Interview with Author Brenda Lochinger
Brenda Lochinger is a new and upcoming author. This is her first children’s book. A book about a squirrel that can’t help but be wiggly and a day dreamer. She hopes to follow up with a few more books in the series.
Brenda was born is southern Wisconsin. She spent a lot of time in her room writing poems and writing in her journal. She graduated from Craig High School in Janesville, WI and soon after was married and started raising a family. She is currently living in the State of Arizona, in the valley just south of Phoenix with her husband of 15 years, three children, and a Labradoodle, Butterscotch.
Her hobbies include reading biographies, watching musicals, and spending time with her family. In addition to her hobbies, she likes to volunteer time to her children’s schools and to the Red Cross blood donation efforts. She is very proud to also share her birthday with one of the most beloved children’s authors of all time, Dr. Seuss.
Interview with Brenda Lochinger author of I’m Squirrely!
I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog.
What is the last book you read? All That is Beautiful by Roxane Tepfer Sanford (Historical Fiction)
What were your earliest memories of writing? My earliest memory of writing was when I was a Pre-teen. I would sit in my room and write down thoughts and poetry.
Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural? I was always encouraged to be artistic by my mom and grandmother. I was always interested in art and drawing. The things I drew always put a story in my head. I didn’t start putting those ideas down on paper until I had kids and we started making up stories together. So, I guess the answer to the question is both.
Are you working on a new book? Yes, I am working on I’m Twirrely! Twirrely is Squirrely’s little sister. It is about her love of dance, and all the things that make her the little squirrel she is. It is in a rhyme format just like I’m Squirrely! We are in the final illustration process. I write it and then rough illustrate it. Then I send it to my talented illustrator, Jeffrey Duckworth and he brings the words to life. I am hoping to have the book finish by the end of 2011-beginning of 2012. I have also written two others and am working on the rough sketches.
What inspired you to write I’m Squirrely! And how did you come up with each character? I was inspired by the experience with my oldest son and his ADHD. The joy and struggles that he went through when he was first dealing with it. He is so creative and kind. Knowing that there are other kids and families who deal with these struggles, I though the kids would love a book they could identify with. I also thought of my family as a whole and how different and wonderful each child is. The name Squirrely came about from the doctor describing his behavior at the store. “He was too squirrely to keep his hand off of everything he saw.”
Coming up with the characters was easy. I take my inspiration from life and all the characters represent my family and people we have met and dealt with along the way. The cat is our dog. The teacher was my son’s 1st grade teacher and the coach is a collaboration of all the different sports coaches my son has had through the years. It is fun to see all of us as squirrels though. Squirrels were the obvious choice with the name Squirrely.
Could you tell my readers a little about ADHD? People with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) face a difficult task ahead. In order to get things done to their fullest potential they need help, guidance, love, and understanding. They are often treated like that are strange or as if they are purposely doing things. ADHD symptoms are in everyone. But, when it comes to individuals that have been diagnosed, it interferes with their ability to function normally at school, work and social settings. It can limit their full potential. They are able to work on things one day and the very next day they “can’t do it”. They have difficulty remember simple things like brushing their teeth or what they were told just an hour ago. They do have wonderful memories when it comes to complex issues. They do not want to disappoint and are very emotional when they are not able to deliver because of the ADHD. They have very positive traits. They are kind, have a magnetic personality, and are helpful. They have the ability to find other paths to overcome obstacles, are adventurous, courageous, and live outside the “box”.
What was your favorite children’s book? To pick out a favorite is difficult. I love all different kinds. I think two of my favorites are Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Dr. Seuss’s ABC book.
What is the most difficult part of writing? I think finding a quite place to work. Another difficult part is taking the idea for a page and making into a rhyme format that flows. I have to get the point across and sometime I have to write it several times to get it to make sense and rhyme.
What do you do when you’re not writing or promoting your books? That is easy. I am taking care of my family. I have three kids and a wonderful husband. I also volunteer at the library of my daughter’s school and anywhere else I am needed at their schools.
How do you react to a bad review and have you ever suffered from writer’s block? You are always heartbroken when someone doesn’t like your work. Writing is a very personal thing. I have been very lucky being newly published and haven’t gotten a lot of negative feedback. I always want to do the very best so I would take that feedback and try to use it without taking anything away from my creativity.
I have just recently had writer’s block for the first time. I have been working on a book about the whole family of squirrels. With my children home for summer and all getting ready to go back to school I have had a lot of trouble getting back into the groove. It has now just gotten quite around the house and hopefully the block with correct itself.
What do you hope that readers will take away from your book? We all have a little squirrely in us. Some of us have trouble getting out of bed to face the day. Others just can’t seem to get their head out of the clouds. I know I have always had trouble going to sleep. With this book and the others I am writing. I want to show every child is different and wonderful individuals but we can all relate in some way.
Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with? I am going to have to say Dr. Seuss. I would be so great to sit down with him on our birthday and find out all the ways he was inspired to write all of his books.
What author inspires you the most and why? I am going to have to go with Dr. Seuss again. He had wonderful poetic rhyming and fun messages in every book. The great way he illustrated all those funny characters. I enjoy picking up a Dr. Seuss book to read.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.? I try and spend as much time as possible each week writing, promoting, or rough illustrating. When it comes to getting the book in final illustrations I work with my illustrator to find a time line that works for both of us. My goal right now is to have three books out by the end of 2012.
What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read? As long as it is age appropriate I would say read all kinds of books. I started reading to my children very early on. I have all kinds of books in many crates. As your child gets older and shows interest in different things they will want to read books that go along with those interests. Always keep their mind open. My oldest now reads non-fiction books about planes and cars. My teenage daughter loves books about girls her age that are fiction and non-fiction, and my youngest son loves silly and funny books like Dairy of a Wimpy Kid.
What advice you would give to new writers? If you love to write and you have passion and inspiration. In my view you should go for it. Just know that if you are excited about what you are writing chances are someone will be excited to read it.
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My name is Ella Johnson. I started Mymcbooks to promote reading. As a former teacher, I know that making basic education fundamentals interesting to children can be challenging. Education can be fun, exciting and captivating for children with the right learning tools. So my goal is to “make learning interesting and fun” for the children while they learn, by introducing them to fun books with colorful and captivating illustrations.
In 2009, I start the giveaway program giving away free school supplies at random to 2 winners each year. I also started a monthly free giveaways for books and gifts.
August 2010, I extended the free school supplies from 2 to 5 winners at random on my blog and also give away 20 bags full of school supplies to familes in need at Chick-fil-A in Brandon, Florida during their family nights. And in 2012, I beat my that number and gave away a lot of school supplies to needy families. Hopefully, I can continue to do this each year.
In 2011, I started writing reviews on children’s books then giving these books away free on Mymcbooks Blog. I increase the number of books we giveaway free to help support parent. My goal is to give away as many as I can each year. This is also a great way to introduce parents to new books.
Mymcbooks blog is always looking for other ways to give kids free books. So I started Mymcbooks Birthday Library http://mymcbooksbirthdaylibrary.wordpress.com/
My goal is to giveaway at least 300 books to children each year.
Books Given in 2011: 315
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Read Interview about Ella Johnson, http://melangeofcultures.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/interview-with-ella-johnson-founder-of-memorable-children-books-gifts/ Interviewer: Nicole Weaver
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