Why? Why Did You Do This to Me?

To kickstart the I VANT MY VAMPIRE BABY GIVEAWAY I'm posting this unauthorized interview by Vampire Baby's victim/brother:

Here's what I want to know: Of all the baby sisters in the world, why did mine have to be a vampire baby? WHY? Tell the truth, Kelly Bennett aka Ms. Bigshot Author: are you vampire crazy? Or did you turn Tootie into a vampire baby just so you could cash in on the vampire craze?

KB: Of course! I totally wanted to cash in on the vampire craze! (And rake in Armored truck loads of cash)...Who wouldn't? BTW: I'm still waiting....

Who knows: I could go Vampire--I have the fangs for it!

Who knows: I could go Vampire--I have the fangs for it!

As for vampire crazy: Maybe I would be a vampirepheliac. (I do love writing that word), if I could. But, there's one teeny problem with me going vampire: I have fainted at the sight of blood.

To be fair, it was my son Max's blood. He cut himself picking a piece of glass out of the grass. (Caution: don't play with glass.) Hey! At least I waited until the doctor was finished sewing the top of Max's thumb back in place before my eyes rolled. I remember saying, “I'm going….” The next thing I knew I was on the emergency room floor with my feet propped up on a chair and everyone staring down at me. That's not to say I might not turn vampire . . . I do have fangs.

VBB: Now that's SCARY! So, where did you get the idea for Vampire Baby?

KB: The title came first. It sprang from a workshop at Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA). Cynthia Leitich Smith was one of our workshop leaders. Her Tantalize series was hot, so she was the VCFA resident expert on all things Vampire. Someone in the group suggested that certain topics were off limits in picture books. Cynthia and I jumped on that foolish notion. 

“Such as?” we asked. That wonderfully-misinformed person looked at Cynthia and said, “What about, well . . . vampires.” And just like that (insert finger snap) I blurted out, “Vampire Baby!”

VBB: How long did it take you to write the story?

KB: About two years and 12 revisions.

VBB: Two years! But it doesn't have very many words? You must be a really slow writer. Why so long?

KB: The title, Vampire Baby, floated around in my head like a guilty secret, stirring and swirling, popping up every so often to remind me it was there for quite a while. But that's all it was, a title. I didn't have a story to go with it.

VBB: What were you waiting for?

KB: YOU! I had to figure out who I was writing about, and who I was writing for. The answer to both was you: an eight-year-old boy with sibling trouble.

VBB: So you invented Too-too-Tootie...

KB: Exactly! I was actually gathering material for a non-fiction book about teeth. A friend shared that unlike most babies, whose bottom teeth come in first, her canine teeth had come in first. That's when the story idea hit me.

VBB: Don't you mean “bit” me? Ha-ha! Canine means “dog.” Why couldn't Tootie have been a dog instead of a sister?

KB:You already have a dog. As I was saying... I actually wrote Vampire Baby with three people in mind: my Candlewick editor, Sarah, because she busted out laugh-snorting when she heard the title; my nephew, Devin; and his little sister, Grace, who has the best giggle.

VBB: How did you come up with the silly name, Tootie, anyway?

KB: It's from the movie Meet Me in St. Louis, starring Judy Garland. The littlest sister, played by Margaret O'Brien, was named Tootie. That name always made me laugh, and so it seemed perfect because you wouldn't expect a dangerous vampire baby to be named Tootie.

VBB: I still don't get it. Having a baby sister is tough enough. Why turn Tootie into a biter?

Ooops! Did I do that????

Ooops! Did I do that????

KB: Confession Time: some babies hit, some kick, some scream, some bite. To hear my family tell it, I did all of them! In my defense, they were all bigger and stronger and knew more words than I did. So I did what I had to do to get my point across. Biters are misunderstood: we're not bad, but we can be dangerous... And that's all the time we have. If I'm going to write more stories, I'd better get busy.

VBB: Wait! Just one more question, please? What's my name?

KB: That's for me to know and for you to find out in what I hope is the next adventure ofVampire Baby!

VBB: Thanks, Kelly... Uh oh! Here she comes...  

Youch Tootie! No Bite!

Vant to Vin? Vampire Baby=FREE BOOKS FOR YOUR LIBRARY

Transform your Story Hour Babies & Toddlers into “Vampire Babies” with a Silly Downloadable Costume! Snap Pictures of a “Vampire Baby” and Win Books for a Library!!  ---it's just that easy!   

I Vant to Vin books for my favorite library: Transylvania Central 

I Vant to Vin books for my favorite library: Transylvania Central 

from Candlewick Press, available from booksellers everywhere--even near you!

from Candlewick Press, available from booksellers everywhere--even near you!

 

The Story Hour Kit

To play with VAMPIRE BABY's theme of teething babies and toddlers secretly being vampires, the Story Hour Kit include six different sets of silly vampire lips to cut-out. The lips, placed on an included paper “lip stick”, can be easily held up in front of a baby, toddler, or child’s lips for a funny transformation.

Following the instructions on the “lip stick” your patrons, customers, and families can snap a picture and post it on Kelly Bennett Books Facebook page along with the name and location of their favorite library. 

VAMPIRE BABY pictures will be entered in a contest to win a collection of Kelly Bennett picture books for their favorite library. A winner will be drawn every 90 days from Halloween 2013-Halloween 2014. Keep snapping those Vampire Baby photos and enter to win often!

• Download Vampire Baby Story Hour Kit (PDF)      

 

 

      About VAMPIRE BABY:
It happens overnight: little sister Tootie goes from cuddly, ga-ga-googoo, I-want-my-ba-ba baby to…vampire baby. Now she’s sinking her pointy fangs into everything — furniture, toys, and especially her big brother. Mom insists that it’s just a phase, but Tootie’s brother knows better. Just look at her hairline!  With perfect comic timing, Kelly Bennett and Paul Meisel give a fresh slant to the new-baby story, proving that even monstrous little arrivals have a funny way of staking their siblings' affections.

Why wait? Download the Vampire Baby Story Hour Kit . . . if you dare!

Read! Play! Sing! Snap! and enter to win books for your library!

VAMPIRE BABY is here!

Vampire Baby cover-final

Vampire Baby cover-final

Finally...5 years and 12 revisions and I-don't-even-want-to-try-to-count how many Vampire movies, books, blogs after that fabulous title popped into my head Vampire Baby has arrived! Thanks to all of you who laughed when I said the title.) Paul Meisel's art makes it! Available from Candlewick Press and booksellers everywhere!

Here's the blurb:

It happens overnight: "little sister Tootie goes from cuddly, ga-ga-goo-goo, I-want-my-ba-ba baby to...vampire baby." Now she’s sinking her pointy fangs into everything -- furniture, toys, and especially her big brother ("Youch, Tootie! No bite!"). Mom insists that it’s just a phase, but Tootie’s brother knows better. Just look at her hairline! Or the fact that all her favorite foods are bloodred! With perfect comic timing, Kelly Bennett and Paul Meisel give a fresh slant to the new-baby story, proving that even monstrous little arrivals have a funny way of staking their siblings’ affections.

When Tootie gets her first teeth, it’s clear to her big brother that she’s no ordinary baby. But how to convince Mom and Dad?