WINSTON VERSUS THE SNOW
By Savannah Hendricks
Winston does NOT like to touch the snow, even with his shoes on. One snowy day, he spots his neighbor's dog, Mac wearing special boots, because just like Winston, the dog doesn't like to walk in the snow. Will Winston be able to walk on the snow if he has special boots too?
About the Author: Savannah Hendricks
Savannah Hendricks has worked as a medical social worker for six years and prior with special needs preschoolers, and spent seven years as a nanny. She holds degrees in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s in Criminal Justice. She is the author of Nonnie and I, a picture book about the first day of school anxieties set in Botswana. Her stories have been included in over 20 children’s magazines, and is the co-author of Child Genius 101: The Ultimate Guide to Early Childhood Development: Vol 1 & 2. She has two picture books releasing this year, Winston Versus the Snow and The Book Who Lost its Title.
Available for Purchase:
What was the inspiration behind Winston Versus the Snow?
Many years ago, I worked as a nanny and later with special needs preschoolers, and my current job has me interacting with special needs children from time to time. So, it was a combination of my career and what I saw with children. Sensory issues affect many children and even teens and adults. I didn’t want to create a non-fiction story or force a lesson onto readers. It took some time to think about how to go about putting a positive spin on sensory processing issues.
What made you decide to write children's books?
When I was mid-way through the second family that I nannied for, reading children’s books was my day-job, so to speak. I spent every week in the children’s section at the library and bookstore, only to spend the day reading to a child. While there were some books I loved, I wanted to create something of my own. So that’s pretty much how it started.
How does your writing process of creating picture books compare to novels?
First, writing picture books is ten times more challenging than writing novels. With a novel, I can create a world and characters by working with seventy-thousand some words. When I create a world and characters in a picture book I have three-hundred to four-hundred words max. In a picture book, I have to restrain myself from writing descriptions because that’s what the illustrator does. But, editing a picture book is far better than editing a novel. I can edit a picture book twenty times in half a day’s time, whereas editing a novel can take half a year or longer.
How does working with an illustrator work through the publisher? Has it been a different experience with each picture book you have written?
First, yes, every picture book (three to date) has been a different process, but I’ve worked with three different publishers, and each will be different. With my first picture book, Nonnie and I, there was zero say, zero knowledge of who the illustrator was or what was happening until I received the finished product. Thankfully, I loved the results. For Winston Versus the Snow, I was incredibly involved in the process, from page layouts to illustration notes. This was great, not only because I was involved, but because I was able to learn about the illustration process. The level of involvement was awesome, but I don’t think this is normal practice. For my upcoming picture book, The Book Who Lost its Title, I had a good level of input on the illustrations, and I would say this is standard practice. However, it was a very hard book to illustrate because of the type of book it was, and the illustrator and publisher made it work out fabulously.
Do you have any advice for writers who are trying to get published for the first time?
Yes, don’t give up. Work on your craft. And take criticism. This business is tough, and you have to be able to adapt to the times. But for those willing to stay true to your words, and find a way to fit them into the publishing world, you’ll do excellent.