Mocha says it’s bedtime, but Petri wants nothing to do with it! Reading books, singing lullabies and juggling plates are only a few of the things Mocha does in an attempt to tire his son out. Although Petri is entertained, he still refuses to sleep. He just wants to dilly dally! Worn out by his son’s shenanigans and silly antics, will Mocha ever get Petri to bed before losing his marbles?
Description taken from Goodreads.
I recently got the chance to be a part of the Gerbs in the House: Dilly Dally Bedtime Routine blog tour, and I’m so excited for y’all to read my review with Lydia! I loved talking to her about this great book and even though this book is for a much younger genre than this blog is typically aimed at, I wanted to bring back the nostalgia that comes with great children’s books.
1) What made you want to write this book?
As a parent of a toddler, putting your little ones to bed is always a challenge. My daughter has a few “dilly dally” strategies of her own to extend her bedtime, and she inspired many parts of the books (though the tactics used by Petri were far more outlandish!) I had been in touch with Bailey from Gerbil Meets Mouse Publishing for a while and we knew we wanted to work together in some capacity. We thought this would be a very engaging topic, both for little kiddies and their parents.
2) Was GERBS IN THE HOUSE inspired by any pets you have?
I don’t have any pets at the moment though if it were up to my daughter, we would have several furry little rascals running through the house. Bailey has been working with gerbils for many years now and we thought this would be a great storyline for them. Taking actual photographs of gerbils hanging out in the Victorian dollhouse set and super-imposing illustrations on top was a magical recipe.
3) Is there any kind of routine you have before you write?
Writing has a mind of its own. When inspirations strikes, I always write down snippets of thoughts and ideas. I usually see glimpses of a character, or bits of a storyline. Before writing a book, I always daydream for a while. When I look over my “bank of ideas,” one usually sticks out, as if calling me. I can feel when it’s time to write about a certain idea I had. Then comes the writing process. Sometimes it takes a lot of work, time and frustration to get the words out in the right way and at other times, it flows smoothly. Another important way I get ready for writing is that I read a lot. I’m really in love with Judy Blume and Barbara Park right now.
4) What was your favorite part of the process of writing GERBS IN THE HOUSE?
With the book Gerbs in the House: The Dilly Dally Bedtime Routine, the writing process was a dream come true. It was so smooth and it all came out quickly. In fact, I was frantically scribbling notes on napkins for a few days as I was running errands because the flow of inspiration was so strong. Then I put all my napkins together and wrote the book in under a week. It usually takes much longer so there was a certain magic here. And you never know when it will come.
I also particularly liked imagining some really ridiculous things a little one would do in order to avoid going to bed. With fiction, you can really push the envelope.
5) Do you have advice for aspiring picture book/children’s books writers?
There are many aspiring authors out there and the biggest advice I have to offer is the following:
First off, write what’s in your heart and be true to yourself. Once you’ve written something that you feel strongly about, I would highly recommend getting a professional editor. They can help bring your work to the next level and make it submission worthy. Once you start sending it out to publishing houses, remember to not take rejection personally. Every great writer gets rejected. In fact you should use the rejection as fuel to propel you forward and light your spark. If you work hard, sharpen your writing skills and remain persistent….you will eventually succeed!
Thanks so much to Lydia for doing this!