Pigs Over Colorado Book Giveaway!
posted by: Amber Johnson
Congratulations to Karen J., winner of our pendant and earrings giveaway!
I am always eager to support local entrepreneurs but Kerry MacLean took her ideas to a new level by writing award-winning children’s books about Colorado. Join us for a fun Q&A and enter to win two of her books, the perfect gift for any Colorado kid!
[photopress:pigsski_1.jpg,full,pp_image] Q. Tell us about your books about Colorado. What was the inspiration?
A. It all started with Pigs Over Boulder. I went to the store to buy my children a fun book about living in Boulder and to my shock, there wasn’t one! I realized other parents would be wanting books to help their children familiarize themselves with their home town or state – I wanted to offer something that would help our children take pride in who they are and where they come from.
Q. Had you previously been published or was this your first experience? How was your learning curve?
A. The learning curve was extreme because the guy who wanted to publish Pigs Over Boulder (Fred Pruett of Pruett Publishing) wanted to either publish it in black and white, or use color but charge $19.95 (for a paperback!) which I thought would flop, so he convinced me to try self-publishing it in full color because I could do it cheaper without all the expensive overhead he was stuck with. Fred was a very kindly old man, and he tutored me through the whole process, teaching me how he started his publishing company, which is the largest in Colorado. I also received really savvy advice and encouragement from David Bolduc, owner of the Boulder Bookstore. I made a lot of mistakes, but somehow it turned out ‘good enough’. Amazingly, the book was an instant best-seller and won the People’s Choice Award, so I was able to follow up with Pigs Over Colorado, Pigs Over Denver and the others.
All this was excellent preparation for when I actually did get published with my Peaceful Piggy Meditation at Scholastic (Albert Whitman division) because I didn’t go into it with the incredibly naïve attitude I started out with – I understood what their concerns were and how to skillfully maneuver the system to protect the integrity of my work while at the same time inviting their masterful editing and cover design.
Q. Tell us about your new meditation series.
A. Peaceful Piggy Meditation is a comedy about two neurotic little piggies who desperately need to learn how to calm down. They discover that as they go through their day at home and in school, it’s good to have a peaceful place inside. The book includes a fun mind-in-the-jar experiment, which demonstrates beautifully how the mind can self- settle and self-soothe, in essence healing itself, the way a cut finger automatically does — by resting. The sequel, Peaceful Piggy Yoga, comes out in March!
Q. On your website, you refer to your trickster husband. Do you have any good stories?
A. Yes, lots! One night I got home around midnight and as I got out of my car I suddenly froze. There was a man standing in the pitch dark half-hidden behind the tree by the front door. He had one of those old-fashioned heavy gas masks on with a long hose hanging from the mouth down to the ground. I got back in the car and locked the doors and my husband pulled the mask off, laughing hysterically. That was one of the happiest days of his life!
Q. You offer regular workshops. What do these entail?
A. Yes, every spring and fall I lead a one-day workshop at CU Boulder, called ‘The Children’s Book: Write it, Illustrate it, Publish it!’ We look at the necessary elements of writing successful children’s books and how to create kid-friendly art, also how to create a cover letter and, for illustrators, a picture book dummy, to send in to publishers. We study the art of query letters to publishers and also the mechanics of successful self-publishing. The next workshop is March 8th, through the Continuing Education Department.
Q. What would you most like readers to know about you and your books?
A. The most gratifying thing about being an author is getting to connect with so many wonderful children and their parents. It really is inspiring. They are all so open, friendly, kind and appreciative. I feel honored.
To enter to win Kerry’s books Pigs Over Colorado and Pigs Ski Over Colorado, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “Here, Piggy Piggy” in the subject line along with your Colorado mailing address. The contest deadline is February 26th at midnight.