Rebecca Colby: Will Write for Cookies PLUS Double Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INSPIRATION – INFORMATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

Rebecca author photo 2017

 

REBECCA COLBY

I’ve known our Will Write for Cookies guest for just about as long as I’ve been active in kidlitland. And I’m so thrilled to finally get a chance to have her visit here.

Rebecca Colby is a children’s picture book author, poet, and screenwriter. Her fourth book just launched, CAPTAIN BLING’S CHRISTMAS PLUNDER (Albert Whitman). Her other books include MOTOR GOOSE (Feiwel & Friends, 2017)…which I just reviewed yesterday on Perfect Picture Book Friday, IT’S RAINING BATS AND FROGS (Feiwel and Friends, 2015), and THERE WAS A WEE LASSIE WHO SWALLOWED A MIDGIE (Floris Picture Kelpies, 2014).

Rebecca, I am so very happy to welcome you to Picture Books Help Kids Soar!

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

REBECCA: There were lots but the ones that stand out from when I was of picture book reading age are James Marshall of the George and Martha stories, Dr Seuss, Garth Williams, Tasha Tudor, and Esther and Eloise Wilkin.

ME: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started writing? 

REBECCA: That networking is as important as writing. You can’t write in isolation and expect to get anywhere. You’ve got to get out there and meet ‘your tribe’ and lift each other up!

ME: Where do you like to write – inside, outside, special room, laptop, pen and paper?

REBECCA: I prefer writing outside, but because of all the rainfall in England, that’s not always possible. I try to make the most of the spring and summer months by taking my laptop to a nearby garden and writing amongst the birds and flowers. During the colder months, I sit at home in bed, snuggled under the comforter where it’s warm and toasty. Another place I enjoy writing is on trains, but as a general rule, I prefer an environment that is quieter. For that reason, I’m not much of a coffee shop writer.

As to paper or laptop, laptop wins hands down. I learned to touch-type in high school—a course I wish schools would introduce alongside their IT classes for younger children—and as a result, I can write quicker and more efficiently (not to mention neater!), if I’m on my laptop. 

motor cover

ME: When do you write – early morning, late in the day, middle of the night, on schedule, as the muse strikes?

REBECCA: The earlier, the better. My Twitter handle is @amscribbler because, for many years, I did most of my writing between 5 and 7 am. I rarely write in the evening as, after 8pm, my brain starts to shut down. I tend to reserve the evenings for marketing, e-mails, reading and watching films.

Wait for the muse to strike? You must be joking! No, this is a job–one I love, but a job. I write because I want to be a career-author and that means showing up for work regardless of whether the muse has graced me with her presence or not.  Writers write!

ME: Why do you write for children?

REBECCA: Two main reasons: I enjoy children’s books far more than adult books and I want to bring more laughter into the world–and what better place to start than with kids’ books! My family would probably add that I’m a 7 year old at heart, so that probably has a lot to do with it also.

 

ME: Also, 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. 

REBECCA: Advice to writers:

I see a lot of writers posting their frustrations and disappointments on Facebook after receiving a handful of rejections, and I want to tell them that a handful is nothing. If they really want to get published they’ll stop counting the rejections and start counting the manuscripts they’ve written. My advice is: Up your game and keep getting better, and that means KEEP WRITING!

It’s a numbers as well as a talent game. I’ve had more than one published picture book author in the UK tell me that only about 1 in every 5 manuscripts they write is acquired—and this is from established authors. Don’t waste valuable time counting those rejections, or you may quit. I racked up about 140 rejections in 7 years (but, hey, who’s counting—shame I don’t take my own advice) but if I’d counted all the rejections as I’d gone along, I probably would have dropped out of the game. It was hard enough counting the years pass. So don’t count your failures, count your triumphs, and before you know it, you will ‘beat the odds’.

For educators and librarians:

I don’t consider my work finished on a book until I’ve completed an accompanying resource guide. If you’d like to use my books in a classroom or library setting, please feel free to download these free guides from my website at www.rebeccacolbybooks.com/teachers

Thank you for having me today, Vivian! Though I must admit, I’m much more of a cookie eater than a cookie maker. In fact, that’s why I’m here—you promised cookies! 😉

ME: Oh my goodness…you are so funny, Rebecca. And you are right…for all of your wonderful insights, you definitely deserve cookies!!! But I know you aren’t done yet…so please share your cookie recipe!

REBECCA: Here’s a recipe from my THERE WAS A WEE LASSIE WHO SWALLOWED A MIDGIE resource guide. It’s a recipe for Midgie Shortbread. Enjoy, and thanks again! 

 Midgie Shortbread

 midgie shortbread cookies

Cook shortbread with chocolate sprinkles.

Note: Be aware of any food allergies.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup chocolate sprinkles, plus some additional for topping
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Mix butter and sugar together.
  • Add vanilla and flour.
  • Fold in chocolate sprinkles.
  • Roll out dough until a half inch thick.
  • Cut into shapes.
  • Place on a baking tray.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Shake additional chocolates sprinkles over the top and cool.

 

ME: Wow! These look amazing, Rebecca! I am definitely a shortbread fan! Thank you so very much for all of your insights. And I’m thrilled to talk a bit about your newest book that just launched yesterday! I know it is a book everyone would love to win, especially with Christmas around the corner…so thank you so much for offering a double giveaway!!! And I encourage all of my readers to be writers also…when you read a book that you love, please take the time to leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads or other book review sites. This will mean so much to your favorite authors and illustrators!

Captain Bling updated cover

Captain Bling and his merry crew set off to find treasure, but they get blown off course and end up at the North Pole. When they spy the elves carefully wrapping presents, the pirates think they have found the ultimate booty! They quickly steal the presents and make their way back to the ship. By the time Santa Claus catches up to them, the pirates are well on their way to escaping. But Santa has a surprise for Captain Bling and his crew!
I can’t wait to read Rebecca’s newest book…it sounds like there are thrills and chills and perhaps, even some spills.
Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends. Thank you so much for spending your precious time here…I truly appreciate your visits and your comments.

49 thoughts on “Rebecca Colby: Will Write for Cookies PLUS Double Giveaway

  1. Vivian, you do such a great job with these interviews! And thank you, Rebecca! Love this line: “If they really want to get published they’ll stop counting the rejections and start counting the manuscripts they’ve written.” Good advice!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Vivian, thank you for introducing me to Rebecca. Rebecca, your books look like a lot of fun, and your advice is solid. Like, Vivian, I am a shortbread fan, so I look forward to making the cookies and eating them while reading picture books!

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  3. Hello Rebecca and Vivian. This book needs to be discovered for Christmas. I have all of Rebecca’s books, so will add another to my broken backed bookcase.
    Thanks for the post.

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    • Thank you, Rita! So nice to see a familiar face here! I have a broken-backed bookcase also that struggles from the strain of so many PBs. 🙂

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  4. Thanks Rebecca and Vivian for the fun interview! I promise not to count rejections- energy wasted. Especially when I can spend that energy reading amazing new books like Rebecca’s. Can’t wait!

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    • Aw, you’re so sweet! It’s definitely energy wasted counting those rejections, and I find the more PBs I read, the better my writing becomes. Thanks so much, Mary!

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  5. Always enjoy your interviews Vivian. I love Rebecca’s advice about networking and rejections. Thank you for the recipe! Shortbread is a favorite.

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    • Networking is key, but often so hard for us reserved, writerly-types. Thank goodness for me that networking can be done on-line! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Kathy!

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  6. Love reading interviews on here, Vivian. Rebecca yours especially inspired me as I needed a boost to keep it going.
    .
    I adore rhyming stories for children. It helps develop rhythm and love for words and sounds in literature. The excerpt posted from Motor Goose is wonderful. Thank you for bringing these back and updating them for today’s kids.

    Also I will begin to write reviews for books I read and love. I really hadn’t thought to do it. How silly of me…. 🙂

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    • Mother Goose nursery rhymes were always a favorite with both of my girls, so it was a pleasure to write nursery rhymes for today’s children. And as transportation is a prime topic in the early years education, it seemed like a good mix. Many thanks for your comments! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Life gets in the way sometimes (okay, a lot of the time) but if we make writing an intention, if not a priority, then it will happen. All the best with your own writing, Danielle, and thanks for reading the interview!

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  7. Authors are such delightful people, aren’t they? Loved this interview. And I’m so intrigued by her original take on a Christmas story! Thanks for letting us know about it, Vivian.

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  8. Thank you Rebecca and Vivian for this fantastic interview. My rejections constantly roll in, but the my manuscript count keeps growing just as fast. Thank you for the encouragement that it is worth the effort.

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  9. I love hearing about the variety of patterns and rhythms find when they write. I would think writing early would be a very creative time. I know author Sharon Draper starts at 4 a.m. Over the years I have found myself most creative at night — bad for sleep. Agree with your thoughts on networking — so important to your career and sanity. Enjoyed Vivian’s review of Motor Goose. Sounds like a rollicking story, as does you original Christmas story. Already peaked. Pirates and Santa — what fun!

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    • It is bad for sleep, but good for getting stuff down on paper! 😉 Do leave a comment on the Motor Goose post also if you’d like to enter that giveaway as well. Many thanks, Patricia!

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    • Thank you, Lily! Every manuscript you write is certainly a triumph, whether it sells or not. It’s all part of the learning experience and journey to publication.

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  10. A fab interview and very inspiring words from Rebecca. I particularly love the line “Don’t count your failures, count your triumphs”. So true! Can’t wait to read Captain Bling – such a fantastic idea!

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  11. I appreciate the support of a writing community and the importance of being part of a tribe. Thank you Vivian and Rebecca for an informative and fun interview.

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    • And the Kidlit community is one of the most supportive writing communities I’ve come across. We’re very fortunate that way. Thank you, Virginia!

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