April 13, 2021
Note From Rochelle
I still need your help!
Would you like to read and review an eArc of my new book, Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers, and Revolutionaries Who Changed the World through Writing? Send me an email. If you don’t have time to read but still want to help, please mark it as “to read” on Goodreads and add it to your wish list on Amazon.
Today, I’m delighted to welcome Amy Laundrie to the blog to talk about her new book for children, Follow Me Into the Woods.
Writers@Work: Discovering Ideas and Connecting with Readers
An Interview with Amy Laundrie
by Rochelle Melander
Welcome, Amy! And congrats on your new book. Can you tell us about Follow Me Into the Woods?
The idea for Follow Me Into the Woods stems from an incident I had while horseback riding. I was about to cross a rural road before entering the woods when a car pulled off to the side. A woman and a young girl got out. “Excuse me,” the woman said, “but could we look at your horse. My daughter’s never seen one.”
The daughter looked to be around eight-years-old. They lived in Chicago. I kept thinking about how our lives were so different. I plotted a story about a girl who was afraid of the woods because she hadn’t had the opportunity to hike in them. Her cousin, Oliver, and a friendly chickadee help her get over her fear. Oliver leads her toward a surprise. At the end, Paris has a surprise of her own.
You have published many books in different genres. Can you tell us about your publishing journey—and what drew you to write different kinds of books at different stages in your career?
My first book, Whinny of the Wild Horses, was published by Macmillan in 1990 with the help of an agent. Being a horse enthusiast, I continued with a five-book horse series (Kayla Montgomery) geared for middle school children who like light romance and suspense. As well as enjoying horses, I’ve had fun raising pet ducks and a gosling. Mirror Publishing, a hybrid, published Noah’s Ark Pet Care Club in 2009 for 8-12 year olds. It features a goose who gets homesick for her owner. Follow Me Into The Woods is my first picture book. Follow Me Into the Night and Follow Me Onto a Bog will be published soon. Animals, nature, and adventure are common themes in my books.
What else do you write?
My memoir, Laugh, Cry, Reflect: Stories From A Joyful Heart, is a compilation of my favorite columns which have appeared in various papers including The Wisconsin Dells Events. I continue to write a weekly column which helps me connect with people—the greatest joy of writing.
You have made some really fun extras for teachers and readers. Can you talk about those and how you went about that?
I do have several fun activities on my website, www.laundrie.com, which creators on fiverr.com, a website that offers freelance services, helped me develop. For a minimal fee, they’ve produced book trailers, YouTube videos, and most recently, mazes, crossword puzzles, and scavenger hunts that accompany Follow Me into the Woods. I rewrote the story as a play, and creators at fiverr.com helped create the instructions for making paper plate masks for the various characters. Using them afforded me more time to write.
What are you reading now?
I’m the type of reader who has several books going on at the same time. I’m studying The Art of Styling Sentences and chuckling over Fredrik Backman’s MY Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry. Before bed, I often read a Kristin Hannah book, poetry, or the essays Of E.B. White. My pile of children’s books include Elements Of Genius: Nikki Tesla And The Ferret-Proof Death Ray, classics such as the Amber Brown books, Owls In The Family, and E.B. White’s The Trumpet Of The Swan.
About the author. Amy Laundrie taught elementary school for over thirty years and shared her love of nature with her students. Amy is the author of Whinny of the Wild Horses, Noah’s Ark Pet Care Club and the Kayla Montgomery mystery series for older readers beginning with Eye of Truth. She’s also a weekly columnist and her adult book, Laugh, Cry, Reflect: Stories From a Joyful Heart includes some of her favorite pieces. Like the characters in Follow Me Into the Woods, Amy enjoys exploring. Will she find a heron rookery or spot a luna moth? Visit her at www.laundrie.com.