WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES
INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION
Our kidlit community is bursting with talent! Amazing writers. Awesome illustrators. And hardworking agents and editors who keep an eye out for stories that will engage, educate and inspire our children. Usually I’m interviewing authors…but today I have a treat for you! We have illustrator Holly Hatam in the house today.
Holly Hatam is the illustrator of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Dear Girl, and Dear Boy, which she had the pleasure of creating with Amy, Paris, and Jason Rosenthal. Some of her other books include Made by Maxine, written by Ruth Spiro, and Jack (Not Jackie), written by Erica Silverman. She is also a greeting card designer and a textile engineer. Holly lives in Waterloo, Ontario, with her wacky husband and even wackier son.
ME: Welcome, Holly. Thank you so much for stopping by Picture Books Help Kids Soar! Your latest book, DEAR BABY published earlier this month from Harper Collins and I know everyone would like to find out more about you, so let’s get started.
Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?
HOLLY: My favourite authors were Judy Blume and E. B. White. I actually still have my well loved and tattered copy of Just As Long As We’re Together by Judy Blume. My favourite illustrators were Maurice Sendak and Chris Van Allsburg.
ME: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started writing?
HOLLY: I wish I had found a group of authors and illustrators right away. It’s amazing what a group of like-minded and supportive people can do for your craft. Whether they are there to help you hone your writing/illustrating or just be an ear when you need to vent.
ME: Where do you like to write – inside, outside, special room, laptop, pen and paper?
HOLLY: I like to write at my writing desk, which is meant only for writing. I also like to write at the park, sitting underneath a tree. Because I’m at the computer all day when illustrating, I like to write the “old fashioned” way with a pen and notebook.
ME: When do you write – early morning, late in the day, middle of the night, on schedule, as the muse strikes?
HOLLY: I’ve always been a morning person and I do my best work in the mornings. I love the quiet. I usually wake up around 5am, make myself a cup of tea and sit down to write and read. It’s the only time in the whole day that I get to be alone and it’s absolute bliss.
ME: Why do you write for children?
HOLLY: I loved reading as a kid. It was a way for me to go on adventures and find magic in the world. Books helped me deal with my big emotions and gave me friends I could lean on. And now as an author, I want to do those things for kids.
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.
HOLLY: Aspiring writers – write about what you love and read as much as you can.
Parents – read to your kids as early as you can and as much as you can.
Librarians – thank you so much for being the champions of authors!
ME: Thank you so much, Holly! I love your advice to writers and parents…and I second your words of praise to librarians. And I’m on the same page when it comes to uniting with like-minded people – critique buddies are so important…for encouragement and support, as well as for brainstorming and feedback.
Now, usually we have a cookie or other treat recipe, but I’ve been somewhat distracted the past few weeks with moving and unpacking boxes – I neglected to ask Holly for a recipe…and we are COOKIE-LESS! Oh dear! And just like the character on Sesame Street, ME WANT COOKIE! So here’s a challenge and a bit of fun. With the holiday season upon us, I’ll be lots of you have favorite cookie recipes. How about each of you share the name of your favorite cookie recipe…and I’ll pick one and send something special to that person.
In addition, I want to remind everyone that Holly is offering a copy of her brand new book, DEAR BABY! as a giveaway. Please leave a comment below for a chance to win…and share this post on social media to earn extra tickets in the giveaway hat.
And remember that the best way to insure the success of your favorite book is to buy it if you can, review it, tell others about it, and ask your local library to purchase a copy for their collection.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! The fall colors here in New England are GLORIOUS. If you are out leaf-peeping, please stay safe and well.