Hi Lindsay! Thanks so much for chatting with me! As you know, we “met” via Twitter, when I reached out after seeing your New Year’s tweet, which summed up your 2017 and piqued my interest.
1) First of all, I want to say CONGRATULATIONS — Your debut picture book, This Book is Spineless, is due out in 2019! Was this your very first picture book or do you have others in the wings waiting for the right moment?
Thank you … it’s a dream and hard work come true! This Book is Spineless is not the first book I’ve written. In fact, a chapter book was the first thing I decided to tackle when I dove head first into children’s literature in 2014. That chapter book, and a couple more in the series, are tucked in my electronic desk drawer. I created those based on bedtime stories I would tell my children. I’m toying with dusting them off, but have other projects biting at my ankles.
2) Your road to publication included querying, rejections, pitching, a contest, and a request for revisions. Did this feel like an emotional roller coaster? How did you stay focused?
It was emotional in the most positive sense of the word. My background is in public relations, so I was used to rejections and having the phone hung up on me, and such. I had built a tough skin in terms of dealing with rejection. I also knew it took only one door to open up a crack, and then there’s opportunity. So when I had my foot in the door with the favorite from #PitMad and then an R&R, I was ecstatic. I was just so happy to be in that position. My PR background also helped with the R&R process, because I was used to getting feedback on my writing on an almost daily basis and having to analyze and determine how much or how little of other people’s creative ideas I should incorporate into my work. Getting into that mode helped me stay laser-focused. In my mind, I had a goal: to see how far I could get in this industry, and I took everything coming at me as potential to move upward on that roller coaster. I think now I am getting to the part of the ride where I’m going up and down. I feel more pressure. The “what’s next,” “how does this unfold,” and “will people enjoy my book” can make my mind spin. What helps ground me is getting back to the keyboard and working up a story or breaking out my journal and dreaming up ideas. Hugs from my children and hubby also work.
3) I love your blog, A Book and A Pie — a combination of book reviews and pie recipes! Such fun 🙂 Has there ever been a book that stumped you when it came time to choose a pie? Do you really make each pie?
Awh, thanks! It’s a labor of love and pie. I think the one I struggled with the most was After the Fall by Dan Santat. Not that I wasn’t inspired, because I certainly was. I was concerned I couldn’t come up with something that would hold a candle to that book. After the Fall struck a chord with me as someone who has to deal with anxiety and depression. I guess it was because the book was important to me. I wanted to pick just the right pie. Funny thing, I tweeted the review and recipe and got a response from Dan. He wrote,”Lovely pie. It looks like a Chinese Egg Tart, otherwise known as a “DAN TAT” DAN + SANTAT = DANTAT #mindblown#piecesfittingtogether” I was floored! So, I feel I kinda nailed the pick. Very kismet.
And, yes, I make every single pie and I come up with the majority the recipes. Some I morph from recipes I’ve used in my past life as an owner of a pie company. Others I pluck from my brain. And some come from the ideas of my oldest son, who is a big foodie. And some from my youngest son, who is the pickiest eater I know, but super thoughtful when it comes to matching up a book with a pie.
4) Have you seen any artwork from the illustrator, Alice Brereton, yet? If yes, how did that feel?
I have! Oh my goodness, it was like a rainbow of feelings and I experienced all of the colors. My mouth hung open the entire time. Alice is doing things with the book that I hadn’t even dreamed of, and that’s why she is an illustrator! She is wonderfully talented, and I can’t wait to see more and share it with everyone.
5) What can we expect in the future? More picture books?
More picture books! I’ve signed two additional picture book deals with Page Street Publishing and look forward to sharing the details about those books soon! In the meantime, I’m working on more picture book manuscripts and a middle grade novel I’ve been working on for some time.
6) I can’t resist asking — what’s your favorite type of pie? And, if This Book is Spineless was a pie, what would it be?
My favorite type of pie…hmmm. If you are forcing me to pick, I would say chocolate meringue. My mom would make chocolate meringue pie for every special holiday, and it means home to me. A close runner up is my tart cherry pie.
And if This Book is Spineless were a pie, it would be a crust-less quiche with a kitchen sink of various savory ingredients. It would make you wonder: what exactly is in this pie and how is it holding together?
Thanks so much for stopping by, Lindsay! Looking forward to reading your book 🙂
Thanks again for the opportunity. This was a lot of fun, and I truly enjoyed your questions!
For more information about author Lindsay Leslie, visit her blog A Book and A Pie