Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 9, 2020

Book Giveaway: DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS by Carrie Finison

Carrie Finison has written a new picture book, DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS and illustrated by Brianne Farley. It’s published by P.G. Putnam Sons BFYR and hits bookstores on July 21st. Carrie has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Carrie and Brianna, especially at this stressful time when authors and illustrators need to promote their books completely online.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

A generous but increasingly put-upon bear makes batch after batch of doughnuts for her woodland friends without saving any for herself in this delightful debut picture book about counting, sharing, and being a good friend.

LouAnn (a bear) is making a doughnut feast in preparation for her long winter’s nap. But just before she takes the first bite, DING DONG! Her friend Woodrow (a woodchuck) drops by. LouAnn is happy to share her doughnuts, but as soon as she and Woodrow sit down to eat, DING DONG! Clyde (a raccoon) is at the door. One by one, LouAnn’s friends come over–Topsy (an opossum) and then Moufette (a skunk) and then Chip and Chomp (chipmunks)–until it’s one big party. Louann welcomes her surprise guests and makes batch after batch of doughnuts, always dividing them equally among her friends. But she makes one BIG miscalculation. Soon LouAnn’s kitchen is bare, winter is near, and she’s had nothing to eat at all!

BOOK JOURNEY:

I’ve been writing picture books for about 10 years, as well as poems and stories for children’s magazines. I did NOT think that a fun, lighthearted book about doughnuts (of all things) would be my debut. But here we are! And I couldn’t be happier with how things have turned out.

DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS began as a rough draft in 2015. I remember the first version of the story tumbling out. When I write in rhyme I don’t always write a story “in order” so it helps if I have a basic notion of the beginning, middle, and end of the story in my head. Then I can write different scenes as the rhymes occur to me. The original opening read this way:

Deep in the forest

songbirds are waking.

Springtime has sprung,

and Bear’s busy…baking!

At that time, the storyline was a bit different from what’s in the book today. The manuscript began life as a story about a bear making doughnuts and leaving them out to cool, whereupon each batch was stolen by a different woodland creature.

My critique groups liked the story but had some issues with it. Why would the bear keep leaving things outside when they were clearly getting stolen? And at the end, why would the bear reconcile with the animals who had stolen his baked treats, when they hadn’t even apologized? What kind of takeaway did I want for a child reading the story? Ugh. Critique partners ask REALLY inconvenient questions sometimes!

I went back to the writing desk and tried again. And again. And again. I took the story to critique groups and conferences. I took breaks. Between July 2016 and July 2017, I didn’t work on the story at all. In the meantime, another story won the Barbara Karlin Work-in-Progress grant from SCBWI. I thought for sure that would be my debut book. It came close to acceptances at several publishing houses, but in the end didn’t make it. Back to the writing desk!

DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS changed some more. The main character was now a female bear named LouAnn – a choice I made after learning the statistic that male animal characters outnumber females by 2-1 in picture books. The story no longer took place in the springtime, but in the late fall, as she is preparing a final feast before hibernation. The woodland thieves were now friends, lured to LouAnn’s door by the delectable smell of frying doughnuts. The ending was sweeter – a reconciliation among friends, rather than the bear being duped by some forest hooligans. And, I had added a math element, showing each batch of 12 doughnuts divided by the factors of 12, so that the book would hold appeal for teachers. My agent thought it was ready to go and began submitting it in the late summer of 2017.

Several editors were interested – hooray! One in particular, Stephanie Pitts at Putnam, liked the story very much, but also had some suggestions for cuts. Would I be interested in working with her on the story? YES! When I saw her proposed edits, it knocked my breath out for a moment. Like a skilled surgeon, she had cut significant chunks of text out of the story – almost halving the number of words. But the core of the story remained intact. In most cases, she felt, the illustration would do the lifting and show what I had been telling in the text.

And you know what? She was absolutely right! When I saw Brianne Farley’s portfolio and then her sketches for the book, I knew she was exactly the right artist to help tell this story. Her pictures convey the characters’ changing emotions and the growing chaos in LouAnn’s kitchen more vividly than my long-forgotten words did.

Mostly what this book journey has taught me is how long and twisting the path to publication can be. Those initial words, when they tumble out, are like the ingredients for a great recipe. But it takes the right ingredients, in the right amounts, along with the correct technique and amount of time in the frying pan, for that recipe to turn out well. And when it does it makes for one delicious book!

CARRIE’S BIO:

Carrie Finison began her literary career at the age of seven with an idea, a box of markers, and her father’s typewriter. She has been writing off and on ever since, though she has (somewhat regretfully) traded in the typewriter for a laptop. Her debut picture book is DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS (July, 2020), and a second picture book, DON’T HUG DOUG, will follow in January, 2021. She also writes for children’s magazines including Babybug, Ladybug, High Five, and Highlights. When she’s not writing, Carrie enjoys reading mystery novels, trying new recipes, and curling up on the couch for family movie nights. She lives outside Boston with her husband, son, daughter, and two cats who permit her to write in their cozy attic office. Find her online at www.carriefinison.com or on Twitter @CarrieFinison

BRIANNE’S BIO:

Brianne Farley is an author and illustrator of picture books. Her debut, Ike’s Incredible Ink, was awarded the Marion Vannett Ridgway Book Award Honor for debut authors and was selected for the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show. She also illustrates the picture book series Charlotte the Scientist is Squished by Camille Andros, which was a Portland Best Book, a Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award, and was on the LITA Notable List. Brianne is an occasional muralist and very occasional editorial illustrator. She received her MFA in Illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design before working as a designer for Random House Books for Young Readers and Schwartz & Wade Books in New York. She now lives in Michigan where she spends her time in the woods, in Lake Michigan, or in her studio drawing and writing.

Thank you Carrie for sharing your book and its’ journey with us. It looks like such a delicious book. Brianne’s illustrations are a perfect addition to your fun text. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. I am going to love this book!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. THis book sounds like a real winner! And the illos of Luanne and her friends are delightful. I’ve preordered and can hardly wait. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for preordering, Laurie! I agree, Brianne’s illustrations are absolutely charming!

      Like

  3. Hi Kathy, I posted a picture of Carrie’s cover on FB. Thank you! Laurie

    >

    Like

  4. Dozens Of Doughnuts looks charming. I love the illustrations and this would make a great addition to my little free library.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats to Carrie and Brianne! Love hearing the backstory about this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations and what a wonderful way to teach math and sharing. I can’t wait to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great interview, Carrie! Can’t wait to buy this!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations, Carrie and Brianna! What a great book journey. A good example of the persistence it takes to publish a picture book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I’ve been looking forward to this one for months!

      Thanks for another great post. 🙂

      I’ll share on Twitter.

      Like

  9. Congratulations, Carrie and Brianna! What a great book journey. A good example of the persistence it takes to publish a picture book. 😊

    Like

  10. I enjoyed hearing about the many revisions Carrie made before getting to the final draft. Students will enjoy hearing about them as well. I look forward to reading the story and sharing it with my readers.

    Like

  11. Delectably delightful for dozens of reasons. Congrats Carrie and Brianne!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I have loved reading about Carrie’s journey over the past year and so look forward to reading this sweet book. Lou Ann is adorable.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a “sweet” book. Wishing you both “sweet” success, as well. Kathy, I am a newsletter subscriber 🙂

    Like

  14. Congrats, Carrie! Looking forward to reading this week. (I’m signed for the emails.)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love learning the back story to picture books, especially debuts! Congratulations, Carrie! I look forward to reading this soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Treats and humor -my two favorite things! This looks like a deliciously sweet book. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Congrats to Carrie on the publication of this entertaining story! I found myself nodding my head over the editing process that encouraged her to let the illustrator help tell her story. It’s not easy for writers (myself included) to let go of their words, but that is often key to
    creating a really good picture book! And I am licking my lips for doughnuts as I type! Great, energetic illustrations by Brianne!

    Like

    • Thank you, Janet! I remember attending one of your sessions on writing in rhyme at NESCBWI a few years ago. 🙂

      Like

  18. This looks like such a great book. As a mama bear, I can really identify with Louann! Congratulations on the debut!

    Like

  19. Kudos to Carrie, Brianne and a smart editor!! It looks adorable.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. It seems like a really good book, I hope I can win!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. What a fun book! Congratulations to Carrie and Brianne!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Thanks for sharing your book creation journey. The book looks wonderful and I can’t wait to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Shared on Twitter

    Like

  24. I shared on PInterest, FB, and twitter. I’m your devoted follower. Thanks!

    Like

  25. Carrie’s book is FABULOUS!!! So happy for her and Brianne!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Love doughnuts. Would love to win a copy. If I do, I will brave the store, buy my own stack of donuts, and eat every single one.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Such a sweet looking book. I love how happy the little animals are with their doughnuts. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    I’ve tweeted a link to this post: https://twitter.com/carlrscott/status/1281293638765441024, and pinned an image on Pinterest with a link as well: https://www.pinterest.com.mx/pin/336573772155781397/.
    I also follow your blog daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com.
    Thanks again, stay safe everyone!!

    Like

  28. When I was teaching years ago I searched for a picture book about doughnuts and there were none!

    Like

  29. Cutting the word count in half sounds painful. Congratulations on doing it in a way that made your story stronger. I look forward to reading Dozens of Doughnuts. (Kathy, I subscribe to your blog.)

    Like

  30. This looks like a LOT of fun. Thanks for the post.

    Like

  31. What an interesting post! The story seems fun and the art looks great. I’m looking forward to reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I’m hungry! Congrats!

    Like

  33. I can’t wait to read this book! It looks fantastic! Wonderful work Carrie & Brianne!! It looks so great!!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. This looks like a fun book!

    Like

  35. This book sounds super yummy…and suddenly I’m craving donuts! Congrats–can’t wait to read…and munch:-) Kathy, I subscribe to your newsletter.

    Like

  36. I really enjoyed reading about the evolution of your book! Congrats! I’m excited to read it! (I now subscribe to the newsletter, too.)

    Like

  37. I love reading about the evolution of a story! Sometimes critique partners are like Spock – and spot faulty logic right off! Just like donuts, this book looks irresistible! I follow and will tweet this wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. I love this book so much, Carrie. Congratulations! I’ve pre-ordered it from my local Indie store.

    Like

    • Thanks so much for preordering!

      Like

  39. Congratulations, Carrie and Brianne! Loved reading how your story grew, changed, and shrunk (and maybe I read that 2015 version?) Can’t wait to get my paws on this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Buffy! Yes, I’m sure you read some early versions. Thanks for your help with it!

      Like

  40. This looks adorable! Congrats Carrie!

    Like

  41. Oodles of congratulations to you on this fab book that I can’t wait to read.

    Like

  42. This book looks so cute! I adored Brianne illustrations in Charlotte and know this will be just as wonderful!

    Like

  43. Congratulations, Carrie and Brianne! It truly is a delicious book with luscious rhyme scheme and illustrations so yummy I’m tempted to taste them!

    Like

  44. Yummy on so many levels. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Congratulations, Carrie! Thank you for sharing the backstory of your book. It looks adorable! (I follow Kathy’s blog.)

    Like

  46. Such a fun title! Cannot wait to read this! Congrats!

    Sharing on Twitter and I follow by email. 🙂

    Like

  47. Congratulations! This is so much fun. Thanks for sharing your process. I follow Kathy’s blog.

    Like

  48. Sounds like a very fun book!

    Liked by 1 person

  49. What a fun and silly book. This is going to be a great read aloud in k – 2 classroom. Thank you for sharing. I will post on my facebook page.

    Like

  50. This book looks great for my twins!

    Like

  51. Thanks for sharing your writing journey with us. Sounds like a delightful book!

    Like


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