Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Karen Jameson Interview and Giveaway!

I’m thrilled to introduce my good friend and critique partner, Karen Jameson, whose debut picture book, MOON BABIES, celebrates its book birthday today! Karen has graciously answered my questions about how her book came to be, and what’s next for her. She’s also provided a recipe for moon cookies. And, if you leave a comment below by July 10th, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a signed hardcover copy of MOON BABIES, written by Karen and illustrated by Amy Hevron!

Karen, how did you get the idea for this sweet and clever bedtime story?

I hadn’t yet had my coffee one morning, when a full page newspaper ad stopped me cold. Moon Valley Nursery was splashed across the page, with their logo of an adorable moon. At first glance, my sleepy brain bypassed the obvious - plant nursery- and jumped right to baby nursery. A moon baby nursery! For months, I’d been trying to come up with a fresh angle for a bedtime book and this was it!

Did you get it right the first time or did you have to revise? If you revised, can you tell us how many drafts you needed?

I did not get it right the first time or the tenth time or the nth time! Ha! I did so many revisions that I lost count. But, I knew that the concept was good and that kept me plugging away.

Judging by the art, your text really “spoke” to your illustrator, Amy Hevron. Are the moon babies in the book similar to how you pictured them?

It’s common advice to leave the art to the experts, namely the illustrator, art director and editor. So, I didn’t give it too much thought initially. It was surprising to me, when editors were quick to ask, “What do moon babies look like?” I didn’t have any idea, but Amy Hevron sure did! I was absolutely smitten with her darling moon babies from the start. Amy’s dreamy color palette and acrylic-on-board technique, blend seamlessly to create a charming moon nursery.

You were an elementary teacher for more than 30 years. Did you do any other writing before you sold this story?

Apart from the little poems and such that I wrote for my family, I dabbled in some grant writing at school. In April 2013, I was lucky enough to attend Alexis O’Neill’s UCLA Extension class on magazine writing for children. That course led to the publication of my first nonfiction science articles in ASK and AppleSeeds magazines.

Are there any future projects in the works?

I’m delighted to say that I have a few picture books in the queue! WOODLAND DREAMS (2020) and FARM LULLABY (2021) are coming out from Chronicle Books. More are on the way!

Author Bio
Karen is the author of the lyrical picture books MOON BABIES (Putnam, 2019), WOODLAND DREAMS (Chronicle, 2020), and FARM LULLABY (Chronicle, 2021). More stories are in the works! She was awarded the 2016 Sue Alexander Grant for the Working Writers Retreat (SCBWI LA) for her rhyming picture book, WOODLAND DREAMS. A retired teacher and active member of SCBWI, she holds a master’s degree in education. Lover of books, wildflowers, farmers’ markets and everything chocolate, Karen lives and works in sunny, Southern California. You can visit her website at karenljameson.com.

Crescent Moon Cookies

Makes 2 ½ dozen out-of-this-world cookies!
1 cup softened butter
½ cup powdered sugar (plus extra for dipping)
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water
1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the water and vanilla. Gradually add in the flour on low speed.
3. Stir in the chopped nuts.
4. Shape heaping spoonfuls of the dough into 2-inch crescents and place about 2 inches apart on baking sheets.
5. Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden on the bottom. Cool on baking sheets for 2-3 minutes, then roll warm cookies in powdered sugar. Place cookies on wire racks to cool completely.


  1. Excellent-looking cookie recipe! I'll add that to my recipe collection.

    1. Well, this was mine, but my name didn't show.

    2. Thanks, Molly! They’re yummy! We make them for the holidays, but they’re great for any time of year. :-)

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    1. Thanks for the directions! They worked perfectly.:-)

  3. Great interview! Can't wait to read the book. Huge congratulations, Karen!

  4. This looks like the sweetest bedtime book. Thanks for sharing the story behind your debut book and the recipe. Congratulations!

  5. Thanks, Claire! I’m excited that it’s finally out in the world!