5 Qs with author Lynne Marie + Fractured Fairy Tales + STEM = THE THREE LITTLE PIGS AND THE ROCKET PROJECT

You know how I love fractured fairy tales, right?

I may have actually written a few myself…including GOLDIE LOCKS HAS CHICKEN POX <–(pair it with these Goldie titles.) and LITTLE BO PEEP CAN’T GET TO SLEEP <–(read aloud fun)!

So it was cool to stumble onto this #STEM version of the Three Little Pigs, THE THREE LITTLE PIGS AND THE ROCKET PROJECT, by Lynne Marie, Illus. Wendy Fedan (Mac and Cheese Press).

That made me want to find out more about it! (How about you?)

5 Qs for Lynne Marie

Q 1. What was the inspiration for THE THREE LITTLE PIGS AND THE ROCKET PROJECT?

Lynne Marie: Since my father had a passion for pigs (and a collection), I grew up very familiar with this tale. I love fractured fairy tales and for years, wanted to find a way to retell this one. I had seeds of inspiration for years in that my father always teased my siblings and I by calling us his three little pigs.

#STEM inspiration

One of his little pigs, my brother, actually set off a rocket in the living room as a child. But that, while funny, didn’t have the takeaway value I wanted. Still, the thought stayed, and I finally connected it with my daughter’s second grade school science project. Having read any and all variations of the tale that I could get my hands on, I realized no one had written a STEM version of the story. From that point, everything started coming together and the story took shape in my head. 

Interior, THE THREE LITTLE PIGS AND THE ROCKET PROJECT, by Lynne Marie, Illus. Wendy Fedan

(Mac and Cheese Press)

Q 2. What made you change up the characters to include a girl pig and a girl wolf?

Lynne Marie: While I am aware the pigs were historically three boys, I decided to flip the script a little bit and feature a strong and clever girl character. Enter Eloise who, despite losing in the house building challenge featured in the original story, persists, and uses what she learns, as well as the resources she has, to change an outcome. I wanted to inspire girls and underdogs not to give up. 

I also wanted to switch up the stereotype of the wolf being a male. In an effort to continue to inspire strong girls, I also gave Eloise a bit more agency (as a fellow girl who was bested by her brothers) in solving the secondary problem of the bully wolf. As girls, we’re all in this together and should help each other be the best we can be.

Interior, THE THREE LITTLE PIGS AND THE ROCKET PROJECT, by Lynne Marie, Illus. Wendy Fedan

(Mac and Cheese Press)

Q 3. What surprises did illustrator Wendy Fedan bring to the project?

Lynne Marie: Wendy did a great job of capturing my vision for the story. I wanted the characters to be engaging and animated in their expressions. I think she did a great job of conveying that. In the scene where Bibi Wolf makes other plans, she has her spying on the pigs, which I thought was brilliant. It was not in any art note. 

Interior, THE THREE LITTLE PIGS AND THE ROCKET PROJECT, by Lynne Marie, Illus. Wendy Fedan

(Mac and Cheese Press)

THE MEMORY TRAP by Linda Joy Singleton (Clear Fork Media Group)–released on June 14th!

#Kidlit Tips

Q 5. As the owner of Rate Your Story, what tips do you have for aspiring, pre-published  picture book authors?

Lynne Marie: I am a big supporter of Mentor Texts! I credit reading and studying them with my own success and run the newly initiated March On with Mentor Texts (www.rateyourstory.org/blog), which takes over where ReFoReMo left off (with the blessing of Co-Founders Carrie Charley Brown and Kirsti Call). Typing out picture book skeletons with page turns to learn and understand picture book pacing is extremely helpful too. Reading craft books is imperative – on characters on plot, on theme, on scene and sequel, on structure, etc. Knowledge in these areas will inform revision choices and create a strong foundation for success. 

I also recommend being objective about feedback and letting it percolate. And not submitting until a story is ready. It is not a fast process and stories need time to germinate and grow while a writer continues to learn and grow in their craft. It’s important to be committed to the business of writing for children and to treat it as a business. It takes inspiration, education, motivation, hard work, re-evaluation, dedication, perspiration, evolution and perseverance to achieve your goals. Stay on the path – it’s worth it! 

Q 5. Are there other books in the queue? Can you share anything about them?

Lynne Marie: Yes! One is due to be announced very soon! I am particularly excited about this one. It’s a longtime favorite project of mine and is one that I wrote early on in my journey – during a trip to France in 1998! I truly believe that everything has its time and needs that time to ferment, like fine wine. Of course, I went on to focus on other projects, but when I circled back to this one, I had stocked my writer’s tool box with everything I needed to make this work. 

Also –a shout out to THE MEMORY TRAP by Linda Joy Singleton (cover by Dea Lenihan)

which released June 14th

and AMERICAN PIE (Clear Fork Media Group). I had a wonderful time creating these projects with them.

Interior AMERICAN PIE, Illustration by Dea Lenihan, written by Lynne Marie.

More about Lynne Marie

Lynne Marie is the author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten (Scholastic 2011), Hedgehog’s 100th Day of School (Scholastic 2017), The Star of the Christmas Play (Beaming Books 2018), Moldilocks and the 3 Scares, (Sterling / Scholastic 2019), Let’s Eat! Mealtime Around the World (Beaming Books 2019), The Three Little Pigs and the Rocket Project (Mac and Cheese Press 2022), The Three Little Pigs and the Rocket Project Coloring Book (Mac and Cheese Press 2022),  and more, forthcoming. She’s also the Owner and Administrator of RateYourStory.org and a Travel Agent. She lives close to the magic in Central Florida with her family and a Schipperke named Anakin. Visit her at www.LiterallyLynneMarie.com.

Lynne Marie is represented by Marisa Cleveland of www.theseymouragency.com

Follow her on Facebook here and on Twitter here.

Up next:

It’s the (almost / July 5th) Book Birthday of Megan Hoyt‘s new PB bio, The Greatest Song of All– How Isaac Stern United the World to Save Carnegie Hallillus. Katie Hickey, (Quill Tree Books).

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