WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES
INSIGHT – INSPIRATION – INFORMATION
Today’s guest is yet another of the wonderful writers I met when I first dipped my toes into kidlitland. So when I heard that her second picture book was about to launch, I knew that I wanted to have her stop by to chat with us.
I grabbed part of the text from Patty’s website to give you a peek into who she is…what an inspiration to all of us who wonder…is this writerly path the right road for me…and will I ever get published:
When I was in third grade, I had my first brush with “writing fame” when I wrote a patriotic poem that won a contest. The prize was free summer writing camp.
Was that what propelled me to becoming a writer? Nope! Sports camp was much more fun. Archery! Trampolines! Dodgeball on scooters!
I didn’t think seriously about writing until I was an adult. When I was 28, I decided that I wanted to open a children’s bookstore. With the support of my family, I did just that. And, BOOM! I was completely and forever in love with children’s books.
When the store closed, I turned my attention from selling books to writing them.
And aren’t we all glad that she did!!!!
Welcome, Patty! Thank you so much for visiting Picture Books Help Kids Soar. I’ve got some questions for you, so let’s get started.
ME: Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?
PATTY: I learned to read quite young and loved rhyming books, especially Dr. Seuss. I was also one of those kids who peppered my parents with non-stop questions, so they purchased a series of books called TELL ME WHY, and I devoured them.
When I started reading novels, I fell in love with specific books more than particular authors. My favorites included THE HUNDRED AND ONE DALMATIONS by Dodie Smith, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY by Roald Dahl, and A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L’Engle.
ME: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started writing?
PATTY: About ten years ago, I went through a spell of being frustrated with and discouraged by the “black hole” – that policy of publishers and agents not responding unless they’re interested in your work. It felt to me like turning my kids out into the world and not knowing what happened to them. I tried to quit writing, but my brain wouldn’t turn it off. I then made an important decision just write for writing’s sake. I focused on exploring the depths of my craft, learning how to make my work better. In the process I discovered that a well-written piece was more important to me than a sale. Surprisingly enough, that’s when the sales started to happen!
ME: Where do you like to write – inside, outside, special room, laptop, pen and paper?
PATTY: At the idea stage, I’m all pen and paper (or napkins, sales receipts, paper bags…). But after that, I’m a laptop girl. I once had little writing nook under the stairs, which I loved, mostly because I could throw the doors open to a gorgeous yard. But in our current townhouse, my family complains that I make the entire house my office! I’ll write in a chair, on the couch, at the kitchen table, even in bed. And everywhere I go, a pile of books follows.
ME: When do you write – early morning, late in the day, middle of the night, on schedule, as the muse strikes?
PATTY: With a busy day job in a middle school LRC, it’s a constant battle for me to write more consistently. When I’m hot on an idea, I’m pretty frenzied, working whenever and wherever I can. I’m a night owl, so my sweet spot tends to be after 8pm.
ME: Why do you write for children?
PATTY: I’ve had many jobs in my adult life. Looking back, I’ve discovered that nearly all of them focus on the intersection of children and books – I’ve worked in schools and libraries, and for a business that facilitated author and illustrator visits for schools. I also owned a children’s bookstore for seven years, which was magical. I feel like all of those paths have converged on the sweet spot of writing for children.
I love this quote from Zoltán Kodály, a Hungarian composer: “Let us take our children seriously! Everything else follows from this – only the best is good enough for a child.” I believe he was referring to music education, but I feel the same applies for writing, and I am happy to try my best to provide great reading material for children.
ME: WOW…Patty…I love all of your insights! Thank you so much for sharing. I know that many of the things you said will resonate for all the writers out there.
To learn more about Patty, please visit her fabulous website: http://www.patriciatoht.com
And in addition to everything else she does, Patty is also a contributing writer to the GROG blog: https://groggorg.blogspot.com
With the holidays coming, it’s always nice to have a new treat recipe…here is a NO-BAKE one that is perfect to make with the kiddos.
Photo courtesy: https://www.thereciperebel.com/bake-christmas-tree-cookies/
For ingredient list and instructions: https://www.thereciperebel.com/bake-christmas-tree-cookies/
And more awesome goodness…here’s one of Patty’s favorite holiday recipes:
Hooty Creek Cranberry Cookies
(from Mo at the Container Store)
2 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
Combine dry ingredients. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
Mix in flour mixture and oats, then stir in cranberries, chips and nuts.
Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
Thank you so much, dear friends, for spending your precious time here. Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of Patty’s wonderful book.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a copy of PICK A PINE TREE to read during the holidays?
Have a safe and happy weekend.
Love the insights & the treats. Another fabulous post, Vivian!
Vivian is a wonder! Great questions make for a great post.
I love the writing nook Patricia used to have under the stairs. I could see myself there writing away.