I am very excited to announce that I am taking part in my first ever Children’s Author Blog Hop. What’s a blog hop? Great question, one asked two days ago. Authors answer four identical questions and then invite three more kidlit authors to join in. I was asked by fellow Blue Boarder Jody Jensen Shaffer. So a big thanks to her for asking me!
Here’s a bit about her:
Jody is the author of 14 published and forthcoming books for children and numerous poems and magazine stories. She has written celebrity biographies and books about animals, science, and social studies. Her work has been published in Highlights High Five, Highlights Hello, Babybug, Humpty Dumpty, Turtle, Pack-o-Fun, Clubhouse Jr, COLUMBIAKids, and coming soon in Highlights. She is represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary. You can visit Jody at http://jodyjensenshaffer.blogspot.com.
Ok so here are the questions and answers enjoy!
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am working on a few picture books. I always have a few Monster & Me story lines going. I just finished Monster Needs to Exercise, which was fun, considering all the cool sports related rhymes and imagery I was able to come up with. I also have Monster Needs a Check Up in the works, where monster is not feeling well but as one would guess, is afraid to see the doctor.
I also have a few non Monster related stories going as well. One about a snowman with a cold, another story dealing with dancing singing bunnies who like hotdogs and finally one about a tooth stealing tooth fairy.
How does it differ from other works in the genre?
When it comes to the Monster & Me series I think there are two things that make my stories stand out. The first are the rhymes that I use. I like to sprinkle in a few big words to challenge the audience. I think kids should be introduced to big interesting words, it makes them think and ask questions, which is a good thing. For example my favorite line in Monster Needs an Apron is:
With fish and shrimp, and crab and clams,
He baked a casserole.
And for dessert he finished,
With a sweet profiterole.
Now one might ask, “why would you ever put the word profiterole in a children’s book?” And I say if you ever have the chance to rhyme profiterole with casserole then you take that chance because it may never come again!
The second reason is that my books are gender neutral. In Monster Needs a Costume I have Monster dressing up as ninja in one scene then putting on a tutu and dancing around the kitchen in another. In Monster Needs an Apron Monster puts an apron on and wants to learn to cook.
Why do you write what you do?
That’s a simple question because I enjoy it!
When I write in rhyme I not only like the creative aspects of the writing but I also see it as solving a puzzle. Maybe it’s my chemistry background, some people do Sudoku; I like to write stories in rhyme. Figuring out the correct meter and perfect rhyme to compliment a story is challenging. And I like that.
What is the hardest part about writing?
The wait is the hardest part. Don’t worry I’m not going to break into song. I can not stand the waiting you have to do after writing a story. You write, send it out to publishers, then wait for 6 months to a year before you hear anything. There is not much I can do about it. It’s just the way the industry works and I have to accept it but I hate it.
Also understanding what a dangling participle is. I have been speaking English for over 40 years and I still don’t know what it is. I actually don’t believe they exist.
So check out these great childrens authors below who are continuing the hop!
Joyce Audy Zarins
I write and do art for PB, MG, and YA contemporary to historical and have had twenty books published. The heaviest steel sculpture I’ve built is 700 pounds. Not so big, though I’m only 4’11” tall. My husband and I’ve kayaked with whales twenty miles out, hiked the Italian Dolomites, and cramponned atop the glacier at Finse, Norway. My daughter and I went to Burning Man, I’ve experienced the Ring Road around Iceland with one son, and the other’s wedding in a castle. Life is intriguing. Nature is my muse. You can find Joyce at http://constructions.joyceaudyzarins.com/
Papa J Funk
Papa J Funk is a children’s book writer wrapped in a tortilla made from crushed enigmas. Some people say he comes from another world. Others believe he is part shark. You may have seen him walking on the streets of your town. Hopefully you haven’t. Either way, never trust a talking dinosaur. And please wipe your face – you have jelly on your chin. Oh and I almost forgot to mention he’s also a fabulous children’s picture book writer. You can find Papa J at http://papajfunk.wordpress.com/
Kirsti Call lives near Watertown, MA with her husband and five children. She loves reading, writing, and singing. On sunny days you will find her on the tire swing in her backyard and on rainy days you will find her dancing with her umbrella. Her book, The Raindrop Who Couldn’t Fall, is due to come out in early 2014. You can find Kirsti at http://www.kirsticall.com/