Category Archives: recipes
WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES
INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION
JACKIE AZÚA KRAMER
Jackie and I connected in a couple of kid lit Facebook groups. I absolutely love her picture book, THE GREEN UMBRELLA, which we spotlighted during her book blog tour. I’m thrilled to announce that THE GREEN UMBRELLA was just chosen as a Bank St College Best Books.
Her story melds so perfectly with the reuse/recycle/repurpose theme of Earth Day http://www.earthday.org/, I knew we would want to welcome her to Will Write for Cookies today.
And because I think it’s fun for you to know a little bit about our guests, I grabbed a paragraph from her website about page:
Many lives ago I was an actor, singer & school counselor. Now I’m an author, and wile away my time writing children’s picture books. What ties these all together are my dreams and imagination. Most of the time you’ll find me reading, watching old movies, globe trekking and whenever possible sharing laughter & food with my family.
Welcome, Jackie! Thank you so much for stopping by to visit with us.
ME: Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?
It may sound cliché, but Maurice Sendak, Dr. Seuss and Arnold Lobel. They were my generations Mo Willems or Mac Barnett. I wore my copies thin of In the Night Kitchen, Horton Hears a Who and Frog and Toad are Friends. At the time, reading in school was very dry and uninventive. It was a welcome relief to discover these books at the library and simply laugh out load or see yourself in these stories. I remember crying when I read Frog and Toad because I knew as a child what it meant to feel lonely sometimes.
ME: What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started writing for children?
Apart from the ‘ins and outs’ of the publishing industry, not much. I felt then, as I do now, that wonder is the secret sauce. Wonder allows you to stay curious, open and present, and from that can come great stories. There is one thing—I would have read more picture books.
ME: Where do you like to write/draw – inside, outside, a special area in your home, on the computer, in a notebook? And when do you find time to write?
All the above. I love my writing space at home, but sometimes there are too many shiny distractions. When the weather is warm, I love to sit on my deck under a canopy of trees. I also love the back corner of my library that faces an old church.
ME: When during the day (or night) are you most productive? Do you set a schedule for working or do you write/draw when the muse speaks?
I’m writing ALL the time. Just not on paper or my computer. Much of the time, I write in what I call my ‘writerly mind’. In that space–I imagine, dream, think and wonder. Bit by bit, the idea for a story begins to form along with a possible structure. The Boy and the Eight Hundred Pound Gorilla (Candlewick Press, TBD) at 300 words lingered in my thoughts for almost two years.
ME: Why do you write for children?
Honestly, I write for children because I feel I have something I want to share with them. My hope is that my stories are conduits to feelings—joy, curiosity, sadness, laughter, surprise. Nothing is worse than knowing a child read my book and at the end there wasn’t an ‘AHA’ moment.
ME: Yes, you are so right, Jackie…those are crucial elements to strive to have in our stories. Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Join Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators—that’s a must. Have something where you can jot down inspirations, thoughts, ideas. Don’t edit or limit your ideas at this incubation stage. Quirky, nuggets or impossible, silly, bizarre and wrong ideas, collect them like a jar of penny’s. One day you’ll cash in BIG!
Thank you so very much, Jackie, for sharing your insights. I know everyone is walking away with a renewed (YES, renewed…pun intended) excitement for why we are all writing for children.
To find out more about Jackie and her books:
Facebook: Jackie Azúa Kramer
The Green Umbrella on Amazon
Oh, wait a minute…don’t walk away yet. First check out the treat recipe. And then make sure you leave a comment to be entered in Jackie’s giveaway. And because it is Earth Day, please join the fun and post or tweet a photo of you doing your Earth Day thing…recycling/repurposing/reusing…make sure you tag me and Jackie so we can see it.
And because we are doing things a bit differently in honor of Earth Day, Jackie has a savory dish for us to try. When I saw it, I couldn’t believe she shared my hubby’s FAVORITE brunch.
JACKIE: I have a simple breakfast dish that we love in our family, Egg in a Basket. And eggs and spring also go well together.
Recipe for Egg in a Basket:
Cut a medium slice of your favorite round bread. I like a good sour dough. Take out most of the center of the bread. Place in a hot pan with butter and crack two eggs in the center. Flip once and cook eggs to your preference. I love the eggs over easy which compliments the crispy bread. Tip: In the last 30 seconds, add a slice of cooked bacon on top. Bacon makes everything special.
Vivian’s note: This is my husband’s favorite brunch…we call it Egg in a Nest and we add a slice of cheese…American, Swiss, or provolone…let it melt on top…mmmm…mmmm…good!
At this very moment, I am at the NESCBWI with so many of my kid lit friends…maybe even you! Next week, I hope you’ll stop by again for an NESCBWI recap, a Book Review and Giveaway from Rosie Pova in honor of Mother’s Day (doing it early so the prize will get to the winner by Mother’s Day), a Perfect Picture Book Friday with Tara Lazar and a Will Write for Cookies with Anna Forrester. And don’t forget to leave a comment and share a recycle/reuse/repurpose photo on social media.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday. If you need more picture book recommendations, please head over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s for more picture book reviews.
And do I have a treat for you!
The author of today’s Perfect Picture Book is going to be here tomorrow as the featured author on Will Write for Cookies – hip hip hooray!
I’m so excited! I hope you will all come back on Saturday to find out more about this wonderful lady who runs the incredible Frog on a Blog. But right now, I can’t wait to share her lovely debut picture book which is slated to pub on September 1st and can be pre-ordered on Amazon:
The Peddler’s Bed
Written by Lauri Fortino
Illustrated by Bong Redila
Publisher: Ripple Grove Press (2015)
Ages: 4 and up
‘The peddler stopped his cart and climbed down from his seat.
“It’s a fine day,” he said.
“Truly,” answered the little man,”and that’s a fine bed you have there in your cart.”
In this tale of kindness and giving, a peddler attempts to sell a fine, handcrafted bed, guaranteed to never squeak, to a little man who has no bed at all. But the peddler’s heart is moved by the little man’s generosity. When it’s time to get back on the road, will the peddler leave behind the perfect gift of gratitude? ‘ Read the rest of this entry →
WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES
INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION
Let’s time travel back about four years…my self-published parenting book was due to come out in September of 2010…I had no blog, no website, thought tweeting was the sound a bird made, had never been on Facebook and didn’t know the first thing about how to market or promote my book or myself. YIKES!
Then I found out about Sandra Beckwith and her Build Book Buzz online class. I signed up and learned more in those 6 weeks than I could ever have thought was possible. But more importantly, I discovered that some people are just angels in disguise. Sandy was kind and patient and knowledgeable and delivered on her promises…always. The class was filled with personal interaction and hands-on assignments. And I know I will always have a friend who supports and encourages me.
Sandy’s written quite a few books and she knows the business from publishing to press release, from using social media to creating a media kit.
Welcome, Sandy! I really appreciate your being here. I’m so happy you agreed to participate. You bring a very important perspective to the Will Write for Cookies interview.
Me: Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?
My first favorite author was Carolyn Keene because she wrote the Nancy Drew series. My friends and I used to swap books on the school bus or in class so we all had access to as many of those wonderful mysteries as possible. Not long after that, I fell in love with Louisa May Alcott’s books. After I read Little Women, I wanted to write her a letter telling her how much I enjoyed that book. I was so sad when my mother told me that she died almost a hundred years ago!
Me: What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started writing?
It took me a while to discover that a good editor can both improve your writing and teach you how to do it better the next time. I still pay attention to edits now, a long time after I became a professional writer. Read the rest of this entry →