Twenty years ago today, my very first picture book, If Kisses Were Colors, illustrated by Alison Jay, was published by Dial Books for Young Readers.
Time flies, but timeless themes endure, and If Kisses Were Colors is still in print. My mother’s love poem was first published as a picture book, and then, later, as a board book and a novelty miniature mailer. The full-text board version is still available.
I often undertake market research to see if an idea for a book has already “been done.” But back when I wrote If Kisses Were Colors, I didn’t have this step as part of my process. Thank goodness! There were, and still are, many published children’s books about kisses and a mother’s love. As a very insecure, unpublished author, I would have been discouraged and not submitted the manuscript anywhere.
But I learned a good lesson. No matter what market research reveals, no one can write a book that comes from your heart in quite the way you do (and I am talking about each of us). So when an idea comes to me, I almost always plow ahead, although market research may help me tweak the direction I take with my manuscript. We are all unique and so are our stories.
7 thoughts on “KISSES Endure”
20 years–what an achievement, especially these decades of mergers, recessions and shortened backlists. A true testimony to the highest quality! It is now a classic! It’s been a joy to help you hone subsequent classics all these years. Much love!
And it has been a joy and honor to have such accomplished colleagues suport me every step of the way! Thank you, Pegi!
That’s a good lesson for all of us. I am glad that you plowed ahead to create such a wonderful book! I have read this book so many times to my grandchildren. It is one of their favorites!!
Give them a kiss from the author next time you read it to them!
This looks very cute! Yay for you, 20 years!
Seems just like yesterday! Thanks, Angie.