I've been coordinating the SCBWI Westside Illustrators Schmooze in Santa Monica, Ca for 6 years now. Last night, we welcomed our friend and colleague Deborah Nourse Lattimore as our guest speaker. Deborah is an author, illustrator, teacher and scholar... and funny as all hell!
A long and successful career brings lots of experience to share. Medusa, Cinderhazel and The Winged Cat are just some of her 35 books plus. The majority of her books require massive research on ancient worlds or magical mythology that turn into fascinating picture books. They fill a niche in the children's book market that never existed. They are both written and illustrated exquisitely... and authentically. Ms Lattimore is creating the books she would have cherished as a kid! So, in search of accuracy, she travels 'round the world gathering information and interviewing experts in the various fields.
Our schmoozers learned all about researching for fiction, non-fiction & 'Common Core' curriculum. It involves primary, secondary and tertiary sources and lots of... how you say, 'cajones!' Gotta put those big girl/guy panties on and pick up that phone, write those letters or get on a plane... all in a quest for facts!
Often Deborah's search for the truth of a story is just as interesting as the story itself, both intriguing and quite hilarious. Perhaps one day, she will write about those adventures as well.
What drives the wild and crazy Deborah Lattimore? Well, duh, the best Grandma ever... who sits on her shoulder from the other side, and whispers in her ear 'you can do it'... Dang, I'm so jealous... Me thinks Grandma gave her that 'umph' factor that some of us spend a lifetime chasing! It looks great on Deborah!
We thank Deborah (and Grandma) for being so dang generous and sincere with her heart and soul! She inspires us all to keep "ReSearching" our passions!