To celebrate the release of How to Trick the Tooth Fairy by Erin Danielle Russell and illustrated by Jennifer Hansen Rolli on May 1st, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Erin, as well as 5 chances to win a copy of How to Trick the Tooth Fairy!
From Dorks to the Tooth Fairy
by Erin Danielle Russell
Writing the Dork Diaries series with my mom, Rachel Renee Russell, is a lot of fun! I’m always looking forward to hatching up new, hilarious stories for Nikki Maxwell and her friends. I love to write, so while I’m working on dorkalicious middle-grade books with my mom, I’m also writing my own picture books. How to Trick the Tooth Fairy is the first picture book I’ve written, and the process was very enlightening and different from writing Dork Diaries in several ways.
I know the Dork Diaries characters like the back of my hand because I’ve written them for almost eight years now. But, with How to Trick the Tooth Fairy, I had to start from scratch creating unique and memorable characters. How to Trick the Tooth Fairy has a lot of magic and fantasy elements in it too, which is different from the realistic fiction of Dork Diaries. I had to dig deep into my imagination to come up with the Tooth Fairy’s magic pranks, and realized I enjoyed writing fantasy! Realistic fiction will always be my comfort zone, but I’d love to write a fantasy novel someday.
The most obvious difference between How to Trick the Tooth Fairy and Dork Diaries is that the books are structured differently. Picture books have significantly fewer words and more pictures than middle-grade books because they’re for younger children. So, with Tooth Fairy, I had to choose my words carefully, limiting myself to one to two sentences a page. Artwork plays a big role in bringing a picture book to life, so I’m glad I got to work with illustrator, Jennifer Hansen Rolli. She did an amazing job telling my story through bright and beautiful pictures.
I can tell my mom loves being an author, and she’s extremely good at it because she’s published over 15 books in the last ten years. While I love being an author too, I’m less experienced and still have a lot to learn. When Tooth Fairy was published, I had to make big decisions on how I was going to promote it and how I was going to present myself to the public. I never really have to worry about that with Dork Diaries, because I can follow my mom’s lead. But, as an independent author, those decisions were scary to make, so I applied the most important lessons my mom has taught me, which is to trust my instincts and believe in myself.
Writing How to Trick the Tooth Fairy and Dork Diaries are different experiences, but I’ve learned a lot from both and find them equally valuable. Cowriting Dork Diaries with my mom has taught me the fundamentals of writing and helped me gain experience. How to Trick the Tooth Fairy has pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me learn a new writing style. I’ll continue writing more books with my mom and on my own—and hopefully a sequel to Tooth Fairy!
From the coauthor of Dork Diaries comes a witty and engaging picture book about a prankster who wants to pull off the best prank of all—pranking the Tooth Fairy!Kaylee loves pulling pranks: from dropping water balloons on passers by to even tricking Santa Claus, she’s a prize-winning prankster!
But is she the Princess of Pranks? No! That title is held by none other than the Tooth Fairy. But when Kaylee loses a tooth and the Tooth Fairy goes about her usual tooth-taking business, Kaylee pranks her with a fake frog. As Kaylee and the Tooth Fairy try to out-prank one another, things get way out of hand, until the two finally see eye and eye and decide to share the crown!
About the Author: Erin Danielle Russell has been writing stories since she learned how to spell. When she grew up, she became coauthor of the New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series with her mom, Rachel Renee Russell. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband, Jacob, and her spunky teddy bear, Stanley. When Erin’s not writing or daydreaming, she likes to cook, travel, play video games, and watch cartoons.
About the Illustrator: Jennifer Hansen Rolli grew up with lots of siblings who were waiting around corners with a trick or two up their sleeves. Today she lives with her own pranking family in Newtown, Pennsylvania (which is really a very old town). She is the author/illustrator of the picture books Just One More and Claudia and Moth. You can find more of her work at jenniferhansenrolli.com.