Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

BBAW New Treasure: Interview With Lori of Lori Calabrese Writes

September 14th, 2010 by Debbie's World of Books

As a part of the Book Blogger Appreciation Week I had the wonderful chance to interview Lori Calabrese.  She actually writes three different blogs:

Read on to learn a little more about Lori.

What inspired you to start your blogs?

I started blogging because of my obsession with children’s books. After the birth of my two boys, I realized how much I love the time we spend together reading. We make endless trips to the library, read stacks of books and I love to see their faces light up when we discover a new adventure. Children’s books provide a child’s earliest experience at realizing that words can unlock exciting new worlds, which is why I was inspired to write my own.

As I continue to hone my writing skills, I’ve learned there is so much to know about writing for children, the ins and outs of publishing, and all of the amazing books that are available. I find blogging helps me stay on top of the latest news. It forces me to read books I normally wouldn’t pick up in a bookstore, and it allows me to network with so many awesome people across the internet.

You have three wonderful looking blogs. How do you find the time to squeeze everything in?

First off, thanks so much for the compliment!

As for finding the time to squeeze everything in, somebody once said, “Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves” Someway, somehow everything gets done.

I saw that Airhead by Meg Cabot is your favorite book. I’ve always meant to read a Cabot book. What makes this book your favorite?

I love Meg Cabot books and I especially love the Airhead series! Here’s a book about Emerson Watts, a video game-loving, girl next door who’s somewhat of a social outcast at her school, but things heat up when she suffers an accident and her brain is transplanted into the body of a supermodel. I always love Cabot’s first-person narratives because they’re so entertaining and Em Watts is an amazing character, sure to give readers a new perspective on being beautiful.

If you were stuck on a desert island what three books would you have to have with you?

Ooohhh, tricky question. I’d have to narrow it down to…
1. Meg Cabot’s Airhead

2. The Beautiful Dead by Eden Maguire

3. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

As the National Children’s Books Examiner at you must come across some great children’s books. What are a few that you would suggest to parents?

I do love being the National Children’s Books Examiner at because I’m introduced to so many titles that will prime the pump of reading. Some of my favorite recent reads are:

Pajama Pirates by Andrew Kramer (picture book)
Tropical Rainforests by Seymour Simon (nonfiction picture book)
Max Cassidy: Escape from Shadow Island (middle grade)
Scars by Cheryl Rainfield (young adult)

Congratulations on winning Dragonfly Publishing Inc.’s 2009 Best Children’s Book Award for The Bug That Plagued the Entire Third Grade. Where do you find inspiration when writing a children’s book?

All of my writing inspiration comes from my two boys. They constantly crack me up and have such a fresh take on the world. In fact, the idea for The Bug That Plagued the Entire Third Grade came to me when one of my sons had the flu. When everyone asked how he was doing, I would say, “He caught the bug.” It made me stop and wonder why we say that. Something clicked, so I expanded on the play on words of getting sick and catching an insect. Hence… “The Bug” was born.

What suggestions do you have for aspiring writers out there?

If you’re an aspiring writer, you’ve probably heard the tips I’m about to give you a million times—Read a lot and write every day. When I first started writing and read those tips, I’d say, “That’s it? Really? What else? C’mon. There has to be more!” I was certain these authors were holding back on the secret to success. But now that I look back at what’s helped me the most, it really is reading everything you can get your hands on, and keeping up with practice. You really have to keep at it and don’t get discouraged with rejections.

Is there anything else you would like to add for our readers?

As I mentioned earlier, The Bug That Plagued the Entire Third Grade is a picture book about the play on words when we say, “I’ve caught a bug,” and it’s just been released. To celebrate, I’m having a virtual book launch party that all of your readers are invited to. The party will start on October 18 at and will be a week-long party, with celebrity guests, prizes, giveaways, teaching guides, activities and crafts related to my new book.

Hope everyone can come and help me celebrate! Thanks so much for having me, Debbie and I hope everyone gets the chance to hop over to my blog ( so they can learn more about you and your world of books!

About Lori Calabrese:

Lori Calabrese is an award-winning children’s author. Her first picture book, The Bug That Plagued the Entire Third Grade, was named Dragonfly Publishing Inc.’s 2009 Best Children’s Book. She writes for various children’s magazines, is the National Children’s Books Examiner at, and enjoys sharing her passion for children’s books at festivals, schools and events. Visit her website to learn more,

Thanks Lori for joining us here today.

Posted in Books

2 Responses

  1. Zoe @ Playing by the book

    How lovely to read a bit about Lori. I follow her blog Lori Calabrese Writes and it’s lovely to get a glimpse behind the scenes. Off now to order the picture books she recommends!

  2. Valerie

    This really brings back memories of my kids’ early childhood readings :-). My youngest is 9 now. The interesting thing is that each of them had their own favorites — each one has different personalities and book preferences, even to this day!

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