To celebrate the release of her picture book, The Other Brother, under the pen name Penny Jaye, this Australian author discusses motherhood, writing, and foster care.

What are the biggest differences between picture book and novel writing for you?

That’s easy – the number of words! Actually, for me, writing is always about the audience; the difference is how I manipulate the words (and how many I can use). When I’m writing a novel my words alone bring my story to life for my reader, and that determines the way I build scenes and characters and how I convey emotion. By contrast, picture books require me to imagine, anticipate and actively pre-empt an illustrator’s contribution. As a writer, my audience’s reaction is still my responsibility, so every word I use must both pull its weight narratively and provide direction or scope for an illustrator.

How has being a parent influenced your writing?