I am honored to feature Tara Lazar and celebrate her recent release, BLOOP, illustrated by Mike Boldt. It’s a new favorite in our house. Charlie loves it because it honors the bond between dogs and humans. Tara’s known to readers everywhere for her creative. laugh out loud picture books and BLOOP fits that description perfectly. Some of my personal favorites from Tara are LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD, illustrated by Troy Cummings and 7 ATE 9: THE UNTOLD STORY, illustrated by Ross Macdonald so while you’re ordering BLOOP, I recommend ordering these as well.
In the writing community, Tara’s known as an amazing role model with a generous spirit who started Picture Book Idea Month in November 2009 (PiBoIdMo) for picture book writers to have their own challenge in November. (Novelists have NanoWriMo.) It moved to January in 2017 with a name change, now Storystorm, but the challenge of brainstorming 30 story ideas in 30 days remains and the guest blogposts have helped me and so many authors immeasurably.
Tara is generously offering one lucky winner a picture book critique. Comment on the blogpost to enter the giveaway.
What were you like at the age of your target audience?
Pretty much the same as I am now. Creative and silly. Willing to do anything for a laugh. Here I am with one of my besties at the time, Jessica. I wrote a story for us to act out and another BFF, Veena, photographed it in action. This was before we had video cameras on every phone, of course! I remember waiting weeks for the developed photos to come back!
What inspires you?
I’ve learned that everything around you is fodder for stories. If you practice being aware of idea potential in your everyday life, you will get better and better at identifying it! I often post on Twitter with a photo saying “this is a #picturebook!” because I see them everywhere!
What’s the one thing you hope readers take away from your book?
That everyone has a place where they belong—it just may take some longer to find it than others.
What’s next for you?
My next book releases in November, and it’s all about ABSURD WORDS. It’s based on my popular blog page of fun, cool & interesting words for kids: https://taralazar.com/2014/06/09/list-of-200-fun-cool-and-interesting-words/.
I researched backstories about the creation of words, uses in pop culture, and other odd and unusual factoids. The book contains over 750 words organized into 33 “word squads” based on themes like “Out of This World” (outer space) and “G.O.A.T” (superlatives). It’s 314 pages long and I can’t believe I wrote the whole thing! After 10 picture books, it’s quite the shock! I’m flabbergasted!
If you’re not already a subscriber of Tara’s blog and follower on social media, here’s where you can find out more about her books:
Twitter: taralazar. Insta: taralaser. Website: taralazar.com