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: http://darlenebeckjacobson.wordpress.com 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.
Sudipta 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 www.sudipta.com, or at her blog, http://www.nerdychicksrule.com, which she shares with author Kami Kinard, and on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sudipta-Bardhan-Quallen-Childrens-Book-Author/67021696384, 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 http://www.anitanolan.com, or her blog, http://anitanolan.wordpress.com, and on Twitter too! @anitanolan
Rosanne 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 www.rlkurstedt.com, or at her blog, http://rlkurstedt.wordpress.com, and on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/AndIThoughtAboutYou, and on Twitter too! @rlkurstedt
Let the Blog Hopping continue! Happy writing and reading!