Happy Monday, and welcome to KidLit Coffee Talk! I’m so excited to have the amazing Sue Lowell Gallion with me on my blog. She is the author of Pug Meets Pig (S&S/Beach Lane Books, 2016 ) and Pug & Pig Trick-or-Treat (S&S/Beach Lane Books, 2017), which came out right in time for Halloween. This is a perfect read aloud for young children who are gearing up to celebrate at the end of the month. Sue was gracious enough to sit down for a virtual cup of coffee with me and chat about writing.
What kind of coffee do you like to drink?
That’s easy on this cool October day! The Roasterie, a local coffee company here in Kansas City, created a seasonal blend called Autumn Harvest that I wait for each year. I’m not a big pumpkin spice devotee, but this absolutely tastes like fall. Perfect with a muffin or a ginger cookie. https://www.theroasterie.com/coffee/flavored/autumn-harvest-blend
That sounds delicious! Tell me a little bit about yourself and your writing journey.
I’m proud to be an example of “it’s never too late to start a new career.” My background is journalism/PR, not creative writing. When my kids were in high school, I started looking at going back to school to become a reading specialist. I took a class in children’s literature at the community college, and our assignment to write an ABC picture book got me hooked. Ten years later, Pug Meets Pig was released.
That’s really inspiring. So many writers I know did not start writing until later in life, myself included. Tell me about Pug & Pig Trick-or-Treat.
This story came together right after the first Pug and Pig manuscript sold to Beach Lane Books/S&S. Pug shares many personality traits with my black lab mix, Tucker. Tucker’s reaction to the dog next door dressed in a skintight skeleton costume inspired the plot. Beach Lane bought this manuscript a year later, in 2014. It’s fun to share a non-scary Halloween book with kids. The heart of the book is about the freedom to be different from a friend, but think and act in a caring way.
My children and I loved Pug’s reaction to his skeleton costume. How cool that it was inspired by your own dog! What was the most exciting part of the publication process? What was the hardest?
Seeing Joyce Wan bring the characters and stories to life visually and working with the editor/art director team of Andrea Welch and Lauren Rille has been the most exciting part of the process. I’ll never forget opening the file of the first sketch dummy of the book and finding out what Pug and Pig and their world looked like! The creative team makes the finished book so much more than I ever could have imagined. The hardest part is the waiting! The gestation period of a walrus is 16 months. That’s just getting started for picture book publication.
What else are you working on right now?
I’m working on other picture book manuscripts in the ongoing process of write/revise/submit/repeat and I have an early reader series project in the works that I’ve co-written with Ann Ingalls. I’m on the hunt for a nonfiction picture book project, also.
Sounds like you are very busy. How has life changed for you since your first book was released?
The interaction with kids has been so much fun. My respect for all teachers, preschool on up, continues to increase! And I’ve loved my broader author role as a picture book and read-aloud advocate and ambassador.
It was so nice to chat with you, Sue!
To learn more about Sue, visit her website at http://suegallion.com.
Or, connect with her on Twitter @SueLGallion
Now, it’s giveaway time!
You have the chance to win a copy of Sue’s book, Pug & Pig Trick-or-Treat AND a poster designed by the talented Joyce Wan. To enter this giveaway, simply comment on this post and share it on Twitter or Facebook. Then, click on the Rafflecopter below. A winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday, October 17th. And don’t forget to subscribe to my blog. Good luck!