Annie’s Book Stop is happy to shine our Friday Spotlight on children’s book author Josh Funk! Besides being active and running some excellent workshops through the New England chapter of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Josh Funk writes silly stories and somehow tricks people into publishing them as picture books – such as the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series, Lost in the Library, How to Code a Sandcastle, Dear Dragon, and more.
Josh will be at our store celebrating the latest Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast release, Mission Defrostable on Saturday, October 6, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM. We will have some fun Pancake Party activities, like coloring sheets, word finds, and connect the dots, and Josh will read, talk about his work, and sign books!
Thank you so much for joining us Josh! For thos e not as familiar with you, can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself?
I’m just a dad who read a lot of books to his kids. When they were 3 and 6 years old, I decided to try writing some stories myself. And it was not as easy as I thought. It took years of writing really really REALLY terrible stories before I wrote something worth publishing. But with a little hard work and a LOT of luck, I have now published 9 picture books!
How would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast #3: Mission Defrostable?
I generally write silly and (hopefully) humorous picture books, often in rhyme – and Mission Defrostable is no exception. In this third adventure, our titular characters have to venture into the freezer to stop the fridge from icing over – and they need to recruit their oft-nemesis, Baron von Waffle.
While the first book in the series (Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast) was a race and the second (The Case of the Stinky Stench) was a mystery, Mission Defrostable attempts to fill the culinary picture book void with another new genre – action/adventure/thriller. Maybe for a fourth I’ll go for a sci-fi/comedy – who knows?
What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?
I’ve always wanted to explore more about Baron von Waffle. Is he completely evil? Is he simply misunderstood? Somewhere in between? You’ll have to check out Mission Defrostable to find out. I also quite enjoyed playing around with Agent Asparagus. She’s a new character who works at the F.B.I. (Fridge Bureau of Investigation).
Do you have any favorite foods or drinks that must be in the vicinity (or must be avoided) while you’re writing or editing a piece of work?
Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?
Keep writing new stories. Every story you write will be better than the last, with every preceding story serving as practice.
Don’t get hung up revising the same manuscript over and over and over again. Inevitably, and probably subconsciously, you’ll end up taking what you learned from that first manuscript and applying it to the next – which will start off in that much better of a starting place.
What else can we expect from you in the near future?
I’ve got a handful of sequels in the works. Another meta-fractured fairy tale in the It’s Not a Fairy Tale series (It’s Not Hansel and Gretel). A sequel to How to Code a Sandcastle next fall (How to Code a Rollercoaster). And possibly more…
Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
Bookstores everywhere! Yes! I also volunteer at The Writers’ Loft in Sherborn, MA and you can always get signed copies of my books at The Concord Bookshop.
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
Thank you so much for the great interview, Josh! We’re very much looking forward to our Pancake Party celebration with you on Saturday, October 6, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM!