The Stanza lone story
Who we are and how we got here...
Lane began her artistic career as a fashion illustrator, first at the Outlet Company and Cherry & Webb in Providence, then in Boston producing women’s fashion artwork for Jordan Marsh and menswear art for Filene’s. When photography abruptly took over department store advertising, she worked freelance for clients such as Simplicity Patterns, Reebok, Highlights for Children, and a number of Boston area specialty stores and advertising companies, as well as venturing into text book illustration for the school book divisions of many major publishing houses.
In 1997, Lane made a much anticipated move out of city life to the beautiful world of Martha’s Vineyard. Though still accommodating a large handful of illustration clients, she decided the best way to be part of the Vineyard community was to become part of its daily workforce and has enjoyed spending time in art-oriented and hospitality positions. In recent years, the unique light and beauty of the island has inspired her to delve into oil painting, and despite the invasion of digital art into the field of children’s literature, she is having the best time of her career hand painting illustrations that hopefully stimulate children’s imaginations and contribute to their dreams.
Kate and Lane met around 2005 when they were both working at the local theater, Lane in the box office and Kate as a Stage Manager and Prop Mistress.
They worked together on and off for ten years, but it was not until Kate had retired from the theater and her first book, Windswept, was published that she learned that Lane was an artist.
They ran into each other one night at a play reading and when Lane asked what Kate was working on, Kate mentioned her idea for a picture book. Lane asked if she was looking for an illustrator. Kismet!
Kate gave Lane the text to The Roses on the Wallpaper and Lane offered to do some drawings to see if they were on the same page. Kate says, “It was as if Lane were inside my brain. If I could have described what I hoped for in the illustrations, it would have matched exactly what Lane created.”
And so the adventure began!
Kate Hancock has had many careers: actor (mercifully brief), stage manager, prop mistress, elementary school teacher and art gallery manager, but through all of these, she has always written. As a child she loved telling stories. Her mother called it lying, but Kate just thought of it as making the truth more interesting.
Despite her advanced age, Kate would still rather read children's literature than adult books. When she talks with kids about writing, she borrows a phrase from one of her mentors, Nancy Slonim Aronie, and urges them to write from the heart. That is what she always aspires to do.
In addition to writing children’s books, Kate has also written dozens of plays for young performers, and she wrote the lyrics and co-wrote the book for musicals The Hero of Ballyduff and So Nice to Come Home To, both with composer and co-bookwriter Richard B. Evans.
Kate is an alumna of the BMI-Lehman Engle Musical Theater Workshop and a proud member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
She lives on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with her husband of 37 years, Fred, and their two cats, Charlotte and Emily. (Sadly, Emily left us, but Charlotte is still keeping us company.)