Hi Math is Everywhere Readers,
Kaitlyn: Before we get to the big reveal, can you tell us a bit about the book?
Katie: Gladly! Tabitha is a house cat who longs for adventure. Fritz is a rain forest elephant who needs a change of scenery. The two decide a vacation home-swap is just what they need! But the grass doesn’t turn out to be greener on the other side of the world.
Kaitlyn: Sounds fantastic! What inspired this story?
Katie: It was pretty early on in my writing journey, and I was reading Ann Whitford Paul’s marvelous book, Writing Picture Books. She talks about the “What-If” exercise where you just let your imagination wander to silly and improbable scenarios to inspire story ideas. I was lying in bed, playing the “What-If” game as I dozed off, and I thought to myself, What if an elephant ended up in a city? What might he do? Where might he go? What shenanigans might he stir up? That idea really tickled me pink! So I started to think of how I would get an elephant all the way from the rain forest to the other side of the world….and the vacation home-swap idea popped into my head!
Kaitlyn: Ha! I love how this story came to be and the fact that you were tickled pink by it (another awesome picture book idea ;)). And now that everyone is hopefully super duper extra excited to find out about this home swap, let’s reveal the cover…
Without further ado,
Drum roll pleeease!
… wait for it …
… just a tad more suspense…
Pack your bags and join Tabitha and Fritz as they journey across the world to switch lives.
Tabitha the cat is tired of her easy, coddled life. An adventure across the world might spice things up! Fritz the elephant dreams of celebrating his birthday with an exciting voyage to a faraway place. So after the two connect online via Lair-bnb, they pack their bags and head across the globe to trade places. Will Fritz love the city life? Will the rain forest be all that Tabitha has hoped for? Join this adventurous pair as they find out whether the grass really is greener…on the other side of the world!
Kaitlyn: Please tell us what you thought when you first saw this adorable cover?
Katie: What really struck me about the cover is how beautifully Laurie Stansfield incorporated both characters, their personalities, and their worlds into a single image. There is also such warmth and joy on this cover. Tabitha and Fritz are two characters intent on seeing more of this amazing world we live in. To me, this cover shouts “JOIN US, AND EXPLORE!”
Kaitlyn: Yes! It definitely shouts “JOIN US, AND EXPLORE!” I can see so much of their personalities already. Can you tell us how this book transformed since its inception?
Katie: I think the version of the manuscript we submitted to editors was draft number 17. So my critique partners read this manuscript MANY times before I sent it to my agent. (Thanks, girls!) And my editor, Marilyn Brigham, actually asked for a “Revise and Resubmit” before taking this to acquisitions. After it was acquired, it went through more rounds of revisions. And finally, after the art was finalized, Marilyn and I tweaked the text here and there to make sure it paired perfectly with the art. As I used to tell my high school English students, writing is never finished!
Kaitlyn: I love that you and Marilyn tweaked the text to match with the text, that is so awesome! What is your hope for this book?
Katie: I hope this book will make kids smile. I hope they’ll get lost in the art (there are TONS of adorable details hidden in the illustrations), I hope they’ll imagine adventures of their own, and I hope they will come away from the story appreciating what makes their own home special.
Kaitlyn: Those are beautiful hopes, and it sure sounds like they will get them out of this sweet book. Also, I think it’s super interesting that you do freelance professional critiquing too, can you tell us about your services?
Katie: Yes, indeed! I really enjoy the critiquing and revision process. It’s so rewarding helping other writers improve their work. I offer a range of critique services on my website (www.katiefrawley.com/critiques), from face-to-face Zoom critiques to detailed line-edits. I even offer query and pitch services. And if you follow me on Twitter (@KatieFrawley1), keep your eyes peeled for the occasional critique sale!
Kaitlyn: Wonderful! Make sure to check that out, friends! Can you give us an insider scoop, what are a few things you often give as feedback?
Katie: A common issue I see in manuscripts is writers neglecting to fully develop the internal arc. They’ll have a story jam-packed with action (that’s the external arc!), but they’ll forget to highlight the emotional growth of the character throughout the text. It’s so important to have strong internal AND external arcs to build a really well-developed main character.
Kaitlyn: Oh, that’s great insight! And I can tell, readers, that I have had a critique from Katie and WOW she gives great insight from all those angles she mentioned as well as some ideas to get you going in the right direction. Her critiques are definitely wonderful! Thank you so much for joining us today, Katie!
Katie: Thank you for having me! I can’t believe I’m finally sharing the cover of my debut picture book with the world! GAHH!!!!
Kaitlyn: This is the best, most sincere reaction. I just love it! Welcome to the world, beautiful book cover! I can’t wait until we get to talk about how excited you are when your book has it’s official book birthday next year!
Katie Frawley studied English at the University of Florida (GO GATORS!) and earned a Master’s Degree in British and American literature from Florida Atlantic University. Before having children, she had the pleasure of teaching English in high school and middle school. When not banging away on the keyboard, Katie can be found testing new recipes with her miniature sous chefs, shooing iguanas away from her garden, or reading picture books to a captive audience on the couch. Katie lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with her husband and four (almost five!) children. Website | Twitter
Do you want to win a picture book manuscript critique from a wonderful author and freelance editor?
Check out all the ways to enter a picture book manuscript critique from Katie Frawley: (each one is an extra entry):
- Comment on this post
- Share in the comments below that you added Tabitha and Fritz Trade Places to your Goodreads “Want to Read” list and/or your Amazon Wishlist
- Share in the comments that you pre-ordered a copy of Tabitha and Fritz Trade Places
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Thank you all for reading and sharing, and I hope you pre-order this adorable book and/or check out getting a critique from Katie and sharing her book and critique services with your writing friends!
Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez