We shared sources, sent periodic updates, and shared drafts of each chapter as we went. When she sent me a chapter, I’d read through it, add comments or questions, make revision suggestions, and send it back. Revisions were a back-and-forth thing – and I feel like things went a bit easier with two sets of eyes (and two writer-brains) focused on the manuscript.
After a few back-and-forths, we’d connect by phone to read through the whole chapter. One person would type out the line edits as we talked, and then read them back. Our goal was to keep the author voice consistent throughout the manuscript.
Tina: How did you come up with your activities?
Sue: Most of the activities grew out of our experiences at summer camps, teaching science (me), exploring mushrooms in our backyards, or questions we had. Like: is it possible to make compost in an old soda bottle? Turns out it is. Alisha wanted to make a microscope; I wanted to dye a T-shirt with mushrooms. As we brainstormed a list of potential activities, we also knew that we wanted to include art and writing along with science. And we wanted the activities to be affordable and something anyone could do.Tina: How did you find a mycologist to interview?
Tina: What’s next for you?
Sue: I’m excited to have another picture book coming out in the fall of 2023 with Sleeping Bear Press, The Pie that Molly Grew, illustrated by Chamisa Kellogg. I have some ideas for new book projects, so I’ll be doing some research and taking photos. Of course, I’ll be in the garden. I’ve never planted kohlrabi before, and I’m interested in seeing how it grows here in upstate NY. It looks like something one might find in the Herbology class at Hogwarts!
Sue Heavenrich a biologist and former high school science teacher. She shares hands-on science activities and reviews STEM books on her blog, Archimedes Notebook, and for more than 20 years wrote the science column for Ithaca Child. Her books include 13 Ways to Eat a Fly, illustrated by David Clark, and Diet for a Changing Climate: Food for Thought, with co-author Christy Mihaly.
Sue Heavenrich is represented by Heather Cashman at Storm Literary Agency
blog: Archimedes Notebook (archimedesnotebook.blogspot.com)
Sue’s co-author, Alisha Gabriel is an elementary music teacher and adjunct professor at Southwestern University. Not only has she used her writing skills to win four grants to benefit her students, but she’s played flute and piccolo for video games – and even a TV commercial! Her books include Good Sports: Elliot Mack, Quarterback, and Silento: Breakout Rapper
Alisha Gabriel is represented by Heather Cashman at Storm Literary Agency