Maya print give away!

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

I just received my prints back from the Appleton exhibit "Sendak & Co" that featured prints from "Maya was Grumpy". To celebrate the exhibit and other Maya good news, I'm giving away a high quality giclee print that was part of the exhibit!

 These are from a limited print run done by a fabulous local company and are printed on watercolor paper. 

You can enter by posting a comment on this post, leaving a comment on my facebook post or retweeting on Twitter. 

Deadline to enter in a week from today, April 29th at noon. 


The year in review thanks to You!

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

2013 was a big year. And it was due to the support and kindness of so many people.

 Thank you so much to my husband, family, friends, editor, agent, book sellers, librarians, kids, fellow writers and illustrators, teachers, fans and readers of Maya was Grumpy.

You guys (every single one of you and anyone I forgot)  are truly awesome and make me work harder each day to improve my craft and try to be a better artist and person and made 2013 a year to remember. 

It was the year of….

First book published, holding it in my hands for the first time. 



 seeing it in Barnes & Noble for the first time in NY.  (I might have been a little excited) 


First panel at Books of Wonder. 


First reading at Hooray for Books. 



First batch of release day book cookies.



First sightings of Maya by friends and family around the country. 




  IndieNext Kids Top 10 Summer selection. 




Presenting at the June SCBWI NJ Conference. 



Scholastic picked up Maya. 


Went to Italy. 




























































































*other fabulous firsts that I don't have photographic evidence of, being interviewed by Jarrett J. Krosoczka for his awesome radio program, Booktalk and presenting at my first bookfair, Fall for the Book. (I resolve to document more events in 2013) 

Here's to a fabulous 2014, full of new opportunities and dreams! 



“Maya was Grumpy” Book Launch!

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

(In steps and photos..)

Contact favorite local children's book store that you've dreamed about having a book in for YEARS. (ask if you can bring cookies) 



















Enlist help of talented baker sister to bake lion, elephant and giraffe sugar cookies.













Put small children to work
















Learn to decorate cookies (with sister's guidance) 


Make a few just for fun. 


Prepare gift bags with stickers..



and cookies! 

Print out Activity/Coloring sheets, 

Maya happier activity-thumb

Pack bag with extra stickers (especially for kids who can't have cookies) visual aids and favorite pens for signing. 


Get to store 20 minutes early and take lots of pics of books and signs. 




Be very grateful that the incredibly helpful and awesome staff has everything ready and wait (a tad nervously) 



Courtney reading





Sign books..


make ridiculous faces 😉 

Leave extra cookies with helpful staff.


Take pic in front of store.


Go home and eat cake!

If you’re Grumpy and you know it…

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Make a Grumpy face! 

Want to win some "Maya was Grumpy" swag including a signed book, stickers, bookmarks, a GRUMPY pin, a tote bag AND your very own mini stuffed lion to share your grumps with? Then enter this contest! 





All you have to do is find your favorite illustration of Maya being grumpy in "Maya was Grumpy" and make the same face. Then take a photo and send it to me at The crankiest, grumpiest, grouchiest faces will get showcased on my blog or website and two winners will be chosen to receive the Grumpy goody bags.

Get your entries in by June 4th, 2013 and the winner will be announced the week of June 10th! 

I recruited a few of my favorite Grumps to help you get in the mood. 


The story of Maya

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Last Wednesday was the official release date of "Maya was Grumpy" ! I'm so excited to be able walk into some of my favorite stores and see my first book on the shelves.

The story of how Maya came to be published by Flashlight Press is not a short and sweet one. But, it was worth the wait!

Eight years ago, in 2005, I emailed Shari Dash Greenspan at Flashlight Press a link to my portfolio. She replied that "she'd keep (my work) in mind" and to send her periodic updates, especially with grandmas." In the fall of 2006, I sent her my first version of Maya's story and she suggested some (great) edits and we went back in forth in several emails, but she ultimately passed. 

We kept in touch about once or twice a year and I sent her other story ideas and kept working on my portfolio.  Then I had twins and thanks to the utter exhaustion that two newborns created, I didn't really create anything for a bit. In 2009, when they were about a month old, Shari emailed asking about Maya. I sent her the latest version and a revised dummy a few months later. She passed again, noting that this would be my first book and that I would need a bit of guidance along the way. (Boy, did I ever. No matter how much you think you're ready, your first book is a huge learning curve) 

I occupied myself with staying sane with newborn twins and then one cold, miserable January day in 2011, I received the most marvelous email asking if it was still available and if so, Flashlight Press would like to publish it. 

Beginning around May of that year, the work began. Thank goodness for Shari's patience with not only the process of illustrating but also the learning curve of moving from traditional media to a trad/digital mix.

So, in eight years, with the help of one incredible editor, the countless revisions on my art and technique took Maya from this: 











to this: 













and this
















and this