WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES
INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION
In this business, we need a core of critique partners who not only help us polish our manuscripts, but also encourage and support us, commiserating when we get rejections and cheering when success comes knocking at our door. I am truly fortunate to have today’s Will Write for Cookies guest as one of mine. Tina Cho is part of the very first critique group I joined back in 2012 and I credit her with helping me revise and polish many of my manuscripts.
Tina Cho is the author of three picture books– Rice from Heaven: The Secret Mission to Feed North Koreans (Little Bee Books/Bonnier Publishing August 2018), Korean Celebrations (forthcoming Tuttle 2019) and Breakfast with Jesus (forthcoming Harvest House 2020). Although she grew up and taught in the United States, she currently lives in South Korea with her husband and two children while teaching at an international school. To learn more about her, you can go to her Website, or connect with her on Twitter or Instagram: tinamcho.
I love doing Q&A’s with every author and illustrator who stops by here, but there is a special joy when it is someone whose work I’ve seen from early draft to polished picture book story. I hope you will all join me in welcoming Tina!
ME: Hello, Tina. After all these years, I feel like I really know you. And I hope that after this interview, many more people will, too. Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?
TINA: Richard Scarry: My mom used to read to us from Richard Scarry’s Animal Nursery Tales (fairy tales).
Beverly Cleary’s Ramona & Beezus
Carolyn Haywood’s Betsy & Eddie series
ME: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started writing?
TINA: I wish I had understood that it takes many, many drafts and real revision to make a story superb. When I first began, I thought my first and second drafts were pretty good. Not!
ME: Where do you like to write – inside, outside, special room, laptop, pen and paper?
TINA: I like to write in my little office off my bedroom. It’s really a connecting room to the bathroom with a vanity, but it’s big enough for a small table, my laptop, and small shelf. I usually outline my stories in a notebook with pen or pencil. Then, I type out the story on my laptop in my office.
ME: When do you write – early morning, late in the day, middle of the night, on schedule, as the muse strikes?
TINA: During the school year, I write in the evenings after school, especially when I’m doing a work-for-hire assignment. Otherwise, I have dedicated Saturdays as my writing day.
ME: Why do you write for children?
TINA: I fell in love with picture books, especially, from being an elementary teacher and reading them every day to my students. I want to create stories for children because children are our future. Children deserve to learn, to be loved, and to hear about all the stories in the world. I also write for children because I have a passion for different topics, and I just have to share it!
ME: Do you have any special thoughts for aspiring writers
TINA: Never give up. If you want to write, then you have to learn the craft, just like any other career. Take writing classes, read writing craft books, join critique groups, and SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). Find writing groups in Facebook and stay active 😊
ME: WOW…thank you so much for sharing all of this with us, Tina. I love your action plan for aspiring writers. You’ve laid out all the right steps that lead to success! And I know you are also going to lay out the right steps to creating one of your favorite sweet treats…so, take it away, Tina!
TINA: My grandma used to make Scotcheroos, and I’d take some with me to college. They were so addicting. Here’s a Scotcheroo recipe from a friend in Iowa.
1 cup sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
- Cook sugar and corn syrup over medium heat until it boils in the saucepan. Let boil 1 minute. Take off heat.
- Add peanut butter. Stir. Add Rice Krispies.
- Press into a 9×13 pan.
- Melt butterscotch chips and chocolate chips in a pan on the stove. You can add a tiny bit of water or milk if needed. Pour over the bars. Cut into squares right away.
We will definitely enjoy these, Tina! And I am enjoying RICE FROM HEAVEN. I know many people are buying it because it is the #1 New Releases in Children’s Asia Books on Amazon..and I hope that many people will be reviewing it as well. Reviews are so important because they help other potential buyers to make good choices when it comes to selecting books for their children.
I hope you all have a beautiful weekend. Thank you for spending your precious time here.