Laurenne Sala began her career at an ad agency writing funny commercials for the fast food chain, Jack in the Box. She was a devout vegetarian, but this first job taught her how to write as if she were in someone else’s shoes. This came in handy as she then went on to write commercials and content for video games and headphones and other stuff she doesn’t use. She took everything she learned in advertising to write a memoir of her father’s life from his point of view and then You Made Me a Mother, which placed her in a mother’s shoes.
It all started with a sweet video used by Boba baby carriers to capture motherhood for a video. They were making it to show that their brand understood mothers. The final video was shared so much and caused so many moms to cry that Harper Collins called Laurenne and asked to publish her poem You Made Me A Mother.
You can see the video below.
For those Fancy Nancy fans you will love the illustrations by Robin Preiss-Glasser.
In 2005, Robin was paired with author Jane O’Connor for the now classic Fancy Nancy series, of which there are more than 60 books, including a chapter book series for older children, the latest entitled Nancy Clancy: Soccer Mania. Fancy Nancy books have been on the New York Times Bestseller list for more than 330 weeks and have sold over 28 million volumes.
Q&A with Laurenne Sala
Is it true you wrote a book about motherhood when you’re not a mom yourself?
Yes! I wanted to capture motherhood in one poem, and luckily I love writing from all different points of view. In fact, I really recommend doing that in so many situations. I think being a copywriter in advertising early in my career helped me learn how to write and think from different perspectives. I’ve had to pretend I was a gamer or someone who liked fast food or a mom or a driving enthusiast (I’m none of those things! Okay, I do LIKE fast food, but I try not to eat it.).
So, when it came time to write with a mom’s voice, I did all the research I could. I interviewed my mom and all the moms in my family, asking them what it was like to bring a new little baby into their lives. Their sweet responses got me all teary, so I sat down, closed my eyes and wrote a poem. I basically made myself a mother! And it worked!
You Made Me a Mother is a culmination of my imagination, my mom, my aunt, my cousins, my friends, and my whole clan of powerful mommas. And then Robin Preiss-Glasser, now my favorite new friend, brought her own motherhood to the table, drawing her knowledge and love onto the pages
Did you like being a mom when you imagined what it would be like?
YES! I definitely have the mom bug. I’m getting married in September, and we will see how it goes. We are both totally ready to be parents. In fact, we are starting the adoption process now and the natural process, and we will be happy to be parents to whoever comes first. AND…. on that note, I also hope to make this a series. The father book is coming next and then I so hope to make one for adopted families and gay families and grandmas and aunts, etc.
How is writing a picture book similar or different than other kinds of writing you do?
Many people think writing a picture book is simple. They are so short and seem like a breeze. BUT, since they are so short, every single word is so important. Every single sentence has to have a reason for being, and that can drive a writer crazy. There is no time for embellishment or setting of the scene since the illustrator can do that. So, the problem usually begins on the first page and then a subtle message follows. I am not a fan of subtlety.
I love to end my personal essays with big old morals to make sure every reader is learning the lessons I learned. But kids are learning lessons all day. They want to read for fun or so that it lulls them to sleep.
The trend in picture books now it to steer clear of didactic morals and let the reader come to her own Also, language is so important. Alliteration, sounds, rhythm. I just heard the other day that picture books use even more of a variety of vocabulary than news articles! I find myself using more poetry than I normally would in order to make it more fun for the reader to string the words
What’s your favorite part about being a children’s book author?
It’s not actually seeing my book on the shelf. It’s the snuggles it creates.
The book is available now, read more about Laurenne and her book at www.LaurenneSalaBooks.com
I am giving away 1 copy of Laurenne ‘s book on my blog, win a copy right here!
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