Tracey M. Cox Will Write for Cookies



Plate of Cookies






As I’ve mentioned many times, the connections I’ve made in this amazing kid lit community are as important to me as the actual writing. I interact with people all over the world and have even gotten to meet some of them. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting today’s special Will Write for Cookies guest of honor, but I feel I know her well through our shared Facebook groups.

Tracey M. Cox has been writing professionally since 2000. She is the author of nine picture books and has a few more under contract. Her first illustrated book, Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum In a Dish, will be release in 2016. Tracey is involved in SCBWI, the South Georgia Writers Guild, the Books Love & Taters Book Festival, and is a KidLit TV team member. I did a review of one of Tracey’s book here.


Welcome, Tracey! It is a pleasure having you here. We’ll get right down to the interview because I know you’ve got some great ideas to share.

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



My favorite author growing up was my papa. No, he doesn’t have any books per say, but he would take stories and make them his own. Goldie Locks and the Three Bears, Jack and the Beanstalk, and The Three Pigs were all heard in the house, but with a special twist. My papa was a magnificent storyteller and shared his story-magic with me. Two of his original stories, with a special twist, can now be read. They are my own stories, Ribbert’s Way Home and Liddil Gets Her Light. I’m so thankful he got to see them both in print before he passed away.


ME: What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started writing for children?


Something I wish I knew back then that I know now is that it takes time to learn your craft and it takes time to find your own voice. It’s more than writing sentences, more than having correct grammar, and more than having a beginning, middle, and end. It’s finding your own lane. Staying true to that inner you. Never giving up and always believing in that initial spark that sends you down a writing/illustrating path.

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?


First drafts are always on paper. Yep, I’m old school. I love the feel of putting the words out before me, to feel the flow of the words. Once I’ve gone through a few (or several) revisions, I move over to my laptop. I’m usually at the end of my dining room table, a/k/a Tracey’s Office, but will occasionally be found on the couch or outside, enjoying the country air. Sometimes it will depend where I can get some work done without my fur-babies in the way. *laughing*


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 don’t have a set schedule. I know many authors tell you to do this, but I don’t. It doesn’t work for me. I tried to do this, but would stare at a blank page and doodle. I write when and wherever I can. Part of this may be my sons’ fault. I started writing when I had a 7-year old, 5-year old, and a 3-month old. I learned to write in snippets… at baseball practice, during the lull time of wrestling tournaments, or whenever I could find a minute or two to jot something down. 



ME: Why do you write for children?


Honestly? Because I have never grown up, and I don’t want to either. Children have a way of looking at the world and seeing the wonder of it all. Feelings are deep and true. Everyone can be on the same level. Things can be simpler, yet more complicated. I hope to write stories for them that matter, that will make a difference, that will inspire them to continue to see the world and everyone in it as one.




ME: Tracey, do you have any other tips or thoughts you’d like to share with everyone?


Two pieces of advice
1) Don’t be afraid to go after the small publishing houses. I have three publishing houses I’ve been published with: Guardian Angel Publishing, Xist Publishing, & 4RV Publishing. All of them have treated me with respect and I have been very pleased with the end results of all my books. While they might not have the pull of the bigger houses, they sure do show some mighty love!

2) Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn! Marketing is key for the longevity of your career. It doesn’t matter if you are published with a big or small house. Marketing is falling on the shoulders of the authors and illustrators now. Have a website, blog if you like, be active on social media, network, and make friends with people in the industry. After all, kidlit-ers are some of the bestest people in the world!


Great advice, Tracey…and I know everyone wants to thank you so much for the inside look at your writing process.

If you’d like to connect with Tracey or find out more about her books:




Any of you who know Tracey, know that she is a really sweet young lady…and how lucky can we get…she is sharing a really sweet treat recipe with us today!

Tracey says, “My favorite cookie recipe is for Peanut Butter w/ M&Ms Cookie.”




  • 1 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • M&M Minis


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a bowl mix sugar, peanut butter, and eggs until smooth. This will take a while.
  3. Roll into balls and place on cookie sheet.
  4. Press to flatten
  5. Place a few M&M minis on each cookie and press into batter
  6. Place in oven and cook 10-12 minutes. Depends on oven and how done you like them.
  7. Take out of oven and place on cooling rack.
  8. ENJOY!


We sure will, Tracey…thank you again!

Well, dear readers, all of the prizes from the #50Precious Words Contest have been sent off. The challenge was a thrill for me…and from the many comments, I can tell it was enjoyed by all. Now that I don’t have wonderful entries to read, I’m back to writing my own stories. Right now I am working on two nonfiction picture book biographies. Later this month I’ll be traveling to Chicago to visit family as well as attend the Wild Midwest SCBWI Conference in Naperville, Illinois. I’m looking forward to seeing a bunch of you there.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend…if you are traveling, please be safe.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: The Children at the Playground

Summer camp finished for my six-year old grandson – but school doesn’t start until the day after Labor Day. So you know what that means, right? GRAMMY CAMP!


We’ve been having so much fun. Every day we continue our epic Monopoly game. He helps me water our plot of veggies (and himself) with the garden hose. (Mist and Stream are his favorite settings) We go to the library almost every day and enjoy a special ice cream treat from the local village shop. And one of his favorite activities is sliding down the slide and swinging on the swings.

Most kids love going to the playground – so when I saw a new book called, “The Children at the Playground”, I knew I had to grab a copy and review it for you.

cover CATPG


Written by Tracey M. Cox

Illustrated by Dolores Costello

Publisher: Xist Publishing

Ages: 2-7

Themes: Friendship, diversity, playground activities


Opening Lines:

The children at the playground
Run, run, run.
Run, run, run.
Run, run, run.
The children at the playground
run, run, run while they play.



From Amazon:

The Children at the Playground is a fun picture book set to the rhythm of “The Wheels on the Bus.” Perfect for active story times or to read before, after, or during a playground visit.


Why I like this book:

  • The Wheels on the Bus is an iconic finger play/song for young kids and they will love joining in to sing about the activities at the playground.
  • Sweet illustrations depict a diverse group of young children.
  • Repetition and rhythm are great for literacy building.


How a parent can use this book:

  • Wonderful read aloud
  • Great book to encourage listening and literacy skills


Nature collage suncatcher


Photo courtesy:

You will need: Paper plate, small flowers and leaves, clear contact paper, ribbon, scissors, hole puncher.

  1. Cut out center of paper plate.
  2. Cut sheet of contact paper to fit plate.
  3. Choose small flowers and leaves and press onto contact paper.
  4. When finished, cover with another piece of clear contact paper and cut to fit.
  5. Punch hole at top and thread ribbon through and hang in a sunny window.

For detailed instructions and many more wonderful craft ideas for young kids:


A trip to the playground can be an adventure into the world of science.

Girls playing on monkey bars

Girls playing on monkey bars – Photo courtesy:

“Swings, slides and climbing structures are loads of fun. And they offer first hand experiences with pendulums, ramps, and levers, not to mention forces such as gravity and friction. Just paying some attention to how things move provides children with important early experiences in physics.” For more ideas of how to use playground time creatively:

What other picture books encourage kids to enjoy being outdoors? I can think of two right off the bat: The Tree Lady and Me..Jane. Can you recommend any others? If you can, please share.

And I think it’s time for a School Starts Soon giveaway! Sign up for my email list and you will be entered to win a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.

book pic from wordpress blog

Click on this link:

This is a great book for any parent, grandparent, day care provider or early childhood education teacher – chock full of hundreds of fun-filled quick and easy activities for young kids. If you are already subscribed, you can get an entry by sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media. Just leave a comment, telling me where you shared…and for every share, you get another entry! We’ll announce the winner in 2 weeks.

Have a beautiful weekend, dear friends!