Thursday, November 3, 2011

Writers Workshop - Author FAQs

I'm the author of three books for children. People always ask me questions about being a writer and my books. Adults and kids tend to ask very different questions!

Here's some of my most frequent FAQs.

Adults Ask:

1. How did you become a children's author?
I took a class on writing for children when my daughter was about 1 years old. I thought, "Hey, my life has changed so much already, why not try something I've always wanted to do?" Then it was a lot of work and perseverance.

2. How do you think up your ideas?
I get ideas everywhere! When you have kids (or have been a kid, which is all of us) there are tons of ideas floating around. The idea for Muriel's Red Sweater came to me in the middle of the night. I recommend keeping paper and a pen on your bedside table.

3. How did you find your illustrator?
I didn't. In fact, I've never met her. The publisher typically buys the story (manuscript) first and then matches the story with an illustrator.

4. What do you recommend if I want to write a book for children?
Take a class and join a writer's group. Later, join SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators) and go to conferences. If you live in St.Paul/Mpls, or like to take online classes, check out The Loft Literary Center. That's where I got my start. Plus, I teach there now!

Kids Ask:

1. Are you famous?
Well, you know who I am, so I must be!

2. Are you rich?
No. But I sure have fun writing books.

3. What's your favorite beverage?
Water. Oh, and coffee.

4. How old is Muriel?
She's 8 years old. (The answer changes depending on the age of the kid asking.)

5. Why does Muriel live on the water?
Because it's cool! Plus, she's a duck.

6. Can I pet Muriel?
You bet! Come on over. (I bring my Muriel puppet to my school visits. She's a hit!)

Today I'm linking up with Mama Kat's Pretty Much World Famous Writers Workshop. Go check it out!


  1. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Your book looks delightful.

  2. I will have to check out your book. I'm a teacher and have thought about writing a book for kids. Haven't a clue where to start. Now I do!

  3. I like the kids' questions best. And I love your answer to the question, "Are you famous?". ;)

  4. I always enjoy checking out books for kids. Yours looks like one I will need to see for sure! Love the artwork!

  5. So fun to find your blog! Thanks for the quick, fun Q&A. I love that you started this adventure at the onset of new motherhood, how brave. I played around with the Institute of Children's Literature essay application and have never enrolled, thought hey make it sounds wonderful! Congratulations on your success!!

    Here through Mama Kat