5 Questions with...Amy Krouse Rosenthal

5 Questions with...Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Amy Krouse Rosenthal

(AKR) has been a part of WBEZ's family for more than a decade. As a matter of fact, I think I met Amy when she recorded a commentary in 1997 for the show

Metropolis with Aaron Freeman

.‚  Since then, she has been a regular contributor and essayist for

Eight Forty-Eight

and the host of her own show-within-a-show called

Writers' Block Party

.‚  Why I am telling you this? Because Amy is now a big time star. Yep, she recently began writing children's books and her work has been talked about in

Vanity Fair

, used as a prop in a Banana Republic Billboard and now, profiled in the

New York Times

. All this while she is embarking on her ambitious

Beckoning of Lovely

film project, which is‚ about producing a film with several people from around the world that she never met. She has an event this weekend.

Here are 5 questions with my buddy AKR:

JK: The New York Times cited that you are writing a children's book a month! Are these old stories you've held onto or are you just writing what you see?

AKR: These are all new stories actually. ‚ They were all conceived in the last year or two, then written and illustrated over the same period, but you really never know when a book is going to be "done" and published. ‚ It often can take several years from start to finish.‚ ‚ These just all happened to evolve and "cook" and then come out at around the same time. The four books are with three different publishing houses ‚ (HarperCollins, Chronicle Books, Hyperion).
JK: Was it hard to adapt from your regular writing to writing for children?
AKR: Nope. I have always loved writing for both audiences. And I was writing for both all along, it just took me longer to break into the children's book market.‚  A LOT longer.
JK: What is your favorite children's book (from growing up?)
AKR: Fortunately by Remy Charlip. I also loved Put me in the Zoo about that goofy, lovable bear with the colorful spots.‚  Also, War and Peace.‚ ‚ Great children's book!‚ ‚ What? Your parents didn't read that to you at bedtime? oh, ok, never mind...
JK: What is the children's book author community like? Big partiers?
AKR: What are they like? Nice! Cool! Interesting! With velvet stripes! Big partiers? ‚ The biggest.‚ (Kidding) (that's such a weird question, yo)
JK: Okay, fine. I'll keep it straight and narrow. Tell us about your Beckoning of Lovely project.
AKR: One of the most wonderful things/projects I've ever stumbled into. ‚ So much has happened since the first film launched last fall. ‚ (Shot and edited by our buddy Steve Delahoyde! ‚ Boy genius!) ‚  The project has grown to include hundreds of people from all over the globe.‚  You can see the various stages and little films that have come from it over these past months.

Anyway, there's a tangible "grand moment" ahead:

This coming Saturday we're having ‚ a "60 minutes of Lovely" gathering. ‚ One hour only, from 5-6 p.m.‚  Details on my site. ‚ I've been having these gatherings in various cities-- the last one was in Los Angeles. Gosh, it was just.... good.‚  It's so hard to try to explain what it is. ‚ It's one of those things better not explained I think. ‚ There will be people. There will be music. We will do some things. ‚ We will then leave.
Bottom line: I'm not promising the moon...but, I hope, a few minutes of sunshine.
JK: How hard is it to manage this project with so many people involved?
AKR: Kinda very.‚  But in a good, challenging, totally fulfilling way.‚  It's exactly as it should be I think.
JK: Quick! Name your favorite Writers' Block Party moment. AKR: That delicious 4-year-old boy Henry who sang show tunes for us. Right? ‚ Same for you? Oh, you gotta link that up right now and play it for the world...
JK: Um, I can't find it. I'll look. We recorded that before our Web site actually had mp3s! I have to find it in the archive.