Author Of The Week: Author Chat with Beth Rodgers (Welcome To Chanu-Con!), Plus Giveaway!
Welcome to our weekly special feature post, Author Of The Week!!
Each week we will be interviewing a different YA author and highlighting their upcoming release!
We will also be hosting a giveaway of the book we are highlighting!!
Meet Beth Rodgers, YABC's Author Of The Week!
Beth Rodgers is an author and editor. Her newest release is a children's picture book, 'Welcome to Chanu-Con!' She is also the author of two young adult novels, 'Freshman Fourteen' and its sequel 'Sweet Fifteen,' as well as the short story 'Hearts & Homes,' found in the 'Mistletoe & Magic' anthology from YA Books Central. Her world is made up of her three boys, her husband, and good family and friends. She loves spending her time watching TV and movies, volunteering at her kids' schools, taking walks, and, of course, reading great books. Learn more about her at BethRodgersAuthor.com.
Meet Welcome To Chanu-Con!
Join Max and his sister Lila as they navigate their synagogue's Chanukah extravaganza, "Chanu-Con!" Their day's highlights include making a human menorah, dipping Chanukah candles, tasting latkes and Chanukah treats, and dancing to festive music. A comic-book style graphic children's book written in verse and inclusive of the Chanukah story with its deeper meanings, "Welcome to Chanu-Con!" is the first collaboration between Beth Rodgers, author and Chanu-Con! founder, and veteran children's illustrator, Howard Frids
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I have always wanted to write a children's picture book. I used to love reading them as a child (and I still do!), and I've always thought the illustrations in folktales and other stories are so beautiful. I thought it would be so wonderful to write one of my own. I figured having a unique idea would be helpful in making this happen. So when my then three-year-old son (who is now six) said “Happy Chanu-Con” instead of “Happy Chanukah” and my husband said we should have Chanu-Con! at our synagogue, like Comic-Con, but all about Chanukah, I ran with it. The idea from the book stemmed from the success of the event. We just held the fourth annual one in late November.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The title came first. Without the Chanu-Con! event, there would not be a book all about it.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
My favorite part of the book is the stanza that reads:
“It's the shamash,” Max said,
“And it lights all the rest.
Without it, the other ones
Couldn't be blessed.”
The shamash is the “helper” candle. It is the one that lights the other candles each night of Chanukah. The illustration that goes along with this section of the book makes it all connect in such a beautiful way, and I truly love reading those lines.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
It takes a lot of work to write a book. Even a 32 page picture book doesn't fly by. There is so much time, energy, and dedication that has to be put into compiling a story to be told. It is a wonderful process, but if you are an impatient person, you need to prepare yourself. Just remember that the end product and the feeling you get when you publish it is worth all of that time, energy, and dedication you put into it along the way.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
My favorite part of the cover is the color that my wonderful illustrator, Howard Fridson, brought to it, along with the sweetness of Max opening the door for people to walk in and seeing all of the people who are inside spending their day at Chanu-Con!
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2019?
I read a lot of great books this year, so it is hard to narrow it down. Since I'm only supposed to choose one here, I'll pick Bea and the Bad Boy, a young adult sweet romance by Anna Catherine Field. It was an easy, breezy summer read that I really enjoyed. While it is the third in a series, I was definitely able to read it as a standalone novel. I'm actually reading another one in that series now.
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
Even if you aren't Jewish or don't know much (or anything) about Chanukah, Welcome to Chanu-Con! is a book that you will be able to connect with and understand. It briefly tells the story of Chanukah before delving into the event and how young Max wants to show his sister Lila around so she can be as excited about Chanu-Con! as he is. It includes crafts that kids can enjoy and a page with key words that can help explain what Chanukah might mean to a variety of people. If you've ever been curious about the holiday or know about it but want a book that strives to do more than express the regular Chanukah topics of menorahs, dreidels, and latkes, this is the book for you!
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
If I had to choose, I'd pick drafting. I definitely don't mind the process of revising, because it brings about a finished product, but drafting it and seeing how it all comes together as the words mesh with what my initial ideas were is quite powerful. In the case of my picture book, it is also exciting to see how the illustrations build around the text, and vice versa.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
I would absolutely love to say that flying is my superpower. That would be awesome! Since that's not possible, I'd say that a vast knowledge of TV and movie trivia is my superpower. I love the way that TV shows and movies make me feel. It's one thing to read a book (which is another thing I love to do!), but seeing how the writing on TV and movies brings relevance and meaning to my life and the lives of others is awesome, so I get quite a thrill knowing lots of fun trivia about entertainment.
Welcome To Chanu-Con!
Author: Beth Rodgers
Publishing Date: November 1st, 2019
Publisher: Clear Stone Press
One winner will receive a copy of Welcome To Chanu-Con! (Beth Rodgers) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
Link to order Freshman Fourteen: http://amzn.com/069231444X [amzn.com]
Link to order Sweet Fifteen: http://amzn.com/0998410802 [amzn.com]
Link to order Mistletoe & Magic: http://amzn.com/B07K23DV7G [amzn.com]