Rebecca J. Gomez is an author and poet who writes for children of all ages. She lives in Nebraska with her hubby, three kids, and a few pets.
For what age audience do you write?
My first book (and so far only–but that will change next May) is a picture book for kids roughly 4-8, but I truly love to write for kids of all ages. When I’m not working on a picture book, I’m usually working on a verse novel for middle graders or young adults.
Tell us about your latest book.
WHAT ABOUT MOOSE? is a labor of love that began in 2006, when Corey Rosen Schwartz and I had recently started writing together. It’s a rhyming story about a group of friends building a treehouse together. Here is the blurb from Simon and Schuster:
It takes a team to build a tree house—but what if that team includes one very bossy moose?
When Fox, Toad, Bear, Porcupine, and Skunk set out to build a tree house, they know just what to do: they’ll follow a plan and they’ll work as a team. But when bossy Moose barges in and upends their plans with some of his own, his friends become more and more frustrated…until things go hilariously awry!
This lively rhyming picture book is pure, bouncy fun even as it imparts a subtle lesson about teamwork. Young readers will love to chant along: “But what about you, Moose!”
Henry: How cool that you got to collaborate with Corey! Moose are well-known in the animal kingdom for their poor manners. No ninja porcupines?
What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?
Mostly just fun! It’s great to read aloud, it’s silly, and it has great illustrations with lots of fun little details. It wouldn’t hurt if readers learned a little bit from Moose on not being bossy either.
What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?
Probably the waiting. There’s a lot of waiting in this business, but the hardest time to wait is when I’ve just finished a draft of a new manuscript and I have to ignore it for a while. It helps to have something else to work on in the mean time!
Henry: I feel the same way. We picture book writers must work on several manuscripts at once to stay sane.
What is a powerful lesson you’ve learned from being a writer?
Being an author has made me really pay attention to how people respond to books. This has shown me that no matter how brilliant I may think my work is, no matter how many awards it may win or what place it reaches on the bestseller lists, there will always be someone who isn’t impressed. Readers are different. A bad review (even lots of them) doesn’t automatically negate the value of my work.
Henry: We writers are advised to never read reviews of our books. You know the saying about it being pointless to wrestle with a pig?
Read the rest of this interview at Henry’s blog on KidLit, fantasy, and science fiction.