Welcome, readers, writers, and Godspiders, too! We have quite the Halloween-meets-Fairytale mashup for you today. Author Gayle C. Krause is here sharing her and Kate Talbot's new book, Zadie and the Witch's Tea. When a witch's two older sisters interfere with her going to the biggest event this Halloween season, Zadie turns to the help of a Fairy Godspider. Will Zadie be able to attend the event, or has she lost her chance to meet the Grand Witch? Want to know more about Gayle, her fantastically charming new book, PLUS want a chance to win a super sweet treat from her? Read on...
Hi, Gayle! Thanks for Trick or Treating with us at #SeasonsOfKidLit. We're thrilled to have you back with us and hear all about your new book, Zadie and the Witch's Tea! Can you share a little about yourself with our readers?
A: I’ve been writing for children for twenty-five years. I’m a PAL SCBWI member and was named 2022 MG first place winner of the Kid’s Choice KIDLIT Writing Contest. I served on the Rhyming Revolution’s Best in Rhyme Committee, selecting the best national rhyming picture book from 2015-2018. My picture book Rock Star Santa (Scholastic – 2008) was performed as a play in Australia and presented at Storytime in Montserrat, British West Indies with areal British Rock Star. My picture book Daddy, Can You See the Moon? (Clear Fork/SPORK – 2019) shares royalties with Our Military Child, an organization that helps veteran’s children deal with their parent’s war injuries. And my new book, Zadie and the Witch’s Tea is flying into bookstores and children’s museums for everyone who loves Halloween.
Q: Your book is a wonderful retelling of the Cinderella story, complete with a witch named Zadie, her two snooty sisters...and a Fairy Godspider. How fun!
What gave you the inspiration to write this story? Have you always been a fan of the Cinderella story?
A: As the oldest of three sisters and the oldest girl in the neighborhood growing up, I always organized fun activities for us to do – circuses, talent shows, and a tea party. (picture)
Jump ahead to adult years and my sisters and I tease each other about our “witchy” powers. (when one calls, the other already has the phone in her hand) So to celebrate our sisterhood and our sibling thought waves, we gather every summer for fun, food, wine, and of course, ‘dress-up.’ We call it our Witchy Weekend. (pictures)
Add to that my love of fairy tales, which I absolutely adored, as a child, my teaching career, training prospective educators for the Pre-K and Elementary classrooms. (I taught Children’s Literature at the secondary and post-secondary levels). And my Fairytale Seminar – Beyond The Fairytale – which teaches prospective children’s writers how to reimagine a traditional fairytale and make it their own, and Zadie and the Witch’s Tea was born.
And no, Cinderella was not my favorite fairy tale. It was The Twelve Dancing Princesses.
Q: How many versions did it take to get to the final manuscript of Zadie and the Witch’s Tea?
A: It’s not easy writing a picture book with a complete story arc in less than 600 words. Zadie had eleven reiterations. At one point, when I had an agent, she sent it to publishing houses and they loved the concept but wanted it to be written in prose. I tried two different versions, but the word count was always too high. That’s why I like writing in rhyme. I think in rhyme. The story comes to me in rhyme. And it’s a proven method, for me, to limit my word count, though scansion and meter and everything else that goes into good rhyme must be spot on.
Q: We love the art in this book - it's so colorful and unique. Did you leave any art notes for Kate, or did she come up with the spreads on her own? Can you share any tidbits or tips about this process?
A: Yes. I left art notes and we emailed back and forth for approvals. But the design of Zadie, her sisters, and the Grand Witch were all Kate’s vision.
Q: What is one of your favorite ways to celebrate Halloween?
Dressing up, of course. I have many pictures of me in different witch costumes. I greet the Halloweeners (Scranton, PA term) at the door dressed as a witch, a friendly witch, like Zadie, and The Grand Witch.
Q: BONUS QUESTION: What candy/treat pairs the best with your book?
A: If you study the boo-fae table Zadie straightens at the tea party, check out the spider cookies in the center of the spread. You can easily make peanut butter spider cookies with your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe, a frozen mini-peanut butter cup, candy eyes, and melted chocolate chips for legs.
Thanks again for joining us, Gayle! We had so much fun learning more about Zadie and the Witch's Tea!
Q: Would you like to leave a Trick or a Treat for the readers?
A: A Treat!
I am offering a signed copy of ZADIE AND THE WITCH’S TEA to one of your readers who comments on Zadie’s story, and shares news about my little witch on social media. I also have Zadie swag that will accompany the book. Thank you for letting me share Zadie’s story.
Thanks for such a splendidly and spider-ifficly sweet treat!
Contest Details: To enter to win, this amazing giveaway make sure to 1) share this post on social media and 2) leave a magical GIF below to thank Gayle for stopping by.
#SeasonsOfKidLit's Trick-or-Treat Winners will be chosen on or about November 5th.
*Books will be shipped in the US only*
About Gayle C. Krause:
Named the 2022 MG first place winner of the Kid’s Choice KIDLIT Writing Contest, I’m a PAL SCBWI member and a past member of The Historical Novel Society and The Poets’ Garage. I served on the National Rhyme Revolution Committee, choosing the best rhyming picture book from 2015-2018. I hold an editorial certificate and teach writing seminars to published Kidlit creatives and prospective children’s writers. I’m a former chair of the Education Academy in an upstate NY Career and Technical center, where I instructed prospective Elementary teachers and Child Care Providers, taught Children’s Literature, and directed a Laboratory Pre-K, therefore, I write PB, MG, and YA.
For more about Gayle, check out the below links:
For more about Kate, check out the below links:
To purchase Gayle's books, or to leave review for them, click on the below links:
A special thanks to David Rodriguez Lorenzo for the amazing custom-signatures!