WILL WRITE AND ILLUSTRATE FOR COOKIES
INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION
FOR WRITERS, ILLUSTRATORS, PARENTS, TEACHERS, LIBRARIANS,
AND BOOK LOVERS EVERYWHERE
I’ve met today’s guest on many kid lit platforms over the past few years and I’m so pleased she was able to stop by to chat today. As you can see by her bio, Lynne Marie is an ultra busy lady.
Lynne Marie is the author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten – art by Anne Kennedy (Scholastic 2011), Hedgehog’s 100th Day of School – art by Lorna Hussey (Scholastic 2017), The Star of the Christmas Play — art by Lorna Hussey (Beaming Books 2018), Moldilocks and the 3 Scares — art by David Rodriguez Lorenzo (Sterling 2019 and Scholastic 2019), Let’s Eat! Mealtime Around the World — art by Parwinder Singh (Beaming Books 2019), The Three Little Pigs and the Rocket Project — art by Wendy Fedan (Mac and Cheese Press, 2022), American Pie (Dancing Flamingo Press Spring 2022), There Was a Blue Whale Who Tangled with Plastic (Dancing Flamingo Press Spring 2023) and more, forthcoming. She’s also the Owner and Administrator of RateYourStory.org and a Travel Agent. She currently lives on a lake in South Florida with her family, a Schipperke named Anakin, where she can be found daydreaming and fracturing fairy tales. Visit her on her website www.LiterallyLynneMarie.com. Lynne Marie is represented by Marisa Cleveland ofwww.theseymouragency.com Follow her on Facebook here and on twitter here.
ME: Welcome, Lynne Marie! I’m so happy you stopped by for the Q&A. I know you’ve got a yummy treat recipe coming later, as well as a super cool giveaway of a SPEED PASS for Rate Your Story, but everyone wants to find out a little bit more about you, so let’s get started.
Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?
LYNNE MARIE: I honestly devoured books as a kid and read my way through the children’s department of the Smithtown Library. I was an early reader and wasn’t picky about what I read whether it be picture books, chapter books or novels – I loved them ALL. My mother worked at the library, so she was very supportive and brought us there often. Some of the books I checked out most often were The Witch Next Door by Norman Bridwell (1970), Lyle Lyle Crocodile by Bernard Waber (1973), Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parrish (1963) and so many more. I owned Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Reptiles, a Giant Golden Book, and read it again and again and again and would set up scenes with my plastic dinosaurs (which I still have). When I was 8 my favorite author was Phyllis Whitney whose book, the Mystery of the Green Cat, I had gotten from the Scholastic Book Club. My mother brought me to meet her and that’s when I truly had it in my heart to become an Author. Thank you, Phyllis!
ME: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started writing?
LYNNE MARIE: Probably the knowledge and understanding that getting your book published is only part of the work. It gets even harder (and sometimes less fun than chasing ideas and creatively writing) to promote, market, sell, and keep up with appearances so that your book will sell well. Of course, I would still be an Author because I love it so much. I just think I would have been more prepared for that part.
I also know that where the path starts out, is not always where you end up. I started out writing punny farm animal stories and haven’t ever sold one yet. However, at some point on my journey I became open to letting it go where it needed to go and I ended up selling sweet stories and fairy tales.
ME: Where do you like to write – inside, outside, special room, laptop, pen and paper?
LYNNE MARIE: My parents got me a computer in the late 1980s before many had them and it was the coolest thing ever! I knew how to type so I could write fast fast fast and that’s what I did 🙂 So I love putting my racing thoughts quickly down into a document. But for notes and brainstorming and word webbing I love a good old sheet of paper (and I say that loosely as it could be anything LOL) and a colorful flair magic marker. I most enjoy writing in my custom office which is filled with books, drawings, memorabilia and so many things that inspire me.
ME: When do you write – early morning, late in the day, middle of the night, on schedule, as the muse strikes?
LYNNE MARIE: I guess in that way, I am an opportunist. Of course, often I forcibly make time for writing, like in our Rate Your Story Monday afternoon Write-Ins, or when I have a deadline. But usually I have to just write when I can, or when I need to (for a creative release).
ME: Why do you write for children?
LYNNE MARIE: Because I am a child at heart, and also because I just love children and the way they interact and approach situations and the way they view the world. Because I remember vividly being a child, I know recall and understand that it has its challenges too. I want kids to laugh, learn and understand something better as a result of reading my stories.
ME: Also, if you have any thoughts or advice for aspiring writers, please share.
LYNNE MARIE: I would recommend thinking of writing for children as an actual profession, just like any other one. You can likely roll out of bed and write, but perhaps not well enough, and you most likely can’t just roll out of bed and write a story with all the essential components, all the right sensibilities, a narrative arc, a character arc and all a satisfying ending. You likely will need to find your voice, as well. These things take time, effort, blood, sweat and tears, in my opinion. If you realize that, and work hard with the right attitude and objectivity, you’ll go further toward your goal and faster.
ME: Wow! Thank you so much, Lynne Marie. These are important insights…for aspiring authors and for seasoned ones. And speaking about seasoning, cinnamon is one of my favorite seasonings – and I got a delicious whiff of it when I saw your treat recipe! Take it away, Lynne Marie!
LYNNE MARIE: While these are not cookies, they are round, sweet and delicious. I never liked these in America, but when I was in Sweden, I was absolutely smitten with them:
AUTHENTIC SWEDISH KANELBULLAR (CINNAMON ROLLS)
- For 25 buns
- 35 g / 1¼ oz yeast
- 100 g / 3½ oz sugar
- 300 ml /1½ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 120 g / 4 oz butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbs ground cardamom
- 750 g / 26 oz flour
100 g / 4 oz butter
50 g / 2 oz sugar
2 Tbs cinnamon
2 Tbs water
Crumble the yeast in a bowl.
Stir it in a few tablespoons of milk.
Melt the butter. Pour the milk on it.
Add the rest of the ingredients. Knead the dough (if available in a dough mixer for 10–15 minutes).
Cover dough and let it rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough so it is about 3 mm / 1/8 in thick and 30 cm / 12 in wide.
Spread the room-temperature butter on top.
Mix sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle it over the dough.
Roll the dough the long way and cut it into roughly 25 slices.
Place them with the cut edge upward in paper molds.
Place on a baking sheet and let rise under a towel for about 60 minutes or until the buns have doubled in size.
Beat together the egg and water. Brush the mixture carefully on the buns.
Sprinkle pearl sugar on top of the buns.
Bake in the oven 220°C / 425°F for 5–6 minutes.
Cool on a rack.
Woo-hoo! Cinnamon Rolls – I could eat them at breakfast, lunch, and dinner! So, while I’m munching away…or dreaming of munching away, please make sure you leave a comment below so you can be entered in the super cool giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a SPEED PASS for Rate Your Story: www.rateyourstory.org
And speaking about prizes – if you stop by tomorrow, you’ll get a first look at the AMAZING prizes we have in store for #50PreciousWords which runs on this blog March 4-6! And you’ll also get a peek at the new literacy initiative I’ve created that will put books in the hands of local schools in need. I’ve partnered with my local indie bookstore and…
…more tomorrow, dear friends.
Remember, authors need our help. You can buy Lynne’s newest book, review it on Amazon or other book review sites, tell friends about it, and ask your local library to purchase copies for their shelves.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, dear friends.