Children’s Author Blog Hop

This week I am participating in the Children’s Author Blog Hop.  For this Blog Hop, participating authors were asked to answer four identical questions and then invite three more children’s authors to join in the “Hop.”  And I am thrilled that my fellow Creston Book author, the incredibly prolific Darlene Beck-Jacobson, was kind enough to invite me.


Me & Darlene (2013 NJ SCBWI Annual Conference)

Darlene’s first novel, Wheels of Change (Creston Books), is hitting bookstores in 2014.  Many of Darlene’s books, including Wheels of Change, explore how family and history converge through children’s eyes.  In Wheels of Change, a young girl’s attempt to save her family’s business leads her on an adventure that lands her a visit with Theodore Roosevelt.  Darlene is also working on a current, contemporary middle-grade novel, The Art of Imperfection.   A chapter from her middle-grade novel, Sparrow in the Hand, which explores the coming of age of two sisters growing up in a coal mining area of Pennsylvania during the 1920’s, appeared in the March 2001 issue of Cricket Magazine.

Darlene blogs about kidlit, crafts, recipes, and activities for children.  You can follow her wonderful blog at: and follow her on Twitter @dustbunnymaven.

My invitees to the Blog Hop are three of my favorite authors:  Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Anita Nolan, and Rosanne Kurstedt.  (See more about my amazingly talented invitees and their awesome books below.)

Here are my answers to the questions.

What are you working on right now? 

Over the last few months, I’ve been working on revisions to my early chapter book, The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, A Wilcox & Griswold Mystery (Creston Books, release TBD).  It is the first book in the series about two hard-nosed mouse detectives, who are MFIs, Missing Food Investigators.  In their seminal case, they’re on the hunt for Miss Rabbit’s carrot cake.  (Please note the names of the animals have been changed to protect the innocent.)

I’ve also been working on a number of picture books, including one about three mischievous peacocks who reside on the grounds of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York.

How does it differ from other works in the genre?

Generally speaking, I try to write books that appeal to kids of all ages.  My early chapter book detective series brings the humor and fun of old cop shows to the elementary school crowd.

And in terms of my peacocks, there’s only one other picture book to the best of my knowledge (fingers and toes crossed it stays that way!) about the peacocks.  And it is a very different picture book from the one currently on the market.  There’s mischief and plotting and even the world’s best mac ‘n cheese.

Why do you write what you do?

A few years back, I started working on a YA novel, but somehow I always seem to gravitate back to picture books and early chapter books.  I am also a foodie and a fractured fairy tale fanatic.  (The Big Bad Wolf and I go way back. :))  Somehow food, fairy tales, and lots of silliness seem to seep their way into many of my writings.

What is the hardest part about writing?

Once I know where I’m going, the actual writing is easy.  It’s the rewriting, tweaking, and re-tweaking of the manuscript that is always hard for me.

Now for the best part!  Here are the amazingly talented writers that I’ve invited to the Blog Hop.


ddm-coverSudipta Bardhan-Quallen has over 24 published titles under her belt, running the gamut from picture books to fiction and non-fiction for both children and adults to an upcoming middle grade chapter book series, Spectacles of Destiny, and to speaking and teaching engagements.  Her latest picture book Duck, Duck, Moose! illustrated by Noah Z. Jones is coming out January 2014.  You can visit Sudipta at, or at her blog,, which she shares with author Kami Kinard, and on Facebook,, and on Twitter too! @SudiptaBQ

Anita Nolan writes middle grade and young adult novels and speaks frequently on the writing process at writing conferences, the Pearl S. Buck Writing Center and other venues.  She is the author of a historic fiction chapter book written for an educational publisher and articles for children’s magazines.  She was editor for Sprouts, the magazine of the NJSCBWI when it was published and has edited children’s fiction for an e-publisher.  You can visit Anita at, or her blog,, and on Twitter too! @anitanolan


And I thoughtRosanne Kurstedt has a Ph.D. in education and is the acclaimed author of the self-published book, And I thought About You (illustrated by Lisa Carletta-Vietes), an honorable mention recipient at the New England Book Festival and the New York Book Festival.  She was also the recipient of a 2013 Barbara Karlin Grant Letter of Commendation.  In addition, she’s the author of a professional book for teachers, Teaching Writing With Picture Books as Models (Scholastic, 2000). You can visit Rosanne at, or at her blog,, and on Facebook,, and on Twitter too! @rlkurstedt

Let the Blog Hopping continue!  Happy writing and reading!

16 comments on “Children’s Author Blog Hop

  1. Your chapter book WIP sounds darling! So you have a contract for more in this series? And the peacock book will be interesting. The zoo here has an aviary where the peacocks walk up to you and you can feed them. They even have all-white peacocks.

    • Tina, It’s just for book 1. The fate of the others depend on how well that one is received. Books 2 and 3 are written just need changes in light of the revisions to the first book. I also have the fourth book done, but I think the plot needs to be simplified a bit. . . . In terms of the peacocks, how wonderful that your zoo lets you feed them. Although my story is fictional, there are three peacocks who live on the grounds, Phil, Jim and Harry. Phil is a white peafowl. They roam freely. They get into tons of mischief. And the first time I saw them, I knew I wanted to write something about them. . . I’ll keep you posted. Manuscript is out. Fingers and toes crossed.

      • Thanks for explaining. You are on top of things with your series, already have 4 written! Mischievous peacocks sound fun!

  2. Robin, Thanks for including me in the blog hop. Can’t wait to post and invite three other authors. I also can’t wait for your early chapter books to come out. I know the premise, and think they’ll be a big hit with so many kids.

    • Thanks Patricia! I’ve been working on them for about five years now. Originally, they were picture books and I couldn’t get my word counts down. And then Suditpta looked at one of the manuscripts, and she told me to make them chapter books. She was right! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

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