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Introducing Laura Boldin-Fournier

What inspired you to start writing?

My interest in writing began in elementary school and stemmed from my love of reading. Because I grew up in a rural area and didn’t have access to a public library, I used my imagination to create my own stories.

Name some favorite books from your childhood.

As a child, the monkey’s antics in the Curious George books delighted me. When George was supposed to deliver newspapers, he folded them into boats and sailed them down the river. I couldn’t wait to follow the directions, make my own paper boats, and watch them float away. When I was eleven, I had to stay overnight in the hospital for an operation. To distract me from the pain, my parents gave me a Nancy Drew book: The Hidden Staircase. After that, I was hooked on her adventures.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I enjoy reading, talking with friends, attending critique groups, watching funny movies, and learning about nature. If I’m not doing any of those things, I’m probably eating ice cream.

As a writer, what do you love about the process?

I love using my imagination. For me, writing is like traveling down a road I’ve never been on before. I’m always excited to see what I discover as my work progresses.

What do you find most difficult about the writing process? What do you do to overcome these difficulties?

I’ve learned writing requires patience and time. When I’m uncertain how to move forward with a project, I set it aside and revise another story. Eventually, the idea I need comes to me, usually when I’m in the shower, covered with soap suds.

Share a favorite book on the craft and why it is a favorite.

I like the suggestions for creativity in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Her techniques free your mind and inspire you to write your thoughts on the blank page without judging them or worrying about revision.

As a Rate Your Story Judge, what genre would you most enjoy reading? And, what things do you look for when you provide feedback and rate a story?

My favorite genres are humorous fiction, mysteries, and fantasies. The kind of feedback I supply depends on the type of material I’m critiquing. For example, if I’m judging a picture book, I’d ask myself some of the following questions. Does the story surprise me or teach me something I don’t know? Does it have humor? Is the language creative? Can a child understand it? Are the characters likable? Does the structure make sense? Is the ending satisfying? Is there enough material to support illustrations?

What in your opinion, makes a picture book successful?

A captivating character, the element of surprise, and humor seem like a good combination for success.

In closing please share a final writing tip with our members.

No matter what genre you’re writing, it’s important to read similar books and examine what you admire about them. Check your work to see if it would benefit from the elements you enjoyed. Joining a critique group and hearing how other people respond to your work is invaluable. The suggestions I received from SCBWI critique groups led to the publication of my picture book.

Tell us a little bit about your picture book.

An Orangutan’s Night before Christmas is a humorous story about Santa’s newest helper, an orangutan. Oranga Claus soars through the sky with his team of flying zebras. He delivers holiday gifts to zoo animals and speaks a strange language of his own. And although, the zoo keeper thinks he understands Oranga Claus, he makes a silly mistake by repeating the orangutan’s words to the other animals.

The Author

Laura Boldin-Fournier is a former teacher who loves chocolate, books, and animals. She lives in Florida and enjoys watching birds, squirrels, rabbits, and lizards pass by her window while she’s writing humorous stories. She’s the author of AN ORANGUTAN'S NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, a picture book published by Pelican. Her stories have also appeared in CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL books, other anthologies and magazines. She’s a member of the SCBWI and the MWA. She enjoys speaking at libraries, schools, literary events, and judging writing contests.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @LauraBoldin



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