Happy 150th Birthday to Beatrix Potter: conservationist, scientist, artist, author and businesswoman!

Beatrix Potter 150th birthday tribute

Today is Beatrix Potter's 150th birthday! And what a day it is in England, with celebrations, an auction selling some of her original works and a series of Royal Mail stamps depicting several of her famous characters.

Some of what inspired me to include Beatrix Potter as one of Piratess Tilly's heroes is Potter's dedication to land conservationism. With the money she made from her books, she bought the adjoining lands and farms in the Lake District of England in order to save and protect them — eventually donating 4,000 acres of land and 15 farms to the National Trust.

Piratess Tilly Potter and Darwin sample pageBeatrix Potter was also passionate about botany and specifically the study of fungi — a scientist in her own right, she developed her own theory on how fungi spores reproduced. Her scientific paper was never properly published, but scientists today still recognize her contribution to mycology.

Potter was also not only a talented artist and writer, but she was a keen businesswoman — creating and licensing the first ever literary character doll and other accompanying accessories. And, as so many know, she published her first book, The Tales of Peter Rabbit, on her own — a self-publisher! I look forward to one day visiting the Lake District and seeing for myself the beauty that inspired such a phenomenal, adventurous woman.

PIratess Tilly Beatrix Potter Picture books

And as The Adventures of Piratess Tilly is a children's picture book, I'd like to take a moment to share two children's picture books that my little one and I enjoy about Beatrix Potter: Beatrix Potter and Her Paint Box by David McPhail and Beatrix Potter by Alexandra Wallner. I have also ordered this newly released book: Beatrix Potter and the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig, written by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Charlotte Voake. I look forward to adding it to our collection!

 Learn more about Beatrix Potter here!

Newburyport Maritime Days

Come join Elizabeth Lorayne this Memorial Day weekend in Newburyport, MA at her booth exhibiting The Adventures of Piratess Tilly books, handmade plushies & peg dolls and more! White Wave Press is one of 50 local artisans and vendors featured in The Newburyport Collection on the Custom House Waterfront Lawn in downtown Newburyport. This portion of the festival is open Saturday through Monday 9am to 5pm. It is a part of the week long Newburyport Maritime Days, a celebration of visiting Spanish Tall Ship, El Galeón! For more information on all of the awesome events and for tickets to take a tour of the 17th century replica Tall Ship, El Galeón please visit here. I hope to see you this weekend!

Piratess Tilly and Newburyport Maritime Days

Piratess Tilly and the Bologna Children's Book Fair

  How fun was it to receive this photo of The Adventures of Piratess Tilly and the handmade character plushies on display at the Bologna Children's Book Fair! Victoria Sutherland and her crew at Foreword Reviews never cease to amaze me with their hard work, energy and passion. I feel very fortunate, especially as an independent publisher and author, to have met Victoria at the Independent Publishers of New England  (IPNE) Annual Conference last year. Little did I know then that I'd not only follow through with Victoria's enthusiasm over my book and entrust its journey in seeking foreign rights with Foreword Reviews, but that I'd join the board of directors for IPNE! It's amazing how one event can lead to a plethora of opportunity. 

Here's to hoping The Adventures of Piratess Tilly had a successful trip to Italy! And for anyone interested in reading a bit about how opening day was for this years Bologna Children's Book Fair, I urge you to read an article from Publishers Weekly: Bologna 2016: A Busy First Day as the Fair Opens. Enjoy! 

2016 Eric Hoffer First Horizon Award Finalist!

First-Horizon-Finalist-Seal Wow! I am thrilled and honored to announce that The Adventures of Piratess Tilly is a Finalist for the 2016 Eric Hoffer First Horizon Award, which celebrates best first books! "Each year, the Eric Hoffer Award presents the First Horizon Award for superior work by debut authors (i.e the first published book of any type by the author). This is an additional distinction beneath the Eric Hoffer Award umbrella."

How incredibly exciting! Onward and upward!

Plushies Available Now!

Piratess Tilly and Yuki Plushie listing double pic BC I am so excited to announce that the locally handmade Piratess Tilly and Yuki plushies are now available for purchase! I am also looking forward to sharing the process of designing these dolls in a future post, as it was quite the undertaking for someone who doesn't sew. ;)  I am very proud of the dolls and love watching my daughter play with Piratess Tilly and Yuki. It really does take the story to a whole new level when a child can interact with dolls based on the characters.

From the shop:

These adorable variations of the characters, Piratess Tilly and Yuki, bring the story to life in an enchanting, cuddly, hands-on way. They help to encourage exploration and imagination. Whether everyone snuggles up to read a book, go on a family vacation or head out on a backyard expedition; these soft toys are bound to inspire story-telling and creative play. Where will Piratess Tilly, Yuki and your little one adventure to today?!

Check them out here. Thank you!

 

Finalist for the INDIEFAB Book of the Year!

I am so honored and proud to announce that The Adventures of Piratess Tilly is a Finalist for the 2015 Foreword Reviews' INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards (category: children's picture books)! This is absolutely wonderful recognition! Winners will be announced at the American Library Association Annual Conference in June. I am posting Foreword Reviews' press release below. Thank you to everyone for their support. Onward and upward!

Foreword Reviews Announces Finalists for 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards

Traverse City, MI, March 7, 2016—Foreword Reviews, a media company devoted to reviewing books from small, independent publishers and university presses, is pleased to announce the finalists for its 18th annual INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards.

Visit the Foreword Reviews website for a full list of the finalists, searchable by genre.

Each year, Foreword Reviews shines a light on a select group of indie publishers, university presses, and self-published authors whose work stands out from the crowd. In the next three months, a panel of more than 130 volunteer librarians and booksellers will determine the winners in 66 categories based on their experience with readers and patrons.

“The 2015 INDIEFAB finalist selection process is as inspiring as it is rigorous,” said Victoria Sutherland, publisher of Foreword Reviews. “The strength of this list of finalists is further proof that small, independent publishers are taking their rightful place as the new driving force of the entire publishing industry.”

Foreword Reviews will celebrate the winners during a program at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida in June. We will also name the Editor’s Choice Prize 2015 for Fiction, Nonfiction and Foreword Reviews’ 2015 INDIEFAB Publisher of the Year Award during the presentation.


About Foreword: Foreword Magazine, Inc is a media company featuring a Folio:-award-winning quarterly print magazine, Foreword Reviews, and a website devoted to independently published books. In the magazine, they feature reviews of the best 170 new titles from independent publishers, university presses, and noteworthy self-published authors. Their website features daily updates: reviews along with in-depth coverage and analysis of independent publishing from a team of more than 100 reviewers, journalists, and bloggers. The print magazine is available at most Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million newsstands or by subscription. You can also connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. They are headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan, USA.

https://indiefab.forewordreviews.com/finalists/2015/press-release/

Call for Children's Reviews

We loved reading what Finny D-B. had to say about The Adventures of Piratess Tilly and would love to feature another child's review. Feel free to use the questions provided here on the site, or come up with your own! Please email Elizabeth with your answers or with any questionsat whitewavepressbooks@gmail.com. Thank you! Piratess Tilly Call for Children's Reviews

Darwin Day Sale!

It's Charles Darwin's Birthday and to celebrate we're having a sale!!! Shop now to share Piratess Tilly's appreciation for Charles Darwin and her own adventure on the  Galapagos Islands with your family. <3 <3 <3 Charles Darwin Birthday Darwin Day Sale

Australia Day: We've Adopted a Koala!

I am so excited to share that Piratess Tilly has truly adopted a koala - Koala Wattle, who represents all of the koalas in the wild that need protection from losing their natural habitats. Proceeds from book sales will now be going towards a monthly contribution to the Australian Koala Foundation! Thank YOU for your help! To learn more, please visit savethekoala.com! And with that, Happy Australia Day!! <3 <3 <3

Piratess Tilly book proceeds AKF

Custom Koala Yuki Gift Wrap!

Introducing wrapping paper designed to be colored by kids (and adults!). A special thank you to the illustrator, Kendra Shedenhelm (kendrashedenhelm.com)! It will be offered complimentary with purchases made this holiday season! Stay tuned for more details. Yuki_Wrapping_Paper_Pattern_Social Media

Independent Publishers of New England Interview

Honored to share Elizabeth Lorayne's interview with the Independent Publishers of New England! You can also read it here!
It is our pleasure to highlight IPNE member and children's author Elizabeth Lorayne for this edition of Learn from Your Peers. Elizabeth will be at the Boston Book Festival on Saturday, October 24th for an IPNE author signing event.

When did you know you were a writer? I think my personal acknowledgment that I am a writer came from realizing that I tend to communicate better through writing and that my desire to then share those thoughts, stories, characters, and visuals was truly a part of who I am. I have been writing since childhood, often stories inspired by dreams. As I got older, I took to journaling and writing poetry as ways to express myself. My writing abilities became more refined through numerous writing courses in high school and college and just simply with practice. Writing haiku, as how I’ve written the book, came from a need to get back to being creative. At the time I started writing haiku, my daughter was six months old and we were deep in an all-consuming house restoration. There was no real access, time or energy for my usual art — collage and printmaking. I had started a blog and through the Wordpress community I was reconnected with haiku. I researched the traditional forms of haiku, how they are usually about nature and have a surprise twist or ending. From there, I let myself play and experiment.

What does your writing process look like? That really depends on what kind of writing I’m working on, but in general my process includes quieting my mind and not overthinking — just writing. For the haiku in The Adventures of Piratess Tilly, I have found that for the more educational pieces, simple information or visual references are more than enough for me to create the haiku. As for the pieces I’ve created on my own, I simply interweave bits of my own childhood and younger self into the overall story. One of the reasons I feel the haiku works so well for a children’s picture book is because it can be descriptive and yet open ended. It gives the reader and audience a great deal of room for their own imagination even alongside the beautiful artwork. It gives the reader their own sense of involvement and I love that!

Tell us about your book, The Adventures of Piratess Tilly. The Adventures of Piratess Tilly follows a young adventurous and compassionate girl, Tilly, on her sailing quest to document the flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands. Her crew consists of seven orphaned boys from around the world and her best friend Yuki, a koala she rescued in Australia. As budding naturalists they spend their time on the ship reading Charles Darwin, sketching, painting, and documenting their nature finds. Once they arrive, they see the beautiful landscape and spot several animals. They even come upon pirates! And those pirates just happen to be smuggling baby Giant Tortoises. So of course Piratess Tilly, Yuki, and the brothers create a plan to rescue them and return them to their family! The story was greatly inspired by my upbringing: bike riding, boating, and exploring the shorelines of the Pacific Northwest, as well as from studying primatology, and anthropology as a young adult. And once I had a daughter, I realized how much I wanted to create and share a strong, independent, curious, intelligent, and compassionate female lead. I wanted my daughter to grow up reading about a young female captain, who was intelligent and perfectly capable of adventure and leadership. And this is certainly not the last story with Piratess Tilly! I have finished writing the second book and have begun the illustration process with Karen Watson. We have all set sail for Easter Island! So please stay tuned!

Why did you choose to self-publish? I primarily chose to self-publish because I wanted full control over the book. I wanted to find the illustrator myself and work with her closely. I also wanted to build my own publishing company in hopes expanding one day to include publishing other girl-empowering works by women. I suppose I’ve always been someone who never fit the mold and I knew that what I had created was out of the norm, and therefore to me, that much more worthy of publishing it myself.

What roadblocks or obstacles did you face? I think the actual book production was the biggest obstacle. I wanted to print in the U.S.A, but the costs were prohibitive for what I wanted with my book: hardcover with dust-jacket, offset printing, 32 pages, 8 1/2” by 11 size, and a smaller run.

How do you balance being a mom with writing and promoting a book? Honestly, I’m not really sure. I somehow get a lot accomplished in several two minute increments throughout the day! My daughter is now just over three years old so she is attending a morning program, which allows me the focused time I need for promotion, research, writing blog posts, or creating the graphics for postcards and social media posts. I’ve found though, that if I’m in haiku writing mode, I tend to be very distracted for those few days; however meals always need to be made and everyday life still goes by regardless. I allow for those everyday routines to give my mind time to mull over ideas. It all seems to work out in the end and everyone gets what they need!

Other than IPNE, what are some other valuable resources for children's authors and publishers? I became a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators right away when I felt my story was ready and that I was serious about publication. They are a fabulous organization and I highly recommend joining. They have bicoastal and regional conferences as well as meet-ups and online forums. It was through them that I found the illustrator, Karen Watson! I also suggest taking a class on writing for children. It isn’t as easy as people tend to first believe. Having an understanding of those guidelines is definitely helpful. I had taken a course in college on writing for young adults. Although that isn’t the same as picture book writing, it still helped me.

How did you choose the illustrations for your book? How did you structure your working relationship with the illustrator? Working with Karen Watson was absolutely wonderful! I gave her written descriptions of how I wanted each page. She not only executed my ideas perfectly, she also added so much fine detail and on a particular page I was stuck on, she came up with a wonderful setting. As I had never done this before, Karen guided me through her own process. I loved getting an email with several pages worth of initial sketches, then line drawings, and finally the finished painted pages. Her work is both meticulous and whimsical, which is perfect for Piratess Tilly, who is studious and fun-loving!

What advice do you have for other indie publishers? How can we find your book? Don’t give up! If you believe in your book and what you’ve created gives you a sense of pride, then do whatever you can to get it into the hands of readers and supporters. Also, be creative with marketing, think outside of the box. For instance, I donated a few books to the Galapagos Conservancy, where the proceeds will go to benefitting their many programs. Not only does that tie into the book, it supports something important and there is no saying what that relationship will become. Also take chances! No matter how nervous I was, I sent The Adventures of Piratess Tilly for a Kirkus Review and was overwhelmingly relieved they understood and appreciated the book! Because of that I felt confident to send the book to Publishers Weekly and got another good review. I believed in the book and the overall product of what was created! Go for it! You can find The Adventures of Piratess Tilly on the book’s website: http://piratesstilly.com and on Amazon. Feel free to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or the blog for more updates on local stores and more sites.

We won a Moonbeam Children's Book Award!

Moonbeam Sociam Media We are incredibly honored and thrilled to announce that The Adventures of Piratess Tilly has won its first children’s book award!! We were 1 of 5 to win a very special award, the Moonbeam Spirit Award for Exploration, a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award. See the full list of winners here!

This Moonbeam Spirit Award is “for dedication to children’s books and literacy and for inspired writing, illustrating and publishing. This year we chose books in five different areas. All recipients will receive gold medals.” The other 4 categories for this Spirit Award are: Creativity, Compassion, Imagination and Preservation.

A little bit about Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, which is in its 9th year:

“Creating books that inspire our children to read, to learn, and to dream is an extremely important task, and these awards were conceived to reward those efforts. Each year's entries are judged by expert panels of youth educators, librarians, booksellers, and book reviewers of all ages. Award recipients receive gold, silver and bronze medals and stickers depicting a mother and child reading and silhouetted by a full moon.”

More info to follow once the press release is up!!

Piratess Tilly in . . . Easter Island!

I am beyond thrilled to announce that Karen Watson and I are moving forward with the next book in The Adventure of Piratess Tilly series! She and her crew are headed to Easter Island! Here is the very first watercolor illustration!  

Piratess Tilly Easter Island Promo

Galapagos Conservancy!

I donated a few books to the Galapagos Conservancy whose mission is: "... to advance and support the conservation of the unique biodiversity and ecosystems of Galapagos through directed research, informed public policy, and building a sustainable society." With each purchase from their e-gift shop, the proceeds go to "supporting the important marine and terrestrial conservation programs taking place in the Galapagos Islands." Within the first week, 2 of the 3 books were purchased and another week later, the last book was no longer listed! I am so pleased the books sold quickly to benefit the Galapagos Conservancy! Here's a a screen shot of the book listed on their page. Had I realized they would sell so fast, I would have gotten a screen shot of the actual product page as well. :)

 

Piratess Tilly Galapagos Conservancy

From the Crow's Nest: Reviews by Children

Introducing a new series, From the Crow's Nest, featuring children's reviews of The Adventures of Piratess Tilly! Below is the first review by a 6 and half year old boy named Finny! Please feel free to download the review question ideas below and email Elizabeth Lorayne your child's answers at whitewavepressbooks@gmail.com. You can also find these on the activities page! Thank you! Enjoy!

Downloadable review question ideas:

Piratess Tilly Children's Book Review Questions

TODAY: Karen Watson's Art Show!

Today is Karen Watson's big art show opening: Drawn to Story, An Illustrated Art Show! Below are some snapshots from her preparation for the show. Here's to wishing her fantastic success today!  

***Update (July 27, 2015)***

The show opening was a wonderful success! Not only did Karen nearly sell out of her art work, but all 45 books were sold!! It was a truly remarkable opening party complete with garden flowers, delicious snacks and cookies spelling out the title of the show! Congratulations to Karen Watson!! Thank you to everyone who made the event so magical and meaningful. To view some short videos of the event, please visit our Facebook page. Cheers!

 

 

New Art Show Poster!

I absolutely love Karen Watson's new art show poster! I know I'll be printing one out and framing it. I am so excited for her solo art show featuring the original artwork from The Adventures of Piratess Tilly and other work inspired by classic tales! Stay tuned for photos from the actual show opening on July 26th. And please check out her recently updated website! DrawnToStory_Poster_Sml