About the Author
Anna C. Morrison is an author of children’s books, including Silly Moments and Green Gooey Goop, with many more to follow. She is also an adjunct professor for multiple colleges and universities, both face-to-face and online. While she instructs various levels of English composition, she also teaches classes on literature, film, feature writing, and technical writing, among others. In addition, she has worked with Adapt Courseware as a writing consultant on three video course projects, including college skills and composition. Anna received her MFA in Writing from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky, and her BA in English, Creative Writing, from California State University, San Bernardino. Anna is an active member of SCBWI and is available for book signings. She lives in Southern California with her family and pets.
A&RBC: Where did the concept for Green Gooey Goop?
Every morning, when my son was younger, I would drink a green smoothie in the car on the way to drop him off at school and then go to work. I liked Naked Juice Green Machine or other similar smoothies that I could buy in bottles at the grocery store so I could grab one on my way to the car. I would offer these to my son also, but he always refused and had imaginative responses, like trying to determine what ingredients were in them. He especially thought the word “spirulina” was hilarious. I called it my “Liquid Spinach” and tried to help him to understand that green foods are healthy foods, and we can’t all live on peanut butter and jelly. Sometimes, we need veggies, too. He didn’t believe me at the time.
A&RBC: Why did you feel you had to write this book?
It was such a fun and funny experience that it turned into a little rhyme that I would say in the car before or after or even while I was drinking my breakfast smoothie, and it made my son smile, so I hoped that writing it down would be a start to helping others smile, too. In addition, I was still going to school, and I was working my MFA in Writing degree, and part of my assignment was to compose a certain amount of creative work each quarter. I had decided to focus on picture books, along with other creative works, so I was on the alert for topics that would go well with illustrations for a younger audience.
A&RBC: What was the hardest part in writing this book?
This book went through several revisions, as all books do. I started by submitting it as part of my workshop group while I was earning my MFA, and I received several helpful suggestions, but it still didn’t really take firm shape until I went back and forth with my editor many times, and it was determined that I needed to concentrate more on the meter of the rhyme. This is not an easy process. There are other quirky green ingredients that didn’t make the cut because of syllable and page count. Counting out syllables and keeping a rhyme scheme can really be a challenge.
A&RBC: What do you want readers to take from Green Gooey Goop?
I hope that Green Gooey Goop opens conversations between caregivers and children who may be cautious about eating foods they perceive as nutritious but not delicious. I also hope that children and caregivers laugh through their time together enjoying this book. My primary goal when writing children’s books is to assist in strengthening the child/caregiver bond by providing fun and quirky stories to brighten up reading time. This particular story can also be used to explain what ingredients are good for us and that there is more to mealtime than just one particular, favorite meal, such as my son’s go-to lunch: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Children of all ages have a tendency to want to eat the same thing that they like repetitively, but our bodies crave variety, and nutritious can definitely also be delicious!
A&RBC: What 4 tips can you give an author wanting to write a children’s book?
I would have to say the same things that I tell myself:
- Write what you would want to read to your children/grandchildren.
- Write in a way that appeals to children and hopefully makes them laugh and/or smile.
- Focus on the positive, even if you are writing about a potentially negative situation. Helping children to learn to deal with life’s ups and downs in a positive way is a gift to them that may carry through to adulthood.
- Write what you would feel comfortable reading in front of a crowd–because you will!
A&RBC: Who is Anna C. Morrison?
Anna C. Morrison is a mom, author, professor, and connoisseur of life. In addition to writing children’s books, she is a professor at multiple colleges and universities, and teaches or has taught various levels of English composition, as well as creative writing, professional writing, literature, and film. As a single parent who worked full time and attended college full time, it was sometimes difficult to carve out quality time for her and her son. Reading at bedtime became a sacred space to laugh and talk about the day’s events. As she and her son traveled through the worlds in the books they explored together, they would relate the issues in the books to their own lives and learn and grow together. Now that her son is a teenager, she is glad to be able to provide reading material to other caregivers to share with children.
A&RBC: Are you an avid or occasional reader? If so, what is your favorite genre of books?
I am an avid reader when I have the time, which is not as much I would like it to be, but I fit in as many books as I can when the time arises. I enjoy science fiction, humor, and biography, and I am a fan of the works of the late Douglas Adams. As for children’s books, Jon Scieska and Bruce Coville were both wonderful influences for my son and inspired him to want to read more. I read children’s books on my own, also, as research and also for enjoyment. I especially enjoy YA fiction, and I have some ideas for YA books of my own.
A&RBC: What has been your biggest achievement/challenge as an author?
Due to my schedule, I find it difficult to make time to write, so the ideas come out of me at awkward times and in precarious places. I remember writing a poem on a napkin balanced on my steering wheel one day when I was sitting in traffic on the freeway. Other times, I have dictated into my phone and emailed myself ideas and even chapters. I am always writing something in the back of my head, and it pops to the front when it’s ready for me to type it out. Time to write can be elusive, so I try to schedule it, but I’m not always in a writing type of mood at the scheduled times. I need to be flexible and allow the creativity to flow no matter what I’m doing or where I am, and then I save it for compilation and revision when I’m available.
A&RBC: What new project (s) are you working on?
I have three projects I am working on right now. One is a children’s picture book based on my experiences with my dog when we lived in the forest and there were many squirrels. Another is also a children’s picture book, but it is different from the squirrel/dog book, as this one is for a slightly older crowd, and it serves as a humorous introduction to Shakespeare’s characters in eight of his major works. The third project is a series of short books as a single parenting memoir, and I am composing instrumental tracks to accompany the chapters, so that readers may listen to the music as it echoes the emotions in each story. I plan to have the first two ready for illustration within a couple months, and the memoir will likely be finished at the end of the summer, with the music to follow shortly after.
A&RBC: Where can readers find you?
My blog has been retrofitted and is currently active. My home page is available, and I have links to many social media outlets. I look forward to connecting with readers!
Home Page: http://www.annacmorrison.com
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AnnaCMorrison
About the Book:
A little girl is presented with a different sort of a meal when her mom serves her green gooey goop. Interesting and icky ingredients appear one by one as the little girl decides what’s in this noxious-smelling concoction. The little girl creates a flood, and her dog’s fur turns green. Suggested age range for readers: 0-8
This book was written to capture the moment when a child is confronted by healthy food that, while nutritious, may not appear to be delicious. Many children react imaginatively to new foods, and the child in this book is no exception. She envisions the ingredients as other than what her mother describes in the first part of the book in an attempt to get out of eating the food. When she realizes she must eat it anyway, it spills onto the family dog, who may or may not be green forever!
I hope you enjoy starting a conversation with your child about the value of eating healthy foods that also taste delicious. Thank you for reading Green Gooey Goop!