I’m so excited to be sharing a book birthday with agency-mate, Tara Lazar. Her latest book, I THOUGHT THIS WAS A BEAR BOOK, is out in the world today, too. I’m here with Tara hoping to ask her a few questions but we keep getting interrupted by Prince Zilch and Dragon.
Let’s see what they’re talking about.
Dragon: It’s a good thing you didn’t crash land in my book!
Prince Zilch: Correct, fiery creature. Your unusual land already has a Prince! But I do not see him. Did you swallow him, too?
Dragon: That is only known by the deep depths of my belly. Perhaps you’d like to have a look-see?
Prince Zilch: No, zank you. But why don’t you ask this yellow-haired, nosy human I know.
Dragon: You know a yellow-haired nosy human? How did you meet said yellow-haired nosy human?
Prince Zilch: She was annoying hairy, brown creatures. Who were annoying me. Did the knight annoy you? Is that why you ate him?
Dragon: I ate the knight because I love a “good” knight. It was the steed that was annoying. I had no choice but to swallow him right down! Would you like me to take care of the hairy, brown creatures? They sound like a “just right” snack.
Prince Zilch: Zep. They are stuffed with blueberry filling.
Well, it seems as if Prince Zilch and Dragon have struck up quite a friendship. I think they could talk all day. So why don’t we leave them to it and get back to the questions I wanted to ask Tara. Oh! I do want you to take special notice of the cute graphic Tara made for the Prince Zilch/Dragon conversation. Adorable!
Penny: Being that you are the genius behind PiBoIdMo I found you online very quickly when I started writing picture books. But, I don’t think I’ve ever heard what brought you to writing picture books. Can you share that?
Tara: What brought me to writing PBs is that I have always naturally written short. Short stories in college, flash fiction as an adult, and since I always wanted to write for kids (ever since I was one), now picture books!
I have begun and abandoned MG novels because writing more than 1000 words just gets me lost in the wilderness! I can’t keep track of things. (This is the same at home. I am so disorganized, I lose the laundry.)
Penny: I love the idea of a character landing in the wrong book after an unfortunate bookshelf collapse. Did you have a hard time deciding in which book the alien would land? Was there a runner up?
Tara: The alien was always in my mind as the “character who didn’t belong.” I arrived at the bears by thinking about the complete opposite of a small, green, slimy alien. I decided a large, brown, furry bear was the best prospect. So the book wasn’t originally about the Three Bears, but just BEARS. But as I continued to write it, I kept finding myself writing jokes about Goldilocks and finally figured out what was going on! LOL
Penny: Benji Davies illustrations are amazing. How excited were when you found out he’d be illustrating your book?
Tara: Honestly, I didn’t really know Benji’s work when he was selected, which was 4 years ago! But I looked at his online portfolio and his books (like BIZZY BEAR! Hello!!!) and knew that he’d be perfect. Of course, he blew me away!
This page alone totally sold me on Tara’s book!
Penny: I know that this isn’t the only book you have coming out this fall. Plus PiBoIdMo is right around the corner. I can’t imagine how busy you must be. Can you give us a glimpse of how you keep all these balls up in the air? Any words of advice? An organizational tip?
Tara: I have no organizational advice because, contrary to popular belief, I am not a naturally organized person. I’m so TYPE B that I’m really TYPE C. I’m very laid back and I tend to try to keep everything straight in my own head. Only recently have I begun to use a daily calendar. (I hate it. LOL). I just know what has to get done and I do it. It’s just the way I operate. If I had to get more organized than I am, I wouldn’t survive! I like flying by the seat of my pants. Being too regimented about anything strips away my creative mojo.
Well I say stay disorganized then, Tara, because I love your books and I don’t want you doing anything that strips away your creative mojo!
I hope you have the happiest of book birthdays!!
Thank you so much for creating the adorable graphic, answering my questions, and sharing a signed copy of your book for the giveaway.
For all you readers out there…make sure you leave a comment because some lucky person is going to win a signed copy of I THOUGHT THIS WAS A BEAR BOOK! A winner will be chosen in two weeks.
Tara is well known in the Kidlit community. She has another picture book coming out this fall and several more to follow. If you haven’t met her yet, here’s your chance.
Street magic performer. Hog-calling champion. Award-winning ice sculptor. These are all things Tara Lazar has never been. Instead, she writes quirky, humorous picture books featuring magical places that everyone will want to visit. Here are the places you can find Tara.