Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Q&A with Quinn Cole

Quinn Cole, the author of Alphabet Puke, answered some questions for me. See below...

How did the name, Alphabet Puke come about?

The working title for the book was G is for Germs and when it was completed I wanted something more memorable. I thought G is for Germs was dull and didn’t portray the monsters’ silliness and their medical adventures. I texted my daughter with a couple of title alternates and asked for ideas. She sent back Alphabet Puke. She said it made her think of alphabet soup with a twist. The publisher loved it and we added the Monsters’ Medicine A-Z subtitle for added description. It was an instant hit with children.


What are your hopes for Alphabet Puke?

I imagined creating a story that lessened the stress of illness and medical treatment for children. At first, I pictured robots as the main characters. I love robots. Then I realized that monsters would serve the story better. Monsters are often seen as big and scary by children. I wondered what would scare a monster.

Would they be scared of shots or getting a nosebleed? What would a monster do if he got laryngitis and lost his voice? Did monsters get hiccups or diabetes?


Is there some reason why you went with an A-Z format for the book?

When I first started listing the various medical problems children have, I soon realized that I would either have to write a lot about one topic, say allergies, or write a little about a variety of topics. I tried to imagine what one of my four children might want to read if ill with a cold or during a hospital stay. Short and distinct rhyming text, as well as, a format that lent itself to being picked up and put down many times seemed like it would probably hold the attention of a sick child much better than an in-depth story. I know when I’m ill I want something fun and light. I chose the A-Z format to allow for the greatest number of medical descriptions in the text and allow for more illustration opportunities.

Alphabet Puke was created to entertain children during scary or confusing health problems and treatments. 

Thank you, Ms. Cole for sharing with us about your picture book!


  1. Hi Jennifer. . . and Quinn! I love the cover of the book and from the book trailer I know it will be a fun read. Come to my blog tomorrow and read another interview with Quinn.

  2. Thanks Jennifer for helping get the word out about Alphabet Puke - Monsters' Medicine A-Z! Did I tell you it has a color changing cover? Under natural light the cover is purple, but it changes under fluorescent light. Not intentional, but a cool quirk of the printing process.