The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Annie Silvestro (Plus Giveaway)
Today I am excited to feature Annie Silvestro, the author of Bunny’s Book Club. Annie "is a lover of books who reads and writes as much as possible and can often be found shuffling piles of them around so she has a place to sit or someplace to put her teacup.”
Tomorrow, Annie welcomes a new book into the world - Mice Skating, a story of being true to yourself and determination. Originating from an unusual wheelbarrow on her parent's property, this story is a great reminder to authors to be observant and open to the world, as you never know when inspiration will strike. Happy Book Birthday!
Annie, thank you so much for stopping by to talk with me about your newest picture book.
Thank you so much for having me!
ME: Tell us a little about yourself. (Where/when do you write? How long have you been writing? What is your favorite type of book to write?)
ANNIE: I write whenever and where ever I can! I have an office in my house but I have been known to bring my laptop to baseball practice (or any other practice) to work while waiting in the car. I love writing picture books and I’m dabbling a bit with chapter books, too, which has been awesome.
What is something no one (or few) knows about you?
Many people don’t know that I despise cheese! I do like mozzarella and the occasional Parmesan, but the rest – no thanks. In Mice Skating, the character Marcello loves cheese so much he incorporates it into every conversation. I do not share his passion!
Mice Skating, which publishes October 3rd, is your second picture book. Your first picture book was Bunny’s Book Club. How different are they? Was one easier or particularly harder to write?
Both books are quite different but I love that they each have an old-fashioned quality about them. I think Bunny’s Book Club was a bit harder to write in that the idea took many forms before the final version. Mice Skating was more fully formed from the start so there were fewer revisions.
What was your inspiration for Mice Skating?
My parents live in the forest, which is always an inspiration! On one particular visit I noticed a wheelbarrow outside of their garage was filled up with water that had frozen over. It looked like the perfect ice skating rink for a mouse. (I still wonder if it was.)
That sounds like a fun moment. Who was your favorite author, illustrator, and/or favorite book as a child?
There are so many! I remember loving Babar, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, Corduroy, People by Peter Spier, and all of Richard Scarry’s books. As I got older I loved Roald Dahl, Beverly Cleary, and the Anne of Green Gables series, to name a few!
Somehow knowing you love Richard Scary books makes a lot of sense as I read your books. What/who is your greatest source of inspiration? (either as a child or now as a writer.)
My kids certainly inspire me every single day. Books inspire me. Most times inspiration comes out of nowhere – you never know where or when it might strike!
Is there anything you want your readers to know about Mice Skating?
With Mice Skating I hope readers will see that determination pays off and that it’s important to be yourself. I really hope the story makes people smile!
What has been the most frustrating aspect or period of time as a children’s author for you? Any advice for aspiring authors?
Every phase and stage of publishing - whether you’re looking for an agent or hoping for a book contract or waiting on a review – requires extreme patience. That never changes. It’s important to find the joy in each little success on the path because it’s so easy to focus on the negative.
Patience and a tough skin are certainly requirements for authors, but I agree that taking the time to cherish and celebrate the little progresses is important (both for ourselves and others). Any projects you are working on now that you can share a tidbit with us?
I’m looking forward to my next book, The Christmas Tree Who Loved Trains, illustrated by Paola Zakimi. It will be published by HarperCollins next year. I’ve seen a sneak peak of the art and I’m so thrilled!
That is really a tantalizing title! I am intrigued and will be watching for news of this book. Is there anything about writing, illustrating, or publishing you know now that you wished you had known when you started? Or anything you’re grateful you didn’t know about in advance?
I would say don’t rush – once I knew this is what I wanted to do, I was so anxious to have forward motion. But you really need to take the time to learn as much as you can so you can put your best foot forward. The waiting is good practice!
What is your favorite animal? Why?
My favorite animal changes regularly – today I’m feeling very partial to dragons. I also really love bears of all types!
Thank you, Annie for sharing a bit about your book and your journey with us.
A pleasure! I appreciate you having me!
Be sure to comment on this post or this Friday's #PPBF review to be entered in a giveaway of Mice Skating, courtesy of Annie Silvestro (US residents only).
To find out more about Annie Silvestro, or get in touch with her:
If you are close to Fair Haven, NJ, be sure to check out her book launch:
River Road Books
Sunday, October 8th
2 - 4 pm