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Rebecca Colby: Will Write for Cookies PLUS Double Giveaway

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INSPIRATION – INFORMATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

Rebecca author photo 2017

 

REBECCA COLBY

I’ve known our Will Write for Cookies guest for just about as long as I’ve been active in kidlitland. And I’m so thrilled to finally get a chance to have her visit here.

Rebecca Colby is a children’s picture book author, poet, and screenwriter. Her fourth book just launched, CAPTAIN BLING’S CHRISTMAS PLUNDER (Albert Whitman). Her other books include MOTOR GOOSE (Feiwel & Friends, 2017)…which I just reviewed yesterday on Perfect Picture Book Friday, IT’S RAINING BATS AND FROGS (Feiwel and Friends, 2015), and THERE WAS A WEE LASSIE WHO SWALLOWED A MIDGIE (Floris Picture Kelpies, 2014).

Rebecca, I am so very happy to welcome you to Picture Books Help Kids Soar!

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

REBECCA: There were lots but the ones that stand out from when I was of picture book reading age are James Marshall of the George and Martha stories, Dr Seuss, Garth Williams, Tasha Tudor, and Esther and Eloise Wilkin.

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

REBECCA: That networking is as important as writing. You can’t write in isolation and expect to get anywhere. You’ve got to get out there and meet ‘your tribe’ and lift each other up!

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

REBECCA: I prefer writing outside, but because of all the rainfall in England, that’s not always possible. I try to make the most of the spring and summer months by taking my laptop to a nearby garden and writing amongst the birds and flowers. During the colder months, I sit at home in bed, snuggled under the comforter where it’s warm and toasty. Another place I enjoy writing is on trains, but as a general rule, I prefer an environment that is quieter. For that reason, I’m not much of a coffee shop writer.

As to paper or laptop, laptop wins hands down. I learned to touch-type in high school—a course I wish schools would introduce alongside their IT classes for younger children—and as a result, I can write quicker and more efficiently (not to mention neater!), if I’m on my laptop. 

motor cover

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

REBECCA: The earlier, the better. My Twitter handle is @amscribbler because, for many years, I did most of my writing between 5 and 7 am. I rarely write in the evening as, after 8pm, my brain starts to shut down. I tend to reserve the evenings for marketing, e-mails, reading and watching films.

Wait for the muse to strike? You must be joking! No, this is a job–one I love, but a job. I write because I want to be a career-author and that means showing up for work regardless of whether the muse has graced me with her presence or not.  Writers write!

ME: Why do you write for children?

REBECCA: Two main reasons: I enjoy children’s books far more than adult books and I want to bring more laughter into the world–and what better place to start than with kids’ books! My family would probably add that I’m a 7 year old at heart, so that probably has a lot to do with it also.

 

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. 

REBECCA: Advice to writers:

I see a lot of writers posting their frustrations and disappointments on Facebook after receiving a handful of rejections, and I want to tell them that a handful is nothing. If they really want to get published they’ll stop counting the rejections and start counting the manuscripts they’ve written. My advice is: Up your game and keep getting better, and that means KEEP WRITING!

It’s a numbers as well as a talent game. I’ve had more than one published picture book author in the UK tell me that only about 1 in every 5 manuscripts they write is acquired—and this is from established authors. Don’t waste valuable time counting those rejections, or you may quit. I racked up about 140 rejections in 7 years (but, hey, who’s counting—shame I don’t take my own advice) but if I’d counted all the rejections as I’d gone along, I probably would have dropped out of the game. It was hard enough counting the years pass. So don’t count your failures, count your triumphs, and before you know it, you will ‘beat the odds’.

For educators and librarians:

I don’t consider my work finished on a book until I’ve completed an accompanying resource guide. If you’d like to use my books in a classroom or library setting, please feel free to download these free guides from my website at www.rebeccacolbybooks.com/teachers

Thank you for having me today, Vivian! Though I must admit, I’m much more of a cookie eater than a cookie maker. In fact, that’s why I’m here—you promised cookies! 😉

ME: Oh my goodness…you are so funny, Rebecca. And you are right…for all of your wonderful insights, you definitely deserve cookies!!! But I know you aren’t done yet…so please share your cookie recipe!

REBECCA: Here’s a recipe from my THERE WAS A WEE LASSIE WHO SWALLOWED A MIDGIE resource guide. It’s a recipe for Midgie Shortbread. Enjoy, and thanks again! 

 Midgie Shortbread

 midgie shortbread cookies

Cook shortbread with chocolate sprinkles.

Note: Be aware of any food allergies.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup chocolate sprinkles, plus some additional for topping
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Mix butter and sugar together.
  • Add vanilla and flour.
  • Fold in chocolate sprinkles.
  • Roll out dough until a half inch thick.
  • Cut into shapes.
  • Place on a baking tray.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Shake additional chocolates sprinkles over the top and cool.

 

ME: Wow! These look amazing, Rebecca! I am definitely a shortbread fan! Thank you so very much for all of your insights. And I’m thrilled to talk a bit about your newest book that just launched yesterday! I know it is a book everyone would love to win, especially with Christmas around the corner…so thank you so much for offering a double giveaway!!! And I encourage all of my readers to be writers also…when you read a book that you love, please take the time to leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads or other book review sites. This will mean so much to your favorite authors and illustrators!

Captain Bling updated cover

Captain Bling and his merry crew set off to find treasure, but they get blown off course and end up at the North Pole. When they spy the elves carefully wrapping presents, the pirates think they have found the ultimate booty! They quickly steal the presents and make their way back to the ship. By the time Santa Claus catches up to them, the pirates are well on their way to escaping. But Santa has a surprise for Captain Bling and his crew!
I can’t wait to read Rebecca’s newest book…it sounds like there are thrills and chills and perhaps, even some spills.
Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends. Thank you so much for spending your precious time here…I truly appreciate your visits and your comments.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Motor Goose…Rhymes That Go PLUS Double Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends!

This past week, I’ve enjoyed reading many of the Halloween stories entered into Susanna Hill’s Halloweensie Contest. Did you get to read some of them? They were fabulous. I’m excited to find out who the winners are…but honestly, everyone who participated is a winner. Writing and getting your work out there is the key to success. And happily, I should have some good success news for you soon regarding one of my stories.

Before we get to our wonderful picture book review, we do have some giveaways to announce.

The winner of Julie Segal Walter’s Picture Book Manuscript Critique is….

JIM CHAIZE

The winner of a copy of Annette Bay Pimemtel’s MOUNTAIN CHEF is…

CARMELA MCCAIN SIMMONS

The winner of a copy of Joy Keller’s MONSTER TRUCKS is…

RENE AUBE

BIG CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE! And thank you to the generous authors! Please email me: viviankirkfield@gmail.com

Does your child love vehicles? Do your kids enjoy nursery rhymes? Today’s Perfect Picture book has it all!!!

motor cover

MOTOR GOOSE: RHYMES THAT GO!

Written by Rebecca Colby

Illustrated by Jef Kaminsky

Published by Feiwel and Friends (2017)

Ages: 3-8

Themes: Vehicles, nursery rhymes

Opening Lines:

“Little Jack Junker, broken-down clunker, surpirsed all the cars in the race. ‘Cause right from the start, he lost part after part, yet he finished the race in first place.”

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

 In this picture book, Mother Goose rhymes are reimagined with vehicles― trains, planes, trucks, and boats!

Hey Digger, Digger
(Hey Diddle, Diddle)

Hey digger, digger,
the hole’s getting bigger.
Your shovel’s been scooping since ten.
Beware the loose rubble.
Too late―you’re in trouble!
You’d better start digging again.

Wonderful rhymes and VEHICLES! Here is a collection that every car/plane/boat/crane/digger/taxi/train-loving kid will adore. With hilarious artwork by Jef Kaminsky, Motor Goose is a must-have for readers who like things that go. And as the rhymes progress, the day winds down, making this perfect for bedtime.

 

Why I like this book:

  • I love rhymes and kids love rhymes…and these are so kid-friendly, based on well-known nursery rhymes, but totally reinvented by author Rebecca Colby!
  • Fabulously humorous illustrations…full color and full of life!

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

Make a race car and other vehicles

19-Preschool-Car-Craft-Ideas-1Photo courtesy: http://crystalandcomp.com

You will need: Construction paper, scissors, glue, markers, empty Pringles can or paper towel roll.

For detailed instructions: http://crystalandcomp.com/19-preschool-car-craft-ideas/

Play with rhymes with your kiddos…they love coming up with their own silly ones.

Take a walk and count vehicles. Make a list of them. Categorize: for pleasure, for work, etc.

I hope you will all be back tomorrow for our chat with picture book author Rebecca Colby. I know she has some wonderful insights to share, as well as a yummy treat recipe. PLUS…tomorrow we will also be talking about Rebecca’s newest book, CAPTAIN BLING’S CHRISTMAS PLUNDER. 

Captain Bling updated cover

Don’t forget to leave a comment today and tomorrow. Rebecca is generously offering a giveaway of copies of both of her awesome new books! 

I hope you all have a safe and happy weekend.

 

 

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