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The Next Big Thing

I have been invited to participate in a blog hop called The Next Big Thing  in which I answer  10 questions about my upcoming book then tag 5 other authors to do the same. Helen Maryles Shankman, tagged me. She is an amazing classic painter and brilliant writer. As a child of Holocaust survivors, Helen’s fiction reflects her family’s harrowing experience, but  her stories are told with a unique twist. Please visit Helen at the link above to read about  her fascinating new novel, Underpainting.

And now for something totally different :-):

What is the working title of your book?

Little Miss Muffet

Where did the idea come from for the book?

In my husband’s van as we drove up to Maine for our August vacation. There is something about being stuck in a car for nine hours that gets the creative juices flowing. As often happens, I brainstorm on one idea and another one pops to mind. Putting aside my version of The Farmer in the Dell, with which I’d been struggling, I looked through my nursery rhyme collections, imagining plots for various rhymes and suddenly, out of nowhere, I had a storyline for Little Miss Muffet. This happens to me time and again. I guess my muse likes road trips too :-).

You might enjoy my post about ruminating on the road:  Driven to Write.

What genre does your book fall under?

Picture book for ages 4-8

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh we can dream, can’t we? Actually, I am not too familiar with child actors, so I can not really answer this question, but I can show you what Little Miss Muffet looks like, and maybe you can pick an actress. (Please keep in mind that this is not a high res, high quality scan and colors and vibrancy are not as rich and true as in original art. Plus art is work in progress and may be revised) :

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Spiders are not the only creatures to scare skittish Miss Muffet.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I am very lucky to be represented by Jennifer Weltz of the great Jean V. Naggar Literary agency JVNLA (of which Helen, above, is a fellow author). The book will be out in fall 2013, published by Sky Pony Press.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

A few days for the first draft, a few more days of revision on my own, and a few more days of fine tuning with my editor. But we are  talking about a 245 word story.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Certainly all my other nursery rhyme extension  like The Bear Went Over the Mountain or  The Itsy  Bitsy Spiderwhich share the same structure. Other authors’ retellings of traditional rhymes, like Mary Ann Hoberman’s The Eensy Weensy Spider would be somewhat comparable.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Really the book is autobiographical. I am an avid nature and animal lover, but I am extremely jittery, racing away and screaming bloody murder at the sight of a spider or a mouse or …. My husband and dog are so immune to my outbursts that they don’t even respond anymore. I may be in real trouble someday and get no help!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I hope preschool teachers will appreciate my use of positional and directional words  (up, down, over, under…) in the story. I also hope readers will enjoy my colorful illustrations, the expressions on Miss Muffet’s face and the funny juxtaposition of the prissy Victorian Miss and her increasing scares and dishevelment.

 Please look forward to reading The Next Big Thing posts by authors I have tagged:
(and 2 others yet to hear from.)

About the author

Iza Trapani I am a children's book author and illustrator, fan of Mother Goose and Dr. Seuss, lover of big dogs, aspiring yodeler. When not in my studio, I spend time outdoors and have climbed over many a mountain to see what I could see.

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16 Responses to The Next Big Thing

  1. What a wonderful, funny idea! I love reading about what goes on in someone’s head as they formulate the idea for their next work of art. Great, informative blog post, Iza. And thanks for all the kind words!

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Thank you, Helen! I am glad you enjoyed it. It’s funny how we get our ideas, isn’t it? I like how Raphael Sinclair dropped by to tell you his story. Can’t wait to read it!

  2. Loved reading about your next big thing, Iza! I’m sure it’s going to be as delightful as all the others 🙂 It sounds like The Author/Illustrator Who Cried Wolf might be a good candidate for the next big thing after this one 🙂 Can’t wait to add the finished Miss Muffet to my Iza Trapani collection!

  3. Fabulous and funny! HAHAHA! And here I thought you were an intrepid, fearless outdoors woman. This means that when I come to visit you and we go on a hike, the hills around your house will be filled with terrified screams. Found a spider in the kitchen the other night that sent me first jumping to the ceiling, then running to my husband to scream “we’ll need a cage for this one!” So funny that your husband AND dog ignore you now.

    As for your Next Big Thing – I love the sneak peek at your concept and the humor that you are clearly incorporating. A disheveled Miss – YES!!!

    • Iza Trapani says:

      HAHAHA Renee! “We’ll need a cage for this one!” You are too funny! A fearless, intrepid putdoors woman? Alas, it is not so. I have really spent most of my life out of my comfort zone 🙂 Thank goodness I never saw a spider when I was rock climbing!

  4. Oh my precious BBF, your next big thing sounds WONDERFUL!!!!! I too cannot wait to add it to my collection of your beautiful stories. You write so tight! 245 words says it all. It amazed me to read about how you and your muse love road trips. They are an excellent way to chew over revisions and new stuff does come to mind. Here lately, I have had to do all the driving. (Hubby falling off the roof) I cannot wait to be back in the passenger seat mainly for that reason! (And the fact that I don’t like to drive all the time!)

    I cannot wait to read Miss Muffet. She looks magnificent, BBF! Hugs and loves.

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Thank you for your kind and exuberant words, BBF!:-) I hope your poor hubby recovers soon so that you can sit in the passenger’s seat and dream up wonderful stories! Love and hugs to you! Xoxo

  5. Cathy Mealey says:

    I am amused that your muse arrives when you are stuck in the car for hours. Clearly Jambo is not whining from the backseat “Are we there YET? Are we there YET?” or singing “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” ;-D

    Can’t wait for Miss Muffet to quash her arachnid anxiety up, down, over, under and all aroumd!

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Amused by my muse are you? Now who’s the little punster? I admit Jambo is a very laid back passenger. He gets into a zen mode and relaxes. Same with our kitty, though she occasionally meows from her carrier when we hit a bump.And Rob is very nice to assume most of the driving (or maybe it’s his instinct for survival 🙂 so I am lucky. Thanks, Cathy!

  6. Your book sounds wonderful. I will look forward the release (of the book…not a spider). I went over and read your other post. I get lots of writing done while traveling, too! Most of my traveling is by foot while walking in my neighborhood, so I record my words. I loved this: “the RPMs (rhymes per minute) keep accelerating and my mind drives full speed ahead.”

    Am I able to subscript to your posts by email? I have you in my reader but I am way behind. I tend to jump over and read the ones that come by email quicker than I get to my reader. I found this on Facebook and came right over.

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Thank you, Penny! yes, I love walking the most and that definitely gets ideas going. So glad you like the RPM line (it’s one of my personal favorites 🙂
      I would love to have you as a subscriber! And I know what you mean. I have pretty much stopped reading the subscriptions in my reader. I much prefer an e-mail reminder and those I always read.
      So, If you go to the green bar on the right there is a little icon with “subscribe next to it” Click on that and a page will open up. There will be a box on upper right that says: Subscribe Now! on the next to last option will be an envelope icon with “Get In and Out of My Studio delivered by e-mail.” Click on that and Feedburner will ask for your e-mail address and then send you a confirmation. Thanks so much!

  7. I enjoyed your post as usual. 🙂

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