Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Interview with Happy Book Birthday Shanda McCloskey

Congratulations to Shanda McCloskey, winner of our special September promotion for Happy Book Birthday. Her picture book T-Bone the Drone will be released on September 10, 2019. Ten copies of T-Bone the Drone will be sent to Reader to Reader. Below is a short interview with Shanda McCloskey.
1)     What inspires you to write STEM-related picture books?
I find robot characters in stories and movies really interesting (and my daughters do too), so it just felt natural to explore characters like T-Bone the Drone and Doll-E 1.0 when I set out to write. It’s been a super-fun-lucky bonus that the STEM/STEAM movement is so wide awake!
2)     What was the creation process like for T-Bone the Drone and did it differ from your previous books?
The creation process of T-Bone the Drone was VERY different from that of my debut, Doll-E 1.0, because the timelines were very different. I worked years on my first book, but T-Bone the Drone was a new idea that needed to be turned around quickly in only months in order for it to publish about one year out from my first book. I definitely learned a lot about my personal limits and my creating process in those short months!
3)     What are the advantages and challenges of being the author/illustrator, rather than just the illustrator, of your book?
The advantages are that I can visualize the whole story (written and unwritten) fully and seamlessly in my head. There really is something lovely about that and what can be made from that viewpoint. BUT, on the other hand, I am the sole creator as the author-illustrator, so… did I think of everything?… did I make it the best it could be?… aren’t two heads are better than one? Definitely, sometimes!… Do I even know what I’m doing?!
4)     Is there anything else you’d like SCBWI members to know about you, your work, and/or T-Bone the Drone? 
All I know is that I LOVE doing this work and being a part of the kids book world and modern kids culture in general! I believe in the power of stories, and with each book I have a hand in making, I can feel myself growing and learning. And because I still have a TON to learn, I hope that means I get to do this for a long, long time!