Today I welcome another wonderful author who I met through Julie Hedlund’s 12x12PB challenge. Charlotte and I connected in 2019 when THE BIG BEACH CLEANUP, illustrated by Katie Rewse had been announced for 2021. Yes, publishing requires hard work and serious patience! I’m excited to see this book out in the world and happy to share my interview with Charlotte. She is offering one lucky winner (US only) a signed copy of THE BIG BEACH CLEANUP. Comment on this blogpost to enter the giveaway.
What were you like at the age of your target audience?
Hi Laura! Thank you so much for having me on your blog today and for featuring THE BIG BEACH CLEANUP! Just like the main character Cora, as a child, I loved heading to the beach and building sandcastles. Below is a picture of me at the beach with my mother and younger sister.
What inspires you?
My ideas tend to come from the things that take up the most room in my heart. For example, I passionately believe that if enough hands join together, we can change the world. I initially wrote THE BIG BEACH CLEANUP to show my children that they don’t need to be superheroes to make a difference, they just need to do their part and join hands with those around them. Another example is my upcoming book, HOW TO RETURN A MONSTER, which is a humorous how-to story about a child who tries to return their new baby sibling in the mail. When I wrote it, I was consumed with how my 19-month-old would react to her new baby brother and a need to process and embrace the mixed feelings I was certain she would have.
What’s something you hope readers will take away from your book?
It is my hope that THE BIG BEACH CLEANUP shows readers that big changes begin with small steps. I hope that readers are inspired to think about the changes they want to see in the world, to know that they can make a difference, and are encouraged to join together with those around them to create those changes.
What’s next for you?
Thank you so much for asking! On a personal level we recently moved to a new house, so I have been consumed with getting my family settled. In terms of the publishing pipeline, I have two upcoming books, HOW TO RETURN A MONSTER, which is being illustrated by Rea Zhai and releasing from Beaming Books this September (see description above), and A GRANDMA’S MAGIC, which is being illustrated by Asa Gilland and releasing from Doubleday Books for Young Readers in January 2022. A GRANDMA’S MAGIC is a picture book celebration of grandmothers and all the ways in which they are “magical.”
To learn more about Charlotte’s books and connect with her:
charlotteoffsay.com Twitter at @COffsay Instagram at @picturebookrecommendations