INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY
The SockKids Meet Lincoln
by Michael John Sullivan and
The SockKids Meet Lincoln is on tour with Mother Daughter Book Reviews. The tour stops here today for an interview with author Susan Petrone. You can also read my review. Please visit all the other stops on the tour. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below. This book will be FREE 9-10 November, so don’t miss out!
The SockKids – Solving The Mystery Of Your Missing Socks!
Where do our missing socks go?
Readers find out in the children’s series, The SockKids. We follow the Socker family through many adventures; from encountering the slobbery mouth of the family dog to meeting Santa as he comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve to helping a fireman save a baby to the most shy Socker going to the school dance for the first time.
Thanks to the time-travel opportunities afforded by the spin cycle of the washer, they learn about some of the most important humans in the world.
Children two and up and their parents will be drawn to the diversity of the family and the universal and timeless lessons they teach: don’t be afraid of new experiences; treat others as you would like to be treated, and of course, beware of the spin cycle!
The SockKids Meet Lincoln is an amusing tale told from the point-of-view of socks! Meet the Socker family: Stretch (the tube sock), Rinse (his little sister), Rainbow (their mother), Parch (their father), and Grandpa Bleach. Find out how they deal with washing day and conditions such as the “fuzzies”. And have you ever wondered what happens to those socks that disappear in the wash? Well, now you’ll find out! During the spin cycle, they can slip through time and go to another time and place in the world. In this story, Stretch ends up on the foot of a man who turns out to be Abraham Lincoln and receives a history lesson following an encounter with a black sock.
The authors have come up with an original and fun way for children to learn about history. The illustrations by SugarSnail are bright and colorful, and imbue each of the socks with their own personality. Unfortunately, the dialog is a bit stilted and unnatural. I look forward to reading the further adventures of the Socker family.
Interview With the Author
Hi Susan Petrone, thanks for joining me today to discuss your new book, The SockKids Meet Lincoln.
Which writers have influenced you the most?
Some of the books that most heavily influenced me as a child reader were The Chronicles of Narnia, Harriet the Spy (Louise Fitzhugh), the Betsy-Tacy books (Maud Hart Lovelace), and anything by Edward Eager (such as Half Magic or Magic by the Lake). I find myself equally drawn to fantasy stories and stories firmly rooted in reality. I think that’s why I love working on The SockKids books. What could be more real and mundane than socks? What could be more fantastic than time travel?
What age group do you recommend your book for?
We originally thought the SockKids would be good for ages 2-8, but we’re finding that older kids up to age 12 are really enjoying the book too. Everybody wears socks, so it’s a familiar topic. And who hasn’t looked at a stray sock sitting on top of the washing machine and wondered where the other one went?
Which comes first? The character’s story or the idea for the book?
It can be either one, depending on the book. Mike Sullivan, the creator of the SockKids and my writing partner, and I talked through each of the characters in the Socker family. We talked about their personalities and as we did so, we started coming up with book ideas based on different characters. At the same time, we got story ideas and ask, “Which Socker would be best for this story?”
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
The SockKids Meet Lincoln sends Stretch, the oldest SockKid, back in time and onto the feet of President Lincoln as he’s giving the Gettysburg Address. The 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address is 19 November. We hope the book will spark kids and their parents to learn a bit more about Lincoln on their own.
What is your writing routine?
Most of the time I write in the evening, after my daughter has gone to bed. I just went to a part-time schedule, so now I have two days a week set aside for writing (and household chores). I try to give myself 15-20 minutes to play around – email, Facebook, the news, whatever, before I get down to work.
How did you get your book published?
I had a novel published by a small press, and Mike has two novels out -one published by Simon & Schuster and the other by a small press. With the SockKids, we decided to go the independent route.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Persistence. Persistence. Persistence.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Play with my kid and spend time with my husband and our stinky dogs. 🙂 Beyond that, I love biking, gardening, running, swimming, and, of course, writing.
What does your family think of your writing?
They’re very supportive. What a writer needs most is time to write, and I get that at home. Plus my daughter (who’s seven) loves getting to read SockKids stories before anyone else.
Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
I was the youngest of six children. My mother loved books, and we were all big readers. I learned to read at an early age, probably because I saw my older siblings reading and really, really, really wanted to do what they were doing. Plus you can’t always find someone to read a book to you, so it’s easier to learn to read it by yourself.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
A local theater produces an annual children playwriting competition. When I was in 7th grade, I entered and won. My play was among those produced. Watching my vision onstage, hearing the words I had written, listening to an audience laugh at my jokes and applaud at the end was one of the most intoxicating experiences of my life. I had always written stories and things, but that experience really made me feel that what I had to write might have some value to others.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
We get comments on the SockKids website, via Facebook and Twitter, and through reviews on Amazon. People really love the idea of time traveling socks, and they think the first book is funny and clever.
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
We’ve just released a second SockKids book called TheSockKids Go Dancing. In the new year, we’ll release the third title in the series. I don’t want to give too much away, but the SockKids will be time traveling again and meeting another famous person in American history. 🙂
About the Authors
Michael John Sullivan is the creator of the SockKids. Constantly searching for his socks, he wondered whether the missing foot comforters had found another pair of feet to warm. Before his interest in socks, Sullivan started writing his first novel while homeless, riding a NYC subway train at night. Sullivan returned to his subway notes in 2007 and began writing Necessary Heartbreak: A Novel of Faith and Forgiveness. Library Journal named Necessary Heartbreak one of the year’s best in 2010. His second novel, Everybody’s Daughter, was named one of the best books of 2012 by The Examiner. Sullivan has written articles about the plight of homelessness for CNN, The Washington Post, Beliefnet, The Huffington Post, and America Online’s Patch.com service.
Susan Petrone‘s short fiction has been published by Glimmer Train, Featherproof Books, The Cleveland Review, Muse, Conclave, and Whiskey Island. Her first novel, A Body at Rest, was published in 2009. Her short story, Monster Jones Wants to Creep You Out was nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize. She also writes about her beloved Cleveland Indians at It’s Pronounced “Lajaway”, and for ESPN.com’s SweetSpot network. In addition, she is a regular contributor to Cool Cleveland.
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