Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A Bicycle Built for ...Interview with Gabi Snyder and book giveaway

By Janie Reinart

Gabi on her bike.

What's more fun than riding a bike, feeling the breeze on your skin, rolling along? Why riding with your best dog running beside you of course!  

Even today, our guest author, Gabi Snyder rides like the wind on her bicycle. Bikes and dogs from her childhood prompted the story for her debut picture book coming in May 2020! Two Dogs on a Trike is a humorous adventure story, plus a counting book showing pups using different modes of transportation, that is until the family cat jumps into the story.

 All preorder options (Indiebound, Amazon, etc.) are available from the book’s page on the Abrams site

Welcome, Gabi we are thankful you are here to share your story. Congratulations on your debut picture book. Let's roll and start the interview.

1. Who is your agent? 

My agent is the wonderful Natalie Lakosil of Bradford Literary Agency ( I signed with Natalie in July 2018.

2. How did you get the idea for your story?

 As a kid, one of my favorite picture books was Go,Dog. 
Go! by P.D. Eastman. The silly dogs and sense of
movement and fun in Two Dogs on a Trike are, in part,
an homage to the P.D. Eastman classic. In Two Dogs on 
a Trike we count up to 10 and back down again while
moving through different and escalating modes of

And the dog versus cat dynamic that plays out in the
story was inspired, in part, by my childhood pets. I grew
up with a cat we called Kinko (named for his kinked tail)
and an assortment of dogs. Kinko was the undisputed
boss. Now my family includes one dog and one cat.
(They take turns keeping each other in line.) 

 3. What is your favorite part of the story?

For the first half of the story, the dogs are oblivious to the fact that they’re being followed. When we reach “10 dogs,” there’s a realization. That last animal? Not a dog! The revelation spread and the one that follows are my favorite parts of the story. And while my illustration notes made clear who that not a dog is, I didn’t specify where we are. Robin Rosenthal’s illustration for that spread is hilarious and unexpected! I gasped in surprise when I saw it, and yet it feels like the inevitable “of course!” choice. Truly perfection.

4. How long did it take to write? Get to a publisher?

Unlike most of my stories, drafting TWO DOGS ON A TRIKE was fairly quick and painless. It came out mostly whole. Of course, my brilliant critique partners still had suggestions for taking it to the next level. 

It’s also lucky I shared it with my critique partners because I might not have thought to submit the story to agents and editors if my CP, Mary Worley hadn’t encouraged me to send it out. 

I wrote the first draft almost exactly two years ago – in October of 2017. I signed with my agent in July 2018, and we received an offer from Meredith Mundy at Abrams Appleseed in late August 2018. It all happened very quickly – but it followed a long wait! I’d been submitting picture book manuscripts to agents and editors since 2014. 

Gabi's work space.

5. What is your writing routine?

I like to start each writing session with a “free write” to clear away the cobwebs and to capture anything that’s worrying me or that I want to remember. After that, I try to stick to a schedule. I block out a certain amount of time for working on picture book manuscripts. And then, time permitting, I have blocks for revising my middle grade manuscript, writing critiques, etc. I try to work some exercise into the schedule by riding my bike or walking to a coffee shop for a writing or revising session.  

6. What is your favorite writing craft book?

There are so many great craft books – some that offer inspiration and support and others that give very specific, nit-gritty advice. Right now, my favorite go-to writing craft book is Lisa Cron’s STORY GENIUS. It’s geared toward novel writing, but I’ve found it’s helped me think through the internal logic of my picture book manuscripts, too. 

7. What inspires you to write?
Almost anything I see, read, or hear can inspire me. Some things that consistently inspire and inform my writing are nature, my kids, and memories of my own childhood. Tapping into memories of the emotions of childhood – how it felt to be a childliving through a particular moment or situation– feels especially helpful.

8. What are you working on now?

Too many things! I tend to write all over the place, which is both a curse and a blessing. I have a few lyrical PB texts I’m revising as well as a few humorous PB texts. I’m also revising a middle grade novel. 

9. Words of advice for writers. 

Go easy on yourself. Know that the more you practice – the more you read and write – the better you’ll get. You may have to write 20 stories before you write one that begins to match your vision. 

Also, everyone gives this advice but I’m going to give it too because it’s super good advice: write something new. Yes, revise the drafts that call to you. But also, write something new. I promise that what you’ve learned writing and revising those earlier drafts will shine through in your new drafts. Your new first drafts might still be lousy – that’s the nature of first drafts – but they’ll be better than your old first drafts. And you’ll have a better idea how to revise them!

Thank you, Gabi for joining us today. Happy trails and have a paw-some time with your debut book.  

Enter Rafflecopter for a book giveaway of Two Dogs on a Trike, coming May 2020.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
We wish all of our readers a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.

Gabi Snyder studied English-Creative Writing at the University of Texas, with a focus on writing fiction for adults and earned her MA. After a move to Corvallis, Oregon, Gabi become immersed in the world of picture books and fell in love with this form of storytelling. Gabi is also the author of LISTEN (S&S/Wiseman, Spring 2021), a book about listening past the BEEP! WOOF! ERNT-ERNT! VROOM! of a busy morning to hear each sound, even the quietest. 
  Link to blog: 
 Twitter handle: @Gabi_A_Snyder


  1. One of my fave book as a child was Go Dog Go, too. Cognrats, Gabs on this fun debut!

    1. Thanks, Kathy! I'll always be a sucker for a dog book. :)

    2. My kids loved Go Dog Go too!

  2. Love the idea of just two dogs on a trike but then reading that it's a counting book sounds like so much fun! Looking forward to reading this one! Congratulations!!

  3. What a fun book! Love how you've honored Go Dog Go, copies of which are still circling the globe. :) Can't wait to read your book! Congratulations!!!

  4. Congratulations, Gabi! I'm so happy for you. It's a delightful story, and you're a delightful CP. This feels very much like becoming an aunt. ��

    1. Thank you, Mary! You played a huge role in making TWO DOGS ON A TRIKE become a real book! :)

    2. Mary you are so lucky to have Gabi as a CP :)

  5. I, too, have fond memories of Go Dog, Go. This looks like a fun book! Congrats, Gabi, on your success!

  6. Thank you Gabi. I can't wait to see these wonderful pups.

  7. Thanks for sharing your book journey!

  8. Can't wait to see this little draft as a real book! Proud of you!

    1. Awww...thanks, Lisa! So lucky to have you as a CP!

  9. Thanks for this fun interview, Janie, and Gabi, it is fun to learn about the journey of Two Dogs on a Trike. I know it is going to be a hit with kids!

  10. Such a fun interview! I enjoyed hearing about your process. 😊

  11. This book sounds like so much fun! And now I'm dying to see what Robin came up with at the end. Congratulations, Gabi!

  12. Congratulations! I agree with your advice to write something new as part of your practice. I've been in revision mode for so many months, so it's a good reminder!