Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Book Giveaway and an Author Interview with Tilda Balsley

I'm going to take a short break from sharing my conference experiences so we can have another Author interview and BOOK GIVEAWAY!

Author, Tilda Balsley has graciously answered a few questions about writing and reading and her picture book LET MY PEOPLE GO.

I was impressed with this book. This is a humorous and catchy picture book in rhyme. It's fun and memorable!

Leave a comment in the "comment" section below, so you have a chance to win a free copy of LET MY PEOPLE GO!

Comments will be accepted up until this Saturday at Noon. After that I will pull out my trusty tupperware bowl and draw the name of our lucky winner.

Until then, enjoy our interview with Tilda.

On Writing:

1) Can you share a little bit about how "Let My People Go" came into being. (ie: slush pile, assignment, etc.)

I wrote "Let My People Go" (a readers' theater/picture book) specifically for the children at our church who were studying Passover. They decided to perform it during church. Several friends-- who knew I was writing and submitting children's books --said "Well, have you sent out this one?" So I did. I chose Kar-Ben because their turn around time was so much better than anywhere else and I was reaching a "discouraged" point with rejections. I never had to send it anywhere else. From the very beginning, Kar-Ben has been wonderful to work with. Within the next few years, they will publish two more of my books: a readers' theater for Purim about Esther and Mordechai, and a book for Hanukkah (rhyming but not readers' theater).

2) Did you find it difficult to convey such a serious subject into a PB format?
While writing it, my goal was a fun, easy to read and remember, rendition of the plagues. I felt removed from the human tragedy. However, once it was published and my three year old grandson was sitting on my lap looking at the "bloody" water, I was struck with the seriousness of the themes. I found myself skipping over some of the harsher aspects. I never really intended the book for a three year old audience--but I've found they love that NO! NO! NO!. (And of course, it's meant to allow even a toddler to participate in a family seder.)

3) What do you hope people will get out of "Let my People Go"?

As with every picture book, every reader (listener) enjoys and benefits in a different way. As a former reading teacher, I know that the readers' theater aspect will improve the fluency of beginning readers. For readers at Passover, I hope it will enrich their Seder experience. For all readers, I hope it will be lots of fun.

4) What did you enjoy the most about writing this book?

I always love writing rhyme.

5) Do you have a current work in progress that you can tell us about?

I just finished a humorous collection of poems written from a dog's point of view. Children's poetry can be hard to sell, but children love dogs, laughter and sillly rhyme, so I'm hopeful.

6) What advice would you like to impart to aspiring authors?

Read what you have written over and over and over. Each time, be open to revision. Aren't we lucky to have computers to make this process easier?

7) How about a writing schedule? Do you have one?

I do not have a strict schedule, but I do some kind of writing (editing or researching included) every day, usually starting before breakfast. I'm a "half an hour here-half an hour there" writer. It can go on all day with other stuff interspersed.

On Reading:

1) What books or authors have inspired you the most? I'm inspired by other picture book writers (and illustrators). I still love those "old" Dr. Seuss books like "The Foot Book" and "The Eye Book." And I love Shel Silverstein, Lauren Child (That Pesky Rat), Mem Fox (Tough Boris etc.), and scores of others. >

2) What is the last book that you've read?
I just read Wendell Berry's "Hannah Coulter." It was wonderful.

Thanks for your interest in my book.

Now . . . Start leaving those comments for a chance to win an autographed copy! :0)


Ruby (Mouth) said...

I can see why Dr. Suess would inspire you. I love all his books. Please enter me in a chance for this. My kids will love it.

anfgelleslament @ gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I love the cover and I'd love to get a copy for my church!


Janelle said...

It sounds like you'll be reaching a wide audience with this book, Tilda! What a cute cover!

PJ Hoover said...

Great interview! I bet the book is fantastic.
I admit I love Dreamworks "Prince of Egypt" movie as do my kids.

jenny murray said...

The book sounds great! I love great read alouds for children. The interview was great and very informative!

Jenny Murray

Brenda said...

Great interview and her book sounds very interesting...