SPS 195: Lessons Learned Publishing 100+ Children & Young Adult Books with Kathryn Lasky (& Turning Your Book Into A Movie)

Posted on Feb 1, 2023

Avatar Of Chandler Bolt

Written by Chandler Bolt

Home > Blog > Podcast > SPS 195: Lessons Learned Publishing 100+ Children & Young Adult Books with Kathryn Lasky (& Turning Your Book Into A Movie)
Schedule Your Free One Hour Book Strategy Session

Chandler Bolt [00:00:02] Hey, Chandler, over here. And joining me today is Kathryn Lasky. Kathryn is the author of over 100 books for children and Young adults, which is just crazy. She’s some of those books include The Guardians of Ga’hoole series, which is more than 8 million copies in print and was turned into a major motion picture called The Legends of the Guardians the Owls of Ga’hoole. Her newest book is is titled Light on Bone A Mystery. So just so much fun experience that we get to unpack your writing children’s books, writing young adult books, writing mystery novel, turning your book into a movie like there’s so much that we can talk about, including the new book that’s out. So, Kathryn, welcome.

Kathryn Lasky [00:00:51] Oh, welcome. Very happy to be here.

Chandler Bolt [00:00:54] So. So why books? You’re a prolific writer. You’ve written a ton of books. How did you get started and why? Why have you focused so much of your time and energy on books?

Kathryn Lasky [00:01:05] Well, I guess it’s a process of elimination. I’m good at other things. I’m not a singer. I’m not particularly athletic. But, you know, when I was little, I just read I mean, it still read like crazy. So I thought, well, if I could be a professional reader, I’d do that. I mean, this is when I was really And then I thought, well, maybe I could just be a writer, you know, or a librarian. It’s this passion for books, and it’s hard just to separate for me reading from writing system, so.

Chandler Bolt [00:01:49] And was it always that way? Were you always did you always read and write regularly, or was that something that kind of developed over time?

Kathryn Lasky [00:01:56] Well, I read regularly, surely I read. And then I, I started writing, you know, and I was an English major in college. And then I started writing a little bit. But just after I graduated from college, I was a copywriter for a magazine of fashion magazine, which I didn’t particularly like that. And then I oh, and then I went and I got a masters degree in early childhood education. And that sort of put me on the path to children’s books. And so my first book with children’s books.

Chandler Bolt [00:02:42] And then how? How old were you when you wrote your first book? And how old were you when you published your first book?

Kathryn Lasky [00:02:49] Well, when I wrote and published, well, it was let me just think, I was about 30 and I was about 30 when it ah, 31 when it was published. It was very short book and it was called I have four Names for my Grandfather and it was about and my husband’s a really good photographer. He used to work for National Geographic. So it was a bit of a sort of photo story for little kids, and it was just kind of like a day in the life of a grandfather and his grandson. And the grandfather was my father and the grandson was my sister sister’s little boys. I didn’t have any children of my own, and it just got snapped up and I kept running, Well, this is good. And then I moved into longer books and novels and stuff like that sort of idea of building a muscle yarn.

Chandler Bolt [00:03:56] Did you. Did you self-publish traditionally publish that first book?

Kathryn Lasky [00:04:01] No. No. It was published by Little Brown.

Chandler Bolt [00:04:04] Okay. And how did you how did you get your first publishing deal for children’s book as a first time author?

Kathryn Lasky [00:04:11] Well, this would never happen anymore. But I was going, submitted and write a letter and blah, blah, blah. You know, little girl, I live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is right across the river from Boston. And Little Brown at that point was in Boston. And I was I said to my husband, one writes them, this man, and he said, why don’t you? Instead of sending it in, we hadn’t even shot the pictures. I had the manuscript, very short manuscript, but we put in some sample pictures and my husband said, Well, why not? Why don’t you call up and and ask to talk to the children’s book editor there and, you know, shine one way. And he said, Don’t do it. So I called up and this guy, I didn’t expect that he answered his own phone. And so there were no layers to go through. And so I just sort of hemmed and hawed around. I said, well, you know, I’ve written this book about a grandfather and a grandson and what they do on a day they spend together. And he said, Oh, that sounds great. I was just thinking about we need more intergenerational books and stuff like that. I said, Well, I’ll send in it. He said, Don’t send it in, bring it in. And so I brought it in and I had and my husband came with me and we showed him some of his pictures and everything. And the editor said, I’ll buy it just like that. I mean, times were simple. I guess that’s all you can say. So that got me. Really?

Chandler Bolt [00:05:54] Hmm. Well, I mean, I think two big takeaways there for people who are, you know, picking up the phone. And actually because if you were to just email them, they likely would have never responded. And then also just getting in person was that.

Kathryn Lasky [00:06:08] There wasn’t even email that.

Chandler Bolt [00:06:11] They got. That’s good. That’s crazy. So you talked a little bit earlier about building the muscle of writing and obviously, you know, writing over a hundred books and, you know, children’s book, young adult books and then, you know, all the way to your your most recent book, Light on Bone.

Kathryn Lasky [00:06:31] How like you’re I should show you October. I love the cover of mine.

Chandler Bolt [00:06:35] Yeah, I do, too. I was going to ask you so actually, let me say I wrote on the cover and then we’ll come back to building the muscle of writing. What was the thought process behind that cover? I was just looking at all your books on Amazon and it looks like a lot of your other books have a very similar style of cover. And this this seems to be very different. So what was the thought process behind that?

Kathryn Lasky [00:06:56] Well, first of all, this is a grown up book and not a kid’s book, and it’s a murder mystery. And because it features Georgia O’Keeffe, the famous painter, as what you call in the business an amateur sleuth. And, you know, she spent a lot of time out in the southwest in New Mexico. So that was a landscape that really inspired her. So, you know, I wanted something of the landscape. I wanted a sort of well, this sounds like a contradiction. I wanted a sort of darkness or foreboding quality. But I didn’t want it to be a black cover. So I guess in the sense that South there are so beautiful and so and the title was Light on Bone, and she painted a lot of bones. So there is a cow skull down here. And so, you know, I related all that to the art department and the publisher, and they thought those were good ideas. And they sent me several. Well, I would say at least six or eight possible covers. And I went with this one because I just thought it sort of captured it, you know?

Chandler Bolt [00:08:24] Yeah, it looks great. And for those who are watching on the YouTube channel, you can see it. If you’re listening on the podcast, you can just check out the book Light on Down on on Amazon or wherever you purchase books. Kat And wait, how do you said, Hey, this is a up book, so it needs to be different? How do you think about covers differently if you’re doing a children’s book or young adult book or a grown up book? How do you. Do you do anything? Yeah. How do you think about that?

Kathryn Lasky [00:08:55] Well, that’s really you know, it’s sort of a question for the publisher, but with the children’s book. I didn’t want anything too abstract. With this vein on bone, it can be more abstract. I want something that immediately grabs their attention. I’ve written so many books about animals and like the Guardians of Ga’hoole, Well, it was obvious that they would need. Can I get up a minute and just get my book so I can show it again? Sure.

Chandler Bolt [00:09:45] Yeah, we got the Guardians of Goal, which is the series. That’s the ultimate series that got turned into a movie. You can kind of see if you’re here.

Kathryn Lasky [00:09:53] It is. Well, look, of course, you know, it’s a now. And what it is more intriguing, it just grabs your attention. Well, on then, the face of an owl. So all all 15 of these books have owls on the cover in some way. I mean, just a I think it’s an immediate connect for kids. It is a cover. So that I hope I answered your question.

Chandler Bolt [00:10:25] That makes sense. So putting something on the cover that’s intriguing and captures it captures the attention of the intended audience. And it sounds like with with the kids book, it’s like, Hey, there’s an owl. It’s an intriguing image. They know that it’s an animal book, and if they like ours, they’re interested in that. And then with Light on Bone, it’s it’s a tie in to the theme of the book, and there’s intrigue and that sort of thing. That makes sense. So how? So kind of back to the writing muscle question.

Kathryn Lasky [00:10:56] Oh, yeah.

Chandler Bolt [00:10:57] I mean, it’s it’s I mean, obviously extremely prolific as a writer and as an author. How have you built that muscle and how is that muscle different depending like how do you approach these books differently, whether you’re writing a children’s book, young adult book, adult mystery?

Kathryn Lasky [00:11:15] Well, with a children’s book, you know, there might only be 1300 words And if that. So, you know, it always starts out with you have to have a story, no matter whether it’s for kids or adults with a beginning, a middle and an end. Now, you don’t necessarily have to stick religiously to that. I mean, you can have an idea for the beginning and that can change, but you got to start out with a beginning, middle and an end. And I kind of it’s like making a sketch of the book in a way, or a very faint outline, which you can always change. And that’s the same with every book, whether it’s for kids or adults. And then the. It gives you a map of sorts and you move from one point on the map to another by the end of a book. I might have as many as. A dozen outlines. And they keep getting longer and longer because you keep. Adding to them and say, Oh, well, I could do this here in the middle of the third set. So these are elaborate outlines. Granted, it’s not so elaborate for a 1000 word picture book, but writing these outlines and following them up and. I guess that’s it. But you know, the outlet there, they become the roadmap for you.

Chandler Bolt [00:12:56] Yeah, that makes sense. And so would you say because I mean, you know, you’ve probably heard the expression of there’s plotters and dancers. There’s and for those who are listening aren’t familiar, it’s, you know, plotters like to plot everything ahead of time. I think the most most at I’m trying to remember most famous. We get a blog post on this, but it’s like most famous plotter and the most famous panther. And I can’t remember Stephen King, I think like is maybe a panther. James Patterson is maybe a planner, but so plotter like spy everything at of time Panthers kind of like do more right by the see their pants and develop the story as it comes. Do you feel like you. Are you a plotter or a panther? And does that change based on the type of book that you’re writing?

Kathryn Lasky [00:13:40] You know, I think I’m a little bit of both. I think I. I kind of wanted out. But then there are many places where I go by the seat of my pants and. And I think you have to be able to switch between those two archetypes, if you want to call them that. Right now, I’ve finished the first draft of the second. Georgia O’Keeffe book. It’s called Mortal Radiance. And now I’m into the Pants of Pride. I have a beginning, middle and conclusion, but I got to fill it out with more intrigue. And there could be a second murder that might happen. Hmm. And, you know, things get a little bit more intricate when you’re in the pants part. Yeah, So? So that. So I do both. But it starts with being the father.

Chandler Bolt [00:14:49] Got at it. Okay. So probably a flutter there. And then you’ve got since some kind of ability to write by the seat of your pants as you work through the plot. And then it sounds like you’ve been tying together in the multiple books. I’d love for you to speak on that. I mean, you’ve obviously done a bunch of series, and that’s a as a fiction author or a children’s book author. Has writing any series? Author The one of the most important numbers is your read through rate. Right. And what percentage of people who read Book one are going to read book to percent as you’re going to rebook to rebook three things like that. Is there anything that you’ve learned or that you do to increase that read through rate or to get people to kind of keep coming back from book to book?

Kathryn Lasky [00:15:30] Well in the children’s books. Edwards has written a book of series, The Owls. I’ve written about wolves, horses. I got one coming out about Beaver’s second one of the series and. There’s always some unfinished business that’s pretty obvious in the children’s books. So, you know, I know I’m going to pick it up there with the Georgia Cube because I’m just on the second. But I don’t know exactly what the unfinished business was. It’s set in historical times, which is considered historic. Of the 1930s in the lead up to World War Two. So that leaves a lot of things that can happen. The first book was set in 1934. This one is in 35 and. So there is a kind of timeline to follow up to, you know, 19. 41 when we got into World War Two. So there is. That’s good. That’s good. That’s something to rely on. I love doing historical fiction. I wrote a whole lot of historical fiction for kids.

Chandler Bolt [00:16:59] What do you like about it?

Kathryn Lasky [00:17:01] Well, the plots are there. That’s the thing. You know, it’s history. You. The characters are there. I wrote a series for Scholastic called Dear America. And, oh, my God. It was so much fun to do. I had that one. Well, they were in all different times. One in the Depression. One is about the Pilgrims. And then they continued it into something called The Royal Diaries. Oh, and I’m just a fiend for history. I love history, and particularly of English history. So I wrote one about Queen Elizabeth the first, and then I wrote a tried time travel, one that was set in Tudor, England, and here in the United States.

Chandler Bolt [00:17:54] That’s cool. So it sounds like some of the historical fiction. You know, you’ve got you’ve got your plot, you got your characters. You must have like this canvas that you can work with. Yeah.

Kathryn Lasky [00:18:05] And that’s pretty well the way I sort of feel with light on because it is historical, the 1930s. I get the plot, I get the characters. There’s rows of the there’s Antwerp, there’s all sorts of people. Mm.

Chandler Bolt [00:18:23] So maybe switching gears just a little bit and then I want to talk about the new book and in a few things there. What? You got the Owl series turned into a major motion picture. How did you do it? How did that happen? I think there’s this is like everyone’s dream, right? And we just had a Sarah Mcdermitt come on episode 191 of the podcast and talk about like turning your book into a script. And there’s this thing that I feel like keeps coming up. We had Steven Breslow on the podcast. He’s talking about turning his book into a movie and just it’s a question that keeps getting asked and things that thing that I think a lot of people are interested in. How’d you do it?

Kathryn Lasky [00:19:05] Well, I have an agent, a movie agent. And so she did it. And I know it surprises a lot of people. I didn’t have to do too much because they don’t want the author to do too much. They kind of take it over. But she worked a very good deal for me. Where? I got to be my associate producer, so.

Chandler Bolt [00:19:36] Oh, cool.

Kathryn Lasky [00:19:37] Yeah. So I got. I got paid that separate from the rights they paid for. Oh, that’s smart. No, Associate producer assumes that you can raise your voice every now and then, say, Hey, I don’t like that. That’s about all I could do. I didn’t have to turn the book. They had to. And, you know, there was things they did that I wouldn’t have done. But I’ll tell you, it was so beautiful. I just couldn’t. It’s the most beautiful animation I’ve ever seen in a movie. I would just say it’s the most beautiful animated movie ever. It was made by. An Australian. Warner Brothers was the producers, but they hired. Animal Logic, which is a company that does animation and they’re in Australia and they are absolute geniuses. And so it’s not like I had to write Hollywood myself and convince them of this at all. It all kind of fell into place, actually. I think what happened was one of the big producers at Warner Brothers. Found her kids books, who had my books on the aisles of the school and her kids were. Reading them like crazy. And so she went to my agent and, you know, the rest is history. It was great. It was great. There were things I didn’t like about the movie, but I won’t tell you those things because I think that the movie itself is just a masterpiece.

Chandler Bolt [00:21:34] Yeah. So it was the same agent. Is that typical? The same agent that works with you on your books Will will shop at two movies or zero?

Kathryn Lasky [00:21:42] No, no, I have two agents. Actually, I have three agents. I have a children’s book agent. And I have a grown up book agent, and then I have a movie agent who can do both children. So it was my movie agent who did the album.

Chandler Bolt [00:22:05] Hmm. Got it. So it was a. So that’s that’s interesting. And I think probably helpful for people to understand kind of the structure. When you’re traditionally publishing a large volume of books. You said you’ve got a kids book agent or children’s book agent, the shops, the children’s books, you’ve got an adult book agent or grown up book agent, and you’ve got a movie agent specifically.

Kathryn Lasky [00:22:27] Who does both sites.

Chandler Bolt [00:22:29] Got it. Got it. And so is that person shopping some of your other books or is like, is that a priority to keep turning some of your books into movies?

Kathryn Lasky [00:22:38] Sure, yeah. But and she keeps trying. But actually, no, it’s very hard. And Hollywood’s in a very weird state now with the streaming and all that. I mean, I don’t know what’s going on there. Yeah. Keeps trying. She sends a lot of things, and sometimes we get a nibble. Well, I’ve had and I had options. I did a grown up Look, here’s a girl under a pseudonym. Cold night gardening. And it’s under the pseudonym of Eli Swan. And as W and then I think it’s in like it’s a what do you call it option. This has been going on for 20 years now. I don’t think it will ever. But just. You know, the first option was pretty big. Keep going down. But it’s still out there in place.

Chandler Bolt [00:23:40] And for those who aren’t familiar, an option is basically, okay. We have the ability to turn this into a movie and we’ve got a one year option or and then I.

Kathryn Lasky [00:23:49] Use for that. Yeah.

Chandler Bolt [00:23:50] Got it. Oh, so they keep paying you for the ability to turn it into a movie and renewing the option, but they still haven’t turned it into a movie.

Kathryn Lasky [00:23:58] Yeah. So. The opposition isn’t as big as it was 20 years ago. And then they try to whittle you down and do this. You feel well, at least it’s out there in circulation. You might stumble across it.

Chandler Bolt [00:24:18] That’s really interesting. So let’s talk about the new book Light on Bone A Mystery. Is this the first adult mystery that you’ve done or have you done?

Kathryn Lasky [00:24:27] Oh, I had done a series years ago about. That’s very different from from this book. It’s about. So it’s about a children’s book illustrator who lives in Cambridge. It’s sort of almost my life, except I don’t draw. And she starts solving murders, mysteries. She keeps stumbling in bodies and things like that. And so I did four of those so pretty well. And then I just got tired of doing them. And my children’s book wasn’t in her book career wasn’t in high gear at that point. And then it did get in high gear, especially with the Guardians of the Fool, our books. And so I didn’t do it for a while, for a long time. And then, I don’t know, something just made me come back and I thought, I don’t want to do those. But I always love Georgia O’Keeffe as a painter. And her life was so interesting and I thought that would make. Good thing, you know, amateur sleuth. That’s what they call it when you’re not a regular policeman or detective or something like that. You’re an amateur sleuth. So your day job is totally different from this. And that was fun. And I also love the Southwest. So I just thought that would be a neat territory to celebrate. And Georgia O’Keeffe was. She stumbles, she goes out there and it’s a sort of critical time in her life. She’d been out there before, but it was the first year she stayed at the Ghost Ranch. And she stumbles across a dead body in the desert. And it is the body of a priest. And so so it all begins, but it’s right in the 1930s. So there’s German spies around and all this kind of stuff. Just a few characters. Real life characters show up like Charles Lindbergh and his wife. And. It’s interesting. I’ve written a lot of books about World War Two for kids. Why a book? So I. I know about a lot about World War two. So it’s always fun to be able to use. Some knowledge that you had because you’ve been exploring things and. Comes and.

Chandler Bolt [00:27:26] Goes, but in a different format.

Kathryn Lasky [00:27:28] In a different format. Georgia O’Keeffe herself with such amazing character. I mean, I just loved her, so.

Chandler Bolt [00:27:38] Let’s talk about maybe, you know, Sue. I think what’s fascinating to me is, you know, with children’s books, you’ve got all right. You’ve got to kind of buyer’s right. You’ve got the parents. It’s like it needs to be compelling enough that the parent wants to buy it and the kid wants to read it.

Kathryn Lasky [00:27:56] Yeah.

Chandler Bolt [00:27:56] And then with, you know, with the with an adult mystery or any grown up books, it’s it’s way more straightforward. So how have you approached kind of light on bone, like both the positioning, I guess, the marketing, the that sort of thing. How do you look at that differently from the way that you look at kind of marketing your children or young adult books?

Kathryn Lasky [00:28:16] Well with the children’s books. You really basically, especially until they get to be white. But you’re marketing to the parents and largely to the moms. More moms belong to both groups. Both groups that have. You know, moms and children in them or women’s groups, whatever. So you’re basically. Marketing to them. And, you know, I don’t do the marketing, but I was sort of lucky. A large part of my career, I’ve been involved with Scholastic, and they are dynamite in marketing because they have scholastic book fairs. And you can sometimes see those big 18 wheeler trash trucks going around the country, and they’re the book fair trucks. And they’re bringing thousands of books to a public school that is having a book fair. And of course, they allow the school to share in the profits so that it’s automatically there is nobody that has a marketing machine like Scholastic. So for the other books, they have, you know, marketing departments which are and publicity departments which varies. So especially these things and with the pandemic. You. You just can’t rely on that much. I mean, you have to try and figure out a way to do the marketing yourself. And I’m not very good. I really I’m not. And so I don’t know what I’m doing in that regard. I’m appearing on this show. Please email your friends. I put up little interesting tidbits of find on my website Kathryn Lasky dot com, but I’m basically a lousy marketer. I’m a good interview. But you know, I can’t write my own ad copy. I know how to go about it.

Chandler Bolt [00:30:35] What? I mean, how do you think you’ve sold so many books, then? I mean, if it is, I mean, I mean, you’re obviously a great writer, but there’s a lot of great writers whose books don’t sell, Right. How do you think.

Kathryn Lasky [00:30:48] All of mine sell that? Well, either. Mm hmm. You know, I. How do I sell so many books? Well, scholastic book fairs, but Scholastic just does children’s books. They don’t do grownup books. Mm hmm. And, you know, the publicity and. Whether we call it department of these marketing departments of big publishers. I. I try to give them my ideas. And I hope they listen and all of that. But yeah, whether they do, I don’t know. It’s very hard.

Chandler Bolt [00:31:31] Yeah. Any. Any lessons, Will? Hmm? You said, you know, not all your books sell well. What? What? I guess maybe outside of the book, those now out.

Kathryn Lasky [00:31:45] Well, they don’t all sell well. Yeah, Or sell well.

Chandler Bolt [00:31:49] Yeah. And so what? Like any, I guess Any. Because I think that’s pretty common as an author, right? You know, a lot of people think, oh, someone’s a successful author, all of their books must do well. But it’s a20 principle. You know, there’s going to every author, no matter how successful, is going to have a couple of those books that just outsell all the other ones. Have you noticed any commonalities with your books that sell a lot more copies or any rhyme or reason that you seen behind the ones that sell a lot more?

Kathryn Lasky [00:32:17] Not really. I don’t. And. I. I mean, I think. Animal books. So pretty well, I’ve done a lot of animal books and I’m starting to think now. See, a lot has changed in the children’s. Book World Where. And I think this is right in some ways, but in other ways I don’t they they are trying to find. Books that have more. By more people of color. And buy and books that deal with transgender, gay people and all of that. And I think that is vital. I myself don’t think that you have to be black or Asian or trans or bisexual or gay to write that book, because writing is essentially an act of imagination. And you can’t tell me that. I can’t imagine what that is like. I can’t. I’m an artist. I’m a writer. I had a great idea. For a book that was sort of sci fi ish. And it was about two sisters, but one was a clone of another one. As a regular, non-threatening person, and they made up they hadn’t ever met. They kept separate. And when they meet up. You know, this is an interesting situation. But the clone, they’re both girls. They the clone feels that she’s transgender. So when that was pitched. Two publishing house. The editor said something like, Well, no, we can’t take this because CAF is transgender. And I asked my agent. I think. How do they know? How do they know I’m not transgender? And you know, my s a good question. How do they know? I mean, I’m not. But I guess that that’s just a very limited way of thinking about writing and how somebody writes and why they write that. But I do understand we need more books out there that deal with those subjects. Now, whether the person who writes some is the right color or not, as long as they’re a good writer, I don’t see why not.

Chandler Bolt [00:35:18] Hmm. Hmm. I mean, I guess similarly to how, you know, not having a free to write a book about World War Two. You know, not having to have fought in World War Two, but be able to study that and write that and capture that and crystallize that into your writing.

Kathryn Lasky [00:35:41] What’s written five books about World War Two. And nobody ever asked me if I thought it. But that was a huge history buff. As a kid, I was back, right? My uncle was in the Battle of the Bulge. My aunt was a wave of women’s auxiliaries, something or other force during the war. My. Much older cousins was in Peyton’s army. I grew up reading all those books. Right.

Chandler Bolt [00:36:20] Well, they tell me about what type of person would like. Is the book is the new book ideal for. So I don’t bone what type of person might be interested in that? Where can people go buy it?

Kathryn Lasky [00:36:33] Well, they write on Amazon. I don’t bone. I think women in particular would like it. I think history buffs would like it. And certainly art history, people would love it. So it is like a peek into her inside life, her interior life. And I, I read immense amounts of stuff about George. Okay. So but I particularly think. Well, I thought it was mostly a women’s book. Mm hmm. I’m not thinking that because I’m getting a lot of emails from guys, and so.

Chandler Bolt [00:37:24] Amateur sleuths.

Kathryn Lasky [00:37:26] Yeah. Amateur sleuth? I don’t know.

Chandler Bolt [00:37:30] But do you think that demographic is interested in it? And I mean it maybe. Is that the commonality? The guys who are reading it is that that’s something that they’re personally interested in. Therefore, they that that’s interesting to them about the book.

Kathryn Lasky [00:37:43] Oh, about the amateur sleuth aspect. Whether that would particularly appeal to men more than women. I think just that it’s grounded in a fascinating historical period. And there are plenty of men in the book, too. Yeah, so I think that’s it. But. Yeah. I mean, they had. You know, who knows? Yeah, you know, a marketing analyst or whatever.

Chandler Bolt [00:38:14] Well, Kathryn, this has been awesome. What would be your parting piece of advice, knowing what you know now, 100 books later to the Kathryn of. You know, prior to writing your first book or any of the other Kathryns out there who are thinking about writing their children’s book or adult novel or young adult fiction.

Kathryn Lasky [00:38:35] Well, that’s interesting, because I think my advice would be don’t follow the market. Don’t because this is the rage now. I think you have to write about that. Don’t follow the market. Follow your own instincts about what you feel makes good writing. And what I feel makes good writing is the subject. That really seizes you that you can live with for years, months, whatever, and that if you have procedures that work for you, like for me, outlining is very important, but I’m not bound by it. I’m flexible. And one of the first things I do to get rolling is I write the book jacket copy, because book jacket copy is fabulous. It’s usually 100 words or less. And it’s kind of gets the pithy notes of the story. What’s going to grab a reader? So first you write that book jacket copy. Then you expand that into some sort of that line. And then you might be expanding it into subsequent outline.

Chandler Bolt [00:39:51] Mm hmm. Oh, cool.

Kathryn Lasky [00:39:53] Yeah.

Chandler Bolt [00:39:54] That’s a fun process.

Kathryn Lasky [00:39:55] Yeah, There it is.

Chandler Bolt [00:39:57] Well, hey, thank you so much. Kathryn. This is amazing. Lay on bone. Yeah. Check it out on Amazon or anywhere you buy books. Kathryn, thank you so much.

Kathryn Lasky [00:40:10] Okay. Thank you.

Links and Resources

Disclosure: Some of the links above may contain affiliate partnerships, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Self-Publishing School may earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.
Liked this post? Share it with friends!

Interested in working with us?

Book a free strategy call with our expert team!