Her hugely popular series "The Popularity Papers" has been called, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" for girls. But that's unfair, because a) each page is hand-drawn and handwritten, b) boys love the series, too, and c) she had never even read "Wimpy Kid" when she chose to go with "Wimpy Kid's" publisher, selecting from six houses vying for her work. And now, her 8th book, the first in her new series, "The Odds," has received major acclaim in advance of its release on September 13, 2016.
"Ignatow turns on its head the classic middle school good kids-vs.-the populars/bullies trope... Hilarious and revealing, this series opener is a must-have." (Kirkus)
"I like middle grade books that dream big and shoot for the moon. “The Mighty Odds” does precisely that and also works in some other issues along the way. Just to show that it can. Great, fun, silly, fantastical fantasy work. A little smarter and a little weirder than most of the books out there today." (School Library Journal)
Amy Ignatow is a writer and illustrator living in Philadelphia with her family. After graduating from Moore College of Art and Design she worked as a freelance illustrator, a stationery designer, an air-brush face and body painter, an art teacher, an SAT prep instructor, a reporter, a wedding singer, and a florist. Amy was not very good at working for other people. Or with other people. Or around other people. Now she happily works in a studio by herself. She is the author and illustrator of the critically acclaimed middle grade POPULARITY PAPERS series as well as the upcoming ODDS series. The first ODDS book, THE MIGHTY ODDS, debuts in September 2016. In her spare time Amy enjoys knitting, peeling oranges, yelling, and absurdity. She is a relatively good driver.
As an aside, she is pretty hilarious.
Notes from the show:
She loves it when boys read her book.
Each page is hand draw and handwritten, unlike "Diary of a Wimpy Kid."
Amy has different handwritings for herself under different circumstances.
She was working gig jobs, including teaching, but they weren't her passion.
Shel Silverstein - The Devil and Billy Markham
'Ig City" - weekly web comic
An agent on Craigslist sought clients, didn't like her web comics.
She sent the site of the comics to the guy who ultimately became her agent. The agent told her she needed a story. He suggested writing for kids.
When they started sending out queries for Popularity Papers, 75 pages were sent out. She kept getting rejections, and then Random House made an offer. They leveraged that offer to get more offers.
"Amy, you're the writer. You get to wear anything you want."
Went with "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" imprint Abrams Books/Amulet.
Scholastic's office was awesome but they didn't offer enough money.
"You have to gauge: who am I most comfortable with? Who do I want to work with?"
Her agent gave her a huge packet titles, "Now You Have a Book Deal."
She went to Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia. She learned how to take criticism there.
"As an artist, you have to get really used to rejection. And get used to defending your work and get used to taking criticism to make you and your work better."
Illustrators are hilarious.
Jim Henson was a big influence.
Dyslexic kids like the handwriting in her book series.
Her new book has four main characters in a Lancaster, PA setting, based on Lititz, PA.
"A Better Place to Be" - Harry Chapin's Greatest Stories Live
She will be part of an anthology of stories called "Funny Girl."
She played Pictionary with Daniel Handler.
Dan Rothenberg at Pig Iron Theatre
Agent: "You are being a little too kind to your characters."
"Put the work out there. Even if you're afraid, you have to be fearless."