Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tammi Sauer Interview, Part 3

Week of June 12: A Week with Tammi Sauer
Wednesday, June 15—A Look Into the Life of a Picture Book Author

This is the third installment in a four-part interview with picture author and the pride of Oklahoma, Tammi Sauer.

Rob: What is your writing routine?

Tammi: Routine? Ha! I have two kids who are constantly going in thirty directions. On top of that, I do a ton of school and library visits and speak at both writing and educational conferences. I wish I had a routine. J

Rob: What books do you turn to for inspiration?

Tammi: My favorite writing resource is Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul.

Rob: What are your favorite books that you’ve written? (Or is that like choosing a favorite child?) What are your favorite picture books that you didn’t write?

Tammi: I can’t pick a favorite of mine—yes, it would be very much like choosing a favorite child. Some of my favorite picture books that I didn’t write include Ugly Fish by Kara LaReau, Leonardo is a Terrible Monster by Mo Willems, Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard, and Big Bug Surprise by Julia Gran.

Rob: To agent or not to agent—that is the question. What’s your opinion and why? And better yet, when and how?

Tammi: I have an agent. I wanted someone who was passionate about my work, had a great reputation, was a savvy negotiator, and offered editorial feedback. I would recommend acquiring an agent only after you have a solid body of work and after you have done lots of research. Having the right agent is crucial. Your agent is your partner and advocate in this business.

(Rob’s thoughts: I so needed to hear this. I love the list of qualities Tammi wanted in an agent. The phrase “passionate about my work” is crucial, too. Not just the first agent who nods in my direction, but an agent who is excited about my work.)

It’s Your Turn!
1. Where are you looking for your inspiration? I just ordered a copy of Writing Picture Books. I can’t wait for a new burst of knowledge and inspiration!


Tara Lazar said...

I LOOOOVE Tammi and her books. She has served as an inspiration to me since I started writing for children and got to know her through Cynthia Liu. She is always giving back to other writers. Thanks for the interview, Rob!

Rob Sanders said...

Agreed! Tammi is talented AND wants to help other writers, too. Great combo!