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The Picture Book Buzz

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Laurie Ann Thompson

Although her recent book isn't a picture book, Laurie has written two picture books. The first is a nonfiction - Emmanuel's Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah and the second is a sweet fiction for younger kids - My Dog is the Best. I really enjoyed both of these books.

Laurie's newest book - Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive! (which releases Tuesday) is a fun way to learn/teach how to determine if a really good story is fact or fiction. Written for middle grade, the amazing tales and pictures will also appeal to upper elementary kids.

Happy Book Birthday!

Welcome Laurie!

ME: Tell us a little about yourself. (Where/when do you write? How long have you been writing?)

LAURIE: I’ve always loved writing, but I was also interested in math and science so I followed the money and went to college to become a software engineer. I didn’t think about writing as a possible career until I temporarily stepped out of the workforce to have our first child. I started by writing parenting articles, since I was reading everything I could about how to be a good parent. Reading to my kids helped me rediscover my love of children’s books, however, and I knew I’d finally found my calling.

As a child, who was your favorite author, illustrator, and/or favorite book?

My all-time favorite book is Mog the Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr. I still have my worn and tattered copy from when I was a child. In the story, Mog is a cat who always does everything wrong. Each member of the family is continuously saying, “Drat that cat!” for one reason or another. Yet, in the end, it is exactly Mog’s tendency to be the wrong place at the wrong time that ends up saving the day… and the family who loves her, despite her mistakes. She is finally recognized and rewarded for being just who she is. I often felt like a bit of a well-meaning screw up, just like Mog, and always hoped it would become a virtue someday!

You co-authored this book with your agent. What inspired you and Ammi-Joan Paquette to write Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive?

It was Joan’s idea. She loves collecting weird and wonderful stories, and thought it would be fun to throw a fake one in to really make the true ones stand out. I loved the idea, but thought she should write it since she thought of it. She wasn’t sure she wanted to tackle that much nonfiction, since she hadn’t done it before, so we decided to collaborate.

How did writing Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive differ from writing your other books? Do you have a favorite type of book to write?

Ha! Every book has been different from the others, since they’re all different genres and age groups. You’d think I’d know what my favorite is by now, wouldn’t you? I think, unfortunately, my favorite type is “something I’ve never done before!”

ME: I think it is great fun to be able to write what excites you at the time, rather than pigeon-holing yourself into a specific genre. I can't wait to see what captures your interest next.

What is something no one (or few) knows about you?

Hmmm… that’s a tough one. I try to be pretty transparent. How about this: my dad was a logger, so I have driven a bulldozer and know how to use a chainsaw.

ME: Well, that was not what I expected from a suburban Seattle author. What a great nugget to discover. Thanks.

Any new project(s) you are working on that you can share a tidbit with us? Any more picture books?

Yes! Two Truths and a Lie is a series, so we’re working on the next two books of those. I also have a whole slew of picture books in the works, mostly nonfiction but with a few fiction ones sprinkled in there, too. Several are nearing their final revision stage and are oh-so-close to being ready to submit (I hope!). And my list of ideas for new projects is far too long. Picture books are truly my first love… but they’re so much harder than longer nonfiction (both to write and to sell). Fingers crossed they will find just the right homes someday!

ME: A series, how exciting! I look forward to the next books in this series, as well as your other books.

PSST! dear readers - from Laurie's book launch yesterday - I can share that the next Two Truths and a Lie book will focus on Social Studies and will be published in June 2018. (Photo credit - Curtis Manley)

Is there anything about writing, illustrating, or publishing you know now that you wished you had known when you started?

No matter how impossible and far away it seems, there really can be success at the end of the tunnel, and, yes, someday it will all be worth it, because it’s every bit as awesome as you think it will be.

ME: That is good to know. It sure can seem a million miles away at times. Or that light at the end of the tunnel sometimes seems to waiver and flicker behind large, looming shadows. Thanks for the encouragement.

What is your favorite animal? Why?

All of them! I know, that’s a total cop-out. But seriously, how can one choose? I have a dog, cat, and two guinea pigs. I’ve also loved horses and rabbits. Someday maybe I’ll have a lizard. And have you ever seen a capybara? Love!!!

Thank you Laurie for adding me to your busy blog tour.

To find out more about Laurie Ann Thompson, or get in touch with her:

Follow along on the Blog tour:

Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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