Publishing can be so mysterious and opaque. When I first started out, I relied on Google and YouTube to learn all I could on how to publish a book traditionally.
Every article and video that I came across from so many amazing authors, illustrators, and industry professionals gave me the knowledge and inspiration that I needed to keep writing and keep going. With that same spirit of sharing and community, I have decided to start the Author Life blog series to provide insights into my experiences as a new Children’s Book author. I hope this series will give you a closer look at what it’s like to publish traditionally and give you the motivation to become a Children’s Book creator too!
So my publishing story started as a little girl when I dreamt to be a teacher, a mother, and an author. Once my first and second dreams came true, life became increasingly busy and left me with very little energy and time to pursue the third. I told myself that I would get back to my love of writing as I had received a B. A in English, but sadly, I kept pushing it to the back burner.
Then in 2020, I lost my mom. It was sudden, devastating, and pushed me to pursue all of my dreams BIG and small in her honor as she would have wanted me to.
And so, with the desire for more Vietnamese American representations in picture books for my children and all Vietnamese American children, I began writing again. After an acquaintance recommended that I enter the #pbchat Mentorship Contest, I discovered that I had won Honorable Mention and a Zoom Meeting with an amazing published author. From that meeting, I gained a mentor who helped guide me to revise and fully develop a manuscript based on my experience of living in a refugee camp as a child.
After many many revisions later, I joined SCBWI and saw a post on the #PBPitch Event on Twitter. I quickly created an account and spent long nights researching the event and how to perfect my pitch.
This was the beginning of my publishing journey. Click on my 2nd post to see how I got my agent from the event!