Welcome to SCBWI-MI's Book Birthday Blog!
Where we celebrate new books from Michigan's authors and illustrators
Congratulations to P.J. Bass on the release of
Together with Dad!
Your first picture book is about to be published. Congratulations! What is the story, and what inspired you to write it?
The name of my picture book is entitled, Together with Dad! Andy’s Adventure-Filled Week! This story was birthed 20 years ago in an early childhood education storytelling class. I finally finished the book last year. I wanted to write a story that would teach children about family relationships and self-esteem. Also, a story that would encompass educational concepts. This story features an African American Father and his son sharing experiences during a week. The book introduces days of the week, big and small quantities, and social-emotional interactions.
What did you learn along the way in getting your first book published?
I have learned so many valuable lessons during the publishing process (That’s probably another book). One of the most important lesson is to have your manuscript finished and edited before you hire an illustrator. I learned the hard way and paid extra money to have some of the illustrations redone. It all worked out in the end, but I wished I had known ahead of time.
Did you have a critique group to bounce ideas off of?
I had trusted friends, family, and beta readers to bounce ideas around.
When did you know you were a writer?
I realized I was a writer in elementary school. For as long as I can remember, I have loved nature and its beauty and wonder. I learned that not only could I behold the beauty of nature, but I could write about nature. I began to combine my passion for nature and writing together! My love affair for words began! I started writing poetry, short stories, and now a children’s book!
What is your writing and revisions process?
My writing and revision process is to carve out quiet time in the mornings to write and meditate for at least 30 minutes daily. I have found many ideas flood my mind early in the morning. I finally understand the phrase, "The early bird gets the worm."
What are you working on next?
I am working on another children’s picture book. I decided to create a series from my first book, Together with Dad. It will be the second book in the Together Series. It will feature Andy with his mom experiencing new adventures. Stay tuned!
A little bit about the book…
The book takes young readers on captivating adventures filled with colorful scenery and interesting characters. Andy and his dad engage in various activities throughout the week. The book has child-centered language and exciting activities, introducing teachable moments where children will learn days of the week, big and small quantities, and social-emotional interactions. This book will empower young minds, teaching them life lessons that will follow them through their lives, inspire them to dream, explore, and always be uniquely themselves. My goal is that my books convey the importance of family, legacy, and literature.
A little bit about the author…
P.J. is an author and women's rights advocate. She proudly holds her Master of Business Administration Degree, but her greatest passion is and will always be children - especially teaching and working with them. She has been a part of a family-owned child-care business for over 30 years, and that is why she decided to start writing children's books.
In 2020 P.J. started the Fueling Purpose clothing line to inspire people to engage with daily activities that ignite or fuel their lives with purpose. She promotes the importance that books play to help fuel purposes in the lives of her readers. She donates 5% of sales to the non-profit organization First Book.org which has distributed more than 200 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income communities in all 50 states and provinces in Canada.
She is an avid traveler who loves looking at nature and the wonders of the world. In her free time, P.J. loves to cook and bake. She also has a YouTube channel that promotes the importance of children reading books by featuring read-aloud stories from various children’s authors. She resides with her family and dog Milo.
Watch the short book trailer here:
Social media contacts:
Where to find the book:
It will be available on June 17, 2021 on Amazon.
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