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Trick or Treat with Frank Tupta!

Welcome, readers, writers, and haunted house lovers, too! Have you ever wondered what goes into building a haunted house? Then you're in luck! Frank Tupta is here and is sharing his and Kyle Beckett's book, How to Build a Haunted House. When a vampire family needs a home, a monster-filled crew of construction workers steps in. Can they build a haunted house before the sun comes up or will the vampire family become toast? Want to know more about Frank, his frightening-good book filled with rhymes, plus want a chance to hear an awesome trick and win an amazing treat? Read on...

Q: Thanks so much for joining #SeasonsOfKidLit! We’re thrilled to have you Trick or Treat with us and hear all about your book, How to Build a Haunted House. Please share a little about this book’s journey and/or your journey to kidlit.

A: How to Build a Haunted House was a total long shot I put together after running myself ragged trying to get a series of novels published. I always loved rhyme, I always loved kids books, and my career as a novelist was going nowhere fast So, one day after passing a construction yard and a graveyard, the whole thing clicked.

Q: How to Build a Haunted House is such a fun and active book – how does this book appeal to your own sensibilities when you were a child? Were you a monster lover? Truck lover? Builder? What gave you the idea to put them all together?

A: I loved Tonka trucks and monsters as a kid. I just needed to put them together somehow. I saw this construction yard and thought how the excavators arm looked like a skeleton and POOF, How to Build a Haunted House was born.

Q: What informed your decision to put this story to rhyme? What advice do you have for writers wanting to write in rhyme?

A: Don’t do it! Editors hate rhyme, agents hate rhyme. I just didn’t care about either at the time I put this together. Which is most likely why it made its way through.


"Past the graveyard,
hear the howl
of werewolf loggers
on the prowl."

Q: What’s your favorite monster movie? Who is your favorite character from your book? Why on earth would you ever write a children’s book? What is it like to work with an illustrator for a manuscript you’ve written?

A: Favorite monster movie: Night of the Living Dead (1990/ Friday the 13th Part 6).

Favorite character from my book? It would have to be Frankenstein, great name, great truck.

Why did I write a children's book? I wrote a children’s book coming up for air in between a 5 book novel series that was sucking the life out of me. Children’s books were a breath of fresh air.

What is it like to work with an illustrator? Believe or not, I did not have much interaction with the illustrator on this book outside of line edits passed between the editors. My wife is an illustrator and I work with her all of the time. It’s a lot of give and take. Know when to pick your battles.

Q: What is one of your favorite things about Halloween and fall?

A: Halloween is my favorite holiday, fall is my favorite season. It’s the best weather(at least in the midwest), the best food, it’s back to school, the leaves change color, my birthday falls on Friday the 13th of October, you know all things that are good. But the lore of the harvest season is by far the best thing about fall. I was a reluctant reader but anything spooky, monsterous, or historical about fall always reeled me in.

Q: BONUS QUESTION: What’s your favorite Halloween Candy? And, what candy pairs the best with your book?

A: Mini Butterfingers were an all time favorite Halloween surprise. But gummy worms fit the best with How to Build a Haunted House.

Thanks again for joining us, Frank! We can't wait to check out How to Build a Haunted House. It looks like tons of fun!

Q: Would you like to leave a Trick or a Treat for the readers?

A: Both!

Trick: The editor is always right…but choose your editors wisely.

Treat: If any of your readers out there has a rhyming manuscript, I would offer up a free critique for one brave soul.

Wow! Thanks for such a spook-tacularly sweet trick and treat!

Contest Details: Do we have any brave souls here who would like to win a rhyming critique? To enter to win this amazing giveaway make sure to 1) share this post on social media and 2) leave a comment below letting Frank know why you're excited to win.

#SeasonsOfKidLit's Trick-or-Treat Winners will be chosen on or about November 5th.

About Frank Tupta:

FRANK TUPTA (TUP like UP) grew up in a haunted house in Cleveland, Ohio. Halloween is his favorite holiday. He loves all things funny. He has a tractor, it is heavily used. He loves food. He has ducks, they are fluffy and chunky. He also loves nature, shot-put, fishing, and poppy seed.

If you'd like to know more about small Frank and the kind of shenanigans he used to get into, read BROBARIANS by his wife, Lindsay. The character Otto is based on him.

Most days you can find Frank writing, walking his dog Sally with his family, driving around on his tractor, or co-running with his wife, a website offering free critiques and advice for up-and-coming authors and illustrators.

For more about Frank, check out the below link:

To purchase Frank's book, or to leave a review on amazon, click here.


A special thanks to David Rodriguez Lorenzo for the amazing custom-signatures!


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What a fun idea for a book! Wouldn't it be something to see Frankenstein walking around a home improvement store! And now that you wrote about mini butterfingers, I realized that I didn't get any this Halloween. Bummer, LOL!


What a great concept! And I love books that rhyme.


Janet Sheets
Janet Sheets
Nov 01, 2023

Some of my favorite picture books are written in rhyme. But so are some of the most cringeworthy books I've seen. Rhyme is hard, hard, hard to do well.


I love how you merged your personal walk past a construction and grave site with a planned break from your novel writing and created a rhyming picture book. Sure, I’d love a rhyming critique!


Tonnye Fletcher
Tonnye Fletcher
Oct 29, 2023

Fascinating concept of building a haunted house! Love the mashups . . .sounds great!

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