Thursday, October 13, 2022

Q&A with Sue Fliess




Sue Fliess is the author of the new children's picture book How to Hide a Turkey, part of her Magical Creatures and Crafts series, which also includes How to Help a Cupid. She lives in Northern Virginia.


Q: What inspired you to write How to Hide a Turkey?


A: My publisher (Sky Pony Press) and I wanted to do a Thanksgiving book, so that’s how it originated, but then the question for the books in this series are: What is the story? What is the creature? What is the craft?


So I brainstormed. I wanted to write a story that was sympathetic to the turkey (the creature), without being anti Thanksgiving feast (which I also enjoy!)…so I just decided there would be no eating in the book.


Instead, I took the kids outside on the trails to take an autumn nature walk. And what do they encounter? A turkey!


They make friends with the turkey, not realizing it had been separated from its flock. They know their parents won’t let them keep a turkey as a pet, so they create disguises to hide the turkey, but also to blend in with the bird themselves (the craft). In the end, they reunite the turkey with its flock, because everyone should be with family on Thanksgiving–even a turkey. :) 


Q: What do you think Simona Sanfilippo's illustrations add to this story?


A: She has a gift for giving the kids and the creature personality! Her illustration style is joyful and whimsical, and is perfectly matched to the story. I’m so glad she continues to illustrate this series!


Q: What are your favorite traditions for Thanksgiving?


A: We always start the morning by putting on the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. When I was young, I watched it, now it’s on in the background when I’m cooking – usually with my sister and parents. Then, weather permitting, we all head outside for a walk or sometimes to throw the football around (I have two boys). We usually eat in the afternoon, and try to stay awake after dinner! 


Q: Have you had any interactions with real-life turkeys?


A: I have, but only from a distance. When I lived in Northern California, I would see wild turkeys on hikes at the local parks. And for a time, my in-laws lived in Tennessee and we would see them on their lawn occasionally. 


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I’m working on final edits to another book in this Magical Creatures and Crafts series called How to Spook a Ghost, due out in 2023, a sixth book in my Kid Scientist series, and edits to three other books: one nonfiction and two STEM stories. Whew! 


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: I’m doing bookstore and library events for this book in November. If you’re in Northern Virginia, please come see me!


--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a previous Q&A with Sue Fliess.

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