Catherine Bailey: Will Write for Cookies PLUS Giveaway

 

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

headshot

CATHERINE BAILEY

It’s a joy for me to welcome our guest today. Catherine Bailey is a children’s author and presenter from sunny Florida. Her current books include MIND YOUR MONSTERS (Sterling Publishing, 2015), HYPNOSIS HARRY (Sky Pony Press, 2016), and LUCY LOVES SHERMAN (Sky Pony Press, 2017) – with more on the way! She has also written for popular children’s magazines such as Highlight’s Hello and Babybug. She is a frequent children’s speaker and has visited with hundreds (and hundreds, and hundreds!) of kids at schools, libraries, stores, and special events.

 

When Catherine is not writing, or editing, or swatting at mosquitos, she looks after her husband and two children. All three of them are quite sticky, and none like bedtime, but she loves them anyway. Her prior job titles include Lawyer (interesting), Sailboat Deckhand (fun but occasionally sea-sicky), and Cartoon Network Intern (best job ever, besides writing). Her hobbies include reading, travel, and TJ MAXX. But mostly reading.

 We are so happy to have you here, Catherine!

 ME: Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?

 CATHERINE:

My favorite author as a child was Roald Dahl and my favorite illustrator (perhaps not surprisingly) was Quentin Blake. There was – and still is today – a magic that comes from the combination of Dahl’s witty text and Blake’s expressive characters. I actually saw original Quentin Blake sketches for sale at the Palm Beach Art and Antique Show a few years back. If I ever win the lottery I’m going to go back and try and find them – LOL!

hypnosis harry cover

ME: What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started writing for children?

CATHERINE:

When I first started to write for children, I wish I knew about SCBWI. I did not learn about the organization for several months and *oh boy* did it have a lot to teach me!  On the other hand, I am actually glad I did NOT know how long it takes to get published, how hard it is to write good rhyme, how everyone thinks this job is so easy, and so on. If I had been aware of all those negatives, I may have been too scared to plunge into kidlit. Of course, now it’s too late to turn back. I’m hooked!

ME: Where do you like to write/draw – inside, outside, a special area in your home, on the computer, in a notebook? And when do you find time to write?

CATHERINE:

I began writing for children (officially anyway) in January 2010, right after my first daughter was born. At that time, I either wrote at the local Panera, or I wrote sitting on an ottoman that was tucked in sort of an office/closet combo. I called it my “cloffice” and it was smack in between both of daughters’ rooms. It was not ideal for concentrating, LOL! However, in 2016 we finished building a new house. I now write in my fabulous new office. I always write out manuscripts on my laptop, though if I get a random idea I will jot it down on anything I have handy (including McDonald’s bags, my hand, the back of grocery lists…)

office

ME: When during the day (or night) are you most productive? Do you set a schedule for working or do you write/draw when the muse speaks?

CATHERINE:

I first started writing in the middle of the night when I got up to feed my then infant daughters. It worked well for a few years (see aforementioned cloffice, located near babies’ bedrooms), but eventually my kids started sleeping through the night and I was able to start working in the daylight. Like a normal person – ha! Nowadays I try to keep office hours 9am-2pm, at least four days a week. “Try” being the key word. However my writing will usually spill over into evenings when I am close to finishing a draft of a manuscript.

workspace

ME: Why do you write for children?

CATHERINE:

I write for children because I love introducing kids to the world of reading. Books were a massive component of my youth – they taught me to be creative and curious. They made me feel excited and safe all at the same time. It may sound cheesy, but if I can do that for even a handful of kids, then I’m a success. And of course, there is the totally selfish reason – it’s SO FLIPPIN’ FUN!

Thank you, thank you, Catherine! This was wonderful. You are an inspiration! I know everyone truly appreciates how you shared your journey.

Learn more about Catherine and her work at www.catherinebaileybooks.com.

 And now for one of my favorite parts of Will Write for Cookies…the treat recipe! And what a treat it is…perfect for a salty sea story, right?

SEA SALT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

cookies

CATHERINE: I really enjoy baking, as do my two daughters. (They are excellent taste testers and oven watchers!). Since my latest book, LUCY LOVES SHERMAN, is a sweet and salty story of friendship between a girl and a lobster, I picked an equally flavorful cookie for your readers. I think they will get hooked on the combination of rich chocolate and tangy, sea salt.

Ingredients:

1 ½ c flour          

1 tsp baking powder     

½ tsp salt           

¼ tsp baking soda

1 stick room temperature unsalted butter

¾ c packed brown sugar

½ c sugar

¼ c powdered sugar

2 egg yolks

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

8oz bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped

Flaky sea salt for sprinkling

 

Instructions:

(1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

(2) Combine flour through baking soda in a bowl and set aside.

(3) In electric mixer, combine butter through powdered sugar. When those ingredients are mixed, add in egg yolks through vanilla. When those ingredients are mixed, slowly add dry ingredients until mixed.

(4) Turn off the mixer and fold in chocolate chunks.

(5) Spoon 1 ½ inch balls of dough (about 1-2 inches apart) onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Sprinkle lightly with the sea salt.

(6) Bake for 8-9 minutes, and allow a few minutes for them to set before moving them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

WOW! These are a MUST-MAKE…and definitely a MUST-EAT!

And before we sign off, Catherine has one more thing to say:

I am so excited that LUCY LOVES SHERMAN has finally splashed out! I would like to send a signed copy of the book, a bookmark, and lobster-shaped cookie cutter, to one lucky reader.

cover

Thanks again, Catherine! That is a very special giveaway!

So, my dear readers, please comment on this blog post (and/or on yesterday’s Perfect Picture Book review) in order to be entered into this fabulous giveaway.

I know you join me in thanking Catherine for a wonderful Q&A.

And I wish you all a beautiful weekend. Thank you all for stopping by and spending your precious time here with me.

Picture Book Review and Activity PLUS Giveaway: LUCY LOVES SHERMAN

People who work from Monday through Friday often look forward to the end of the week. I look forward to the end of the week because that means…Perfect Picture Book Friday. But first, a few things to take care of.

  1. Last week we enjoyed having Marcie Colleen and her adorable pals, the SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS. We promised two giveaways and here they are.

THE WINNER OF STAYING A HIVE IS…

Jeanine Potter

THE WINNER OF GOING NUTS IS…

Judy Sobanksi

Ladies, please email me: viviankirkfield@gmail.com and I will make arrangements to get the books to you.

 

  1. The ReFoReMo Challenge is winding down…thanks to Carrie Charlie Brown and Kirsti Call for all of their work in organizing this for the kid lit community. You can access all of the incredible blog posts and reading lists here.
  2. Jodell Sadler is gearing up for the 2nd Annual Birthday Bash for KidLit College. There will be inspiring posts (one of them is mine – hurray!) And incredible prizes…don’t miss it. Here’s just a taste of what the blog posts will look like.
  3. And because I know how much you all love writing challenges…fellow Storm sister, Alexandria LaFaye has a fun 100-word one going on…what if a piece of food was your childhood friend.
  4. I’ve been working behind the scenes on the #50PreciousWordsforKids Writing Challenge. The flyer should be ready shortly and I’ll post it on Facebook, Twitter, and my blog. If you are a teacher or connected in any way to an elementary school, this may be for you and the children you work with. The challenge will coincide with Children’s Book Week, May 1-7. It’s all about encouraging diversity in imagination for kids in K-6th Several authors have already offered to donate a mini-Skype classroom visit…I’ll need one for each grade level and I already have three.

And now, thank you for your patience…it’s time for our #PPBF review of a book that JUST CELEBRATED ITS BOOK BIRTHDAY THIS WEEK.

cover

Lucy Loves Sherman

Written by Catherine Bailey Read the rest of this entry

A Writing Contest from Alexandria LaFaye

Yes, it’s me! Here I am again!

I couldn’t help it. Fellow Storm sister, Alexandria La Faye is having a writing challenge over at her blog. And it just look so appealing and delicious, I had to give it a try.

peep

This is what she said:

Who is ready for some creativity calisthenics? Inspired by Kenvin Henkes genius book about the life of a marshmallow chick as a friend, can you share a narrative poem or short short about a food who becomes a child’s friend? (100 words or less folks)
 
And because a picture is worth a thousand jelly beans, you can also share your story as an illustration. 
Can you do it?! Yes, you can! I’d even be willing to send the winner a prize in the food they pick (no caviar, please). 
You can post the story to your blog or include the whole story in a comment on this post. The winner will be announced here and on my Facebook community, Sylvanocity
Did you hear that? Illustrators can participate also!
Here’s my silly little story…I guess when I’m given strict word limits, I get more playful…and I think that is a good thing!
A bit of back story: Peppermint Patties were my FAVORITE candy when I was a kid!
pattie_v4
HATTIE AND PATTY

There once was a young girl named Hattie

Her friend was a Peppermint Patty

Who lived in her pocket

She wore Hattie’s locket

After ten years, she looked pretty ratty.

 

 

One day Hattie wrestled a gator

Soon it looked like the gator might ate ‘er

Jumping out of the pocket

Pattie ripped off the locket

Dragged the reptile to the equator.

 

In the tropics, Pattie has a new home.

It’s an ice bucket made out of chrome

Hattie fills it with ice

Pattie thinks it is nice

They remain friends wherever they roam.
Are you ready to play?
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