Ten writers for children. All with something to say.

10/22/08

Late Potato

I have always been a late. Not late to appointments. If you had me over for tea, I would arrive on time, but I am always late when it comes to growing up. I am a late bloomer. And this blog is something I have to grow up for. It is a new way of communicating for me, so I ask for you patience. So here I am, the "Late Potato" adding ten things you should know about me:
  1. I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota and I was born in Great Falls, Montana, but I grew up mostly in California. So my life so far is a snow sandwich with sun in-between.
  2. I balance art, writing, family, friends, and cats very carefully. 
  3. My favorite season is fall. 
  4. I have published two books about winter. The one I wrote and illustrated celebrates the fire-y warmth and coziness that comes with the season. The other one that Cynthia Rylant wrote celebrates the snow and the memories of winters past. I guess living in Minnesota and watching my children grow up here makes winter a palpable subject.
  5. I love illustrating the stories of others. What an honor it is! Other people's stories take me to places I would never go on my own. I have danced in the mud, (MUD, written by Mary Lyn Ray), imagined the life of a scarecrow, day and night, season to season, in all kinds of weather, (SCARECROW, written by Cynthia Rylant), painted my children in mud puddles, (RED RUBBER BOOT DAY, written by Mary Lyn Ray), researched the homes of many animals and discovered how to rhyme with pictures, (CASTLES, CAVES, AND HONEYCOMBS, written by Linda Ashman), researched and imagined 4 1/2 billion years of life on Earth, (OUR FAMILY TREE, AN EVOLUTION STORY, written by Lisa Westberg Peters), folded origami for six months before illustrating the poems by Kristine O'Connell George in FOLD ME A POEM. (and I had never folded anything besides a napkin! If you want to try folding some animals, you can find diagrams on my website!)
  6. I love writing too. It feels like drawing.
  7. I am also a designer and painter for theatre sets and costumes. It has always been a love of mine that stays in the wings, but comes out when opportunity arises. My son is a performer with Circus Juventas, a youth circus school in St. Paul. I am part of a team that designs and paints the sets for all of their August shows, which have a story line that runs through all of the acts, like Cirque du Soleil. I have also become the script writer!
  8. I have worked with the same editor on all of my books. She just left Harcourt Children's books and now has her own imprint with Simon & Schuster. So now I still work with the same editor, but have a new publisher.
  9. I live in a big old Victorian house that is mostly studio space. My husband is a composer and painter, my two children, who are really not children anymore, love to draw, dance, photograph, act, and perform circus acts, and my three cats nap artfully. It is a home full of creativity!
  10. I read, read, read. Everything! Please recommend any books you love. And I will do the same for you. 

3 comments:

Edie said...

Lauren,
What a lovely introduction of you and your work! I envy your working with Cynthia Rylant, as I've always been a fan of her books. Looking forward to getting to know our group of "potatoes" better,
Edie

David said...

Hi Lauren,

The book I have been recommending to everyone lately is Katherine Applegate's HOME OF THE BRAVE, about a young refugee from Sudan who has come to Minnesota (in winter!) to live with relatives. Written in beautiful prose poems, it's a book that will appeal to both children and adults.

And by the way, thank you for introducing me to Circus Juventas! I was awed and inspired when I attended a performance this past summer.

Stephanie said...

Oooo, I loved Home of the Brave. I'm recommending The Hunger Games to everyone...