Day 29: Meet the Brown Bookshelf — Don Tate

I’ve been drawing since I was old enough to grasp a pencil. I’ve been illustrating children’s books and educational products for 27 years. But I’ve been writing for  just a few years. Writing always scared me. To me a writer possessed a 4-year college degree. Writers attended journalism schools. Had law degrees. A writer committed to memory the concept of conjugating verbs. None of that applied to me. I focused on  drawing and painting.

But, shoot — good thing I got over that or else I’d never had the opportunity to announce this good news: I am now a published author! In 2004, I shoved my drawing tools aside and began writing the first draft of a book that eventually went on to win a Lee & Low Books New Voices Honor award, . Next month, It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, will publish with Lee & Low Books (April, 2012).

When I visit schools I always encourage kids to face their fears, don’t run from them. I faced my fear of words and discovered a whole new passion. I am a writer. Here’s a look at a teaser/trailer for the upcoming book.

What else am I working on? Well, I’m under contract to finish a book by our own Kelly Starling Lyons. Then it’s on to a book written by the wonderful Eve Bunting. And later this year, a collaboration with my good friend Chris Barton. So many good things on the horizon. I’m blessed.

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4 Responses to Day 29: Meet the Brown Bookshelf — Don Tate

  1. tadmack says:

    (Now, Mr. Tate, where’s the baby picture????? I’m disappointed,
    here.)

    I am ridiculously excited to see what you are doing for Chris Barton. The whole Austinites/Texans Who Get Together And Do Children’s Lit Stuff thing is so, so neat. And as always, I am just gobsmacked to see the different artistic styles and mediums our gifted Mr. Tate uses. A perfect choice to reintroduce all of you on this bonus day.

    Despite your lack of baby picture (still disappointed, here), thank you for your art, Mr. Tate!

    • Don Tate says:

      Tanita! Thanks for your support here, it’s always appreciated. I’m on the road and didn’t think I had a kid picture to display. But I forgot, I have one in my presentation to kids! Ha! So here it is. Thanks again.

  2. [...] morning I stopped by a RIF school in Alexandria, Virginia where Don Tate was preparing to speak to a room of very excited children; one little boy with twinkles in his eyes [...]

  3. Angela Verges says:

    Kudos, Don. It is a blessing to see your dreams come true. Great meeting you at Chautauqua.

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