Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


The Next Big Thing Blog Tour

Ashley Wolff tagged me to be the next stop on The Next Big Thing Blog Tour. This tour provides a chance to get to know various children's book authors and illustrators through their blogs. Here at OnePotatoTen fellow members were also tagged, so we will devote a round to answering these ten questions.

1) What is the working title of your next book?
I have a few titles under development, but will use this post to discuss How Sophany Saved the Dance

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
The author, Daryn Reicherter, MD is a Psychiatrist and Clinical Associate Professor at Stanford University, School of Medicine. He is the Director of Cross Cultural Trauma Psychiatry at a refugee clinic in San Jose where he met and became friends with Sophany Bay, a Khmer Rouge survivor who immigrated to this country and started a Cambodian dance school in San Jose.

Daryn's wife, YA author Heidi R.Kling, was a member of my writer's group. She shared Daryn's picture book story and I was eager to give the story form. I enjoy researching other cultures. I used to enjoy folk dancing from many cultures and ballroom/social dancing. My daughter has been a dancer since she was three (jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, hip hop) so I've watched many kinds of dance and have wanted to do a dance book. I created a sketch dummy and tried a few color studies combining collage of decorative papers and rice papers with watercolor and brush markers on sumi paper.

3) What genre does your book fall under? How Sophany Saved the Dance will be a picture book.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? I wish Sophany could play herself. She danced before the king of Cambodia in her early years. She still teaches but no longer performs. The movie rendition needs to honor the traditional dance form by starring an accomplished Khmer dancer.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? How Sophany Saved the Dance is a true story of hope and resilience set between two cultures.

6) Who is publishing your book? Stay tuned!

7) How long did it take you to write (illustrate) the first draft of the manuscript? This was a "back burner" project that I have moved to the front burner. I have been researching and sketching on and off for a few years.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
A Song for Cambodia by Michelle Lord, illustrated by Shino Arihara (Lee & Low, 2008)
Little Sap and Monsieur Rodin by Michelle Lord, illustrated by Felicia Hoshino (Lee & Low, 2006)

9) Who or what inspired you to write (illustrate) this book? I was inspired by Daryn's sensitive telling of Sophany's story. Daryn was inspired by Sophany's resilience and desire to preserve her culture and help her community.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
The Khmer Rouge trial is coming to a close. Sophany’s story was used in the international criminal court as evidence against the Khmer Rouge.

I am tagging my Stanford YA/MG writing teacher, Annemarie O'Brien who has her first book publishing soon.


Stephanie said...

I love the inspiration behind this story, and those illustrations are gorgeous.

Lauren said...

Christy-- beautiful back-story and I hope the book finds a home soon! The illustrations look beautiful! It sounds like the author found the perfect illustrator with your knowledge and love of dance. I look forward to reading it! I also love "Little Sap and Monsieur Rodin".

john said...

Christy, this sounds like a great picture book. somebody is going to say yes.

Christy said...

John, from your lips to God's ears.

Edie Hemingway said...

Christy, I love the way you explore different cultures in your work! This sounds like another winner--both story and illustrations, and I agree with John--someone is definitely going to say yes.