First, let me introduce you to Kathryn Erskine, a wonderful writer of meaningful yarns for children, and nothing less than a fantastic person. When Kathryn asked me to participate in this blog hop, I just had to say yes! It's an honor to have my name alongside hers.
Her upcoming novel, The Badger Knight, is a Middle Ages adventure about a small, sickly teen with albinism who runs off to battle to prove he's a man -- which he succeeds in doing, but not in the way he thought. She is currently working on several more novels and picture books.
She loves travel, taking walks, being in nature, exploring places (any places), laughing, playing games, learning languages (or anything, really, just learning) and eating chocolate. You can learn more about her here at kathrynerskine.com, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on her blog.
1. What am I working on?
I just completed two middle-grade projects. One is an adventure entitled JELLYBEAN QUEST. It's about a self-centered squirrel named Cassius and his chipmunk guardian, Vox. Cassius is on a quest of find a perfect jellybean while Vox, with his annoying voice, tries to keep Cassius out of trouble. My second just-completed project is a revision of a middle-grade entitled MAMA'S CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS. Its main character, Allie, is on the hunt for a husband for her Mama. I love both of these stories and the characters that bring them to life.
2. How does my work differ from others of this genre?
Since my stories stem from my own life, I always thought they'd be uniquely told. But I have found that for every new project I complete there is someone who has written a similar book. To be honest, I find this quite annoying. So, I hope my work will differ because I strive to tell my stories with an authentic voice, one that has my voice-print. (But, oh, if I were to weave a story as beautiful as The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, I'd be thrilled!)
3. Why do I write what I do?
I write when a character comes to me fully clothed and yells, "Bring me to life, you writing fool!" It's really an interesting thing when, all at once, I know who my character is and what it is he or she has to say. When this happens, I cannot write fast enough to get the story out on paper.
4. How does my writing process work?
I'd like to say that I write from a detailed outline with all my story's plot points, the character arcs, subplots, and sequence of events all figured out like an algebraic equation. But when I begin, I know only who my character is, what they want, and what the outcome will be. How the character gets there comes to me as I delve into the character's world and imagine myself as that character. In other words, I write one scene at a time, one paving stone along the story's journey.
Well , that was fun! Thanks again, Kathryn for asking me to hop with you!
Now I've tagged the blogs of Kell Andrews, Tami Traylor, and Anna Staniszewski. They'll be next on the Blog-Hop Trail. Sure hope you'll hop along next Monday to see how these talented writers and illustrators will answer the Blog-Hop questions!
Here, let me introduce you:
She earned a BFA in Illustration and Graphic Design at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1993. After graduation, she worked in graphic design for fifteen years in the commercial and government sectors.
In 2005, she became a Mid-Atlantic SCBWI member to learn everything there was to know about the business of creating books for young readers. She is an active SCBWI volunteer who co-edits the region's newsletter. Today she is a freelance illustrator that divides her time between writing and creating illustrations for young audiences in both digital and analog media. She especially enjoys working in graphite, acrylic and gouache.
Tami still lives in southern Virginia with her husband, two children, one diva cat, and two guinea pigs. She still loves the woods and finds inspiration in mid-century illustration, Russian folk painting, abandoned buildings, vintage books, animation...but, most of all, she is inspired by stories.
Tami can be found at traylorillo.com, on her blog, and on Twitter.
Growing up, she spent a lot of time reading, writing, drawing, and looking for treasure in the woods and on the beach. She still does. Kell holds a humanities degree from Johns Hopkins University and a master of liberal arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. A lifelong Philadelphian, she lives with her husband and two daughters in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, right next to a park a lot like the one in Deadwood. Kell is represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
Kell can be found at kellandrews.com, on Twitter, and contributing helpful posts about writing on Operation Awesome.
Currently, Anna lives outside of Boston, Mass. with her husband and their black Labrador, Emma. She is the author of the My Very UnFairy Tale Life series and the Dirt Diary series, both from Sourcebooks, as well as the occasional robot picture book. When she's not writing, Anna spends her time teaching, reading, and challenging unicorns to games of hopscotch.
You can visit her at www.annastan.com, on her blog, and on Twitter.