This week I am excited to participate in the Children’s Author Blog Hop. For this blog hop participating authors answer four identical questions and then invite three more kidlit authors to join in the hop. I was delighted to be asked by my good friend and fellow children’s author Rosanne Kurstedt.
Rosanne Kurstedt, a former elementary school teacher, has a Ph.D. in education and is currently an Adjunct Professor of Education at Fordham University. Her first picture book, AND I THOUGHT ABOUT YOU (illustrated by Lisa Carletta-Vietes), was an honorable mention recipient at the New England Book Festival and the New York Book Festival. She is 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). For more about Rosanne visit her lovely website and blog.
Thanks so much, Rosanne, for inviting me to join in the fun. Here, now, are my answers to those four hopping questions.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I’m currently working on a handful of picture book manuscripts, all at varying stages of completion. My picture books tend to be very short, humorous, and rhyming. Geared to the very young, I enjoy themes youngest children can relate to such as bedtime, playtime, and friendship. My current WIP characters include a fish, a turkey, and a wayward piece of cheese. Because I love wordplay, I also have several poems percolating, including one about flip-flops at the beach.
HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM OTHER WORKS IN THE GENRE?
I think my writing stands out because of its tightly rhyming, fast moving text. The themes of my stories may be universal, but their unique angles, settings, and unusual characters make them distinct.
WHY DO YOU WRITE WHAT YOU DO?
I love playing with words. And I love telling stories. And I love kids. The happiest parts of my day are when I’m writing and when I’m reading with my kids.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT WRITING?
Understanding that good writing takes time – lots of time. I’ve learned over the years that my best pieces are the ones I’ve let sit and then revisited over several nicely spaced intervals. These intervals can be as short as a week or as long as a year. But, for me, taking time between revisions is a great filter for weeding out unnecessary words, seeing plot flaws and inventing even better twists and turns. The challenge? I’m impatient by nature. But, even though it’s hard, I’ve learned that taking time to let pieces sit between revisions is well worth it.
Without further ado, please join me in celebrating the following three fabulous children’s authors.
JODY JENSEN SHAFFER: Jody is one hard-working and talented lady! She’s authored close to a dozen non-fiction books for young readers including GRIZZLY BEAR: GREAT PREDATORS (ABDO), LIAM HEMSWORTH: THE HUNGER GAMES’ STRONG SURVIVOR (Lerner), DWAYNE ‘THE ROCK’ JOHNSON (The Child’s World), VAMPIRES AND LIGHT (Capstone), and BLUE JEANS BEFORE THE STORE (The Child’s World). In addition to non-fiction she’s also a talented fiction writer and poet. Her magazine publications include Highlights High Five, Hello, Babybug, Humpty Dumpty, Turtle, Pack-o-Fun, COLUMBIAKids, and Clubhouse Jr. Her fans will also be excited to know that there are more books in the works for 2013 and 2014. For more about Jody hop on over to her blog.
TINA CHO: Tina is the multi-talented author of 26 guided reading books from Lakeshore Learning and Compass Media. She also authored several rebuses, stories, activities and crafts which have appeared in publications such as Clubhouse Jr., Thriving Family, and Stories for Children Magazine. Most recently, her coloring book, GOD IS SO GOOD, was published by Warner Press (2013). She also has three nonfiction books forthcoming from Legacy Press Kids. Formerly an elementary school teacher, she currently homeschools her 6th grade daughter and 3rd grade son. Though raised in the States, she now resides with her family in South Korea. She recently revamped her blog/website and it is well worth a visit, so hop on over!
BRIANNA CAPLAN SAYRES: Brianna is a talented up-and-coming children’s author. Her picture books include WHERE DO DIGGERS SLEEP AT NIGHT (Random Houes, 2012) and TIARA-SAURUS REX (Bloomsbury, 2014). She also hosts a wonderfully inspiring blog, cleverly entitled “Brianna’s Book Stop”. Her blogging themes include “Good News Tuesday” where she interviews authors whose books are launching, as well as “Keep Reading Fun Day” where she delves into how to motivate young readers. Her newest, and I must say quite delectable theme is “The Picture Book Diner” where she plans to share tasty picture books she’s been enjoying. For more about Brianna visit her website and blog.