Hey Marla!! Thanks for joining me here to talk about The Bossier Baby and more!
Tell us a little bit about The Bossier Baby.
Okay. I’d love to. The Bossier Baby is the Boss Baby’s new little sister, and she is even bossier than the Boss Baby ever was. Hard as that is to believe. Here’s a character sketch:
What made you want to tell this story? Did you always have a sequel in mind when you wrote The Boss Baby?
I was blown away by the illustrations in this book. Tell us a little about your process.
I do lots of character sketches and lots of thumbnail sketches. I make many small dummies, most of which I abandon.
Eventually, I get a sense of the characters, the pagination, the setting, the size/format of the book, and the story arc, and then I make a tight full-size sketch dummy. Allyn Johnston (VP and Pub of Beach Lane Books, imprint of S&S) has been my editor through 14 picture books. She is there with me at every step. Once I begin the finished paintings, we have worked most of the kinks out and then it is a matter of execution. These paintings were done with black Prismacolor pencil and gouache.
There’s much buzz about The Boss Baby movie that’s coming soon! What has that process been like? What has your involvement been like?
Have you always been into writing and illustrating?
Yes, I guess I have.
What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Well, if by exciting you mean experiencing an intense emotion, I would say that it is the constant feeling (pressure) of whether or not I can come up with another viable idea and then pull it off. I never, ever want to produce intentionally careless or meaningless books. Or, god forbid, inadvertently rip someone off. I recently stopped work on a project because it was too similar to a book that beat me to the punch. It was very frustrating. But being derivative or unoriginal is something that scares the crap out of me. So that keeps my job exciting as hell.
What inspires your creativity?
What is one thing that readers don’t know about you, that only you could tell us?
If you weren’t writing books, what do you think you’d be doing?
What can readers expect from you in the future, after The Bossier Baby?
I’m writing and illustrating a picture book about a dog who has some trouble getting along with other dogs. And I’m illustrating a new series of chapter books by Sara Pennypacker about a 4th grade science kid named Waylon, who is a classmate of Clementine.
Anything else you’d like to share with readers of this blog?