I'll blog more about the incredible Picture Book Intensive next week, but want to share my biggest 'aha' moment with you. I've always interviewed my novel characters, but for some reason, I never thought about interviewing my picture book characters. I mean, I jot down notes and imagine how they look and speak, but I didn't really dig deep enough to find out what they're like outside of the book.
Well...that's behind me now, because Alexandra Penfold gave us an amazing exercise with interview questions to analyze our picture book characters. I love exploring how my characters view themselves vs. the way others see them. The question that had the biggest impact on me for Sock-a-palooza was: Who is your character's best friend, and why are they friends? Well, in a very early version of this, I knew who her friends were. But now...she doesn't have any friends mentioned, and I realized that she really longs to have a friend who loves socks as much as she does. So at the end of the story, she not only solves the mystery of her missing socks, but also fills a void in her life as well. It adds a whole new layer to my picture book that I never knew existed! I can't wait to interview all my picture book characters, and see how much better their answers help me tell their stories!
It was wonderful chatting with old and new friends in Orlando! It went by so fast, I didn't get to talk to some friends as much as I would've liked. Hopefully, we'll keep in touch online and have lots of time to talk in Miami this January. I did go to a fun dinner to celebrate Steven dos Santos' two book deal with Flux Books for his amazing Torch Keeper series. Congrats again, Steven! If you don't know him, hop on over to his blog and congratulate him. And you can also read about our adventurous ride to Orlando (thanks so much for driving us, Marjetta!)