Sunday, September 16, 2012

Move Over Avengers!

Move over avengers!

There are some new super heroes in town!   

The Three Ninja Pigs

If you see a wolf in your area, just call 1-800-555-KIYA!

In stores, September, 27th.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What's Orange and Crunchy and ...Coming for You!

Huge congrats to Aaron Reynolds whose cute, quirky CREEPY CARROTS just hit #7 on the NY Times bestseller list.  This clever story, with fabulous art by Peter Brown, is a must-have in any picture book collection.

And lucky for you, I accidentally pre-ordered it twice!  So I am giving away a copy.  Just "like" my Facebook author page:  Corey Rosen Schwartz- PB Ninja.   Leave me a comment there and you are entered.

Monday, July 23, 2012

I'm a Crammer

Last year, I challenged myself to read 52 books in 52 weeks.  Some time in late August, I realized I had only read 11 books.  So I put the pedal to the metal.  In the end, I reached about 43.  I was short of my goal, but I had a good final stretch there.

In 2012, I signed up for Julie Hedlund's 12 x 12-  write 12 picture books in twelve months.  Well, we are more than halfway through the year, and I am at... uh, let me see here... um, that would be zero.  (Okay, my writing partner would argue that we have one very rough first draft. but I don't like it enough to count it)

Can I still do it?  It's possible.  I wrote many a term paper in the wee hours of the morning.

 But then again, there was no Internet in 1986.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Meter Maids are on Patrol (+ Giveaway!)

A few weeks ago, Tiffany and I gave an SCBWI workshop called Meter Maids: Sparkling Rhyme, Every Time.  

Based on the awesome feedback and interest we got from that event, we've decided to start a blog called, The Meter Maids.   The blog will include all sorts of insider tips and tricks of how to write great rhymes, citing loads of examples, so you can see techniques in action.

In celebration of our launch, everyone who follows us and leaves a comment will be automatically entered to win a signed arc of Tiffany's debut picture book, THE MONSTER WHO LOST HIS MEAN! 

The best way to become a good rhymer is to read GREAT rhyme!  Tiffany is a master of techniques such as internal rhyme.  Just take a look at her first stanza!

Monsters are a  spooky bunch-
a scary, hairy group.
They run in packs, leave giant tracks, 
and dine on eyeball soup.

Adorable, huh?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Little Red is Alive and Well

A few years ago, I was at a conference, and I overheard someone in the bathroom tell her friend, "I just had my one-on-one and the agent told me that the fractured fairy tale market is completely flooded."   He had basically told that fractured fairy tales were no longer selling.  But what he was really saying was "Fractured fairy aren't selling...  unless they are kick-ass awesome!"

I am not the only one who sold a Little Red  spin off this month.   Tara Lazar just sold Little Red Gliding Hood to Heidi Kilgras at Random House.

And she wouldn't have had the idea if I hadn't come up with the title during PiBoIdMo 2010.

And I would never have written GOLDI ROCKS AND THE THREE BEARS or NINJA RED if it hadn't been for Tara's PiBoIDMo 2009!

Tara and I definitely have a symbiotic thing going here.

But my real point is...  there is always room in the market for something if it is GOOD.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Big Ninja News and a Giveaway!

Okay, I have been MIA for the past couple of months.

It's not because I didn't have anything to say.   (I did)

And it's not because I have a big mouth and I was afraid I would let the cat out of the bag too soon.  (though I do... and I already did... on Facebook!)

It's because I was preparing to give my first-ever workshop at the NJ SCBWI annual conference, and I am completely incapable of multi-tasking! 

I can't even talk and drive at the same time.  Just ask Tara Lazar!  (I gave her a ride to the conference)

But now that the SCBWI event is over, I am back with some big news:

I have hit the trifecta!

I am thrilled to announce that Putnam has taken a third fractured fairy tale-  NINJA RED.

To celebrate, I am giving away a copy of THE THREE NINJA PIGS 

Two ways to enter:

1)  Follow me here and leave a comment on this post.
2)  "Like" my author page on Facebook and leave a comment there.

I will draw one winner on Thursday June 14th at 8:00 PM (EST) and pre-order a copy of the book which will arrive on its release date, September 27th.


Monday, April 23, 2012

April Fool, Phyllis!

We got a new puppy two weeks ago.  It's been infinitely harder than I had imagined.  The problem isn't the waking up in the middle of the night to let him out.  And it isn't the picking up after him.  The problem  is... how to keep him entertained!

If I try to play with him, he ends up biting me.

If I try to walk him on a leash, he sits down and refuses to budge.

If I give him one of those expensive bones to chew on, he buries it.

There seemed to be no good way to keep him busy!

Just when I was ready to give up...

Phyllis arrived!

Cruzer was riveted.  He loved the spunky protagonist and had loads of fun trying to solve the riddles.  Cruzer insisted on re-reading the story several times. It kept him engrossed for hours.

And I got a much needed break.

 So, thanks to Susanna Leonard Hill for including us in the April Fool, Phyllis World Tour!   Cruzer recommends this engaging picture book for all  kids and canines.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Celebrating with a PB Giveaway!

April 1st came and went and I was so busy I didn't get a chance to pull any pranks.  Dagnabbit!   (I just love that word)

But there's LOADS to celebrate, so I am doing the first of many PB giveaways!

In no particular order, here are some of the things I am excited about:

  • The launch of my new site!
  • HOP! PLOP! turns six tomorrow!
  • Ame Dyckman's debut picture book BOY + BOT releases next week!
  • Our puppy comes on Saturday!
  •  Sarah Frances Hardy's debut picture book PUZZLED BY PINK comes out April 12th! (two good friends debuting in the same week!)

And as if that isn't enough, there may be more top secret Ninja news coming soon!

So, I am giving away a copy of HOP! PLOP!  (with BOY + BOT and PUZZLED BY PINK giveaways coming later this month)

There are two ways to enter.  Follow me here and leave a comment on this post.

Or follow me on Facebook and leave a comment there.

Or do both for two entries.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Good-Bye Thing 1 and Thing 2

When I first decided to start my blog, over three years ago, the name "Thing 1 and Thing 2" was a no-brainer.    It came to me immediately and always felt like the perfect choice.  I idolize Dr. Seuss and I have my own little Thing 1 and Thing 2 who are constantly destroying my house.   (It also doesn't hurt that I get over 5000 hits every year on Dr. Seuss's birthday!)

But... as tons of articles began to appear on 'author platform"  and  "branding," I realized I had a problem.  I couldn't be Thing 1 ad Thing 2 here and Three Ninja Pigs on Facebook and scubacor on Twitter!

So, it is time to get my act together.

Good-bye Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Hello...  Corey Rosen Schwartz- Picture Book Ninja!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lucky 7 Meme

Oh, what fun!  I've been tagged by fellow PB author and Habitual Rhymer, Lori Degman.   She is the author of 1 ZANY ZOO which was the grand prize winner of the 2008 Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories Contest.

Here are the rules for the Lucky 7 MEME:

1. Go to page 77 of your current ms.
2. Go to line 7.   
3. Copy down the next 7 lines/sentences and post them as they're written.  No cheating
4. Tag 7 other victims authors.

Since I write PB's, I just decided to start with the 77th line.   This worked out perfectly for me, since it ended up landing right at the story's climax.  (Like Lori, I also included an eighth line, so as not to leave a stanza incomplete)

I chose Ninja Red, a follow up book to the THE THREE NINJA PIGS.

Little Red said, "I gotcha, you bully.
Ninja Red ought to be my new name."
Though the girl looked quite tender, he had to surrender
"Again, those darn pigs are to blame!"

"I'll skedaddle" the wolf said in anguish.
As he struggled back up on his feet.
"You'll go nowhere, you beast, till my Grandma's released
And you promise to give up Red meat!"

Here are the next Lucky 7

Friday, March 9, 2012

Me Do Giveaway!

Cave Boy has lots of things. Rocks. Sticks. A club. But no pet! Cave Boy decides he must have a pet, but his parents object. He brings home animal after animal in hopes of overcoming his parents’ steadfast resistance, but his attempts are unsuccessful—until he finds a Dodo bird that is literally on the verge of extinction. And in a twist ending on a classic concept, Cave Boy and his family discover it’s worthwhile to have animal friends around.

Me so mad me not think of this first!

Me do giveaway. 

Easy to enter:

1) Follow me on Facebook at Three Ninja Pigs
2) Leave comment there.

Contest ends when me say so.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Where Has All the Time Gone?

What I have NOT been doing in 2012

  • Blogging (despite an extra day in Feb, I only got 1 post up the whole month)
  • Writing  (0 new PB drafts)
  • Working out (0 visits to the gym)

What I HAVE been doing

  • Puppy searches
  • Checking Amazon to see if The Three Ninja Pigs is available for pre-order (it is!)
  • Puppy searches

 I am not at all proud of my inability to multi-task, but I am SO pleased to be the new mom of Cruiser (aka Oreo)

He is coming to live with us in April once he is old enough to travel to NJ!  If I have trouble focusing now, how am I going to get anything done with this cute guy around?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Puppy Love

I've been a little sad the past few days.  I thought I was adopting Bradshaw.

Or his bother, Tuck.

Or his other brother, Pierre-Paul.

But they all got taken by other families.

I desperately needed to do something to cheer myself up.  I figured I could

a) eat chocolate
b) drink wine
c) order tons of  picture books on Amazon.

I picked (d) all of the above.

I still feel sad, but I am going to have one heck of an awesome new library!

And I know there is a cute little guy named Cruz waiting for me out there somewhere!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Punxsutawney Phyllis- Road to Publication Part 2

Susanna Leonard Hill is back to continue her story of how PUNXSUTAWNEY PHYLLIS went from concept to contract.  If you missed Part 1, you can catch it here.

Take it away, Susanna!
I wrote the first draft of Punxsutawney Phyllis. I didn't even know how to spell Punxsutawney - it's wrong all through that draft! The original manuscript was slightly over 2000 words.

Ahem! What did I say? No judging!

So I rewrote it.

I had some lovely passages.... "Down in the hollow, she could hear the water in the brook chuckling under the ice as the cold loosened its grip..." that had to go!

It was painful, but I cut and I cut and I cut. And as I cut, the story began to emerge. It wasn't just about Groundhog Day, or a girl doing what had traditionally been a boy's job, or wishing for early spring. It was about believing in yourself. It was about having the courage to stand for your beliefs even when no one else seemed to be listening.

My first final draft was still over 1000 words, but I sent it to my agent.

She had a few suggestions.

I tweaked.

My second final draft met with her approval, so off it went to Holiday House. "They're looking for a Groundhog Day story," my agent said. "I think they're going to like this one!"

I waited.

I waited some more.

I hashed over that manuscript in my mind. I should have done this.... I thought. I should have done that... I should have said this differently....

I waited some more.

You know, you hear these stories of people who send in their manuscripts on a Friday and by Monday there's a furious bidding war going on between 3 of the Big Six houses? That has not happened to me! :)

I did morning drop-off, noon pick-up, afternoon bus stop. I folded laundry and washed dishes and vacuumed and picked up toys. I read stories and played games, cooked dinner and gave baths, and I wrote new stories whenever I could, often by the nightlight in the bathroom when I had an idea at 2 AM.

And I waited some more.

And then one day, in the end of January, my agent called with those magical, magical words!

"I've got an offer for you!"

Holiday House wanted to publish Punxsutawney Phyllis.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Punxsutawney Phyllis- Road to Publication Part 1

I love hearing how picture books evolve- from that very first second when the seed of an idea is discovered to the final draft.

Susanna Leonard Hill is here today to share the story behind her adorable Groundhog's Day book PUNXSUTAWNEY PHYLLIS:

It's morning drop off time.
Child number one, who is 5, gets dropped at Kindergarten.
Child number two, who is 3, gets dropped at preschool.
Child number three, who is 1, stays in her car seat and puts anything within reach up her nose.
Child number four, (who some mistake for a dog although she is actually a human trapped in a dog's body), licks the window experimentally to see if child number two left anything good there - always a distinct possibility - and yes! score! there is a trace of strawberry milk!
It's really best if you never look inside my car. It's called the Dogmobile for a reason :)
The morning is gray. The sky spits ice. Dirty snow is lumped along the road sides. Everything looks defeated. Whose idea was winter anyway?
As I drive toward home, the baby sneezes - has she found something to put up her nose or is this the onset of a cold?
I wish for an early spring.
Just then, the radio DJ announces that Punxsutawney Phil has come out of his hole and declared 6 more weeks of winter.
In my sleep-deprived state I have forgotten that today is Groundhog Day.
I think - hunh! 6 more weeks of winter! Why doesn't spring ever some early?
Then I think - why is it always Punxsutawney Phil? Couldn't a girl groundhog do the job?
And then I think - HEY! I have an idea for a story! and suddenly I feel a little less grouchy about the weather :)

This is how stories often come to me - in the middle of everyday life, a piece from here, a piece from there that suddenly seem to fit together. And that is where the idea for Punxsutawney Phyllis came from while driving my kids to school on a gray February morning - Groundhog Day weather prediction, girl instead of boy, early spring.

All morning while I played with the baby, folded laundry, (wait, who am I kidding all morning - anyone who has kids in preschool knows they only stay there long enough for you to drive home and load the dishwasher before you have to turn around to go get them!), but anyway, as the morning passed I made up that story in my head. I thought up the first sentence and rehearsed it so I could remember it until I had a chance to write it down. "It was February 2nd. Down in the groundhog hole things were stirring, but not very much. Mostly there was a lot of snoring and rolling around."

OK. Hold on there a second. Before you start judging me for my GACK-awful beginning, let's just remember - we've all got to start somewhere!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tell the Truth Tuesday

1.  I have a dentist appt at 10:00 and an agent call at 2:00.  Not sure which one I am more nervous about.

2. If you ask me to do a critique, sometimes I will have fantastic suggestions and other times I will have absolutely nothing helpful to say whatsoever.

3.  My husband blows a gasket because every night a half an hour after dinner, my kids say "I'm hungry."  I'm scared to tell him, but...  I'm hungry too. 

4.  Though I am extremely camera shy, I got caught on film Sunday night doing the Cruz Dance with Joshy after the Giants beat San Francisco.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What Are Little Boys Afraid of?

My son has seen every scary movie ever made. By the time he was four, my husband had shown him the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. Is he scared of Orks? (like his mom) No. Is he scared of Golem? (like his big sister) No.

These are some of the things that keep him up at night.

He is scared he will get "out" in baseball.

He is scared that none of his friends will be able to make it to his birthday party.

He is scared that one the papers he glued onto his homework sheet will fall off and the teacher will get mad at him

He is scared to take his "smock" off in art class because someone might see his stomach when he pulls it over his head.

He is scared to go to school because he can't find his library books.

He is scared to go to camp. What if he and Jordan are not on the same bus? (Ha, ha... as if the camp would send two buses to the same house!)

And my all time favorite...

He is scared that when he gets older he might "accidentally" do drugs.

Friday, January 6, 2012

One Word

2011,  I can't say I am sorry to see you go!   You were a sucky year career-wise, filled with a lot of frustration and  disappointment.  You took all the joy out of the publication process for me.

But 2012 is going to be different.  I can feel it.  If I have to pick one word to encapsulate my vision for 2012 it is PSYCHED.

I am feeling very optimistic about 2012 sales and super pumped up about my upcoming Fall release!

For a sneak peek at THE THREE NINJA PIGS and several other amazing 2012 picture books, check out this trailer:

2012, the adventure begins!!!