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  • Writer's picturePaige Hulsey

Meet My Team

When promoting my book, I've often found myself saying "we" instead of "me." That's because it took a team to make this dream a reality and now I get to introduce you to "us."

Have you ever followed someone on social media and wished you could be their friend in real life but you were certain that you’d never meet and if you did meet, you wouldn’t be cool enough to be actual friends? That’s kind of what I thought about Daniel Wlodarski, an illustrator based in Poland. I had been watching his work via Instagram for a few years and loved his style - vibrant, fun, memorable, imaginative. I was captivated by the details he created; the adorable and hilarious extra characters that he seamlessly fit into a scene and the fantastic landscapes that he filled with unique trees and flowers. I thought his style was perfect for my story about a little boy and his dog going fishing but never imagined I could reel in Daniel to illustrate my book. Fortunately, my day job has given me plenty of experience with rejection so I rarely shy away from at least asking, just in case. Turns out, Daniel was on board! His talent continued to thrill me as we worked through storyboards, sketches, and finally, complete illustrations. It was such a treat to be able to collaborate in the creative process with him. My biggest hope is that our first book together is successful enough that we can make this adventure into an entire series.

See if you can follow this web that led me to my other partner in this project. I have to go back to my college days to thank a reporter who worked at a TV station where I interned. He eventually left the business, went into PR, introduced me to a college professor for a TV segment I was producing, who then became like a bonus auntie/mentor and introduced me to her publisher who specializes in books in a completely different arena but kindly suggested I connect with a stranger in Texas, who I emailed right away, because why not. I had spent years researching children’s books and the various routes to publish a book. I had sorted through the “Big 5,” small presses, vanity presses, and indie publishing. I finally committed to self-publishing but knew that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And I needed someone who did. That someone was Erin Casey, a publishing coach based in Texas. We scheduled a Zoom and I immediately wanted her in my corner. I think I asked 100 questions in our first call and she answered every single one with patience, kindness, and precision. Erin was pivotal in helping me navigate through this process and continues to answer 100+ questions I regularly send her way.

My M&Ms round out my executive board - Mandy and Marcy helped carry me across the finish line. They continue to be my sounding board, entertaining my big ideas and sorting every detail. I’m so grateful they each jumped in with both feet to cheer me on and offer clarity when I needed it most.


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