WEE OO WEE OO! ALERT! Flash: The Litle Fire Engine is ready for pre order!

I'm excited to announce that my newest book, FLASH: THE LITTLE FIRE ENGINE is already on amazon for pre-order.

The story follows Little Flash who's about to embark on his first day on the job. He's SOOOO excited! Will he be able to pitch in and save the day?

This is a character driven story made for boys and girls who love emergency vehicles. It's action packed with loads of sounds and a quick plot.

When I wrote this, it took a long time for me to figure out what was going to happen in it. I knew I wanted to write about a fire truck simply because there's tons of dump trucks, garbage trucks, backhoes, trains, etc, but not fire trucks! You must write about things that aren't already in the market if you want to sell.

Since I didn't know much about fire trucks, I did a lot of research for this story. My son-in-law helped me, too. (A family effort since my grandsons adore fire trucks.)

If you want to know more about how to write a character driven story, read …

Interview, free picture book critique and free picture books!

Are you a picture book writer and need some advice? Would you like a free paid critique or a chance to win Brianna Bright, Ballerina Knight? 
You're in luck!
Children's writer, Justin Colon, has interviewed me on TONS of questions about the picture book biz from what makes a picture book stand out from the crowd to the obstacles facing picture book writers. If you want an inside look at all things picture books, take a look at this article: Interview and Give Away with Author, Pam Calvert.
Make sure to enter the give away at the end of the article! 
And don't forget to reblog, repost and tweet it out to your picture book writing friends!

Brianna Bright Book Giveaway on Goodreads!

My publisher is offering 20 free hardcover copies of Brianna Bright on Goodreads. The giveaway is running until June 4th, so you have time.

Just click this link to sign up! So easy! BRIANNA BRIGHT BALLERINA KNIGHT giveaway

If you think someone might want the chance to win this book, please share!

Brianna Bright Ballerina Knight Coming June 5, 2018!

I'm thrilled to announce that my strong girl picture book is about to be here! Brianna Bright, Ballerina Knight will come to doorsteps all over the US on June 5th, 2018! You may preorder it now!
I'd originally gotten this idea for a ballerina knight when my editor asked for a book targeted for girls. Being a champion of alternative girl books, I was already working on a strong ballerina book. But I was also reading The Game of Thrones. In one of the books, Arya Stark, a princess of one of the noble houses, was being taught how to use a sword. Her teacher called it water dancing. I thought, wouldn't that be fun if my ballerina could also be a knight and so, Brianna Bright was born!
Liana Hee, my illustrator did such a beautiful job throughout. I love her style which is reminiscent of the 1950's with a modern twist. You should check out all her other artwork on her instagram here: Liana Hee and her etsy site here: The Art of Lianna Hee

Princess Peepers Picks a Pet Nominated for Iowa's State Award!

I'm beyond excited to share that Princess Peepers Picks a Pet was nominated for the Iowa State Goldfinch Award. That means librarians got together and made a master list of the best books for ages K-3rd. The children will read them all and then vote on their favorite. I am thrilled librarians thought so highly of my book!

What makes Princess Peepers a character that children love to read about? For one thing, she really wants to please other people and although the other princesses are mean to her, she doesn't retaliate. In the end, she always does her own thing and that's the message of the book.

There will be a new Princess Peepers coming out. I'm so excited to share about this. But I can't reveal it yet. In this one, Princess Peepers will be taking a stand for true beauty on the inside!

If you want to learn more about how to write books like Princess Peepers Picks a Pet, check out my article on character driven stories. These are the types of books editors want …

Picture Book University EXTRA! Take a Children's Writing Course

Hope all of you are busy writing outside on these beautiful spring days! As it happens, I've just had the wonderful experience of participating as a judge for a picture book contest. I read about 100 manuscripts and it gave me some ideas for new blog posts. :-)  PBU Extra! is supplemental material for those that might need a bit of specific advice.

I've had many people come to me, asking for advice--from friends to friends of friends to my critique clients. I can tell by the first page whether someone has just decided to venture into this business sight unseen--meaning with no training at all. I want to make it clear that writing picture books, although seemingly simple, is anything but easy. In fact, I had been published in Highlights for Children and I still couldn't break into picture books. Why? Because I'd had no training in writing them! I didn't know how to set them up, even though I'd read a lot of them.

If you want to get published, you will have to in…

Rate Your Story Contest

There's a cool contest out there I wanted to let you know about from RATE YOUR STORY. If you don't know about this awesome, informational website and tool, you should check it out. They have a wonderful newsletter jammed with insider information as well as the ability for you to get your stories rated by professional authors--every month!

I am one of the authors who participates in rating these stories--for free!  So, if you have a wonderful manuscript just waiting out there, send it in! A win in a contest like this will get you noticed as having something that an agent/editor might want.

If you'd like to check it out, go here: RATE YOUR STORY WRITING CONTEST

Some of the things a judge will look for:

1. Marketability--is it unique? Will children love it?

2. Emotional connection--did it make them feel something? Laugh? Cry? Bond with the characters?

3. Understanding of how to write picture books--meaning, the author thinks in pictures and the story will be enhanced by illu…