Lucky the Leprechaun on the Loose follows a leprechaun that shows up in March to play pranks and create magic for children. What was the inspiration for your story?
Lucky the Leprechaun on the Loose was written with the inspiration in mind of a long-held tradition in my classroom. It all started when I began making the first part of the month of March similar to The Elf on the Shelf where I put a little figurine of a leprechaun out and intermittently move it around the classroom. “Lucky”, surprisingly, gets himself into some crazy predicaments, moving about when the kids are out to lunch or recess. The anticipation they feel, filled with excitement to get back to the classroom to see what has happened while they were gone, is beyond joyous.
Then, on the morning of March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, the students arrive at school, finding the classroom a “mess” (chairs tilted and confetti on the floor), with personalized messages and treats on their desks from Lucky. They find green footprints around the class, a green toilet bowl, gold coins, and a “see you next year” letter. My students absolutely love this tradition and talk about it fondly for years to come, including many of my former students who are now parents.
What comes first for you, the plot or the characters, and why?
I would have to say the plot usually comes first for me. It is important to me that I have a good plot and the characters are secondary unless I do a series of books with common characters.
Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing or inspired you?
I love pets! We have a golden retriever named Paisley who is a Covid puppy. Paisley definitely attempts to get my attention while writing and constantly wants to be loved and pet. She has inspired me to write a book about her because she is so playful and always gets into mischief! She is an expert sock finder, hider, and eater!!
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My next two books are going to deal with social-emotional learning and the importance of trying hard and believing in yourself.
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