Happy Thursday Critters! This week we have an interview with Gayle C. Krause, whose newest book, DADDY, CAN YOU SEE THE MOON?, illustrated by Carlos de la Garza, focuses on the relationship between a boy and his father, who is deployed overseas. I was so touched by the story and message in this book, as I know all of you will be too! I’m thrilled to have Gayle with us today, sharing her work.
So without further ado, please welcome Gayle C. Krause!
Where do you live?
I live in a country cliffside house in Northeastern PA overlooking PA, NY, and NJ. The Delaware River, which divides PA from NY, is two blocks from my house.
When did you know you wanted to write picture books?
I always made up stories to entertain my sisters and the neighborhood kids when I was a child, but I didn’t start thinking about writing them down until I was the Director of a Laboratory PRE-K in a teacher education program, which was my first career.
Tell us about your road to publication, what did that involve for you?
My first picture book, ROCK STAR SANTA (2008), was an original Scholastic Book Club acquisition, which is rare these days. I met my editor at the Rutgers One-on-One Conference. It was my first foray into writing for children and I’ve been writing ever since.
My second book was a YA urban fantasy titled RATGIRL: Song of the Viper, which is a retelling of The Pied Pier set in a dystopian future with global warming. It’s one of my favorite things that I have written.
DADDY, CAN YOU SEE THE MOON? is my second picture book, eleven years after my first. You see, the key is to never give up your dream.
Can you share a bit about your process?
I write in the morning as soon as I get up. My house is quiet because my husband is still sleeping and I’m free to let my mind wander in and out of scenes with my characters. If I can’t write for a solid time period, then I jot down ideas as they come to me. I’ve been known to write a whole chapter from a sentence or two quickly written on a scrap piece of paper or a napkin.
What do you do to shake the rust off or get new ideas?
I am NOT a believer of the Butt-In-Chair writing philosophy. I would only waste my time. If the kernel of an idea has not already sprouted in my mind, I can’t force it to come by staring at a blank computer screen.
So I do something else in the creative realm like quilting or doll-making until one of my characters speaks to me, or shouts at a villain, or gives a cheeky answer to another character…and then I’m off and writing.
Anything you can’t live without while you write?
The Internet. Whether I’m writing a silly picture book, a serious YA, or a whimsical MG (I never write nonfiction) it requires research. Did you know that baby T-Rex’s looked like fuzzy baby chicks? Or That you could make a bonfire on ice without it melting?
Any authors and/or illustrators who inspire you?
Authors – Juliet Marillier for fantasy
Illustrator – Kinuko Y. Craft also for fantasy
Dream project to work on?
It’s funny you should say a dream project. All of my stories start as dreams. Even as I am writing one, I’m dreaming of another, something that’s saying… “hurry up and finish what you’re writing. You need to write my story.”
Tell us about your new book.
Written in rhyme, Daddy, Can You See the Moon? is about the special moments a young boy and his deployed dad share by looking at the moon, until the father comes home a wounded warrior and the boy realizes that love was what kept them connected all along. Carlos de la Garza’s illustrations are vibrant and beautiful and realistically portray the poignant story my words tell.
What’s up next for you?
Once Upon a Twisted Tale is a ‘Fractured Fairytale’ poetry collection I’ve worked on for several years. And it will be released on June 18, 2019, also from SPORK. As you can tell from the answers to my other questions, I love fantasy and fairytales. This collection combines unlikely characters in the same story. Here is a quote from the introductory poem –
“These characters, right or wrong—
in stories where they don’t belong.”
The illustrations were done by Caroline O’Neal and have a beautiful, ethereal touch of “fairy” in each one.
And last, but not least, favorite 80s movie?
It would have to be Princess Bride.
Huge thank you to Gayle C. Krause for stopping by Critter Lit today! We can’t wait to see what you do next!
As a Master Educationalist, GAYLE C. KRAUSE has taught Children’s Literature, creative writing, and storytelling techniques at the secondary and post-secondary levels. She’s a member of SCBWI, the 12 x 12 Picture Book Challenge, and a past member of The Poets’ Garage. Gayle is the author of six children’s books. Her work has been nominated for the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award and the International Reading Award. She currently serves on Angie Karcher’s National Rhyme Revolution Committee, choosing the best rhyming picture book from 2015-2018 and presents writing seminars to children’s authors. Rebecca Angus of Golden Wheat Literary represents her.
FOR MORE INFORMATION about Gayle, visit her online at http://www.gayleckrause.com or follow her on social media:
TO ORDER Gayle’s book, ring up your local bookstore or click here.
Want a chance to win a copy of DADDY, CAN YOU SEE THE MOON?! Comment on this post or share it on Twitter. One lucky winner will be selected Thursday, May 23rd! US addresses only please.
What's up on deck? Tune in next week for an interview with author/illustrator Scott Magoon!