April 20, 2011

Children's Book Giveaway Contest - Meet Ryan Sias Part 2!

Holy Swiss Cheese, Batman!  As if Monday wasn't awesome enough, today we get to finish our interview with author/illustrator Ryan Sias AND we will have a contest so that not one but two of our lucky readers will win signed copies of Ryan's books!

Deep breaths!  No hyperventilating, please!  We certainly don't want anyone to faint from an overdose of excitement!

It's true.  Ryan has most generously offered not only a signed copy of Zoe and Robot - Let's Pretend, but also a signed copy of Are You Eating Something Red?  So read on, enter the contest, and we will have two lucky winners on Friday!
Zoe and Robot - Let's Pretend, ages 4-8,  hardcover, 40 pages

Are You Eating Something Red?  Ages 0-3, board book, 5 pages

Welcome back, Ryan!


SLH:  What kinds of things have you done to publicize your work?  (Website? Blog? FB? Twitter? Flyers, promotional postcards? School visits? Etc...?)

RS:  Over the years my main promotion tool has been my website. I have done comic conventions, licensing shows and some web advertising. I hand out postcards to every person I meet. Facebook, live journal and twitter have all been good tools also.

With my books I’ve been going to more book events.  I’ve got a bunch of festivals lined up and have started working on getting signings for Zoe and Robot. I can’t wait to get out there and promote the books!

SLH:  Do you have an agent?  If so, who, and how did you get him/her?

RS:  Yes, Judy Hanson is my agent. She works with a lot of my friends and I knew her pretty well. So it was natural that I work with her.

SLH:  The world of children's books is in a state of flux right now.  Do you have plans for writing/illustrating stories for ipad, iphone, kindle, nook or other apps?

RS:  I am talking to my publisher about doing an App for our book Are You Eating Something Red? and I’ve been getting requests for a Zoe and Robot app. I think it would be cool to see it on the ipad. So hopefully soon!
An interior shot of Are You Eating Something Red?

Interior shots of Zoe and Robot (above and below)
Seems like Ryan's books would make great apps!


SLH:  What are you working on now?

RS:  I have just signed a contract for a companion book to Are You Eating Something Red? It is related to healthy eating, but I can’t tell you any more, it’s a secret!  Shhhhhh.

My agent is showing a totally new series pitch to editors. Hopefully I can announce something soon!

SLH:  Do you have advice for aspiring authors, illustrators, or author/illustrators (kids or grown-ups :))?

RS:  Practice, practice, practice. Do your homework, join SCBWI (the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators), go the library or book store every week, and write every week. Same goes for drawing. When you are ready to submit, target the editors and publishing houses you want to work with.

I see a lot of people who get hung up on one story. I suggest, write three to six ideas and show them to friends. Then pick the one that seems to be working the best. Also don’t work in isolation. I did this for many years and got nowhere.  Show your work to friends or join a writing group to get feedback. It will automatically make your work stronger. Same rules apply to artwork. Show it around and get notes about colors, composition and concepts.

Also, STAY positive; don’t let negative thoughts get in your way. Stay focused on the goal and make it happen. It will not be easy, you will get a lot of rejection, but use that to learn and improve. It is totally possible to do picture books and it’s so great when the first one comes out. So stay positive and keep trying! You will get there.

SLH:  Are you available for school visits?  What is your preference for audience age, size etc.  Where can interested people get information?

RS:  Yes I am. I have two different talks. One is about growing up and becoming a professional cartoonist. The other is called “Sketch a story” where I teach creative storytelling and we create a book as a class. I seem to go over best with kids ages 5-10. They’d need to contact me for more information.
I am also looking to do readings at book stores and libraries, where I can do the same thing.
Ryan's school visits look awesome!

SLH:  Do you have any else to say?

RS:  Working on picture books is a life long dream. I’m thankful to Blue Apple Books for letting me work on books with them. I hope to do many more fun books for everyone to enjoy. I’d like to end by saying, “Keep drawing, keep writing and never give up on your dreams!”


Thank you so much for joining us, Ryan, and all the best of luck with your new book and your secret projects!  Please visit Ryan at www.ryansias.com!

And now - the moment you've all been waiting for - THE CONTEST!!!

Since Ryan's drawing has a cartoon style, that will be the theme of our contest.

Here's what you have to do:

1.  Be a follower of this blog (bonus entry if you get someone else to follow the blog and tell me who it is.)

2.  Leave a comment naming your favorite cartoon character.  It can be from comic books, Saturday morning TV, or any other cartoon venue.  The comment should also tell why you would like to win Zoe and Robot and/or Are You Eating Something Red.

3.  Be sure to leave your comment by Friday, April 22, 9 AM EST because that's when the drawing will take place and the winners be announced!

That's it!  That's all you have to do!  I hope we'll get lots of entries so Ryan will feel loved and appreciated :)

Looking forward to hearing who your favorite cartoon characters are!  (That means you too, Ryan!)  I am personally on the fence about my favorite - it's between Hong Kong Fooey, the Kung Fu crime fighting dog; Muttley, from Dastardly and Muttley of Yankee Doodle Pigeon fame; and Mush Mouse and Punkin' Puss.... apparently I lean toward animal characters :)
Reactions:

12 comments:

  1. Hi Susanna,

    I follow by RSS feed, so you can count me or not, but just in case, I think my favorite cartoon might be Scooby Doo. I always loved mysteries! I'd love to win Zoe and the Robot because the illustrations look amazing and my 8 yo would love it!

    Thanks so much.

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  2. A phone app. That is cool. You have some great marketing strategies here. :) Good luck!

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  3. Hey, Brooke - if you follow you follow - doesn't matter how :) Thanks for joining the contest!

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  4. Great interview! That's so cool that you might do apps! I agree--great marketing strategies. I'd love to have either Zoe and the Robot (the illustrations are super fun and would be perfect to read to my little one--she's two and a half and would have a good time with me asking questions about the illustrations--it's a good book for her to grow into) or Are You Eating Something Red? (she's totally into colors and food right now!).

    My favorite cartoon character is Foghorn Leghorn from Loony Tunes--I love the way he talks!

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  5. Hi Ryan. I enjoyed your guest blog--especially the advice about joining a writers group and staying positive! My favorite cartoon character is Winnie-the-Pooh. I was recently informed by my teen that I resemble the bear, and she wondered if that was why I felt an affinity for him.
    I would love to win Are You Eating Something Red? It will be perfect reading for future grandchildren.

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  6. This is a great interview! I love the advice about not getting hung up on one story. I'm intrigued by your hints about your new book - since I teach Kindergarten I'm always looking for fun ways to talk about health.

    Please enter me in the contest (if it applies to Canadians). My favourite cartoon character is Blue from Blues Clues, which I used to watch with my daughter. And I'd love to share either of your books with my students. I'm always looking for ways to inspire them to write!

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  7. Cool illustrations!

    I'm starting up a 'Critiquing Crusaders' program, where participants in the Second Crusade can find other writers to exchange critiques with or form critiquing circles. If you're interested, come by The Kelworth Files to check it out!

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  8. What a great interview! Thanks Susanna and Ryan. :)

    I am a follower. My favorite cartoon character is Wile E. Coyote, poor, hapless guy that he is. And I would like to win the books because my boys (and I) would adore them. They look like books my kids will ask us to read every single day and randomly quote from at other times. I am in Germany, but please don't hold that against me; I have a US address, too. =D

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  9. I'm so jealous of talented people! And I love the doodle/storytime. That's GENIUS!! I bet the kids love it.

    Anyway, my favorite character is Dopey. Love his big blue eyes and giant ears!

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  10. Oh, I love your fav cartoons. They are mine too. I would add, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, and Quick Draw McGraw.

    I follow and these books look and sound awesome. They are books we can read over and over and they never get old.

    I love what Ryan said, "And never give up on your dreams." That's what I'm talkin' 'bout. :-)

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  11. Wonderful interview and really great tips!! Casper for me!! :D

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  12. Oooh, I forgot about Casper! He is a good one :)

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