WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES
INSIGHT – INSPIRATION – INFORMATION
I’m having so much fun this year, featuring as many of the 2017 picture books as I can and shining a well-deserved spotlight on the authors and illustrators. I was thrilled to connect with Katy who is the award winning author of more than twenty-five children’s books including the picture books Farmer McPeepers and His Missing Milk Cows, illustrated by Steve Gray (Rising Moon Children’s Books), Loud Lula, illustrated by Mike Boldt (Two Lions, 2015), and Aliens Get the Sniffles, Too, illustrated by K.G. Campbell (Candlewick Press, 2017).
She has also written many nonfiction books for older readers, both fiction and nonfiction for many children’s magazines, and for several educational publishers. To connect with Katy and find out more about her writing, please visit her at www.katyduffield and follow her on Twitter at @KatyDuffield.
ME: Welcome, Katy! Thanks so much for powering down to earth to chat with us and share a bit of your writing journey.
Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?
KATY: I don’t know that I had any favorite authors or illustrators when I was a child, but I DEFINITELY had plenty of favorite books. When I was in elementary school, the librarian would open the school library one day a week in the summer so students could check out books—and that was right down my alley! I checked and re-checked picture books like KATY NO-POCKETS, THE SEVEN CHINESE BROTHERS, MILLIONS OF CATS, and THE FUNNY LITTLE WOMAN. Aren’t librarians the greatest?
ME: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started writing?
KATY: Oh so many things!
- That there are many different kinds of writing successes.
- That getting published can take a REALLY long time.
- That getting that first book published doesn’t mean you have it made. 🙂
- That it truly IS all about the journey.
- That letting a manuscript “rest” is one of the best things you can do.
- That studying (and typing out) picture books is a great way to learn how to write them.
- That kid lit folks are the kindest, most giving people ever.
- That you should follow your dreams—even if it looks like you’ll never reach them.
- That first drafts will always be hard.
- That revision is always where the magic happens.
ME:Where do you like to write – inside, outside, special room, laptop, pen and paper?
KATY: Two of my favorite places to write are out on our back porch when the sea breeze is blowing and in the living room in my favorite chair. But when I’m doing some serious nonfiction research/writing, you can find me camped out in our guest bedroom/office with my research books spread all over the desk and spilling over onto the floor.
This is the view from our back porch. Looks like I need to refill the bird feeder!
I write almost exclusively on my laptop, and when I’m writing nonfiction, I pair my laptop with an external monitor—it’s nonfiction writing/researching heaven (thanks to my professor son for that tip)!
ME: When do you write – early morning, late in the day, middle of the night, on schedule, as the muse strikes?
KATY: My “best” writing comes mid-morning to mid-afternoon, I think. I like to do my devotional reading and have a quiet time first thing in the morning (after taking the dog out!), and then I usually walk or ride my bike. Only then is my mind right to get to work. I also write sometimes in the evenings—especially if I’m obsessing over revisions—and I’ve been known to get up in the middle of the night and write if something clicks at a late hour.
ME: Why do you write for children?
KATY: It sounds simplistic, but I love kids. I love hearing kids laugh. I love seeing the world through kids’ eyes. I have a three-year-old granddaughter and it’s so much fun to hear her unique take on things. Kids amaze me. It is such an honor for me to be able to write something that kids read.
And I ADORE picture books—and the people who create them. I’d much rather read a stack of picture books than the latest best-selling adult novel. I make the 45-minute (one-way) trek to the public library on a regular basis and come home with stacks of picture books.
Picture books are jam-packed with wisdom and insight and goodness—in these succinct, tight little packages. It’s astounding when you think about it!
ME: THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! These are wonderful insights, Katy! But I know you aren’t finished giving us sweet things to think about.
KATY: My Mom called these “Hello Dollies,” but in keeping with a Little Alien theme, we’ll call them “Mars Bars.”)
This is serious, gooey goodness!
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press mixture into a 9×13 pan. Sprinkle coconut onto crust, then sprinkle on the chocolate chips and pecans. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over all.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes. Check frequently and do not overbake.
Cool and cut into small squares.
Definitely Alien Awesomeness!
Thanks, everyone, for spending your precious time with us here. Leave a comment to be entered into the book giveaway. And don’t forget that leaving a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other book review sites is a great gift to your favorite authors!
First off those Hello Dollies look 👀 amazing, and I love the name! This was a great interview to read. Katy’s books look adorable. I can’t believe she has a 45 minute commute to the library!
The Hello Dollies (AKA Mars Bars!) ARE amazing. You need to try them. 🙂 Thanks for your kinds words about my books. We DO have a small local library that’s about a 15-20 minute drive, but they often don’t have all the new books, so I make the longer trek so I can really load up. 🙂
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Yet another great post/interview! Thanks, Vivian, for such wonderful inspiration and information and thanks to Katie for sharing! Oh, and the recipe looks divine and will have to be made this weekend.:)
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I hope you like the Hello Dollies, Beth. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Enjoy!
Thanks, Vivian and Katy… great “What I wish I’d known” tips.
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Glad you found them helpful, Cindy!
Great interview Vivian … and thanks Katy! Your backyard view is gorgeous!
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