Welcome to #SeasonsOfKidLit all you BOOOO-tiful readers, writers, and ghost hunters out there! If you love ghosts as much as I do, you're in for quite the treat. We're pleased to have Sue Fliess back on the blog sharing her and Simona Sanflippo's newest book in their "How to" series. How to Spook a Ghost follows kids who are enjoying Halloween when they hear a noise. That noise just so happens to be a ghost, so they come up with a plan to spook it! Will they be successful? Want to know more about Sue, her superb tips on spooking a ghost, PLUS want to win a spook-tacular treat from her? Read on...
Q: Hi, Sue! Thanks so much for joining #SeasonsOfKidLit. We’re thrilled to have you Trick or Treat with us, and hear all about your new book How to Spook a Ghost. Readers, if you missed Sue’s interview during our Spread Joy event last December, click here.
Thank you for having me! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays!
Your new book in your “How to” series, How to Spook a Ghost, looks like so much fun! Can you share more about it with the readers?
A: I think it’s fun too, thank you! This is the 8th book in my Magical Creatures and Crafts Series. They are all “How to” books in that they each show you how to make a craft, how to best interact with or befriend the ‘creature’ in the book, but they also share tips on how you can do other things, like how to be a good friend, show kindness, be helpful, inclusive and even how to let something go.
This book follows four diverse children as they prepare for a fun Halloween night of trick-or-treating. But while they are brainstorming costumes, they hear creaking noises from upstairs. They choose to be brave and investigate! They hatch a plan in case they encounter something spooky. They meet a tiny ghost and are afraid at first, but soon learn that the ghost is friendly and his only wish is to go trick-or-treating with them. They invite him along and everybody wins!
Q: Your book also has some fun crafts included - perfect for spooky season! Can you share more about those?
A: The book shows how to make a simple ghost costume with a sheet or piece of fabric, markers and scissors, and will require a friend or grownup to help. But the book also has an additional craft at the back for making a lollipop ghost puppet. All you need is a lollipop, a napkin, a ribbon or piece of string and a marker. When you’re finished flying your ghost around, you can eat the lollipop!
Q: How fun is that?! Your How To series is so adventurous and creative - not to mention popular with young readers! Can you share tips with our readers about writing a series - did you approach your publisher with new books in the series or did they approach you?
A: Great question. The first in the series is HOW TO TRAP A LEPRECHAUN, which I wrote based on inspiration from my experience making a leprechaun trap with my two boys when they were in preschool. I wrote the book with no expectations of writing more, but of course it made so much sense when my publisher said, ‘this book is doing well, what other holidays could you write about?’ and the series was launched. It was a little bit of back and forth with the editors. I gave them some ideas, they shared some ideas, we’d choose 1-2 to pursue and then decide down the line if we would do more. I’m thrilled to say the series has been very successful! Books 9 and 10 are in the works now!
Q: Book 9 and 10? CONGRATS! How exciting! What was the hardest part of writing this series?
A: There are two challenging parts. One is I wrote the first one in a tough meter (iambic pentameter!) and that is challenging in and of itself, but then, I have to write craft instructions in rhyme! Coming up with the craft is often easy, but then writing it in rhyme so someone could actually follow it is its own kind of trick. :)
Q: What is one of your favorite ways to celebrate Halloween or fall?
A: Fall is my absolute favorite season. The crisp air, the smells, the trees changing colors, the hikes, the sweaters and boots, hot coffee…mostly I just celebrate it by being outside as much as possible. As for Halloween, I love it. I love dressing up and decorating the house. I only wish it was a season so there could be many opportunities to wear costumes and wigs! Did you know I won a Halloween costume contest when I was in college? I dressed up as the Mona Lisa, frame and all!
Q: BONUS QUESTION: What’s your favorite Halloween Candy and/or what candy pairs the best with your book?
A: Definitely Reese’s Pieces is my favorite. The best candy (which I also really like) to pair with this book would be a Tootsie Pop!
Thanks again for joining us today, Sue! It was a true treat having you!
Q: Would you like to leave a Trick or a Treat for the readers?
A: I'd like to leave a Trick AND a Treat!
Trick: Once you finish (then and only then) your manuscript, take a good look at it to see if there is a way or an angle to make it into a series, or have a sequel or companion book. You’d be surprised!
And for the Treat: I will give away a signed copy of HOW TO SPOOK A GHOST.
Oh WOW - thanks for such fang-tastic tricks and treats, Sue!
Contest Details: To enter to win a copy of Sue's newest book, How to Spook a Ghost, 1) share this post on social media and 2) leave a comment below and let her know why you can't wait to read it! We'd love to see some ghost GIFs for fun, too.
#SeasonsOfKidLit's Trick-or-Treat Winners will be chosen on or about November 5th.
*Books will be shipped in the US only*
Note: Those who leave a comment on all posts will be eligible to win one (1) of ten (10) Rate Your Story Speed Passes, perfect for quick MS feedback, provided by Agent Mentee Lynne Marie & Author Heather Macht.
About Sue: Sue Fliess ("fleece") is the award-winning, bestselling author of over 50 children's books including Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket, The Earth Gives More, Little Red Rhyming Hood, Flash and Gleam, Rumble and Roar, the Beatrice Bly's Rules for Spies series, the Kid Scientist series, the Magical Creatures and Crafts series, and many more. Fliess has also written for Walt Disney. Her books have been named to ALA Notable lists, and have been used in school curricula and museum educational programs. Fliess's titles have been featured on Reading Rainbow Live and included in Dolly Parton's Imagination Library in the US and Australia. She visits elementary schools and does speaking engagements and lives with her family in Virginia. Visit her at www.suefliess.com.
For more about Sue, check out the below links:
For more about Simona Sanflippo, check out the below links:
To purchase Sue's books on Amazon, or to leave a review for them, click here.
A special thanks to David Rodriguez Lorenzo for the amazing custom-signatures!