When I made this website, I didn’t really have frequently asked questions, but now that RUMP is out and I’ve done several events, I’m starting to notice that some questions are frequently asked. Here are some of my frequent answers.
How did you get the idea for RUMP?
The idea for RUMP came to me while I was running, as many of my ideas do. (Exercise makes you think better!) This is often problematic because I don’t run with a pen and paper in hand, so I have to race home and shout “Nobody say anything!” And then I go and write the idea down.
My first idea for RUMP was about the world in which the tale would take place. I have a thing for names. (If you read my author’s note in the back of RUMP, you’ll know why.) I imagined a world where a name would determine one’s destiny. Very soon after, I though of the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, because his name is extremely important to that tale. I also have a thing for shortening names, and since Rumpelstiltskin is kind of hard to say and even worse to type, I shortened it to Rump. After I stopped giggling, the story started to take shape… and the rest is history.
Did you always want to be a writer?
No. I used to want to be a Broadway star, or a gymnast, concert pianist, dancer, and I vaguely remember a brief moment of insanity when I thought I wanted to do something with computers. (Please.)
I have always enjoyed writing, but it never occurred to me that it would be something I would seriously pursue. There were just so many more practical options (as noted above.) Writing was something that sort of fell in my lap after I had children and found I couldn’t leave the house so easily, and singing tended to wake up the baby, so I wrote. And I loved it. And it loved me back. We’ve decided to stick together.
What books did you enjoy as a child?
The first book I remember getting hooked on and reading over and over was The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I also loved Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn, and books by authors such as Roald Dahl, Louis Sachar, Judy Blume, Shel Silverstein, and Beverly Cleary.
How do you get published?
These days there are so many different ways, and I can’t say what the best way is for anyone. All I can do is share how I went about it. I studied books that I really loved. I tried to figure out how those authors got published. I learned about the publishing industry and attended workshops and conferences. I worked really hard on my writing skills. Once I felt I was ready, I queried agents to see if they might want to represent me and luckily one did! Her name is Michelle Andelman of Regal Literary. She handled all the work of submitting to publishers. (Such a relief!) and negotiated my contract and all business matters.
Do you have to pay to get published?
Only if you self-publish. Otherwise, a publisher should always pay you. If a publisher or even an agent asks for money up front to publish or represent your book, be very wary.
Is RUMP going to be a movie?
Gosh, wouldn’t that be awesome? At this time there are no plans for a RUMP movie and I have just about zero control over whether there will be or not. But Disney or Dreamworks can call me any day. I’m sure we could work something out.
Will there be a RUMP 2?
Who needs two Rumps? One is quite enough, in my opinion. But if you enjoyed Rump, I’m happy to say that I am working on a companion novel set in the same world as Rump and some of the characters in Rump do make a return in this one. And yes, it is another classic fairytale, but I’m not quite ready to reveal which one. SOON!