1) What is the working title of your next book?
I have two books coming out in 2015. One Plastic Bag and Water is Water.
One Plastic Bag is based upon the story of a real woman I've had the pleasure of meeting. The story is inspired by her efforts as one of the first women in her country (The Gambia, Africa) to undertake a grassroots recycling project and beautify her village.
The idea for Water is Water literally popped into my head one day. I'm a big science/nature fan. I grew up minutes away from Lake Michigan, and originally entered college to study aquatic biology.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
Both fall under the picture book category with a non-fiction component (something akin to faction, perhaps?). OPB is probably for a little older audience (5-12), while WIW's text appeals to the very young (3-7).
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I'm not sure if my books really would ever be animated or turned into films. However, my agent did retain film rights just in case :). I really have no idea who would play the parts, though. I'll pass on this one...
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
One Plastic Bag: A narrative story inspired by Isatou Ceesay and the recycling women of Njau, Gambia.
Water is Water: A backyard, year-round water journey as seen through the eyes (and hands) of a group of children.
6) Who is publishing your book?
OPB - Millbrook Press (Lerner Publishing Group)
WIW - Neal Porter Books (Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan)
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
OPB - I wrote the very first draft within a week or so. Mind you, the story had been stewing in my head for nearly six years prior to actually writing it, and I'd interviewed more than 30 women from the recycling co-op in the years leading up to this. I revised it and began submitting it about three months later.
WIW - I actually had four first draft versions of this book, which each took months from idea to something that resembled a complete first draft. Then I had to choose which version I liked best and wanted to continue working on. I chose, and did more revisions on that version. Then, my agent loved it, but asked for a few tweaks. Then, my editor loved it, but had some ideas for it. . .then. . .you're starting to get the point, right? The real question is not how long it takes to get the first draft done, but to get the actual book done.
8) What other books would you compare these stories to within your genre?
I'm not entirely sure what to compare WIW to yet, but OPB is comparable to THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer (picture book version).
9) Who or what inspired you to write these books?
I think I already answered this!
10) What else about the book(s) might pique the reader's interest?
Water is Water is going to be illustrated by Jason Chin.
Just In: I've also learned who will illustrate One Plastic Bag and I am SUPER THRILLED. But....I can't announce it yet. I know, I know. I will announce who as soon as I get the go-ahead from the publisher (doesn't the suspense kill you??). Connect with me via Facebook or Twitter so you can share in the exciting news as soon as I post it.
Next up on the Next Big Thing Blog Tour is Jacque Duffy, all the way over in Australia! She'll be posting soon about her exciting new book that's coming out soon.
Thanks for stopping by!