Welcome to my interview with Debbie Roppolo, author of Amelia Frump and her Peanut Butter Loving, Overactive Imagination The book has recently been released at Dancing With Bear Publishing.
Tell us about yourself:
Thank you for having me, Valerie. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but when I was a child, I wanted to be a vet instead of a writer. Writing meant sitting still for long periods of time, and that was not something I cared to do at then.
The desire to become a vet was fueled by my love of animals–we had horses, cows, chickens, and at one time, a raccoon. In tenth grade, my career choice changed when we were required to dissect a bird in biology. I discovered, as did my lab partner, I couldn’t stand the sight of blood and guts.
My first story was published in Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul in 2005. Since then, my stories have been in magazines, newspapers, and in a few more of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books.
I’m also a field editor for Taste of Home magazine, and an award-winning baker.
Tell us about your book:
Amelia is a nine year old girl, and like most children her age, she has a very active imagination that sometimes gets her into trouble. One night, as the winds howl through the treetops, she sees a spooky, bony finger tapping on the glass outside her bedroom window. She must use her imagination to save herself, and avoid becoming the final ingredient in a “Grubby Sock Casserole.
What is your favorite character or element of Amelia Frump and her Peanut Butter Loving, Overactive Imagination? Why?
I like all the characters in the story, but Amelia is my favorite. Her personality was based on my own, as a child. Like Amelia, I was a sassy, adventurous girl who enjoyed “thinking outside the box”. Instead of playing Barbie, there were tea parties with my ponies or chickens, and Bantam hens wore the latest in doll clothes fashion.
I too, was not a very neat child, and my favorite method of cleaning my room was sweeping everything under my bed. I also had a mischievous streak that would have made June Cleaver reach for a rum bottle, and it seemed (at the time) it was my goal to make my mother gray-headed before she was forty.
What book or author has been most inspirational for you, and why?
There have been so many books I’ve found to be motivational, but some of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books inspire me the most. Each collection has true stories of overcoming obstacles, joy, and dealing with grief, and the reader can gain wisdom from the contributor’s experiences.
If you were to be stranded on a desert island, what non-survival-related item would you bring along that you couldn’t live without?
I would probably go nuts if I couldn’t work on story ideas, so I’d have to bring my laptop and a battery rechargeable with solar power.
Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
I’m working on a children’s book that’s about a boy whose brother has autism.
When a child in a family is diagnosed, the parents are occupied with scheduling therapy sessions (occupational, speech, and others), and dealing with the emotional turmoil following the diagnosis. As a result, siblings may feel forgotten, and try to cope with their emotions by themselves. This book is about a boy, and his own journey through his brother’s autism.
What question do you wish I had asked?
You asked them all. Thank you so much for having me!