And yet another Coffee & Conversation with one of our awesome presenters from the upcoming SCBWI MD/DE/WV 25th Annual Conference: And Still We R(ev)ise! This time, author/illustrator, Courtney Pippin-Mathur is joining us in the cyber chair. But first, if you’ve missed our previous interviews, here’s the links!
- Author Laura Gehl
- Mary Barrows, Conference Logo Competition Winner
- Author Sue Macy
- Author Megan Wagner Lloyd
Courtney is the author and illustrator of Dragons Rule, Princesses Drool and Maya was Grumpy. She grew up in East Texas but now lives in a suburb of Washington D.C with a knight, a princess and two dragons. This leads to many exciting adventures with lots of breaks for reading.
In the Trenches: From the Query to the Call, Saturday, 10:40 AM – 11:30 AM
With Leah Henderson, Courtney Pippin-Mathur, Maria Gianferrari, John Micklos, Jr., moderated by Meera Trehan: You’ve polished your manuscript, you’ve researched agents, you’ve edited your query, and you’ve hit send. Now what? This panel of agented authors will tell you what to expect and what you can learn from the query process, and answer all those questions you might be scared to ask. Whether you’re getting requests, rejections, or radio silence, this panel will help you assess how best you can survive–and maybe even thrive–in the query trenches.
Picture (Book) Perfect, Sunday, A two-part workshop for writers of picture books.
Part 2: Your Picture Book Voice with Megan Wagner Lloyd, Courtney Pippin-Mathur, Maria Gianferrari: Three picture book authors share how they stay true to, develop, and refine their unique voices throughout drafting and revision. Author Megan Wagner Lloyd (Finding Wild, Fort-Building Time) will discuss her discovery of her lyrical creative voice. Author Maria Gianferrari (Coyote Moon, Terrific Tongues, Hawk Rising) will show the strategies she uses for structuring and polishing her nature-focused narrative non-fiction voice. And author/illustrator Courtney Pippin-Mathur (Maya Was Grumpy and Dragons Rule, Princesses Drool) will share how she stays true to her humorous and slightly fantastical artistic voice while incorporating both art and text revision feedback in the publication process. Followed by a Q&A.
And now onto the interview! Courtney, what was your favorite book as a child? As a teen? And now, as an adult?
Child- Roald Dahl- The witches and The bfg
Now- (for fun) Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series
What’s your favorite medium?
Watercolor and pencil.
Where’s your favorite place to work?
Desk or couch.
How do you describe your style and has it changed throughout your career?
Slightly fantastical and quirky, and it has become more cute and rounded, I think.
How were you inspired to illustrate your current or upcoming release?
Real life- but with several twists. My daughter was ambushed by the arrival of twin brothers at the age of 5. So, I wrote a book about dragons ambushing a princess. It didn’t sell, so I flipped the plot and had princesses invading a dragons world.
If you followed the career path you chose for yourself in high school, what would you be doing for a living now?
Same but writing for an older age group. I was highly influenced by the movie, Romancing the Stone and Kathleen Turner’s character and her romance writing career.
You magically find a $100 bill in your box of cereal. In what frivolous way would you spend it?
Art supplies, coffee, ice cream and cute socks.
What is your favorite quote?
Neil Gaiman’s “Make Good Art.”
If you could sum up your best advice for new writers and illustrators in only four words, what would they be?
Keep Trying and Improving.
What do you enjoy going when you’re not writing or drawing?
Reading, watching shows, taking forest or beach treks.
And finally, what’s your favorite:
Time to work? Morning
Music to listen to while drawing? Spotify – changes everyday
Traditional media or digital? Both
Pair of shoes? Knee high boots with small heel
Guiltiest pleasure? Urban fantasy novels
Line from a movie? “You’re a Wizard, Harry.”
Awesome, thanks so much for stopping by, Courtney, and we’re looking forward to seeing you at the conference!
And as always, happy writing and drawing, everyone!