Long-time award-winning nonfiction author (and former PBB blogger) Suzanne Slade has a new book debuting this month, and … hold onto your hats … it’s FICTION. I’ve been a fan of Suzanne’s practically forever, so of course that had me curious and I had to hear all about it. Take a look at this sweet and tender cover.
From the publisher, Sleeping Bear Press:
Some days are easy! The sky is sunny, and it feels like the whole world is your oyster. Everything goes according to plan, and we know what to expect. Other days are tough! There might be raindrops or skinned knees. Things don’t go our way and we feel overwhelmed. But that is the up-and-down rollercoaster ride we call life. And everyone experiences it. The most important thing to remember is “No matter your day, tomorrow’s brand new!” Lyrical text and colorful artwork remind readers of all ages that life is a vibrant adventure with an array of experiences and emotions, and tomorrow always offers a fresh start. What a difference a day can make! An important message to keep in mind.
Doesn’t that sound like a book you just want to fall into? Let’s talk with Suzanne!
JE: Great to have you back, friend! First of all, since we know you as the author of many stunning and award-winning biographies and science books, this one comes as a bit of a surprise. What sparked this beauty?
SS: Interestingly, this was the first manuscript I wrote after a tough season where I had “major surgery” (per the Dr.) and was still healing and in pain. I don’t recall where the idea for the book came from specifically, but perhaps that difficult time inspired me to write about days with “fears” and “tears,” where you need to be “brave” as you look forward to “yellow” days with “clear sky” and “cream pie!”
JE: Your lyrical, rhyming text is as smooth as butter. Sure feels like writing in rhyme comes naturally to you. Are there more rhymers in your future?
SS: Actually, bad rhyming comes very naturally to me. Then I edit and edit, and edit some more. On this book, I also received wonderful critiques from rhymer extraordinaire, Lori Degman, who’s in my critique group. Unlike you, Jill, who’s a skilled pro at writing in rhyme, it is a slow, painful process for me. My “Behold” animal series with Peachtree is also in rhyme (well, most of the text.) The next title, Behold the Hummingbird! flits into bookstores in April 2024.
JE: Oooh, hummers! Can’t wait to get my hands on that one. I love how you’ve included so many different child-friendly scenarios and emotions in so few words, Suzanne, giving artist Michelle Lee room to play. As the overwriter I know myself to be, I suspect you had some tough decisions about which of those to keep and which to cut.
SS: In early drafts, many of the lines had additional descriptive words, such as “rabbit-fast” and “tortoise-slow,” instead of simply “fast” and “slow.” I liked the nuances those extra words added, but as I honed the rhythm of the lines, many words had to go. It’s also interesting to look back and see the verses that didn’t make it to the final cut for one reason or another. With very few words on each spread, Michelle did a phenomenal job of creating various mini-storylines with interesting characters. Amazingly, all the characters reappear in the final spread to provide satisfying conclusions to those storylines.
JE: That is very satisfying! Overall, Michelle’s art palette adds such a cheerful, sunny feel. This book’s world, as she has imagined it, feels like a place we’d all like to be.
SS: Honestly, I was blown away by the details (storylines and character mentioned earlier) she included. Each time I read the book I discover new things I didn’t notice before. And as you mentioned, her color palette is lovely and inviting. Her artwork creates such a cozy, happy place to visit. Kirkus seemed to think so too because they called Michelle’s illustrations “charming” and the book “delightful”!
JE: Hooray for great reviews! Thanks so much for dropping back to fill us in on all things Some Days Are Yellow, Suzanne. Readers, leave a comment below for your chance to win your very own copy! You have until Friday, January 19th, when we’ll draw a name at random.
The lucky winner of Carla Ketner’s beautiful TED KOOSER: More Than a Local Wonder, was Lori Dubbin. Congrats, Lori!