Author Spotlight: Kristy Everington
June 25, 2021
We are thrilled to feature author Kristy Everington and her new picture book ISOBEL ADDS IT UP, illustrated by AG Ford (Penguin Random House) coming out July 29th! Enter to win a copy!
Tell us about yourself and how you came to write for children.
Hi! I’m from Perth, Australia, and moved to California 10 years ago (via London). I love baking and hiking, and some of my favorite things are books, tea, cake, and cats! From a young age, I’ve always loved reading and escaping into fiction. When I began my MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts, I was writing young adult fiction and had a vague notion of trying picture books. I fell in love with picture books in my first semester and never looked back!
Congrats on your debut picture book, Isobel Adds it Up! Tell us about it and what inspired you.
Thank you – I can’t wait to share it! Isobel Adds It Up is about a girl who loves math and just wants to get her math homework done, but she is interrupted by the ruckus caused by her mysterious new neighbors. It’s beautifully illustrated by the talented AG Ford – I absolutely love what he’s done with the illustrations.
I was inspired to write this by my own noisy neighbors! Like Isobel, I’m sensitive to noise and find it hard to concentrate when it’s too loud. Many years ago, when we were living in Perth, I said to my husband, I think elephants live next door, which was the initial title of this picture book. Since then we’ve had many noisy neighbors, and sometimes we’ve been the noisy neighbors too!
Was your road to publication long and winding, short and sweet, or something in between?
Something in between. I never would’ve thought earlier that my first book published would be a picture book! In terms of getting this book published, it was fairly straightforward. I started querying agents after I finished my MFA – I queried other picture books first before moving onto Isobel Adds It Up. The first query I sent for Isobel Adds It Up was actually to my agent, Jordan Hamessley! And it was the first picture book we put on submission to editors. That makes it sound easy, but it all took a long time, and there were many up and downs in between!
What projects are you working on now?
I have a few picture book ideas I’m working on, most of them are humorous with animals, and I’m also working on a contemporary YA novel.
What advice would you give to your younger self? Is this the same you'd give to aspiring authors?
Experiment! You don’t know where that will lead you. Write about things you love, something you would like to read. Have patience (a lot of it!). Don’t worry about your writing being perfect – done is better than perfect.
I think that’s all pretty solid advice for aspiring authors and things I need to remind myself of constantly! Publishing really does demand patience.
What is one thing most people don't know about you?
I went to doughnut remedial school. I used to work at a doughnut store which sounds like a great job, but it was terrible! I was so bad at decorating the doughnuts I was sent to another store to learn how to make the donuts look prettier.
Where can people find you online?
Originally from Perth, Australia, Kristy Everington now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and quite a lot of cats. She enjoys exploring the California coastline and visiting as many lighthouses as she can. Kristy holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.