We are honored to have been able to interview Ame and Liz, the author and illustrator of You Don’t Want a Unicorn!
This book will have you in tears from laughing so much. It’s a really great book that will please not only children, but the adults who read it as well.
Thank you so much Ame and Liz, for taking the time for the interview. I know this book will be successful 🙂
- Who inspired you to start writing books?
I’ve wanted to be a children’s author ever since I was little. But well-meaning grown-ups in my life tried to steer me towards employment where I wasn’t likely to y’know… STARVE. I still dreamed of writing for kids, though, especially once I had one of my own to read to. When that kid started Kindergarten, she plunked me down in her little chair and gave me her own carefully considered should-I-try-to-be-an-author career advice:
“Go for it, Mommy!”
So, I did.
- What was your inspiration to write You Don’t Want a Unicorn?
YOU DON’T WANT A UNICORN started as a practical joke! My agent (the AMAZING Scott Treimel) had a submissions rule posted on his website: “NO UNICORN STORIES!”
Of course I sat down to write one. (Did I mention I’m a bit of a wise guy?)
The plan was to submit my joke unicorn story to Scott on April Fools’ Day. But the more I worked on this unicorn story, the more I realized, “Hang on… I actually REALLY LIKE this!”
Lucky for me, Scott did, too!
- What was your favorite subject in school?
I LOVED creative writing. I had the best time when my stories made the other kids laugh. Still do!
The only subject I was really bad at was chemistry, so I married a chemist. We make a great Trivial Pursuit team. (Fear us! We are MIGHTY!)
- Do you use a computer or paper to write out your stories?
I use a computer to write and revise. (And revise. And revise. And…) But I jot idea notes down the moment I get them—on anything. (And I mean ANYTHING. Even my cat knows she’s not safe when I get an idea and have a Sharpie.) You have to make sure a good idea doesn’t get away.
When I’m out and about, I type notes and bits of my characters’ dialogue (they shout in my head sometimes) into the Notes application on my phone. At last count, I had 976 Notes!
- Did you want a unicorn when you were a kid?
I SO wanted a unicorn! I had a framed poster of a unicorn in my room. I plastered Lisa Frank unicorn stickers on EVERYTHING. And I made horns for my Barbie Dream Horses out of aluminum foil and cheese wax. (I know. FANCY!)
- What would you feed a unicorn?
Unicorns eat shag carpeting and the marshmallow bits in sugary breakfast cereals. (They’re always after me Lucky Charms!)
- Do you like bunnies and unicorns?
I LOVE bunnies and unicorns! (And now I’m thinking of bunnicorns! Ankle-high adorable CHAOS!)
- How old is the boy in You Don’t Want a Unicorn? Does he have a girlfriend?
He never told me! (I suspect he’s pretty busy with his newest pet!)
- Are you friends with Liz, who illustrated You Don’t Want a Unicorn?
I like Liz very much! She’s smart and funny and nice and very, VERY talented! If we didn’t live so far apart (she’s on one side of the U.S., I’m on the other), it would be fun to hang out over coffee. (And cupcakes!)
- How many books have you written?
I’m guessing somewhere around 20-25 manuscripts. Some were just for practice. (My first manuscript was so bad, I buried it in my backyard! The worms still laugh at it. Worms can be surprisingly critical.) I’ve sold 12 books so far. YOU DON’T WANT A UNICORN! is the 5th one to come out after BOY + BOT, TEA PARTY RULES, WOLFIE THE BUNNY, and HORRIBLE BEAR! 2 more manuscripts are being decided on right now. And I have a huge pile of ideas and half-finished stories I should finish up someday.
I’d like to make enough books to have my own bookshelf in a library. That would be pretty cool!
- Do you have any projects that you are working on?
YES! Besides UNICORN events, this month I’m wrapping up all the little blurb-y things for my next book, READ THE BOOK, LEMMINGS!, which comes out in November. It’s my third Little, Brown book illustrated by WOLFIE THE BUNNY and HORRIBLE BEAR’s Zachariah OHora. I actually wrote it specifically FOR Zach to illustrate, and it came out even MORE FANTASTIC (and HILARIOUS!) than I imagined! Can’t wait to share this one with everybody, too! (“GERONIMO-O-O-O-O-O-O!”)
- What inspired you to start illustrating books?
I’ve always loved to draw, but I come from a long line of children’s book authors and illustrators, which was definitely a big inspiration! My grandmother wrote children’s books, and her sister was an illustrator. My great grandma, their mother, also wrote children’s books. I feel so fortunate that I’m able to follow in their footsteps!
- What was your favorite subject in school?
I always loved art, english & biology. I was (am) pretty terrible at math, I think that part of my brain might be dormant!
- What was your favorite part in the book You Don’t Want a Unicorn?
I really like the part where the boy says goodbye to the unicorn. Although it’s a bit sad, I also think it’s very touching. I feel like instead of a “It was nice knowing you” it’s more like “Until next time, friend!”
- How many books have you worked on?
I have two comic compilations, The Little World of Liz Climo and Lobster is The Best Medicine, as well as a series of children’s books called Rory the Dinosaur (two so far, and another that will pub at the end of the year!) It’s been a busy, exciting couple of years!
- Do you have any up coming projects that you are working on?
I just finished working on another children’s book by author Jory John. I look forward to collaborating with other authors on their books, as well as writing some more of my own. It’s very inspiring working with such talented people.
- Do you think you and Ame will collaborate in the future?
I hope so!!!!! She’s the best!!!
All the best to you Ame and Liz, on all the projects you work on!!! XX Can’t wait to read the next book 🙂
I hope you enjoyed reading our interview as much as we did. If you would like to read our review about You Don’t Want A Unicorn visit 2 Flirty Girls and a Juicer. The book is now available to order, if you would like to purchase a copy head over to Hachette Book Group: they even have a trailer, so cute. If you have young children, or know of any that want or just needs a unicorn….. you can thank these lovely ladies for pointing out the possible reasons why they really don’t want one.