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Q & A with Molly Peacock, author of Alphabetique

How did you get the idea for Alphabetique: an Advent Calendar on
Kara Kosaka, the illustrator of Alphabetique, and C.S. Richardson, the Art Director at Penguin Random House made little morsels of details from the illustrations, and I thought, “I’ve got to share these!” Then I realized that 26 letters = 26 days, almost like an Advent calendar. If I started a very select e-mail list through TinyLetter, for people who have things to say, I could show the list these adorable details & I could excerpt a sentence or two from each story to illustrate the illustrations.  
It’s amazing:  every day I have more subscribers.  And even after the Tiny Letters stop on November 26, you can subscribe to see them at

What’s the importance of noticing in our everyday lives?
When you notice something, even if it’s only a button or an orange or the pattern in a sidewalk grate, it’s as if someone has handed you a rarity. Attention creates luxury because it stops time. For a suspended moment you are calmly energized by what you are seeing, hearing, and touching. It brings you back to your senses.  Even the gravel beneath your feet becomes a marvel of a mosaic. 

Pencil or pen?
Pencil for poetry on blue lined pads.
Computer for prose!

Do you get jealous of other writers?
Sure, but then I remember Jean Rhys who said, “we’re all just drops in the ocean of literature.”

What’s your practical advice for writers?  
Schedule your writing.  I mean that.  Actually schedule the time you write.  Then when your family and your job and Grandma and the wolf and your dentist demand your time, you can actually look at your calendar and say, I’m sorry, I can’t make it then.  Can you do 2:15pm instead?  If your time to write is actually designated in your ical, or written in your datebook, all those around you (including you yourself) will take it seriously.  Your calendar is a monument to your time.  Carve it—or be carved.

What’s your motto?
Go with the Flaw.

What words do you try to live by?  
Only do what you can only do.