Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Next Big Thing: A Global Blog Tour

My first blog tour! I was tagged by my wonderful Tons of Trucks illustrator, Betsy Snyder, to participate in a blog tour. So the deal is I answer some questions about a recent or upcoming book and then pass it on to some author and illustrator friends. Still with me? Okay, here goes:

1. What is the working title of your next book?
The title of my next book is Robots, Robots Everywhere! and it will be illustrated by the talented Bob Staake, and published by Random House's Little Golden Books on August 6, 2013. I am still pinching myself that I am the author of a Little Golden Book! I have such fond memories of that shiny black and gold binding. I always knew that if my Mom or Dad pulled out a Little Golden Book at bedtime, that it would be one I liked. And now my story about robots will join that family. I'm thrilled! Here's the adorable cover:
 2. Where did the idea for the book come from ? 
I had been toying with the idea of a book about robots, but wasn't exactly sure how to go about it. I loved the idea that there are all of these robots in our world that we often don't even recognize or realize help us with things every day. Robots that milk cows, build cars, assembly line robots and the like. Most people think of robots as the metal boxy toys, and there are so many more! My first attempt at this robots book was actually as a novelty book, because I'd just come off of revising Tons of Trucks, which is a touch and move book. My agent and I were getting some nibbles, but no offers. Then we showed it to Little Golden Books and it resonated with my editor there. She had me revise all the more abstract scenes from it and focus 100% on real robots in the world. The book took shape and I'm hopeful that kids will love learning about robots in rhyme!

3. What genre does your book fall into?
This is a picture book, aimed at ages 2-6, but I think adults who like robots will like it too!

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
What a hilarious and fun question. In the book, different children explore the world with robot helpers, and they observe real robots in action. So in that case, I would have to say my sons Owen and Wyatt, my niece Erin, and my nephew Jack.

5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Robots, Robots Everywhere! is a fun, rhyming book showing kids all the real robots in our world today.

6. Who is publishing your book?
Random House Little Golden Books -- wow!

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft?
Well, because I consider first drafts to be just the bare ideas on paper, first drafts usually don't take me too long. After the initial draft, it took me a couple of months -- letting it sit for a bit at times -- until I felt it was in good enough shape to share with my writing group. After they made some recommendations, I revised again. But after we got an offer, it took me another month to revise (back and forth with the editor) to get it just right. So maybe 6-8 months?

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It's always hard to compare without sounding arrogant, but if you make me...Sandra Boynton's books and maybe Nancy E. Shaw's books -- Sheep in a Shop, Sheep in a Jeep, and so on. Just buoyant, rhyming fun.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I love robots and my kids love them too...I have a small collection going to prove it. (an ornament, robot salt and pepper shakers, a wind-up robot, and a key chain!).

10. What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
How about a stanza or two?

Under couches, over rugs, 
Vacuum robots have no plugs.

Working robots drill and grind.
Rescue robots seek and find. 

And the fact that it is illustrated by Bob Staake - his art style is so fun, colorful, and vibrant!

Thanks so much for reading!

And I'll be tagging 2 other authors/illustrators soon, so come back and check!