5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, April 28, 2017!
Introducing Blobfish Throws a Party, a wild and hilarious story from award-winning author Miranda Paul!
Blobfish lives at the bottom of the ocean with no lights, no friends, and no delicious treats. The only two ways he can think to change this would be to 1) throw a party, or 2) save the world in true hero style. He decides to do the first one. However, when he announces, “Deep sea party! Bring a treat to share!”, the mermaids hear “Cheap, free party! Sling on a sheet to wear!”, and the shorebirds hear “Cheep-peep party! Sing a tweet with flair!”, and so on. Soon the whole world is partying in strange ways based on what they think they heard, and Blobfish is still sad and alone at the bottom of the sea. Will Blobfish ever get his lights, friends, and delicious treats?
Exclusive interview with the author:
1) No matter how many books you write, I’m sure each one has it’s own challenges. How was this book more challenging to write than your others? How was it easier?
Blobfish Throws a Party was challenging because I was asked to pitch the story idea to my editor before I’d written it. It usually happens the other way around – writing first, then the pitching. I knew my editor was looking for a book loosely based on the “telephone game” and that they wanted something silly or humorous. I also knew that they had already passed on other authors’ attempts. It felt like a lot of pressure to come up with something original and yet totally my own. On the flip side, compared to my nonfiction books, this was easier because I could blend fact, fiction, and fantasy. I wasn’t constrained necessarily by history or the rules of science or limited research (and budgets!).
2) When did you start to write? What was your first story about?
My mom saved my first story – a picture book I made in second grade, about a bank robber who gets caught. I suppose I’ve always been writing, but never realized it was a career option until I decided to give it a go in 2009. I had gotten my degree in English years before that, and had even taken a course with children’s author and poet Lucille Clifton, but again, never thought of writing as a possible career until a few years ago. I freelanced for years doing magazines, newspaper, writing catalog descriptions – and I was a teacher, too. Shortly after I begun freelancing I discovered I really enjoyed writing for children and I’m glad that it’s now my career. Being able to write books like Blobfish Throws a Party for a living is way, way, cool.
3) If you had to go back and do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I had a kid ask me this once while I was visiting his school. I told him that if I could do it over again, I never would have given up on my art. I used to draw every day, but over a decade ago I put away my dreams of animation, etc. because I thought I wasn’t good enough and an art career was an unrealistic goal for me. Luckily, I now realize it’s not too late and am once again enjoying doing a sketch or doodle a day, just to see where it may lead me. It’s funny how we sometimes set our own barriers or limitations on ourselves. As writers or artists, we can be too tough on ourselves sometimes.
4) What’s the worst mistake you’ve ever made as an author? The best decision you’ve made as an author?
Sometimes when I’m signing and it’s really busy, I make mistakes. One time, I referred to a younger sibling as a sister when it was a brother. I’d only been glancing up quickly, trying to politely make talk with the families. I still feel truly awful about it – especially since my son gets referred to as a female quite often and I know how personal and confusing it is to him. I try to slow down when I’m signing and look/listen more now.
The best decision I’ve made as an author was to take myself seriously. I realize that sounds vague, but stemming from that philosophy I’ve figured out how to balance a busy lifestyle and writing/researching. If my work is important, and I take it seriously, I’ll find the time and resources to invest in it.
5) If you could have one super power what would it be?
I’m a hug fan of sea creatures, and many of them (especially octopus) have amazing camouflage abilities, which render them nearly invisible. Even though I’m often in front of crowds, I’m actually introverted and sometimes just want to slip into the background, unnoticed. I hope that doesn’t sound too anti-social! Being alone in a quiet space is important for me in terms of creativity and production.
Of course, if I had the ability to create world peace, I’d take that superpower, too!
About the author:
Miranda Paul is an award-winning picture book author. Her titles include the acclaimed One Plastic Bag, Water is Water, and 10 Little Ninjas. Miranda is a frequent presenter at schools and libraries and also volunteers for Books for Africa, We Need Diverse Books, and the SCBWI. Visit her online at www.mirandapaul.com.
5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, April 28, 2017.
PLEASE NOTE: If you already follow us (or the author) on Twitter, or Like us on Facebook, there is no need to unfollow/refollow or unlike/relike to get your entries. Just follow the directions in the widget to verify you already follow/like us and it will count your entry.