I’d like to thank Kristin Wolden Nitz for asking me to
participate in this blog hop. Kristin is a talented writer and she also my
agency mate, as we are both represented by the Erin
Murphy Literary Agency. Kristin’s books range from her YA novel, SUSPECT, which belongs to the cozy mystery genre, and
her contemporary fantasy, SAVING THE
GRIFFIN , which has been
called a Narnia in Reverse by one reviewer. You can read about her writing
process here. I’m tagging Josh Funk and George Kulz, two friends and
–What are you
currently working on?
I always have a picture book or two, or three, in
the wings. One of my craziest ideas came to me as I passed by a funeral home on
the way to work. Yes, I write picture books. No, I don’t usually write about
the dead. Still I started to think about life in a funeral home for this little
guy named Mort (of course). To Mort, life in the funeral home is completely
ordinary. He can’t understand why his friends refuse to have playdates at his
house. It not until a new boy moves into town that Mort is able to show someone
how absolutely “normal” his life can be. Well, almost.
–How does my work
differ from others of its genre?
There are lots of Halloween stories and ghost
stories for 4-8 year olds, but I don’t know any that touch on life in a funeral
home, and in such a light-hearted way.
–Why do I write what I
Well, the above-mentioned story is not typical of my
work. Usually I write stories that are
multicultural in nature. Having come to the world of children’s writing as poet
first, I apply that lyrical style to my picture books as well. That said, I had
to learn to rely less on the beauty of the word, and to allow room for the
illustrations. Having biracial children of my own, I desire to create
characters and stories that they can relate to.
And, I always tell my husband, I married him for his family stories.
There are lots of them!
–How does my
individual writing process work?
As Mary Oliver says, “To pay attention, this is our
endless and proper work.” It is when I am observing the details of life,
especially as a mother and librarian, that I discover stories all around me
waiting to be told. Of course, as with many of us, it’s finding the time to
write those stories down. That’s the tricky part, so I use my poet’s eye and I
take lots of notes on my ideas. This way when I have a tiny window of time, I
don’t have to think too hard about what I want to work on. I’m a nomadic
writer…taking notes on the go, and writing wherever I can find a spot—dentist’s
office, school parking lot, late nights after everyone’s in bed. Then I rely
heavily on the fabulous suggestions of all my critique group members. After
that it’s back to revise and revise again, before sending a new story off to my
agent, who has me revise again. And so it goes.
George Anthony Kulz writes
stories that keep you on the edge of your seat. George does love horror, but
when writing for children, he tones it down a bit. His first story was called Gullible
Gertrude’s Garden and it was published in a magazine called Wee Ones.He’s also been published in
many other magazines/e-zines, including Kids’Magination,
knowwonder!, and Spider. His other genre is middle grade for boys, but you’ll hear
more about that when George post on July 31st.
Josh “Papa” Funk is a talented
children’s writer and poet. We met at The Writer’s Loft in Sherborn, MA. I’m
especially looking forward to his upcoming picture books. I can’t help but be
intrigued by Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast, to be published by Sterling,
Fall 2015. Likewise, who wouldn’t want to read Dear Dragon: A Pen Pal Tale by
Viking/Penguin, Winter 2016. Josh will be posting his blog around July 21st.