Welcome to our stop of the blog tour for Mending The Moon by Emma Pearl and Sara Ugolotti. Today we are celebrating the launch of this beautiful picture book with a special review and author interview. Mending The Moon is published by Page Street Kids and will be released in the US on November 1st and in the UK on December 5th.
Hi Tracy, thank you for having me! I wrote the first draft
of this story about five years ago. It started while I was rooting around in
the dark recesses of my brain for some story ideas and came up with a silly
question – what would happen if the moon fell out of the sky? From there came
the story of Luna, who saw it happen and wanted to fix it.
Can you tell us about Mending the Moon’s journey to publication?
I was incredibly lucky to get picked up by Kayla Tostevin at
Page Street Kids during a Twitter pitch event (#PBPitch) in October 2020. I had
participated in the event a few times prior to that, and I really enjoyed the
buzz and connecting with other writers that way. I never imagined anything
would actually come from it! I submitted my manuscript to Kayla straight away
and she responded quickly and positively. There were a few rounds of revision
to get through before an offer was made. And it’s been a long wait from there
to publication, but I’m so excited it’s finally here!
Oh my goodness, aren’t they incredible? I actually had a
little input into the selection of an illustrator, so I knew the artwork would
be wonderful, but seeing your characters brought to life for the first time is
such a magical thing. When I received the first character sketches they took my
breath away. Luna is just so perfect! And of course, there were a lot of stages
between the first sketches and the final copy, but holding the finished book in
my hands was the culmination of a lifelong dream. Such a special feeling.
Is the finished story similar to your first draft or has the story
evolved over time?
I’ve just gone back to look at the first draft to see how
much it evolved. And wow, yes – the answer is a lot! The first draft was over
1600 words long – full of a lot of unnecessary detail! By the time I submitted
the manuscript to the publisher it was about 970 words and the final version is
about 750. So, as always with picture books, reducing the word count was key to
making the text really shine. My editor Kayla also really helped to bring out
the ‘folklore’ element, focusing on the lasting effect of the story’s events on
What are you hoping young readers take from the story?
I’m hoping that readers of all ages will find in the story a sense of wonder and an appreciation for the magic and beauty of nature. And maybe the next level of meaning is to follow Luna’s example, to have compassion for all living things and to work in harmony with nature to fix it.September 2023. Can you give us any sneaky information about what to expect? Will we meet the same characters again or is it a completely different story?
It’s another adventure for Luna and Poppa, but this time
they are holidaying on a tropical island when the sun gets so hot, it decides
to go for a dip in the ocean. Luna, Poppa, the sea creatures and island animals
have to work together to literally save the day!
What do you love most about being a writer and what do you find
Do you have a top tip for young writers?
I have four top tips!
Read – as much as you can. Read, read, read!
Write – as much as you can. Don’t worry about writing
anything perfect or even good, just write. The more you write, the more you’ll
learn and the better you’ll become.
Learn – writing is about so much more than just putting pen
to paper (or fingers to keyboard). There are many resources available online
and if you’re serious about writing you’ll need to learn the basics of plot
structure, character development, narrative arcs and other such delights.
And finally, reach out to authors whose work you enjoy. Most
writers have a contact form on their website and we love to hear from readers,
especially if they’re budding writers too. You’ll be surprised at how friendly
and helpful most writers are. You never know what nuggets (or should I say
pearls?) of wisdom you might receive!
Thanks so much for
talking to us, Emma and good luck with the launch.
Thank you so much!