My guest today is the very dear Carmela LaVigna Coyle who I am lucky to have shared the stage at a collaborative space themed story time event as we read CAN PRINCESSES BECOME ASTRONAUTS? and ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON. She has inspired me as a picture book writer, we’ve bonded over our love of nature and photography, and I can’t wait until we can see each other again in person! Carmela is the author of the successful series, DO PRINCESSES … illustrated by Mike Gordon.
Carmela is generously offering a signed 1st edition of DO PRINCESSES WEAR HIKING BOOTS? or CAN PRINCESSES BECOME ASTRONAUTS? Comment on this post to enter the giveaway.
What were you like at the age of your target audience?
I was a twirler around the age of my target audience. Not a baton or flag twirler (that came later), but rather, I twirled and spun in place to music, usually to my mom’s classical choice of the day. But, I mostly recall being a quiet observer, ever watchful for the simple and the complex. My recollections from those early days always include nature—a bobbing branch, the scent of fresh peat, clouds easing across the sky. To this day, I call on some of those early nature memories when searching for just the right word or ambience. I was raised by artists so there was a lot of encouragement for creative expression.
What inspires you?
Inspiration has a better chance of snagging my attention IF I’ve had a good night’s sleep. And if I’ve been following a decent routine, which includes daily yoga and meditation. Sometimes after a hearty walk in nature, I can’t get home fast enough to jot down what I just saw. Of course my children inspire me, and even as young adults, they still say enormous things! But it’s also the little things—tiny treasures, a blade of sunlight, a spring sprout pushing skyward. Inspiration might come from something someone says that tickles me. Reading picture books inspires me. Music inspires me (remember twirling?), particularly Vaughn Williams, Respighi, Carwithen, Irish Folk, Georgian Chant. Hah, I guess inspiration wears many disguises.
What’s the one thing you hope your readers take away from your books?
Almost like magic, the DO PRINCESSES series, illustrated by Mike Gordon, has spanned eighteen years so far. Yep, that lil’ princess on the pages of a book can now legally vote! Since the very beginning though, my hopes and wishes for my young readers have been the same—to love yourself, love others, be kind, be brave, dream, ask questions, explore…
What’s next for you?
This question gives me tingles. Because there’s always hope in the pipeline. Currently, it’s a bit unknown if there will be any future DO PRINCESSES titles, but my latest PBs are spinning me in a fun new direction. Muddy Boots Books has acquired my informational-fiction picture book, SOMETHING SPECTACULAR, the story follows a behemoth hunk of sandstone on its 250-million-year journey through time and erosion to become something spectacular. Nope, it’s not a diamond. Or a ruby. It’s something even more spectacular. [Winky face]
I’m also looking forward to a few upcoming life events like hugging my kids again; sitting eye to eye on the couch with my mom; going for coffee with my sis. Simple pleasures have become the “new” life events.
To connect with Carmela and learn more about her books:
Twitter: @carmelacoyle FB: carmela.coyle IG: carmelalavignacoyle Website: www.carmelacoyle.com