New Upcoming Events

Posted by annastan on February 11th, 2017 | Comments Off on New Upcoming Events

I must admit that I’m happiest when I’m hidden away from the world, writing furiously on my laptop, but every once in a while I actually enjoy emerging out of my cave and interacting with people. That’s why I’m excited to share some upcoming book events.

Thursday, February 23 at 1pm

I’ll be joining fellow picture book author Josh Funk for storytime at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, Mass. during February vacation. I’ll be sharing a sneak peek of my forthcoming picture book, Dogosaurus Rex.

Saturday, March 4th at 10:30am

I’ll be doing a robot-themed storytime at Enchanted Passage Bookstore in Sutton, Mass. and sharing a sneak peek of my forthcoming picture book, Dogosaurus Rex.

Saturday, May 20th at 2pm-4pm

The Tween Author Fest has been rescheduled! After getting snowed out in December, we’re excited to be at the Brookline Library in Brookline, Mass on May 20th!

 

Translation News and a Giveaway

Posted by annastan on January 17th, 2017 | Comments Off on Translation News and a Giveaway

What’s better than getting good news about a book after it’s been published? Getting good news about a book before it’s been published! I recently found out that DOGOSAURUS REX, my August 2017 picture book illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, is going to be translated into Korean! I can’t wait to see what it will look like!

Also, if you’ve been dying to get your hands on a signed copy of MATCH ME IF YOU CAN, there are two copies up for grabs on Goodreads.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Match Me If You Can by Anna Staniszewski

Match Me If You Can

by Anna Staniszewski

Giveaway ends February 15, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

In writings news, my theme for 2017 is Explore, and it’s been motivating me to try out new types of stories and to rework some older projects. This is the first time in a long while that I haven’t been swamped with deadlines, and it’s been nice to give my muse a little room to play. I don’t know if any of these ideas will go on to be published, but I’ve been enjoying working on them either way.

MATCH ME IF YOU CAN Has Arrived!

Posted by annastan on January 3rd, 2017 | 1 Comment »

Happy New Year! What better way to start off 2017 than with a book release? Match Me If You Can, the third book in the Switched at First Kiss series, is officially in stores! It’s a little bittersweet to finish up this series. I loved hanging out with Lena and Marcus and mixing a bit of magical mayhem into their lives, but I’m also happy with how the series wrapped up and excited to work on new things.

match cover

Speaking of new things, I’m working on redesigning my website, so stay tuned! I’m also planning some book events for the coming months, including a Tween Author Fest at the Brookline, MA Library which we had to reschedule because of snow (ugh). I hope the weather gods will cooperate this time!

Happy reading and writing in 2017!

Upcoming Events

Posted by annastan on November 30th, 2016 | Comments Off on Upcoming Events

November has been a nutty month! I did my own version of NaNoWriMo in which I worked on a few different projects instead of just one. I didn’t reach 50k words, alas, but I did make a big dent in my writing, so overall it was a win! Since I’ve been furiously writing, I’m woefully behind on lots of things, including answering emails and sending out swag, but I’m determined to get back on track with those by next week.

I’ve also been bad at spreading the word about upcoming events, so here’s a list of where I’ll be in December.

Saturday, Dec 3rd at An Unlikely Story in Plainville, Mass. from 11am-2pm

Holiday Bazaar 2016 Flyer

Sunday, Dec 4th at Wellesley Books in Wellesley, Mass. at 11am

15068896_1315021198528767_7090133185561000820_o

Saturday, Dec 10th at Barnes&Noble in Bellingham, Mass. from 1-3pm

2016 B&N Bookfair Author only

Saturday, Dec 17th at Brookline Public Library in Brookline Mass. from 2-4pm

tween author fest flyer final

 

ONCE UPON A CRUISE Discussion Guide

Posted by annastan on October 10th, 2016 | Comments Off on ONCE UPON A CRUISE Discussion Guide

I’m excited to announce that I now have a discussion guide for Once Upon a Cruise. It features some discussion questions and a Q&A with yours truly!

Download the Once Upon a Cruise Discussion Guide. (I’ll also add it to my Resources page.)

onceuponacruise_cvr

I think this guide will work well for school and library book clubs as well as mother/daughter book clubs and more. If you’re a librarian, teacher, or parent, please feel free to spread the word! Note that I also offer free in-person and Skype visits for book clubs that have read my books. (And who doesn’t want to experience my wacky sense of humor in person?)

Happy reading!

And the winner is…

Posted by annastan on October 5th, 2016 | Comments Off on And the winner is…

It was so much fun to celebrate the release of ONCE UPON A CRUISE last week, both in person and online! I really enjoyed the nautical fairy tale titles people submitted on Twitter, and it was tough to pick a winner. I finally selected Audrey Day-Williams who actually came up with several gems:

Peter and the Wharf

Puss in Boats

Snow White and the Seven Wharfs

Aren’t those great? Congrats, Audrey! You’ve won a signed copy of the book! There were lots of other entries that made me giggle. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Fog Prince – Julie Reich

The Little Mast Girl – Josh Funk

The Ginger Bread Manatee – Tom Franklin

Thanks so much to everyone for taking part in the contest! It made release day even more special. I have some other fun CRUISE-related things in the works, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, I’m so honored to announce that I’m the current author of the month at the Northborough Free Library in Northborough, Mass. I’ll be at the library on Wednesday, Oct 12 at 6pm talking about my novels, and then I’ll also be doing a robot storytime the next day, Oct 13, at 10:30am. If you’re in the area, I’d love to see you!

I’m also excited to share that I’ll be on a Middle Grade Author panel with Megan Frazer Blakemore and Ali Benjamin on Saturday, Oct 22nd at Blue Bunny Books in Dedam, Mass, one of my favorite local bookstores! It should be a fun event!

ONCE UPON A CRUISE Sets Sail!

Posted by annastan on September 27th, 2016 | Comments Off on ONCE UPON A CRUISE Sets Sail!

I’m so excited that my newest tween novel, ONCE UPON A CRUISE, officially sets sail today!

onceuponacruise_cvr

I wrote the manuscript when I was hugely pregnant and juggling two other book deadlines, so–oddly enough–the story is about a girl who can’t say no to things. Yeah, I really had to dig deep for that one. 😉

If you’re in a partying mood, I’ll be having a launch party at Newtonville Books in Newton, Mass. tomorrow, Sept 28, at 7pm. Here’s the Facebook invite with more info. I’m also doing a fun “nautical fairy tale” contest on Twitter:

cruisetwittercontest

This is my eleventh published book–which sounds crazy when I put it that way–and as exciting as the process continues to be, it also continues to be scary! What if no one comes to the launch? What if no one reads the book? What if no one LIKES the book? The anxiety, it seems, never goes away! Thankfully, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to focus on what I can control: writing. So, back to work I go! 🙂

 

Prepping for a Book Launch

Posted by annastan on September 12th, 2016 | Comments Off on Prepping for a Book Launch

I can’t believe ONCE UPON A CRUISE comes out at the end of this month. That means I have a lot of prep work on my hands! In case you’re wondering, here are some things that authors often do when they’re getting ready to welcome a new book into the world.

onceuponacruise_cvr

-Setting up events. I have a few already planned (see my events page) and am working on booking more! I’m trying to do a mix of event types (panels, signings, conferences, etc) and spreading them out geographically to give people more options.

-Online presence. In the past I’ve done blog tours for my books, and while I don’t think those are quite as popular anymore, I’m still trying to do a little push to get my book more visible online. This includes a Goodreads giveaway of the book and a Twitter party on the official release date. And if anyone wants to feature my book on a blog post, podcast, or such, please let me know! 🙂

-Swag. I happen to love bookmarks since they’re versatile and useful, so I either have bookmarks printed up or, if it’s an option, I get them from my publisher.

-Updating my website. This might sound obvious, but it’s really important to have your website be up-to-date. There’s nothing worse than seeing “coming soon” for a book that’s been out for a year! I’m sorry to say that I’m a bit of a slacker in this respect, but I’m hoping to do better!

-Writing. Huh? But isn’t the book finished? Yes, it is. But there’s a school of thought that says, “Each new book helps promote your last book,” and I think that’s true. So while I’m working on spreading the word about my latest project, I’m also working on new ideas.

What other prep do you do (or have you seen people do) for their new books?

Cover Reveal and Other News

Posted by annastan on July 26th, 2016 | 1 Comment »

I’m excited to share the cover of MATCH ME IF YOU CAN, the third book of the Switched at First Kiss series, coming out in January!

match cover

I should have another cover reveal soon for DOGOSAURUS REX, which will be coming out this winter. I’ve seen the almost final art by Kevin Hawkes and it’s AMAZING. I can’t wait for that book to make its way out into the world!

I’m also in the process of planning a book launch for ONCE UPON A CRUISE, coming out in September, so stay tuned! And I’ve just updated my Events Page, if you’re wondering where I’ll be in the coming months.

In writing news, for the first time in over five years, I don’t have any looming deadlines! It’s a little bit scary to be able to work on whatever I want, but I’ve also had some ideas that have been begging for my attention, so I’m excited to finally have a chance to dig into them. It’s also nice to take a day off once in a while, which feels like a major luxury after having a non-stop hectic schedule this past year.

I hope you’re all having a lovely summer! I’m managing to catch up on some reading, so I’ll be sharing some of my favorite reads soon.

Guest Post: Illustrating The Story Circle by Wendy Martin

Posted by annastan on June 12th, 2016 | 4 Comments »

I’m excited to have a special feature today! Illustrator Wendy Martin is here to share a behind-the-scenes look at the process of illustrating her new book, The Story Circle. Enjoy!


TheStoryCircleCoverLORes

On June 1st I shared my art creation process for a single image on Smiling Otis Studios’ blog. Today I’ll show you the big picture of the book art process.

For a lot of my picture book art creation, I do things in batches. I begin with a couple of sheets of copy paper with squares to represent each spread printed on them.

Image1

There were 14 spreads and 13 vignettes to ink for The Story Circle. I ink in Adobe Illustrator. After all the inking is done and I double and triple check to make sure the characters remain consistent from the beginning to the end, I transfer everything on to watercolor paper. I take my AI files, which are created at 150% of final size and import them into Photoshop and change the color of the black lines to a tint of a color that will blend well with my palette chosen for the story. Then each image gets printed onto watercolor paper. I decided to use a hot press paper for this book to avoid the shadows that can be caused by cold or rough press watercolor paper textures.

It took me most of a day to print out the 27 pieces.

image2

I start with the largest section of the background. In this case a creamy pale orange-yellow on the classroom walls and the dusty red-tan for the rug on the floor. As you can see, I haven’t stretched and taped my paper at this point. So the pages are buckling and warped. Not to worry, once I have the big washes down, I will do that. My trick is to mist the back of each painting and let it soak in before flipping it and attaching it to a white felt covered canvas board. I use regular masking tape and make sure to tape outside of the crop marks, which I include in the file I print to the watercolor paper.

image3

There are 7 children and the teacher as the featured characters in this book. That’s a lot of character consistency to keep track of during my watercolor painting process. This is one reason why I’m painting each character in an assembly line fashion. Nothing is more distressing than laying all your finished pages out and then noticing that the child with green striped socks is wearing purple-heart socks in one spread. If I painted digitally, this wouldn’t be a big deal. Hooray for Command-Z. Unfortunately, that doesn’t exist in the watercolor painting process. If I make such a gaff in traditional media, I have to repaint.

image4

The finished image you see here was the trial image I supplied to the publisher when they were deciding which illustrator they would choose for this book. I’m using it to make sure the characters they liked from the sample are the same ones they receive in the final images.

At this point, it’s down to final details and coloring the portions of the images that are unique to each. This is the end of the assembly line painting process and each painting gets individual attention to completion. Once they are all finished, I lock the cat in another room and spread all the images out on the floor to make sure they flow nicely from one to the other. I make notes of changes I will make during the color correction and scanning process. After the images are scanned in, usually this takes a day or two, I open each one and make any revisions from my notes, and color correct the digital files so they will print nicely. I do my best to make sure the colors in the book are as close to the colors on the painted pieces. Then I send all the high-resolution files to the publisher.

The publisher pulls all the pieces together into book form. In some cases I get to see F&Gs or color proofs, but that didn’t happen with this book. I got a box of author copies about a month ago.

image5


WendyMartinHiRes

 

A transplanted New Yorker now living in Missouri, Wendy Martin has been working as an illustrator for 25+ years. Her love affair with art and illustration began at an early age. She never wanted to do anything else.

So, she followed my heart and earned a degree in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology, then continued my art education at the School of Visual Arts, earning a B.F.A. in Graphic Design. These disciplines can still be seen in her work as a children’s book illustrator and fantasy artist in the strong lines, textures and detailed patterns.

See additional art and find out more about her at wendymartinillustration.com. You can find The Story Circle on Amazon or on the publisher’s website.