It's A Book Birthday!


                      Who Knew? Under the Apple Tree

August, 2021

Author, That would be me, Laurie Knowlton,

Illustrator, Stephanie Marshal

Publisher, Amicus Ink.



            This book began under an apple tree, one that I see every time I look out my kitchen window. I watch the comings and goings of critters from the early morning until I turn off the lights for the evening. Like many authors, I am inspired by my intimate world--the people I know, the land that I live on, the creatures that I share my life with.

            So how does “life” become a story?

            An author can choose from many different types of picture books, fiction, non-fiction,    predictable stories, and concept books that teach skills like the ABC's, colors, shapes, opposites, numbers, and more.

            I read many picture books, and although I have seen books that teach numbers, 1,2,3 etc., I haven't seen many books that use ordinal numbers: first, second, third, words that are used daily in classrooms. Examples:

            “Tommy, you will be first in line.”

            “Gwen finished second in the race.”

            “Farra, please go to the third door down the hall.”

            As I sat under my apple tree, the idea of an ordinal number book including apples began to flicker in my brain.

            The final piece for the book had to do with critters and how they communicate. A big part of critter communication seems to have to do with gathering food. And that brought me back to the apple tree.

            Having been a teacher, I knew that most pre-school teachers and early elementary teachers included an apple unit as part of their fall activities. Thus, I knew there would be a market for my book.

            My markets are teachers, librarians, and fall-loving families.

            Having a market is important when you write a book.  Authors, illustrators, editors, and publishers must produce books that the public will buy. After the editing is finished, the illustrations are turned in, proofs are checked, and the book is printed. It’s time for the book to begin its life.

            That’s what brings me to our book birthday! Today is the official day people can purchase the book: 


            This is where the proof is in the numbers. Authors and publishers want big sales numbers. Most publishers will wait to see how the sales of the author’s first book go before they’ll offer a second contract for the next book.

             As an author, you pray that your latest “baby” is received well. You pray that the public will fall in love with your precious “child” that you labored over.  And you pray that people will enjoy the book enough to make a purchase. Then, if you are really lucky, the hope is that readers will purchase more books as gifts.

            Today I’m grateful for the opportunity Amicus Ink. has given me and my apple tree.

            Authors have to promote. Today, WHO KNEW? UNDER THE APPLE TREE's “birth” is the beginning. But in a way, the work has just begun. Authors have to promote. I’ll do all I can to get WHO KNEW  a good start on its journey and into as many reader's hands as possible.