Author Chat: Karin Lefranc talks about her debut picture book — I WANT TO EAT YOUR BOOKS

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 
I have lived in five countries but am now settled in a quiet Connecticut town with my French husband and brood of three girls and one boy. Apart from a few years owning a children’s store, I have always worked in publishing from newspapers to books. I like the written word in all its forms!

What do you do for fun when you are not writing?
I love reading, of course, and hiking, movies, yoga. In fact, I am a certified children’s yoga teacher and am busy creating a yoga lesson plan for I Want To Eat Your Books for teachers to use in the classroom to focus their students.

When did you first start writing?
Unlike many writers I had no idea I was going to write fiction until about five years ago. However, I have always loved writing. I was in English major and then went on to write for a local newspaper in Connecticut, which was soon followed by writing cover copy and press releases for a publishing company in London. I thought creative writing was for other people until I was overcome by a strong urge to write poems and stories. And once I dipped my pen into the world of fiction, I was hooked. I now write it all from poems to picture books to novels.

Did you have a favorite book or author that influenced you when you were growing up?
I had many different influential writers at different stages of my childhood. I grew up in England so loved Enid Blyton mysteries, but also Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. I loved the classics like Anne of Green Gables, Black Beauty, Flicka, The Sword in the Stone, Watership Down, The Hobbit. I lived in South Africa from age six to twelve, and there was minimal television, so books were a big part of my creative world.

What was your inspiration for I Want To Eat Your Books?
After three girls, I had a son. He loves monster stories and he was especially fascinated by zombies. I saw this same fascination when I taught kids yoga classes—these kids were craving zombies. There are lots of books about ghosts and ghouls and monsters in all shapes and sizes but most zombie books were written for older children, so I decided I want to write one for the little guys!

What was your favorite part of the book, and why?
I like the part where the boys show the zombie the book about the brain, and he stares at an illustration of the parts of the brain from the prefrontal cortex to the amygdale—and is sucked in…to the world of books!

How did you and the illustrator collaborate on this project?
We did most of our collaboration through our wonderful editor Julie Matysik at Sky Pony Press. She would send me Tyler’s illustrations and if I had any suggestions I would make them through her.

This is such a fun book for the Halloween season! What will you dress up as for Halloween? 
I shall be a zombie mommy! But I am hoping children will enjoy this book any time of year, not just Halloween.

What project are you working on now?
I am writing a middle-grade contemporary fantasy about a timid twelve-year-old girl called Hedda who finds out she’s related to the might Scandinavian warrior Beowulf and has to face her own fears in order to save the troll king’s daughter.

I Want To Eat Your Books
By Karin Lefranc (writer) and Tyler Parker (illustrator)
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Sky Pony Press

Find I Want To Eat Your Books:
Barnes and Noble

Published by Rebecca J. Allen

REBECCA J. ALLEN writes middle grade stories that blend mystery and adventure & young adult stories with kick-butt heroines. Her STEM Superhero adventures, Cole Champion Is Not Super and Cole Champion Takes On the Villains launched 1/1/2022 (Jolly Fish Press). Her middle grade mysteries, Showtime Sabotage and Math Test Mischief were published under the pseudonym Verity Weaver. When not writing, she loves to bike, watch spy thrillers, and craft the perfect crème brûlée. You can find her at (she/her)

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