We are delighted to introduce author Laura Scott Schaefer to the KIDLIT411 community!
Hi Laura, thank you for being featured in our AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!
Laura is the author of several picture books and a new chapter book series, THE CRUMBLES CHRONICLES.
Tell us about your background and how you came to write for children.
I have always had a keen interest in writing and expression through words. In high school and college my writing focused on reading and writing short stories and poetry. I took something away from everything I read - rhythm from Shakespeare, playfulness from Dr. Seuss, the depth of characters from Bronte, etc… I realized, once I had my own children, that I could combine all of these into something cute but meaningful - a children’s book! All my books appear simple and sweet on the surface but have layers of meaning beneath it. I really enjoy that symbolic aspect of writing and particularly enjoy how it can fit into a kids story. Where is Love?, for example, is superficially about a little bird’s journey to find enough love to sing a love song, but, in reality, it speaks to circular journeys we all experience in life. Pugbug and the Ticklish Garden centers around and adorable bug and magical plant, but is meant to depict symbiotic relationships in human nature, not just the natural world. Even my silly chapter book contains ulterior messages of acceptance and courage. I love all the other things that go along with writing for children too - interactive events, fun readings, charity opportunities and just knowing that I can play a tiny part in cultivating someone’s imagination.
What projects are you working on now?
I couldn’t be more excited about my current chapter book series, The Crumbles Chronicles! It’s narrated my nervous rescue dog, who may just be the quirkiest creature alive. But he’s also the most loving. The first book in the series, Battle of the Paper Bags, is out and I am cruising through Book 2: Snowman’s Revenge. It’s a hysterical experience for me to write from his point of view. Crumbles the dog also has a YouTube channel (Crumbles the Dog), his own website and a funny free newsletter for kids that’s all about animals (you can e-mail him directly at email@example.com to sign up). I really like being able to make kids laugh and encourage their love (and acceptance) of rescue animals at the same time. All the character in the book have their quirks - a chipmunk with OCD, a poodle with a Napoleon complex and a Buddhist bunny. The book is meant to be very funny but also about being yourself.
What is your typical process for writing?
I get an idea in my head. It can be a thought, a feeling, an image. I mentally write at first, letting variations of the idea come and go in my mind. I talk to my publisher (Eifrig Publishing LLC), my kids (my biggest inspirations) and some parents. I like to see people’s natural reaction. Then I take pen to paper - yes, an actual pen and an actual piece of paper. I make a sketch of the story. Then I jot down some more details about the characters, the plot, the order of events. I ask myself often, “How is this relevant to the plot moving along or a character learning something?” I try to write with a rhythm that sounds pleasing when read aloud. In fact, I often wander around my house, laptop in hand, reading aloud snip-its to see how it sounds.
I giggle while I write The Crumbles Chronicles. Also, I am notorious for bursting into my kids rooms while they are trying to fall asleep and forcing them to listen to different variations of my writing to see which version sounds funnier.
Laura Scott Schaefer is the author of the new chapter book series, The Crumbles Chronicles: Tails of a Nervous Dog, in addition to three published picture books: Where is Love?, Achoo! and Pugbug and the Ticklish Garden. Her works have received excellent reviews from Midwest Book Review, ForWord Review, Readers Choice and lot of parents. Laura holds lively book events, specialty workshops, volunteer activities and enrichment classes, all geared towards children’s literacy and imagination. She and her publisher have also recently begun a non-profit, Random Acts of Reading. Laura has an English degree and a Juris Doctor. She and her family live in Westchester County, NY. Laura can be reached directly at AuthorLaura@icloud.com.