Congratulations and major woo-hoo’s to Maryland author Laura Gehl on the August 9th release of her latest book, Peep and Egg: I’m not Trick-or-treating!
“Peep is so excited to go trick or treating with Egg! But Egg is not trick or treating! No way. No how. With monsters, witches, and mummies lurking around every corner, it is just too scary out there. Can Peep find a way to convince Egg that trick or treating is not so frightening with someone you love by your side?”
“What’s the only thing more adorable than a Joyce Wan character? A Joyce Wan character in a Halloween costume….It’s a familiar story of opening oneself up to new experiences, but Gehl’s lighthearted dialogue and Wan’s chunky, emotive graphics keep it feeling fresh.” –Publishers Weekly
“Bold colors, thick lines, and strategic use of white space and panels enhance this preschool-friendly tale about overcoming fears (and receiving candy).” –Horn Book
“Goes down easily for those youngsters who are similarly frightened, and Peep’s corny jokes should be added to every repertoire.” –Kirkus
Laura Gehl is the author of One Big Pair of Underwear, a Charlotte Zolotow Highly Commended Title, International Literacy Association Honor Book, and Booklist Books for Youth Editors’ Choice; Hare and Tortoise Race Across Israel and And Then Another Sheep Turned Up (both PJ library selections for 2015); and the Peep and Egg series (FSG/Macmillan). A former science and reading teacher, she also writes about science for children and adults. Laura lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with her husband and four children. Visit her online at www.lauragehl.com.
Laura was kind enough to stop by the Cyber Café for a quick visit. Welcome!
First off, what’s your favorite coffeehouse beverage?
Decaf iced mocha. I get most of my caffeine from chocolate, so I usually drink decaf.
And your favorite snack?
I generally eat fruits and veggies as snacks. But my favorite snack would definitely be a brownie sundae with oodles of hot fudge. That is also my favorite meal!
When did you decide to be a writer?
I started writing in graduate school. I was pregnant with my first child, and I realized writing would be more flexible than working in a lab. At first, I did mostly science writing. Over the years, I’ve shifted to mostly writing fiction (picture books), but I still do science writing as well. The two types of writing use very different parts of my brain.
Seeing as how hindsight is 20/20, what advice for beginners do you wish you would’ve followed?
I wish I had reached out to other writers earlier. I didn’t do that early enough, because I didn’t feel like a “real” writer. But I now realize that relationships with other writers are essential, for critiquing, for understanding the industry, and for sharing the many ups and downs that we all encounter. (I now know that many authors with numerous traditionally published, successful books still don’t think of themselves as “real” writers!)
Are there any other genres that you’d like to tackle some day? Or, what’s next on your agenda, any juicy projects you’d like to tell us about?
I have three upcoming releases that I am excited about. The next Peep and Egg book will be Peep and Egg: I’m Not Taking a Bath, and the art by Joyce Wan is just unbelievably adorable. I also have Koala Challah coming out next year, illustrated by Maria Mola (Kar Ben), and My Pillow Keeps Moving, illustrated by Christopher Weyant coming out after that (Viking). I can’t wait to share all these books with the world!
Time for the lightning round—no more than four words per answer!
Do you . . .
Outline or wing it? Both!
Sell by proposal or completed draft? Completed draft.
Prefer writing rough drafts or editing? Both–for different reasons.
Dread marketing/blogging or love it? Dread dread dread DREAD.
Read Kindle or traditional books? Traditional, except on vacation
Many thanks for chatting with us, Laura. Best of luck with your latest release!
Happy writing and illustrating, folks!