Today we are chatting with Tim Kleyn, author of Set Sail for Pancakes
Read on for more about him, the book, and a giveaway!
Meet Tim Kleyn:
Tim Kleyn grew up in West Michigan. He earned his BFA in Illustration from Kendall College of Art & Design and soon after graduation married his highschool sweetheart. He now enjoys a charmed life with his wife and their young daughter. Tim works as a graphic designer and in his free time he likes having a good laugh, a good meal, and a good sit. For more information about Tim, visit kleynillustration.com.
About the Book: Set Sail for Pancakes
Hungry for adventure . . . and breakfast? Set sail with a grandpa and his intrepid granddaughter as they look far and wide for the perfect pancake ingredients!
Margot and her grandpa have tummies grumbly for pancakes. Only there’s a problem . . . there’s no flour, milk, or eggs! But Grandpa has the perfect solution; they’ll get on his boat the Beluga Blue and go to Chicken Island, Cow Island, and Flour Mill Island to get the ingredients. Set sail for pancakes!
~Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
It was based on an illustration I did in 2014. I loved the characters and played around with story ideas. I thought about doing some sort of web comic with it, but it ultimately became a sort of beloved back-burner project until returning to it as a picture book in 2019.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the book?
The book. The earlier draft was called Beluga Blue, which is the name of their boat. Tracy Marchini (my wonderful agent) really liked the line “Set sail for pancakes!” so we decided to use that as the title instead. I’m thankful for her guidance on that because it’s a really fun title.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
There’s a really sweet moment below deck with Margot and Grandpa. The warmth of the environment was so fun to illustrate, and the dialogue was a blast to write. It is a big moment in the story, and it gives us a really nice look into both characters. I was bouncing ideas off my wife Stacy for how to make that scene better, and it was ultimately her idea that really elevated the whole thing into the perfect balance of sweet and silly. I don’t want to give it away, but the phone idea was Stacy’s. She always encouraged me to lean into the silliness, and I think that was 100% the right call.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
My editor had told me to embrace using dialogue as a tool to move along the story and show off the characters’ unique personalities. That was really helpful advice.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
Book 2 is underway! I’m so excited for this next book. It uses the same characters and adds some new ones, and I feel great about the story. Keep an eye out for that! I’ve got another book that I’m working on with my agent that means a lot to me, so we’ll see where that one goes too! I’ve been really enjoying myself as an author and illustrator of picture books, so I’m going to keep that going as much as I can. I’m here to make the most of it!
YABC: What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from this book?
I hope that the book is sort of like a stack of pancakes for readers: sweet, puts a smile on your face, and fills you up. I think there are a lot of messages in this story, but ultimately if I can make readers smile, mission accomplished.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
I’m passionate about a lot of causes, but ultimately I would say that it’s important to support your community, whether big or small, near or far, with real and tangible love and solidarity.
YABC: What advice do you have for new writers?
Trust yourself and write. You have something wonderful to offer.
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
I decided to really go for it, do my homework, and get my book out to agents in 2019. I felt discouraged after several polite rejections. I had the talent and drive but it took a lot of energy to believe in myself. So I tabled that book, and started on another one. When it was time to send it out to agents this time, I went big. I had spreadsheets and everything. I started getting some positive comments that were pretty encouraging. And then one day Tracy Marchini offered to represent me. A dream come true. One of the funny parts about that is she actually had us start with the book I had initially sent out to agents in 2019. That book is now getting published as Set Sail for Pancakes.
Moral of the story is that it really only takes that one person to believe in you to get things rolling, but don’t wait for that moment to start believing in yourself.
Thank you to everyone for rooting for me. Special thanks to Tracy, the other Tracy and Opal for all your work to make this book happen. Much love to my wife Stacy and daughter Lucie. You’ve inspired me more than I could ever describe.
Book’s Title: SET SAIL FOR PANCAKES!
Author: Tim Kleyn
Illustrator: Tim Kleyn
Release Date: August 30, 2022
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Three winners will receive a copy of SET SAIL FOR PANCAKES! (Tim Kleyn) ~US ONLY
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*