Author Roxanne Troup on Leaping from WFH to Trade- PLUS a GIVEAWAY!
Welcome to my blog, Blissfully Bookish! I’m excited to introduce my next guest because she’s one of my CPs!!! I also relate to her because, like me, she has worked for educational publishers for many years. Please welcome Roxanne Troup, here to discuss her latest informational fiction picture book My Grandpa, My Tree, and Me, illustrated by Kendra Binney, and published by Yeehoo Press.
BUT first- YAY! Roxanne is generously giving away a FREE a signed copy of the book OR a manuscript critique. To be eligible to win, please enter the Rafflecopter contest by clicking HERE. Contest ends March 31, 2023, US only.
Please describe the journey to publication for My Grandpa, My Tree, and Me.
I’d been writing for the education market for several years when I first drafted what would become MY GRANDPA, MY TREE, AND ME. But it took me awhile to figure out the craft differences between the trade and education market. After several submissions without a response, an editor at a small press saw enough potential in the work to request an R&R (revise and resubmit). I didn’t agree with the direction they wanted me to take but tried to figure out what underlying issue they were pointing out (it was the ed-market voice). I dove into revisions and later had the opportunity to submit to Katie Heit at Scholastic. The story was too quiet for Scholastic, but Katie was so complimentary I knew I’d hit the right note with my revisions. I finally found my publisher, Yeehoo Press, in May of ’21, two years after that initial draft.
Where did you draw the book’s inspiration? Was it inspired by your own relationship to your grandfather?
Like most books, this idea came from several different places.
1) Pecan farming: I ran across a YouTube video of a farmer harvesting pecans and was thunderstruck by the method they used. Growing up in a farming community, I had some experience with agriculture and pecans. But we gathered pecans in buckets like the wild products they were. No one I knew—including my farming grandfather—harvested pecans by tractor.
2) Inciting incident: My parents planted trees for each of their children in Israel during one of their visits.
3) Relational aspect: Was probably inspired more by my brother’s relationship with his grandkids than my own relationship with my grandfather.
What is your writing process and does it vary depending on the project?
When I’m working on my own stories, I do a lot of initial drafting in my head. Sometimes a stunning first line, title, or refrain will present itself and I scribble it on paper so I don’t forget. But typically, I only sit down to write once I have a sold beginning, middle, and end to work with. Of course, then I have to figure out how to connect those dots—which sometimes takes awhile. When I’m ghostwriting or working on a contracted piece, I do a lot more prep work. I research, outline, draft the first couple pages to make sure I’m hitting the right tone and reading level, and send all that for approval. Once the client signs off, I put everything else aside and write.
Please paste a short and compelling excerpt from your book.
Every winter, while the trees stand silent under a sleepy sun, Grandpa prunes his orchard until each branch feels the sunlight.
But not my tree.
My tree has lots of space to spread its branches. Grandpa only trims limbs that split in the wind.
When it comes to nonfiction, what are some strategies writers can use to make their texts engaging?
Experiment with structure. (The right structure solves so many manuscript problems!) And focus on language—whether it be fun or lyrical. Nonfiction writers can try adding a refrain to their manuscripts; or formatting their text as if it were a poem (which will highlight unnecessary phrases and weak verbs).
Please share your favorite books from 2022 that have inspired you.
ICEBERG: A Life In Seasons by Claire Saxby and Jess Racklyeft
A beautiful, Australian title brought to North America by Groundwood books that highlights Antarctica’s ecosystem through poetic, nonfiction text and gorgeously luminous illustrations. ICEBERG explains the effects of climate change without being moralistic.
WISHES by Muon Thi Van and Victo Ngai
It actually came out in 2021, but I didn’t discover it until last year. A powerful story about immigration; the text is poetic and moving, the art, expressive. This one literally gave me chills.
GOOD EATING: The Life of Krill by Matt Lilley and Dan Tavis
This one’s just fun. Who would have thought to make a nonfiction book about krill?
What is the best piece of advice you would give to other writers?
Find authors who are doing the thing you want to do and follow their careers. Watch how they conduct themselves in the industry. Check out/buy their books, connect on social media, attend their classes and read interviews by them. “Stalk” them in the nicest and least obtrusive way possible. Don’t expect them to mentor you, but learn all you can from them and apply what you learn to your own writing journey.
And a bonus question just for kicks! If you could meet a fictional character from one of your favorite books, who would it be?
Arrietty from THE BORROWERS
With a background in education, Roxanne Troup is the author of over a dozen books for kids. She is also a professional ghostwriter who has worked with both publishers and individuals to write numerous picture books, chapter books, and adult nonfiction over the last ten years. Her debut trade picture book, My Grandpa, My Tree, and Me (Yeehoo Press, 2023) is a lyrical look at the life-and-harvest cycle of pecan trees. Her second trade deal, a rhyming picture book about space, has yet to be announced. Roxanne regularly reviews picture books at Goodreads with Ronna, is a volunteer judge at Rate Your Story and author mentor for the Michele Begley Mentorship program, as well as the co-facilitator of her local SCBWI Connect. She loves visiting schools to water seeds of literacy and teach about writing—and sometimes remembers to water the plants in her own garden. Learn more about her at https://www.roxannetroup.com/.
- Website: https://www.roxannetroup.com/ ; all socials @roxannetroup
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/RoxanneTroup
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/roxanne-troup/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/roxanne.troup
- Book Purchases: https://www.yeehoopress.com/product/my-grandpa-my-tree-and-me/
This entry was posted in Children's literature, Education, Inspiration & motivation, Publishing industry, Resources for writers, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing tips and tagged author, blog, books, Children's literature, giveaway, nonfiction, publishing, writing.
31 thoughts on “Author Roxanne Troup on Leaping from WFH to Trade- PLUS a GIVEAWAY!”
March 26, 2023 at 9:11 am
I loved hearing this back sorry. Trees and grandparents are my favorite topics.
March 28, 2023 at 3:42 pm
Hope you enjoy the book just as much!
March 25, 2023 at 10:41 am
Such a sweet book.
Thank you for telling us more about it and your writing journey.
March 24, 2023 at 8:32 pm
I love the unique concept for this book. I do a lot of the drafting in my head too. I think that there is a quote that says 80% of writing iis thinking!
March 25, 2023 at 2:35 pm
That’s a great quote. Will have to look for it…
March 23, 2023 at 11:47 pm
I love how you put together the pieces of this book! Congrats! And I also LOVE your favorite books from 2022. Iceberg is gorgeous and lyrical, Good Eating is quite funny while being super informative, and Wishes is just stunning in its illustrations and text.
March 23, 2023 at 7:38 pm
March 23, 2023 at 6:14 pm
Congrats, Roxanne!! Your book looks beautiful and loved the excerpt you shared and the inspirations you drew from to write this story. Can’t wait to read it!
March 23, 2023 at 6:17 pm
Thanks Jessica. Hope you enjoy!
March 23, 2023 at 4:47 pm
Great advice, Roxanne. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us. And congrats on your book. It looks and sounds terrific!
March 23, 2023 at 6:18 pm
Thank you. Glad the post was helpful.
March 23, 2023 at 5:02 am
Thanks for the behind-the-scenes look! Congratulations!
March 23, 2023 at 6:27 pm
LikeLiked by 1 person
March 23, 2023 at 12:01 am
Thanks for sharing your journey, Roxanne! This certainly sounds like wonderful book! Looking forward to reading it! 🙂
March 23, 2023 at 6:28 pm
Hope you enjoy!
LikeLiked by 1 person
March 22, 2023 at 10:48 pm
I’m fascinated by the difference between the trade and educational markets. Thanks for sharing your story. Congrats! This sounds wonderful!
March 23, 2023 at 6:29 pm
The educational market is a great way to get started. It really teaches you how to work with editors (and not be so precious with your words) and meet deadlines.
LikeLiked by 1 person
March 22, 2023 at 7:03 pm
This books looks beautiful! Congratulations on making the leap over to trade books — I can’t wait to read this. I had a special relationship with my grandparents too.
March 23, 2023 at 6:30 pm
Thank you. Let me know what you think.
March 22, 2023 at 6:40 pm
Love anything about trees! And congratulations on making your mark in a new place!
March 23, 2023 at 6:30 pm
March 22, 2023 at 3:51 pm
Thanks for sharing some of your process today, Roxanne. The excerpt is very inviting! I’ll look for MY GRANDPA, MY TREE, AND ME at my local library.
March 22, 2023 at 5:28 pm
Yay! I’d love to see your library haul when you find it!
March 22, 2023 at 3:46 pm
I loved hearing about your story’s journey from manuscript to published book. Thanks for sharing.
March 22, 2023 at 3:15 pm
Congrats Roxanne! I also like to think my story through before I start to write. But sometimes I will struggle with the ending. That’s where my CP’s are the best. Thanks so much for sharing.
March 22, 2023 at 5:30 pm
I hear you. My struggle is typically the middle. I usually know where I want to go, but not always the best way there. But you’re right; CPs are the best!
March 22, 2023 at 3:13 pm
Your book looks lovely! Congrats again!
March 22, 2023 at 3:09 pm
You have such a lovely writing style!
March 22, 2023 at 5:30 pm
March 22, 2023 at 3:00 pm
Sounds like a lovely book, Roxanne! Congratulations!!
March 22, 2023 at 5:31 pm