Lynne Marie is the author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten - illustrated by Anne Kennedy (Scholastic, 2011), Hedgehog's 100th Day of School – illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Scholastic, January 2017), The Star of the Christmas Play -- illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Beaming Books, 10/16/2018), Moldilocks and the 3 Scares -- illustrated by David Rodriguez Lorenzo (Sterling, 2019) and her first non-fiction picture book, Let’s Eat! Mealtime Around the World -- illustrated by Parwinder Singh (Beaming Books, 2019) and more forthcoming. Her stories, poems, and folk tales have appeared in many magazine markets, including Family Fun, Highlights, High Five, Spider, Baby Bug and more. When she’s not cruising around the world, she lives on a lake in South Florida with her family, a Schipperke named Anakin and several resident water birds. She’s represented by Deborah Warren of East West Literary Agency. You can learn more about her at www.LiterallyLynneMarie.com.
The exceptionally-talented author, Lynne Marie, has offered a Q&A for any readers that have questions after her interview! Feel free to ask her questions about her writing, her critique services, or about her books!
Q: Hi, Lynne Marie and thanks for joining us this month! First, you’ve had a busy year for books- congrats! Can you update us on all the books you have that either released or are in the works?
A: I am very excited about the next two books -- MOLDILOCKS AND THE
THREE SCARES actually releases in three (3) days, getting everyone geared up for a fun a fruitful Halloween season. It’s not actually a Halloween book, but rather has a Halloween tie-in (monsters being only one of the hooks, the others being fairy tales and adoption), but if you know anything about me, I LOVE Halloween and will always look for a reason to extend THAT season!
Then, right after that is LET’S EAT: MEALTIMES AROUND THE WORLD, which comes out November 5th. This is another book close to my heart because of its tie-in to travel and the activities of cooking/baking.
As far as in the works, I have had a big travel year -- I’ve been to Disney World (LOL), Holland, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and Russia! So it’s been kind of crazy and I would love to just mine those experiences.
But I am working on a few projects that I hope to be able to share. You know how it is in this business, we shout it out as soon as we can.
Q: Congrats on Moldilocks and the Three Scares! How adorable! What was the inspiration behind the story?
A: The most obvious one is the Goldilocks and the Three Bears connection, but there is so much more behind it. Moldilocks is not really an intruder but truly an answer to the Scares nightmares. I would say that she is in part based inspired by Marilyn from the Munsters and my own life as an adopted child. And of course, there’s inspirations from The Addams Family sprinkled in, as well.
Other than that, please look out for a more detailed story behind the story at Kathy Temean’s Writing and Illustrating Blog on the release date on August 6, 2019. https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/
Q: We often hear that holiday-themed stories are a hard sell?
A: Hmmm...I don’t think this is necessarily true. I do think, in fact that it can be presented as a hook, of which there should usually be three when a book is presented to an acquisitions team or to book buyers. The fact that it will sell well during a given holiday COULD be a good hook. What I do think is the problem, is that if a house already has their few holidays books slated for that season, they would not be inclined to pick up any more. So there’s not a big window for these books. And there’s another issue to consider, from the author’s point of view. Rather than repeat myself, I will share this article I wrote, which I think readers will find extremely helpful. https://writersrumpus.com/2019/07/02/the-s-and-s-of-writing-holiday-books/comment-page-1/#comment-51082
Q: Can you share a little behind-the-scenes discussions that may have gone on regarding this?
A: For me, there was no discussions about this. I went above and beyond to make sure that Moldilocks and the 3 Scares was a fractured fairy tale about monsters that is good year round. When you see it, you will see that I did my job. And yet still, here it is, with the Halloween books. While I do agree that it’s the perfect time to release it, I do hope that it does not go away. It is not about Halloween. It is about, in a subtle way, healing a family that has something missing.
Here’s the Kirkus Review:
Q: You are a mom, a travel agent, an author, and provide critique services – so, you’re extremely busy! How are you managing it all while hosting readings and release parties for your books?
A: This is an interesting question -- I am extremely busy with all those things. But while I truly to set up a launch and readings for Moldilocks in August and September EVERYONE wants me to do it in October because of Halloween. I guess they haven’t read the book, and all they see is the Zombie on the cover. This all ties in to my article referenced above, which I hope Rate-Your-Story-ers will read. I tried and tried but I could not convince them otherwise. It’s OK, making my launch party a Halloween party will be fun and festive!
Q: What tips and tricks would you like to share with anyone who is looking to host their first release party?
A: My friends and family launch is being held at Murder on the Beach Bookstore in October, which is perfectly themed for the occassion.And, in the words of Marie Antoinette (not to be taken the wrong way, please), I say, “Let Them Eat Cake!” Definitely a celebratory cake! If not a full out custom cake, then a sheet cake with a picture of the cover on it, or custom themed cookies. I am still deciding what I will have, depending on the # of responses.
I am also doing a launch for children at the local Barnes and Noble. No cookies or cake here, as responses are not required.
At both, I will have swag -- coloring pages, buttons or bookmarks. Hopefully your publisher will cover the cost of this, but if not there are a number of places you can order from. I actually ordered a custom Moldilocks doll for photo opps, but that has not yet proven to be a positive experience.
Other than that, just have fun reading your book and celebrating your well deserved success!
This is unusual, but because I am originally from New York and still have New York connections, I will be driving up to New York for a New York book launch in October as well, and appeared at NerdCampLI. It’s my first time to be a NerdCamper and I will be seeing some dear author friends there so I am very excited!
Q: Is there anything else you'd like our readers to know about you?
A: I would invite readers to post in comments and ask me any questions they have. I would love to answer them!
Thanks for joining us, Lynne Marie! And readers, here's your chance to ask away! Feel free to post questions to Lynne Marie. She'll be checking the post and getting back with you.