Learn How to Draw a Cartoon

Thanks to artist (and author) KEVIN COLLIER, now you can learn to draw an animated cartoon in just 3 minutes! 

Yes, it’s true. Kevin shows you how at his YOUNG ARTIST WORKSHOP. Every week Kevin will add a new drawing video for you to try out. So far he has instructions for creating a mouse, a frog, a happy daisy, and more.
This week–using only 2 sheets of plain paper, Kevin helps you learn how to draw a cartoon boy. The newly created character goes from sleeping to waking in a flash.  What fun!
Kevin even shows you how to draw Dotty, the hippo, from Donna Shepherd’s new book, DOTTY’S TOPSY TALE.
Learn how to draw a cartoon and entertain your whole family. Plus, you can create your own tale to go along with it.


Today’s blog is a potpourri of cool stuff.

First off, Kevin Scott Collier (Guardian Angel Publishing illustrator) will soon start filming a new 30 minute show (DRAWING FOR KICKS) on the KICKS TV. Kevin will help teach kids how to draw. He’ll get some help from his son Jarod too. For more information, click on the link above.
If you’re a kid who likes to draw, check out some of the links on my website for places to submit your artwork. Activity TV.com is a place with online drawing tips for kids. And Launchpadmag.com is another place to submit student artwork.

Lynda Burch is the publisher at Guardian Angel Publishing. She’s an extremely interesting person. To find out more about her and how Guardian Angel Publishing works, visit Mayra’s Secret Bookcase for an interview with Lynda.
For writers, Lynda provides contest information. And for young writers, Kim Chatel currently has a contest for you. Click on Kim’s name above to find out more. Check my website for other writing sites for kids too. (Be a News Reporter , Limericks, Cool Links)
Anastasia Suen is offering a new online writing class for adults. The picture book writing class starts September 1 and lasts until September 26. The first class emails go out this Friday, August 29. So if you’re interested, don’t delay. Visit Anastasia’s website. She’s a great teacher–I’ve taken two of her classes myself. And if this class won’t work for you, don’t worry. She’s offers many other options as well.
Another great review for DOGGIE DAY CAMP has just been posted on Amazon.com by Suzanne Lieurance. Or you can visit The National Writing for Children Center where Suzanne offers classes and find the review and the book trailer posted. Plus, you can find information on the classes Suzanne offers for children’s authors.


Talented Kim McDougall has created a fun book trailer for KITTY KERPLUNKING: PREPOSITION FUN. You can take a look here.
And while you’re at You Tube, search for more of Kim’s wonderful book trailers.
Congratulations to fellow Guardian Angel Publishing author, Kevin Scott Collier! Kevin is preparing for his own television show, Drawing for KICKS, on KICKS Club TV–it will air this fall.

Brilliante Weblog Premio Award

Exciting news today…

Jennifer Gladen nominated my blog for the BRILLIANTE WEBLOG PREMIO AWARD!

Thanks, Jennifer!

Now it’s my turn to nominate some wonderful blogs. Here are my nominees:’

That Girly Girl’s Journal– BLAH, BLAH, BLAH: a heaping helping of sassy, a small side of sweet will entertain, enlighten, and delight as she shares her everyday journey on the way to writer stardom.

In Jody’s Live Journal entries she treats you to the inside scoop on her writer’s journey–which is especially exciting with the release of her new book, The GollyWhopper Games, an amazing adventure story. Don’t miss the chance to peek over her shoulder as reveals her secrets.

On Kevin’s blog you’ll discover one of the most amazing guys I know–an illustrator/writer that knows no limits when it comes to creativity, work stamina, and niceness. He’s always ready to lend a helping hand to others on their literary journeys. Now he’s preparing for his own TV show!

Her BLOG CENTRAL contains links to Book of the Week, Children’s Book Biz News, Picture Book of the Day, and links to other blogs she likes to read. Anastasia provides an amazing wealth of writerly material. And you can sign up to receive her blogs fresh in your mail box 5 days of the week–for free. What a deal!

At the MUSE UNLEASHED, Lea provides an open forum for writers to post their news, their insights, and their concerns. She has created a wonderful support network for writers spanning the globe. She also offers some great freebies!

I’m sure you’ll enjoy visiting these blogs. So grab a cup of your favorite beverage–and maybe a few chocolates as well–sit down and put your feet up for a while.


Rules for next recipients of the Brilliante Weblog Premio are as follows:

1. The award may be displayed on a winner’s blog.
2. Add a link to the person you received the award from.
3. Nominate up to seven other blogs.
4. Add their links to your blog.
5. Add a message to each person that you have passed the award on in the comments section of their blog.

Interview with Kevin Collier–Illustrator & Author

Today I welcome Kevin Collier–illustrator and author–to my blog. He is the probably the most productive person I know. He seems to create new books and illustrations with almost every breath. Be sure to visit his web pages to find out more about him and to see more of his amazing art work.

Since you are both an illustrator and author of numerous books for children (from preK to YA), my first question is which came first for you—illustrating or writing?

Illustrating. I started drawing my own pictures when I was 4 or 5. I didn’t really learn to write creatively until a few years later.

And is one easier for you than the other?

Drawing is easy but time consuming. Writing is time consuming and difficult. Writing is harder. It’s easier to move a pen and get the drawing you want than choose the right words for a critical moment in a story.

How has your career as an illustrator evolved?

I started drawing children’s books in 2005 when I stumbled into the business. I have gone from doing a hand full of illustrated books to dozens of new titles a year, now.

Your career as a writer?

My agent has many manuscripts my wife and I have written, and on average I have a couple written works published per year. It’s been good and rewarding.

Tell us about your most recent release. What was your inspiration for it?

Well, an upcoming release will be Professor Horace, Cryptozoologist. I got the idea from watching all of those mythical and legendary creature shows on National Geographic and The History channels. The book is fun, where an old professor goes in search of the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot and a Ropen. He finds them, but also uncovers the reason they all have yet to be discovered—they simply do not wish to be found. Thus, he makes them a promise—he shall not tell a soul of their meeting. But, when Horace returns home, he’s now the subject of curiosity… did he meet these creatures or not?

Tell us about your other children’s books.

GAP (Guardian Angel Publishing) recently published Dreamchaser, written by my wife Kristen and me. It was about an urban youth pondering trading in his education for a career in the NBA. My wife is writing a book titled The Jumbo Shrimp of Dire Straits, which I am illustrating. GAP will be publishing that, too. It’s about a Captain and his crew who take the old shrimp boat out into hazardous seas in search of an enormous Jumbo Shrimp. I am still writing a sequel to Esther’s Channel for Baker Trittin Press, and have illustrated books coming out from Sable Creek Press, Little Light Press, and Start Again Ministries. There are many vanity press titles I have illustrated for new authors, too, coming from Xlibris and Lifevest Publishing.

Where do you find your inspiration and new ideas?

I remain curious, always. That helps. You begin to imagine quite a bit. Even Jumbo Shrimp the size of a ship.

Describe your working environment.

I write at my home computer, or longhand at times and type it in later. I draw using a cheap clipboard, flair pens, and sit or lay on the living room floor when I illustrate. I scan all my art into my work computer, and color and finish it there.

Where can readers learn more about you and your works? And where are your books available?

My website, home page, etc. There’s tons of news about what’s coming, and links to every title for purchase.

What are you working on now?

Another illustration job for a sequel to Donna Shepherd’s Topsy Turvy Land book. It will be the third Topsy title I have illustrated, the first published by Hidden Picture Book Publishing, the second coming soon from LWP Inc. I am also starting illustrations for Donna on a manuscript she’s written titled Bradybug.

I know you are a master of promotion. Can you share a few of your secrets with us?

Use the internet. Put up fun, active, book and theme pages that promote your titles. Just get out there and shake the trees, fruit will fall.

What advice would you offer aspiring writers and illustrators?

If you have talent, the only way you will fail is to quit or give up. For every one book published, there’s a thousand that never were because a writer or illustrator threw in the towel. Don’t give up on your dream


Announcing a new picture book release:

Margot Finke’s Rattlesnake Jam is published with loving care by Guardian Angel Publishing.
Wild and wonderful illustrations by Kevin Scott Collier jump off the page.

Rattlesnake Jam is a rhyming romp of a picture book. Crazy old Gran and Pa argue over how to cook up the rattlers he catches. Gran is determined to bottle them into her cure-all rattlesnake jam, yet Pa longs for Gran to make him rattlesnake pie.

Visit the webpage where Gran and Pa hang out and rattlers slither about..

or WIN an autographed copy of “Rattlesnake Jam.”

Summer Sun & Monster Mania

I don’t know about where you are, but where I am right now, it’s getting pretty toasty. So I thought it would be a good time to remind you about Donna Shepherd‘s book, OUCH! SUNBURN, illustrated by Kevin Scott Collier. Donna’s enjoyable rhyming read instructs kids on the importance of skin care when going out into the sun. And Kevin’s fun pictures help bring the message home.

And you’ll also want to check on Kevin’s new blog, Professor Horace’s Cryptozoology Research Center. Professor Horace will be featured in Kevin’s soon-to-be released picture book, PROFESSOR HORACE, CRYPTOZOOLOGIST, from Guardian Angel Publishing. Professor Horace is on the hunt for monsters–Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster, and more.

Perhaps you would like to join the professor’s hunt. Have you noticed any mysterious creatures lurking about lately? A long black tail slipping away into the bushes? A huge footprint along the pathway? Or a strangely-shaped head skimming the surface of the pond? Oooh, did you just hear that odd howl?
Sorry, I’ve got to go and notify the professor immediately…


Donna Shepherd has created a fun and health conscious picture book highlighting the importance of good dental care with NO MORE GUNK!

And kids will love Kevin Collier’s bright illustrations.

When you visit the book’s blog site, you’ll find links for caring for your teeth and a wonderful review of the book by Gayle Jacobson-Huset, Assistant Editor of STORIES FOR CHILDREN MAGAZINE. http://storiesforchildren.tripod.com/

The author/illustrator duo have also teamed up on an earlier healthwise picture book, OUCH! SUNBURN, which is included in the Double Doozie. Two books for the price of one!

Be sure to copy and print the free coloring page from NO MORE GUNK!

Happy coloring and happy flossing!

New Writer Helps

becoming a children's author

Today I’m offering a couple writer helps:

The first is a new book from children’s author and WEE ONES magazine editor, Jennifer Reed–BECOMING A CHILDREN’S AUTHOR, illustrated by Kevin Scott Collier.

This book provides 200 + pages of information on what it takes to write and sell stories and nonfiction for the children’s book and magazine market.
But that’s not all. It also has online resources for reference: websites on grammar, creating a bibliography, writer support groups, writing websites, and more!
This children’s author and magazine editor has 15 years experience in the industry and has published over 20 children’s books

The next offering is an article written by Jan Fields of THE INSTITUTE OF CHILDREN’S LITERATURE. In this article she offers advice for dealing with publishers.

Balancing Business and Emotion by Jan Fields http://www.institutechildrenslit.com/rx/ws06/business.shtml
Online links are also provided, such as this very helpful site:
Preditors and Editors http://anotherealm.com/prededitors/

So if you want to improve your odds for being a successful children’s author, these two sources would be a good starting point.


Today, you’re in for a treat–
an interview with author, Shari Lyle-Soffe. Below you can read some of her insights into writing…and make sure to click on the links to find out more about her lovable racoon brothers, ROOTER & SNUFFLE. They’ve been colorfully brought to life by master illustrator, Kevin Scott Collier.

The MISADVENTURES of Rooter & Snuffle
Author: Shari Lyle-Soffe http://www.sharilyle-soffe.com/
Illustrator: Kevin Scott Collier http://www.kevinscottcollier.com/
E-books ISBN-10: 1-933090-43-X ISBN-13: 978-1-933090-43-6Print ISBN-10: 193309088X ISBN-13: 978-1933090887

On the Go with Rooter & Snuffle
Author: Shari Lyle Soffe http://www.sharilyle-soffe.com/
Illustrator: Kevin Scott Collier http://www.kevinscottcollier.com/
E-books ISBN 10: 1-933090-51-0 ISBN 13: 978-1-933090-51-1

Tell us about your children’s books.

I have a picture/storybook series with Guardian Angel Publishing. Each book is made up of three separate stories about brother raccoons and their friends on their romps in Cathedral Woods. They deal with the same problems as real children do . The first book, THE MISADVENTURES OF ROOTER AND SNUFFLE, is available in a number of electronic formats and has just been released in paperback. The second book in the series, ON THE GO WITH ROOTER AND SNUFFLE, is available in electronic formats and will be available soon in paperback. The third book in this series, TROUBLE FINDS ROOTER AND SNUFFLE, has not been released yet but will be out this Spring! My books are available at http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/rooter&snuffle.htm and at online and brick & mortar booksellers.

What do you do for inspiration and unleashing your creativity?

Winter is a struggle because I get inspired when I am out in nature, and as much as I love snow, I don’t like the cold. In warm weather I love to walk or just sit outside. I live in the woods of Southern Oregon with lots of wildlife, trees and fresh air. Occasionally I sit outside and journal. I enjoy doing that but I’m not very good about keeping it up on a regular basis. I have a new laptop, and I am anxious for the weather to warm up so that I can sit out under a tree and write.

Describe your working environment.

I have an office in my home. Unfortunately it is small and I share it with a treadmill. I also share with a cat, Amber. It is pretty cluttered in here and in need of paint, but the walls are covered with my published works to remind me I am a “real” writer. The room is full of files, books, my computer desk, a phone, a small television for when I actually use the treadmill. I am blessed with both a desktop computer and a laptop.

What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

Never, ever give up! Read everything you can find about writing for children. Read every book in your genre that you can beg, borrow or buy. Network with other writers online or in person. If you can afford it, take a writing class. I learned a lot in the beginning in the ICL chatroom, and I was not an ICL student. Write! Write! Write!

Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

Don’t allow the negative opinions of others to hold you back. Don’t be a snob. There are a lot of small publishers that would like to look at your work. Not everyone is published by Random House. Writing for magazines is still writing. Books are not the only writing format. Write what you love. Write what inspires you. Don’t let family and friends tear you down. Don’t quit because of rejections. If you can’t take rejection, you have chosen the wrong field. Share what you have learned with others.

Do you have a website or blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?

Yes, you can learn more about me and my work at http://www.sharilyle-soffe.com/ . Click on the links in my site directory.