About the Author
Paulette Bogan admits she was bossy as a child. She is the author and illustrator ofVirgil & Owen, which was chosen as one of Bank Street Best Children's books of the Year 2016, Virgil & Owen Stick Together, which won a Mom's Choice Award Gold Medal for Picture Books, and Lulu The Big Little Chick, which won a Children's Choice Book Award. She lives in New York City with her husband, three daughters, and two dogs. They ALL think she is STILL bossy. But they've never told her to go to her room!
1.Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
My childhood, my children, and things I see on the street or the park. Everyday life! I always carry a sketchbook or post-its with me. I jot down a note or, more often, do a quick sketch when I see something or a thought crosses my mind. I never worry if it’s a good idea at the time, I just capture it on paper!
2. Do you have any writing or illustrating rituals?
Yes! I always listen to music. Classical if I’m writing. Rock if I’m illustrating. I keep art samples propped up on my art table. I love Matisse, great inspiration for color, Edward Hopper, for his sense of light and dark and contrast, Maurice Sendak for his genius text and spareness of line. I also have samples of whatever else is inspiring me at the moment! I always look at lots of picture books.
3. Do you use a notebook or Journal? If so, how?
I keep a sketchbook/journal with me so I can jot down ideas, thoughts, and sketches. But sometimes my purse is too heavy! (I’m prepared for all emergencies: hunger, make up, body odor, hair), you name it! So if I can’t carry a journal, post-its are my go-to!
I love post-its. They are so small and colorful and you can always fill a post-it with an idea or a drawing. (Much easier than writing a whole book.) Just like you break a story down to beginning, middle, and end, post-its break everything down into little bits of the story, or the character, or just my to-do list. And they stick!
4. Do you revise a lot? How many times did you revise Bossy Flossy?
Oye, do I revise a lot! The first draft of Bossy Flossy went through five or six edits on a legal yellow pad. Then I typed it on the computer, and made many more revisions. Next I printed it out and edited several times more.
After that I started over again with Simone Kaplan, my freelance editor and my other brain! (I say my because I’m bossy.) She had lots of revisions. (She is pretty bossy too. And rather brilliant.) We went through eight or nine revisions before I finally showed it to Sally Doherty, my editor at Holt.
5. Tell us an interesting fact about Bossy Flossy.
My youngest daughter, Lucille, did a children’s book for a high school bio project in Ms. Serpagli’s class. The white blood cell was named Detective Albus (Latin for white), who searched the systems of the body for a bacterium on the loose. When she did the art she cut out Detective Albus and the other characters leaving a white border around each of them and then glued them onto colored paper. I loved the contrast and thought it looked cool, so I decided to try it in Bossy Flossy!
What I didn’t realize was how long it would take to cut out all those pieces! I think it was worth it!
To find out more about Paulette Bogan, download cool activities and to check out new books go to www.paulettebogan.com
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