I'm thrilled to have Leslie Helakoski here for Michigander Monday! Long-time followers of Jumping The Candlestick may recall Leslie from her 2008 interview. In the years since, Leslie has been busy writing and illustrating more fabulous books. Her latest book will be out next month. Let's catch up with Leslie and find out what's new!
Debbie: Leslie, please tell us a little about yourself.
Leslie: I like to write and sometimes illustrate funny picture books. I'm one of Michigan's Regional Advisors for SCBWI and live near Kalamazoo.
Debbie: And, of course, we want to know all about your new book.
Leslie: My newest book comes out March 1 and is called Doggone Feet! It's told from a dog's point of view from under the table as the number of feet at the table grows and grows and grows. This is the second book that I've both written and illustrated. Here is a link to a book trailer I created for it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6Y888XmPh0
Debbie: Other books or projects on the horizon?
Leslie: I'm also working on illustrating my next book, Big Pigs, which is due out in 2014. That book is about sibling rivalry as young pigs compete to see who is the piggiest.
Debbie: Upcoming appearances?
Leslie: Michigan Reading Association, Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 9-10
Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, Michigan, March 12, 6:30 pm
Barnes and Nobles, Lafayette, Louisiana, March 30, 11am
SCBWI Eastern PA Pocono Retreat--teaching picture book track
Debbie: Do you have a favorite Michigan library?
Leslie: Paw Paw District Library, Paw Paw, Michigan. They just moved into a new building last summer and it is warm, friendly, cozy and beautiful. I often work there when I feel like getting out of the house to write.
Debbie: How about a favorite Michigan bookstore?
Leslie: Bookbug, Kalamazoo. 3019 Oakland Drive, Kalamazoo, Michigan. Fun, funky insides with all you can dream about as a book lover.
Runner up: Schuler's in Grand Rapids on 28th Street. This is where my illustrator book group meets with two of my favorite Michigan people/illustrators, Lori Eslick and Ruth Barshaw. They make it a real treat to be there every time and help me believe I can do this illustration thing.
Debbie: How about a favorite place in Michigan?
Leslie: Sleeping Bear Dunes. I can't get enough of that area of sand and water.
Debbie: Finally, for our ongoing tally: "Michigander" or "Michiganian"?
Leslie: I am still a Michigander!
Debbie: Leslie, thank you for being here today for Michigander Monday!