Author Spotlight: Phaea Crede
May 14, 2021
We are pleased to feature author Phaea Crede and her debut picture book JET THE CAT (IS NOT A CAT) illustrated by Terry Runyan (Barefoot Books, May 2021). Enter to win a copy below!
Tell us about yourself and how you came to write for children.
I started my creative journey as a stand-up and sketch comedian. I learned eventually that performing was not for me, but I still loved that short-form comedy story structure. Once I started ready picture books to my son Harvey, I realized how similar they were to comedy sketches. You find a quirky character and throw challenges at them! That started me down the road to being obsessed with picture books and trying to write my own.
Congrats on your debut picture book, Jet the Cat (is Not a Cat)! Tell us about it and what inspired you.
Jet is a cat who loves to swim, which confuses the other animals. Because…don’t ALL cats hate water? Jet is told she can’t be a real cat and she sets off to find out what she really is, while ultimately realizing she’s allowed to define what being a cat means for herself.
As I was writing the story, I realized I was also writing about myself. I was diagnosed with dyslexia in the 3rd grade, and even thought I loved to write, my cognitive disability made me feel that I couldn’t do it well enough to be a REAL author. It took me years to realized I got to define what being an author meant for myself!
Was your road to publication long and winding, short and sweet, or something in between?
I started writing seriously mid- 2015 and got my first offer in March 2020. At the time that felt slow but looking back…that was pretty fast! I had a real fire under my butt to keep working on my craft, connecting with other writers, and getting into the kid lit community (like this group!) That made the time go by fast as well.
What projects are you working on now?
I’ll have a new project to announce soon (!!!) but in the meantime I’m working finding a lot of inspiration in monsters—especially sea monsters. Hopefully that will roll into some really wacky stories soon.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Decide that you will never give up and just stay open to learning new things, both about writing and also about yourself! And read 40 – 50 picture books a month.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I was once an extra in a Rage Against the Machine music video and the subject of a VH1 makeover show – but I will never say which one!
Where can people find you online?
Phaea Crede loves writing silly picture books for silly kids. Serious kids, too! Her debut picture book Jet the Cat (Is Not a Cat) will be published May 2021 by Barefoot Books. Phaea lives outside of Boston with her husband, two kiddos, two cats, and a slightly stinky dog named Gus.
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