Monday, September 16, 2013

Hop, Skip and a Blog!

Ideas are a lot like opportunities. You never know when one is going to pop up right under your nose. So when my writing friend and awesome author of Deck the Halls, Erin Dealey, tagged me for the Children’s Blog Hop, I was delighted to run with it—with a hop, skip, and a blog!   

So here goes!

What are you working on right now?

In addition to book signing events for my latest release Cowpoke Clyde & Dirty Dawg (Clarion 2013), I’ve been wrangling with a new picture book manuscript about a princess. I know! There are lots of picture books about princesses out there already, but I like princesses (who doesn’t?) and I always have fun figuring out where I’m going and seeing where an idea will take me.   

How does this differ from other works in the genre?

Good question—especially since there are a lot of princess books out there. Right now, I’m including an unexpected character that will take the book in a new, and hopefully unexpected direction.

Why do you write what you write?

When I choose to work on a project, it’s because I’m excited about telling the story whether it’s a nonfiction subject, or a fun, rambunctious picture book story. When I’m writing nonfiction, such as my books about the French scientist who proved the earth turned, or exploring the lives of honey bees, I’m excited to find those fascinating bits of information and share them with young readers. When I’m writing fiction, it’s fun to jump into the thick of a story and see what will happen. I particularly enjoyed writing my latest picture book release Cowpoke Clyde & Dirty Dawg about a cowpoke, who completed his chores, but found one thing he’d plum forgot—his dirty dawg. When I started writing it, I had no idea how it would end.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

The hardest thing about writing is also the best thing about writing—grabbing onto a wisp of an idea, facing a blank screen, and breathing life into an idea word by word. As my fingers tap, tap, tap across the keyboard I’m alternately thrilled by my discoveries and stricken with the thought that maybe this time, I won’t get over the assorted roadblocks and finally find my way. But I keep at it, day after day. Then, to my delight, after latching onto a goal like a dog on a rope, I get through to the other side.  Amazing!

And now without further hops, skips, or jumps, it’s my pleasure to introduce the next three Children’s Blog Hoppers:

Gayle Kraus My wonderful writing friend, Gayle C. Krause is a member of SCBWI, The Poets’ Garage and The Cliffhouse Wonderwriters. She writes across the genres including poetry, picture books and MG/YA novels. She has been published in various children’s magazines (Highlights, Boy’s Quest, Hopscotch for Girls etc…) and poetry anthologies – And the Crowd Goes Wild (Friesen Press 2012) and Meanderings: A Collection of Poetic Verse (Diversion Press (2009). Her first picture book, a seasonal rhymer, Rock Star Santa was a Scholastic Book Club original in 2008, and is featured in the Firefly and See Saw flyers every November and December. Look for it in an elementary classroom flyer near you this year. Her YA novel, RATGIRL: Song of the Viper was published in February 2013 (Noble Young Adult) and the book trailer can be viewed at: During the course of her writing career Ms. Krause has served as assistant editor for Underneath the Juniper Tree, a dark fantasy online magazine developed for young teens and a children’s book reviewer for Children’s You can learn more about Gayle at (

Linda Joy Singleton – This terrific writing friend is the author of over 35 books for kids, including YALSA honored THE SEER series (my favorite!) and DEAD GIRL WALKING trilogy. She submitted short stories to magazines when she was fourteen and finished her first book during a two-week holiday. She kept stories she wrote as a kid, and loves to share them at school presentations. I love her books and can’t wait for more in THE SEER series and to see her upcoming picture book release. To learn more about Linda and her wonderful titles, visit her website at:

Brenda Reeves Sturgis is the author of the popular 10 Turkeys in the Road, Amazon/and Scholastic, 2011. Booklist praised it saying, “Colorful cartoonlike acrylic illustrations—contrasting happy-faced, googly-eyed turkeys with the increasingly exasperated farmer—capture the chaos with liveliness and humor. Kids will enjoy counting turkeys and finding corresponding numerals incorporated within the pictures. Not just for Thanksgiving. She has two forthcoming books, No Fun in the Sun for Santa, First Ideas Corp (2013), and upcoming The Lake Where Loon Lives, (2014) with Islandport Press. To learn more about Brenda and her  books, visit her website at:

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