Regional Advisor Leeza Hernandez managed to grab five minutes with five questions to New Jersey member Ame Dyckman ...
Where did the story for BOY + BOT come from?
BOY + BOT is a smoosh-up of some of my favorite things: friendship-despite-difference stories (especially the fabulous FROG AND TOAD books), robots, and good old-fashioned playtime. I wondered what would happen if a kid was playing roll-down-the-hill with a robot and the robot got switched off, only the kid didn’t understand what happened because their new robot friend was the first robot they ever met! How would they help? The story just grew from there.
The book has been received so well since publication. What do you think it is that kids love so much about the book?
Awww, thank you! I think a huge part of why BOY + BOT connects with little readers is because of Dan’s wonderful illustrations. (I know I smile every time I see them, and I love to watch kids see them for the first time and smile, too!) And it seems like I’m not the only one who wishes they had a robot buddy!
As your debut book, how does that make you feel?
That’s another smoosh-up! I’m ecstatic, relieved, and above all, grateful to everybody who helped shape and encourage (Yay, NJ SCBWI!) and spread the word about our book!
Any words of advice for writers in general or those with a debut book releasing?
For kidlit writers in general: get involved with your local SCBWI chapter, learn from your critiques (especially those tough ones!), read MOUNTAINS of books in your genre, and don’t give up! For about-to-debut authors: CONGRATULATIONS! Stock up on energy drinks and Pixy Stix now—the next year or so is going to be one crazy-fun ride!
What's next for you?
My next book, TEA PARTY RULES, releases this Fall. It’s a funny compromise-during-playtime story between a savvy little girl and the cookie-craving bear cub who crashes her backyard tea party, with amazing art by 2013 SCBWI Golden Kite-winning illustrator K.G. Campbell. It was a laugh-out-loud riot to make, and I hope everybody loves it as much as we do!
Learn more about Ame, visit www.amedyckman.com