Today I’m shining the Author Spotlight on Jonathan Rosen and his debut novel NIGHT OF THE LIVING CUDDLE BUNNIES.
Title: Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies
Genre: MG Humor/sci-fi/horror
Age Range: Ages 10-13 or Grades 6-8
Launch Date: August 1, 2017
Please tell us a little bit about your book?
It’s about Devin and his cousin Tommy, who think a witch has moved into the neighborhood. Nobody believes them, until strange things start happening. Things like reports of the hot new Christmas toy, the Cuddle Bunny, coming to life all around town. Devin and Tommy have to prove the new neighbor is behind it, while at the same time being forced to fight the cutest little monsters ever.
What inspired you to write this story and/or these characters?
The story had always been in the back of my mind. I wanted to do something with evil stuffed animals and make it quirky and funny. And then the right timing struck. I had just had a couple of really close calls with a previous manuscript, but get stopped at the very end both times. Both places gave me different reasons why they ultimately passed, but the common thread with both of them, was that they loved the humor. So, with that fresh in my mind, I returned to that evil stuffed animal manuscript, and set off to make the funniest book that I could. I think it lived up to that and the characters were sort of organic. They have their own quirks, which fit and grew into the situation more and more as I went along.
Everyone says writing is a process. Could you share a little about your writing and/or research process?
I’m such a bad person to ask about this. Writing, I get in whenever I can. If I have a spare half-hour here and there, I’ll jump into write. Mostly, I write at night when the house is quiet and everyone is in bed. What helps me, is having a weekly critique group. I feel the pressure to have a chapter ready for Tuesdays, so I make sure to have something to read then. It doesn’t always happen, but most of the time, I’m ready for Tuesday.
As far as research goes, I do a TON. I look up almost everything I want to use. Even if I think I know it all, I look it up to make sure, before I put it in a story.
We know no writer is created in a vacuum. Could you tell the readers about a teacher or a librarian who had an effect on your writing life?
I like this question. I do always remember one teacher who inspired writing. Ms. Spurny back in high school. I’d had writing in my English classes before, but she had fun creative writing exercises, which I loved. I’d never had things like that before. I even took some of the exercises she did when I started teaching. Her class was one of the first ones I had, where it wasn’t just learning the proper format of writing. She let us be as creative as we wanted and take a story wherever we wanted to go.
What makes your book a good pick for use in a classroom? Is there any particular way you’d like to see teachers use it with young readers/teens?
My book is funny. Honest! I do think kids will get a big kick out of things in there and there are plenty of jokes for their parents as well. Besides looking up certain references the book makes, I think it will just be entertaining for kids. My kids loved when I did the voices and dialect for the characters, so this is something to reward students for working. I’m sticking to that.
I’m a little dog obsessed here at www.patriciabaileyauthor.com. Would you tell the readers about your favorite dog (real or imaginary)?
My favorite dog is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever (mostly) mutt named Parker. He’s less than a year old and is about the biggest lapdog there is. He’s so loving and loves to cuddle. Oh, I didn’t mention…he’s mine! Love that dog and he’s made an impact on everyone in the house.
Jonathan Rosen is a transplanted New Yorker, who now lives with his family in sunny, South Florida. He spends his “free” time being a volunteer coach and chauffeur for his three kids. Some of Jonathan’s fondest childhood memories are of discovering a really good book to dive into. He mostly writes middle-grade, because he finds that he shares the same sense of humor as that audience. Jonathan proudly represents diversity by way of being half-Mexican and half-American, though to be fair, neither country is really willing to accept responsibility.
You can find him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/houseofrosen?lang=en