News from Deborah Freedman, 
author & illustrator.
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Hello, <<First Name>>!

Kids always ask me, “where do get your ideas from?”
Well, if I could find the place where children get THEIR ideas from, I would visit every day.
Because I honestly don’t know where ideas come from. I am nothing but a Collector who looks for them — while on my daily walk, or a museum visit, or reading a book, or lying in bed… ideas can appear anywhere. I just try to stay loose and curious and open and to always have paper and pencil at hand. After almost thirty years of hoarding, I have a huge cache of random thoughts on scraps of paper and in notebooks, most of which are doomed to stay in the dark forever, poor things. Others may sleep for weeks, months, years… until a new idea sparkles by and lights them up again.

What do those initial ideas look like? Some authors begin by imagining a character, a setting, or a situation; it could be anything. For me, it’s usually a visual, abstract, “wouldn’t it be cool if…” sort of thing. Like “a child ran away with her drawing,” or “a book was full of water…” This a backwards way to write a story and I don’t recommend it! It just happens to be how my brain works. Often, I simply start with what is literally in front of me — my format. The blank book.
I love books as objects, holding and reading real, physical books. When writing and illustrating I think about the whole package, about everything that makes a book a book and what it means to the reading experience: the jacket, the cover beneath, endpapers, pages that turn, the gutter. The gutter —where pages meet and are stitched together. Only ‘real’ books have gutters. Which to me has always felt symbolic, full of possibilities. So the question, “how could I play with the gutter?” bounced around in my head for weeks, months, years… until one day, when another question bumped into it…
What if a story began with the main character in the gutter? Then what if that character stayed in the gutter and wouldn’t come out? Why was the character in the gutter in the first place? Was he hiding from something? Was he being stubborn? Or afraid? Or was he, perhaps…
YES. A fresh idea! And then another idea, and another, all jostling and mingling and fusing, through writing and sketching and nine months of revisions, and then drawing and painting, and, at long last… we have A BOOK.
Friends, may I introduce you to SHY?
Shy was happiest between the pages of a book.
He liked to read about once upon a time... and in a land far away... by the edge of the sea... and stories like that.
Shy's favorite books were about birds.

Birds the color of jewels...
Birds who flew faster than wind...
Birds who could chirp a thousand melodies...

But Shy had never actually heard a bird.
None of his books could sing.
Then one day, a REAL bird trilled by...
Read the rest on September 27, 2016. SHY, from Viking Children's Books.

 "An exquisite treasure for bashful readers, animal lovers, and anyone who’s ever wanted a friend." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Pre-order SHY
Copyright © 2016 Deborah Freedman, Author & Illustrator, All rights reserved.

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