Friday, June 5, 2009

Meet Margot Finke, author of Rattlesnake Jam

Author and freelance editor Margot Finke writes midgrade adventure fiction and rhyming picture books. For many years she's lived in Oregon with her husband and family. Her 6 books series of rhyming picture books are fun and educational. They bring kids closer to many of the neat animals in the US and Australia. Excerpts and illustrations from these books can be viewed on her BOOKS page, along with instructions on how to BUY and great reviews.

"Musings," her monthly column for children's writers, can be read in The Purple Crayon and the SCBWI NewsWorthy magazine. Her Website offers help to upcoming writers, and her Critique Service can help you iron out plot and character problems.

In this tour, Margot is promoting her latest picture book, Rattlesnake Jam. I had the chance of reviewing this book recently, and all I can tell you is that it's disgustingly delicious! Read my review HERE.

Hi, Margot! Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Why don't you start by telling us 5 unusual things about yourself?

I was born in the land Down Under
I am scared of driving
I love speaking to large audiences - no fear at all!!
With a name like "Finke" I had to develop a good sense of humor
I don't have a belly button.

You write because...

To not write is unthinkable. I think some people get double dibbs on the writing gene. I know I did. When an idea or a character takes over your every waking hour, and a big chunk of your dreams, it means that sooner or later, you have to put everything else on hold, and put those thoughts into words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters. Soon, a book is born! Although all these Book Tours, and promoting the books I have already written, makes writing time very scarce. Once you have several books published, the rush is on to sell, sell, sell!!

If you weren't an author, what would you be?

I would be a master gardener with my own nursery. We have an acre of landscaped gardens, and I often regret that these days I don't have the energy or time to work on both.

Tell us about Rattlesnake Jam.

I wrote Rattlesnake Jam for boys and reluctant readers. My son was a reluctant reader, and I soon realized that if you want boys to really enjoy reading, you have to give them what their macho brains long for. Cut the frills, girly stuff, and the cute descriptions, and bring on the fat frogs, wild relatives, and use powerful words that paint vivid pictures in their heads. With boys, action and the YUCK factor rules!

Most Moms are nervous nellies about snakes. However, once they see how Gran, Pa, and that pot of rattlesnake jam captures their reluctant reader's imagination , they order up. Hey! Gran does promise her jam cures everything from gout to wheeze. It's not a big stretch to add
"reluctant readers" to the list of cures - now is it?

How do you handle your muse when she refuses to help you?

My Muse knows her place, mate, fairdinkum!! When I call, she comes. Well. . . most of the time.
Lack of ideas is not my problem - it's lack of TIME that often has me beat.

What would you say to those people who think picture books are easy to write?

I'd tell them that picture book writing is like being a great parent: It looks easy until you try doing it yourself. Throw a few words together on three or four pages, get a friend to draw cute pictures, and send it off to a publisher - all done over one weekend - right? Like good parenting, it's what you DON"T know about it that will ruin your chances of success.

Leave us with some words of wisdom....

You've got to be kidding, mate. Wisdom is a rare commodity. And I suspect that age is not the only necessary component. How about this: Do good. Be Good. And know your limits. And if you are lucky enough to have double-dipped on the writing gene, stick with it until your talent is well honed, and you are published.

Thanks, Margot!

Margot will be giving away a prize at the end of the tour. To be eligible, just leave a comment on her BLOG.

To win a print copy of my children's book, CRASH, just leave a comment here. I'll announce the winner on June 15th.

To see the full Bounding for Books Blog Tour schedule, click HERE.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

I like that - boys want the YUCK factor!

L. Diane Wolfe

Mayra Calvani said...

It's a pleasure having you on my blog again, Margot!

Joy said...

Okay Margot, no bellybutton? That truly is an interesting fact about you.
Mayra, you've been able to pull a lot of information out of Margot. It's fun to read about her and get to know her better.

Joy Delgado
Illustrator and publisher of bilingual children’s books

Donna J. Shepherd said...

No bellybutton? That catches everyone's attention. Hatched, right? Loved learning more about you, Margot! Thanks, Mayra.

Shari Lyle-Soffe said...


No bellybutton? How did you manage that? LOL.


Kim Chatel said...

Margot, you never cease to amaze. I thought only Adam had no belly button!

Jennifer Gladen said...

Lots of great info! Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer Gladen said...

PS - Love the Trailer :)