Robin Newman: Will Write for Cookies PLUS Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

head shot

ROBIN NEWMAN

I met today’s guest early on in my kidlit writing journey and was always impressed with her passion and determination.

Raised in New York and Paris, Robin is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the City University of New York School of Law. She’s been a practicing attorney and legal editor, but she prefers to write about witches, mice, pigs, and peacocks. She’s the author of the Wilcox & Griswold Mystery Series, The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake and The Case of the Poached Egg, and Hildie Bitterpickles Needs her Sleep. She’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, National Writing Project’s Writers Council, and the Bank Street Writers Lab. She lives in New York with her husband, son, goldfish, and two spoiled English Cocker Spaniels, who are extremely fond of Phil, Jim, and Harry.  

ME: Welcome, Robin! Thank you so much for stopping by to chat…and a big thank you for offering a copy of your awesome new picture book, NO PEACOCKS! as a giveaway. I know everyone is excited to learn more about you, so let’s get started.

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

 

ROBIN: I will seriously date myself but here goes:

 

  • Maurice Sendak—My twin sister and I grew up with Max and Pierre. By age 3, I’m pretty sure we knew every single word in The Nutshell Library. And we can still sing all the stories out of tune with some help from Carole King in the background;

 

  • Ludwig Bemelmans—We lived in Paris when we were kids and fantasized about going to school with Madeline. Boohoo! Who wouldn’t want their appendix out too?;

 

  • Jean de Brumhoff—Loved Babar, Celeste, and the Old Lady. In fact, one of our English bulldogs was named Babar; and

 

  • Beatrix Potter—How could you not love The Tales of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny?

 

 

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

 

ROBIN: It may seem very obvious, but writers need a gene for patience. Patience for writing and developing story ideas. Patience for working on rewrites. Patience waiting for agents and editors to review your submissions and patience for implementing and processing feedback. Patience, as well as a good box of tissues and chocolate, for dealing with lots of rejection.

 

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

 

ROBIN: I work on a laptop. Most of the time, I work in my teeny tiny office that’s been overtaken by swag and books with my dogs, Cupcake and Madeleine, under my feet. But I also like to work in coffee shops while waiting for my son to get out of camp or school.

 

Now, if I don’t have my laptop with me, I always have a notebook or two that I use for marking down ideas and sketching/outlining stories. When I finally have a solid draft, I like to print it out and mark it up on paper. I seem to see the story more clearly when I’m reviewing it on paper. And if I’m working on a picture book, once I have a solid draft, I always always always make one or several dummies so that I can cut, see where the page turns are going to fall, and cut some more.

cover

 

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

 

ROBIN: I write in the morning after my son heads off to school or camp. And I have till school or camp pick up to finish my work.

 

ME: Why do you write for children?

 

ROBIN: I LOVE it! I love getting kids excited about reading and writing, including my own son, who’s a difficult customer to please. And it’s an absolute privilege to write for children.

 

Prior to writing for children, I had been a miserable attorney (that’s miserable with a capital M), and then a legal editor before switching gears completely to writing picture books and early chapter books. I still remember the day when I walked into my first children’s fiction writing class, it just felt so right. I knew I had found my people.  

 

Bottom line: there’s no better job in the world than writing for children. (And I’m extremely grateful to my amazing husband who supports my writing habit.)

 

ME: If you have any thoughts or advice for aspiring writers, please share.

ROBIN:

  1. Write and rewrite. Rinse and repeat.
  2. Follow Publishers Weekly, familiarize yourself with the children’s publishing industry and the business of publishing children’s books, and be aware of what editors are buying.
  3. Do your homework when looking for an agent. And yes, it is easier to sell a story with an agent who can get your work in front of the right editor.
  4. Join the SCBWI.
  5. Join a critique group.
  6. Don’t give up!

ME: HURRAY! What amazing advice, Robin! Thank you so much. I know everyone is applauding. We appreciate that you shared so much with us. And I know you have a very special treat to share with us.

ROBIN: Although I will most definitely write for cookies, I must confess that I prefer carrot cake. Here’s Molly Katzen’s awesome carrot cake recipe from The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake. It’s super easy and super yummy!

recipe

Thank you so much, Robin! This is a fabulous recipe…and you’ve been so generous in sharing your thoughts on writing!

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway, dear friends.

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful weekend! 

 

 

 

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever - Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (PomegranateKids, March 15, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, Feb 13, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, May 1, 2019); MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: THE INSPIRING FRIENDSHIP OF ELLA FITZGERALD AND MARILYN MONROE (Little Bee Books, Spring 2020); FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD MOVES (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Fall 2020) picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my young grandson.

Posted on September 8, 2018, in book giveaway, Dessert recipe, Uncategorized, Will Write for Cookies - Author/Illustrator interviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. I met Robin at NerdCamp and she is indeed lovely in person. She made an eye catching display for her books with swag for the kids. Looking forward to reading “No Peacocks” soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic thoughts and great interview questions. Thanks to both of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Robin’s story is inspiring, as is her passion of writing for children. Loved this interview.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on and commented:
    I am over the moon to be interviewed by the amazing Vivian Kirkfield for her blog segment, Will Write for Cookies. Vivian is a picture book junkie and a lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with her 9-year old grandson. She has four wonderful picture books coming out in 2019: OUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press); PIPPA’S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House); FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); and SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books). Be sure to pre-order your copies today!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Always love reading the back stories of authors and books! I understand your flight from the legal profession – I think there are a few of us out there, Robin. Thanks so much for sharing. To your continued success!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Danielle Hammelef

    I also have a husband who supports my writing for children goals and he’s often my first reader. If I can get an emotional reaction from him, then I know I’m on my way. Thanks for sharing your writing process today. This book will be fun to read.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Great story of your writing life. And I love carrot cake! That recipe looks yummy! Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for the tips for newbies and carrot cake recipe. I can’t wait to try it! Your book sounds amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. When we go to college we think we know our career path. You are an example of living a few years, working in a field you didn’t like, and following your passion. And look how well you are doing. We really don’t know until we’ve lived some to know what inspires us. You’ve had an interesting journey and your books show your passion! Congratulations on a wonderful book launch!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you………………and love the carrot cake recipe !!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for all the great advice!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Love your books, Robin. Your humor keeps a smile on my face 🙂 Congrats on the new book-can’t wait to read it! You’ve got me drooling over the carrot cake.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The “Will Write for Cookies”grabbed my attention. That is MY life philosophy too, lol, except with music. I loved this interview and found the writing tips helpful, even for me. I also loved Robin’s list of author/illustrator influences growing up. YAY! Someone from my generation. Thanks for sharing the carrot cake recipe too. I have that cookbook floating around some place. Maybe I will make a High Holiday Carrot Cake? Thanks for sharing everyone,😊

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks for taking the time to share. Long forward go carrot cake and reading No Peacocks.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I never tire of advice that “may seem very obvious.” As someone who is just starting out, and also hoping to make a career switch when it’s feasible, it helps to read and reread all the advice regularly and frequently. Thank you, Robin and Vivian!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Great interview with great advice. Thanks to you both.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I have been waiting to read this book. What an insightful interview!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thank you for this inspiring Post. It is always nice to hear stories of hard-working writers who have succeeded !

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Thanks for sharing this heartfelt interview! 🙂

    Like

  20. Thank you for this inspirational interview. Can’t wait to read your new book.

    Like

  21. So happy you had the patience to keep working for all the success you have had!

    Like

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