CARRIE FINISON: Will Write for Cookies Plus Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

Carrie_Finison_headshot

TODAY’S GUEST

CARRIE FINISON

In 2012, I jumped into the kidlit world, intent on becoming a published picture author. I joined 12×12 and quickly connected with many of the other writers who were pursuing the same goal. When Carrie Finison reached out to ask who’d like to be in a critique group, my hand flew up. Having Carrie for a critique buddy has been a blessing, for sure.

Carrie Finison began her literary career at the age of seven with an idea, a box of markers, and her father’s typewriter. She has been writing off and on ever since, though she has (somewhat regretfully) traded in the typewriter for a laptop. Her debut picture book is DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS (July, 2020), and a second picture book, DON’T HUG DOUG, will follow in January, 2021. She also writes for children’s magazines including Babybug, Ladybug, High Five, and Highlights. When she’s not writing, Carrie enjoys reading mystery novels, trying new recipes, and curling up on the couch for family movie nights. She lives outside Boston with her husband, son, daughter, and two cats who permit her to write in their cozy attic office. Find her online at www.carriefinison.com or on Twitter @CarrieFinison.

ME: I am jumping for joy to welcome you, Carrie, to Will Write for Cookies. I loved DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS even in its early drafts and I’m thrilled to see it become a real book!!! Thank you for stopping by – let’s get started with the questions because I know everyone is excited to find out more about you and your writing journey!

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

CARRIE: It’s so much fun to look back at old favorites. My mother still has many of my childhood books. I remember reading Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton many times over, and also her book The Little House. I loved seeing the Little House get all fixed up and taken care of in the end. Maurice Sendak’s Nutshell Library was another favorite and when I got the soundtrack to the show Really Rosie, I had fun singing Carol King’s version of those stories. I also loved One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey. We spent many vacations in Maine so those illustrations feel familiar and homey.

Another book that I remember vividly is The Three Robbers by Tomi Ungerer. It’s an unusual story about a girl who gets rescued from an unhappy life by three robbers. They then set up a home for her and for other unhappy children. I liked the idea that the robbers could be good at heart even though they did some bad things.

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

CARRIE: I’ll answer the opposite. I’m glad I DIDN’T know how long the path to publication would be and how much persistence it would take. I might have given up before I started! I think the key to moving forward in this business is that you have to really enjoy the process – the actual act of writing and revision. As much as I sometimes avoid it, I do take pleasure in just creating something, whether or not someone is ever going to publish it. That part never feels like work.

Doughnuts_front_cover_web

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

CARRIE: I’m lucky to have an office up on our third floor. I write at my grandfather’s desk with my two cats nearby – and sometimes draped over my keyboard adding their own “revisions.” But I’m not always in that space. Especially in summer, when it’s way too hot up there, I spend time writing on the couch, out on our deck, or (in pre-Covid times) in coffee shops. I miss the coffee shops!

desk_workspace

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

CARRIE: As the muse strikes, for sure! Most often that is early in the morning. Sometimes she gets me out of bed! I really don’t have a set schedule and probably need to get better about that. But every time I try to create a schedule something seems to happen to derail it. These days, with my family home, it can be difficult. I don’t need quiet to write, but I do need time free from interruptions and that is hard to come by lately.

ME: Why do you write for children?

CARRIE: I remember all those special moments when my own kids sat on my lap and we shared a story, often reading whole piles of books. It’s a privilege to be a part of that moment of enjoyment between an adult reader and a child. Even better is knowing that I have the power to actually make that moment of connection happen by writing books that kids will ask to read — hopefully more than once!

ME: With DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS? Definitely more than once! The rhythm and rhyme are so spot on…clever and a great message to boot!

Thank you so much, Carrie…and if you have any thoughts or advice for aspiring writers, please share.

CARRIE: My best advice for aspiring writers is to read many, many recently-published books, and read them with a child if you possibly can. Pay attention to how they interact with books as well as what appeals to you about the books you read.

Then write many, many manuscripts. The biggest mistake I made starting out was to focus too much on “perfecting” one or two stories, rather than just writing a lot. Picture books take a lot of practice and some stories are never going to make it for a whole host of reasons. Give yourself lots of practice and lots of options. I won’t say it gets easier, but I will say that the more you read and write the more ideas you will have and the more writing you’ll want to do.

ME: That is fabulous advice, Carrie! Thank you so much!

And dear readers, here is some information if you’d like to find out more about Carrie and her books:

Order a signed copy from her local bookstore, Belmont Books: https://www.belmontbooks.com/book/9780525518358

Website: https://www.carriefinison.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carrie.finison

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarrieFinison

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carriefinison/

And just like with doughnuts, we always want more…and Carrie is ready with a fabulous treat for us! Take it away, Carrie!

doughnut_cookies

CARRIE: Vivian, I’m so glad you invited me to do this blog because it gave me an excuse to develop a recipe for doughnut cookies! I originally wanted to include a doughnut recipe with DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS – it seems like a natural fit. But, between rising them with yeast or deep frying, they can be difficult to make and aren’t the most approachable project with young children. In the end we ran out of space in the book, but I did develop a simplified doughnut recipe that’s available on my website and that I’m using as a freebie at events.

However, a doughnut COOKIE is a much easier project for kids, and just as satisfying! I started this with a basic sugar cookie recipe, but added some spices to make it taste more like my favorite fall apple cider doughnuts. I hope you like it!

LouAnn's_Doughnut_Cookies (2)

This is fabulous, Carrie! Thank you so very much! I bet if I asked for a show of hands, we’d have a bunch of readers and writers who are going to give these doughnut cookies a try! But before you get busy doing that, make sure you leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway of a copy of DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS, thanks to our lovely guest! Why not share which is YOUR favorite doughnut. Mine is Chocolate Glazed Chocolate…with Chocolate Sprinkles…because you can never have enough chocolate.

For those who have been following my house-on-the-market saga, it was listed on July 16, Open House on July 18…with immediate offers! We signed the contract July 21…and I’m now packing in earnest. And so very excited to turn the page on this next chapter of my life!

Stay safe, dear friends…and have a wonderful weekend!

83 thoughts on “CARRIE FINISON: Will Write for Cookies Plus Giveaway

  1. What a great post and interview! Congratulations on such a wonderful book. Can’t wait to get my hands on it AND to make your fabulous doughnut cookies! 😊

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  2. Great interview! I recently pre-ordered and received two signed copies of DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS for my granddaughter and a friend’s son. What a delightful, clever story! We love the rhythm and rhyme, and giggle every time someone shows up at LouAnn’s door. And as a former second grade teacher, I enjoy the math concepts thrown into the mix! We can’t wait to try the doughnut recipe. (It’s been too hot for the kitchen lately, so maybe some rainy day soon.)

    Thanks, Carrie and Vivian!

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  3. Thanks for the terrific post, Vivian. And thank you for sharing your journey, Carrie. Congratulations, Dozens of Doughnuts is adorable! I loved hearing you read it at your virtual launch party! 🐻 🍩 🥂

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  4. So excited for Dozens of Doughnuts and for this yummy recipe. I live close enough to a farm stand that when the wind blows just right in the fall the air fills with the scent of apple cider doughnuts. Congratulations, Carrie!

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  5. Reading this post makes me wish I was near a bakery right now. A favorite donut? That is a tough question. There are so many delicious kinds. I’ll go with chocolate glazed (minus the sprinkles).

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  6. I love that you said write a lot. I focused too much on one or two early manuscripts, too. Now I keep writing, writing, writing. One of these days (years) I hope to have a book out. And I want to try out the icing with apple cider vinegar! I’ve never made it that way but now I’m going to try it.

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    • It’s a common mistake that lots of writers make, but I found that my writing really opened up when I stopped rehashing the same story over and over again and tried something completely new.

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  7. And now I want donuts and cookies to eat while I read Dozens of Donuts! Love the recipe! And thanks for the encouragement to keep writing, writing, writing. Congrats and best wishes!

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  8. Thanks for sharing your journey with us,, Carrie! Your book has been on my wish list ever since I heard about it, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. I never met a doughnut I didn’t like, but my favorite is probably a chocolate frosted Persian. Thanks again! And congratulations on your quick sale, Vivian!

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  9. So true Carrie…we have to write a lot of stories to perfect our craft, rather than perfecting a few “chosen” ones. In a way, it’s rather like figuring out your favorite doughnuts—best to bite in to many different kinds than always eating the same flavor 🙂

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  10. YUM! This book sounds amazing! I am thrilled for you, Carrie, and thrilled for you, Vivian…for lots of reasons! 🙂 Will be sharing this post. It’s great!

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  11. I can’t wait to check out this book! And the doughnut cookie recipe sounds scrumptious. It’s been a while since I could eat donuts–too many food intolerances–but I love a good chocolate frosted raised donut. Yum!

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  12. Excellent writing advice–I need to start writing more and not put all my efforts into one manuscript as I’ve been doing. I have all the ingredients to make these cookies too, but I’ll have to use two different size circular glasses to creat the doughnut shapes. My favorite doughnuts are sourcream glazed ones, although I haven’t eaten a doughnut in years. Congrats on both your fun book and on selling your home so quickly. Good luck with the move.

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  13. Thanks for your thoughtful comments about writing A LOT. And best wishes on Dozens of Doughnuts. It sounds amazing. I associate doughnuts with the beach. I’ll have a plain doughnut, please, and a tall cup of coffee! Ahh.

    Vivian, congrats on the quick sale and best wishes on the move.

    Thanks to both of you for a great interview.

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  14. Congratulations, Carrie! Kids will love the sprinkles on the doughnut cookies!

    And, congrats to Vivian on selling your house so promptly!!

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  15. Baking and books are both favorites in our house! We love Dozens of Doughnuts and can’t wait to try your cookie recipe, Carrie. Thanks to you both for this wonderful interview, and good luck with your move, Vivian!

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  16. Dozens of Donuts? Nothing better than that! Thanks for the interview and sharing your new books with us. And thank you for the advice about writing many stories without worrying about perfecting each one. That’s what I always want to do, so I will keep your advice in mind.

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  17. We preordered and I can’t wait for it to arrive! My doughnut obsessed daughter is going to LOVE!

    We will have to try the cookies too. I hope to take Carrie’s class with Renee this fall. 😊

    Vivian— I love apple cider cake doughnuts and glazed maple doughnuts topped with bacon. 🍩

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  18. It’s great to learn more about you and your book, Carrie. Congratulations, and I look so forward to reading this book (and maybe later eating some donuts – I suddenly have a craving.)

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  19. Dozens of Donuts sounds delightful and delicious! Congratulations 🎈 🍩 Loved this inspiring interview! Took a photo snap of your writing area…I love that you use your Grandpas desk and in the attic! It all sounds so inspiring!
    Thank you for sharing and congratulations 🍾 on selling your home! Blessings!

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  20. A brilliant idea to make donut cookies! Very kid-friendly. This book is on my hold list, should my library ever open this fall. Congrats, again, on your fabulous debut, Carrie! And I’m looking forward to reading Don’t Hug Doug! Cheers!

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  21. Super! Doughnuts are a staple here, so this book will be a perfect companion! Love it!

    Also, growing up, we would make doughnuts from pillsbury refrigerated biscuit dough. (I think it was biscuit). We would cut the center out with an upside down medicine bottle and then put them in a skillet filled with oil. Of course the oil does splatter, so that has to be done by an adult, but then you pop them in a bowl of sugar and flip them around a bit. Eat when they are still fresh—yummy! But they don’t keep well. Easy and fun and delish!

    Congrats on your books!
    And congrats on your house, Vivian! I always imagined you living in a downtown New York City apartment for some reason!

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  22. Congratulations Carrie. Thanks for the advice about reading with a child…I’ll go find one! I will read more and write more. Maybe eat doughnut cookies!

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  23. This is one of the books I’ve been super excited for…with both the rhyme and the sweets, I can’t wait! That picture makes me want a strawberry frosted doughnut with sprinkles, but my favorite is a toasted coconut. I’m going to have to try the cookie recipe too! Congrats!

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  24. Love the title of this book, it sounds really fun and I can definitely see the influence in Maurice Sendak’s work. I still have a copy of Sendak and Carole King’s Night Kitchen/Chicken Soup with Rice/Pierre vhs and love listening to it. She sounds like my kind of lady.

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