WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES
INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION
Many of you know that I’m a lover of rhyme and a fan of rhyming picture books. So when Lori Degman agreed to participate in Will Write for Cookies, I was thrilled.
Lori Degman writes in rhyme, most of the time – but not always. She is the award winning author of 1 Zany Zoo, illustrated by Colin Jack (Simon & Schuster, 2010 – Winner of the Cheerios New Author Contest, Illinois Reads featured title, and South Carolina Picture Book Award Nominee); Cock-a-Doodle Oops!, illustrated by Deborah Zemke (Creston Books, 2014 – International Literacy Association Honor Book); Norbert’s Big Dream, illustrated by Marco Bucci (Sleeping Bear Press, 2016); and the forthcoming Just Read (Sterling, 2018). Lori lives near Chicago – home of the World Champion Cubs! (She says she is sorry about the plug, but it’s been such a LONG wait!)
Before we begin with the Q&A, I want to remind everyone that there will be a giveaway of Lori’s newest picture book, Norbert’s Big Dream, so please stick with us throughout the post and then leave a comment at the end. How about telling us what your biggest dream was when you were a kid.
Lori, I’m thrilled to welcome you to Picture Books Help Kids Soar!
ME: Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?
My favorite picture book authors & illustrators were Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak, PD Eastman, William Steig, Shel Silverstein & Else Holmelund Minarik.
ME: What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started writing for children?
I first started writing before the Internet existed (I don’t like to brag, but I’m pretty old) so I’d never heard of SCBWI and I had no idea there was a whole kid-lit community out there. I think, if I’d known about SCBWI, it wouldn’t have taken so long to get published – or maybe it would have, but I’d have had more fun along the way!
ME: Where do you like to write/draw – inside, outside, a special area in your home, on the computer, in a notebook?
I always write on my laptop – I type faster than I write and I don’t usually have trouble reading it later. I flip-flopped my living and dining rooms and now my dining room table is by the front window, so I can look outside while I write. I’ve become a bit of a Gladys Kravitz (the <40’s can look her up), but that’s part of the fun!
ME: When do you write – early morning, late in the day, middle of the night, on schedule, as the muse strikes?
I do my best writing in the morning – unless I’m totally inspired, then I can write anytime! I still teach full-time (this is my last year!), so I do most of my original writing in the summer and on breaks and I mostly revise during the school year. Sadly, I go for long stretches when I can’t get any writing done – but that’s going to change in June.
ME: Why do you write for children?
The main reason I write for kids is to make them laugh and instill a love of books! When my sons were young, I read to them all the time and they loved the funny books best. I really wanted to write books I could read to them that would make them laugh! (unfortunately, they were in their 20s by the time my first book was published). I love knowing there are kids reading my books and hopefully enjoying them!
ME: Lori, if you have any thoughts or advice for aspiring writers, please share. As well as anything else you want to talk about that parents, educators, writers, librarians might want to hear.
My advice to aspiring writers is to join SCBWI, get into a critique group with writers whose opinions you value, write – write – write, and don’t give up!
My advice for parents and teachers is to let kids focus more on story-telling and less on the mechanics for their first drafts. There’s always time to go back and clean things up!
Lori, thank you so very much…it’s been an honor to have you here!
And for all of you who want to find out more Lori and her wonderful books or get in touch with her:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/lori.degman
Twitter – https://twitter.com/LoriDegman
Okay friends…you know what they say…it’s not over until the cookie recipe is shared!
I’m not a good baker – I think it’s because I’m not precise enough, so the desserts I make are usually no-bake or things that don’t rely on precision. The closest thing to a cookie that I make is called a Cheese Blintz Roll-up. I make them every year for Thanksgiving and they’re gone in minutes! I don’t have any pictures of them and I didn’t want to make a whole batch because I’d eat them all, so I found a picture that looks just like them on the website Amish365.com.
Here’s the recipe:
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp lemon juice
1 large loaf of white bread
1-2 sticks of butter
¾ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Heat the oven to 350. Cut the crust off the bread and flatten the slices using a rolling pin.
- Combine the cream cheese, egg yolks, white sugar and lemon juice.
- Spread the mixture over each slice of bread and roll up the bread to enclose the filling.
- Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
- Melt the butter and brush it on all sides of each roll and then roll them in the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture.
- Place the rolls on a cookie sheet and freeze for at least three hours. Cut logs into thirds after frozen and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.
OH MY GOSH! I’d make these immediately, but I am missing several of the ingredients…white bread, butter, cream cheese…not my usual fare…HOWEVER…I think I need to give this one a try…it sounds somewhat decadent, rich, and…perfect for a long night of revision.
And while I’m enjoying one of these treats with a cup of tea, I’ll be reading your comments and then Random.org will choose the winner of a copy of Norbert’s Big Dream. Don’t forget to share what YOUR biggest dream was when you were a kid.
Dear friends, thank you for spending your time with Lori and me…next week I’ll have another wonderful guest as I turn the spotlight on one of the debut picture book authors of 2017: Andrea Loney. Don’t miss it!