Illustrators can get lonely sometimes. They sit in their studios for hours on end… talking to their pencils, cursing at their Adobe Suite, and confessing their love to the charming recorded voice of Robert Krulwich. (Or is that just me?)
Now I have learned of a new thing they do: Illustrator Blog Tours!! Sassy & talented people — like the effervescent Jaime Temairik— tag you in their blog and send you questions about your latest book. Then you answer in YOUR blog and send it right along to another illustrator! Let’s get started, shall we?
1) What is the working title of your next book?
This Monster Cannot Wait! by Bethany Barton (obviously.) And it’s brand new! Just came out last month! Woo hoo!
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was on the phone with my agent— who’s full legal name is AGENT STEVE— making fun of my own terrifying lack of patience, when I said, “I should write a book about patience, to teach myself a lesson.” …I would finish telling this story but I learned nothing from writing the book and simply don’t have the patience to keep telling it…
3) What genre does your book fall under?
Is BEST BOOK EVER a genre? If not, then it’s simply a picture book, with lots of giggles and a lesson attached.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
The Muppets. Stewart wants to be a Muppet more then anything.
(until his dreams come true, I will stick to crudely Photoshopping Stewart into images with The Muppets.)
Don’t let this video fool you Kermit & friends, Stewart is very easy to work with.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Loveable Stewart simply can’t wait for his very first camping trip— because patience is hard — and so is writing a one-sentence synopsis.
6) Who is publishing your book?
Dial Books for Young Readers under the Penguin USA mothership.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I actually don’t recall? But I think the whole book took 5-ish months, start to finish. Not including the time I completely re-drew the cover while getting on a plane to Uganda. True Story.
(That’s me reading This Monster Needs A Haircut to orphans in Uganda!)
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
War & Peace - The Picture Book
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My own inability to be patient, and the way I turn into a Terrible Me-Monster when being impatient. I hoped the book would teach me — and other kiddos with a tendency to turn into Me-Monsters — a valuable lesson!
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
The greatest input I’ve gotten on This Monster Cannot Wait thus far were:
1) A librarian told me once that she liked my books because “Stewart has PERSONALITY, but not ATTITUDE.”
2) Cullen (age 8) told me “This book is better then the first book. It’s really funny.”
3) When I met Jon Scieszka, he hadn’t read any of my books yet, but informed me they “probably needed more explosions.” Noted.
Up next will be the adorable & wildly talented Katherine Roy! TAG, KATHERINE! YOU’RE IT!
Okay, I haven’t actually asked her to do this yet, but hopefully she’s down. — Bethany begins texting Katherine Roy furiously— I intend to add many ridiculous questions for her to answer… ‘cause I’m a professional like that.
Any questions from the studio audience about This Monster Cannot Wait, illustrating and/or writing picture books?? I’d love to answer your questions! What you got?