The Next Big Thing – Blog Hop

The Next Big Thing Hop: the traveling blog that asks authors whom they consider the NEXT BIG THING, and then has them pass along the questions for those authors to answer in their blogs.

Rules: Answer ten questions about your current Work In Progress on your blog. Tag one to five writers / bloggers and add links to their pages so we can hop along to them next.

Thank you, L.A. Byrne for tagging me! Click on L.A. Byrne to learn more about this amazing  writer for young adults.

What is the working title of your book?

Cora Gets Carried Away

my triplets at age 3 1/2
my triplets at age 3 1/2 before they could read
my plus one at age 3 1/2
my plus one at age 3 1/2 before she could read

Where did the idea come from for the book?

From ages three to five, my children “read” by turning pages and memorizing words.  But they needed mom and dad to read a book to the end.  Most of the time we did.  Sometimes, we were too busy (or tired). Learning to read is huge. I was inspired by the frustration my children felt when they could recognize letters but couldn’t yet put them together to form words or sentences.

What genre does your book fall under?

Picture book.

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Since Cora is a kitten, she would be illustrated.  Here are some illustrators who could bring Cora to life:

Stéphane Jorisch, Ned YoungMelinda Beavers, Rebecca Evans

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

(Forgive me, I made it two sentences.)

Although Cora has memorized the first page of her book, she can’t read and she and her doll, Pixie, have to know how who stole the princesses’ crown, but in Cora’s attempt to get her mother, father and brother to read to her she gets carried away—and then is in the way when she acts out scenes from the book.  Who will read to her now?

 Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I truly hope Cora will be represented by an agency.  I am actively searching for an editor and agent who are acquiring new authors and open to picture books.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The idea for Cora popped in my head when my youngest daughter was three years old.  Now she’s eleven!  In the original version, Cora wasn’t a kitten and she had a different name.  I worked on that version for years, then put it away for awhile.  I was so taken by Little Red Chicken in Interrupting Chicken that I decided to give the main character a make over. I came back to the manuscript a year ago ready to take it in a new direction.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake by Michael B. Kaplan–because Betty Bunny and Cora the Kitten are both spunky, energetic girls.

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein–because despite Little Red Chicken and Cora trying their parents’ patience, they are very loved.

Zoomer by Ned Young–because Zoomer and Cora have vivid imaginations.

Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells—because children see themselves in the realistic but funny sibling relationships.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

When my youngest daughter was Cora’s age, she wanted to read “a hundred” books every night.  She has piles of books by her bed so her room is Cora’s room.

When one of my older daughters was Cora’s age, she believed her invisible friend was real.  She inspired me create Pixie, the doll who is very real to Cora.

I have been driving around in my car for years repeating the rhythmic first two lines of A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon.  I worked hard to create a similar rhythm to the first two lines of my book.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

In Cora Gets Carried Away, the subversive humor means the story is humorous on two levels.

There is a parallel between Cora’s own life and the story-within-the-story, an original fairy tale.

The story-within-the-story’s first and last stanzas anchor the beginning and end of Cora Gets Carried Away, compel the reader to want to find out, like Cora, how who stole the princesses’ crown, and has the potential to become its own book, an add-on to the main story.

are big brother and little sister really getting along?
Are big brother and little sister really getting along?

Tag!  You’re it.  Next up on “The Next Big Thing–Blog Hop”:

Leslie Zampetti, writer of Middle Grade fantasy

Kim Beck, writer of Young Adult dystopia