WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES
INSIGHT – INSPIRATION – INFORMATION
In 2016, I attended the Wild Wild West SCBWI conference in Chicago and got to meet our Will Write for Cookies guest. His wife, our own Miranda Paul, was signing some of her books and I had a chance to chat with Baptiste. I don’t know if he will remember…I’ll have to ask him. But we talked about books and families and it was lovely. And when I discovered he had a debut picture book coming out in March, I knew I wanted to have him stop by to share some of his journey with us.
Baptiste Paul is a man of many talents—from woodworking to gardening to entertaining hoards of children for hours on end. Born and raised in the Caribbean (Saint Lucia), Baptise is a native Creole/Patois speaker and enjoys roasting his own coffee and chocolate. Baptiste holds Degrees in Environmental Studies and Political Science from Bucknell University and currently resides with his family in Green Bay, Wisconsin. His debut picture book, THE FIELD, launched on March 6, 2018.
Welcome, Baptiste! Thank you so much for stopping by to visit with us. I’ve got a bunch of questions and we’d all love to hear your answers, so let’s get started.
ME: Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?
BAPTISTE: My favorite authors as a child were Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew series) and Franklin W Dixon (The Hardy Boys series). I also loved the classics, The Three Little Pigs, Beauty and Beast and Jack and The Beanstalk. However, my favorite stories as a child were oral stories told by the elders in the village.
ME: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started writing?
BAPTISTE: One of the most interesting aspect about the process is what comes after you sold your first book. The amount of time you spend on branding yourself (marketing) is insane especially for someone like me with zero background in that field. Another interesting realization is that you need to be honest with yourself, you need to know when to shelve a story or completely write a new one because the one you are working on is not good enough.
ME: Where do you like to write – inside, outside, special room, laptop, pen and paper?
BAPTISTE: During the day I walk around with a pencil tucked above my ear and a memo book in my pocket to jot down ideas as they come. When I’m at home, my basement is the place where my creativity flourishes and where there is the least amount of distraction — except for the cat.
ME: When do you write – early morning, late in the day, middle of the night, on schedule, as the muse strikes?
BAPTISTE: The time that works best for me is late at night when everyone is sleeping. However, I am flexible because I have to juggle many schedules.
ME: Why do you write for children?
BAPTISTE: As a child, I did not see myself in books. Access to books was a constant challenge. I walked more than 20km round trip (12miles) to the library for books. I write because I want to ignite an enthusiasm for reading or writing. I want my stories to be conversation starters.
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.
BAPTISTE: To aspiring writers — Keep writing and find your own unique voice. Live life deliberately. Seek advice from those in the industry and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
To parents – Keep reading to your children no matter how old they are. Practice more active listening and let your child take you on a journey by using their own words.
To educators/librarians – Stockpile on diverse books. Create a welcoming environment for underrepresented people in our communities. It’s ok to challenge the system even if it’s unpopular.
ME: Oh my goodness…that is just what we all need to hear, Baptiste. I know many of us are on the same mission…you’ve given us courage to CHALLENGE THE SYSTEM EVEN IF IT IS UNPOPULAR!
Thank you so very much, Baptiste, for sharing your journey and your insights and for offering a copy of THE FIELD as a giveaway.
And dear friends, we are not done yet. Baptiste’s favorite cookie is Oatmeal Raisin and here is a fabulous recipe for you to try.
GLUTEN-FREE OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES
Photo courtesy and recipe from: http://www.quakeroats.com/cooking-and-recipe/gluten-free-vanishing-oatmeal-cookies.aspx
- 1/2 Cup(s) (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3/4 Cup(s) firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 Cup(s) granulated sugar
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 Teaspoon(s) vanilla
- 1 1/2 Cup(s) gluten free multi-purpose flour blend
- 1 Teaspoon(s) gluten free baking soda
- 1 Teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon(s) salt (optional)
- 3 Cup(s) Quaker® Gluten Free Quick 1-Minute Oats, uncooked
- 1 Cup(s) raisins
Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add flour blend, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Stir in oats and raisins; mix well. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.
Sounds like something to do this weekend, right? Something else to do? Go to Amazon or Goodreads or one of the other book review sites and leave feedback on some of your favorite books…that is the best gift we can give an author!
Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of Baptiste’s wonderful book, THE FIELD which I reviewed for Perfect Picture Book Friday.
And tomorrow we’ll be posting the results of the #50PreciousWords Writing Challenge…you don’t want to miss that!
Have a safe and happy weekend!