Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I am happy to announce the winner of my first book giveaway! Megan Frances will be receiving a copy of Why Do I Have To Make My Bed? by Wade Bradford.
This week, I'll be giving away a 3 book set of paperback picture books signed by the author KatieMcKy. This is a terrific opportunity for anyone with younger children or grandchildren, or even your local school librarian or classroom teacher. Please pass this along!
The rules for participation are as follows:
1) You must be a follower of this blog.
2) You must post a link to this blog on Facebook or Twitter, or forward it via email.
3) You must include a copy of your link in a comment below.
Contest will remain open until May 25th, at which time a winner will be chosen at random. In the meantime, I had the pleasure of speaking with Katie McKy about her newest release with Tanglewood Press, Wolf Camp.

“1. Wolf Camp” is your newest picture book published with Tanglewood Press. Tell us a little about it.
Wolf Camp is a story of unconditional love. I was walking down street one day and saw this Emo girl walking towards me. She had , red red lipstick, mascara – and I thought of her poor mother. But then I thought, that mother really has nothing to worry about. There is no such thing as an Emo adult. This image is just a skin, something to try on and this discard. My book is a metaphor for how kids try on different skins. Parents get alarmed as if their children will sew themselves in., but they really have no need to fear. My sister was wild, but today she’s a multimillionaire. Kids try on different skins and are as casual about it. Like putting on a hat and taking it off.
2. What is the inspiration for your writing?
I’m a journalist. I interview people and that feeds into my fiction. Some people say to me “You’re so creative,” but we’re all equally creative. But the difference between professional and aspiring writers is alertness. Good stories are everywhere. When someone asks me where I get my stories, I tell them from you, from walking down street. Writers look for those individual strands to twine into a sturdy story line, they know what constitutes at good story.
3. How much say did you have in the illustration process?
A tremendous amount, more than I should have. It’s not fair. Illustrators get no input on the text, but we [authors] get consulted on the illustrations. Authors get top billing, as though the illustrator delivers the ball where author can score. But actually the illustrators score. Caledecott understands that. That award is for illustrators. They the stars of my books.
4. Another of your books “It All Began With A Bean” comes out in paperback this month, and your book “Pumpkin Town” has sold 300,000 copies. Prior to getting published, did you ever imagine yourself with this sort of success?
I’m uncomfortable with success. I’m a middle class person who writes, and I’m comfortable with that. I live a balanced life. I’m on the road for six months, but I’m home for six months. Even successful authors can’t make it on royalties. If I was on the road three hundred days a year I’d be rich, but I’d also be dead. When you’re published, people think your special. Well, I used to be an unpublished fool, now I’m a published fool . There’s nothing special about me. I get paid to make people happy.
5. Your books are targeted to a younger audience, but they also appeal to older kids as well. How did you manage that?
I try to write something for everyone. I [write] for a broad audience. I don’t pander to some people’s notion of what a 3 year old is like. In some ways, a 3 year old is superior to you and me. They learn so much faster than we do.
6. What can we expect from you in the future?
My first novel, Wildchilds, will be published by Tanglewood. No release date has been set yet. But I did contribute to several non-fiction books which are available. I taught in the public school system, worked with special needs kids, for twenty-five years. “Tough Kids, Tough Classrooms” draws from that experience.
7. What advice can you offer aspiring writers?
I recommend being a journalist first. Write for magazines, learn how to write with editors. Nobody listens to me, but I would tell them that you don’t need a degree [to write]. Don’t get an MFA. Don’t get in debt. All that just takes you away from your writing. No one cares if you have a degree. All we want to know is can you tell a story that strangers want to read. Anyone can tell a story their loved ones would read, but no one makes money with that. Too many new writers get hung up on the details. They love the details more than the story. Instead, you’ve got to love the story more than you love yourself.


  1. Some very helpful tips for aspiring writers.

  2. Those look like cute PB's. I posted on facebook and tweeted @DorineWhite.

  3. Can't wait to receive my copy of, "Why Do I Have to Make My Bed?" Thanks, Laurisa!

    I love Katie McKy's remark that the difference between professional and aspiring writers is alertness. I'm also heartened by the fact that she is a journalist. I rely heavily on my background as a journalist and editor in my fiction writing.

  4. This interview was great! Especially the advice at the end "don't get in debt." I avoid the big conferences for this very reason, and sometimes I feel guilty about it. Thanks!

  5. Loved the interview. Always fascinating to hear about the writing world first hand.