Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


Interview with a Mystery Guest

In deciding whom to interview, I wanted somebody smart, funny, and whose work I admired. I thought about a number o people before choosing today's mystery guest. Some of you may know him, too.

Tell us about your latest project, how it's coming and the amazing timeline.

My latest project is a Minnesota alphabet book based on stunning photographs of letter forms found in nature taken by Joe Rossi. I've never had an editor approach me to write about a specific subject before, and I've never worked on a picture book where the visuals have come first. The lightning-fast (by publishing standards) turnaround time is new to me as well; I was contacted about this project at the end of December, the final draft is due in March, and the book will be published in November.


Yes, November 2010 is the scheduled publication date.

How are the revisions coming on your excellent middle-grade novel?

Ah! Such a different scenario than my alphabet book! This is a story I've been working on for almost ten years. It has taken me that long to find the heart of the story. Finally, in October, I was ready to send it to my editor, but alas, I have heard nothing back. I hope he doesn't take ten years to respond!

3. You are a man who enters many contests. Can you share a couple of favorite contest stories with us.

My friend Gary Nygaard and I once won a national scavenger hunt by finding such obscure items as a St. Patrick's Day card printed in German and a folding paper fan printed with a giraffe. In the "Rolaids Relief Hero" contest, I won $10,000 for nominating a woman who started an organization to match terminally-ill children with adult pen-pals (the woman I nominated won $25,000). And for describing in twenty-five-words-or-less how Healthy Choice products make me feel like a million, I won $40,000 (far more than any book advance I've ever been offered!). The most unusual contest I've won might be the five-minute video I made showing how good Senokot laxative makes me feel.

Is there any way we can see that video?

Alas, at the moment, no. Right now I only have it on video tape. Perhaps someday I can get it transfered to a CD and download it to the computer.

And how good does Senokot laxative makes you feel?

After I received my prize of a home entertainment center and a check for $10,000, Senokot laxative made me feel pretty darn good.

One last question, what is your favorite pie?

Definitely my sister's apple pie. Or French silk. Or fresh strawberry. Or Mile High Banana Cream. Or....

Who is this Mystery Guest?


Stephanie said...

I know I know! But only because I heard about the contests when your mystery guest spoke at a conference once. Well, and of course by the intelligence, wit, and charm exuded throughout the interview:) I will leave it for others to guess though...

john said...

Stephanie, Well done on both counts.

Christy said...

The contest thing makes me think of Dave.

Edie said...

It's got to be our very own David Larochelle. And, wow, what a collection of contest wins!

Lauren said...

Yeah-- David is definitely the one! I can't wait for the alphabet book!

john said...

Yes, you are right. It's our very own David LaRochelle.
Isn't it about time for a movement to see that laxative video?

Diane Adams said...

I, too, guessed David. What an amazing aptitude for winning contests. What about a book about a kid who loves contests - or have you already written that?

David LaRochelle said...

No, I haven't written a contest book yet, Diane, but many years ago I remember there was a middle grade novel called The Contest Kid. Maybe I can revisit that theme. Contests have sure played a big part in my life.

And thank you, John, for asking me to be your interviewee, and for giving me the chance to talk about my new alphabet book. And of course it's always nice to talk about pie!