Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Author Interview and Giveaway!

How would you like  to win a copy of this just  released picture book?
Comment for a chance to win. For extra entries, tweet, post on your blog or share this post on Facebook.
My friend, Quinn Cole, has a new picture book out! It was just released on Monday!

In her book . . . 

Monster friends learn about the body (eardrum, tonsils), symptoms (fever, laryngitis), and treatments (cast, x-ray), while playing baseball, off on field trips, sunning at the beach, at home, and more!

Perfect for those days when parents get an unexpected call from a school or day care provider about a sudden fever, illness, or playground mishap.

The vivid and whimsical illustrations depict young, active monsters tackling everything from allergies, hiccups and nose bleeds to broken bones, immunizations and diabetes.

She took time to answer a few questions for me.

Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that idea?
I have four children and it’s rare when everyone is fully fine. Usually there is someone who has a smashed thumb or allergies or something.

When I started AP, I imagined creating a story that would lessen the stress of illness and medical treatment for children. At first I pictured robots as the main characters, since I love robots, but then I realized that monsters would serve the story better. Monsters are often seen as big and scary by children. I started wondering what would scare a monster. Would they be scared of shots or getting a nosebleed? What would a monster do if he got laryngitis and lost his voice? Did monsters get hiccups or diabetes?

Did you get any rejections on this book before it was accepted?
An agent told me when I first pitched the idea at a conference that combining medical terms in a picture book wouldn’t work. I thought it would. Comments like that just make me want to work harder. I also benefited from a beta test of the text (before there were illustrations) with three classes of students, grades 2-4th. The teachers recorded the students comments and let me know what worked and what didn’t.

Are you working on anything else?
I have a number of stories in various stages of completion. Plus a few stories that are close, but no contract yet.

What advice would you give aspiring writers?
I know everyone says this, but don’t give up. I read a long time ago that most “instant successes” worked at their chosen project for 10 years before it was recognized.

And last, but not least. Where can we buy your book?
The print copy is available through all the major book sellers. The ebook version is just coming out on Kindle, Nook, and iPad.

Here is a link to the book trailer:
It is really neat, be sure and check it out.

Find Alphabet Puke  at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Remember, comment for  your chance  to win. If you post about  it, tweet it or share on your Facebook, let me know and you will get  extra entries for each one. I will have the drawing for the winner next Wednesday, check back to see if you have won!

Posted by Janet F. Smart on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.



  1. I would love to win this book, when my son was little, we went through it all, multiple doctor visits, allergy testing, ER visits, hospital stays, fractured fingers, etc. He was very smart & quick, but the fear is always there for kids, for only kids I think more than ones with siblings. I know a certain young boy who is like mine was, and I think he & his mom would love this book for him, if i win it will go to him.

    1. Be glad to put your name in the drawing.

  2. What a neat idea. Most kids love monsters and this sounds like a book wee one would really enjoy.
    Great interview, ladies.

  3. Oh, my boys would love this one! :)

  4. This book sounds like so much fun! The title is hilarious! What a great idea. Thanks for the chance to win. :)

  5. Sounds like a great book. My little great grandson would love this..

  6. Janet,
    My grandson Austin is 7 and this book looks as though it's one he would love. I'm thrilled that he loves books and reading. Actually he reads much better than I'd expected, being the baby of the family. Anyway, we certainly would like our name thrown in the drawing.
    What a cute title and great book cover.
    Hope all is well with you. Your turn is around the bend. I feel it in my bones. Going to the conference this year? I plan to.
    Hope to see you there. Barb

    1. Yes, Barb, I'll probably be there. It would be a shame to miss with it so close to me and all.

  7. Thank you, Janet! And another big thanks for all the positive comments! I love the cover too. I'm visiting the local Children's Hospital today. They are interested in carrying Alphabet Puke in their gift shop. My hope is that AP will make a difference to ill and recuperating children. Fingers crossed!

    1. Hi Quinn. So glad you were able to stop by. I bet they will carry it!

  8. What a great story about following your gut (a healthy gut!) and finding the way to keep a book vision intact. Can't wait to read. Please enter me in the drawing.

    1. Glad you hopped over and entered the giveaway.

  9. Congratulations. We like monsters at our house (we are also partial to robots!). Good luck.

  10. Wonderful! This book sounds like it is filled with imagination.


Thank you for your comments. I love comments!