Q & A with author Laura Roettiger plus GIVEAWAY!!

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Hello world!

Welcome to my book blog. For this Q & A, please welcome the talented author Laura Roettiger. Here she is discussing her fictional picture book entitled ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON. And exciting news, Laura will be doing a GIVEAWAY for one lucky winner!

Click HERE to enter the Rafflecopter contest.


Can you describe the journey to publication for this book?
It’s a bit of a cautionary tale with a happy ending. I had no idea what I was doing when I began submitting in January 2017. I submitted before the book was ready to a few agents (all rejections) and a few publishers who accept un-agented work. I was fortunate to find Eifrig Publishing. Their mission aligns well with my personal goals and the messages of ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON. Eifrig Publishing only accepts illustrated work and I had a local artist who had illustrated a few picture books ask if she could be part of the project. Due to work conflicts, she backed out after a year. I then found Ariel Boroff through a mutual friend and she began creating character sketches and painting backgrounds. It was almost another year until we had the finished illustrations and the signed contracts. While this felt like a long time, I know many other authors have much longer journeys and I realize I’ve been quite lucky.

Where did you draw the book’s inspiration?
ALIANA is inspired by my own daughters, my students at Carlos Fuentes Charter School in Chicago, and the brightness of the full moon now that I live in the Rocky Mountains, far away from the light pollution of the city. I couldn’t believe how bright the light of the full moon was when I moved here in 2016. It was bright enough that you could read by it, and I knew I had to share this exciting discovery with my former students and others who love the moon.

Please share some of your writing process.
My process varies depending upon what I’m writing and what stage of revision my work is in. I have a novel that is currently sitting on the shelf waiting to be revised … again. My first manuscript which ultimately became ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON was written by hand and then revised too many times to count in drafts on my laptop. I have learned to label drafts with the date they were revised because calling something FINAL is never accurate. I like to put drafts away and come back to them a week or more later and read it aloud to hear how it sounds. It’s even better if I can have a friend or critique partner read it aloud so I can hear where it’s smooth and where it sounds clunky. I usually have more than one project going at a time so that if one is at the ‘let it rest’ stage, I have something else to work on.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have always wanted to be a writer. Reading and writing were my favorite activities as a child and I entered poetry and writing contests in elementary school. When I went to overnight camp, my mom saved my letters because she believed I would become a famous writer some day. Those letters disappeared along the way, but after she died, I did find a box full of letters from when I was in college that she saved.

Where do you see your career headed? Do you have other WIPs or projects in the pipeline you would like to mention?
I have several other manuscripts I am currently querying because ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON was published without an agent. I have two more books written with Aliana and her family that also have STEAM connections. Most of my books are character-driven with some science or other element to encourage children’s curiosity after reading. Recently I’ve written a book inspired by my puppy Charlie about a dog who writes letters back and forth with a sibling who lives far away, and my latest picture book manuscript features a confident girl (think Olivia or Fancy Nancy) who talks about her sister at sharing time but her descriptions lead her classmates to believe something completely different. My hope is that I can find an agent who believes in my writing and my characters as much as Penny at Eifrig Publishing does so that I can reach a bigger audience – bigger publishing house.

Please share your favourite kidlit books that have inspired you and served as mentor texts. Pick one classic and one contemporary book. What is it about them that moved you?
I have to say Mark Teague’s LaRue books, particularly LETTERS FROM OBEDIENCE SCHOOL, has been a good mentor text for the two manuscripts mentioned above for different reasons. The connection of a dog writing letters is obvious, but additionally, the unreliable narrator aspect has also provided inspiration. My experience with children over the years allows me to see picture books through their eyes. The classic series that I love are the FROG AND TOAD books. I like the idea of two characters who are different from each other but are still good friends. I think that’s an important underlying message for everyone.

What is the best (one) piece of advice you would give to other writers?
I wish I had joined Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 right away when I decided to commit to being a writer. If I have to pick one, I guess I would say SCBWI.

And a bonus Q- If you could be any flavour of ice cream, which one would you be and why?
Coffee ice cream with chocolate chunks and cherries. Is that a flavor? If it’s not, it should be because it combines three flavors I love.

Laura Roettiger is the author of ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON, a picture book that draws inspiration from the moon and the curiosity of children. She has enjoyed working with children ever since she was no longer considered a child herself. She was a reading specialist and elementary teacher in Chicago, IL before moving to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where she worked in Environmental Education and is now a mentor for literacy at a STEM school and a tutor in the BoulderReads program at the Boulder Public Library. Her superpower is encouraging curiosity in children and letting them know she believes in them. She has three children of her own whose curiosity and creativity led them into STEM related professions.

Website: https://lauraroettigerbooks.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ljrwritenow
Eifrig Publishing: https://www.eifrigpublishing.com/


19 thoughts on “Q & A with author Laura Roettiger plus GIVEAWAY!!

    jlmiller1 said:
    June 3, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    I actually reviewed this sweet book on my blog and would love a print copy!

    Liked by 1 person

    eleanorannpeterson said:
    May 31, 2019 at 8:32 am

    It’s important to engage with fellow writers, and I agree with Laura; if only I had joined SCBWI ten years ago, I would be way ahead of the game now. Congrats for your STEM book Laura!

    Liked by 2 people

      authorlaurablog said:
      June 3, 2019 at 1:19 pm

      Thank you, Eleanor! I found out about SCBWI from a columnist I’m acquainted with when I asked her if she knew any groups for Children’s writers. It was like a giant curtain had been lifted to everything I’d been looking for.

      Liked by 2 people

    eleanorannpeterson said:
    May 31, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Reblogged this on Eleanor Ann Peterson and commented:
    A beautiful STEM book by Laura Roettiger

    Liked by 2 people

    LA said:
    May 30, 2019 at 9:55 am


    Liked by 2 people

    […] https://lydialukidis.wordpress.com/2019/05/28/q-a-with-author-laura-roettiger-plus-giveaway/ — Read on lydialukidis.wordpress.com/2019/05/28/q-a-with-author-laura-roettiger-plus-giveaway/ […]


    Joyce Schriebman said:
    May 29, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    It’s always so interesting to hear writers’ journeys. Different roads up the mountain. ❤ Thanks for sharing your path…and your penchant for coffee ice cream with chocolate chunks and cherries!

    Liked by 2 people

      Lydia Lukidis responded:
      May 29, 2019 at 12:56 pm

      Thanks for stopping by!!

      Liked by 1 person

      authorlaurablog said:
      May 30, 2019 at 9:47 am

      Thank you, Joyce. Isn’t it wonderful that there are so many paths to publishing. I’m currently drinking coffee and having cherries as part of my breakfast. Thanks for reminding me to get some chocolate on my plate! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    C.L. Murphy said:
    May 29, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Nice interview, Lydia! Thanks for sharing your journey and bits of advice, Laura.

    Liked by 1 person

      Lydia Lukidis responded:
      May 29, 2019 at 12:57 pm

      Thanks!! So happy you were inspired by Laura’s words.

      Liked by 1 person

      authorlaurablog said:
      May 30, 2019 at 9:44 am

      Thank you! I have been inspired by so many other writers along the way, I hope some of my words (and not just ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON) can inspire others who are writing,

      Liked by 1 person

    Ashley Congdon (@AshleyCCongdon) said:
    May 28, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    Congratulations Laura! I’m waiting for your book requested from my library. I’m looking forward to reading it.

    Liked by 2 people

      Lydia Lukidis responded:
      May 28, 2019 at 3:52 pm

      Amazing news!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      authorlaurablog said:
      May 30, 2019 at 9:41 am

      Thank you, Ashley! Libraries are such an important avenue for authors and readers. The hours I spent in the library with my children are happy memories and now I volunteer at the library where I live. It’s still my happy place.

      Liked by 2 people

    Dianna Wilson said:
    May 28, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Interesting interview, Lydia and a publisher I’ve never heard of before, which is always exciting. Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

      Lydia Lukidis responded:
      May 28, 2019 at 3:27 pm

      Thanks! I’m also forever learning about talented authors and great publishing houses.

      Liked by 1 person

      authorlaurablog said:
      May 30, 2019 at 9:39 am

      Thank you! I love how everyone in the kid lit community is so supportive and how our paths are so different.

      Liked by 1 person

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