My First Blog Hop

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 fabulous writers.

–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 write?
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.