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Where did you get that idea: BALLETBALL edition

My second picture book, BALLETBALL, releases next week--Feb. 25th. For me, writing a picture book is very different from writing a novel. With a novel, I begin by coming up with a character and develop the story around that person.

Picture books, on the other hand, come to me as in all different ways. CAPTAIN'S LOG: SNOWBOUND was a direct result of silly social media posts that I made during the winter of 2015, when Boston received over 109 inches of snow.

BALLETBALL also came from social media. I was scrolling through Facebook one night in 2017, and spotted a picture posted by a friend from high school. It was of her daughter, wearing a baseball uniform, standing with pointed toe, sparkly shoelaces, and a big grin. One of the commenters said, "What's she playing?" and another responded, "Balletball." That was all it took: a spark ignited.

I literally raced for my notebook, scribbling down ideas as fast as I could.

Those scribbled ideas became a draft about a little girl who did NOT want to give up her ballet shoes and tutu for baseball cleats and lumpy brown gloves. I worked on for about four or five months before sending it to my editor, Karen Boss at Charlesbridge Publishing.

Karen had some wonderful suggestions, and after a few more rounds of revision, it was ready to match with an illustrator, which is the topic of another post.

Since my two picture books have come from social media posts, do I expect the rest to? No. It's a funny coincidence that my two published picture books have social media origin stories, but that's all it is. Ideas come from all kinds of places, and being open to the world and observant means that you're ready to catch them whenever--and wherever--you come across them.

Learn more about BALLETBALL. And here are my spring events, where we can talk about the book in person!


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