Welcome to The Storyteller's Scroll Laura. Can you tell us your latest news?
I’m excited to announce that my debut picture book, Cave Girl’s Big Idea, will be published by Reycraft Books on May 15th.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
There are so many authors that I admire, it would be difficult to choose just one. I usually find inspiration by going to the library or the bookstore and reading a ton of children’s books. Often I buy the books that really inspire me, which has caused me to have to buy several more bookshelves!
Yes, I know what that's like. I own ten bookshelves. :)
What was your first published title and what was it about?
This is my first published title.
What inspired you to write this book? I have always loved writing. I have many notebooks and journals filled with stories and poems going all the way back to elementary school. But I wrote my first picture book when my son was about four. One night when I was putting him to bed I told him a story about a skeleton and a scarecrow, and when I finished I thought, Wow! That was pretty good! I should write that down! And that was the beginning of this journey.
How long did your journey take to publication and what were some significant events along the way for this book?
I wrote the first draft of this story in 2017. After that I spent a couple of years writing and re-writing little parts of it. I reduced the word count and added in little puns and jokes. Then I submitted it for a critique at the Austin SCBWI 2021 Writers and Illustrators Working Conference, which was online because of the pandemic. The story was given a very positive critique and it won runner up for the Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Award. That gave me the confidence to start the submissions process. I submitted it through an NJ SCBWI event in October of 2021 and I heard from Reycraft Books in November that they wanted to publish the story! Hooray!
Wonderful! SCBWI Conferences offer so many opportunities!
What was the best thing about getting this book published?
The best part of getting this book published is being able to show my children that perseverance and hard work pay off. Despite many ups and downs, I kept learning and growing as a writer. I’m proud that I am able to lead by example, and show my children to never give up on their dreams.
What was the hardest thing?
The hardest thing about getting this book published was just trying to learn a bunch of things about publishing, contracts, sales and marketing really fast. I don’t have an agent, so I had to navigate a lot of this myself. I was lucky to have a great editor at Reycraft who really helped me figure it all out. I also found some wonderful people through kid lit Facebook groups, who were very generous with their knowledge and advice.
What is it about?
Cave Girl’s Big Idea is about a little girl who does not like living in a cave. She knows there must be a better way , so she sketches, studies, stacks and shazam! She finds a solution. But what will happen when she shares her big idea with her family? Can cave girl get her family out of the Stone Age, or will she be stuck in a cold, uncomfortable cave forever?
Cave Girl’s Big Idea uses humor to deliver the message that just because things have always been one way, doesn’t mean they can’t change for the better. Cave girl takes control of her own circumstances and isn’t afraid to think outside the cave!
What are your other current projects?
I’m currently writing my first graphic novel. I’m having a lot of fun with it and I’m hoping to get it critiqued soon, to see if it’s ready to submit.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Thank you to all the past, present and future readers of Cave Girl’s Big Idea. I hope you love cave girl’s innovation and determination and I hope she inspires you to pursue your own big ideas!
Bit of wisdom to share: I’m not sure how much wisdom I have to impart, but I will share my favorite quote by Roald Dahl, “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
And for fun, something that not a lot of people know about you.
Not a lot of people know that I’m an only child. I think being an only child really fostered my sense of creativity because you have to have a good imagination to entertain yourself when you’re alone.
My website is: www.lauraseelypollack.com
My instagram is @lauraloveswriting
Laura is graciously offering a signed copy of her new picture book. To enter to win, please leave a comment below and share on social media. Winner will be announced next week.
My book sale links are: