Author Angela H. Dale on the Power of Editing- PLUS a GIVEAWAY!

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Hello world!!

Welcome to my blog, Blissfully Bookish and my second Q & A for 2023! My first guest is Angela H. Dale, please welcome her as she discusses her book journey for Bus Stop, a fictional picture book illustrated by Lala Watkins and published by Abrams.

BUT first- YAY! Angela is generously giving away a FREE copy of her book. To be eligible to win, please enter the Rafflecopter contest by clicking HERE. Contest ends Feb 17, 2023, US only.

Please describe the journey to publication for Bus Stop.

From its first draft in 2016, Bus Stop went through years of revisions and refinement – shout out to my critique group friends and partners – until it was submission ready. Post-contract, my editor had more thoughts on finetuning the manuscript, and the text ended up getting further distilled from about 200 words to less than 100, with tweaks right up to through the final art process, including character name and action changes to better complement Lala Watkin’s amazing art.

Where did you draw the book’s inspiration?

Bus Stop started when I drove past a new bus stop down the street that was thronging with lively, laughing children. That took me right back to my own memories of waiting for the bus as a child, and the bottom of the best sledding hill in the neighborhood. I wanted to capture that sense of anticipation and joy that a bustling school morning and the season’s first snow can bring.

What is your writing process and does it vary depending on the project?

My writing process varies by the project, by the day, by the mood. A lot of my drafting and editing happens in my head, but when I start to transcribe, I’ll write in notebooks and legal pads, on bits of paper and backs of envelopes. Sometimes I text myself or dictate into my phone. Even after a draft or revisions are committed to a computer document, I will use a printout for further  brainstorming and line-editing. At all times, a purple pen is a must.

Please paste a short and compelling excerpt from your book.

Hannah stomps.
Isaiah romps.
Joelle waltzes.
Kartik wonders:

           Where’s the bus?

I see you also have a passion for poetry. Do you have any plans to write lyrical picture books?

My next book, not yet announced, is a rhyming picture book. In addition to rhyme, free verse is very suited to the picture book format, and I have more in both styles that I hope will land on bookshelves soon.

Please share your favorite books from 2022 that have inspired you.

Besides all of the wonderful books from my fellow debut creators in Kidlit Caravan, two favorites from this past year are:

When Molly Ate the Stars, written and illustrated by Joyce Hesselberth – this gorgeous, whimsical story will make you feel “warm and bright, inside and out.”

Donut, the Unicorn Who Wants to Fly, story by Laura Gehl and art by Andrea Zuill – 28 words of drama and hilarity in rhyme and glorious unicorn color.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to other writers?

The kidlit community is so kind, supportive and smart. Find your people – together you will share ups and downs, resources and insights, but above all the joy to the journey.

And a bonus question just for kicks! Would you rather forget the ending of every book shortly after reading it OR not be able to re-read a book ever again?

These days it’s 50/50 that I’ll forget the end of a book anyway, and that seems to be working out okay, so I’d rather be able to re-read any book I want. I don’t do it often with novels, but there are some favorites I’d be sad to never go back to. And of course, one of the things I love most about picture books is that they’re meant to be read over and over and the experience just seems to expand each time.

Thank you so much for these fun questions, Lydia. It was great sharing with you and your Blissfully Bookish friends.


Angela H. Dale writes picture books for children, former children and children at heart. BUS STOP, illustrated by Lala Watkins, is her debut picture book. Her next picture book is scheduled for Summer 2024. Angela lives in Maryland with her family and Harry the cat.


twitter and Instagram: @angelahdale


You can purchase Bus Stop from your favorite local independent book store – check out for locations – or wherever books are sold.


38 thoughts on “Author Angela H. Dale on the Power of Editing- PLUS a GIVEAWAY!

    Jamie Donahoe said:
    February 13, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    Waiting for the school bus is such a great part of childhood – I wish more children today could experience it. As we got older, we were VERY cognizant of the rules, eg if it was below a certain temperature and we had waiting more than 15 minutes or so for the bus, we were excused from school that day!


      Angela H. Dale said:
      February 17, 2023 at 4:51 pm

      Wow – our bus would sometimes come very late – if we had that rule, we’d have missed a fair amount of school. I wish we had that rule, it sometimes got pretty cold.


    jessaroux said:
    February 12, 2023 at 11:27 am

    Beautiful cover! So impressive all the stages of editing that shape a book.


      Angela H. Dale said:
      February 17, 2023 at 4:52 pm

      Thanks for reading. Lala Watkin’s art work is so perfect.


    Marcia D. Williams said:
    February 12, 2023 at 9:09 am

    Thanks so much Lydia and congratulations Angela. My house was also at the bottom of a long sledding hill, a forest path between trees. When I was little there wasn’t as much traffic and we zoomed right onto the road. No bus stop involved as we walked to school. Lots of memories there.


      Angela H. Dale said:
      February 17, 2023 at 4:52 pm

      Thanks for reading. Lala Watkin’s art work is so perfect.


        Angela H. Dale said:
        February 17, 2023 at 4:54 pm

        Oops – my comment posted twice.

        Thanks Marcia for sharing your memories – sledding was the best, on school days and snow days!


    Jessica Milo said:
    February 10, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    I can’t wait to read Bus Stop and see the lively and fun characters in it!!


    marty bellis said:
    February 10, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Beautiful cover and fun idea! I, too, remember waiting at the bus stop with friends each morning. Thanks for giving us a glimpse behind the scenes and for reiterating how important it is to edit, edit, edit 🙂


    Judy Sobanski said:
    February 9, 2023 at 5:40 pm

    Your book brings back memories of waiting for the school bus. The illustrations are lovely.I look forward to reading it.


    Jilanne Hoffmann said:
    February 9, 2023 at 1:00 pm

    I repeatedly find it amazing how much a picture book can be distilled when the art comes into play. Congrats on finally seeing it in print!


      Angela H. Dale said:
      February 17, 2023 at 4:57 pm

      Thank you Jilanne – short picture books are my favorite kind to read and write. I love the editing process.

      Liked by 1 person

    CJ Penko said:
    February 9, 2023 at 10:50 am

    Lovely interview ❤️


    Melissa Trempe said:
    February 9, 2023 at 6:21 am

    I loved reading about BUS STOP and made me remember my years of waiting for the bus as a kid. Thanks for sharing your journey!


      Angela H. Dale said:
      February 17, 2023 at 4:58 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the interview, and the nostalgia.


    seschipper said:
    February 8, 2023 at 9:47 pm

    BUS STOP sounds delightful! I love the excerpt you posted! 🙂


    rosecappelli said:
    February 8, 2023 at 2:51 pm

    This looks like a book I willl want to add to my list!


    kskeesling said:
    February 8, 2023 at 12:54 pm

    I loved the universal theme and hearing about your journey. Congratulations on Bus Stop!


    jennifercowanwriter said:
    February 8, 2023 at 11:54 am

    What a great interview. I can’t wait to read your book, it’s amazing that you went from 200 to 100 words! Thank you 🙂


      Angela H. Dale said:
      February 17, 2023 at 5:00 pm

      I love that picture books can be so spare. I hope you enjoy Bus Stop.


    mlyablonaolcom said:
    February 8, 2023 at 11:35 am

    Love your eclectic process – write anywhere, by hand, and purple pens!


    Stephanie Owen said:
    February 8, 2023 at 10:58 am

    I love the sense of community you share through your book.


      Angela H. Dale said:
      February 17, 2023 at 5:02 pm

      Thank you Stephanie. It was so fun to bring the neighborhood to life.


    Wendy Greenley said:
    February 8, 2023 at 10:51 am

    The school bus stopped down the road when my kids were little–now ironically it stops in front of my house! Congratulations, Angela!


      Angela H. Dale said:
      February 17, 2023 at 5:03 pm

      Thanks Wendy.

      The bus used to drive right up to our house, but over the years it’s gotten farther and farther away. Bummer for the current crop of youngsters and their parents.


    Nancy Ferguson said:
    February 8, 2023 at 9:52 am

    Oh I remember the school bus stop, waiting on a snow covered hill. Your book sounds wonderful. Congratulations!


    sandra08m said:
    February 8, 2023 at 9:10 am

    Bus Stop looks wonderful and makes me nostalgic. I love the cover illustration and look forward to reading. Thank you for sharing the interview. Always inspiring to read about an author’s journey.


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