I am so excited to have had the pleasure of interviewing the talented children’s book author, Kelly Hashway. Kelly has been published in several anthologies, children’s magazines and has her first picture book May The Best Dog Win, coming out by FutureWord Publishing with a release date of April 30, 2011.
Kelly has graciously offered a prize that contains several of her promotional items for her book. All you have to do is comment on this interview. We will do a random number selection to choose the winner, which I will announce on Thursday, May 26th.
Below are the questions I asked Kelly in our interview.
Congratulations on the release of your first picture book! Can you give us a little hint about what your picture book May The Best Dog Win is about?
Thanks, I’m really excited about it. Here’s a very brief synopsis to avoid giving away too much. Dash has the perfect life until the Super Sweeper 5000 shows up. Sweeper runs all over the house sucking up the leftover food scraps, and he even gets his own room! But Dash won't give up his place as the favorite dog without a fight.
Why did you write about a dog and a vacuum sweeper?
I have two pets in my house, so I feel the need to vacuum daily. I know it’s a little crazy, but I can’t help myself. Even though my dog sees the vacuum once a day, she’s terrified of it. She gives it weird looks, sniffs it, stalks it, and ultimately runs away from it. I started to wonder what my dog thought the vacuum was. If you want to know my interpretation of my dog’s reaction, you have to read MAY THE BEST DOG WIN.
How many rejections did you receive before FutureWord Publishing gave you the word that they wanted to publish your book and how has the process of getting your book published gone so far?
Ooh, rejections. I’m not going to give you a number here, but let’s say I went through a “few” revisions before FutureWord picked it up. My experience with FutureWord couldn’t be better. Everyone has been great and just hearing others talk so enthusiastically about my book is such an amazing feeling. I knew I had found the right home for my book.
I viewed your trailer video for this book and the vacuum sweeper looks very vicious. Do you think kids will be afraid of it?
Not at all. All the illustrations are from the perspective of the dog, Dash. It’s how he sees the vacuum. I think kids will find the story humorous—at least I hope they will. I couldn’t have asked for a better illustrator than Valerie Bouthyette.
Do you prefer writing picture book stories or stories for magazines?
Hmmm…good question. I write a lot of stories for magazines and I really enjoy it, but for me, nothing beats a good book.
If you couldn’t write stories, what would you be doing instead?
Couldn’t write stories? That’s a scary thought! I have a teaching degree and taught middle school language arts for seven years before having my daughter and pursuing my writing career. I loved teaching and getting kids to read. But honestly, I can’t imagine not writing. Even if I couldn’t sell any of my work, I’d still write for myself.
I’ve read that publishers are tired of stories with animals talking. Does your character Dash talk?
No. But Dash’s thoughts are in English. In order for kids to understand his perception of the sweeper, Dash’s thoughts had to be included.
How many hours a day are you actually able to devote to writing?
I spend about two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon writing or doing something writing related, like research. If I have a deadline to meet, I’ll work in the evenings as well.
Do you have a favorite Children’s Book?
I have many. I love the humor in the Skippyjon Jones books. The Little Critter books and Curious George books were among my favorites when I was growing up. I really love The Kissing Hand and Harry the Dirty Dog, too. I’ll stop there because I could go on forever.
Where will be able to purchase a copy of May The Best Dog Win?
You can find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many other on-line retailers.
What are you working on next?
I have five picture books under submission right now along with one middle grade novel, and I’m polishing a young adult novel as well. In between writing books, I write short stories for children’s magazines, anthologies, and educational websites. To find out more about my published works, you can visit my website at http://www.kellyhashway.com/.
Thanks to Kelly for allowing me to pry into her writing brain a little bit and don’t forget to comment for a chance to win a prize!