This impressive nine-year-old girl named MaKayla Rose Hubbs loves books as much as I do.
She especially enjoys books by Beverly Cleary and Shel Silverstein. In fact, she says she was inspired to get her book published because of some respected authors’ quotes!
Her book, Why Bedtime Sucks! (the opposite of a bedtime story), is about all the reasons she thinks bedtime is dreadful. She wants to get it published, but the publishers she originally went to wanted to change the way her characters looked and even change the title of her book to I’m Not Tired! So, she joined Kickstarter and wants to raise money to publish her book where she will have more control over what changes happen in the book.
Check out what she says about why she loves books and scroll down to the end of the interview for a chance to donate to her goal.
Question: Who or what inspired you to become a published author?
Answer: Toni Morrison and Beverly Cleary’s quotes about writing, a first-grade teacher who told me she wanted a copy of my first book and my mother’s request for a bedtime story. I turned my story into a book and I really wanted it to be a real book.
Q: What is your favorite book and why?
A: That’s a really hard question. I don’t really have one favorite book. I read a lot of different types of books. Some of my favorite picture books are Nobody Laughs at a Lion, The Paper Bag Princess, Martina the Beautiful Cockroach, Tickle Monster, and Why Bedtime Sucks! I guess I can say my favorite book is the one I wrote. Some of my favorite chapter books are Next Best Junior Chef (because I love to bake and watch kid baking competitions on TV), Barkbelly, Harry Potter, Fish in a Tree, The Girl in the Well is Me, and the Liberty Porter First Daughter series. I also love Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic because almost every poem makes me laugh. Some of my favorites are Sister for Sale, Something’s Missing and Sick.
Q: Do you like ANYTHING about bedtime?
A: Yes. I love bedtime stories. Cuddling up and reading a story, making up a story or listening to a story are my favorite things about bedtime.
Q: What is the worst part about bedtime?
A: Bedtime is boring. I just lay there in bed waiting to fall asleep. That’s when I get my best ideas, but if I fall asleep I forget them in the morning.
Q: What advice would you give people who want to become kid authors?
A: The first thing you need is an idea. Once you have an idea, all you need are words. Write. Write. And write some more. Remember that writing starts off sloppy. Don’t worry about being perfect in your first draft, get all your ideas down. Then go back and clean up your work. Then share your story.
Q: Was writing your book challenging? If so, what made it hard and how did you overcome it?
A: Writing my book wasn’t challenging because I didn’t plan to write a book. I was just making up a bedtime story to tell my mom. It didn’t start off as a book. My teacher said she wanted a copy of my first book and that sparked the idea of turning one of my stories into a book. I had several stories to choose from, but Why Bedtime Sucks was my favorite. But even though writing the story wasn’t challenging, turning it into a book was. Deciding which words to illustrate to make the story into a book. Finding a professional illustrator to work with me and listen to my ideas for the illustrations was challenging. The hardest part was talking about myself with strangers. I love doing book reviews, but talking about my book felt like bragging. I was also very nervous whenever I had an interview.
Q: I saw on a video that you started writing very young. How old were you and what do you like about writing.
A: The first thing I wrote was a note to my Nana on the back of a postcard. It was only one three words sentence “Look Nana, eggs” and my name. I wrote it all by myself and I remember that. That was before I started preschool. I was three.
My first story was about a lonely crab named Sam who met a little fish and lived happily ever after. I was four when I wrote that story. My mom still has it. She laminated it so she could keep it forever. That when I started writing stories.
Q: It looks like your sister is a very big fan of yours. What is the best part of being a big sister?
A: I have someone to play with me, a friend. And she looks up to me. That’s cool too!
Q: I love Beverly Cleary, too! What is your favorite book she wrote?
A: I really love all of the Ramona Quimby and the Mouse and the Motorcycle books.
Q: How did you feel when the publishers wanted you to change your book?
A: I was disappointed and a little bit angry that they wanted to change my characters. I wanted to find someone different that would listen to what I wanted.
Below is a photo of Makayla’s book. Also, If you want to help her get her book published, you can find out more about her Kickstarter project here.
Elena, do you also think bedtime “sucks?” Especially for kids you and Makayla’s age, what do you think would make bedtime more bearable?
Appreciate your bblog post