Author Chat with Chiara Colombi (ROCKET SHIP, SOLO TRIP), Plus Giveaway! ~ US ONLY!

Today we are very excited to share an interview with author Chiara Colombi!

Read on to learn more about the author, the book, and a giveaway!




Meet the Author: Chiara Colombi

Chiara Colombi never knew she wanted to be a writer. She was quite confident she would grow up to be an astronaut. In fact, she is still quite confident that she will grow up to be an astronaut. But in the meantime, she enjoys counting her lucky stars and finding words for the countless stories they inspire. She currently lives in California with her family and an open view of the sky. Connect with her online at

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About the Book: Rocket Ship, Solo Trip

Rocket is embarking on her first solo mission. Her goal? Place a satellite into orbit to take pictures of the beautiful unknown. With a few words of encouragement from Ground Control, Rocket sparks ignition and blasts off to discover all the beauty of outer space. But when it’s time for reentry, she wonders if she can do it alone. With Ground Control’s parting words in mind, Rocket trusts that she knows exactly what to do. She returns home at hypersonic speed and excited for her future expeditions…maybe next time, to the moon.

With delightful rhyming stanzas, and pictures by New York Times bestselling illustrator Scott Magoon, Rocket Ship, Solo Trip explores all the complicated emotions of big firsts and reminds readers that no matter how far they go, the ones they love are always close by.

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~Author Chat~


YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

The equation was something like this: my son + my love for outer space = me wanting to foster my son’s love for outer space. The Christmas he was two years old, he was too young to express a particular wish for a toy under the tree. I decided I wanted to find him a rocket ship toy and a picture book about a rocket ship. We’d been reading (and loving) Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, and I adored all the anthropomorphized vehicles. I want this but with a rocket ship, I thought to myself. But when I went searching, I couldn’t quite find the story that I was looking for. There are so many wonderful space-themed picture books out there, but I also felt like the shelves had space still for a book centering a childlike, anthropomorphized rocket ship whose story was symbolic of a familiar childlike experience (similar to how Construction Site pairs anthropomorphized vehicles with bedtime routines). Just a few days after that Christmas, I began to draft Rocket Ship, Solo Trip.

YABC: How do you keep your ‘voice’ true to the age category you are writing within?
When I think of the variety of (not-yet-published) stories that I’ve written all aimed at 4-8 year olds, my voice can shift dramatically depending on the story, and the rules that I play by can also differ. In a lyrical text, I might afford myself more figurative language and complex sentence structures. In non-fiction, I might not shy away from bigger words, since the text could be used in classrooms where learning new concepts is an expected part of the reading experience. For Rocket Ship, I gave myself two key rules to guide the voice: 1. make it a rhyming text, and 2. include as many aerospace terms as I could without overwhelming the story. The decision to make it rhyming was guided in part by the books that I was reading with my son at the time. When he was two, we gravitated toward rhyming books; they often lend stories a playfulness that can make even longer picture books accessible and enjoyable by a kiddo as little as two, and they make for great read-alouds. What’s more, Rocket’s first sentence popped into my head in a rhyme, so my brain really gave me no choice in the matter. I also loved the idea of weaving in space terms to add texture to the language, to guide the plot points, to pique young space lovers’ curiosity, and to give me a bit of a challenge on top of the rhyme. Space words can be syllable heavy; it was fun to figure out how to weave them into the meter!


YABC: What can readers expect to find in your books?
1. Nature and science, often, whether it’s space-bound or Earth-bound. There is almost always an undercurrent of both environmentalism and starlit wonder in my books. 2. Encouragement to explore—I’m a very enthusiastic and curious person, and I love encouraging enthusiasm and curiosity in others. 3. Honest emotions: my characters feel the feels, and you’ll see their highs and their lows on the page. And going hand in hand with that, 4. I hope readers find empathy. More than anything, I want readers to feel seen, heard, and appreciated when they read my stories, regardless of which character or emotion or experience they relate to the most.

YABC:  What is your favorite snack when writing?
So I’m one of those writers who would prefer to work in an empty room with no windows. I’m so easily distracted that I find even a cup of tea too much of a disruption to have at hand when I’m writing. But since I don’t have an empty, windowless room in my house because that would be unusual, even for me, I’ve developed a habit of staring at my family room rug during the moments that I pause to brainstorm while writing. And as a result ofthat, whenever I vacuum, my brain is triggered to brainstorm about my books. Pretty sure that’s about the best original #writinghack I have to offer.

YABC: If you were able to meet them, would you be friends with your main character?
Oh, that’d be too cool. I’d give Rocket a big hug and tell her how proud I am of her and how she inspires me every day. Then I’d probably find my way over to Ground Control, to say how impressed I am with their parenting skills, and we’d make small parents-at-the-park talk as we watched Rocket and my sons play hopscotch on the launchpad.

YABC:  What fandom would you write for if you had time?
Star Wars. Star Wars Star Wars Star Wars. And Star Wars, just to be clear. The very first fiction I ever wrote was Star Wars fanfic back in high school. Contributing a story to that universe—whether in picture book or novel format—is very high up on my author bucket list.

YABC: What’s up next for you?
A Star War—um, I mean—another space-themed picture book that may or may not (read: definitely not) be a Star War. I’m in the early drafting stages of that picture book, so I don’t have too much to share about it just yet… But! I’m very happy to share that there will be a Rocket Ship book 2! It hasn’t yet been announced but it’s slated for publication in 2025, and I cannot wait for readers to see where Rocket is headed next. Scott Magoon’s art is, as always, incredible.

And now I’ll throw a curveball at you… Also up next is revisions on a YA fantasy that I recently wrapped up the first draft of. I write at the two opposite ends of the kidlit spectrum: board and picture books, and YA novels. Like Rocket Ship, my YA also has an undercurrent of environmentalism and a whole bunch of starlit wonder…but that’s pretty much where their similarities end. Oh, actually, there’s one more: writing both Rocket Ship and my YA fills my soul with boundless joy.

YABC:  What is your favorite holiday or tradition and why?
Halloween + cosplaying, which probably comes as no surprise! Like I mentioned, the first fiction I ever wrote was Star Wars fanfic…and the first costume I ever made was a Padme Amidala outfit adapted to the main character in my fanfic. I’ve been making my own Halloween costumes ever since, and it’s only gotten more fun now that I have two little kids calling the shots. In recent years, I’ve been Amy the Hedgehog, with my kids as Sonic and Tails; Misty, to accompany my kids as Ash Ketchum and Pikachu; and once again Padme (in her Tatooine peasant outfit), alongside my kids as Darth Maul and R2D2. We have a lot of fun with it. 🙂

YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
Thank you so much for this opportunity to share some behind-the-scenes stories about Rocket Ship and writing! I hope your readers love Rocket’s first mission, and I hope to have the chance to connect with all again in the future…maybe one day for a YA release!





Author: Chiara Colombi

Illustrator: Scott Magoon

Release Date: 02/27/2024

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Genre: Picture Book

Age Range: 4-8




*Giveaway Details*

Two (2) winners will receive a copy of Rocket Ship, Solo Trip (Chiara Colombi) ~ US Only!


*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway!*


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6 thoughts on “Author Chat with Chiara Colombi (ROCKET SHIP, SOLO TRIP), Plus Giveaway! ~ US ONLY!”

  1. Acongdon85 says:

    The cover is adorable and it sounds like a sweet story

  2. astromgren says:

    Looks adorable!

  3. Looks like such a fun book!

  4. So excited for this one!

  5. The cover is adorable and this book has a great message for readers.

Comments are closed.