DON’T MISS THE GIVEAWAY!
Recently Rhory and I discovered a new book by Anna McQuinn titled Lola Gets a Cat and we both LOVE it! The purrfect addition to our home library!
Lola Gets a Cat is the story of a little girl named Lola who wants a cat but her mother wants her to understand how much work it is to own a cat. She does all the research and finally gets to bring her own cat home! The shelter is so helpful and provides her with some resources to help her and the cat.
Working with rescues and watching my mom find new homes for a lot of cats, I so appreciate this book. A cat is a lot of work that most don’t realize. They also don’t realize that they need time to adjust to their new home. Lola is given all kinds of advice to make sure her new kitty feels right at home! In the end, they are snuggled together reading a book – purrrfect ending!
In addition to reading this book – I was also able to secure an interview with Anna McQuinn herself! I have pondered writing my own children’s book so I was excited about getting to pick her brain a bit. I also wanted to see if she was a crazy cat lady like myself.
Enter to win your VERY OWN COPY OF LOLA GETS A CAT!
Interview with Anna McQuinn
Author of Lola Gets a Cat
- What led you to get in to writing children’s books? It’s a kind of a long story… I guess working as an editor and publisher for many years in Children’s Publishing is the easiest answer. I almost began writing by accident – as an editor/publisher I often had ideas for books or series of books and sometimes when these were conceptual things, it was easier to write the book myself than explain to a writer what I wanted to achieve. It kind of grew from there…
- Who is your author idol – the author you admire the most, children’s or adult author? I can only have one? I love Ezra Jack Keats – his words and pictures are so fused, and I love how he understands a child’s mind; ditto Suzanne Bloom (another author-illustrator); Keven Henkes (my favourite book is Lily and the Purple Plastic Purse) and Simon James.
- Do you write as ideas come to you or are there different life events that have inspired your books? I seem to always have my best ideas when I’m on a bus or a train and I don’t have any paper or a pen to hand! I know authors should always have writing materials, but I end up squishing some notes on the back of a bus ticket or on my phone. I usually move from big idea or moment through some research (some valid, some simply procrastination) and then write…
- Do you have any rescue pets of your own? Yes – I have a gorgeous little black cat who strayed into our garden some years ago and gradually moved in. She is a wonderful mixture of independent and social and surprises me every day.
- If so, what led you to rescuing animals? (We are big rescue pet lovers over here!) To be honest, it was not in the plan. I’m away from home a lot and so is my husband, so we always thought it would be unfair to a pet. However, this little lady arrived in our garden with a wound on her side and obviously terrified. We fed her little scraps at first whenever she emerged out of the bushes in the garden, and gradually she started hanging around more. A time came when we realised that we needed to make a positive decision (or not) versus just allowing this to happen. So, we had a long conversation about responsibilities and (there really was no debate) decided we were ready to take on the responsibility. It was a great decision and she has really enriched our lives. She still maintains a huge level of independence and mostly sleeps outside in her little house except when the weather is too harsh. Considering my background in child development, I’ve been fascinated by how she communicates – and of course, she inspired this newest Lola story!
- Is Lola based on a real life person? I didn’t think so when I wrote it, but when Charlesbridge was writing the promotional copy for the first story, they asked me if Lola was like me and I realised she was, totally! I loved stories from when I was very tiny and learned to read at a young age. I read ALL the time – at the table, I would read the back of the cereal box while I ate breakfast. I also look to books for information and solutions, so yes, I’m exactly like Lola.
- How did you meet Rosalind Beardshaw? Her illustrations with your words are perfect! She is wonderful and the illustrations are perfect, aren’t they! I saw her work in another story and realised she’d be perfect. I actually developed this project in the UK as a publisher so that meant I was able to approach her agent and ask if she would be interested in illustrating my story (usually an author doesn’t get to make this decision, so I feel very lucky).
- What is your number one piece of advice for those looking to write a children’s book of their own? I have pondered with the thought based on a Christmas tradition I have started with my kids but I am unsure of where to start! The classic advice is to read a thousand picture books (or I think 500 novels – I’m not so well up on that one). It sounds a lot, but I think it is a genuinely great piece of advice as it helps you to see someone else working through similar ideas and I think gives a feel of what can be attempted and achieved over the classic 32page format. It’s usually a good idea to do a writing course or join a writing group – I would definitely join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
This is a DON’T MISS book! For more about Anna McQuinn or to see her other books, please visit www.annamcquinn.com.