Laura Perdew is a veteran nonfiction author, writing books for the education market on subjects ranging from toilets to pirates to politicians. This is her debut picture book. In addition to her work as an author, she is currently a writing consultant at the University of Colorado Boulder. Raised in Virginia, she now calls Colorado home.
The Children’s Book Review: Which five words best describe The Fort?
Laura Perdew: Celebrating imagination, compromise, adventure, forts!
Can you share a highlight from the book? Or maybe your thoughts on, or an excerpt of, your favorite sentence, paragraph, or page?
Hands down my favorite scene is when the prince holds his nose and says, “Who wants to live on a stinky ship anyway? I’d rather go to the moon!” I LOVE the look on his face (thank you to the illustrator, Adelina Lirius!). It also happens to be the turning point in the story.
What has been the best reaction from a reader, so far?
For me the best reaction has been the excitement over fort-building. While I would have rather launched this book in-person, this is a great time to embrace imagination and creativity and build a fort indoors (or in a yard)…forts can take you on all kinds of adventures!
What’s on your nightstand? Any books?
I’m ALWAYS reading. I read a lot of picture books as well as MG and YA novels. I just finished reading the novel Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee. On the picture book side I’ve been reading and re-reading Flower Talk: How Plants Use Color to Communicate by Sara Levine, Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs by Melissa Stewart, and other nonfiction to inform my own writing.
For your writing energy: sugar or salt, tea or coffee?
My beverage of choice depends on the time of day. I start with one cup of coffee early in the morning when no one is awake and I have the house to myself. Then it’s tea for the rest of the day.
And definitely sugar – I am partial to jellybeans and chocolate, but really any sweet will do!
Writing tools: computer, pen and paper, or all of the above?
Again, it depends. For novels, I’ll brainstorm in a notebook but write on the computer. For picture books I usually write the first draft with pen and paper, then move to the computer. Sometimes I’ll also print out picture book revision drafts and again work with a pen (or pencil) and paper.
Can you tell us one more thing we may not know about The Fort, your writing and illustrating style, or yourself?
The Fort was originally titled, The Princess and the Pirate – the girl was royalty and the boy was the pirate. Shortly after I made that character switch, The Fort was picked up by my editor, Courtney Burke, through #PitMad, a Twitter pitch event (yes, those pitch events really do work!).
Written by Laura Perdew
Illustrated by Adelina Lirius
Publisher’s Synopsis: Can a pirate and a prince learn to share?
In the fort in the woods, a prince is preparing his castle for a lively feast for the royal kingdom. Unbeknownst to him, a pirate uses the same fort as her ship, planning to venture out to the open seas in search of treasure. But when a treasure map appears on the prince’s party invitations, and the pirate finds that her sword has turned into a scepter, they realize there is an intruder in the castle―no, ship! Soon, a battle over the fort between the adversaries ensues, leading to a humorous showdown. When they make amends, their amazing imaginations come up with a new adventure…together.
Kids will revel in the spirited and imaginative battle and be thrilled by the turn of events. Dynamic and charismatic illustrations bring this witty tale and its celebration of sharing and teamwork to life.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Page Street Kids | April 21, 2020 | ISBN-13: 978-1624149252
This speed interview with Laura Perdew, author of The Fort, was conducted by Bianca Schulze. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Books with Treasure Maps, Imagination, Picture Book, Pirates, Princes, Royalty, Sharing, and Teamwork. Be sure to follow along with our Speed Interview series, too.