Interview with Talented Author and Teacher, Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen books make my heart sing.  So when I heard about her Picture Book Boot Camp, I applied.  After four days in Jane’s home, learning from her wit and wisdom, I am forever changed.  It’s a privilege to interview her for Writer’s Rumpus.
Kirsti Call: Your picture book boot camp was transformational and easily the most inspiring and motivating writing workshop I’ve ever been to.  What are your future workshop plans?
Jane Yolen: A third picture book boot camp–if we can find a fall date that suits. Same kind–writers with at least one picture book published or under contract with a traditional publisher.
KC: You write picture books, MG, YA, graphic novels, adult novels, poetry books and everything in between.  How do you decide what to work on and when?
JY: The story decides, not me. I find if I try to push something in a direction it doesn’t want to go, it sits down and refuses to budge, like a two year old at the supermarket.
KC: You’re famous for your “Butt in Chair” advice.  How much time a day do you spend BIC?
JY: On good days–eight hours (with time out to walk two miles). On moderate days 3-6 hours, ditto the walk. On bad days less than three. Bad being defined by meetings, hair appointments,doctor appointments, dental, etc. Even when I am on the road, I try to put in about three hours of actual writing.
To read more, go to Writer's Rumpus.

3 Ways to Nest with Jane Yolen

I recently reviewed You Nest Here With Me, by Jane Yolen and her daughter, Heidi E Y Stemple.The book is brilliant on several levels. It’s a bedtime book that teaches about birds. It’s bird book that emphasizes the bond between mother and child. It’s a work of art to be studied and re-read and loved. 
      Jane Yolen books make my heart sing. So spending four days with Jane last month for her Picture Book Boot Camp, was life changing. I felt renewed by Jane’s wisdom, wit and generosity. I felt so welcomed by both Jane and Heidi. It was as if they were telling me: "You nest here with me". In our efforts to imitate the best of birds, we can make our nest a comfy cozy place to hatch stories by doing three things. 
Picture1. Make your nest and write in it. On good days Jane writes about 8 hours a day. She’s the perfect example of how her saying “Butt in Chair” works. Almost 400 books later, she still writes every day.  She suggests that we have a dedicated writing space where we can spread our stuff out and schedule time to write. For more on squeezing writing into your busy schedule, read my previous post.
Jane let me snap a quick selfie in one of her three nests, where she wrote Owl Moon. Read more at  Children's Book Academy.
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