April 20, 2020

The Write Space – Lori Houran

by Felicia Cheney

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The Write Space is a monthly Q&A series from Creative Collective covering a local writer and a North Shore space(s) s/he associates with writing.  Questions? Contact: pmcyran@pamelasmark.com

Give us your best writerly bio. 

Lori Haskins Houran began her career as a children’s book editor at Random House and Golden Books. She wrote her first book in 1996, and last month she celebrated the publication of her fiftieth book, Space Mice. Her other titles include Next to You, named a Best Picture Book of 2016 by School Library Journal, and the popular easy-to-reads Too Many Dogs and Too Many Cats, which together have sold more than half a million copies. Lori lives in Ipswich with her husband, four teenage boys, and two dogs.

Tell us about a North Shore Write Space. 

Before I moved to Ipswich three years ago, I asked my husband-to-be if the town had a nice library, a good coffee shop, and an independent bookstore. The answer was yes to two out of three. The Ipswich Public Library is lovely; I tend to work on first drafts and revisions there, since I need peace and quiet for those steps of the process. When I’m looking over sketches or doing other work that doesn’t require quite as much concentration, I move on to Zumi’s, our beloved local coffee shop. I’m still waiting for an Ipswich bookstore, but in the meantime, the superb Jabberwocky Bookshop is only about twenty minutes away, in Newburyport.

When I’m in North Shore, not writing, I’m …

During the off-season I love to walk our dogs, Coco and Bailey, on Crane Beach. In warm weather, you might find me kayaking on the Ipswich River, biking around town, or strolling in Bradley Palmer State Park.

What are you working on now? 

Like most children’s book writers, I juggle lots of projects at once. I have ten books under contract: three Little Golden Books, two nonfiction books, two board books, two easy readers, and a picture book.

I’m especially excited about the picture book, Close Your Eyes. It’s a bedtime story starring a bevy of baby animals. The illustrator, Sydney Hanson, illustrated two of my other books as well, Next to You and Warts and All. Her artwork is heart-meltingly adorable.

And finally —

 Here’s a peek at my new picture book, Space Mice. It’s about two hungry mice on a mission to nab that big ball of Swiss cheese in the sky. The illustrator, Priscilla Alpaugh, did an incredible job! 

Find out more at —

You can follow me on Instagram (@lorihaskinshouran) or visit me at my web site (lorihaskinshouran.com). For signed copies of my books, stop by Jabberwocky Bookshop in Newburyport. 

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