Mymcbooks Interview Author Richelle Taylor Krzak.
Richelle Taylor Krzak has been a published writer for 14 years. A working mother of two, she spends most of her free time with her family and two Yorkshire Terriers. Richelle has traveled around the world and draws from her life experiences for inspiration. She currently resides in Ohio. http://bize-mom.com/books/press-release-kangaroos-shoes-now-available/
Interview with Richell Taylor Krzak author of Kangaroo’s Shoes.
I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog.
What is the last book you read?
I just finished a book review for my blog, Bize-mom.com, entitled “It’s OK to Tell” by Lauren Book. It is a true story of abuse she suffered at the hand of her nanny. It was tough to digest, but a moving and educating read. However, for pleasure, I just read “Holidays on Ice” by David Sedaris. It is a hilarious, yet raw, compilation of short stories perfect for getting you through the holidays!
What were your earliest memories of writing?
I have several writings that my mom saved going back as early as first or second grade, but I remember writing a poem after my grandma died. I was in sixth grade and the title was Dear Jacob. Unfortunately, I don’t have it any longer but my mom cried when she found it, because I had poured out my emotions on paper and then tucked it away in my room.
What was your favorite children’s book?
There are so many. One that comes to mind first is “Guess How Much I Love You.”
Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural?
I think it came naturally at an early age. Eventually, I found that I got good grades in English, poetry, and similar classes. I graduated with a BA in Journalism and it has always been a part of my professional career.
Are you working on a new book? Yes, but it is a novel. In fact, I started it before I wrote Kangaroo’s Shoes, but found the process overwhelming so I set it aside for a while.
What inspired you to write Kangaroo’s Shoes and how did you come up with each character?
I was inspired while having a chat with my husband one evening after dinner. It was December of 2009. Because I had not yet checked the novel off my bucket list, I explained that I wanted to tackle something shorter.
In addition, I had always wanted to leave a book as a legacy for my children. The idea was born from there.
I am a huge animal lover and grew up in a family that read national geographic and watched Marty Stouffer’s Wild America. My cousin works in a zoo. It’s in the genes. I immediatley wanted to use animals as characters and felt that they needed to be unusual in order to set myself apart from the books with more commonplace animals like puppies and teddy bears. Therefore, I featured a kangaroo and platypus. I also have traveled to many places in the world so I wanted to ensure that the look of the characters was geographically believable. The goose, for example, is an Australian species.
What is the most difficult part of writing?
For me, it was choosing the right word for the rhyme and cadence of the story so that it flowed.
Do you write full time or do you still have a day job?
I still have a day job, although, I dream of renting a cottage inFrancefor three months and locking myself away to finish my novel.
How do you react to a bad review and have you ever suffered from writer’s block?
Bad reviews sting. I take it personally because I am very attached to my work. When you pour your life and heart into a project, how can you not be affected? At the same time, I don’t expect everyone to love me or to have the same taste. That is what makes the world unique and different. I make peace with it that way.
I have absolutely suffered from writers block – hence the novel being in limbo for five years.
What do you hope that readers will take away from your book?
I want the book to be a fun read for families but I also want parents to note all of the educational elements woven into it. They are all by design.
You see, I was a Pre-K teacher and education major before I graduated with a journalism degree. I even student taught eight grade English for a while. I also am TEFL certified (teaching English as a foreign language.)
Rhyming has been proven to improve learning and memory retention. That was one of the reasons (aside from my love of Dr. Seuss) that I chose to write in that style. The book also includes alphabet identification for the under three years age group. Also for little ones, the color pattern of the alphabet letters follows the predictable colors of the rainbow – A is red, B is orange, C is Yellow, and so on. Kids love to be able to point and predict what happens next. But, the book isn’t just for young children. I see kids up to fifth grade enjoying the book because the vocabulary isn’t too simple. There are new words for them to learn as they read as well.
I am currently working on a companion packet for home schooling where parents can use the book as part of their lesson plan.
Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with?
Jeannette Walls (non-fiction), Mary Higgins Clark (mystery) and Margaret Mitchell (fiction).
What author inspires you the most and why?
I really enjoy David Sedaris. He has succinctness about his style and has been bold enough to write out loud what others just think quietly to themselves. He is not politically correct in the least.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
When I was writing, I was in over-drive. I burnt themidnightoil many nights to ensure my project would get completed on time — that was after I came home from work and while my two kids were sleeping. That said, it still took a year to complete.
What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read?
I think the right book depends on your child and their age. Pick a book that interests them either because of the subject or the illustrations. Reading is intended to be a journey of the imagination, so there is not right or wrong. Follow your child’s lead.
What advice you would give to new writers?
Writing is a business. Your story needs to have an angle that sets it apart from the rest. Take the time to prepare your manuscript and then be ready to edit it over and over and over again. If you stand behind your writing and sell yourself, you will find others that are willing to support your efforts. Give it time.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Yes, my book was brought to life by a very talented illustrator, named Sunny Colaneri. She took what was in my head and translated it to paper. I am grateful for our collaboration.
Thank you for this interview.
Thank you for sharing!
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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/
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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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