by Marcus Luebke
Anabella and Sofia Schofield are twins in d.tech’s junior class, who recently published their first book, Ladybug’s Garden, for children. The two worked for years trying to get their book published, fighting failure and rejection, until they connected with Pink Umbrella Books, who published it. The book tells the story of a ladybug who is excited to meet her friends at a picnic. On the way she helps her bug friends with whatever problems they might have, but she is worried that she won’t make it to the picnic on time. However, when the ladybug arrives late, she is not scolded, but rather celebrated for taking the time to care for others. You can find the book at one of San Carlos’ bookstores, or order it on Amazon. The Dragon sat down with the twins to find out more about their book and creative process.
Q: What did you create?
Anabella: Our book started as a project we did in 8th grade. It was sort of like an outside-of-school passion project. We wrote a story, did the illustrations, and then from there, we decided to see if it could be published. It would take about six months or more to hear back from publishers, and they were all rejections until about a year ago. So, a year ago we started working with our publisher.
Q: How long did it take? How did you make time for that?
Sofia: We had it completed in 8th grade, so we already had a product. But then what we needed to do was submit it to publishers, and it took a lot of time to hear back, so we just waited to hear back and once we heard back we tried again, and tried again. The hardest part was finding the publisher; just sending it to different people and then waiting to hear back.
Anabella: We had a launch party at a local bookstore, so we sent out emails to everyone we knew, and made posters and put them around local restaurants to advertise the launch of our book. And then we had a book signing, and that’s when the book was officially released.
Sofia: We got permission to do a “Special Studies” intersession, where we did a school book tour. So, we went to a bunch of local schools and read to students and talked to them about being writers and how they can become writers.
Anabella & Sofia: The publisher put us in charge of doing our own marketing, and getting the book into bookstores. It’s been an amazing experience to work to get the book in a bookstore, and then to walk down the street and see our book in the window . . . it was so cool!
Q: How did you do it? What special skills were needed?
Anabella: We always loved reading since we were kids – you’d always see us reading. Since we always wanted to become published authors, we combined our interests of writing and art to create a children’s book.
Q: What advice would you give to students who want to do cool & interesting things (and those who might have challenges as well).
- Things take more time than you expect.
- Don’t quit. Even though it can be difficult, keep trying and you’ll see results. If you want something to happen, persevere.
Q: Do you see yourselves as celebrities?
Anabella: No, we don’t feel like celebrities yet . . . but it’s cool to hear that people around the world have read our book!
Q: Do you have any reflections? Things you might do differently? Thoughts after the fact?
Anabella: We definitely want to do more books. It’s been incredible to see the impact on the the kids! It’s so sweet to see the message of the book delivered. And hearing kids saying they want to be writers too is the best!
Q: Any last thoughts for the readers of DTech to know?
Sofia: If there’s anything you’ve always wanted to do, we encourage you to take action to accomplish it!