Welcome to SCBWI-MI's Book Birthday Blog!
Where we celebrate new books by Michigan's children's book authors and illustrators
Big Congratulations to Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw on the release of her new book, I CAMPAIGNED FOR ICE CREAM: A BOYS QUEST FOR ICE CREAM TRUCKS
Q#1: Congratulations on your debut picture book, I Campaigned For Ice Cream: A Boy's Quest For Ice Cream Trucks! Can you tell us what inspired this story?
Thank you! It has been an incredible experience and I’m honored to be able to share it with my SCBWI-MI family. I CAMPAIGNED FOR ICE CREAM was inspired by my son Josh, who at nine-years-old (he’s 27 now) wondered why ice cream trucks never came to our neighborhood. He soon discovered that a 1954 peddlers’ law forbade the sale of anything on our township streets including ice cream. Josh felt strongly that this was unfair. With a little guidance from his teacher momma, he decided to petition town hall to get the law changed. Over the years, I have used this story to inspire my students and teach them the importance of leadership, perseverance, and fighting for what you believe in. When I decided to persue writing seriously it seemed like the perfect story to start with.
Q#2: As a newer author, can you please share your journey to publication? What would you want other new authors to know about publishing a picture book?
Changes in direction would best describe my journey to publicationand my advice to new authors is to embrace taking an unexpected path.I CAMPAIGNED FOR ICE CREAM started as a middle-grade fiction manuscript. Several chapters into that manuscript, I heard about Kristen Fulton’s Nonfiction Archealogy class. Since I teach developing readers by immersing my students in a different science theme each year, the idea of writing nonfiction picture books strongly resonated with me. Kristen’s course inspired me to try the ice cream truck story in a nonfiction picture book format and it worked! Additionally, as a newbie, I made the common mistake of jumping right into querying agents. Many rejections later, I had an interested agent, only to learn that agents were looking for at least three picture book manuscripts. I had two others in the works, but not far enough along to keep her immediate interest. Not being known for my patience when it comes to waiting, I decided to forego the agent route and query small publishers. In time, I received an email starting with “Congratulations” and was thrilled that not only was Josh’s story going to be published; it would become a family legacy and an inspiration to all who read it.
Q#3: Who are some of your favorite authors and why?
Always a tough question and I give different answers every time. Today, I will go with Beverly Cleary for writing the books that nurtured my love of reading. Louise Fitzugh for writing Harriet the Spy; a book that sparked my first journal—a spy notebook, shh! J.K. Rowling for not only writing an amazing series, but for creating an experience that I still share with my boys today. And Peter Reynolds for showing this long-winded writer that there is beauty, strength, and genius in symplicity.
Q#4: What are your marketing and promotional plans for I Campaigned For Ice Cream?
I will be celebrating the launch of my book in “the room where it happened”! When the good people at West Bloomfield Township heard Josh’s story was going to be a published book, they offered to host my book launch party. They have been incredible. Not only are they hosting, but they are sending out press releases, creating a montage of the board meetings where Josh spoke, providing food and drinks, and of course, we’re having an ice cream truck! I am so fortunate to have them as part of my cheerleading team.
In addition, I am scheduled to appear on a few blogs, currently have a few book sale opportunities on the calendar, and my publisher is helping me coordinate a summer bookstore/library tour.
Here is a peek of the book signing events I have scheduled for May.
May 5 - Kid Literacy, Inc./Edit and Get It Nonfiction Retreat Book Signing – Jacksonville, Florida
May 11 - Morse Elementary School Book Bazaar – Troy, Michigan
May 22 - Book Launch Party - West Bloomfield Town Hall, West Bloomfiled, Michigan
Q#5: What is something you want your readers to know about you?
I am a Beatles, Starbuck’s hot chocolate, and sunshine fanatic. When I’m not writing or teaching, you can find me practicing at the yoga studio, walking my Portuguese Water Dog Ziggy on the nature trail, kayaking on our lake, or dabbling in interior design. I invite you to visit my website at www.SuzanneJacobsLipshaw.comto learn more.
A little bit about the book:
I Campaigned For Ice Cream is an upbeat, educational, and heartwarming true story of the author’s son, Josh, who as a nine-year-old convinced his local government to change an outdated law that prevented ice cream trucks from driving through his town. Complete with adorable illustrations by Wendy Leach, this sweet little book is a tasty treat for young readers as well as a lesson that they too can make a difference in their communities. Relive Josh’s passionate journey to bring the joy of ice cream trucks to his town.
A little bit about the author:
Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw is a children’s book author and elementary school special education teacher who is passionate about through her teaching and writing. The proud momma of two grown boys, Suzanne lives in Waterford, MI with her husband and furry writing companion.