One week from today is the official publication date of SO YOU WANT TO BE A ROCK STAR.
Which is all kinds of cool.
Also all kinds of cool: the book’s illustrator, Kirstie Edmunds, who kind of achieved the impossible.
This is the story: Unlike many other picture book writers, I’m not a visual thinker. Still, I generally have some vague idea of how the book might look once I’ve completed a final draft. But with ROCK STAR, nothing. I suspected I had created a nearly-impossible-to-illustrate text. I had absolutely no idea–zero picture–how this book would look.
But since Kirstie came on board, I can’t imagine it looking like anything other than what it is. Remember that name, folks. Here she is–Kirstie Edmunds. And make sure you read past the end of the interview for a chance to win the Rock Star Palooza Swag Giveaway.
Q: I know you had another book under contract when ROCK STAR came knocking, but ROCK STAR will be hitting the shelves first. What has the experience of illustrating this first-to-be-published book been like?
The first thing I wanted to do after reading ROCK STAR, was jump up, throw my hands about, and shout “Yeah! Let’s rock.” I was totally thrilled to be asked to work on it, and very fortunate to be part of such a great team of people who really took care of it from start to finish. It’s always a bit nerve-racking the first time you do anything, and there’s always so much to learn (especially how to tackle all the ‘rocking’ crowd scenes!), but the experience has been brilliant, in every way. It’s been a total pleasure. I really couldn’t have asked for a more fun and expressive first book.
(Here it must be noted that Kirstie, who makes herself sound all novice-y, created the coolest endpapers I have ever seen. If you ever get a chance to open the book, take some time to check them out. And don’t miss the author “photos;” I have never looked cooler.)
Do you have a good concert or rock and roll story to share? (I think my blog readers know these two Bruce Springsteen facts about me—my skirt fell all the way down at a concert when I was very clearly in Mr. Springsteen’s line of vision. Years later, he tossed me a harmonica during “Promised Land.”)
Audrey, that’s an epic story. Ha, ha!
I don’t think I have anything as good. The jacket sleeve on our book references a story where I once set fire to my own hair in a restaurant…sounds very rock n’ roll I know, but I’m afraid it was only through lack of concentration. I was too busy goo-gooing my friend’s gorgeous baby to notice the faint smell of burning hair rising from the table. I’m not sure what impression that might have left on my friend’s poor little one, but I am now known as the ‘firestarter’ when we go to visit.
I would’ve loved to have been tasked with illustrating the brilliant series of travel books that Miroslav Šašek (M. SASEK) did so magnificently back in the ’60s. I find them utterly fascinating, and I’d love an excuse to travel! Sasek had the most wonderful graphic, architectural way of arranging things on the page. He’s a great inspiration.
Which books/characters were your favorite when you were a young reader?
I was an utter bookworm! I loved all books, but I do remember Richard Scarry being very popular in our house (BUSY, BUSY WORLD and GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BEAR were particular favourites) along with Eric Carle’s THE VERY HUNGRY CATER-PILLAR, WINNIE THE WITCH, and a host of characters from Janet and Allen Ahlberg. I very much loved being read Roald Dahl, especially MATILDA, and all of the Enid Blyton books, like THE SECRET SEVEN and FAMOUS FIVE. From very early on, my mum could sit me near a pile of books and I’d be mesmerised for hours.
What are you working on now?
A: At the moment I’m working on a great little series called “Playground Adventures,” written by the wonderful Patricia Lakin, with Dial Books For Young Readers. It stars Bruno, a little squirrel, and his best friend Lulu, a cheeky little chipmunk, and sees them getting up to plenty of mischief in the playground.
I’m also bobbling about feeling very excited for the launch of ROCK STAR on the 28th of this month, and the forthcoming release of THE MONSTER WHO LOST HIS MEAN, a wonderfully sweet and funny monster story by Tiffany Strelitz Haber, with Henry Holt/Macmillan, out on the 17th July.
I can’t wait to read about that monster. It looks great. Many thanks, Kirstie!
ROCK STAR PALOOZA SWAG GIVEAWAY:
- If you leave a comment you’ll be automatically entered in the ROCK STAR PALOOZA SWAG GIVEAWAY. The prize includes one author-signed copy of SO YOU WANT TO BE A ROCK STAR, a ROCK STAR tote bag, a ROCK STAR tee shirt available in medium or large, a neat pile of ROCK STAR of postcards (with spots for practicing your autograph) and of course a ROCK STAR pen to help you handle all those autograph requests…The winner will be randomly selected on our publication date, 2/28.
Rock on. And be excellent to each other.