I’ve been making children’s books for a looooong time. I sent my first picture book to publishers when I was nine, but it wasn’t very good and they didn’t publish it. I didn’t try again until I was a grown-up and then it took five years of sending out stories, getting them rejected, revising them, and sending them back over and over until I got my first book. Now I’ve published more than forty books and each new one is still hard in its own way. Each one takes a lot of revising because I never get things right the first time. That used to frustrate me. Now I expect it. And I don’t mind, because that gives me permission to make mistakes. It means I can take risks and try new things because I don’t have to be perfect—I can always make changes.
I had already published nearly a dozen books when I got the idea for Amelia’s Notebook. I was buying school supplies for my son when I saw one of the black-and-white composition books. It reminded me of the notebook I had when I was a kid, so I bought it (for myself, not my son) and I wrote and drew what I remembered from when I was nine. Amelia’s what came out. I didn’t plan on the book becoming a series, but the first one sold so well and Amelia had so much to say, I kept on going.
Now I’m playing with other notebook formats, like in the historical journals and Max Disaster: Alien Eraser (where I get to play around with making comics, something I love).