Not only do I have a writer I've known her entire life to interview today, I'm giving away her brand new book.
Moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunties and uncles, this is your lucky day. Bayne Gibby's first board book for young children has just been published by Scholastic. Yes, you can order your own copy, of course--I've already given three as baby gifts-- but I'm giving the book to a lucky commenter.
(Thank you, Scholastic!)
An actor and comedian, BAYNE GIBBY grew up in Chatham, NJ, a few streets from where our family lived. She graduated from Kent Place School, where I worked as a librarian. Imagine my surprise and delight when I heard her first picture book, YOU MEAN THE WORLD TO ME, was coming soon.
Now she's agreed to a chat. Thanks for stopping by, Bayne.
Tell us how you moved from a famous HBO actress to writing this sweet story for little children.
I've always wanted to be an actress, and have been very focused on that ever since I can remember. I began writing children's books and short stories when I was in college and briefly dabbled in getting published while living in New York City. I had one short story published in a collection called Regeneration: Telling Stories from our Twenties, but I didn't have much luck with my children's books. The process was so daunting and difficult, my aspirations were put on the back burner for a while.
When my two older brothers began having children, I started making small books for my nieces and nephews for their birthdays and Christmas, getting them laminated and bound at Kinko's. That reignited my excitement for the whole world of Children's Books. My sister-in-law nudged me by claiming my books were better than some of the ones bought in stores. That got me moving! I started seriously trying to get published about five years ago. About two years ago, Scholastic looked at a whole packet of my material and chose You Mean the World to Me. It was originally written for my niece, Samantha, about being an aunt. I did a rewrite where it then became about being a mother. Samantha recently found the original version.
I love this! And I love that you still have it.
Your young fans may not know you as Connie on the HBO show Enlightened, but the rest of us do!
Are you an actor who writes or a writer who acts?
I think I'm an actor who writes, but I hope to soon be a hyphenate: Actor/Writer.
What's been the most fun thing about having your first book published?
It's very exciting. I had gotten used to a constant stream of no's or we really really like it, but don't love it type of responses to this book and many others. I have a whole file full of the submission emails and letters and the rejections, and it's pretty astounding what goes into getting one thing published. Acting is full of constant no's also, which I'm used to, and it always feels wonderful to get a yes! Seeing the book on shelves is amazing and receiving pictures of friends who are reading it with their young children is really incredible. I'm saving all the pictures to make a big montage.
So send Bayne your pictures. Find her on Facebook, and her own website: http://www.baynegibby.com
What's next up in your career? Anything you haven't tried that speaks to you now? More books? Music? Theater?
Yes, all of the above! More books, for sure. More tv, film, and theatre. I better get going!
Those of us who've known you since you starred in musicals as a seven-year-old have no doubt you can do it all!
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Bayne.
If you'd like to own a copy of YOU MEAN THE WORLD TO ME, leave me a comment here or on the original Facebook post and I'll add your name to the drawing. Please enter by next Thursday, March 22.