TOOTIE NIENOW: Will Write for Cookies Plus Giveaway


Plate of Cookies





I met today’s Will Write for Cookies guest a couple of years ago…Tootie and I connected in some of the online kid-lit groups…and I had a chance to take a look at a wonderful manuscript she was working on – about a courageous girl who thought differently and decided that skateboarding was what she wanted to do, no matter what anyone said. You can imagine how thrilled I am to see that story roll into bookstores in just a few days!

Tootie Nienow is a children’s author and school librarian. Before that, she was a teacher, photographer, mother, social worker, and soldier. She loves sharing silly, scary, and suspenseful stories with her students. Although she has ridden a skateboard around her neighborhood, she has never once attempted a handstand. Tootie lives in Southern California with her husband and dog. There Goes Patti McGee! is her first picture book. 
Instagram: @author2t Twitter: @tootienienow Website:

ME: Welcome, Tootie! Thank you so much for stopping by to chat. And we are grateful to your publisher for offering a copy of THERE GOES PATTI MCGEE! as a giveaway. I hope everyone leaves a comment to be entered. It’s such a thrill to see this story become a book and I know my readers want to find out more. So let’s get started!

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

TOOTIE: Thanks so much for having me, Vivian. I didn’t read very many picture books as a child. My parents told us stories of their childhood at bedtime and my sister and I took turns requesting our favorites. As I grew older, I loved Judy Blume. My favorite book was THE SECRET GARDEN.

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

TOOTIE: Oh gosh, so many things! Haha! But mostly to have fun. I love every aspect of the writing journey from the exciting first draft to the minute details nearing the final draft. But, sometimes I let myself get worked up and don’t really enjoy the task at hand. If I can step back and remind myself that I LOVE writing, I think I will enjoy it that much more.

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

TOOTIE: I have two big very old pine trees in my front yard and when it’s warm enough, I love to sit under those and listen to the wind. When it’s cold, I sit in my office with the heat vent right at my feet.

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

TOOTIE: I usually write in the morning when my brain is nimble and fresh!

ME: Why do you write for children?

TOOTIE I write for children because, as a child, reading was one of my greatest joys.

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.

TOOTIE: As well, as being an author, I am also a school librarian. The one thing I want children to know is that they don’t have to feel obligated to finish a book if it is not what they expected. If it is boring to them after a few pages or chapters, put it away and try another. There are so many wonderful books in the world and everyone has different tastes.

THANK YOU so much, Tootie. Those are words of wisdom, for sure.



And Tootie, I know you have a VERY special cookie recipe for us, so please, take it away!

TOOTIE: My grandmother wrote this note to my mom in her cookbook:

Make some of these for your mom sometime. Love, Mom

Here is her recipe for BUTTERSCOTCH COOKIES

3 tsp Butter
½ pound Marshmallows
4 cups Crispy Noodles
½ cup Flaked Coconut
pinch of salt
12 oz pack of Butterscotch Chips

Melt butter and marshmallows, stir until smooth. Remove from heat. 
Add noodles, coconut, and salt. Melt butterscotch chips and spread over the top. Cool and cut into squares

Oh my gosh…I love this…it’s so simple – kids will love helping to make them…and eat them!!!

Dear friends, please remember that the best way to tell an author that you love her book is to buy a copy if you can, review it, tell friends about it, and ask your local library to purchase copies for their collection. Don’t forget to leave a comment…and share the post on social media for extra tickets in the giveaway hat.

This weekend is the online SCBWI Winter Conference. And next week, I’ll be visiting a couple of blogs with a Q&A, extension activities for teachers, a giveaway and more – check out Darlene Jacobson on Monday and Laura Roettiger on Tuesday – and be back here on Friday when I feature Charlotte Offsay’s debut picture book, THE BIG BEACH CLEANUP for Perfect Picture Book Friday.

34 thoughts on “TOOTIE NIENOW: Will Write for Cookies Plus Giveaway

  1. It’s so neat to girls breaking into, & dominating, sports that have been very male-oriented! Congrats on your book, Tootie! PS Love that as a librarian, you tell kids it’s ok not to finish a book that’s not resonating for them 🙂 I still feel guilty when I don’t finish a book, even if I’m not enjoying it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I must get this book for my granddaughter! Her dad (my son) loves to skateboard. He’s in a group called the Rad Dads With Pads, and another called Gnarthritis. And his daughter is learning to skateboard, too! Great story idea!


  3. I love writing outside, too, Tootie! It’s been a little chilly and rainy for that lately. Hoping for a beautiful Spring and lots of sunshiny days for writing under the pine trees. . . . Sounds like a great book! Congratulations and continued best wishes!


  4. I love that you tell kids to try another book if they aren’t enjoying their first choice! There are so many wonderful books out there. Your book looks interesting. Sports books that feature females are needed. I’m sure it will inspire many young readers!


  5. Thank you for such lovely and delicious interview!

    Tootie, I can’t wait to read your story, just as I love reading your manuscripts on 12×12! A very BIG Congratulations to you!

    Again thank you so much!


    Liked by 1 person

  6. TOOTIE: I LOVE your advice to remember to have FUN with our writing. Like you, I think I get caught up in thinking about doing it and make myself into a stressed mess. THANK YOU for the INSPIRATION to give ourselves permission to have fun. This truly makes sense–and is a main ingredient to our writing–if our audience happens to be those who thrive on fun. PS: One of my ALL TIME FAV books is “The Secret Garden,” too. I HAVE to read it EVERY spring–along with “The Wind in the Willows.” THANK YOU for the inspiration, and CONGRATS on your FIRST book being published! I CAN’T WAIT to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

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