Friday, July 6, 2018

Author Interview: Kelly DiPucchio

This weeks author interview is with children's author Kelly DiPucchio. Kelly DiPucchio has written several really great children's books including Zombie in Love and Super Manny Stands Up. Two of Finn's all time favorite books!

Zombie in LoveSuper Manny Stands Up!

I was so excited when she agreed to let me interview her, because of how much Finn (And I) absolutely love her books. Zombie in Love is my absolute favorite children's book.

So let's just jump right in to the interview shall we?

First let's get to know a little bit about what makes you, you...

Where are you from?
I grew up in a small town in southeastern Michigan. I like to joke that I had a feral childhood. I spent a great deal of time outdoors riding my horse, and building forts in the woods, and eating lunch straight out of gardens. I think having that kind of freedom really developed my imagination and allowed me to space to create new worlds.

3 facts about yourself?

1. I have a Bachelor's Degree in child psychology.
2. I don't like chocolate cake.
3. When I was a kid, I had a pet goat named Mrs. Ladybird Johnson.

What are some of your favorite things in general? (Food, shows, movies, anything you want to share with us)

I love to read metaphysical, spiritual and paranormal books. I love coffee, red wine, movies, dogs, funny people and traveling.

Now let's talk about you as an author...
When did you start writing and what was the first thing you ever wrote?

The first story I ever wrote was back in 1994 or 1995. It was about a turtle and it was based off a dream my aunt in Georgia had about my deceased grandfather. Of course, the manuscript never got published but it did put me on the path.

What inspired you to start writing?

I had to suffer through reading a lot of generic, mass market books to my kids when they were very young. Eventually, I started taking them to the library and there I discovered so many wonderful picture books by authors like Jon Scieszka, Barbara Cooney, Mary Ann Hoberman and Peggy Rathmann. I wanted to grow up to be them.

What is your writing process? Do you make a timeline first? Or just write what comes to your mind?

I really don't have a consistent writing process. I'm not very good with timelines or outlines or schedules. I don't do a ton of research either. I usually let the ideas or the characters come to me. I actually try to stay out of the way as much as possible and allow the stories to tell themselves. I do practice meditation and do some visualization exercises before I begin any new story. 

What are some of your favorite authors/favorite reads?

That is such an impossibly unfair question to ask any author! I will share with you some of my new favorite authors: Ryan Higgins, Elise Parsley, Corinna Luyken, Pat Zietlow Miller. 

Some of my new favorite picture books include, Julian Is A Mermaid by Jessica Love, Escargot by Dashka Slater, pictures by Sydney Hanson, There Might Be Lobsters by Carolyn Crimi, pictures by Laurel Molk.

Juliƃ¡n Is a MermaidEscargotThere Might Be Lobsters

What do you have planned for the future? Any other book or series ideas?

I would LOVE to write a young chapter book. I'm still waiting for the right character to show up and start talking to me. Whenever I try to force an idea, it never works so I have to be patient. 

This year I have two new picture books coming out. Super Manny Cleans Up! will be released on July 12th. It's the sequel to Super Manny Stands Up! illustrated by Stephanie Graegin. Poe Won't Go, illustrated by Zachariah OHora, hits book shelves on October 16th. 

Super Manny Cleans Up!Poe Won't Go

Zombie in Love is one of my all time favorite kids books. I bought this book a long while back, for me. Not even for my child. It's so cute.

Where did you get the idea for a zombie in love?

Thank you! Zombie In Love was born out of a brainstorming session with my Simon & Schuster editor at the time, Namrata Tripathi. She was enamored with the idea of zombie valentines and asked me if had any interest in writing a zombie picture book. It wasn't long after that conversation, Mortimer paid a visit to me. I immediately fell in love with him. Scott Campbell was the perfect choice to bring Mortimer and Mildred to life in pictures. 

What has been your favorite book to write so far?

Kids ask me that same question at nearly every school visit. Truly, each book is its own unique journey and I really don't have a favorite book or character.

Which, if any, of your books do you think would make a good kids TV show?
I think Gaston would make a sweet TV show for kids. Gaston is such a lovable little dog and I could see him having all kinds of fun adventures with Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, and Ooh-la-la.

Kelly's website
Kelly's Twitter

About Kelly DiPucchio:
Kelly DiPucchio is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-seven books for children. Some of her award-winning titles include, GRACE FOR PRESIDENT, GASTON, and THE SANDWICH SWAP, a picture book she co-wrote with Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan. Kelly's books have been featured on Good Morning America, The View, and The Oprah Show. She lives with her family in southeastern Michigan. You can find her on the web at

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