Saturday, June 15

Author Interview: Stacy McAnulty for Moon! Earth's Best Friend

Hooray Stacy McAnulty is back! Which means there is another awesome new book of her's that is being released! In this case, we're referring to the newest in the Our Universe series: Moon! Earth's Best Friend. After writing about Earth, and the Sun, it's time to discuss our closest galactic neighbor (and BFF), the Moon.

Hi Stacy! Thanks for interviewing with me again! I really enjoy hearing about your work. Tell us a bit about how Moon came to be the next subject in your series, how one goes about getting to know her personality, and what you learned about her.

Thank you for having me back!
Earth came first and then Sun, so Moon was the logical next step. They’re a perfect trio and all very important to humans! While researching this third title, it was interesting to learn Earth probably wouldn’t be a perfect habitat for humans without her natural satellite. Moon not only moves the tides, but she also keeps Earth from being too wobbly and thus livable. The personality for Moon really began in the book, Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years, where Moon was declared Earth’s BFF. I imagined their friendship to be sweet, long lasting, and supportive, but also Moon really admires Earth. Almost like a kid sister.

What's your favorite Moon fact? 

Favorite Fact: Moon does not have a dark side. We see the same face of Moon because she rotates and revolves at the same rate. It’s called synchronous rotation. But Sun’s light shines on all of Moon (except in deep craters). So I like to tell kids we only see Moon’s face and we never glimpse her butt. (That’s a guaranteed laugh when visiting elementary schools.)

What do you want kids to take away most from your book?

I think of the Our Universe series as “gateway books.” I want kids to read one and then demand an adult bring them to the library to check out more books on the subject. They’re a taste of spacey nonfiction meant to hook kids on science.

I know we've talked about your writing methods and career before, but I'm curious about one more thing: what motivates you to write kids' books? What keeps you going if you ever get discouraged?

I’ve found kids want to learn—even if they don’t always love school—and they demand to be entertained. I can appreciate that! Around the dinner table, I’ll share with my kids something I’ve learned, usually something from a nonfiction book. Like last week, I told them homo sapiens are not the only humans to have walked on Earth. My kids instantly want to know more! That motivates me.

But I certainly get discouraged on occasion. Usually, that’s more to do with the business side of things. If I focus on the ultimate goal of creating fun, important books for young readers, I can shrug off most of those discouraging feelings.

You've gotten quite a few picture books published now! Does writing and/or publishing get easier as you go?

It’s easier in a sense that I know what to expect. The writing is not easier, but I know I will do rounds and rounds of revisions. I know some manuscripts aren’t going to get published. I know publishing is often a slooooow process. I know not every book is going to connect with every reader. But I also know when a book does connect with a reader, it was all worth it.

What other new book ideas are brewing?

Glad you asked! First, let’s talk more nonfiction. In spring 2020, get ready to get wet. Dude, I am Ocean, illustrated by David Litchfield, will take readers deep into one of the coolest places on our planet. In fall 2020, we’ll go back into space and visit Mars. Stevie Lewis will bring Mars (title to come soon) to life, and we’ll hear all about the planet that’s most likely to welcome humans first!

For older readers, my second middle-grade novel, The World Ends in April, comes out September 3, 2019. A girl discovers a website by Harvard professor predicting an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth. I loved the space research involved in this book.

Another lightning round! (they're my favorite)
-favorite color? Green-Bay-Packer Green (but I wear mostly purple)
-favorite pizza topping? Mushrooms
-favorite movie that takes place in space? Just saw First Man and LOVED it.
-favorite moon? (besides ours, of course) Charon

Stacy McAnulty is a children’s book author, who used to be a mechanical engineer, and dreams of someday being a dog therapist, a correspondent for The Daily Show, an astronaut, and a Green Bay Packer coach. She has written dozens of books including her debut middle-grade novel, The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl , an Indie Bestseller, and the 2017 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor book Excellent Ed, illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach. Her other picture books include Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years, illustrated by David Litchfield; Moon! Earth’s Best Friend and Sun! One in a Billion, both illustrated by Stevie Lewis; Max Explains Everything: Grocery Store Expert and Soccer Expert, both illustrated by Deborah Hocking; Love, Brave, and Beautiful, all three illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff; Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite, illustrated by Edward Hemingway; and 101 Reasons Why I’m Not Taking a Bath, illustrated by Joy Ang. She’s also authored the chapter book series The Dino Files and Goldie Blox. When not writing, Stacy likes to listen to NPR, bake triple-chocolate cupcakes, and eat triple-chocolate cupcakes. Originally from upstate NY, she now lives in Kernersville, NC with her 3 kids, 3 dogs, and 1 husband.

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