Amy learned to read at age four and has always loved books. She is the author of If Monet Painted a Monster (Tilbury House, 2019), If Picasso Painted a Snowman (2017), and If Da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur (2018). Amy wrote her first monster story in elementary school. Now she creates stories for kids of all ages. She is an avid board game player and has a deep appreciation for chocolate. She and her husband, illustrator Greg Newbold, enjoy hiking, camping, and taking road trips. When not traveling, Amy enjoys exploring the world through books. Visit Amy's website to learn more about her and her books. You can find Amy on Facebook, X, Instagram, and Bluesky at @amynewboldbooks
1. What do you feel you’ve gained from being a part of the children’s writing community? When I started writing for kids, I had no idea what an amazing community I was joining. I have had many learning opportunities through classes and conferences that have helped me improve my writing. I have connected with wonderful critique partners and made many friends. Other writers have given me generous critiques and offered encouragement when I’ve needed it most. Now I like to give back to the community whenever I can. I love that we can all support each other.
2. Do you ever get stuck creatively? If so, how do you get unstuck?
Yes, I get stuck sometimes! It’s important to make room for creativity in my life. When I get stuck, I use a variety of tools to help me get going again. I’ll write something different (instead of a picture book, for example, I’ll switch to a novel, or write some poetry). It also helps me to play music, create some art, or take a walk. All of those things help me get the mental space I need to get unstuck.
3. What are you working on? What’s next for you?
I am always working on picture book manuscripts, but right now I am excited about a new project. I am writing a middle grade novel in verse, and it’s the most personal story I’ve created. I love taking on a new challenge, and I’m really happy with how this story is turning out.
4. What was the process or timeline for If Monet Painted a Monster, from idea to publishing?
Because this book was the third in a series, and because it was published with a smaller press, it had a very quick timeline. I think from the time I signed the contract until the book was published was less than eighteen months. I wrote the manuscript, including artist bios in for the backmatter, in about four months so that the illustrator would have time to do the illustrations before it went to press.
5. What was the most challenging thing you faced while writing/researching this book?
My father passed away when I was starting to write this book. It was very hard for me to write If Monet Painted a Monster and do research on all the artists featured in the book while going through the grieving process. But having a deadline and a book to write helped me have something else to focus on besides my loss. I’m proud of the work I did on this book under the circumstances, and I will always have a soft spot for it because writing it helped me through a rough time.
6. If you read this book to a room filled with kids, what message would you want them to leave with?
I would want kids to leave with the message that they each have their own unique creative voice and that their individual way of creating is important and needed in the world.