Sunday, May 2, 2010
The Princess and the Pee by Susan A. Myers is illustrated by Manelle Oliphant and is published by Blooming Tree/Tire Swing Books (February 16, 2010).
Princess Pia Scarlett wants to see fireflies at night. Her older sister, the Darling Millicent, won't let Pia sleep on the top bunk until she stops wetting the bed. Can she stop? A bet is made...
Which sister will win?
What was your first book?
Callie and the Stepmother. It's about a girl who believes fairy tales are real. This causes a lot of problems when she gets a stepmother of her very own.
What was your inspiration for writing The Princess and the Pee?
There were two. 1. Almost every family I know has a child in it who has problems with bed wetting. The Princess and the Pee takes a humorous look at how Princess Pia Scarlett (or Princess Pees-a-lot as her older sister calls her) solves her problem. I hope this book can encourage others. But it's not just about bed wetting. It's also about problem solving and sisterly conflict. 2. I just couldn't pass up that title!
What were you like as a child?
I loved to read. And since I was also a tomboy, my favorite place to read was in a huge oak tree that grew next to our house. I'd climb to the top, get comfortable and read while eating apples.
Describe your journey to publication? What struggles did you have?
My first story was published in 2000. I went on to publish several short stories in magazines and anthologies, but didn't get my first book published until 2005. I used to start a lot of projects, but never finish them. I'd read a great book and think, "that's the type of story I want to write." So, I'd put down whatever I was currently writing and start another story. I didn't start getting published until I made myself stop writing beginnings and start finishing my manuscripts. Sending them out is also key. I love email submissions because I don't have to look for stamps, address envelopes and go to the post office!
How did you learn the craft of writing?
Classes, conferences, and critique groups. I urge anyone who wants to write for children to check out the SCBWI. Find out if they have a local chapter in your area and join. It's well worth your time and money.
Why did you decide to become a writer?
I've been writing since I was a kid. I used to love writing scenes set in exotic places like Hawaii. When I became a mother, I started telling my son bedtime stories that I made up. I started writing the stories down. It wasn't until several years later that I thought about actually getting them published.
When you were a kid, what was your favorite book?
Little Black - the first book I could ever read by myself, Little Women, Nancy Drew Mysteries, Cherry Ames mysteries (these were actually before my time, lol, but my grandmother shared them with me. That, of course, made them extra special). Gosh, there are so many.
What advice can you give to aspiring writers?
See above about the SCBWI. LEARN YOUR CRAFT. I think one of the saddest comments I've ever heard was from an unpublished writer is, "I don't need to get my work critiqued, I know I'm a good writer." Good writers know how important it is to get your work critiqued!
Is there anything else you would like to mention?
Thanks, Kim, for this interview. Everyone, check out my blog and The Princess and the Pee at susanameyers.blogspot.com.