Elizabeth Rose Stanton began her picture book writing and illustrating adventure after a brief career as an architect and long career as a parent and fine artist. Her debut picture book, HENNY (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books), was released in 2014. Her next book, PEDDLES (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books), about a little pig with some big ideas, is due out in this coming January. Elizabeth is represented by Joanna Volpe of New Leaf Literary & Media in New York, and is a member of SCBWI International, and SCBWI Western Washington, and the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Association.
For what age audience do you write?
So far, I write and illustrate picture books for the three-to-eight year old crowd.
Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is PEDDLES. PEDDLES is a companion book to my first book, HENNY, which is about a little chicken with the (mis)fortune to have been born with arms instead of wings. Peddles, however, has all the usual pig parts, plus some big ideas.
Henry: All the usual pig parts, including bacon?
What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?
PEDDLES is all about the creative spirit and determination. I hope young readers will take away that it’s OK to try and fail, but it’s just as important to support and be supported and, ultimately, to give back. But really, it’s just a story about a pig.
Henry: “All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.”
What aspect of writing or illustrating do you find most challenging?
I am an expert procrastinator when it comes to the writing part. I have to force myself into the chair when I’m working on the story, but once the manuscript is finished, I don’t seem to have any problem staying put until the illustrations are done.
Henry: The write-first approach makes perfect sense to me, but I also know some author illustrators who are more comfortable illustrating first. You artistic types!
What is a powerful lesson you’ve learned from being a writer/illustrator?
That when we all do well, we all do well. This is a competitive business, but I’ve learned that being supportive is one of the best things anyone can do to move the whole creative process forward, and that there’s room for everyone.
Henry: Agreed. I have to say that SCBWI and the KidLit author community on Facebook are extremely supportive and collaborative. “A rising tide lifts all boats.”
What has been a memorable experience that you never would have had if you had not been a writer/illustrator?
Having close to one hundred people turn out for my book launch for HENNY. Blew me away! Who knew a chicken with arms could be such an attraction?
Henry: Well, one typically only sees chickens with arms near nuclear power plants, hence the attraction.
Read the rest of this interview at Henry’s blog on KidLit, fantasy and science fiction.