Free March for Science Poster!

A small contribution to the upcoming worldwide March for Science.

MAC: PRESS "CONTROL" AND CLICK ON IMAGE TO "SAVE AS" | PC: RIGHT CLICK TO "SAVE AS"

MAC: PRESS "CONTROL" AND CLICK ON IMAGE TO "SAVE AS" | PC: RIGHT CLICK TO "SAVE AS"

 

Piratess Tilly is passionate about nature, science, exploration, and helping others. Feel free to download this 8.5" x 11" poster and share the link with your friends!

Also, please be sure to sign up for the newsletter below to get the latest information on Piratess Tilly events, announcements and developments on The Historical Heroines Coloring Book: Pioneering Women in Science from the 18th and 19th Centuries – a new project successfully funded on Kickstarter. 

Kirkus Reviews: Piratess Tilly Easter Island

An eye-pleasing picture book that offers a winning mix of adventure, science, and poetry, with a strong heroine who invites readers to view the world as a place of natural wonder. --Kirkus Reviews

Wow! The first industry review is in for the upcoming sequel, The Adventures of Piratess Tilly Easter Island (February 2017, White Wave Press). I am incredibly grateful that the reviewer at Kirkus Reviews both recognized and appreciated the story development and the educational additions (glossary and short bios on Tilly's historical heroes). Onward we go!

KIRKUS REVIEW

In this second installment of an ecologically based adventure series for children, a young naturalist and ship’s captain sails to a remote island and discovers a threat to the local wildlife.

Piratess Tilly—the refreshingly bold, smart heroine introduced in Lorayne’s debut picture book (The Adventures of Piratess Tilly, 2016), illustrated by Watson—takes to the sea again on her research ship, the Foster. She’s accompanied by her friend Yuki (a rescued koala bear) and the seven orphan boys who make up her diverse crew. Their destination: Easter Island. Unfolding in graceful haiku, the tale follows passionate naturalist Tilly (“An explorer’s dress / Patch pockets for her notebooks / Trade tools in her bag”) as she studies the mysterious Moai statues and scuba dives to observe marine life native to the area, sketching and cataloging what she sees. The trip takes an unexpected turn when the crew encounters pirates raiding the nests of sooty terns in an egg-smuggling venture, and the group launches a successful rescue effort, led by parasailing Tilly and Yuki. (In the first Tilly adventure, a trip to the Galapagos Islands became a mission to save baby giant tortoises from the clutches of another band of pirates.) Lorayne’s poetic text is fully integrated into Watson’s lovely watercolor images, executed with an eye for captivating detail. The tale delivers enough escapades and suspense to satisfy a young audience, but the author also includes ample learning opportunities to encourage children to seek out the story’s substantial real-life underpinnings. These include examples of sailors’ knots, a glossary of words and terms—endemic, expeditions, trade winds, thermals, etc.—and various fish species skillfully rendered by Watson. In addition, the volume features short biographies of Tilly’s 19th- and 20th-century inspirations, Charles Darwin (“Darwin on her shelves / Evokes her scholarly dreams / Coral reefs and fish”) and anthropologist Katherine Routledge, written by science historian Michael Barton and archaeologist Jo Anne Van Tilburg.

An eye-pleasing picture book that offers a winning mix of adventure, science, and poetry, with a strong heroine who invites readers to view the world as a place of natural wonder.

Softcover now available!

Softcover Piratess Tilly Give-away What wonderful timing to share both the latest Amazon Review and the news that a softcover version of The Adventures of Piratess Tilly is now available directly from Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

Review on Amazon:

We LOVE this book! My five year old daughter loves it just as much as my eight year old son. First, I look to read stories with my children that have a strong female lead character. This is an empowering, uplifting and "feel good" story for both girls and boys. Written in Haiku, Tilly and her crew go on exciting adventures together. The watercolor illustrations are beautiful. I can't wait to read further adventures of Tilly and her crew.

Happy Monday!

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.

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

8/10/15 Publishers Weekly Review!

Our review from Publishers Weekly is in! Another nod to Charles Darwin and praise for our courageous, eco-conscious heorine, Piratess Tilly.

Tilly—tough, daring, and scientifically minded—is a capable heroine with an enviable life at sea. -Publishers Weekly

 

Publishers Weekly Review as seen on 8/10/15:

"Lorayne crafts an environmentally focused adventure told through haikus and punctuated by moments of excitement. Piratess Tilly, a brunette girl in patchwork jeans, travels on the research vessel Foster with a crew of young sailors from around the globe and her fedora-wearing koala, Yuki. Watson depicts Tilly and Yuki’s time aboard the ship in gentle watercolors with light fantasy elements. Tilly and Yuki read Charles Darwin and Beatrix Potter in their cozy cabin, a smiling crescent moon shining through the window, and collect nature specimens to study and sketch: “Many days passing/ Best used for examining/ What would Darwin think?” The plot turns from wildlife examination to conservation when Tilly and the crew discover that nefarious pirates are smuggling baby giant tortoises from the Galápagos Islands. In a perilous—albeit brief—mission, Tilly and her crewmates rescue the tortoises and release them into the sea. While the sequence of haikus can make for a slightly herky-jerky narrative, Tilly—tough, daring, and scientifically minded—is a capable heroine with an enviable life at sea. Ages 4–8. (BookLife) "

View the review here!

Thank you again for all of the support!

~ E.L.

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!

 

 

Piratess Tilly Hand-sewn Doll!

I've been working this week on a hand-sewn Piratess Tilly doll! I'm quite pleased with how it turned out! It measures about 3 inches in height. My hope and plan is to offer it for sale along with a a sort of play "house." I'm working on the logistics of a folding play venue featuring open-ended scenes from book. I hope you enjoy the pictures below! For more frequent updates, please follow us on Facebook! Thanks!!  

Piratess Tilly Hand Sewn Doll

Tilly Doll House Ocean Side

 

Tilly Doll House Stateroom

First Page Sample of Piratess Tilly

For our new followers here, on Facebook and on Twitter; I thought I'd share the very first page of The Adventures of Piratess Tilly! And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Piratess Tilly Page 1 Sample

 

 

Some favorite pages

I wanted to share some of my favorite pages from Tilly's expedition to the Galápagos Islands! Karen Watson's watercolor illustration of these whales is mesmerizing and stunning. And please don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates!

Piratess Tilly whale pages