Story Is Hard, Be Brave.  These words uttered by Mark Andrews, the director of Pixar's Brave, a force of nature visual storyteller, could not be truer.  There's no way around it, telling stories is hard.

My publishing story starts in New York City on a frigid, jet-lagged morning in February 2015.  I was recently coming off of my first big break, having been selected for a Portfolio Honor Award at SCBWI Los Angeles 2014, and as a result I had the fortune of signing with literary agent, Adriana Dominguez of Full Circle Literary.  She knew I was coming to NYC to attend the SCBW Winter Conference, so she had arranged for me to meet with three editors.  I was jumble of excitement and anxiety after having flown across the country on a red-eye flight from Oakland, knowing full well, these were my first steps towards a career as an author/illustrator of children's books.  And tucked tightly under my arm was a portfolio I had put together during my off hours, containing a five page tease of a story I was developing.  I desperately hoped this little package would be enough to convince one of the three editors to take a chance on me.  And luckily it was—kind of...


Chapter 1