Hi, Sue Fliess! Thank you for dropping by to share the cover for We Wish for a Monster Christmas. Are you up for booktalking it using NO MORE than 140 characters? Twitter style! Of course you are! Ready, set, go!
Sue Fliess: Siblings want a monster for Christmas, but Mom & Dad say no. So they ask Santa, who delivers! But having a monster isn’t what they expected…
What inspired you to write a parody of the traditional carol?
Sue Fliess: You may or may not know I’ve been creating song parodies—rewriting lyrics to pop songs to make them about publishing/writing—for a few years, just for fun. My agent sent a manuscript of mine to Meredith Mundy at Sterling, and although she rejected it, she visited my website and saw my parodies. She asked if I had any interest in doing a parody for a children’s book. Of course I said yes! No guarantees of a book deal, but it’s always worth trying. I had to find a popular carol that was in the public domain (not as easy as it sounds!), and when I came upon We Wish You a Merry Christmas, I thought that one might be fun. I had no idea of the rhyme scheme challenges ahead! From there, I came up with the story, and thankfully Meredith loved it!
Sue Fliess: It sounds so predictable, but I think decorating the tree is my favorite because the whole family gets involved. We play a little Bing Crosby, have all the decorations out, and as we unwrap the ornaments we often get a good laugh. For example, I still have ornaments I made when I was 7 years old from tongue depressors and pipe cleaners. They bring back lots of memories of my own childhood Christmases with my family. My kids try to hang those in the back, but I move them to the front, don’t worry.
Please finish these sentence starters:
Claudia Ranucci’s illustrations are the perfect match and are so playful. They have just the right amount of joy, whimsy, color, emotion, and silliness. She got everything right—I’m so glad she wanted to illustrate this book! Plus, the monster she created makes me want to have one of my own. I know what I’m asking Santa for this year…
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about the endpapers! I love books that have clever endpapers and I now have a book where the endpapers are as interesting and playful as the book itself! Because the kids choose their monster from a catalog, the front endpapers show all sorts of monsters they can choose from. Claudia came up with the illustrations and I created the ‘scientific names’ for them, plus the marketing selling points for each. So much fun. The back endpapers are super amazing too – but you’ll have to get the book to find out what’s on those!
Look for We Wish for a Monster Christmas on October 3, 2017.