Wednesday, October 13, 2010


1. Joe Dumpty's voice is fantastic. Please tell us what strategies you used to create such an authentic voice.

Thank you! Unfortunately, I don’t know that I have any strategies for creating an authentic voice --- not anything I do consciously anyway. I do know that for me, writing a story in first person seems most natural. I’ve heard editors say that if your story doesn’t seem to be working in third person, try rewriting the story in first person, and vice versa.

2. How did you decide which Mother Goose characters to include and which characters to exclude?

When I first starting writing the book, I included just a few basic Mother Goose characters. But as the plot thickened, as they say, I made a list of other characters I could weave into the story. From that list, I played around with which characters would best help advance the story. Of course, I couldn’t use everyone, but that’s what sequels are for.

3. I love that spider turns into a good guy, and Miss Muffet turns out to be corrupt. Was it your intention to switch their roles?

I really didn’t have any intentions when I started the story. In fact, these two characters were pretty much true to their traditional roles in the Mother Goose tales. But somewhere in the revision process – and it was quite a process! --these minor characters wrote themselves into major roles. I’m a strong believer in letting my characters take the lead in creating the story. It’s fun to see what they come up with, but I must admit, Little Miss Muffet took me totally by surprise!

4. Having a deadline of five o'clock definitely ups the ante. Are many mysteries races against the clock?

I can’t really speak with any authority, since this is the first mystery I’ve written, and I tend to read more suspense novels than I do mysteries. However, I knew that because I was writing a picture book, I had to get a whole mystery set up and solved in just 32 pages. I decided that having a deadline was one way to accomplish that.

5. Is there anything else you'd like to tell us?

I’m happy to say that this past summer, WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO HUMPTY became available in paperback. As for Detective Joe Dumpty, he’s busy working on his next big case. I’m not at liberty to discuss it right now, but I’m sure you’ll be reading about it at some time in the not-so-distant future.

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