Week of March 13—A Chat with Margie Palatini
Wednesday, March 16—Margie On Writing Routine, Favorite Books, and Professioanl Life
This is the third installment of a four-part conversation with author and illustrator, Margie Palatini.
Rob Sanders: What is your writing routine?
Margie Palatini: A routine? (I am way too disorganized for 'routine'.) I sort of wait for inspiration to come—(that's where the 'patient' part comes in (see yesterday’s post)), and then let it cook a while in my brain. When it's ready to 'come out'—it tells me. Believe me, it tells me. I've gotten up in many times in the middle of the night to sit down at the computer because the creative force 'insists'.
RS: Your professional life must be incredibly busy. You write, illustrate, make school visits, speak at conferences, and more. How do you prioritize your work and what do you enjoy most in your professional life?
MP: I love process, so I enjoy the 'figuring out' part of writing. Author visits and conferences are great fun, because I get to meet children and educators who enjoy my work—and how fulfilling is that?
As far as prioritizing . . . I find when I'm deep into a project, the creative process totally takes hold—and doesn't let go! It's typical for me to get up at around four and work until eight or nine in the evening. (There have been many days when I realize it's three in the afternoon and I'm still in my pj's and robe!) So, when a book is completed, relaxing and re-energizing is important. (Luckily, we're heading into golf season!)
RS: What are your favorite books you’ve written? (Or is that like choosing a favorite child?) And what are your favorite picture books that you didn’t write?
MP: That is hard. It most definitely is like choosing a favorite child! Actually, I'm not sure I have 'one' favorite, but I do very much like Three French Hens.
For those not familiar with the premise: On the Third Day of Christmas a mademoiselle from Paree sent her true love Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree . . . but . . . the hens never arrived. They end up as unclaimed mail in the NYC Post Office. But ever fearless, the undaunted French Trio look up the smudged addressee, Philippe Renard, in the phone book—and translate to Phil Fox. When the hens show up at poor, hungry Phil's Bronx apartment, he welcomes them to "Entree!" (I adore the illustrations by Richard Egielski and treasure his gift of one of the illustrated spreads.)
My all-time favorite book is still, The Little Engine that Could, and I always get a tear from The Polar Express.
COMING TOMORROW: Margie, the Illustrator and What’s Coming Next from Margie Palatini
It’s Your Turn!
1. Take a clue from Margie and make a short list of your favorite picture books.
2. If you’re like me, you’re starting a hunt for Three French Hens, too!