July 23, 2012

Meet Tiffany Strelitz Haber, Author Of Debut Picture Book The Monster Who Lost His Mean and A Giveway!

I know.  We haven't done Oh Susanna in ages!  But awesome things keep coming up that I just have to slide in somewhere, one of which is today's post about a great new picture book.  So... next week?

Today I am delighted to introduce you to Tiffany, but real quick before I do, let me just announce that the winner of Steven Petruccio's gorgeous picture book Puffer's Surprise from last week's author/illustrator interview is Delores (thefeatherednest)!!!  Congratulations, Delores!  I hope you'll enjoy this beautiful book!

Now then!  Everyone, please meet Tiffany!  I have to tell you, I found this interview so entertaining that I'm afraid you guys will never want to come back and read my boring old posts after it, so you have to promise not to throw me over :)

Tiffany Strelitz Haber & Co. :)

SLH:  When did you start writing for children?  

TSH:  When I was in third grade, I wrote my first "rhyming picture book".  I continued writing for many years.  In fact, all throughout highschool, and a bit in college as well.  So obviously, when I was figuring out what I wanted to do for a living, I headed straight for the financial world!  I was never really one for connect the dots.  :-)   Anyway.  Yadda, yadda, yadda, cut to 24 years later (give or take)...chronically unhappy in the career I had been diligently building for over a decade, and feeling like it was 'now or never' to make a change, I realized I was barking up the wrong tree entirely.  I wanted to really love what I did for a living.  So I went back to what I had loved for so many years before, and started writing for kids.


SLH:  Do you have an agent, or did you submit on your own?  

TSH:  Agent.  I learned very quickly (by attending a couple of NJSCBWI conferences), that having agent representation opens doors otherwise closed to most authors.  It also allows you the freedom to really focus on writing (and later promoting) as opposed to spending countless hours researching publishing houses and editors, constructing query letters, physically printing, stuffing, stamping and mailing submissions out, following up and...well...you get the point.  


SLH:  Was The Monster Who Lost His Mean your first submitted PB or did you have others before that haven't sold yet?

TSH:  I actually got extremely lucky.  My agent subbed two PBs of mine simultaneously to a variety of houses.  Several months later...within the same week, we had offers on both.  It was very exciting!  (SLH: OMG!  I think I speak for most of our readers when I say I could sure use a week like that! :)

SLH:  Tell us about the moment when you got THE CALL!!!  How did you feel?  What did you do?  Did you celebrate? Call all your friends and relations? :)

TSH:  Ok, so I was on a ski trip with a bunch of friends.  We were sharing a house and had been out super late the night before, so everyone was passed out on various couches and beds.  Anyway...for some reason, I found myself wide awake at 5 in the morning so I checked email on my phone.  And there it was.  We had an offer on MONSTER and as I leaped off the couch and looked around for someone to share the news with (read: tackle with uncontrollable zeal), I realized  I was surrounded by zombies.  There wasn't a single soul within a half mile radius that wasn't dead to the world and stickin' to it.  So I kind of just muttered to myself in the corner for a while with a pre-dawn bloody mary.  Party of one, please!

SLH:  Do you have anything else under contract?  

TSH:  I have another rhyming picture book due out in April 2013.  It's called, Ollie and Claire (Philomel/Penguin) and was illustrated by the amazing Matthew Cordell.

I also have a couple of stories in that critical, "at an editorial meeting" type phase where it could still go either way...but you know you're close and you're just kinda....waiting. (read: pacing, email-refreshing, obsessing)

SLH:  And please share where we can find you...


TSH: 
facebook:  www.facebook.com/tshauthor  (BIG facebook gal.  Let's be friends!)
Twitter: @tiffrhymes
Blog: for tips and tricks on writing in rhyme, come check out  www.themetermaids.blogspot.com

Just for fun quick questions:

Left or right handed?  right
Traditionally or self-published? traditionally
Hard copy or digital? hard
Apps or not?  not that I know of?
Plotter or pantser? plantser?
Laptop or desktop? lap
Mac or PC? Mac
Day or night worker? DAY
Coffee or tea? Coffee (and then suddenly tea for like...a day)
Snack or not? I want to meet the person who says "not".  And then never talk to them again.
Salty or sweet? Salty.  Althought salty and sweet in the same bite is actual heaven on earth.  #ChocolateCoveredPretzels
Quiet or music? Quiet
Cat or dog? both
Currently reading? Helter Skelter
And now, my lovelies, Tiffany has generously offered a signed copy of her brand new, hot-off-the-presses, WONDERFUL book.  All you have to do is what the Rafflecoptor widget tells you to.  And may I just say that I hope the Rafflecoptor widget is going to show up somewhere - it probably will not show up where I intend it to, so look around, be ingenious and persistent, and hopefully you'll find it wherever it chooses to appear :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway So yeah - fill that in.  You get extra points for "liking" and "following" and things of that nature.  And just in case the widget doesn't work, and I am off in the boonies of PA/VA/NC unable to fix it, please also take part in our fun contest in the comments - it's supposed to show up as mandatory in the Rafflecoptor thingy, but like I said, my faith has limits.... :) so I'm putting it here too:

Everybody knows the 'M' in MONSTER stands for Mean.  When one young MONSTER loses his...and becomes THE ONSTER, everything goes awry.  What does the first letter in *your* name stand for?  How would you feel if you lost it?  Answer below for a chance to win a signed copy of THE MONSTER WHO LOST HIS MEAN!

Have fun!  And if you have any questions or comments for Tiffany, fire away.  I'll try to talk her into checking in from time to time :)

Happy Monday, All!

  

Reactions:

97 comments:

  1. Oh this book sounds wonderful and the interview outstanding. I love that "party of one" moment. Surrounded by zombies but excited. Hmmm...didn't know that could be possible :-)

    I'd have to get this book for the sheer joy of having "met" the author though this interview. The fun factor is so clear.

    Three cheers on your debut, Tiffany, and wishing you be the best. Glad you went for what makes you happy!

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  2. How fun! 'R' for Reader. And if I couldn't read anymore, I'd have to find a whole new life. It's what I do and who I am--that and writing.

    Congratulations to Tiffany! I look forward to reading the book now--as long as I don't lose my 'R!'

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  3. Oh, and if I lost the "A" in Angela, perhaps I could turn it into N'Gela. That seems interesting and possibly mean something in another language.

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  4. I really enjoyed this interview! And would love to win a copy of what sounds like a terrific book! As for the first letter of my name: Imbecile (sometimes- ok, often) but let's do Imagination instead. I would feel awful if I lost that. On the other hand, if I was called Za there would be no question on how to pronounce my name (long or short "i") :-)

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  5. I guess if I lost the "T" in Tina, I'd no longer be Terrific Tina, only Icky Ina. So watch out and beware! hehe

    Great interview! Tiffany must write spectacular stories to not have many rejections! What's the secret or training?

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  6. If I lost the "C" in Cathy, I'd lost the curmudgeonly! Thankfully it can be easily re-introduced through one of my favorite C's - Caffeine!

    Tiffany is a wonderful rhymer and I am really looking forward to reading the tale of the Onster!

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  7. thefeatherednestJuly 23, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    I won, I won...thank you so very much. The grandkids are going to love this.

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  8. My intire name "worded out" is Excited Reading Interesting Kid! If I lost my E I'd just be Rik and that's just all wrong because I am very EXCITED about reading (and I also like my name)! :) Great post!

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  9. If I lost the "K" in Kim I might lose the "kid" in me. Yikes. I need that kid to write children's stories:) Thanks for a great interview. I'm really looking forward to reading this book!

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  10. Penny KlostermannJuly 23, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    If I lost the "P" in Penny then I would be enny... oh my! I could be ennybody!
    "P" is for poetic! I don't want to lose that. I love poetry and writing poems!
    P-p-p-p-p-please....give me my "P" back!

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  11. Congrads, Delores! You're the lucky ducky today! :-)

    Sweet interview! And if I lost the R in Robyn, I'd just be Obyn which makes NO sense at all! I think the R in my name stands for royally radiant writer. Or it could stand for what some of my picture book characters are, rabbit, raccoon, etc.. If I lost it I'd be crushed. This made me think about my name which I've never liked. But now I'm thinking it fits me. *pick me rafflecopter* :-)

    I enjoyed reading Tiffany. Thanks bunches. I think agented is probably the way to go too.

    *waves peace sign at Susanna*

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  12. Congratulations on the launch! The book looks great and I can't wait to see the Onster come to life on the pages. If I lost the "D" in "Diana", I would lose my "dedication". I would still be sitting here in my pajamas, but I would NOT be writing and writing. Love your pre-dawn bloody mary celebration, btw! :)

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  13. Great interview with Tiffany! I agree that salty and sweet is heaven on earth. :) Congrats on your new book, Tiffany!!

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  14. If I, Vicki, lost my V, I would feel "icky", because that was my nickname when someone wanted to be mean in elementary school!
    (I went by my middle name, Victoria, for many years.

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  15. Congrats on the book it sounds super fun and cute. If I lost the C in Coleen, I would lose my creativity--ack!
    Great interview, Susanna--wave HI to me when you go thru VA!! :)

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  16. Hi everyone! This is so fun! I love everybody's "name dropping". Well...I guess technically it's "letter dropping". Thanks so much for participating!

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  17. Thanks, Coleen! You'd also be "oleen". Wasn't that an ingredient they used to make fat free Doritos?! Nice!

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  18. I think "Ick-toria" has a lovely ring to it... :-)

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  19. Thanks, Laura! And yay for salty/sweet!

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  20. Thank you! And never lose your dedication!

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  21. Ha! I looked quickly, and thought you said you would be OB GYN! Ps, I love the name Robyn! What's not to like?!

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  22. Losing the kid you would be tragic! I am thirty-something, going on 3, personally.

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  23. That's awesome! You could be "Rather Interesting Kid" if it came down to it. Ha!

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  24. Thanks so much, Cathy! *pours more caffeine down throat*

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  25. OH. MY. GOODNESS. Did I give the sense that I don't have over thirteen-bazillion-forty-six-million rejections??? Cause I do. Totally. Just got another a couple days ago in fact. So make that thirteen-bazillion-forty-six-million....and one. And two sales. (I like to end on a positive note). :-D

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  26. Thanks, Iza! I think your name is really beautiful, btw!

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  27. Do you remember the singer, Michelle N'Degeocello? Your comment reminded me of her... Ps- hilarious that it would be something mean in another language!

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  28. Thanks! Definitely don't wanna lose your R!

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  29. Aw, thanks Angela! Yeah....it's a weird feeling to be SUPER excited...but all alone. :-)

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  30. LOL--I didn't even catch that. Even more reason I need my C, because doesn't that stuff cause stomach cramping?? :)

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  31. What a fun interview and the book sounds BRILLIANT! What a fun idea :D
    A - is for AMUSING and if I lost that I'd just be BY, which would be so dull. Nobody would stick around. :(

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  32. Colleen Rowan KosinskiJuly 23, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    C for consistant? Courageous? Creative?

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  33. If
    I lost the C in Cupcake, I wouldn't be CUTE anymore! Wait. What?? How could I not be cute? And cuddly? And a little crazy. And careless, cagey, charming, cheerful, childlike, comical, and charismatic. I'd just be a plain old d-o-g. Ugh.. I'm hanging onto my C, thank you very much!

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

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  34. Wait. I confuzzed. :-( You are Leigh? Or Aby? I'm probably just slow. :-0

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  35. Nice! Never realized how many fabulous 'C' adjectives there actually are!

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  36. Congratulations on both books Tiffany. Will look forward to reading them! It certainly is your time. What a lovely interview. Enjoyed getting to know you. It will be an exciting year!

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  37. Wonderful interview, Susanna! Tiffany, when I saw Meter Maids, I knew exactly who you were...and am not surprised that editors are grabbing anything you write. :) I'm loving your blog so I know I will love your book! If I lost the "V" in Vivian (which stands for Vim, Vigor and Vitality), you'd think I'd be tired all the time, but I wouldn't, because the next letter, "i"
    would allow me to get "into" the next "V" in my name.

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  38. So fun to get to know you better, Tiffany. Congrats on your book! It looks awesome.
    Contrary to popular belief, the "H" in Hannah does not stand for "hard hearted queen of Savannah." Rather, H is for hungry, and I'm hungry to read your new book. I don't even want to think about the unsymmetrical, non-palindromical mess, I'd become with out my dear H.

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  39. Oh, I have to learn how to use that Rafflecopter thing. Cool!

    I already have a bunch of copies, but I'm entering for more! :)

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  40. That book looks like a lot of fun. I absolutely love the title!

    While I'd like to think the 'c' in 'Cally' stands for 'calm', it probably stands for 'crazy'! If I lost it, I'd be way too boring! :-)

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  41. Penny KlostermannJuly 23, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    I thought it was very funny, too! I had never dropped the "P"....well except when speaking Pig Latin!!!! And that is what this reminded me of. So....

    A little Pig Latin message: (translation follows...because it is really hard and time consuming to read Pig Latin!)
    Anywayway ennypay inway igpay Atinlay illstay etsgay otay eepkay
    ethay "PAY". Isthay isway unfay! Iway adn'thay okenspay igpay
    Atinlay inway earsyay.
    Ybay ethay ayway, Iway an'tcay aitway otay eadray Ethay
    Onstermay Owhay Ostlay Ishay Eanmay. Andway Iway ouldn'tcay
    esistray itingwray isthay inway igpay Atinlay!

    Quick Translation:
    Anyway Penny in Pig Latin still gets to keep the "P". This is fun! I hadn't spoken Pig Latin in years.
    By the way, I can't wait to read The Monster Who Lost His Mean. And I couldn't resist writing this in Pig Latin!

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  42. Yipee! Another giveaway - but this one is so 'close to home' - I lose my identity all the time! So if I win, remind me who I was when I entered! Thanks for a great interview. I look forward to a good chuckle!

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  43. Congrats Delores!! What a fun interview Tiffany & Susanna. Congratulations on your book! Looking forward to reading it.

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  44. Ha! I lose my mind all the time. Is that the same thing?

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  45. Oh my goodness, losing your palindromical status would DEF be traumatizing!

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  46. Aw...thanks so much, Vivian! Sounds like you've got it all planned out in terms of letter loss. Excellent work!

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  47. Glad you enjoyed it, Jennifer :) And it's great book :)

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  48. Thanks for your enthusiastic response, Angela, I'm so glad you enjoyed it :) And I think you'll love the book!

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  49. You have a wonderful imagination and we would ALL suffer if you lost it, Iza! Glad you enjoyed the interview :)

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  50. It sounds very exotic! I think I sense a new book character coming on for you :)

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  51. Very clever and how lucky! :) Glad you enjoyed the interview!

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  52. Glad you enjoyed the interview, Pat! I can't wait to see Ollie and Claire now that I've read and loved the Onster :)

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  53. I don't think you could ever be boring, Cally :) And wouldn't it be fun for you to win this? You could start a collection of signed picture books for Action Jackson :)

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  54. I think the Rafflecoptor thing worked mostly right this time, Corey. If so, it's not that hard... although I obviously did it wrong last time when it showed up in a random place...!

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  55. My goodness! No C would be a catastrophe! (Well, I guess technically an atastrophe!) I don't think you could ever be anything but cute and cuddly :)

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  56. Look what you've done - thoroughly confusing poor Tiffany with your real name whilst posting under your pen name :) But we would still love you - no matter what your name is - with or without your A :)

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  57. I had the same impression, Tiffany! I was marveling at your incredible talent - selling your first two out of the gate!





























    Tiffany Strelitz Haber wrote, in response to Tina Cho:


    OH. MY. GOODNESS. Did I give the sense that I don't have over thirteen-bazillion-forty-six-million rejections??? Cause I do. Totally. Just got another a couple days ago in fact. So make that thirteen-bazillion-forty-six-million....and one. And two sales. (I like to end on a positive note). :-D

    User's website
    Link to comment
    IP address: 173.63.102.31

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  58. I am in VA right this very second!!!! Are you near Charlottesville? In any case, I am waving and will continue to wave until we roll into NC just in case :)

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  59. Do you still? Here I've been calling you Jarm all this time - I hope I haven't had it hopelessly wrong!!

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  60. Definitely hang on to that dedication!! And the pajamas - one of the perks of working from home :)

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  61. Robyn is a beautiful name! But I had to laugh at what Tiffany said - I realize it's very late and I've been staring though a windshield most of the day, but I say OBGYN too :) Maybe Rafflecoptor will pick you because you both star with R :)

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  62. Very funny :) I think there's a story in there :)

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  63. Such a great answer! And you certainly wouldn't want to lose that K!

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  64. So glad you liked it, Erik! And hang onto that E always :)

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  65. So glad you're pleased! I left it all packaged up and ready to go to the post office. Now it remains to be seen whether any of the home crew will actually get it there. If not, first thing Saturday morning I promise! :)

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  66. You will LOVE it, Curmudgeonly (I don't believe that!) Caffeinated Cathy! :)

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  67. You could never be icky :) And I'd sure love to know that secret too!

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  68. Ooh - that would be awful not to read! Don't lose that! :)

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  69. hmmm the 's' in Saba stands for shy and if I lost my shyness good lord I don't know what kind of trouble I would find myself in :D

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  70. mmm... I like to think "D" stands for Daring, Dangerous, Devil... but it don't...lol. I think more of Dreamer or Dreamy....lol. Great interview with Tiffiny!

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  71. You can be dreamy AND daring :) Glad you enjoyed the interview!

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  72. Glad you liked it, Darshana! Tiffany is tons of fun, isn't she? :)

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  73. Thanks for an intriguing interview--look forward to reading Monster Who Lost His Mean. And what a week--two offers!

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  74. I'm always fascinated by how many children's writers make writing their life's work late in the game. Tiffany, I'm right there with you (staring at MBA diploma). Meanwhile I was just at my parents' house where we dug out some early poetry and a family newsletter I wrote 20+ years ago with headlines like, "Mother, children go to dentist."

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  75. Super interview ladies, I look forward to all these wonderful books coming out. Congrats Tiffany!

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  76. Thanks, Ellen! Yeah...that'a a week I would love to repeat!

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  77. Thanks, Catherine. Glad you enjoyed it :)

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  78. Hi Kirsten! So lovely to hear from you! :) Glad you enjoyed Tiffany's interview - she's tons of fun, isn't she? Hope your summer is going swimmingly :)

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  79. Glad you enjoyed it! And I've got another fun special giveaway coming this week - a brand new book hot off the presses from Lee and Low!!! Stay tuned :)

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