July 5, 2022
Note From Rochelle
I hope you’re writing up a storm this summer.
On July 15, I will be speaking at NERD CAMP PA. It’s a virtual event for educators and librarians exploring banned books, diversity, and inclusion. And best of all, it costs nothing and is completely virtual. You can sign up here.
Today I’m delighted to welcome Katie Munday Williams to the blog. Katie appeared here last summer to talk about Writing Picture Book Biographies and her picture book biography, Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel. Enjoy!
Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach
Writers Recommend: Katie Munday Williams
Book Recommendation: Mary Coin by Marisa Silver
Having grown up in California’s Central Valley, I was a bit skeptical about this book. My experience as a child was that the valley was hot, boring, and…really hot. But Marisa Silver’s exquisite writing drew me in right away as she weaves the fictional backdrop to one of the Great Depression’s most iconic photographs (Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange). The migrant mother, known as Mary Coin in the book, finds herself trudging through the small agricultural towns of the Central Valley with her seven children in tow, constantly in search of work in the fields. As her story unfolds, the despair of that time period is eloquently captured by Silver, who also manages to pull back into hope and optimism before the reader abandons the book in search of something lighter. Vera Dare, the photographer in the story who captures the iconic image, has her own story unfolding, and while you’re rooting for her to help Mary Coin along the way, that is not the way it played out in reality or in the pages of this book. Walker Dodge finds himself inextricably intertwined with the story of Mary Coin, and his own journey weaves its way throughout the lives of the two women in a slightly predictable, yet engaging, way. The way the three character’s stories were woven together was masterful and this is truly one of the few books where I felt that all loose ends were tied up at the end.
Words of Wisdom
While everyone’s process and journey are different, there are some words of wisdom that have stuck with me over the years (and through the dark days of rejection). The first is persistence. Those writers who stick it out are the ones who will see their books published. The second is respect. Respect your craft. Treat it like any other “job”—train for it, set time aside for it, believe in its worth. And lastly, always, BIC…butt in chair. Sit down and write. Write something terrible. Write something beautiful. Write whatever you’re feeling at the moment. See where it takes you, because unlike Anne Bradstreet, the heroine of my book, you have the luxury of paper, pens, computers, and many other implements that make writing possible. I firmly believe that these three things are the formula for success!
About the author
Katie Munday Williams is a Public Health Nurse, Lactation Consultant, and Author. She lives in Santa Cruz, CA with her husband and two children, where they enjoy digging for sand crabs and attempting to bring the entire beach home with them in their pants. Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America’s First Poet is her debut picture book, released August 3, 2021 from Beaming Books. She represented by Suzy Evan of Evans Literary. Visit Katie online at https://katiemundaywilliams.com or on Twitter: @KatieWills79 and Instagram: @Ktwills79