3 Question Interview - LAURIE WALLMARK
I'm delighted to feature my writing friend, the prolific author Laurie Wallmark. Her new rhyming picture book, DINO PAJAMA PARTY (illustrated by Michael Robertson, Running Press Kids, 2021) is adorable and sure to help little ones snuggle up at bedtime. Laurie shares her thoughts about stories . . . creativity . . . and connection. Welcome, Laurie!
STORIES – Discuss the inspiration for your ideas and stories, and share the process about your latest projects.
My latest project, Dino Pajama Party, is completely different than my previous books. Those were all picture book biographies of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math). This new one is a rhyming, rollicking picture book for ages 4 to 8. The idea for this book came to me, out of the blue, while I was flying cross country. I was smart enough to ask for a few extra napkins so I could write my notes down. After many, many revisions, the story emerged. The beginning two spreads haven’t changed much from those first airplane notes, except for one thing. Now it’s dinosaurs who are partying, not babies.
CREATIVITY -- How do you showcase your creative side through writing/illustrating and other pursuits?
I’d like to think my creativity comes out through my books. In writing for children, you have to appeal to both their interests and their ways of thinking. Many kids love dinosaurs, but did dinos dance and sing in their pajamas? Of course not. That’s where the creativity comes in—matching a childhood interest with a story line that expands on that at a level a child can understand.
CONNECTION -- How do you connect to your young readers through your writing/illustrating, and how do you stay connected to the KidLit community?
I connect with young readers through school visits and book festivals. There’s nothing like having a child ask questions about you or your writing. As far as the kidlit community, I’m in several social media groups as well as being a member of NJ SCBWI.
Award-winning author Laurie Wallmark writes picture book biographies of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) as well as fiction. Her books have earned multiple starred trade reviews, been chosen as Junior Library Guild Selections, and received awards such as Outstanding Science Trade Book, Best STEM Book, Cook Prize Honor Book, Crystal Kite Award, Mathical Honor Book, and Parents’ Choice Gold Medal. Her titles include ADA BYRON LOVELACE AND THE THINKING MACHINE, GRACE HOPPER: QUEEN OF COMPUTER CODE, HEDY LAMARR’S DOUBLE LIFE, NUMBERS IN MOTION, CODE BREAKER, SPY HUNTER, and her debut fiction picture book, DINO PAJAMA PARTY. Laurie has an MFA in Writing from VCFA and is a former software engineer and computer science professor.
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