I teach an addictions class, as a retired therapist. For fun, I enjoy gardening. I also love to hike the mountains near our cabin in the Tetons.
What sparked your interest in becoming a kid-lit and picture book creator?
I have always wanted to write, but I wasn’t really in touch with my feelings until after I retired. Then I decided I would do a few of the things that were dear to my heart. Writing children’s picture books was one of them.
I come from an extensive entertainment background. My mom started the ﬁrst entertainment agency in Miami, and my brother was a magician. Luckily for me, I was born into a “platform.” (I only wish that the internet was available at this time!)
As young as 16, I was already dreaming up stories to produce. My ﬁrst interactive production was The Disappearance of Dino Dinero. I cast celebrity look-alikes for all of the parts. It was a blast!
Along the way, people took credit for my work, I experienced self-doubt, and my knees knocked when an authority ﬁgure insinuated that they were the only conduit to success. Taking from my knowledge, if I can empower children to own their creative power, then I will feel more accomplished than any big professional title.
What are your earliest memories of books?
My favorite book was about a ﬁsh who swam in the wrong direction. When all the ﬁsh were going this way, he’d go that way. I believe the name of the book was Arthur. My dad would read it to me when I was a starry-eyed six-year-old. Maybe that’s why I have always leaped into the unknown, ﬁnding my north star.
How does your background in musicals crossover into creating picture books?
Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!
Kid lit lovers everywhere are celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday, who was born on this date in 1904. A fun fact about Dr. Seuss is that his famous Green Eggs and Ham book was created on a bet. Bennett Cerf, one of the founders of Random House Publishing, bet Theodore Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) that he couldn’t write a book with fifty or fewer distinct words. We all came out winners of that bet.
In celebration of his birthday, the estimable Vivian Kirkfield created the '50 Precious Words' contest. The challenge is to create a children's story with 50 words maximum. Wow! It was hard but fun. I cannot wait to see everybody's stories. Good luck to all the contestants. (Check out the other entries on Vivian's blog here)
When a Monster Eats Your Underwear
By Carrie Karnes-Fannin
“Where’s your underwear?”
“Ummm…a monster ate them, Mama.”
“I’m naked! Woo-hoo!!”
“That’s too bad."
“No underwear, no park.”
“Nope. No underwear, no park.”
“Here they are!”
“The monster burped them up. He said ‘excuse me.’”
“Can we go now?”
“But where’s your pants?”
What is your earliest memory of books?