Christmas…

RDP Sunday: carol…

SCBWI Prairie IL Writer’s and Illustrator’s Day

 

thank you to prairie illinois SCBWI

I had my very first keynote speech earlier this month, and I am still buzzing! SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) has chapters all over the United States and the world. The Prairie Illinois chapter had an amazing lineup this year, and I'm not just tooting my own horn here. They had established authors as well as up-and-coming authors (<-- that's me!) in addition to publishing-industry professionals like my art director for TUMBLE. I was really humbled to be included in the lineup. 

Michael Leali was the first keynote speaker, and I am glad I didn't know that going in because my anxiety may have taken over. Leali is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel THE CIVIL WAR OF AMOS ABERNATHY, and his keynote speech was so very moving and inspiring. I was able to be a fly on the wall for a few of the sessions and learn new things.



At the faculty dinner, I finally met the lovely and personable Sarah Aronson who cross-marketed her book BRAND NEW BUBBE with my book ABUELITA AND I MAKE FLAN last year. I got to meet illustrator Denise Holmes, too! We've been internet friends since I started making my way back into the art and design world in 2016 or so! Natasha Tarpley shared a bench and some fresh air with me. Denise and Natasha, thanks for being great lunchtime buddies! 

I was even able to reconnect with my friend Beth Schneider who lives in the area. Beth and I exhibited  our surface pattern and illustration work at Blueprint and Surtex pre-pandemic. Feels like a lifetime ago.

The entire SCBWI IL team, faculty members, and membership were so incredibly welcoming. I couldn't have asked for a better first-time-faculty experience. November is shaping up to be quite a month!

(Please note: authors and illustrator names have been linked to their books via Amazon affiliate links)

How to Help Your Author and Illustrator Friends (for FREE!)


Confession time: I sometimes feel lost in the publishing industry. Even though I've been an artist and designer for decades, it wasn't until 2017 that I got serious about kidlit and 2022 that my first book as author-illustrator came out. Currently, I'm trying to make new work to sell another book while simultaneously marketing existing books, and it's a challenge!

Publishers shoulder some of the outreach responsibilities, but most titles on their lists do not get the kind of marketing that their "lead" titles do. Lead titles are the ones that get the big posters, cardboard cutouts, commercials, billboards, etc. And, as many authors will tell you, most books don't get the red carpet treatment and most books' marketing and outreach falls on the shoulders of the author.

But all is not lost. What can you do to help? I'm so glad you asked! There are things people like you, dear reader, can do to help a book succeed.

Here a few FREE ways that you can help get the word out about a book without spending a single penny. Here are just a few:

  1. Request any of my books from your local library.
  2. Recommend my books and/or me to your local school for an author-illustrator visit. I love inspiring kids to write and draw.
  3. Submit any of my books to your state book award! This state book awards list from Vanderbilt University is really well organized by region and is updated regularly.
  4. Add my books to your Goodreads "want to read" list and vote for my books if they make it on any of those lovely local lists.
  5. Suggest my books to your local bookstore share my information as a possible visitor or storytime author.
  6. Leave a positive review on any of the big sites like Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Here's the information you'll likely need to do any of those tasks (title, ISBN, ordering info)...

  • ABUELITA AND I MAKE FLAN, Adriana Hernández Bergstrom, ISBN 9781623542658
  • ABUELITA Y YO HACEMOS UN FLAN, Adriana Hernández Bergstrom, ISBN 9781623543990
  • TUMBLE, Adriana Hernández Bergstrom, ISBN 9781338828665
  • COUNTDOWN FOR NOCHEBUENA, Adriana Hernández Bergstrom, Hardcover ISBN 9780316467919, Board book ISBN 9780316467810

But all is not lost. What can you do to help? I'm so glad you asked! There are things people like you, dear reader, can do to help a book succeed.

Here a few FREE ways that you can help get the word out about a book without spending a single penny. Here are just a few:

  1. Request any of my books from your local library.
  2. Recommend my books and/or me to your local school for an author-illustrator visit. I love inspiring kids to write and draw.
  3. Submit any of my books to your state book award! This state book awards list from Vanderbilt University is really well organized by region and is updated regularly.
  4. Add my books to your Goodreads "want to read" list and vote for my books if they make it on any of those lovely local lists.
  5. Suggest my books to your local bookstore share my information as a possible visitor or storytime author.
  6. Leave a positive review on any of the big sites like Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Here's the information you'll likely need to do any of those tasks (title, ISBN, ordering info)...

  • ABUELITA AND I MAKE FLAN, Adriana Hernández Bergstrom, ISBN 9781623542658
  • ABUELITA Y YO HACEMOS UN FLAN, Adriana Hernández Bergstrom, ISBN 9781623543990
  • TUMBLE, Adriana Hernández Bergstrom, ISBN 9781338828665
  • COUNTDOWN FOR NOCHEBUENA, Adriana Hernández Bergstrom, Hardcover ISBN 9780316467919, Board book ISBN 9780316467810

Meeting Carly Simon, Finally…

Oct 24, 2019 – What’s it like to finally meet someone you’ve admired for years, someone you have  come close to meeting through mutual friends but didn’t for one reason or another, and so you resigned yourself to the fact that it would never happen!  Carly Simon has always been an inspiration to me through her song lyrics and through her written words, and to meet her, although for only a few minutes…. well, it was down right awesome, nerve wracking and surreal and all I hoped it would be.

IMG_8948 (2)

IMG_8943 (2)

After 40 years of being a fan and admirer of Carly Simon – 5 concerts (MV with Harry Connick Jr, NJ art center, Lincoln Center, the Apollo and Joe’s Pub in NYC)…

101_5267 (2)

pizap.com15722894277241

IMG_8942 (2)

How did this come to be after all these years?  Carly has done signings of CD’s and books over the years in NYC but I’ve never been able to make them, but when it was announced she was going to be on this side of the Hudson River in New Jersey and not far from where I live, and an early evening appearance… we knew it had to be now or possibly never.

My daughter got off from work early and we left around 3 for the 6 o’clock signing.  We got to Bookends in Ridgewood, NJ around 4.  There were already maybe 7 people in line outside, we went into the book store to purchase our reserved copies of the book which were our tickets into the event, got a refreshment and then got in line which had swelled to about 12 people by then.  I was so relieved to be near the front, and my daughter could relax knowing she had delivered me bright and early to the event.  I tend to get anxious sometimes and this was absolutely one of those times. The final estimate was between 250-300 people.  Around 5 they led us into the bookstore and downstairs into a large room where they had a sort of roped off maze of lanes which led up to the front of the room where there was a desk. My description is horrible but the concept was great as it kept everyone orderly and in order of how you first got in line.  As in most cases when you’re in a line for awhile for something you begin chatting with those around you, some were sitting on the floor already reading Carly’s book, my daughter was knitting socks, everyone was friendly, happy and anxious for 6pm to roll around.

A little after 6 we were all led back upstairs where Carly was seated behind a desk waiting for her eager fans.

IMG_8949

IMG_8944 (2)

IMG_8950

Carly looked gorgeous, she was charming, gracious and warm, she didn’t rush anyone and spoke to you like the two of you were the only ones in the room.  I was afraid I would turn out to be one of those ‘gushy’ fans that says the same things she’s heard a zillion times so I practiced in my head what I wanted to say in the short amount of time I had.  I did not gush, I did not blather, I did not forget my name, or hers,  I was my version of cool.

If you’re wondering why the pictures show the back of the jacket I have on, it’s from Carly’s tour in 1978 when her ‘Boys In The Trees’ album came out. I came into possession of the jacket through two mutual friends of mine and Carly’s and thought she might get a kick out of seeing it.  She did.

Thank you Carly for all the years of your incredible music,your heart felt lyrics (there’s a Carly song for every emotion),  and for books, you are truly an inspiration.

Counting down to NOCHEBUENA

Countdown for Nochebuena, my next kid's book, comes out in just a few days! 

Do you want to know where the concept came from?

This is one of those stories that I’ve had percolating in my mind since I turned my attention to children’s books back in 2017. Very similar to ABUELITA AND I MAKE FLAN, this story began with a list. The biggest difference was that FLAN turned into a story with a character arc and became more entrenched in culture as it went through the editing and revision process. 



Instead, NOCHEBUENA turned into a concept book with no fixed main character, and an overall family vignette.

4 cuatro pequenos twist the bunuelos - image from COUNTDOWN FOR NOCHEBUENA by Adriana Hernandez Bergstrom

COUNTDOWN FOR NOCHEBUENA started with dreaming of our childhood Christmas Eve parties at the houses of various cousins and parientes. To us, Christmas Eve has way more festivities than Christmas. I started listing the essence of those lively gatherings and diving deep into albums and photos at my mom's house. There were so many moments and good times to choose from. I'm telling you, these parties were epic! Eventually I settled on a countdown format because it fit so well with us waiting for midnight to open presents. 

Now I'm counting down until it's published!



COUNTDOWN FOR NOCHEBUENA comes out October 3, 2023 and is published in two formats: Hardcover and Board book by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years
ISBN: 9780316467919

 

Pairs well with...

LA NOCHE BEFORE THREE KINGS DAY by Sheila Colón-Bagley

SUGAR PLUM BAKERS by Pat Tanumihardja

FELIZ NEW YEAR AVA GABRIELA by Alexandra Alessandri

 

MV Obsession 2023-09-20 22:35:55

CWWC : Any type of Step or Stairs…

Stairs and steps of Martha’s Vineyard

Miscellaneous

Top Row: Newport RI – Middle Row: Museum of the American Revolution – Park – Bottom Row: Edison Museum, W Orange, NJ – Candy store stairs – NJ Park.

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge – Falls

Dingmans Falls – Dingmans Falls, PA

Lens-Artists Challenge #264 – Primary Colors

MV Obsession 2023-08-21 19:51:37

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 262 : Faces in a crowd…

New York City

Proposal in Times Square

Grand Central Station

Junior’s restaurant

Carnegie Hall