Author Lisa Amstutz
I met Lisa at Kristen Fulton’s 2016 WOW Retreat in Helen, Georgia. She’s very savvy about writing for the Educational Market and gave a fabulous presentation teaching us how we can do this!
She’s the author of many educational books and has several new picture books coming out in 2017.
Congratulations Lisa! Kudos to you!
Tell us about your exciting news. Inquiring minds want to hear all the secrets!
I’m very excited to have two picture books coming out in 2017 with Albert Whitman & Company. The first is called Applesauce Day, and is based on my family’s applesauce-making tradition. The second is a story about the Christmas Bird Count, an Audubon citizen science project.
In addition, I have a number of educational market titles coming out in 2017 from Capstone Press, including four books in the Holidays around the World series, two in the My First Animal Kingdom Encyclopedias series (Mammals and Fish), and four in the Little Critters series.
Did you find writing one more enjoyable than the other?
They’re all fun, in different ways. There’s something special about putting your own stories out into the world for others to read. Writing for the educational market feels a little less creative in some ways, but it’s a fun challenge to distill a pile of information and make it interesting to kids, and I really enjoy the research.
How many years have you been writing and what led you down this path?
I’ve always been a voracious reader, and dabbled in writing a little, but I never thought of myself as a writer or considered writing as a career until after I had kids. I started writing for adults about 12 years ago and for kids about 8 years ago. It was a hobby that slowly grew into a career as my kids got older. As a freelancer, I do a lot of different things – magazine articles, business writing, manuscript critiques and editing, and even some website design – but my biggest focus is on writing children’s books. Most of my books relate to science, nature, or agriculture in some way. My educational background is in science, so that area was a natural fit for me. It’s been a blast! I love the kidlit community, and I love connecting with kids through my books and events.
What part of the writing process is ‘fun’ for you?
Pretty much all of it except the deadlines J. I particularly love researching new ideas – it’s so exciting when they’re all shiny and new - and polishing the words until they sound just right in my head.
Finding a good story idea can be a challenge. How do you do it?
Ideas are everywhere – I have hundreds of them jotted down in my notebooks. The hard part is discerning which ones are worth pursuing and which ones to shelve. Not every idea has enough substance to make a satisfying story. Even fewer have strong marketing potential. I learned from Candace Fleming to look for stories with both a heart and a hook – an emotional connection to the reader and a unique marketing angle. That has become my litmus test when I’m evaluating a new idea.
Where can we buy your fabulous books?
I have an Amazon store on my website, and they are available at most online retailers. If your local bookstore doesn’t carry them, they can easily order them in.
To learn more about Lisa, you can go to her website: www.LisaAmstutz.com
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/LisaAmstutzBooks/
Will you be presenting somewhere soon? I’m sure many would enjoy learning from you.
I don’t have anything else scheduled in 2016, but I will be at several book festivals and other events in 2017. Keep an eye on the events page on my website or follow me on Twitter or Facebook to receive notifications of upcoming events.
Thanks so much, Lisa, and CONGRATULATIONS!
Thank you for inviting me, Patricia! It’s been fun!