Julie Falatko writes books for children. She likes to write about talking animals. And talking furniture. Sneakers, flowers, muffins, all talking. It’s like there’s nothing in her world she won’t slap a mouth on just to hear it blab.
Julie’s picture book, Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book), illustrated by Tim Miller, was published by Viking Children’s on February 2, 2016. More books are coming after that, too!
Julie lives with her husband and their four children in Maine, where she maintains the Little Free Library in front of their house. They also have a little dog named Cosmo and a big dog named Marlo.
If you’re from a media-type institution and are looking for Julie’s media kit, you can find it here.
Q: Why do you write for children?
A: I just write what’s in my head. I guess maybe I don’t think like a grownup.
Q: I’m interested in writing for children. Do you have any advice?
A: Yes. Join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. If you want to write picture books, you might want to do Storystorm and 12×12. Both have been immensely helpful to my growth as a writer.
Q: Who’s your agent? What’s she like? Do I need an agent? Can I have yours?
A: My agent is Danielle Smith at Lupine Grove Creative. She’s one of the most organized, hard-working, kindest, supportive people I know.
It is possible to get published without an agent, but not by any of the “big” publishers, who all require you to send your work through an agent. You’ll also have to deal with long contracts on your own, if you don’t have an agent. I like to spend my extra time writing. Not looking at contracts.
You can read about how I got my agent on Julie Hedlund’s How I Got My Agent series.
If you want to query my agent (or any agent) you should look up their query guidelines online and follow them. Danielle’s guidelines are on the Lupine Grove Creative website.
Q: Do you write every day?
A: Mostly. For me, it keeps the words flowing to write as often as possible. It might work differently for you. Just keep at it.
Q: How do you get ideas?
A: I look for them everywhere. Ideas are sneaky. You have to keep your eyes open, look for them all the time, and be ready to write them down. I wrote about how to open your mind to ideas and how to find ideas for Picture Book Idea Month.
Q: I would like to ask you about something other than writing.
A: Uhhh, ok.
Q: Never mind. A lot of what you write is funny. How do you get so funny?
A: I start my morning with Dr. Oktalaf’s Marvelous Humor Tonic, and my days are filled with mirth and chortling. And the occasional stray guffaw. Would you like to try some?
Q: You want me to try some of the nonexistent potion you just made up?
A: Sure. And it totally exists. In my mind.
Q: Oh please.
A: Really! Close your eyes.
Q: I will not.
A: Ok, fine. Keep them open. Now, I want you to imagine…a chicken. Wearing pants. And a cow. In a wig. And an oyster with platform shoes.
Q: How can an oyster wear platform shoes? Oysters don’t have feet.
A: I didn’t say the oyster was wearing the platform shoes. I just said he had them.
Q: That makes no sense.
A: Exactly. I think humor often comes from a place of ridiculousness. Take something normal, make it weird, and then make it make even less sense, and it might be pretty funny. Dr. Oktalaf’s Marvelous Humor Tonic is just trying to see those bits of silly ridiculousness in the world. Once you start looking for them, they pop out everywhere.
Q: Pencil or pen?
Q: Computer or typewriter?
Q: Telegraph machine or carrier pigeon?
A: Carrier pigeon, wearing a tweed vest and a fedora, working the telegraph for an evil underground pigeon organization called the Syndicoo.
Q: What’s your favorite food?
Q: Do you like chocolate?
Q: Question or answer?
A: Questioning answers.
Q: Ok, I’m done. I think we’ve established that you’re a bit of a goofball. Thank you for your time.
A: I’m totally interviewing you for your website next week.