Interview: Shannon Rumple (children’s author)

11 Aug

WELCOME FRIENDS – Kick off your shoes & come on in! The coffee is on, grab a seat, get comfy & stay awhile —
book-circle.jpgGood Morning Reader’s:
Thanks for visiting the Reading Den this morning – We are pleased to be joined by Shannon Rumple author of “Elwood’s Crown” a bilingual children’s book, that introduces us to a fiesty, young frog named Elwood.

SPECIAL APPEARANCE:  October 27th, Shannon will be hosting a bookfair at Barnes & Noble, located in the Mall of America (Bloomington, Minnesota) It will be a fundraiser for Paul & Sheila Wellstone Elementry.

          Visit Shannon’s website  

rj: Shannon , thank you for taking the time to join us & answer a few questions, this morning – we are so excited that you have taken time out of your busy schedule to stop by the Reading Den.

SR: I am excited to be here. Thank you for inviting me.

rj: What was your favorite book as a child?

SR: I loved all of the Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary books. I also read R.L. Stein Goosebump books as well.

rj: What books are in your TBR pile at home?

SR: Well, I just finished reading “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, by JK Rowling and “A Thousand Bones” by PJ Parrish. Both really good, they both had surprise endings. I am not sure what is next on my list.

rj: What inspired you to write children’s literature?

SR: A couple of things inspired me to write. When I was in second grade we were given an assignment to write a story about a turkey. I won a price for my writing and I loved the feeling of accomplishment. The second thing that inspired me to write was that I came from a family that did not have much. So, I would write skits for my sister and two brothers to act out for my parents. I love seeing the smile on people’s face when they read. It may sound corny but my heart melts when I see children enjoying one of my stories.

rj: One of the first things I noticed about the book, was the equal division bilingual presentation, for which I applaud your innovative and refreshing approach.
Tell us about your decision to make Elwood’s Crown bilingual.

SR; My daughter was in a bilingual kindergarten class. They would send home these books we were suppose to read with our children, but they were only in Spanish. I would read it to her and she would ask me what the story was about. I would go and get my Spanish/English dictionary and decipher the little book. I thought to myself there has to be an easier way. I found out that her teacher was a licensed translator. I talked to her about translating “Elwood’s Crown” into Spanish. That is how it was born so to speak.

It’s a wonderful way to introduce children to different cultures, as well as, teach acceptance and equality.

rj: Two school’s of thought with writing: One, you have most of the book out-lined, from the beginning knowing exactly where it’s going or Two, you begin with a general idea and let your imagination take it from there… which would you say best describes your writing style?

SR: For me it is a mixture. How I came up with “Elwood’s Crown” is very unique in the way that I made it up on the spot. My family and I were moving from Oregon to Minnesota. We were traveling by RV. All of my daughter’s books were backed away in the moving truck that would meet us at our new house. My daughter kept begging me to read her a story. I have read to her every night since she was born. Well thinking about how she lost the crocheted purse her grandmother made her. I told her the story of Elwood. Now, when I told her the story the frogs did not have a name nor was Sam the turtle in it. But, when I finished telling her the story, my husband told me that I should write it down. The interesting thing is I didn’t write out until 2 years later.

I do outline most of my stories to keep me going in a general direction. Some of my stories I just wrote without any idea where it was going. I found that the stories with no outlines I ended up revising a whole lot more. Knowing the message I want to convey and how the book ends helps a lot.

rj: While writing “Elwood’s Crown” did you ever find yourself thinking….’gosh, how did that happened – that’s not at all what I had planned?

SR: Throwing in the Owl was interesting. That was not planned but mostly it went the way I wanted.

rj: How did you select the title? If there were other titles you considered, how about sharing one or two with us?

SR: The crazy thing about me and story titles is I stick with the first thing that comes to my head. A lot of the time I have the title first. With “Elwood’s Crown” I did not have a title. My husband gave it it’s title. At first I was afraid it gave to much away but then I thought that it was the best title for the book. My husband does not like to admit it but he can write too!

rj: Do you think about your characters, even when you aren’t writing?

SR: Yes, all the time. When I am watching my children, I think okay now how can Elwood learn something from this. Or I will see something that interest me or I will meet a interesting person and I will think I have the perfect story for that personality or event.

rj: Reader’s are curious about what author’s like and dislike the most about writing…
(1)Which part of the process was the most enjoyable for you?
(2)And the least?

SR: (1) The initial spark of an idea, especially when it hits me in the weirdest times. That is what reminds me that I am a writer. I can not tell you how many times I have ran out of the shower searching for a pen in end table drawer to write something down. It is crazy sometimes. The rush of seeing a story unfold in my mind and transferring it down to paper is amazing. JK Rowling and I have something in common, I write everything by hand then type it into a document on the computer.

(2) Having someone pick it apart lol. I know it is necessary to make it the best it can be but to have some just rip it apart it stings sometimes. To be a writer you have to have tuff skin and you can not take it personally.

rj: If you could spend the day, talking with and receiving advice from any author, who would chose?

SR: That is a hard question. I have three I would really love to talk to. Silver Ravenwolf, Judy Blume, and Beverly Cleary.

rj: Do you have any new projects in the works? – might we see Elwood again?

SR: Actually, yes you will defiantly see Elwood again. I have finished the second book. I have it already translated just waiting to hear back from the publisher. I am working out a few things with the third one. I have the fourth one outlined. I am also working on a chapter book series for 8-12 year olds.

rj: Now, here are a few silly questions that several readers submitted a few months back – saying they never see in an interview – So here we go..
1-Favorite color?
2-Favorite food?
3-Pet Peeve?
4-Favorite Disney Movie?
5-Favorite animated character?

1- Dark Blue
2- anything Italian
3- People who cut themselves down. I am a firm believer that you can do anything if you put your mind to. I do not like the words “I Can’t”
4- Mulan
5- Bugs Bunny

Thanks for being a good sport!

rj: Any advice you would like to share with aspiring writers?

SR: Read, Read, Read, write, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite….. Never give up and join a good critique group. Make sure you write down any and all ideas even if they sound silly. Get a digital recorder it helps when ideas come at the most inopportune times.

I am attending the Institute of Children’s literature. My instructor is Author Rhea Ross and she is awesome.

rj: Are there any special children/youth books you would recommend?Dragon

SR: A book I would recommend for those that like to read children books would be “Dragon” By J.G. Eastwood. She is a wonderful Author and a great friend she has given me mountains of advice.


rj: Shannon, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for participating in Saturday Spotlight here at 3Rs – I have enjoyed talking with you, just as I thoroughly enjoyed reading and reviewing “Elwood’s Crown”. .. I will be anxiously awaiting your next book!

SR: (closing) It has been a pleasure chatting with you and thank you for having me.

That’s all the time we have today – I want to thank Shannon Rumple for stopping by the Reading Den and talking with us. Elwood’s Crown is available at all on-line retailers, as well as, your local brick & mortar booksellers.

newspaper.jpgDon’t forget to mark your calendars if you will be in the Bloomington Minnesota area, on October 27th – Shannon will be hosting a bookfair * Barnes & Noble, located inside the Mall of America!

Also, check out 3Rs full review of “Elwood’s Crown” herealot_of_work_emoticons.gif. Click the book cover to order your copy today from Amazon and share this heartwarming tale with the special children in your life! elwoods-crown-by-shannon-rumple.jpg


Visit Shannon at

Here at Real Reader Reviews we enjoy reading and reviewing, but most of all, sharing our love of books with other readers is by far what keeps us turning pages and posting entries. As summer begins to fade into fall and children head back to school, mandatory reading will become a part of many households. . . . . It’s so important during this time to include “pleasure reading” – and don’t forget children are always watching the adults in their lives…. silent clues, behaviors, attitudes, and so on are being communicated everyday, via our daily routines. When children see their parents enjoying a book, that sends a message that no amount of parental persuasion or educational rhetoric could ever equal. So, if you are looking for a good book – check out our full review section… honest, unbiased opinions from real readers.   

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Posted by on August 11, 2007 in Interviews


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