Category Archives: Author interview

Come on in! Summer Open House Presents Kelly DiPucchio & Super Manny! Giveaway

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My little sparklers, the first time I met Kelly DiPucchio we were at an SCBWI – Michigan conference many years ago. Kelly was wearing a feather boa (not exactly standard issue for children’s writers!) and I thought, “Who is this amazing person?” There are many ways to answer that question–Kelly is a prolific New York Times bestselling picture book author. She is a creative, thoughtful and kindhearted woman. And best of all, Kelly is my friend. I could not be more delighted to have her join us for Summer Open House 2017.

Today, July 4, is the birthday of Kelly’s newest picture book is SUPER MANNY STANDS UP!

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Atheneum Books for Young Readers (July 4, 2017)

“This charming story marries the mania for superheroes with a potent anti-bullying message, making it an apt tale for present times. Super Manny, an imaginative raccoon child…declares out loud to the world his own fearlessness and strength in words that children will want to echo…. With great read-aloud potential, this story could be used by both parents and teachers to introduce concepts of courage and standing up to bullies from the youngest preschoolers up.” (Kirkus Reviews, May 2017)

Watch this super SUPER MANNY trailer!

You can enter for a chance to win your very own copy of SUPER MANNY to enjoy yourself or share with a beloved child in your life.

  • All you need to do is leave a comment at the end of this post!
    • Leave a favorite quote to add to the new “Worth Repeating” page, and you’ll get two chances.
    • AND if you become a new follower of Frog on a Dime, you’ll get three chances to win!

Drawing takes place Saturday, July 8 at Noon. 

Lemon sliceSince Kelly was kind enough to stop by for the Summer Open House, how could I resist offering her a seat on the Frog on a Dime porch swing for some lemonade and conversation?

What role has mindfulness and/or intuition played in your writing career?

Mindfulness has played a tremendous role in my writing career and life. I could tell you many stories about how different meditation practices have inspired new book ideas and even completed manuscripts in one sitting. I’ve come to learn over the years that meditation doesn’t mean you have to be in a lotus position on the floor with sandalwood incense and white candles burning. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that and I, myself, enjoy creating those sacred spaces occasionally before I write but I can also create mindfulness by taking walks in nature or sitting in the sun or even folding clean laundry (definitely my least favorite).

What is your favorite day of the week–and yes, why?

Okay, probably only writers and artists will understand this but MONDAY. Mondays mean I’m getting back to my routine and there’s something very empowering and hopeful about having the full week ahead of me so I can get things done. Usually, by Friday, I’m lamenting about how much more I should have gotten done that week!

I know this is rather personal, but what is under your bed?

A few wayward socks (see Question #10), an empty suitcase, stray dryer sheets, a peaceful colony of dust bunnies, a flashlight and copies of A Course in Miracles and Autobiography of a Yogi (for good energy).

Who makes you laugh the most?

A few years ago, I definitely would have answered, “My husband!” However, now I’d have to say my son is closing in on a tie for first place. My husband and I take pride in the fact that we’ve birthed and raised some very funny people.

If you were a cheese, what kind would you be? Why?

I’d probably be Swiss because I’m pale and holy.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

My kids. I know that sounds incredibly hokey and cliché but nothing else in my life can even come close.

Kelly, now be honest, kind of music feels like torture to you?

Heavy metal. That answer should not come as a big surprise to anyone who knows me because I will openly admit to loving Barry Manilow.

What is your inner adult/inner child ratio?

50% Adult. 25% Child. 25% Dog.

If you could make a guest appearance on a sit com, which one would it be–and why?

Probably Modern Family because I love the cast and the show.

Describe your sock drawer in three words or less.

Messy. Mismatched. Merry.

If you hadn’t become a writer, what would you be?

A totally different person.

Your favorite punctuation mark: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Favorite food or drink while writing: Coffee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fantasy road trip destination:

Well, you can’t get there by road but my inner compass keeps pointing me in the direction of Ireland. Cross my pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers I will get there one day!

Kelly, thank you so much for stopping by. I think you’re super!

And best o’ luck with Ireland!

Be mindful. Be grateful. Be positive. Be true. Be kind. ~ Roy Bennett

Frog 3

Summer Open House Is Coming!

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Summer is here, my little gooey s’mores. Tis the season for bare feet, blue skies, blazing sunsets and bon fires.

And you  know what else?

It’s almost time for Frog on a Dime’s 2nd Annual Summer OpenFrog 3 House featuring . . .

  • phenomenal New York Times bestselling author (guess who!)
  • Drawings for giggle-inducing giveaways you will love
  • Special opps for new followers
  • And MORE! [insert “oooo” here!]

I can hardly wait!

Okay, I’ve nearly exceeded my exclamation point allowance, so let me simply encourage you to hop on by the first week of July. My little sparklers, you will not want to miss this! (Oops. There I go again! Again!)

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
Frog 7

Finny’s Winner

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Congratulations to Ann Finkelstein and Buffy Silverman, winners of THE SUMMER NICK TAUGHT HIS CATS TO READ. This summer-fun story will be on its way to you soon!

Many thanks to everyone who stopped by for Frog on a Dime’s first ever Summer Open House. It was a delight to have  you visit and we loved reading your comments.

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Special thanks to our fascinating guest Curtis Manley.

We can’t wait to see what you’re working on next!

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And, of course, my warm and fuzzy thanks to Finny for doing such an excellent job on his very first interview. I hope I can convince him to do another interview in the future (assuming he’ll be willing to forego a nap).

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lisa rose paints the town!

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Meet Lisa Rose

Meet Lisa Rose

What a delight to welcome Lisa Rose back to Frog on a Dime. She’s so honest, funny and genuine. She first visited in March 2014 to talk about her upcoming picture book. And now [cue the fan fare!] SHMULIK PAINTS THE TOWN has just released!

To celebrate, I’m letting Lisa take the wheel . . .

When my agent suggested I write Jewish books I wasn’t thrilled. True, I was Jewish.  I suffered through Hebrew school.  I had a Bat Mitzvah.  I didn’t have a Christmas tree or even own a Christmas sweater.  I used words like tush, schlep, and nosh.  But I didn’t really want to write a Jewish book.  At the time I was writing outside of my race.  Inspired by the students I taught in Highland Park and Pontiac, Michigan,  I believed their story needed to be told.  I have been fighting for #blacklivesmatter long before it was a hashtag or even twitter was invented.

It wasn’t until I adopted my daughter that I thought about my culture.  How would I make her feel part of the community?  It was then I realized how little I knew about my own history.  I knew much of it was slaughtered in the Europe’s concentration camps.  And what was known was not discussed.  The memories were too painful.  There was just an attitude of  “move on and live.”  Simple and yet profound.  We lived.  We learned.  We laughed.

So, I believe it isn’t accident that my first published Jewish picture book is both funny and empowering.

Thank you for sharing, Lisa. I’m very excited for you and for the children who will enjoy your book. (And hey, you’re a pretty good driver!)

Shmulik Paints the Town coverSHMULIK PAINTS THE TOWN just released from Kar-Ben Publishing is about a painter who has to create a mural for Israeli Independence Day.  He can’t decide what to paint and gets a little help from a very unexpected source—his dog!

 

Shmulik Paints the Town spread

 

 

 

 

 

And now, it’s time for True Confessions, Random Facts and Inside Info with Lisa Rose . . . 

True confession:  Rose is actually my middle name.  I have two terrible last names.  So I chose to go by Rose because it was easy to pronounce and also honored the grandmother I never knew.  She, against all odds, escaped to Detroit.  There, she lived, learned and laughed so that one day her granddaughter could tell the story.

Lisa Rose:

  • Loves the color blue
  • Hates ketchup
  • Taught 1st grade and her students often lived in homeless shelters
  • Owned pet turtles named Broccoli and Peapod
  • Practices yoga
  • Prefers frosting and ice cream to anything spicy or garlicy
  • Likes to wake up early–like before 5 a.m. early
  • Prefers Law & Order reruns to reality TV

Would you like to know even more about Lisa Rose, my crispy little waffle cones? What a silly question. But of course you would. More info about Lisa Rose, click here.

When you write, magic happens. Doors open. People smile and the world is a better place. ~ Alan Dapre

the inevitable inquisition of ms. kelly barson

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Filing income taxes.

K.Barson Author 2232
Yup. That’s her all right. The one I was telling you about.
Eating tongue.
Folding a fitted sheet.
These, my wee wombats, are all things we would rather not do. And yet, oft times we must (well, hopefully not too oft. Yeesh.) So is the case with today’s post. Do I want to pummel my dear friend and sublime author young adult Kelly Barson with question after needling question? Nay. And yet, pummel I must. It is for your own good, dear readers.
And so, steel yourselves, and let the unfliching query of Kelly Barson begin . . .
What is your favorite day of the week-and yes, why? This isn’t popular, but I like Mondays. I like a week that’s full of possibilities, open for a fresh start.
Have you ever kissed a toad? No, but I have almost stepped on one. In my bare feet! I stepped, but before I shifted my weight to the point of no return, I felt the toad’s muscles ripple under my feet. I jumped and screamed. The toad jumped, too. We were both grateful he didn’t croak.
What is under your bed? Drawers full of treasure and an impressive collection of dust bunnies, many of them vintage.
Who makes you laugh the most? My husband Larry. Because we’re so different, he sees and navigates the world very differently from me. As a result, he often says the unexpected and that cracks me up.
If you were a cheese, what kind would you be? Pepper jack because no matter how hard I try to be smooth, I just can’t hide the fact that I’m kind of spicy.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Forgiveness.
What kind of music feels like torture to you? Country music. Not a fan. Not at all. Listening to it makes me really grumpy.
What was the last thing you ordered from an infommerical? This exercise contraption called The Bean. I loved it! It was super comfortable and perfect for lounging in front of the TV and eating chips. It didn’t help my abs at all though.
What is your inner adult/inner child ratio? I was much more of an adult when I was a child. Now that I’m older, the ratio is closer to 50/50. I’m guessing that when I’m old, I’ll be totally childlike.
If you could make a guest appearance on a sit com, which one would it be–and why? Life in Pieces. It’s one of my newest favs. I would want to be friends with Dianne Wiest, both in the show and in real life.
Describe your sock drawer in three words or less. Colorful and woolly.
If you hadn’t become a writer, what would you be? Sad and grumpy. Oh, you mean as a profession? A hermit who sells vintage dust bunnies on eBay.
What is your favorite punctuation mark? The em dash because I like to interrupt a thought–both in real life and in my writing–to insert random info.
What is your favorite food or drink while writing? Coffee before noon. I drink a lot of water, so I always have a glass with me. While writing, I like crunchy snacks like pretzels or garlic plantain chips. And candy. (However, while writing CHARLOTTE, I kind of OD’d on pretzels and garlic plantains, so I’m taking a break from them for a while. I’m currently seeking a new obsession and am open to suggestions.)
And your fantasy roadtrip destination? I’m kind of a homebody, so whenever I fantasize about a cross-country road trip, it usually morphs into an Upper Peninsula Michigan trip because Michigan is beautiful and close to home. I would like to see the Grand Canyon someday, though, but I probably won’t drive there.
Can you do any impersonations? If so, who? No, none, not one. All of my voices sound like me.
Dear insatiable readers, you want to know more now, don’t you? I knew it, you inquisitive little weasels, you. Well, click here and you’ll learn even more about Kelly and her amazing YA works published by Viking Books for Young Readers.
As you get older, the questions come down to about two or three. How long? And what do I do with the time I’ve got left? ~ David Bowie
Charlotte

Available April 5, 2016

 

 

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Kelly’s first young adult novel.