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!

Play it Again, Pal! or 2:48 Minutes More

Settle your little ones in front of the monitor, click on an Author Read-Aloud video (below), and let them watch and listen while you enjoy some lazy time. Okay, you can view, too--if you promise to act  OUR age!

You Procrastinate Your Way, I Procrastinate Mine

**Note: This entry was supposed to be posted Sunday, but I put it off until today. Sorry

Heck yeah, I've got loads to do! Tis the season, isn't it? Gifts to wrap. Suitcases to pack. Messages to return. Cards to send. Oh yeah, and writing . . .  

In 2 days I'm leaving Trinidad for the month. First to California for the Big Sur Writing Workshop.  Workshop means preparation. Make copies of projects to focus on. Decide which projects those are. Gather my tools.  Instead . . . 

The Big Sur Workshop is the delicious carrot I'd been dangling   just beyond  , ever since September, when I quit writing to focus on L&R's wedding. I'll refocus on my writing, then, I'd promised myself. I'll commit to finding a new agent. Polish my stories. Finish revisions on my chapter books. 

The Big Sur Workshop is the delicious carrot I'd been dangling just beyond, ever since September, when I quit writing to focus on L&R's wedding. I'll refocus on my writing, then, I'd promised myself. I'll commit to finding a new agent. Polish my stories. Finish revisions on my chapter books. 

After the workshop, I'll fly to Reno to visit my mom and brother's family. Reno means cold, not Trinidad tropical.  After Reno, I'll fly to Westhampton Beach, more cold. I need to dig out my woolies. Instead . . .  

We'll spend the holidays in Westhampton Beach with M&M, L&R and Baby B.

Latest Baby B news: he's flipping front to back and sometimes back to front. And surprise, surprise, like his father before him, loves to be held...all the time!

Latest Baby B news: he's flipping front to back and sometimes back to front. And surprise, surprise, like his father before him, loves to be held...all the time!

Holidays means sorting out gifts I've already bought. Wrapping for folks here. Thank you envelopes. Cards. Packing my suitcases. Instead . . . 

Reno in Winter means dressing like this  Curtis loves his woolies!

Reno in Winter means dressing like this

Curtis loves his woolies!

Trinidad means dressing like this:  Me and John ready for the beach!

Trinidad means dressing like this:

Me and John ready for the beach!

After packing and hauling this mound of baggage for L&R's wedding, I was not excited about packing all over again . . . 

After packing and hauling this mound of baggage for L&R's wedding, I was not excited about packing all over again . . . 

I could have, should have, tackled this To-do List last week--or at least made a stab at it. But last week was Thanksgiving. And cooking a  Thanksgiving Feast seemed more pressing. And more in keeping with my 2013 resolution "Live in the Moment" which I haven't been especially good at keeping.

My post Thanksgiving Feast plans has been for us to continue eating our way through the leftovers while I sorted, wrapped, packed today & tomorrow.  (No hardship; "leftovers" is our favorite part of Thanksgiving.)  Post dinner, Tuesday, I'd sort the fridge, freeze, repackage whatever remained of the feast.

This morning, pouring rain stopped me from keeping my other 2013 resolution "Exercise Regularly," too.

Maybe if I had said "yes" when Curtis asked if I'd like some coffee, I would have stuck to my plan.

Maybe if freibor, Brian, hadn't sent those recipes on ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers, it wouldn't have been on my mind. 

But somehow, when I opened the fridge to pour milk into my coffee, the bowls and platters of leftovers called to me. 

"Take us out!"

"Don't leave us like this!"

 "We want to be used!"

"Mixed!

Blended!

Baked!

Transform us . . . PLEASE!"

And so, leftover mashed potatoes, chopped onion & parsley, butter & fresh grated Parmesan became "Potato Puffs

Leftover marinated mushrooms, picky-platter pickles & olives and a couple of cans of beans--kidney, garbanzo & pinto--became "Bean Salad".

Leftover turkey, green beans, broth, gravy and the rest of the mashed potatoes became "Turkey Shepherd's Pie"

Leftover cranberry sauce, chopped pecans, and milky whipped cream became batter for "Cranberry Pecan Oat & Buckwheat Muffins", some of which I dropped into mini-muffin tins for now, the rest of which--thanks to a quick Internet surfing and instructions from Heavenly Homemakers.comI froze for later. 

Potatoe Puffs, Turkey Shepherd's Pie, Cranberry Oat Pecan Muffins, Marinated Bean Salad (not shown)

Potatoe Puffs, Turkey Shepherd's Pie, Cranberry Oat Pecan Muffins, Marinated Bean Salad (not shown)

The Tupperware saleslady from The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarity would be so proud!

The Tupperware saleslady from The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarity would be so proud!

And everything else that remained of our Thanksgiving 2013 feast was sorted into tidy plastic containers. 

Then, because all the freezing muffin batter postings--I did say Internet Surfing as in ongoing activity and instructions, plural--suggested freezing them as muffin blogs, either in cupcake papers or directly in the tin, and I got to thinking "wouldn't it work to freeze the batter en mass?" I decided an experiment was in order. I spooned half the leftover muffin batter into a greased tin, as directed, and poured the rest into a small contain and froze it that way. My thought is semi-thawed I should work just fine. Procrastination? Ney, I have another work for it: Experimentation. 

Oh yeah! And then, because I was so excited to share this brilliant frozen muffin batter idea here, I left the heaps of crusty feast dishes, pans, bowls, mixing and measuring utensils--not soaking--and raced over to my computer to type up this blog entry. I'll wash the dishes later. Right now, I better get started on that to-do list . . . 

You procrastinate your way; I'll procrastinate mine. . . . 

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!

And the Winner is . . .

Three winners have been chosen in the I VANT MY VAMPIRE BABY CONTEST. Everyone who left a comment on the Vampire Baby book trailer was entered into the contest. Here are the lucky winners:

#1 Lori Ed Templeton

#2 Nate T

#3 djdoc122

3 Autographed, 1st editions are winging their way to the lucky winners!

3 Autographed, 1st editions are winging their way to the lucky winners!

Send a reply via private message on Facebook via Kelly Bennett Books to claim your prize! Thank you to everyone who participated!

BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!

I Vant My Vampire Baby contest may be over, but the party hasn't ended.

   Jean Book Nerd''s VAMPIRE BABY & SWAG GIVE-AWAY BLOG TOUR!  

October 25th Friday
- Review & Spotlight Me, My Shelf and I
- Tens List & Spotlight I Am a Reader, Not a Writer

October 26th Saturday
- Review & Spotlight Two-Tall-Tales
- Music Playlist & Spotlight Best Books

October 27th Sunday
- Review & Spotlight Racing to Read
This or That & Spotlight Sassy Book Lover

October 28th Monday
- Review & Spotlight Mary’s Cup of Tea
- Favorite Things & Spotlight A Dream Within a Dream

October 29th Tuesday
- Guest Post & Spotlight Paranormal Book Club
- Review & Spotlight Word to Dreams

October 30th Wednesday
- Spotlight Book Suburbia

October 31st Thursday
- Interview Jean Book Nerd 

  . . . AND a WHOLE YEAR MORE !!!!

  Vampire Baby: Silly Story Hour “Masks” & Chance to Win Books        

Click on the Activitie's tab to download the Story Hour Kit & Contest Details

Click on the Activitie's tab to download the Story Hour Kit & Contest Details

Reader Engagement Project:

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!

HERE'S THE 9-1-1 from Curious City! 

  

#15 Should Charlie be Confessing?

If YouTube would have been around way back when, my brother, Joey, might have been the brother hollering "Youch!" in a clip the way Big Brother Harry does in the infamous "Charlie Bit My Finger" YouTube video.   

Harry and Charlie in the infamous clip. From the looks of it, Charlie does not apear to be a Vampire Baby (Although his canines are in shadow.)

Harry and Charlie in the infamous clip. From the looks of it, Charlie does not apear to be a Vampire Baby (Although his canines are in shadow.)

Me, a family friend named "Bambi's" baby, and Joe. And no, I did not bite this baby...although it looks as though Joe may be nursing a sore finger.

Me, a family friend named "Bambi's" baby, and Joe. And no, I did not bite this baby...although it looks as though Joe may be nursing a sore finger.

We have a sick fasination with biting, and the fear of being bitten. Why else would Vampire/Dracula themes be so popular? 

The "Charlie Bit my Finger" clip, which as of an Oct. 17, 2013 article, is close to logging half-a-billion views, is proof. The brothers, according to the article, say the attention they garnered from the clip, coupled with the idea that "Charlie bit my finger like a rabid opossum, but Dad kept on filming because he thought it was awesome" has marred the brothers--maybe irreparably. Fortunately, money shouldn't be an issue if they decide to seek help. 

An article in the Daily Mail states that this and other "Harry and Charlie" YouTube videos have earned their family more than 100,000 pounds in advertising payments. 

How Much Did They Pay You Per Bite, Bela?

How Much Did They Pay You Per Bite, Bela?

Here's a photo of the brothers now.   " Open up, Charlie! Show us your fangs!!!!"

Here's a photo of the brothers now. "Open up, Charlie! Show us your fangs!!!!"


HURRY! Enter the "I Vant My Vampire Baby" Book Trailer Contest, NOW!  

Here's how: View the Vampire Baby by Kelly Bennett book trailer on Youtube. Leave a comment. You're entered to win you're very own authographed copy of the book. It's that easy! 

Midnight Halloween the contest closes. Winner will be announced Nov. 1st.  

Lucky #13 Vampire Baby Play List

After 4 years of piano lessons, my teacher finally told me one day "If you aren't willing to try playing chord progressions, maybe you'd better quit." (And yes, I did want to bite her for that...) So I can't play a few bars. But my head is stuffed with music. Say pretty much anything and a song pops into my head. 

So, of course Vampire Baby has a play list. 

Music soothes the savage beast!

Music soothes the savage beast!

Music Playlist for Vampire Baby:

            The No Bite! Song (by Tootie’s Brother)

            Another One Bites the Dust

            Crocodile Rock

            The First Cut is the Deepest

            Monster Mash

            Little Vampire

            Once Bitten, Twice Shy

            Dracula Disco

            All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth

Any other songs you think should be on the list? Hum a few bars . . .  

Just a few more days left to enter the "I Vant My Vampire Baby" Book Trailer Contest--is NOW!!! 

Here's how: View the Vampire Baby by Kelly Bennett book trailer on Youtube. Leave a comment. You're entered to win you're very own authographed copy of the book. It's that easy! 

Here are the Contest Details

 

#11 Confessions of Vampire Baby--Top 10s and More

 "Ours is not to wonder why. Ours is but to bite. Or try . . . " --Tootie aka Vampire Baby

Day #11 of Vampire Baby Confessions featured a visit to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Blog spot for "Vampire Baby by Kelly Bennett--Top 10 and Giveaway." Click over to discover my favorites--movies, snacks, picture book authors, and more!

Vampire_Baby_Tour_Banner.jpg

Vampire Baby by Kelly Bennett
Official Blog Tour

  • October 26th Saturday
    -       Review & Spotlight Two-Tall-Tales
    -       Music Playlist & Spotlight Best Books
  • October 27th Sunday
    -       Review & Spotlight Racing to Read
    -       This or That & Spotlight Sassy Book Lovers
  • October 28th Monday
    -       Review & Spotlight Mary’s Cup of Tea
    -       Favorite Things & Spotlight A Dream Within a Dream
  • October 29th Tuesday
    -       Guest Post & Spotlight Paranormal Book Club
    -       Review & Spotlight Word to Dreams
  • October 30th Wednesday
    -       Tens List & Spotlight Bookworm Bridgette’s World
    -       Spotlight Book Suburbia
  • October 31st Thursday
    -        Jean Book Nerd

The "I Vant My Vampire Baby" Book Trailer Contest--is NOW!!! 

Here's how: View the Vampire Baby by Kelly Bennett book trailer on Youtube. Leave a comment. You're entered to win you're very own authographed copy of the book. It's that easy! 

Here are the Contest Details!