for you I’m serving chocolate turtle cookies today, so go over and help yourself to a handful 🙂 The best kind of cookies – guilt free 🙂
lol… I’m gone:)
I love PPBF — you gave us a place to showcase some of our favorite books to a larger audience. And, the warmth you exude from your blog has always made me feel like it is an important gathering place. I love visiting and being involved with the community there. Here’s to your success in 2013! – Pat
Aw, thanks, Pat! That means so much to me! I feel lucky to be part of such a wonderful group of people, and I hope we’ll all continue to have fun together and lots of writing successes in 2013! 🙂
Thanks, Pat! I, too, bask in the warmth that emanates from Susanna’s blog. Imagine what it would be like to be with her in person! Some day…
Thank you! I really enjoyed this interview…and I’m so happy to know about Susanna’s blog! Beth, your questions hit the mark! I love Susanna’s answer to your question about finding the time to write, “I wouldn’t mind if the internet took a vacation and I could just write!” Hmmmm… “The Internet Takes a Holiday” — now THERE’S a story idea 😉
Thanks so much, Elizabeth Rose! Love that story idea! 🙂
Well it’s true! I feel guilty if I don’t keep up with everyone, and I’m genuinely interested in so many blogs, but it is very time-consuming and some days I really would just like to sit down and write and not have to feel bad about skipping blog reading or finding time I feel like I can’t spare. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that only a couple years ago hardly anyone blogged! But I’m certainly glad to have found your blog today, and your gorgeous art! 🙂
I am such a huge fan of Susanna, so thanks to you, Beth, for interviewing her. And thanks to you, Susanna, for being such a generous spirit. I have learned so much from you and appreciate how you always take the time to share your experiences with me (and walk me through major freak-outs! :-)). You are the best.
Thanks, Amy — looks as though Susanna has a very large fan club! (No surprise there!)
Thank you SO much for your kind words, Amy! I am seriously considering printing out this whole page and sticking it to my wall so that every time I need an ego boost (which is pretty much all the time :)) I can look at it and see all the nice things that all you wonderful, talented people said. And I am always glad to help in any way I can – we’re all in this together 🙂
Happy PPBF anniversary! Susanna is one of my favorite blogging/writing friends! I can always count on her for a smile and chocolate! 🙂
Thanks, Coleen! A smile and chocolate. Yup, that pretty much sums her up! 😉
Not bad things to be known for, I guess 🙂 Thanks Coleen, my friend in denim 🙂
How very nice to learn more about the lovely Susanna. I had no idea your blog is only 2! You have done an amazing job with it. I think PPBF is a brilliant idea. One of the (many) things that really bugs me about Amazon.com is that it’s difficult to find lists organized thematically. I wonder if you could somehow use the PPBF lists you’ve created to put some lists on Amazon, through listmania, and then link back to your website? That would reach a wider audience. With all your spare time, I mean. ;-)) Now I’m off to check in for Would You Read It.
Ooh, that’s an interesting idea, Carrie! Thanks!
Ooh! I LOVE that idea, Carrie! I have no idea how I might pull it off… in my spare time :)… but you’re right – it would be so helpful! Thanks for all you do for PPBF, and WYRI, and all my other nutty schemes 🙂
I’ve checked my thesaurus and everyone here has already used all the right, best words to describe lovely Susanna, her wonderful blog and PPBF. I wholeheartedly second, third and fourth all the nice things said about you Susanna! BRAVO!
Specific to PPBF, it was just before Thanksgiving that I posted my first (so far) PPBF review of “A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk,” and my blog site stats for that day went through the roof! So thank you PPBF for sending lots of new and exciting readers to my blog and giving me an opportunity to showcase a book that I truly, dearly love reading over and over!
Second blogoversary gift is, I believe, anything chocolate.
Susanna is truly the best! So glad you’ve joined us at PPBF, Cathy! And yes, you must be right about the second blogoversary gift, especially in the case before us… 😉
Thank you so much, Cathy – you’re too kind! (Really, everyone, she is! One time she heard I hadn’t tried Nutella so she sent me some in a gorgeous package!) I’m so glad you’ve joined in PPBF, and what a title for your first ever listing! 🙂 And I believe you are right about the gift 🙂 Definitely Something, Anything, Chocolate 🙂
Shock! I thought you invented blogging, Susanna! Visiting your site is like walking into the …dessert shop, and joining friends around the table! I too have a plan to take a train north whenever I can manage get back to NY – maybe just to lurk and hope for a Susanna-spotting! What am I sayin? I’ll find you at some bakery, I’m sure! But now I’m feeling a little sad that you don’t have time to write more, because I’m waiting for your next book! So I am all for giving you a vacation, which I truly would if it were in my power. You inspire me with every post, so it’s the least I could do (but drop me a line if you think of something I COULD!) Thanks for putting Susanna in the spotlight Beth!
Thanks, Julie! Love your comment! Lurking and hoping for a Susanna-spotting sounds like an excellent way to spend one’s time.
Oh, gosh, now you’re just making me teary 🙂 You are all too too nice! I really don’t deserve all the lovely things everyone is saying, but it sure makes my day. Julie, I hope you’ll come to New York – not exactly right around the corner for you! – but it would be so fun to meet up in real life! And my next book isn’t delayed for lack of trying. I do write. I do send mss to my agent. Occasionally she thinks they’re worthy of submission and sends them out 🙂 I’ve got, I think, around 12-14 or so out right now, although 7 of them are part of an early reader series, so they really count as 1. Fingers crossed. I would love nothing better than to have something new to share with you all! 🙂
Great interview Susanna and Beth!
Susanna you have a wonderful site, hard to believe it’s only been around 2 years. Loved hearing about your ‘early’ works.
As for promoting PPBF, I think the key is to getting more exposure for it. There are a lot of “mommy” blogs, teacher blogs and so on out there, as well as Print magazines like PARENTING. Maybe this year we should continue focusing on building the PPBF list but also look to do blog posts or write articles in the places parents, teachers, daycare providers read. Apparently my library has a blog where I plan to write a short post advertising the virtues of PPBF.
As for the organization that is going to be tough to do with putting some money into it, or unless you know somebody who can build a database and front-end web interface for you. If you want I can put you in-touch with Sheila Ruth who created and maintains the database for the Cybils. She might be able to give you some advice. Maybe you can offer advertising on your site to raise money. I think getting the organization and usability of the PPBF site is critical to growing a loyal base of readers. However, since your first goal is being a writer you will need to consider how far you want to take PPBF. I do think it is an excellent resource as trying to find books by theme can be difficult and since yours offers activity ideas that is a bonus.
p.s. I haven’t forgotten about working on the HTML, my plan is to work on it in December when I take a break from reviewing. 🙂
What fantastic ideas to further the reach of PPBF, Darshana! Thank you so much!
You are so right, Darshana, and I am always thinking I should reach farther out into the blogosphere… I just can’t seem to find the time. Better organization is key, I guess – even one new blog a day would help. As for the PPBF organization, yes, it does need help, and yes, it is my second job (after writing) so it doesn’t get as much attention as it needs. I appreciate all your suggestions and help, and maybe after the holidays I’ll have a little more time to come up with a better plan!
Terrific post, Beth & Susanna. Susanna, happy anniversary to you & the blog & to PPBF! Thanks for being such a helpful resource to those of us still in the aspiring stage!
Thanks, Patricia! Susanna is a gem without price, if you ask me.
Thank you for being such a loyal supporter of me and my blog, Patricia. I’m so very glad if anything I do is helpful. I’m looking forward to when one of those Two Orange Pups books is on my bookstore shelf! 🙂
I love learning about writers and authors I feel inspired by and Susanna tops the list! Thanks ladies, for providing such a lovely post.
Donna L Martin
Thanks, Donna! Susanna is definitely tops!
Thanks so much, Donna 🙂
Fun to know more about you, Susanna! Congratulations on your anniversary of Picture Books. Wish I could participate, but no time. You’ve been an encouragement to all of us, and I enjoy reading and learning from your blog! Thanks, Beth, for the interview!
Thanks, Tina! And I know what you mean about time – there never seems to be enough 🙂
Thanks, Tina! I so enjoyed interviewing Susanna, and I’ve really enjoyed all the comments, too!
Thanks for a great interview, Susanna and Beth. I really love PPBF and while I don’t have time to read all the posts, I do read a lot of them and think the concept is wonderful. What a great service.
It was interesting to learn more about Susanna. I almost fell over when I read about the FIVE kids! Seeing all that you manage to do online and otherwise, the mind boggles! Susanna, you are a support and a hub to a wonderful community online and while I lurk more than participate, I still appreciate all of it. Happy Blog Anniversary!
Hi Beth & Susanna,
Beth you provided excellent questions for Susanna.
Susanna, finally I get to leave a comment for you. (You know what that’s all about.) LOL
I don’t know how you find time to keep up your wonderful blog, especially raising five kids.
I loved learning more about you. You are an encouragement to me!
Hopefully, one day I’ll get to leave some comments on your blog.
Have a happy day!
P.S. Congratulations (in two days) on the second anniversary of your blog! 😀
Hurray for comment systems that work! 🙂 Thanks for your kind words, Tracy! I admit we keep busy on Blueberry Hill but we have fun 🙂 Thanks for the blogiversary wishes – it’s hard to believe it’s been 2 years!
Blogiversary! You come up with some amazing words, but then again, you’re a talented writer.
Beth, I see you’re a Canadian like me! Yeah!
Thanks, Tracy! And woohoo! Another Canadian!
Thank you so much, Dana! I’m so glad if you enjoy anything I do on my blog, and lurkers are always welcome 🙂
Thanks, Dana! I love PPBF!
It is so nice to learn more about you, Susanna! I will be sure to contact you when we move East to get some pointers on good bakeries in NYC 🙂 Congrats on the blogiversary coming up. I am so thankful to have met you and all of the wonderful writers/illustrators that contribute to PPBF and your other creatively fun projects.
Great interview, Beth!
Thanks, Loni! Great to have you here!
Well I am so thankful to have met YOU, Loni! Just think of all the fun stuff we’ve done… that everyone else doesn’t even know about yet… 🙂 Soon. Really. I’m trying! 🙂 Hope you’ll be in New York soon! 🙂
Can’t thank you enough, Susanna, for having encouraged me to be a part of PPBF. In fact, the day I got in touch with you, the same day Renee Tulipe also suggested I head over to PPBF. And guess what, it ended up being the best thing I have done in ages because it suddenly opened up this whole new world of all like minded picture book lovers! I am still relatively new to blogshere, but I have no qualms in confessing that ALL my learning has happened because of my exposure to the great wonderful community that this is. I am learning by observing and participating, and it’s such an amazing experience! I wish I could be more regular with catching up with everyone’s posts but I have my fingers in too many pies and I find it difficult to act the good responsible netizen part. Perhaps, with more practice, i too will get there! Thanks, Susanna and Beth!
I’m so glad you’ve joined us, Richa! Thanks so much for this lovely, heartfelt comment!
Oh, Susanna, you are truly a gift to the picture book writing community and your blog has become a wonderful resource for writers, teachers and parents over the past two years! It’s lovely to learn a bit more about you (5 kids-awesome, the romance period-I think we all had one of those. Blergh) and I hope you can find that balance you are seeking as the New Year begins.
Thanks, Heather! Susanna is, indeed, a gift!
You’ve done such a great service with PPBF and the other wonderful features of your blog! If it hasn’t taken off to the full extent yet, I know it will because it is so needed and so important. It’s funny because I was so incensed by the now infamous NYT article that came out in 2010, I remember thinking, “Someone has to DO something about this.” And you have! I admire you for all you have done for both the genre itself and for writers in the genre.
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