Interview with Author and Illustrator Rose Cooper

I’m so excited to have the fabulous and uber cool, Rose Cooper, with us today at the Mixed Up Files!  Rose is my writing BFF and we’re prone to absolute silliness.  But we’ll try to keep it to a minimum today cause it’s all seriousness here at the Mixed Up Files. 😉

Me:  So Rose, tell us a little bit about your bad self.

Rose: I am represented by Rosemary Stimola and I’m the author and illustrator of the Blogtastic! Novel series.  It took me six long years of tears rejections, before I finally wrote a story that gained interest from agents and ultimately got me signed. Eight weeks later my book found a home with Random House.  

Me: Sounds like me. The six long years part. Except it’s only been two. Like I said, exactly like me.  Anywhoooo, how did you come up with the idea for Blogtastic?

Rose: I was sitting in Starbucks studying for my Business Law class. I was near the girls room and I thought, “wouldn’t that be funny to have a book about a bathroom blog?” and Bam! the idea was born. Of course, the titled changed from Bathroom Blog to Gossip from the Girls Room so it would be more appealing to readers.

Me: I dunno, the bathroom humor fanatic in me kinda likes Bathroom Blog. *shrugs* *ignores farting noises from the dog* So….Rose….tell me, do you spy on people in the ladies bathroom often?

Rose: Only when I’m super bored. Or looking for material for my next book.

Me: *Winks* Gotcha. Suuuuure.

What about the boys room?

Rose: I know i’m supposed to say no to that, so no. Absolutely not. That would be totally wrong. And I definitely don’t send my son into the boys room to spy either. That would also be very wrong.

Me: Right. I mean wrong. Yes, spying is very wrong.  *nods* I have to ask….does your main character, Sofia, find any interesting uses for toilet paper?  *ignores middle-grade memories of Halloween…bad Amie, bad!*

Rose: In GOSSIP, Sofia had to use the toilet paper as a nose plug when she was hiding out in the stink haunted stall. She uses what’s available to her when the situation calls for it. She’s like the MacGuyver of bathrooms. 

Me: There’s a stink haunted stall in my house. I could use some MacGuyver moves here when I have to clean it. Something’s gotta work better than a clothespin and toilet brush.  So all our readers are dying to know….why do you write for middle-grade readers?

Rose: I relate to kids best at this age, probably because my son is in middle grade and also partly because I refuse to let go of my childhood. 

Me: Repeat with me: I will not grow up. I will not grow up.  Phew! I feel better! What do you think is the BEST PART about writing for middle grade?

Rose: There are so many great things, it’s hard to pick just one. But I would have to say getting emails from kids who read the book. When I hear how they are inspired to write or illustrate their own book, or how much they enjoyed reading it, it makes me feel as if this is the reason I became an author.  

Me: That’s gotta be such a rewarding feeling. You’ll get to experience that all over again pretty soon, won’t you?

Rose: I will! My second book, Rumors from the Boys Room, will be released Oct.11, 2011 (holy cow!) and you will see many familiar faces, as well as new ones. Sofia Becker swears to only blog about things that she hears from a totally trustworthy source—herself! Her locker just happens to be in her direct line of vision of the boy’s room (if she peeks around the corner), so this gives her many opportunities to spy on the boys. Of course there’s no way she could possibly get that information mixed up, right? Thrown into the mix is a FES (foreign exchange student), a Popular Pretty who has the ability to use her hair as a weapon (or jump rope), and a dirty psycho kitty.

Me: Hair as a weapon, eh? *Twirls head, gets whiplash, realizes that was stupid*

As author and illustrator you have a lot of responsibility….tell us about the process.

Rose: After I do revisions on the actual manuscript, I then work with a designer at Random House. I send her all the images and she puts the book together. Then I revise the manuscript some more. Then revise the illustrations. I am essentially always on a deadline, whether it’s with the book or the illustrations. It’s twice the work, but completely worth it.

Me: That sounds like a lot of work. In fact, I’m breaking a sweat just thinking about it.

I already know some prehtty kewl stuff about the third book (nanny, nanny pooh, pooh!) Wanna share some secrets with the readers today?

Rose: The third book in the Blogtastic! series will be Secrets from the Sleeping Bag, due out summer 2012. Sofia goes away to summer camp and is without any technology (gasp!). Not only does she make new friends, but she finds herself in the middle of prank wars, marshmallow fights, bigfoot sightings, and activities gone horribly wrong.  Oh yeah, and she totally fears for her life when she encounters wild animals. Hint: not skunks.

Me:  Did you notice how I said “secrets” before? Yeah, uh huh, told you I knew some prehtty kewl stuff.  Well Rose….we really appreciate you visiting with us at the Mixed Up Files today. It’s been real. It’s been fun. And it’s been real fun. Before we go out for lunch and eat chocolates and bon bons, is there anything else you want to share?

Rose: I’m going to be a Ninja for Halloween.


Rose has graciously agreed to give away two books – Gossip from the Girls Room and her soon-to-be-released Rumors from the Boys Room – to one Mixed Up Files reader! Cause she’s awesome like that. And I bribed her.

Leave your comment below to be entered.  No Mia St Claire’s allowed.