Mymcbooks Interview Author Rhonda Lucas Donald
Rhonda Lucas Donald has written more than a dozen books for children and teachers, including her newest book, DEEP IN THE DESERT, from Sylvan Dell Publishing. Other titles includeLIFEON OTHER PLANETS and Scholastic activity books on AMERICAN HISTORY CRAFTSANDGAMES, FROGS, SHARKS, SPIDERS, and WOLVES. Rhonda specializes in writing about science, and she particularly likes to create science-related crafts and activities and write songs and poems about animals and space. Rhonda loves animals, traveling, and movies. She shares her home inVirginiawith two dogs and two cats.
Interview with Rhonda Lucas Donald author of Deep in The Desert.
I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog
What is the last book you read? Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
What were your earliest memories of writing? I remember writing a story in second grade that earned an A+++. Pretty encouraging!
What was your favorite children’s book? Frederick by Leo Lionni. I loved the illustration technique.
Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural? I think I was naturally drawn to writing, but I was equally attracted to drawing and art. Too bad I never became an illustrator as well!
Are you working on a new book? Yes, several in various stages of completion.
What inspired you to write Deep in the Desert? I knew the publisher (Sylvan Dell) was looking for such a book and happened to be in the right place at the right time!
Tell us about your reaction when you first found out that your book won the silver medal in the 2011 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards? I was thrilled! I am especially happy, too, for illustrator Sherry Neidigh, whose illustrations are so wonderful.
What is the most difficult part of writing? Finding a publishing “home” for a manuscript. I have plenty of ideas, but finding a publisher interested in them is part timing, part persistence, and part luck.
What do you do when you’re not writing or promoting your books? I also write educational materials for teachers and students, particularly science and social studies content.
How do you react to a bad review and have you ever suffered from writer’s block? So far, I haven’t had a bad review (fingers crossed). When I hit a creative wall, I surf the net. It’s the next best thing to a brainstorming session when you work on your own. I always find science news inspiring.
What do you hope that readers will take away from your book? I hope they will appreciate that deserts aren’t barren, lifeless places at all, but beautiful, vibrant communities deserving our admiration and protection.
Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with? I actually have dined with Vera B. Williams, Gail Carson Levine, and Sneed B. Collard III. This was at an SCBWI retreat in eastern Pennsylvania. This and other SCBWI events are priceless opportunities for children’s writers and illustrators to learn and be inspired.
What author inspires you the most and why? Margaret Wise Brown is inspiring because her writing is so gorgeous, spare, and well, perfect.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.? I try to put in a regular business day. I fit books and speculative projects around the “paying” ones. When regular work is slow, I get extra time for my books.
What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read? I don’t think there should be any rules. Books that appeal to the senses (visually, lyrically, even the feel of the paper) are good choices.
What advice you would give to new writers? Don’t give up, and seek out others to form critique/support groups.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? Thanks for checking out Deep in the Desert. I am happy to send a free, signed bookplate to anyone with a copy of the book. Just e-mail your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for this interview.
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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
Books Given in 2012: 380
Books Given in 2013: 330
Books Given in 2014: 257
Books Given in 2015: – 127
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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