Hi Math is Everywhere Readers,
Today is going to be extra fun because we’re talking with my wonderful friend Katie Frawley about lots of publishing things, but most importantly her debut picture book TABITHA AND FRITZ TRADE PLACES, Laurie Stansfield which is one of the most creative, fun picture books I’ve read! It comes out in June, so get ready to hear all about and get hyped to read it!
Book description: 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: Hi Katie, thanks so much for joining us on the Math is Everywhere blog again!
Katie: Thank you! It’s always fun to be with you here!
Kaitlyn: To start off, can you share how your inspiration for this book came about?
Katie: I was playing the “what if” game Ann Whitford Paul recommends in her book WRITING PICTURE BOOKS, and I thought to myself, What if an elephant…a real rain forest elephant…ended up in a city. What fun might he have? What trouble might he cause? From there, I had to figure out to figure out how to GET an elephant from the rainforest to a city? So the idea for LairBnB (a vacation home swap website) was born!
Kaitlyn: That’s such a great story, and I LOVE this Ann’s book; it’s such an important book for picture book writers. Speaking of important, can you share why you think this book is so important to share with our little ones?
Katie: Honestly, the theme of the book (being grateful for your own home) has become especially timely given the pandemic. We’ve all been spending more time than we might like at home, and it’s easy to get restless and dissatisfied with our lot in life. I hope this book will help kiddos look at their homes with new eyes and gain some gratitude. Plus, you get to travel vicariously with Tabitha and Fritz! So that’s fun too!
Kaitlyn: Yes! This theme is always powerful but especially now, and I had so much fun travelling with your adorable characters, too! Now, in the theme of the book, can you trade places with me and ask the questions?
Katie: OOOH! FUN!!! Hmmmm. Rapid fire questions! How many pairs of pajamas do you own? Who is your favorite muppet? What object is sitting directly to your left at this moment? What is your middle name? What do you WISH your middle name were?
Kaitlyn: 2.5 PJs! All Christmas presents from my mom; she’s the best! I actually…am not a big muppet fan…so Kermit? Object: Printed emails reminding me why I like to teach: students/parents sharing the positives of my teaching. My middle name is Leann and I LOVE IT! If I had to change it, I’d probably go for would be Leanne (with an “e”) as my dad intended it LOL.
Kaitlyn: Just like our friends Tabitha and Fritz, I’m missing my home where I get to ask the questions. Are you ready to switch back?
Katie: Absolutely. Being an interviewer is exhausting!
Kaitlyn: Hahahahhah! You did great! Questions I had never thought about, actually. I think you’re a great interviewer! Can you share who the editor you worked with was and why you enjoyed working with this editor?
Katie: Marilyn Brigham at Two Lions edited this book, and she was so great. She kept me in the loop when they were searching for an illustrator, she offered excellent suggestions on the text, and I always felt valued as the author. I would love to work on more books with her in the future!
Kaitlyn: That sounds like the BEST editor experience; I hope you get to work with her on more books, too! Can you share who your agent is, and why you enjoy working with this agent?
Katie: Curtis Russell, president of PS Literary is my agent. I am one of those lucky ducks who landed with a wonderful agent right from the start. It’s not uncommon for agents and writers to part ways for various reasons, but Curtis has been a wonderful champion of my work right from the start. He pulled me out of the slush pile, so don’t let anyone tell you cold queries don’t work! And I think the BEST thing about him is his communication style. He is so open and accessible. I love working with him.
Kaitlyn: Wow, that’s so amazing, and honestly, I think most people get their match on try two or three, so the fact that you scored perfectly the first time is just the best! Can you share a bit about your editing services and how you got started?
Katie: I always enjoyed the critiquing process. I learn so much reading other writers’ work. It also allows me to flex my English Teacher muscles. I left the classroom 8 years ago, but it was such a happy, fulfilling time in my life. Between my previous teaching experience, my degrees in English and literature, and my writing and publishing experience, I thought a critiquing business might be a good fit for me. And I just love it! I have clients with whom I’ve worked for years. I love getting new clients and reading new styles and voices. It never ceases to amaze me the depth and breadth of creativity in the kidlit world. My critique business is one of my favorite things about being a writer.
Kaitlyn: You’re so great at critiquing, and I’ve had a critique from Katie, she goes ABOVE and BEYOND! Can you share a bit about ReVISION Week?
Katie: Oh, I LOVE #reVISIONweek! This was the brainchild of my wonderful friend and CP, Lauren Kerstein. She was surprised that there wasn’t an annual writing challenge devoted to revision. I mean, it’s arguably the most important part of the writing process! So Lauren, along with the help of some trusted writing friends, came up with #reVISIONweek! It’s in September of every year, and we have a blog post each day of that week with different revising strategies. And, of course, there are lots of prizes for those who join the revising fun!
Kaitlyn: It’s so much fun; and I’ve learned so much from all the advice you and your wonderful CPs share every time I’ve participated! Can you offer some of that advice to up-and-coming authors?
Katie: Persistence. That’s the big secret. If you decide that you will someday become a published author, you will. You absolutely will. You just tell yourself you’ll keep going until it happens. That’s how I kept going through the rejection, self doubt, author envy, and all the other tough emotional challenges publishing throws at you. I KNEW I would be published someday because I KNEW I wouldn’t give up. And I was right! And every other aspiring author out there will be right too…if they are persistent.
Kaitlyn: YES! What a powerful way to think about publishing! That persistence is so much of the battle; everyone, take the Katie method and believe in yourself from the start! Can you each share a bit about your next book(s) and/or projects you’re working on now?
Katie: Oh, I wish I could!!! My second book is under contract with a wonderful editor at a wonderful house. I hope it will be announced soon so I can’ share all the details!!! But I will say, it is a book I wrote that was inspired by my dad. I can’t wait for him to read it. It’s going to make him cryyyyyyyy!
Kaitlyn: Aw, I just got the chills! I can’t wait to hear about his reaction and read it myself. If it’s half as good as TABITHA AND FRITZ TRADE PLACES, I know I’m going to LOVE it! Finally, if you could spend a day with your favorite author or illustrator, would you sit by a fireside and chat or go out on an adventure together?
Katie: Oh, I think a fireside chat with William Shakespear would warm my English major’s heart. There’s so little we actually know about him on a biographical level! I’d love to pick his brain over a flagon of wine.
Kaitlyn: Ohh count me in; the English countryside, Willaim Shakespear, and wine–sounds fantastic! Thanks so much again for joining us and sharing such wonderful insight today!
Katie: It was my pleasure! I always have such a lovely time chatting with you, Katilyn.
Kaitlyn: Me, too, Katie!
Links to buy
Support independent bookstores by buying here! https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=Tabitha+and+fritz+trade+places
Katie Frawley grew up on a steady diet of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Madeline. She went on to earn a bachelor’s in English and a master’s in literature. These days, Katie lives in South Florida with her husband and five children. When she’s not reading or writing, Katie can be found testing recipes with her miniature sous chefs, building elaborate pillow forts, or shooing iguanas from her garden. https://katiefrawley.wordpress.com/
Kaitlyn Review of Tabitha and Fritz Trade Places
Tabitha and Fritz Trade Places is such a fun book filled with illustrations that pop off the page. Kids and adults alike will fall in love with these characters as well as their adventures and the “no place like home” lesson. I hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy this story!
Do you want to win a signed copy of the book (US address only please)?
Here are all the ways to get into the giveaway (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 ordered a copy of Tabitha and Fritz Trade Places
- Share in the comments that you did a purchase request for Tabitha and Fritz Trade Places at your library
- If you’ve read the book, share that you’ve left a critique on Amazon or Goodreads
- Quote retweet my tweet about this blog post on Twitter and tag three friends.
Thank you all for supporting another amazing author! I can’t wait to start diving into the Spring Fling Kidlit winners analysis here on the blog. Please subscribe and tell your friends, too, so we can all have a blast analyzing these amazing stories!
Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez