I’m very excited to share my interview with author Julie Hedlund whose new book, OVER, BEAR! UNDER, WHERE?, illustrated by Michael Slack will be out in the world on November 9th which means you should go preorder it from your favorite indie bookstore now. Julie is the founder of the 12x12PictureBook Challenge which is a wonderful community of writers at various stages of development. If you’re looking for a group that supports each other in every way imaginable, look into joining 12×12 in 2022. I’m lucky to live only a few miles from Julie so we’ve been at a few events together and now that in person things are coming back, I’m hoping to see her (in masks) soon!
Julie is generously offering one lucky winner a 30-minute “Ask-Me-Anything” on Zoom. Comment on the blogpost to enter the giveaway.
What were you like at the age of your target audience?
I think you can probably tell from the photo that I’ve always loved animals. I was obsessed with my stuffed animal collection and constantly invented stories for us to play pretend.
What inspires you?
The number one thing that inspires me is travel. Going to new places forces me to “see” and pay attention differently, and I always come away from those experiences refreshed and with new ideas. Of course, books are always endlessly inspiring. And although I don’t watch a lot of TV, lately I am enamored of Ted Lasso, and if I didn’t already have my dream job, I’d say working in the writer’s room on that show would be it.
What’s the one thing you hope readers take away from this book?
First and foremost, I hope they find it funny. Life has been quite serious lately, so I would love it if the book could provide a few laughs. I also hope kids take away the idea that friends come in all shapes, sizes (and species), and if you make assumptions based on looks, you might miss an opportunity to make a new friend.
What’s next for you?
I recently sold a picture book biography that hasn’t been announced yet, but since I’ve been working on it for eight years, I am VERY excited! I also have a handful of other manuscripts that are nudging closer to being submission-ready. We’ll also be celebrating the TENTH (if you can believe it) year of 12 x 12 in 2022, so I’m working on getting ready for a very special year.
To connect with Julie and learn more about her books:
Virtual (and in-person) book launch event link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/storytime-celebration-w-julie-hedlund-michael-slack-tickets-164361769477