Meet Tiffany Strelitz Haber, Author Of Debut Picture Book The Monster Who Lost His Mean and A Giveway!

I know.  We haven’t done Oh Susanna in ages!  But awesome things keep coming up that I just have to slide in somewhere, one of which is today’s post about a great new picture book.  So… next week?

Today I am delighted to introduce you to Tiffany, but real quick before I do, let me just announce that the winner of Steven Petruccio’s gorgeous picture book Puffer’s Surprise from last week’s author/illustrator interview is Delores (thefeatherednest)!!!  Congratulations, Delores!  I hope you’ll enjoy this beautiful book!

Now then!  Everyone, please meet Tiffany!  I have to tell you, I found this interview so entertaining that I’m afraid you guys will never want to come back and read my boring old posts after it, so you have to promise not to throw me over 🙂

Tiffany Strelitz Haber & Co. 🙂

SLH:  When did you start writing for children?  

TSH:  When I was in third grade, I wrote my first “rhyming picture book”.  I continued writing for many years.  In fact, all throughout highschool, and a bit in college as well.  So obviously, when I was figuring out what I wanted to do for a living, I headed straight for the financial world!  I was never really one for connect the dots.  🙂   Anyway.  Yadda, yadda, yadda, cut to 24 years later (give or take)…chronically unhappy in the career I had been diligently building for over a decade, and feeling like it was ‘now or never’ to make a change, I realized I was barking up the wrong tree entirely.  I wanted to really love what I did for a living.  So I went back to what I had loved for so many years before, and started writing for kids.

SLH:  Do you have an agent, or did you submit on your own?  

TSH:  Agent.  I learned very quickly (by attending a couple of NJSCBWI conferences), that having agent representation opens doors otherwise closed to most authors.  It also allows you the freedom to really focus on writing (and later promoting) as opposed to spending countless hours researching publishing houses and editors, constructing query letters, physically printing, stuffing, stamping and mailing submissions out, following up and…well…you get the point.  

SLH:  Was The Monster Who Lost His Mean your first submitted PB or did you have others before that haven’t sold yet?

TSH:  I actually got extremely lucky.  My agent subbed two PBs of mine simultaneously to a variety of houses.  Several months later…within the same week, we had offers on both.  It was very exciting!  (SLH: OMG!  I think I speak for most of our readers when I say I could sure use a week like that! 🙂

SLH:  Tell us about the moment when you got THE CALL!!!  How did you feel?  What did you do?  Did you celebrate? Call all your friends and relations? 🙂

TSH:  Ok, so I was on a ski trip with a bunch of friends.  We were sharing a house and had been out super late the night before, so everyone was passed out on various couches and beds.  Anyway…for some reason, I found myself wide awake at 5 in the morning so I checked email on my phone.  And there it was.  We had an offer on MONSTER and as I leaped off the couch and looked around for someone to share the news with (read: tackle with uncontrollable zeal), I realized  I was surrounded by zombies.  There wasn’t a single soul within a half mile radius that wasn’t dead to the world and stickin’ to it.  So I kind of just muttered to myself in the corner for a while with a pre-dawn bloody mary.  Party of one, please!

SLH:  Do you have anything else under contract?  

TSH:  I have another rhyming picture book due out in April 2013.  It’s called, Ollie and Claire (Philomel/Penguin) and was illustrated by the amazing Matthew Cordell.

I also have a couple of stories in that critical, “at an editorial meeting” type phase where it could still go either way…but you know you’re close and you’re just kinda….waiting. (read: pacing, email-refreshing, obsessing)

SLH:  And please share where we can find you…

facebook:  (BIG facebook gal.  Let’s be friends!)
Twitter: @tiffrhymes
Blog: for tips and tricks on writing in rhyme, come check out
Just for fun quick questions:

Left or right handed?  right
Traditionally or self-published? traditionally
Hard copy or digital? hard
Apps or not?  not that I know of?
Plotter or pantser? plantser?
Laptop or desktop? lap
Mac or PC? Mac
Day or night worker? DAY
Coffee or tea? Coffee (and then suddenly tea for like…a day)
Snack or not? I want to meet the person who says “not”.  And then never talk to them again.
Salty or sweet? Salty.  Althought salty and sweet in the same bite is actual heaven on earth.  #ChocolateCoveredPretzels
Quiet or music? Quiet
Cat or dog? both
Currently reading? Helter Skelter

And now, my lovelies, Tiffany has generously offered a signed copy of her brand new, hot-off-the-presses, WONDERFUL book.  All you have to do is what the Rafflecoptor widget tells you to.  And may I just say that I hope the Rafflecoptor widget is going to show up somewhere – it probably will not show up where I intend it to, so look around, be ingenious and persistent, and hopefully you’ll find it wherever it chooses to appear 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveawaySo yeah – fill that in.  You get extra points for “liking” and “following” and things of that nature.  And just in case the widget doesn’t work, and I am off in the boonies of PA/VA/NC unable to fix it, please also take part in our fun contest in the comments – it’s supposed to show up as mandatory in the Rafflecoptor thingy, but like I said, my faith has limits…. 🙂 so I’m putting it here too:

Everybody knows the ‘M’ in MONSTER stands for Mean.  When one young MONSTER loses his…and becomes THE ONSTER, everything goes awry.  What does the first letter in *your* name stand for?  How would you feel if you lost it?  Answer below for a chance to win a signed copy of THE MONSTER WHO LOST HIS MEAN!

Have fun!  And if you have any questions or comments for Tiffany, fire away.  I’ll try to talk her into checking in from time to time 🙂

Happy Monday, All!


97 thoughts on “Meet Tiffany Strelitz Haber, Author Of Debut Picture Book The Monster Who Lost His Mean and A Giveway!

  1. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Look what you've done – thoroughly confusing poor Tiffany with your real name whilst posting under your pen name 🙂 But we would still love you – no matter what your name is – with or without your A 🙂

  2. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I had the same impression, Tiffany! I was marveling at your incredible talent – selling your first two out of the gate!

    Tiffany Strelitz Haber wrote, in response to Tina Cho:

    OH. MY. GOODNESS. Did I give the sense that I don't have over thirteen-bazillion-forty-six-million rejections??? Cause I do. Totally. Just got another a couple days ago in fact. So make that thirteen-bazillion-forty-six-million….and one. And two sales. (I like to end on a positive note). 😀

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  3. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Robyn is a beautiful name! But I had to laugh at what Tiffany said – I realize it's very late and I've been staring though a windshield most of the day, but I say OBGYN too 🙂 Maybe Rafflecoptor will pick you because you both star with R 🙂

  4. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    So glad you're pleased! I left it all packaged up and ready to go to the post office. Now it remains to be seen whether any of the home crew will actually get it there. If not, first thing Saturday morning I promise! 🙂

  5. Saba says:

    hmmm the 's' in Saba stands for shy and if I lost my shyness good lord I don't know what kind of trouble I would find myself in 😀

  6. Kirsten Larson says:

    I'm always fascinated by how many children's writers make writing their life's work late in the game. Tiffany, I'm right there with you (staring at MBA diploma). Meanwhile I was just at my parents' house where we dug out some early poetry and a family newsletter I wrote 20+ years ago with headlines like, “Mother, children go to dentist.”

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