Amelia's School Survival Guide (Amelia's Notebooks, #13)

Marissa Moss

Who is Marissa Moss anyway?

I’ve been making children’s books for a looooong time.I sent my first picture book to publishers when I was nine, but it wasn’t very good and they didn’t publish it.I didn’t try again until I was a grown-up and then it took five years of sending out stories, getting them rejected, revising them and sending them back over and over until I got my first book.Now I’ve published more than forty books and each new one is still hard in its own way.Each one takes a lot of revising because I never get things right the first time.That used to frustrate me.Now I expect it.And I don’t mind, because that gives me permission to make mistakes.It means I can take risks and try new things because I don’t have to be perfect - I can always make changes.

I had already published nearly a dozen books when I got the idea for Amelia’s Notebook.I was buying school supplies for my son when I saw one of the black-and-white composition books.It reminded me of the notebook I had when I was a kid, so I bought it (for myself, not my son) and I wrote and drew what I remembered from when I was nine. Amelia’s what came out.I didn’t plan on the book becoming a series, but the first one sold so well and Amelia had so much to say, I kept on going.

Now I’m playing with other notebook formats, like in the historical journals and Alien Eraser (where I get to play around with making comics, something I love).And I’m working on my first chapter book, a long story with no pictures.It’s also my first time writing a mystery, another challenge.I’m not sure I can do it, but it’ll be fun to try.Keep your eye on the new ideas page and you’ll see if I ever get the book finished or published.

If you want more official information, like where I was born or went to school, I’ll give you the basics here.I’m sure there are other websites with excruciating detail.

I was born in Pennsylvania, but my family moved to California when I was two, and I’ve been here ever since.I grew up in the southern part of the state and now live in the San Francisco Bay Area.I studied art at San Jose State but fought too much with my art teachers (I was very opinionated - I wanted to do my kind of art;they wanted me to do theirs).So I transferred to the University of California at Berkeley where I didn’t take a single English or Art class.Mostly I took history where I learned how to do research, tools that have helped me in making the historical journals and working on my Young Adult novel.Then I took classes at the California College of Arts and Crafts for a year since I didn’t want another degree and a year’s tuition was all I could afford.I just wanted some guidance on how to break into childrens books.

I waited tables while I sent out stories, waiting for some editor to fall in love with my work.There was no fall-back plan, no alternative career.I’d still be waiting tables if I weren’t lucky enough to have gotten that first book.And after that, the second one, and then the third and the fourth and the fifth. .. .

Each new book is still a challenge.It’s hard work and I love every minute of it.

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