Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"The Ketchup Bottle & the Takeover" author Maggie Grinnell

It’s great to have Maggie Grinnell, author of “The Ketchup Bottle and the Takeover,” on my blog today. Maggie has been writing since 1992. She writes poetry, short stories and articles. She is also a book reviewer/staff member for Poetic Monthly, and a member of SCBWI.

Katie: What a great sounding name for a book! It’s got me intrigued already. Can you please give a brief synopsis?

Maggie: Sure. Tommy Tomato, a ketchup bottle with an ego, moves into the refrigerator with plans to take it over. When he goes missing, everyone in the fridge forgets his ego and searched for him because they want him back.

Katie: Is this your debut children’s book? What was your motivation behind writing this book?

Maggie: This is my debut book. My motivation for this book and idea was seeing the biggest ketchup bottle I had ever seen in a fridge. I then wondered if this ketchup bottle had an ego and what would happen if he tried to take over a fridge.

Katie: How did you happen upon writing for the earlier reader group?

Maggie: I use to write suspense stories. Then one day, I wrote a poem about my inner child and I thought about writing a story about childhood and there it grew.

Katie: What did you learn, as you wrote, about writing for the early reader group?

Maggie: I learned that just because the reader group is younger, it doesn’t mean that they are any less educated. These kids are smarter today then I was at that age. Writing for children isn’t any easier than writing for adults.

Katie: I wouldn’t think so, but did you have to do any research for this book?

Maggie: Laughing. No I didn’t have to do any research for this book. All I had to do was look inside a refrigerator.

Katie: What about the early reader group as a whole makes it interesting for you to write for that age group?

Maggie: I have always felt like a kid at heart. I sometimes even feel that I haven’t quite grown up yet. I am always looking for that next adventure, that next story which I feel that the early reader does too.

Katie: Do you think you will continue to write for this age group? Why or why not?

Maggie: I feel as if I will continue to write for this age group. Because I feel that I can relate to always wanting to go on an adventure and see what is out there, to have my mind constantly being engaged.

Katie: Why did you decide to self-publish this book?

Maggie: The publisher is part of a magazine that I write for monthly online. I submitted my story to this publisher. Even though it is self-published, I feel it is still a great story. I don’t know if I will take this path again but I will write another children’s story.

Katie: What are the three most important things you learned about self-publishing?

Maggie: First is to be patient. Not everything goes as planned so waiting is the real test. Second, to keep the confidence that this is your idea and no one can take that away from you. Third, just because the book is self published, it is your story to tell no matter what.

Katie: Thanks, Maggie, for being a guest on my blog today! Learn more about Maggie and her books through checking out these links: www.writer65.com, http://agpressma.books.officelive.com/MaggieGrinnell.aspx and can be ordered through Amazon.


Unknown said...

What a wonderful imagination you have. I will never view my "family-sized" ketchup bottle in the same way again.

Vivian Zabel said...

Katie, you always have interesting interviews. Thanks for introducing us to Maggie.

Maggie, we at 4RV have several easy readers or beginning reading books on our list. They are the best size for children past the picture book era. A catchup bottle that tries to take over is an interesting concept.

Charlie said...

What a fun idea. It's a simple character but one I can see Children grabbing hold of and having lots of fun with. Congrats. Good luck with the story.
C.K. Volnek

Anonymous said...

What a cool idea for a book! Sounds like kids will enjoy reading this one. I don't think I'll look at ketchup the same way anymore, lol.