5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, June 30 2017!
What makes cats better than dogs? Is it how gracefully they leap through the air? How much smarter they are than dogs? How much more musical and cleaner they are? Or is it how good they are at making you think they’re all these things.
Find out why cats are the purrfect pet in this funny picture book.
Exclusive interview with the author:
1) Which of your favorite authors inspired you to become a writer?
When I was 13, I wrote a letter to my favorite author, Margaret Sutton, who wrote 38 Judy Bolton mystery novels. The books were long out of print but my parents found many for me in new and used bookstores. When Margaret wrote back to me, I was SO excited. I carried the letter around at school and showed everyone. I wrote back, she wrote back, and a friendship began. She encouraged my writing and when I graduated high school years later we met for the first time at my high school graduation (I was 17-she was 71). A decade later, I had the honor of finishing a new Judy Bolton mystery she’d started, which she edited and I self-published for fans like myself who just wanted “one more book” in our favorite series. Margaret’s friendship helped me realize that becoming an author is a difficult goal—but not impossible.
2) When did you start to write? What was your first story about?
I have a booklet I wrote when I was 8 years old called TABEN THE CAT GETS IN TROUBLE. It was about a young human-like cat who steals a quarter from her mother then later feels guilty but can’t find the money. So she tries to earn money by getting a job as a milk-cat (like milk-man). When I was 9, I rewrote this story but printed it much neater, added art and gave each chapter a title. I saved these booklets and show them to kids when I give school talks. I think the teachers love them even more because this is a fun example for learning rewriting skills.
3) We’d love to hear all about the specific moment you got the idea for your book. When/how did your book idea actually hit you?
I was in Florida speaking at a SCBWI conference. I was sitting in on another talk and while attendees were doing a writing exercise they’d prepared for, I had nothing to do. So I took out some paper and decided to write a picture book. Now I should stop here to say that picture books are the hardest format because they are so short and every word needs to sing with story. But something almost magical happened that day. I asked myself what I wanted to write about and the answer came quickly—cats! Because I love cats SO much. Suddenly words popped into my head, “Congratulations! I’m your new cat. I’m the perfect pet for you. You may take me home now.” I recognized that this was inspiration that I needed to write down quickly—which I did. And in that hour, I had the framework for a picture book.
But inspiration is only the beginning. Then comes rewriting. The book started off at almost 400 words. I cut it down, rewrote and rewrote many times before I showed it to my agent. She loved it, but had more rewrites. When an editor showed interest, I was asked to cut, cut, cut. Once she was happy with the final 138 word book, I was offered a contract. And now 2 ½ years later, A CAT IS BETTER has been published by Little Bee Books—and I recently flew to Texas to sign 100 copies of my new book at TXLA for librarians.
4) Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
My “Cinderella” moment happened in 2004 when my series, THE SEER, was published. I was invited to attend BEA (Book Expo) in Chicago—and they even paid for my hotel room! I was shuttled to the conference, then led to a Green Room where authors like Linda Sue Park, Lemony Snicket and Julie Andrews (yes, the actress!) were signing. My editor carried a box of my books, which she put out on a table and I sat down while people lined up to get MY signature on my new book. It was so fun and exciting – and I did it all again in 2016, signing my midgrade mystery series CURIOUS CAT SPY CLUB.
5) What’s up next for you?
My next Little Bee picture book comes out in December 2017 – just in time for the holidays. It’s called LUCY LOVES GOOSEY and the cover is so cute. It shows a little dog who thinks a large goose is her big sister—and tries to prove it. It’s already up for pre-order online! After over 40 novels in my career, I’m having a ball being a picture book author. I feel so lucky!
About the author:
Linda Joy Singleton is the author of over 45 children’s books including the midgrade series CURIOUS CAT SPY CLUB (Albert Whitman), picture books A CAT IS BETTER (Little Bee), SNOW DOG SAND DOG (Albert Whitman), CASH KAT (Arbordale) and YA mystery MEMORY GIRL (CBAY). A longtime member of SCBWI and Sisters in Crime, Linda is also a frequent speaker at conferences, schools and libraries. She completed her first novel at age 11 and submitted stories with the help of her father at 14. She lives with her husband and a menagerie of animals in Northern California. Visit Linda online at www.lindajoysingleton.com.
5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, June 30, 2017.
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