Welcome to my book blog, Blissfully Bookish. For this Q & A, please welcome a talented author who does much more than just write and edit; the one and only Lynne Marie! Seriously, I’ve never met someone who hustles so much, and puts so much time and effort into everything she does, it’s truly remarkable. Check out her new picture book, The Three Little Pigs and the Rocket Project, published by Mac and Cheese Press/CAW Publishing. See her journey below…
Please describe the journey to publication for this book.
My journey for this book is a bit different. I was inspired by one of my Mentees, who I worked on a wonderful story with — BLAKE’S BIG DAY. When the book was ready to go, she decided that she didn’t want to wait out the publishing timeline and she decided to publish it herself with the help of a friend, Wendy Fedan. I got in touch with Wendy and we are partnering on THE THREE LITTLE PIGS AND THE ROCKET PROJECT, with her CAW PUBLISHING and my MAC AND CHEESE PRESS. Normally, I am not someone who is a great fan of self-publishing, but it was the right time to give this avenue a try, and the book turned out fabulous!
Where did you draw the book’s inspiration?
My former Agent passed along an opportunity to write a stem fairy tale series, even after I had gotten a new Agent, saying she thought I was the best person for the job. I wrote a few stories and proposals.
For this one, I wanted to nod to the three little pigs and their differences in choice of building materials, so I brainstormed ways that they could use straw, twigs and bricks. Then I remembered my daughter’s science class rocket project and everything connected.
Of course, the Big Bad Wolf needed a role, so I reimagined him as Bibi Wolfe, the school bully.
And of course, Bibi needed to blow down the other’s rockets so she could win the competition.
Everything really just fell into place. I was able to keep the important details from the original story and at the same time, make a story feel fresh and new.
Unfortunately, by the time we sent the story in, we found they had chosen someone else for the series. But I believed in this story and thought it had strong hooks:
Fractured Fairy Tale
and facilitated themes of resourcefulness and girl power, so I knew it was a project worth sharing.
What is your writing process, and does it vary depending on the project?
My writing process definitely differs with each book. In this case, I was very driven to create a project by a certain deadline for submission by my agent. Without deadlines, I seem to flit and meander much more.
I am pretty prolific and jump from project to project without really focusing on submission. By that I mean I will get it where I think it needs to be after several revision rounds and then will let it ferment. That way has worked for me in some aspects. When I see a call or a wishlist, or my editor or agent is seeking something specific, then I dig through and dig out a related manuscript and focus on it wholeheartedly. I guess I am better with deadlines and incentives 🙂
Please paste a short and compelling excerpt from your book.
“This week,” said Mr. Halliwell, “students will create and launch toss rockets! Grades will be based on materials and distance.”
The Three Little Pigs oinked delight —
they loved building things!
The class cheered,
everyone but, Bibi Wolfe.
She didn’t like projects. Or losing. She still steamed over her brick house fail.
You recently took over the Rate your Story website, and are heading up your own imprint, Dancing Flamingo Press. Please tell us more about this!
Yes, I was happy to take the Rate Your Story torch from Sophia Gholz. It’s a concept that I have loved and supported for many years. First, as a Member, then as a Judge and now as Owner. Rate Your Story is a Membership based Rating and Feedback Service (with opportunities for Non-Members as well). However, Members get 18 submissions for Rating and Feedback (valued at $25 each), a free entry in our annual Summer Contest (valued at $15), weekly help desk sessions, free webinars, newsletters, lots of giveaways, Baker’s Dozen Monthly Challenge and a weekly “Mentor Text Talk” Book Chat. I’ve planned even more fun and fundamentals for 2022! More information can be found at www.rateyourstory.org/become-a-member for 2022 opens November 1, 2021. Usually we are open to new Members until January 31st, however, last year we filled up all of our membership spots by November 29th! At press time, we are currently about half-way filled, which is ahead of that schedule.
BTW thank you for being one of our talented and helpful Judges!
As to Dancing Flamingo Press, that is an exciting new adventure, with our first book slated to come out in Spring, 2022. I’m thankful to have been able to recruit Dea Lenihan (a Rate Your Story Member) as the artist to collaborate with on American Pie. Here’s a little sneak peek of our little wombat, Watson.
Do you have other WIPs or projects in the pipeline you would like to mention?
I am actually grateful to have two other pending projects, however as we all know, it’s not official until the contracts are signed, so I will have to wait on those. And I am crossing my fingers for a Moldilocks and the Three Scares [https://amzn.to/38d0zA4] Sequel which I believe is even more fun than the first book. It features fun and intriguing locations like The Muenster Cheese Fest in Alsace, France; the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt; Bran’s Castle in Transylvania, Romania — which incidentally I am visiting during my trip there over Halloween; and the Dead Sea, Israel.
Please share your favorite books that have inspired you and served as mentor texts.
Oh, I have so many favorites, so hard to choose! But I do invite writers to check out my Tinker and Talk Book Chat to watch and see the books I recommend. It’s currently open to all, but next year, it will be FREE to Rate Your Story Members and a small fee for Non-Members.
Still, off the top of my head I will share these.
Crankenstein by Samanatha Berger, illustrated by Dan Santat [https://amzn.to/3jeWpxT]
Lilybelle, A Damsel in Distress by Joanna Pastro, illustrated by Jhon Ortize [https://amzn.to/38coVKm]
Mootilda by Kirsti Call and Corey Rosen Schwartz, illustrated by Claudia Ranucci [https://amzn.to/3yjiIHc]
Unicorn and Horse by David Miles, illustrated by Hollie Mengert [https://amzn.to/3gCc2h7]
Zombie in Love by Kelly DePucchio, illustrated by Scott Campbell [https://amzn.to/3jhSrEE]
What is the best piece of advice you would give to other writers?
The writing process is not a linear one. It has twists and turns, and sometimes even circles back around. You may take one step forward, and two steps back. It’s par for the course, the nature of the beast. Embrace the process and stay on the path. And lastly, maintain an good attitude, conducive to learning, and keep your objectivity in check.
And a bonus question just for kicks! If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
LOL I love so many animals that it’s hard to choose, but inspired by my little love, I would say a Schipperke. They are like mythological creatures, part leprechaun, part wolf, part bat, part wombat. They are so elegant and regal.
Lynne Marie is the author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten — art by Anne Kennedy (Scholastic 2011), Hedgehog’s 100th Day of School — art by Lorna Hussey (Scholastic 2017), The Star of the Christmas Play — art by Lorna Hussey (Beaming Books 2018), Moldilocks and the 3 Scares — art by David Rodriguez Lorenzo (Sterling 2019 and Scholastic 2019) and Let’s Eat! Mealtime Around the World — art by Parwinder Singh (Beaming Books 2019), The Three Little Pigs and the Rocket Project — art by Wendy Fedan (Mac and Cheese Press / CAW Publishing, November 2021) and American Pie — art by Dea Lenihan (Dancing Flamingo Press, 2022).
She’s also the Owner and Administrator of both RateYourStory.org and ThePictureBookMechanic.com, as well as a long-time Travel Agent with PixieVacations.com (www.pixievacationsbylynnemarie.com)! She’s been a Cybil’s Judge in the Fiction Picture Books and Board Books category since 2016. Recently, she’s been handed the ReFoReMo torch from Kirsti Call and Carrie Charley Brown, which will return under its new name March On With Mentor Texts in March, 2022 (www.rateyourstory.org/march-on). You can join her at her weekly Tinker and Talk Book Chat here: Tinker and Talk Book Chat by The Picture Book Mechanic | Facebook
When she’s not searching for story ideas all over the globe, she lives on a lake in South Florida with her family, a Schipperke named Anakin and several resident water birds. Visit her at www.LiterallyLynneMarie.com. Lynne Marie is represented by Marisa Cleveland of www.theseymouragency.com
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Rate Your Story (@RateYourStory) / Twitter
Lynne Marie – The Star in the Christmas Play (@Literally_Lynne) / Twitter
Dancing Flamingo Press (@OurTweetCorner) / Twitter
Lynne Marie (@literally.lynne.marie) • Instagram photos and videos
On my Website:
Books | LiterallyLynneMarie
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