Today we're here with IM Tu! Can you tell us about yourself and how many books you have written, IM?
IM: I've spent the majority of my adult life working with writers as a teacher and development person. When I finally moved to the country a few years ago, I was able to take the time and develop myself as a writer. The result is two screenplays, a television pilot and three children's books.
Me: Wow! Sounds like you really enjoy writing! :-) What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
IM: My first published book is a children's book entitled, The Outcast Star. The book is named after it's inspiration - a actual star that was jettisoned out of the Milky Way when its twin fell into a black hole. The scientists call the star that my story is based on, The Outcast. Those scientists have been fantastic about supporting the book and are a big part of my inspiration as well. They bring the universe to our door every day.
Me: How interesting! I've never heard about such a thing before, but it sounds facinating! What are you working on now?
IM: My publisher, Impera Books, has very kindly asked for a follow-up to The Outcast Star and its my current project. Charlie and the Stars, is the story of a little boy who wants to see the stars for himself and play with all of the alien creatures he knows are just waiting for him out there. Charlie manages to get out into space and Sirius, the Dog Star, becomes his guide to the stars that Charlie has seen in the Hubble telescope pictures.
Me: How cool! Charlie is a lucky little boy! :-) Are there any authors, or books, who have influenced you?
IM: It's funny...the author that seems to be influencing my writing the most is not one of the writers that I would have guessed. I'm a huge fan of modern children's writers like Philip Pullman, Lemony Snicket, and Dr. Suess. Classic fairy tales and stories like Alice in Wonderland and the Oz books were an integral part of my childhood. Yet when I started to write, it EE Cummings' style that gave me permission to write as I chose.
Me: Writing can be funny like that. It's good that you're writing the stories you want to write. :-) What are you reading now?
IM: I just finished Catherine Cusset's, "The Story of Jane". A good hook is a thing of beauty and this book has a GREAT hook. I can take or leave the story, but the hook was an education all unto itself.
Me: That's a take on reading I hadn't considered before, but it's true! :-) For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?
IM: Kids should expect a story about a lost star and adults should expect an allegory about loss. And since it is a picture book, it features beautiful illustrations. The illustrations are done by an exceptionally talented new artist, Larrea Young. They are a big part of the book and readers will be enchanted by her drawings.
Me: Yes, the illustrations are important even in adult books. I owe my own cover artist, Erin Dameron-Hill, a lot! :-) What is your favorite part of being an author?
IM: My favorite part is just beginning to happen. Kids are beginning to read my book (or have it read to them) and I love what they have to say about it. It makes me really happy that seem to care so much about Brother Star and his adventure. It makes me really, really happy.
Me: Cool! :-) Do you have a day job as well?
IM: Yes. I'm a consultant to writers :)
Me: That must be great practice for your own work! :-) What is the hardest and easiest part about being a writer?
IM: For me, each phase has its challenges and its joys.
Me: That's probably true for us all. What genre do you place your book in?
IM: Children's picture books
Me: Great! Anything else you'd like to tell your readers?
IM: Have a wonderful New Year!
Me: And so all of these lovely people can find your work, are there any links you'd like me to post?
IM: My little book has a lot of links, please stop by and visit if you get the chance!