author spotlight, Guest Blog, Picture Books

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Five Fun Facts about DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS with Carrie Finison (and a GIVEAWAY!)

Today I’m delighted to have rhyming picture book author Carrie Finison here to share five fun facts about her debut picture book release, DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS. Illustrated by Brianne Farley and published by Putnam, it’s about a generous but increasingly put-upon bear who makes batch after batch of doughnuts for her woodland friends without saving any for herself.  Take a peek at the lovely reviews Carries’s book has received from Publishers Weekly and Youth Services Book Review, then grab a doughnut and enjoy as she shares five behind-the-scenes facts about the book’s creation.  My favorite?  Fact #1. It’s a good reminder that good writing takes time.  Happy reading, all!

Five Fun Facts about


by Carrie Finison

Fun Fact #1: Draft 89 is the one that was published.

I save a new file every day that I work on a story. That doesn’t mean every one of those drafts was significantly different – sometimes I may have only changed a line or two. But it does mean 89 separate days of work on the story – plus lots of thinking time in between. Since the book is written in rhyme, it can take a LOT of revision to change even a few words. That’s because when you revise, you have to find a way to say what you want to say in rhyme – and make sure you’re not repeating a rhyme from earlier in the story. So even a small change can involve alterations to many stanzas. It’s a fun challenge, but not easy!

Fun Fact #2: MANY doughnuts were harmed in the writing of this book.

My kids were quick to point out that every important publication milestone – acceptance, completion of the manuscript, the cover reveal, and now publication, be celebrated with doughnuts. In addition to all those doughnuts, I worked to develop a doughnut recipe that would be easy enough to make with kids (with adult stove supervision). I had hoped this would be in the back of the book but, alas, we ran out of pages! However, I’ve posted the recipe on my website and also wrote about developing the recipe on the Soaring ’20’s blog.

Fun Fact #3: All the animals in the book are hibernators – except one!

In some of the earlier versions of the story, the book ended with all the animal friends going to sleep for the winter together. I went down an Internet rabbit hole (or maybe a chipmunk den?) researching hibernators and learned a lot about the different ways animals cope with winter. The only animal in the story that does not hibernate in some way is Topsy, the opossum. Poor opossums have a hard time dealing with the cold and often get frostbitten on their bare feet and tails. I’m glad that Topsy found a warm spot in her friend LouAnn’s house!

Fun Fact #4: The characters didn’t always have names.

The animals in the book didn’t have names at first, they were just called “Bear” “Raccoon” and so on. When I decided to name the main character, LouAnn, I realized all the other characters would need names, too. It was a fun afternoon dreaming up those names! My favorite is “Mouffette” which is the French word for “skunk.” Isn’t that a pretty name?

Fun Fact #5: The cast-iron pan that LouAnn uses to cook doughnuts is verrry familiar.

When I saw Brianne Farley’s illustrations for LouAnn’s kitchen, I was thrilled to see the cast-iron pan that LouAnn cooks her doughnuts in. I have the exact same pan, which once belonged to my grandmother! So now, when I read the book, I’m reminded of my grandmother. I love that LouAnn is a bit old-fashioned at heart.

Author Bio:

Carrie Finison began her literary career at the age of seven with an idea, a box of markers, and her father’s typewriter. She has been writing off and on ever since, though she has (somewhat regretfully) traded in the typewriter for a laptop. Her debut picture book is DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS (July, 2020), and a second picture book, DON’T HUG DOUG, will follow in January, 2021. She also writes for children’s magazines including Babybug, Ladybug, High Five, and Highlights. When she’s not writing, Carrie enjoys reading mystery novels, trying new recipes, and curling up on the couch for family movie nights. She lives outside Boston with her husband, son, daughter, and two cats who permit her to write in their cozy attic office. Find her online at or on Twitter @CarrieFinison.

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!! If you’d like a chance to win a SIGNED copy of DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS (Putnam, July 2020) simply post a comment below letting me know. (NOTE: Must be U.S. resident and at least 18 years old to enter.) Thank you, Carrie, for providing the winning book. This giveaway ends Thursday, 7/30/20 at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be announced the next day! NOTE: This giveaway is now over. The winner is announced here.

Special note: If you enjoyed this post, please consider following my blog or “liking” me on my Facebook Author page, Twitter, or Instagram. I’d love the support and connection.

58 thoughts on “AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Five Fun Facts about DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS with Carrie Finison (and a GIVEAWAY!)”

  1. This book looks like one my kindergarten students would love! Congrats, Carrie!

    P.S. I’d love to win a copy, Laura!

    1. You are so very welcome. It’s been a pleasure. =) And are any of the doughnuts old-fashioneds? Those – and apple cider doughnuts – are my favs.

  2. Dozens of Donuts would be a great addition to my classroom library. In know that my preschool students would love it!!

  3. I would love to win a copy of Dozen of Doughnuts. This looks like such an amazing book and it has a great message! I loved reading the five fun facts!

  4. I’d love to win a copy of Carrie’s book. And I agree with you, Laura, about Fact #1. I’ve been dating my revisions, but I like the numbering system better. Going to give it a try 🙂 and guessing I can get to 89 … eventually! It always helps to be reminded how long others have spent on their stories.

    1. Actually, I date mine, too! I had to count them up for this post. 🙂 But maybe numbering would be easier, since presumably the date is already included in the file information. I may try that with my next story.

  5. I just can’t tell you how excited I am for Carrie! So getting nostalgic … because you both have a place in my writerly heart!
    I met you, Laura, and Carrie early in my writing career. I got to know you both online and as members of the Poets’ Garage. I loved hanging out with you there as we critiqued and discussed poetry. I felt so happy in the company of folks who nerded out on each and every word in a piece!
    And of course, I’ve followed both of your careers online. So anytime a book comes out from either of you, I’ll be excited! But Carrie’s debut!!! Now that’s SUPER exciting because I remember my debut!
    I love that Draft 89 is the one published and I’m not a bit surprised by that because I know about Carrie’s attention to detail! And I imagine that she got all the details right!
    Fun interview and HUGE congrats!!!

    1. Oh my goodness – thank you so much, Penny! The Garage is a great place to be and I’ve met so many wonderful rhymers there, you included! I wish we could all meet up in person one day. Word nerds, unite!

  6. Oh my…. I have been eyeing this book for my son and would love to win a copy to add to our book collection. Thank you for the chance to win!

  7. I would love the opportunity to win a copy of this book to share with my fourth graders! Thanks for your generosity.

  8. This book looks amazing! The donuts on the cover are making my mouth water! Would love to read this book!

  9. Your book looks delicious! I’m fortunate to be surrounded by many varieties of hibernators plus those non hibernating opossums (aka tick gobblers). Kudos to draft #89!

  10. Thank you for this opportunity to win this book. I would love to read it to my students!
    And what a great reason to bring in donuts!

  11. Doughnuts are my favorite treat!! Congratulations! Sounds like lovely story with
    Wonderful characters.

  12. Great interview! So excited for your debut, Carrie! I’ll be checking out your doughnut recipe too, and using my cast iron pan!

  13. This is awesome to see Carrie’s story come out. LouAnn is such a great character. Carrie is a wonderful Critique buddy which makes this all the more exciting. Go girl!

  14. Hi Carrie! I can hardly wait to order my books! I so enjoyed reading the fun facts. Unfortunately I have now decided on my next quest — to learn how to make donuts (this baker always tastes and the lbs really add up). Congratulations on the book. Sounds like you and you family had a fun time along the way!

    1. I’d love to make yeasted doughnuts some time. So far all I’ve tried are the cake doughnuts like the bear makes in the book, but I love to eat a glazed yeast doughnut. YUM!

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