This is a wonderful interview from author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Blog with debut picture book author, Ciara O’Neal so I wanted to share it today because I love author interviews. They talk about O’Neal’s process and get into some of the finer details that interest a lot of children’s book authors and readers. Her new book is called Flamingo Hugs Aren’t for Everyone. Enjoy!
Hugs are hard for a clumsy flamingo. But with daring disguises, delightful dances, and a few more tricks up her feathers, this bird is determined to win a little love from zoo-goers everywhere!
SUSANNA: Welcome, Ciara! Thank you so much for joining us today! We’re delighted to have you and opportunity to learn a thing or two about the self-publishing process for picture book writers! Where did the idea for this book come from?
CIARA: Flaminga’s story arose during a very loooooong trip to the ER with my daughter. After rejecting kisses from my stuffed flamingo keychain, our star was born! My daughter and I whiled away the endless hours by brainstorming all the different ways a flamingo might try to win affection. And, voilà Flamingo Hugs came to life. I still have my daughter’s first sketch of Flaminga in her hat. Alicia drew a wonderful rendition of it in our book!
Idea generation is one of my favorite phases in the whole process of creating picture book magic. I find that I am a very visual person. So whenever I want to find inspiration, I take a walk around my corner of the world. I try to look at ordinary things from odd perspectives. Sometimes, it’s hunkering down in the grass or leaning against a tree. (There might have been that time I flipped upside down on my kids’ playground. But we won’t talk about that.)
SUSANNA: How long did it take you to write this book?