Today, I’d like to introduce my blog readers to Lynne Marie. She’s a new Scholastic author, and we share the same editor. Her debut picture book is featured in this interview.
1.Can you tell us your latest news?
I am very pleased to announce that my first
children’s picture book, “Hedgehog Goes to
Kindergarten,” is being featured in May issue of
Scholastic Firefly book club. You can find it on
the front page of the flyer. It can be ordered
through the book club from classroom teachers,
or anyone my contact me at
2. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I have been fortunate to have many writers mentor me during the many, many years I devoted to learning my craft, including Erica Silverman, Anna Grossnickle Hines, Gail Carson Levine, Pam Munoz Ryan, Patricia Lee Gauch, Joy Cowley and several other greats, but I honestly would have to credit my long-standing critique group, Linda Ravin Lodding and Lori Mortensen, for their tireless and continued mentorship over the years.
3. What is/was your first published title?
Although I have had many near-misses and several other manuscripts under consideration, “Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten” is my first published title, to date.
4. What inspired you to write your first book?
This book, originally titled “School Bus Buddies,” was inspired by a few things. The problem was based upon something I observed when my son attended school. I think going off on a bus is such a big step and I wanted to write a story to give a child (especially a child who is different) hope “at the end of the road,” even when the ride is bumpy. I felt I needed a main character who had a flaw that was part of the problem and I right away thought of my first pet hedgehog, Apollo Nike ( nicknamed “Spike”) who always turned into a pin-cushion when he got scared.
5. How did your find your editor/publisher?
She had been one of the Mentors at a Rutgers University One on One Plus Conference that I had made it into several years ago, although she was not my Mentor. She seemed very nice and I thought that my book would be perfect for the book club market, so I sent it.
6. What are your current projects?
I do have two sequels to “Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten,” in
which Spike actually does get to school: “Hedgehog’s 100th Day of School,” and “Hedgehog and Croc’s Picture Day Countdown.” I think they are lots of fun – and so does my editor, so hopefully my first book will sell well enough that Scholastic will offer contracts on those too.
7. Describe a typical day in your writing life. Are you a morning
writer? An afternoon writer? A late night writer?
I am an after 9:00 A.M. writer. Mornings are focused upon having fun
breakfasts with my six-year old daughter and dressing her up in
fancy clothes for school. I’m glad we have this time because next
year we will be living in Florida and she will wear a school uniform
and go to school even earlier!
7. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I would love them to visit my websites at:
I have been remiss in updating them just lately because we are in the process of selling our home and purchasing a home in Florida and I have been flying back and forth, but I will be giving them attention soon, and I would love to feature children’s artwork and letters, which can be sent to: WriteSpike@gmail.com
8. Are there any writing books you recommend? Workshops? Conferences?
I love Ann Whitford Paul’s book, “Writing Picture Books,” for starters. I’m also a huge fan of the Highlights Foundation Writer’s Workshop at Chautauqua (www.highlightsfoundation.org) and any and all SCBWI (www.scbwi.org) conferences on the local, state, national or international level – I’ve been to several local, many states, many national conferences and even one in Spain!
9. And for fun, something that not a lot of people know about you:
I’m sharing this one because it has to do with kid’s movies and that is always a FUN topic (I can’t wait to see RIO!). Cathy Moriarty who was Carrington in the movie Casper (as well as several other big name movies) and was also in Casper Meets Wendy was in my wedding party when I was married in 2003.
Just makes me want to go watch Casper!
Something else for those who like pets: I’ve had fish, a gerbil, hamsters, mice, cats, five pygmy hedgehogs, rabbits, a feral cat, and a Belgian Schipperke.
Thanks for sharing your success with us Lynne. We’ll keep our eye out for your next book!
Thanks for having me here, Gayle! It’s been fun!