CHARLOTTE THE SCIENTIST: Interview with Camille Andros (+Giveaway)

Join me in welcoming Camille Andros! What do you get when a smart, confident bunny knows all about the scientific method and loves to solve problems? Charlotte the Scientist to the rescue! Written by Camille Andros and illustrated by Brianne Farley, these delightful books feature fun stories and colorful illustrations. Here’s the rundown:

Book 1: CHARLOTTE THE SCIENTIST IS SQUISHED – With so many brothers and sisters, Charlotte is too squished. She has to figure out a way to get more space to work on her experiments.

Book 2: CHARLOTTE THE SCIENTIST FINDS A CURE – When the forest animals start getting sick, Charlotte explores science to solve the medical mystery. She gets inspiration from a famous scientist – her Grandpa!

To supplement the stories, Camille provides engaging back matter titled In the Lab with Charlotte. Camille is a former EMT with a science degree so she is extra brave like Charlotte.

Now let’s hear from Camille!

Camille Andros photographed by Justin Hackworth

What was your inspiration for creating this character?

I love science! When I was in first grade, I won the blue ribbon in the school science fair, and I was hooked. I had several wonderful teachers who helped encourage my love for science and helped me feel like I was smart enough to study science. I hadn’t seen a lot of women in science growing up so it was important to me to create a character where girls could see themselves as a scientist. 

How did you approach developing Charlotte and creating a story for her?

Charlotte the Scientist actually started as a completely different story about a large family. It was very short — under 100 words. I was (and still am) part of a critique group that gave invaluable feedback to help shape the story. I also had some great critiques at an SCBWI conference in Charlotte, NC, which is where I came up with adding the element of science and renaming my character to Charlotte.

Tell us about your experience working with your editor and the illustrator.

After the manuscript sold, I revised the story even further to add in the specific steps of the scientific method. It was mentioned in the story, but not in such a specific way. One of the many reasons working with an editor is wonderful — they are able to see a bigger picture for the story and make it even better. 

Illustrator Brianne Farley and I actually collaborated on the Charlotte books for the submission to editors, so we came as a package deal. It was so fun to see Charlotte come to life with Brianne’s art that is perfect for Charlotte. Brianne has some great “how to draw Charlotte” videos and coloring pages on her website and instagram for those interested (see links below).

I love my family, but I want to join this family too! How did you come to have two books on Charlotte?

I have lots of Charlotte story ideas, and we did pitch it as a possible series. The manuscript ended up selling in a two-book deal, so we have two Charlotte books today.

What are your top tips for writing picture books?

-Be open to critique and other ideas.

-Do your homework on picture book story structure.

-Be flexible.

-Create from a place of curiosity and joy.

-Think about the feeling/emotions you want to create for the reader as they read the story.

-Take time to quiet your brain and just be — that’s when the magic happens.

What can we look forward to next?

I have a book coming in Fall 2021 (if all goes well with the current climate) with Abrams, THE BOY AND THE SEA. Amy June Bates is illustrating. It’s all about the idea of taking time to be quiet and listen to what the universe — in this case the Sea — is whispering to us. I’m thrilled to be working with Amy and the team at Abrams and can’t wait for everyone to see it.

Sounds intriguing! Congratulations!

Connect with Camille: Website  Twitter  Instagram

Connect with Brianne: Website  Twitter  Instagram

***GIVEAWAY***

For a chance to win a CHARLOTTE THE SCIENTIST book, leave a comment by July 7. I’ll announce the randomly selected winner in my next post.

Congratulations to Lenora Biemans for winning a copy of Dozens of Doughnuts from my last post.

Thanks for reading & see you next time!

Michelle Meadows

Michelle Meadows

Michelle Meadows is the author of 10 books for children -- with more in the works. Michelle loves creating heartwarming stories that are enjoyable to read aloud. Connection, compassion, and family are common themes in her work. Her latest books are BRAVE BALLERINA: The Story of Janet Collins and FLYING HIGH: The Story of Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles. Her other books include HIBERNATION STATION, SUPER BUGS, and PIGGIES IN PAJAMAS. Michelle studied journalism and literature at Syracuse University in New York. She is represented by literary agent Rosemary Stimola of the Stimola Literary Studio. Michelle grew up in Washington, D.C. She now lives near the beach in Delaware with her husband and son. To learn more about Michelle's books, visit her website: www.michellemeadows.com

60 Comments:

  1. How fun! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Love the idea of a female scientist as a main character!

  3. So HOPPY to see another Charlotte book! Wishing you all the best!

  4. I hope there are many more Charlotte the Scientist books! Congratulations, Camille!!

  5. It’s always interesting to hear about the evolution of a story! Thank you!

  6. This book looks great, always looking for science related books for my twins!

  7. A female scientist story for the PB crowd! Awesome!

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    Sheri Delgado-Preston

    Oh it sounds like a fun story! I love it:)

  9. I love Charlotte and the wonderful illustrations! Congratulations on the 2 book deal!

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    Debra Kempf Shumaker

    Looks so sweet. And I’m from a big family so I love Charlotte and her dilemma!

  11. What a great way to encourage scientific inquiry!! Congratulations!

  12. This post, this book, and Camille’s journey made me smile! Congratulations, Camille.

  13. I love science books! Looking forward to reading about Charlotte. Congratulations, Camille.

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    Jennifer Lane Wilson

    I’m a huge fan of Charlotte. Love these books sooooo much

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    Carole Calladine

    Write from a place of joy. Wonderful mantra, particularly while sheltering in place. Thank you for this inspiring story.

  16. Looking forward to reading these books! Thanks for the post.

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    Danielle Hammelef

    Thank you for the interview post. Your books are ones I can’t wait to read.

  18. Charlotte rocks.

  19. I love a squished scientist! So creative.

  20. I appreciated your tips for writing!

    I hope your series is successful and that many young friends can learn thru Charlotte’s experiences!

  21. Great stories!! Congratulations!!

  22. Wonderful interview. Thanks for the tips, Camille.

  23. Such a creative idea! Thank you for sharing this!

  24. Congratulations. I love your sharing of your process and idea development.

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    Ahren Carscallen

    I have 8 kids and I think they can relate to feeling squished. It sounds like a fun book!

  26. Great story and illustrations. Congratulations to both of you.

    I never liked science when I was in school. Charlotte may have inspired me!

  27. Sounds like a wonderful book and series!

  28. This looks wonderful! I can’t wait to check it out. 🙂

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    Janet Frenck Sheets

    It’s always interesting to hear a manuscript evolves. I was surprised that you and Brianne were partners from the start, rather than being paired by an editor. Isn’t that fairly unusual?

  30. What a fantastic mentor text for young scientists! Love peeking into a cozy bunny home too! Thanks for featuring Camille’s work.

  31. Former scientist here. I already love Charlotte and her big family! Can’t wait to get my hands on it. Thanks for the sneak peek and the wonderful interview. It’s so unusual to submit a complete package like this unless you are both artist and illustrator but you two are clearly a winning team! Congratulations!!!

    Charlotte being squished reminds me of my very first research project in a lab where I washed the dishes. I asked to have my own project but there wasn’t any room so I worked odd hours. But it was such fun.

  32. Oh my goodness, these look adorable! Love science PBs!

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    Meredith Fraser

    I love the story line. I know several budding scientists that will love the books!

  34. Looks amazing. Very interesting that the two of you were a package deal!

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    Pamela Harrison

    I love science-related picture books where the MC is a girl. We need to encourage girls to explore avenues that used to be male dominated. This looks like a wonderful way to do just that. Congratulations, Camille and Brianne!

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    Shannon Howarth Nelsen

    We are Charlotte fans here and were lucky to get an autographed copy at Whirlikids Book Fest. Congrats! Loved hearing about your process.

  37. I would love to share this book during my elementary school’s family STEM night!

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    Angie Quantrell

    Charlotte is wonderful! I know I will just love her character and all the cool science-y things she does. The family photo is great! Congrats and best wishes!

  39. Your Charlotte books are a delightful encouragement to budding scientists, Camille. Thanks for sharing your background story.

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