Author Spotlight: Julie Abery
May 10, 2019
Today we are pleased to feature author Julie Abery and her board books LITTLE TIGER and LITTLE PANDA, illustrated by Suzie Mason Amicus Ink (March 12, 2019),
Be sure to enter to win a copy of LITTLE TIGER!
Tell us about yourself and how you came to write for children.
I love picture books and, as a teacher in an international school, I have been fortunate to have a career sharing stories and singing songs with hundreds of children from around the world. Through those years, picture books have been my friends and allies bringing rhyme, rhythm and repetition to the ears of young non-English speaking students. It is the magic that picture books create for children that inspires me to write.
Congrats on your board books LITTLE TIGER and LITTLE PANDA Amicus Ink (March 12, 2019). Tell us about them and what inspired you.
Little Tiger and Little Panda are the first two board books in a series published by Amicus Ink (www.amicuspublishing.us) . Written in rhyme, with active verbs, they follow the adventures of the young animals as they venture out alone for the first time. The fun texts are beautifully paired with warm and inviting illustrations by Suzie Mason (www.suziemason.com). The inspiration for Little Tiger came first. I had researched tiger-ish words in the library with a thought that one day I would write a story. I forgot all about them until I decided to enter Vivian Kirkfield’s 50 Precious Words contest in 2016. I stumbled across them in my notebook, and that is how Little Tiger was born.
Was your road to publication long and windy, short and sweet, or something in between?
I think it was probably something in between. I started writing school plays for the children to perform to their parents first. When those were well received, I tried my hand at a picture book and joined SCBWI in 2015. I attended the UK conference in November 2015 and started to explore critique groups and critiquing. I was lucky enough to sign with my agent my first picture book contract in 2016.
What other projects are you working on?
In 2017, I discovered the joys of writing non-fiction. I love the research and finding a hidden gem to share with children. I have now researched and written many true stories, three of which will be published in the next two years (see my bio.). And guess what…my latest project is non-fiction!
What are the one or two best things you did for your career?
I think the first best thing I did for my career was to participate in the kid-lit blogging community. It is a precious resource! I started reading and following a few wonderful blogs. I eventually decided I should dip my toe into the water and participate in a few contests and that is what eventually launched my career – a contest win and the amazing opportunity to have a critique and subsequently sign with my wonderful agent, Essie White at Storm Literary. I think the next best thing I did was sign up for picture book writing courses, both fiction and non-fiction, and just kept writing. Writing picture books seems easy until you try it – and you don’t know what you don’t know, right! 😊
What is the one thing most people don’t know about you?
I ran the Sierre – Zinal Mountain Marathon in Switzerland for fun! It is 31 km long; 2200 m (7200 feet) up the mountain, and 1100 m (3600 feet) back down the other side! Crazy but stunning!
Where can people find you online?
I am most active on Twitter - I love connecting with other kid-lit writers, illustrators and craft people. Twitter: @juliedawnabery
My website is https://littleredstoryshed.wordpress.com/
And you can find me on Facebook: @julieabery
Julie Abery is a children’s author and former Pre-K teacher. Originally from England, she has spent half of her life living in Europe, bringing up her three (now grown up) children and experiencing new languages and cultures. She now calls Switzerland home.
Julie’s debut board books Little Tiger and Little Panda were published in March 2019 with Amicus Ink, with a further two in the Amicus Little Animal Friends series publishing in Spring 2020; a nonfiction picture book biography entitled Yusra Swims from Creative Editions (Spring 2020); a true story João and Dindim the Penguin, Kids Can Press (Fall 2020) and nonfiction picture book Sakamoto and the Sugar-Ditch Kids from Kids Can Press (Spring 2021).
She is represented by Essie White of Storm Literary Agency.