2017 TOP 10 List
by Angie Karcher
Illustrated by Dana Karcher
What a delight it was to meet you, Angie. The year was 2015. Both you and I were attending the WOW [Week of Writing] Conference in Georgia. Since we both live in the Midwest, I feel a special connection to you. Just wish we lived closer, as you live in Indiana and I live in Illinois.
Congratulations, Angie, on your continued success with the Rhyming Picture Book Award and the Rhyming Picture Book Month/Rhyme Revolution. You’ve always been supportive of all writers who write in rhyme and prose.
Hip, hip, hooray for your recent publication, a picture book titled SANTA’S GIFT! The folks in Evansville, Indiana must be proud of your rhyming picture book about a historical landmark. The true story captures special family traditions and community spirit. How wonderful for everyone to come together to restore the 35 foot tall Santa. Once again, the beloved Santa waves to travelers with a twinkle in his blue eyes, wishing a gift of safe travels.
Q:During the season of giving, you are sharing many read alouds of SANTA’S GIFT. Tell us about these gatherings with a variety audiences, including your Mom. What fun and joy for all.
Yes, it was quite a busy few weeks promoting this book! I recently looked back and counted all the book signings, readings, school visits, etc. and I did 25 events in 6 weeks, and many of them dressed as Mrs. Claus. It was so much fun to read this story to kids and adults alike. Those who are familiar with the Santa statue in my area often teared up, as many grew up with Santa waving to them as a child. Others who weren’t familiar with the statue now hope to visit it someday. It has been such a fun and heartwarming project. It was expecially fun reading the story to the residents of the nursing home where my mother lives. Those folks all knew about the statue and were telling me fun stories about Santa. It was a special day.
Q: Every writer has a unique journey along the writerly path of becoming published. Share some tips and advice for those who continue read, write, and submit.
My advice is never give up! If this is truly your passion, then keep at it. I’m a perfect example of how perserverence pays off. I’ve been writing for over 20 years off and on. I’ve been writing professionally for the past 6 years. When I say professionally, I mean that writing is my job. It’s my career. I regularly attend writing conferences, take classes, teach classes, do manuscript critiques for other writers and present at schools and conferences.
Create a writing platform that will bring you exposure as a writer and enable you to network with others. My suggestions is that you find a platform that will help others. Once you figure out what your platform is, then do everything you can to promote it, invite others to participate and celebrate writing!
Find a group of writers that are your “people.” This can be a critique group, a book club, a Facebook group…The main thing is that you can go to these folks for advice and sharing the good news as well as the rejections. These are people you can trust with your writing and your heart. Writing is an emotional business and we all need a support group.
Q:The illustrations in SANTA’S GIFT are bright, colorful, and delightful. Did you share illustration notes or your vision of the illustrations with Dana Karcher, illustrator?
Yes, I’m fortunate because Santa’s Gift was published by a regional publisher that is in the town where I live. Because they are a small publisher, Dana and I were given free reign to collaborate. This was her first picture book and my first illustrated picture book so…we worked very hard to get it right. We talked through every single page, making notes and sharing ideas. I’m a visual writer so I mentioned what I envisioned and then Dana enhanced that or came up with an even better illustration. It was so exciting to see the words come to life on the page. The day I read the finished book to myself was the highlight of my career. I absolutely love the art!
Q:What’s next for you, Angie? What is your current WIP? What projects are you working on?
I’m pleased to share that I’ve accepted the position of IN SCBWI ARA. I’m heading to the New York Conference next week and can’t wait to meet more of the SCBWI Team! I’ve been a member of SCBWI for over 15 years and am happy to help serve Indiana.
I am hosting a Rhyme Revolution Conference in New Harmony, IN in October. You can check out the details HERE. It’s going to be a long fall weekend with an amazing faculty, lots of great sessions, writing time, a hayride, bonfire and s’mores.
I am also starting a new position this year with KidLitTV hosting a craft segment called Ms. Angie’s Craft Time. Coming soon, my first craft goes with Leslie Helakoski’s adorable picture book HOOT AND HONK JUST CAN’T SLEEP.
Dana and I have two titles coming out this year with M.T. Publishing. The first picture book, NO TEARS IN BASEBALL is about a bat boy and is set at historic Bosse Field, the third oldest baseball field still in use in the U.S. Our second picture book, THE SIGNATURE SHIP, is set on The Landing Ship Tank, a WW II ship that was built in the shipyard in Evansville, IN.
I have more exciting news coming soon! Oh…it’s so hard for me to keep a secret! = )
Q:Do you have any hidden talents you’d like to share?
I am a closet illustrator. I love sketching and painting. I am taking some illustration classes and hopefully will be working on a portfolio this year. But, don’t tell anyone!
Thank you, Angie, for celebrating the love of reading with all readers—young and old. As Dr. Seuss said, “You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.” SANTA’S GIFT is a delightful story to read. So sit back, relax and experience the magic of Christmas.
Angie is the author of WHERE THE RIVER GRINS, 2012 M.T. Publishing, THE LEGENDARY R.A. COWBOY JONES 2014 M.T. and SANTA’S GIFT 2017 M.T. Publishing. Her poetry is included in the 2016 Indiana Bicentennial Tribute to Poems and Songs. NO TEARS IN BASEBALL, M.T. Publishing, July 2018 and THE SIGNATURE SHIP, M.T. Publishing, November 2018
Angie is the founder of Rhyme Revolution, The Best in Rhyme Award and the Rhyme Revolution Conference. (October 2018, New Harmony, Indiana) She is available for school visits, conference presentations and readings. Please see her website for more information. https://rhymerev.com/
Buy It HERE
Congratulations ANGIE on
making the 2017 Best in Rhyme Top 10 List!
Watch for the live, streaming
2017 Best in Rhyme Award Announcement
on February 4th at 7:00 pm ET
from the KidLitTV Studio in New York City.