Friday, April 17, 2009

An Interview with Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Recently I read and reviewed two books by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. One was Little Oink, and one was Duck! Rabbit! I liked both books very much indeed, particularly the latter, which is deliciously funny and quite unique. I decided there and then that Amy must be an unusal person, and I asked her publisher if I could interview her for this blog. Here is what she had to say about her work:

1. You are an incredibly busy person doing radio shows, writing books for adults, and so much more. How did you get involved in writing books for children?
I was always writing them, have always loved children's books. It just took me longer to break into this field. My first grown-up book was published in 1998. My first children's bookwas published 7 years later. Still have a sizable bump on my head from all the brick walls I kept running into on my path to get into the children's book arena.

2. Where do you get the ideas for your very unique books?
Why, the Idea Store of course!
OK, two serious answers to that question.
a) I don't really know where I get the ideas to be honest.
b) I have started to realize that maybe it's like this: I simply am a collector of ideas. And when you collect something-- whether it's baseball cards or antiques or coins or ideas-- you are always on the lookout for them; you train yourself to always sort of be on high alert for them. And that's how it is with me. Because I love and collect ideas, I'm always keeping an eye out for them.

3. Have your experiences with your own children greatly influenced your children’s book writing?
To some degree, sure. Hard to say where the line is drawn. I mean, would I have written these same exact children's books if I didn't have kids, or if I had different kids? Probably. But who knows! I will say that my kids, all three of them, have helped me with my manuscripts, improving, suggesting, adding, tweaking. They all have really good observations and insights. I've credited each of them in different books...and more of that to come.

4. Which of your books is your favorite?
Yes, that one.

5. Do you have a regular writing schedule, or do you just write when the muse hits you?
I would accomplish nothing if I waited for the muse to arrive. She is one elusive little creature! I have a regular writing schedule; I write in the afternoons. And then additionally I do a lot of critical thinking when I'm driving, showering, practicing yoga, falling asleep at night, you know, in the quiet in-between spaces of life.

6. Do you think that you are going to write another “Little” book to join “Little Pea,” “Little Hoot,” and “Little Oink?”

7. What kinds of books did you like to read when you were a child?
Fortunately, by Remy Charlip.
Put Me In the Zoo
and lots of nonfiction... I loved reading biographies when I was a kid, the junior editions sort. couldn't get enough of those. still the same way.

You might enjoy visiting Amy's website and her blog and do please try to get a hold of a copy of Duck! Rabbit! You will love it.

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