The Story Behind HAVE YOU SEEN MY FROG? (and how you can get a free copy)

You may have noticed that I’ve been pretty quiet lately. Whenever that happens, you can be sure that I’m hiding away, working so hard on something that all my time and creativity are funneled toward that task.

And that task is now complete–hurrah!

For the past year and a half or so, I’ve been working on the story for Duck’s second picture book. This story originated from a vivid memory an aunt (I love you,Auntie Jane!) has about a certain “frog incident” that occurred when I was too young to remember (or to know better, hopefully). Said incident involved a cup of coffee and a frog and you can guess who instigated the incident (or find out by watching the video above or by reading this blog post).

I’d worked on the story off and on, but the details didn’t “click” until this fall when I discovered what Duck’s problem REALLY was (I already knew what Auntie Duck’s problem was :-), but she wasn’t the main character). Now that the last details have been completed and the book is available (ask for HAVE YOU SEEN MY FROG? at your favorite bookstore or find it at here), I won’t be QUITE as quiet.

In fact, over the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting some of the behind-the-scenes stories that have been percolating (watch out, Auntie Duck!), some ways to use HAVE YOU SEEN MY FROG? to create teachable moments with children, and other goodies pertaining to the story.

Until December 31st, you can get a FREE copy of the e-book for HAVE YOU SEEN MY FROG? by clicking this link.

And you can download a free activity packet for the book here.


A Balancing Act: Beyond the Written Page Video Journal

Like a trapeze artist, a writer must strive to achieve the delicate balance which will carry her safely across the high wire to the other side. Breaks between show times provide an opportunity to assess what techniques and tricks are working well and what parts of the routine may need to be modified.

Join me in this first fall episode of Beyond the Written Page to see what I wrestled with on my first day in the office after a three month writing hiatus.

Welcome back!


How Long Did it Take to Publish The Very Hungry Duck?


One of the questions people like to ask is, “How long did it take to write and publish your book?” In this episode of Beyond the Written Page, I share how long it took to write, illustrate, and publish The Very Hungry Duck

Believe it or not, I find this a hard question to answer. In the video, I share the length of time in months. But it’s hard to “quantify” that time, because when I’m in the middle of a project, I don’t think in terms of hours and minutes. I focus in on the project, and get so caught up in it that I lose track of time (and of other responsibilities I should be taking care of).

And each project is different, so each book I work on will have a different answer. The story/rhyme for The Very Hungry Duck came together very quickly. (In fact, I tell you exactly HOW quickly in the video–be sure to watch it 🙂 )

But very few stories fall into place that way. Most of them require more time for the story line or the right wording to come together. 

That’s one of the things I love about stories, and about writing them. Each one has a unique “story” behind how it comes together.

I hope you enjoy learning a little bit about the story behind The Very Hungry Duck. And if you have any questions, please post it in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer.

Beyond the Written Page: Picture Books as Textbooks


Writers do a lot of reading! More often than not, the textbooks I learn the most from are picture books.

In this edition of Beyond the Written Page, sneak behind the scenes to find out about a project I’m working on, and a few of the picture book “textbooks” I draw inspiration and direction from.

Beyond the Written Page Introductory Video

Without further ado (and in the hopeful absence of additional technical difficulties), here is the first video for Beyond the Written Page!

You may notice  the presence of “ums” and “buts” and pauses and all sorts of imperfections in this video (and future ones).

When I decided to start this project, I knew that plenty of it would be NQP, or Not Quite Perfect. I’m okay with that. And I hope you are too. Because if I took myself or the project too seriously, I would never start it–nor would I ever get any writing done.

I made an error in the video that I DO want you to watch out for–I “quoted” an idiom incorrectly. The first person who catches my error and posts it (and the correct saying) in the comments below this blog post will win a free e-book from me!

In the video, I mentioned links to my website and to Facebook.  I learned AFTER I recorded the video that I couldn’t embed links in the description (as far as I know). My bad. However, if you’re reading this blog post, you know how to get to my website 🙂

And if you aren’t a Facebook fan of mine yet, shame on you! If you follow this link to my Facebook Fan Page, you can fix that oversight RIGHT NOW.

I can’t wait to see who catches my idiomatic mistake and wins a free e-book!

New for 2015: Beyond the Written Page Video Journal


Beyond the Written Page banner 2

Have you ever wanted to write a book but didn’t know how to start it? Or how to finish it? Or how to try and publish it?

Have you ever wondered exactly WHAT happens behind the doors of an author’s office?

Beyond the Written Page: The Secret Life of a Children’s Author looks behind the scenes at the life of children’s author Bernice Seward (that’s me!). The thrills. The woes. The battle scars. The characters and stories brought to life. The things learned–or relearned–along the writing and publishing journey.

Want to know more? Stop by tomorrow for the first, introductory video!