Today we are chatting with Nic Yulo, author of PATCH OF SKY
Read on for more about her, the book, and a giveaway!
Meet Nic Yulo:
Nic Yulo is a NYC-based author and writer-director with an M.F.A. from Columbia University’s Film Program. In 2019, she was named a Top 15 Semi-Finalist for SeriesFest’s Women Directing Mentorship in partnership with Shondaland. Patch of Sky is her debut picture book.
About the Book: Patch of Sky
A fiercely determined girl will do anything to help her best pig friend finally see the sky in this unique friendship story. Pia just found out the terrible news that pigs can’t look straight up, which means her best friend and right-hand-pig Patches has never seen the sky. If you ask her, that is absolutely cuckoo bananas. Now Pia is on a mission to share the beauty of the big wide sky with Patches . . . and she will do whatever it takes! From debut author-illustrator Nic Yulo comes this story of determination, empathy, and learning to look at the world (and the sky!) in a whole new way.
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I remember the day I found out pigs couldn’t see the sky. I was stunned. Pigs are smart, gentle creatures that pulled owners out of burning buildings. They are capable of so much, and they can’t look up? That isn’t fair, but I wasn’t in a position to remedy the problem, so I created someone who could. Pia is on a mission became my mantra through multiple drafts, and this little girl helped me flesh out the world and the kind of pig-friendship that might incite her to push limits and do something extraordinary.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
I love all the characters—even the grumpy chickens—but Pia will always hold a special place in my heart. She is just so empathic and smart. I love how she can recognize a problem, find creative solutions, and persevere through failure. Being a perfectionist myself, I wanted to show kids that failure isn’t the end of the story. Things might not go according to plan, but if you don’t give up, you can still change someone’s world. Pia embodies all of that.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The story came first! We circulated through several titles before landing on the right one. In the end, I have my brilliant agent Alexandra Levick to thank for figuring out that perfect last piece. She put the ‘Patch’ in ‘Patch of Sky’.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
The most important thing I’ve learned as a writer, by a large margin, is that you need to approach a story with as much honesty as you can. Readers will always be able to sense when you’re not being authentic or if the emotion isn’t real. If you don’t believe in the story you are telling, how can you expect anyone else to care? It has to start with you.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
Apart from the dynamic duo of Pia and Patches, I love that the cover showcases a limited color palette and crisp, hand-written lettering. A lot of layering went into achieving that cloud and background texture, too. Also, the mouse on Pia’s shoulder has his own adventure throughout the story. I like that, on the cover, he looks like he just climbed Mount Everest.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2022?
Is it cheeky to say Patch of Sky? I have been so fortunate to work with such an amazing team throughout this process. So much love and care went into this little book. I can’t wait for everyone to read it!
YABC: What’s a book you’ve recently read and loved?
I have a deep love and respect for picture books so I try to read as many as I can. My recent favorites include Lift (by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat), Pokko and the Drum (by Matthew Forsythe), and Gustavo, the Shy Ghost (by Flavia Z. Drago). Oh, and Knight Owl (by Christopher Denise) was exquisite. I can go on and on!
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I am working on a few different stories across multiple mediums. Coming up, you can expect to see clever and quirky heroines, scientific revelations, impossible odds, spooky scenarios, and epic adventures. Stay tuned!
YABC: What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from this book?
I hope that Patch of Sky empowers readers to think out of the box and reminds them that you don’t need to be perfect to make a profound impact and change someone’s world for the better.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
I am most proud of my resilience. The road has not always been easy, but I’ve cultivated a habit of using that struggle and experience in my stories, which have always helped me make sense of the world. When I write, there is always a solution, anything is possible, and pigs can see the sky. I can also fly, but only when no one is looking.
Book’s Title: PATCH OF SKY
Author/Illustrator: Nic Yulo
Release Date: 07/12/22
Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers; Penguin Young Readers
Genre: Picture Book; Friendship and Animals
Age Range: 4-8 years
One winner will receive a signed copy of PATCH OF SKY (Nic Yulo) ~US ONLY
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*