Yesterday morning marked the debut of a new presentation with a longtime friend.
As you may know, Don Tate and I have created two picture books together: The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch and Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions.
Yesterday, we got to present about our journey “From Critique Partners to Collaborators” at the monthly meeting of the Austin chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, after which Don received the SCBWI Crystal Kite award for his book Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton. (Congratulations, Don!)
Preparing for this presentation meant plunging into our electronic archives as well as the memories stored up in our heads, and the process was a lot of fun for us both.
The big takeaway of our presentation was a set of ten tips equally applicable to critique partners and collaborators alike, based on our own experiences with each other over these past 11 years. But we opened with this timeline, which we thought might be of interest to folks who weren’t able to attend yesterday’s meeting.
First (documented) contact!
First manuscript critique
First lunch together
First road trip together
Chris suggests Don write about George Moses Horton.
Don critiques unfinished first draft of Chris’ manuscript, The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch.
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers acquires The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch.
Chris recommends Don to Eerdmans as candidate to illustrate The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch.
Charlesbridge Publishing agrees to publish biography of Lonnie Johnson written by Chris.
Don is announced as illustrator of The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch.
Chris recommends Don to Charlesbridge as illustrator of Lonnie Johnson book.
Peachtree Publishers acquires Don’s biography of George Moses Horton.
Don is announced as illustrator of Whoosh!
Chris and Don make first in-person appearances as author-illustrator team.
The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch is published.
Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton is published.
Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions is published.
And that’s just the high-level version — the nitty-gritty could take up a month of blog posts. But if you’re involved with a conference or organization that would be interested in hearing more of the story, well, maybe we’ll just have to update our timeline to include you.