Thursday, May 27, 2010

Interview with Lisa Schroeder and IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES giveaway!

I've had the pleasure of reading IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES and I have to say, it was a breath of fresh air. First of all, the book is set around a cupcake shop and if you don't love cupcakes, there's something wrong with you. Seriously. Second, Lisa Schroeder does a fabulous job painting a picture of the ups and downs that often accompany a dream (hello writers!)--in this case, a mother's dream of opening up her own cupcake shop. The main character Isabel is taken along for the ride when all she really wishes she could do is travel to exotic places outside of her small Oregon town.

I think this book will really appeal to readers who like to bake because an exciting cupcake flavor is assigned to each chapter offering a hint at what's to come. Also, actual recipes are included in the back of the book!

Lisa was generous enough to answer some of our random interview questions AND one lucky reader will win their very own copy of IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES. But word to the wise: This book is going to make you want to either preheat your oven or head to your nearest bakery. You've been warned.

Tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.

12-year-old Isabel dreams of traveling the world, but is stuck in Willow, OR helping her mom get a cupcake shop off the ground.

Where did you get the idea for IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES? (As the official idea whores we have a vested interest here.)

I was driving home from work one day, ready to get started on a new project. It was in the winter of 2009, and I don't know if you remember what was happening then, but it was an ugly, scary time. Banks were collapsing, people were getting laid off right and left - it was all so unsettling, to a lot of people. I thought to myself - I really want to write about something happy! So I was tossing words around in my head, trying to think of something happy-making. And that's when cupcakes came to mind. That's how it started. I thought, how fun it would be to set a story in or around a cupcake shop.

It was one of those stories that came about very organically - each character just appeared as I wrote, and I had SO much fun writing it. It's really what I needed at the time. Even though there's some conflict, I created a town I'd love to live in and characters who I'd love to have as my neighbors. And you know, every chapter begins with a cupcake flavor and a description of the cupcake, which also gives a tiny hint about what's to come in that chapter. Do you know how much fun it was researching cupcake flavors?? SO. MUCH. FUN!!

Someone has a pair of scissors to your head (oooh, SCARY!) and you have to choose: Awesome title or gorgeous book cover?

ACK! Please, don't!

I have to go with gorgeous book cover. I think a fabulous cover can do amazing things for a book.

When did you know you had to be a writer?

When I found out I was going to have my first picture book published five or so years ago now, I told my grandma about it, who I was very close to growing up. She walked over to this special, built in cupboard in her house where she kept everything important, and reached in and pulled out a plastic envelope-type thing with something inside. She said, "I kept this all these years, because I always had a feeling you'd be an author someday." It was a little book I had written and illustrated when I was eight or nine years old.

So you know, I've always loved to write. And yet, in high school and college, it's easy to lose sight of what you've enjoyed your whole life because you have so many people telling you what you should and shouldn't do. I majored in Business, had a career in Human Resources, then I had kids, and did various at-home businesses trying to balance work and motherhood. I was reading a book one day that talked about dreams and figuring out what your dream in life is, and when I got quiet, I heard this small voice say - write for kids, write for kids. And then, as the universe often does, things started happening that made me think I really needed to listen to that voice. I met a neighbor who was writing for kids and had all kinds of helpful things to tell me. And so, I just started. I started writing and I started learning everything I could about the publishing business. That was probably ten years ago now. And I haven't looked back since!

Twizzlers or M&Ms?

Mmmmm... candy. Thank you. I'll take the M&Ms please.

For a chance to win this tasty book, make sure you're a follower and leave a comment with your favorite cupcake flavor (real or imaginary). The contest will be open until 11:59 PM on Sunday, May 30th. Good luck everyone!

65 comments:

Cheree said...

Great interview. It sounds like a fun book, must add it to my to-read list.

Cheree said...

Um, I forgot to leave my favourite cupcake... I love choc/raspberry flavour... mmm, yum... or pretty much anything chocolate :D

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Wonderful interview, ladies! I love that Lisa wanted to write something happy in the midst of all the bad happening in '09. Very inspiring!

My favorite cupcake flavor? Hmmm...I love chocolate chocolate chip with white buttercream frosting!

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

Mmm. yummy! As a huge fanof desserts I would love to read this book! :-)

Sadly in Europe we don't have those kinds of cupcakes you do in the US, but I'm always in awe before the beautiful colours and shapes of them. So as I haven't eaten a true cupcake yet (sad I know :-() I will ahve to go with one flavour I imagine would taste great: coffee cupcake with chocolate chipsn in it with frothy light cappuccino/chestnut icing! miam! :-)

Matthew Rush said...

Great interview LiLa, thanks for sharing it (and for giving it Lisa).

What a different kind of premise for a story, sounds delectable!

Jemi Fraser said...

This book sounds.. well, delicious :) My fave cupcake is the traditional chocolate with chocolate frosting!

I love the story about grandma keeping that story - so completely awesome! :)

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

Yummy!

Great interview. Now, if only I could have eaten a warm yellow cupcake with creamcheese icing (my favorite!) while I read it...

Renae said...

Great interview! A book about cupcakes, ingenious!

Lola Sharp said...

Adorable cover, wonderful interview, and cupcakes! What a treat to wake up to this morning. :)

My favorite flavor is: Salted chocolate!

Sounds weird, but think about chocolate covered pretzels. Salty and sweet = YUM.

bookaholic said...

I loved the interview. This book sounds so tempting!
I love chocolate cupcake with choco chips and chocolate icing..Yummm!!
Basically,CHOCOLATE RULES!!
I'd love to read the book...such a cute cover :)

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

I agree great cover wins over great title! And this cover is so cute!!

DarcyO said...

Sweet interview! My favorite is chocolate!

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

Loretta Nyhan said...

Great interview! The story about Lisa's grandmother had me choking up!

My favorite cupcake is red velvet. Yummm...

Adventures in Children's Publishing said...

Thanks for the terrific interview and book recommendation! If you ever make it to NYC, Magnolia Bakery is a must for cupcake lovers. S'mores... mmm... http://www.magnoliabakery.com/magnoliabakery_menu.pdf

Marissa

Elie said...

That was so sweet what her grandmother did. Awwww.

I love angel food in cupcake form-with creamy pink frosting and sprinkles. yum.

jdcoughlin said...

That is such a great interview. I so want to read the book. And, I so want to eat a cupcake. I want a wedding-cake white one with dark chocolate frosting. Or one of those from Starbucks. Or any one I can get.

Hardygirl said...

The cover alone is making me want to preheat my oven!!

Lisa is so talented, and I can't wait to read her latest.

Hmmmm . . . I think I'll go with chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing.

sf

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Oh this sounds cool! I LOVE the cover and who can resist desert!

My fav has got to be strawberry and chocolate! Okay, where is the snacks I'm hungry now lol.

Elana Johnson said...

Okay, I may be shunned from the blogosphere forever, but I'm not a cupcake lover. I actually threw away about 2 dozen of them last weekend...

*ducks*

But this book sounds AMAZING!! And my kids love to bake with me, so the recipes at the end sound delish.

Great interview, ladies!

salarsenッ said...

The book does sound refreshing. Thanks for painting such a vivid picture.

And cupcakes rock!! Unless you're the mom baking them in 90 degree weather for the entire neighborhood.

Great job, ladies.

Amy Jo Lavin said...

Looks like a fun book! Great interview! My favorite cupcake flavor is chocolate because, well, chocolate is at the bottom of my food pyramid (you know, the one that requires the most servings!). :)

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Great cover, and great interview.

Hmmm cupcakes. I like chocolate with with a lemon buttercream filling and more chocolate on the top.

Llehn said...

I'm conventional so I'll go with chocolate. You can never go wrong with chocolate :D

lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

jpetroroy said...

Can't go wrong with chocolate! Great interview!
jpetroroy at gmail dot com

Falen said...

i'm a simple girl who likes her cupcakes chocolatey.
MMM!

Erica Chapman said...

Mmm, me hungry for cupcakes!

Great interview on both ends ;o) Another to add to the list!

Creepy Query Girl said...

Congrats to Lisa and great interview girls! That book looks good enough to eat! My favorite? Anything with pink frosting. Pink frosting makes everything better.

Tahereh said...

fab interview!! and i adore this book -- the cover is gorgeous!!

hmmm favorite cupcake?? i actually love vanilla anything (for the cake), but the FROSTING has to be thick and delicious. and covered in sprinkles.

MMMMMMMMMMM

I WANT A CUPCAKE OMGGG

JEM said...

Cupcakes are my kryptonite. True story.

My absolute favorite cupcake in the world is called Peanut Butter (cup)Cake, and it's made by a local bakery here in Austin, Sugar Mama's Bakeshop. I consider myself a connoisseur of baked goods, and these are hands down the BEST. CUPPY. CAKES. EVER. In fact, I thought they were so good I made them my wedding "cake."

I could crawl inside this cupcake and live forever. Or die young of diabetes. Whatevs.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Does cheesecake count as a cupcake flavor? Because I love those mini cheesecakes in cupcake paper topped with blueberries or raspberries or strawberry sauce. Mmmmm.

Laura Marcella said...

This book looks delectable! *crosses fingers I win!!!* My nephew and I made zebra-striped cupcakes a couple weeks ago. They were chocolate and vanilla cupcakes (like marble) with vanilla and choco-striped icing. SO yummy!!! I think they're my favorite right now. :)

Readerly Person said...

My favorite flavor: Red Velvet with cream cheese frosting, hands down, every time. Yum!

- Rebecca
rebeccaswells(at)gmail(dot)com

Sara B. Larson said...

This looks so cute! My fave are cherry chip with rainbow chip frosting. :-)

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Yay--I LOVE Lisa, and I love this book! Don't count me in for the giveaway because I already own it, but thank you so much for sharing this interview. And thank you Lisa for the wonderful answers. This was so much fun to read. :)

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Yay--I LOVE Lisa, and I love this book! Don't count me in for the giveaway because I already own it, but thank you so much for sharing this interview. And thank you Lisa for the wonderful answers. This was so much fun to read. :)

C. Michael Fontes said...

oh, I don't know about flavor... but pink cupcakes are ALWAYS the best. :) My wife has turned me to the pink side of both cupcakes and doughnuts.

Lisa Gail Green said...

YUMMY my two favorite pastimes - reading and eating cupcakes. I guess my favorite is red velvet w/cream cheese frosting. Mmmm. But a close second? Vanilla w/vanilla frosting. I'm so boring. I know.

Kim said...

I think this is the first book giveaway I've entered on your site, but I love this interview. Her story speaks to me. The cupcakes speak to me. And the fact that it's a middle grades novel means my big ballerina can read it.

*pick me*

Kim said...

Oh, shoot. Do I have to name my favorite cupcake? Red Velvet. Hands down.

Katelyn (twaddleoranything) said...

Mmm...cupcakes. This book sounds adorable!

As for my favorite flavor -- RED VELVET (!), or anything from the Hummingbird Bakery in London (*nostalgic sigh*).

Marsha Sigman said...

What a great interview! I totally get where she is coming from, it can be easy to lose sight of your dreams when life gets in the way.

I was going to say fav cupcake is chocolate with chocolate icing but now since I read the comments I am craving Red Velvet!!!!! Thanks a lot!

throuthehaze said...

oh man...now i want cupcakes. I like vanilla cupcakes with white buttercream (the real stuff, not that nasty fake icing)
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I loved this book!! I gave a copy of it to my niece for her birthday, and she loved it, too! There is nothing NOT to love about it. Buy it and read it!!! :-)

Talli Roland said...

AH CUPCAKES! How I love them! This sounds like my dream book! Thanks so much for the interview.

Myrna Foster said...

Thanks for the great interview! I like black bottom cupcakes (chocolate with cheesecake inside) best, but I have a recently acquired Nutella recipe that I'm dying to try.

Sam said...

Evil scissors!! I think she chose correctly, though. :P

uprobdontknowme said...

Loved the interview!
My favorite flavor would have to be chocolate. *yum*

Melissa said...

OMG! A book with cupcakes! I have to read this:)

I'm not hard to please-I love chocolate!

LAMusing said...

I'm hungry after reading the interview LOL
I follow, and my favorite cupcake flavor is spice with a cream cheese frosting. YUM

adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

donnas said...

Sounds great. I love cupcakes, and cake even.

My favorite would have to be a chocolate cupcake with a light mint flavored frosting.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Alex (Tales of a Teenage Book Lover) said...

I love cupcakes. But I hate frosting. Great interview!

Riv Re said...

Red Velvet is so sweet and creamy...

Marissa said...

Mmmm...cupcakes.

We have a cupcake shop nearby, and, despite the fact that a good three inches of the top is frosting, I go there with my three year old. He eats the frosting, I eat the cupcake.

Red velvet with cream cheese frosting. Yum.

Great interview!

Kelly H-Y said...

She's right ... that gorgeous, vivid, colorful cover makes me want to run to the store and get it RIGHT NOW!!!!

T. Anne said...

I LOVE Lisa!!!! The cover is so cute I'll take a dozen please. ;) Pick me I really, really, really, want to WIN!!!!

Hayley said...

Great interview I"m adding it to my to-be-read list. Oh and I posted pictures!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

It sounds like a wonderful book. The illustrations on the cover are gorgeous!

Mary Aalgaard said...

Sounds like a delicious read, although, dangerously fattening. I like black bottom cupcakes. Well, I haven't met a cupcake I didn't like. I love it when they make them into interesting things, like clowns, or dolls, or baseballs.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I am now STARVING. Mmmm, cupcakes. A book with cupcakes sounds like just my kind of book.

I am, however, a little disappointed by the M&Ms. Unless, of course, they are the peanut butter ones. Those I can eat in place of second breakfast every day.

Loved the story about grandma and the picture book! I have a picture book I wrote in 6th grade that my Mom has kept for years and years. I won an award for it, even though the hand-drawn elephants in it were hideous. Sometimes I wonder if my mom bribed the judges with her meatloaf. I could see her doing that.

Christina Farley said...

Great interview! And I agree, a good cover can really help your book.

My favorite cupcake flavor would be Twizzler cupcakes!!!!! Wouldn't that be divine?

Sena said...

I would love to taste a pralines and cream cupcake!
Mmm!

Lydia said...

Hmm. My favourite cupcake flavour should be every flavour. They all make my tastebuds happy. Rainbow! XD

azngal_123(at)hotmail(dot)com

Lori W. said...

Great interview. There's a shop in town that just came out with a raspberry lemonade flavored cupcake. Mmmm!

Anonymous said...

Loved the story about grandma saving the book!

Haven't read the book yet, would love to win a copy!
Favorite cupcake flavor? Carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Oh! Just gained a pound thinking about eating one!
Gail
(my google acct won't open for some reason so I have to be anonymous today)
http://writefromthesoulvisualeyes.blogspot.com

Spav said...

I love any kind of cupcake as long as it has chocolate in it.

spav05(at)gmail(dot)com