Welcome Author Susanna Leonard Hill – Giveaway Alert

It is a joy to welcome Susanna Leonard Hill to my blog today to celebrate her latest picture book, ALPHABEDTIME, illustrated by Betsy Snyder. Susanna is not only the author of more than twenty-five picture books, she has one of the best blogs for picture book enthusiasts, whether you’re a writer, a reader, or both featuring debut authors on Tuesdays, Perfect Picture Book Fridays, and amazing contests. Did I mention there’s usually chocolate? Her Halloween contest was one of the first writing contests I entered as a new kid-lit member and I felt so welcomed into this wonderful community. She and I will be joining forces for a Dynamic Duo post in January, but more about that when it gets closer!

To celebrate her adorable new book stopping here, she’s giving away a a personalized signed copy of ALPHABEDTIME and a 20 minute Ask-Me-Anything Zoom Call to one lucky winner! Comment on the blogpost to enter.

What were you like at the age of your target audience?

I’m sorry to report that it’s just possible I was not the most well-behaved child. I got in trouble all the time! I let my little sister make me mad – she would always stay so calm, which just irked me, and then I’d be the one to get punished. In preschool I got mad at my teacher and poked her with an umbrella. (You can guess how well that went over with my parents!) And I was constantly getting my mouth washed out with soap for being “fresh”! But I was also very imaginative. I made up games (that kept the same sister who always got me in trouble entertained!) I built castles and forts and zoos and villages out of blocks. I drew (badly) and colored (neatly) and enjoyed both. I could sing so many Christmas carols at age 2 1/2 that my family made a game of turning me on like a radio. And I read (well, initially I was read to) every chance I got.

Susanna with her Grandpa

What inspires you?

The whole world inspires me! There is so much beauty. So many interesting people, places, and things. So much to wonder about. Also, sadly, so many hard things that children sometimes have to deal with. But I think the thing that inspires me most is children themselves, especially my own. Five minutes in the presence of anyone under 6 and I have twenty new ideas of things I could write about. Of course, they are not all picture book worthy. A lot of ideas cannot support a whole picture book. And a lot of other ideas need time to mature. Sometimes they are only part of an idea, and you have to hold onto them until another piece appears at a later date to complete them. Sometimes they’re great but the only way you see to write them has already been done, so you have to put them on a back burner and hope you figure out a new approach. But for me, a lot of inspiration is just about being open to inspiration. If I’m preoccupied, weighed down by life stuff, overtired, or distracted, I’m not going to have a lot of ideas. But if I set out to look for something to write about, I am sure to find it! (Doesn’t mean I’m always going to write it well ☺ ) And, I’m going to be honest. A book I got published in 2010 was sparked by a mattress commercial on the radio! So, really, anything goes.

ALPHABEDTIME, my newest book baby, came, essentially, from a writing exercise. I was having one of those days where I didn’t like any of my ideas and couldn’t think what to write, so I just decided, hey! I’ll write an alphabet book. Inspiration is everywhere ☺

What’s one thing you hope readers take away from your books?

Depending on the book, I hope kids will take away the knowledge that they are strong and capable, that they can accomplish their goals if they believe in themselves, that they are not alone in their dislikes and ambivalences, and that it’s okay to feel any way that they feel.  I try to make many of my books light-hearted or humorous without ever making fun of kids so that whatever it is I’m hoping they’ll take away comes across in a fun way, but some books require a little more serious approach in order for kids to feel understood. I guess maybe the one thing I hope kids take away is a feeling that the best thing they can be is themselves.

What’s next for you?

I have a couple more books coming out this year in December – WHAT LITTLE GIRLS ARE MADE OF and WHAT LITTLE BOYS ARE MADE OF, both for Sourcebooks, and another coming out next summer – YOU’RE THE STAR IN MY SKY – also for Sourcebooks.  And I’m hoping to see as many of my children as possible during the holiday season and spend as much time as I can with my new granddaughter ☺

Readers can learn more about Susanna and her books:

Website: https://susannahill.com/

Blog: https://susannahill.com/blog/ 

FaceBook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/SusannaLeonardHill 

Twitter: @SusannaLHill  https://twitter.com/SusannaLHill

Instagram: @susannaleonardhill https://www.instagram.com/susannaleonardhill/

Published by authorlaurablog

I'm a reading specialist from Chicago, now living in the beauty of the Roosevelt National Forest in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. My first book "Aliana Reaches for the Moon" features a creative and curious girl who loves science, her little brother, and her very patient parents. I'm currently writing a MG novel and several picture books with STEM elements and dogs.

21 thoughts on “Welcome Author Susanna Leonard Hill – Giveaway Alert

    1. Jenna, we are SO LUCKY! Susanna is one of the ways I’ve connected with so many KidLit friends! I really felt a sense of community from participating in her contests and being featured a few times on her blog. Good luck in the giveaway!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Susanna, I loved learning about your childhood! And about your books and the inspiration behind them. Making Picture Book Magic has been so helpful to me. Thank you both for another great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Punxsutawney Phyllis was the first of Susanna’s books that I became familiar with. She is a marvelous and prolific author. Her characters are genuine and like the author herself, her books are fun and empowering.

    Liked by 2 people

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