Congratulations to Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie, who were profiled in the article Sibling Picture Book Collaborators Debut with Two Titles in Publisher’s Weekly!
From the article:
Sisters Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie wasted no time placing their work after teaming up in 2014 to write a picture book. Within two years the authors sold six picture book projects to three publishers, and the first two are launching this spring.
The sisters’ writing partnership had a serendipitous start. Luebbe, who owned a book and toy shop in suburban Atlanta from 2009–2012, tried her hand at penning a picture book after she shuttered her store. “As a bookseller and mother of three young boys, I was obsessed with reading children’s books, and became a self-described picture-book connoisseur,” Luebbe recalled. “When my husband took a job in South Carolina and we moved, I had to close the store, and I was devastated—I thought my life was over! But I decided to write a picture book, and sent the manuscript to Becky to see what she thought.”
Cattie, a division director at a marketing and creative staffing firm in Chicago who is five years younger than her sister, liked what Luebbe had written, and made some edits. “I thought the concept was really strong, but the manuscript needed more character development and a more concise storyline,” she recalled. When Luebbe read Cattie’s revisions, she immediately realized that she had a collaborator: “Becky had made enough changes to improve the story that I knew she should be co-author. I didn’t go into this venture expecting her to join me, but happily it happened by default!”
Though Luebbe acknowledged that the initial manuscript “went through 75 drafts and is still sitting in a drawer” and Cattie calls it “our albatross,” the writing experience established the sisters’ collaborative modus operandi. “Tara has a million new ideas a day, and usually comes up with a concept and will jot down the bones of a story,” explained Cattie. “Then we will email back and forth fleshing it out. Sometimes we jump on the phone and talk it through. When we do see each other in person, we try to take our strongest work-in-progress and clean it up together.”