Mymcbooks Interview Author Charmaine Hammond
Charmaine Hammond, MA, BA, is an international transformational speaker, helping people live inspired, resilient lives and is a leading trainer in corporate North America helping transform workplaces.
Charmaine is also an award winning and bestselling author of On Toby’s Terms (Bettie Youngs Books, Sept. 2010), Toby The Pet Therapy Dog – and his hospital friends (Bettie Youngs Books, Aug. 2011), and Bounce Forward (Hammond International Publishing, April 2011), and has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul- What I learned from the dog (Sept. 2009). She is also co-authoring a new book GPS Your Best Life. Her book On Toby’s Terms is currently in development to become a major motion picture! She has been featured on CBC, CTV, Global TV, 820 CHAM, Alberta Prime Time News, many major newspapers, and in various magazines.
Charmaine Hammond is the author of Toby and his Hospital Friends
I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog
What is the last book you read? The last book I read was The Ikea Edge!
What were your earliest memories of writing? I always had a diary, my first was in grade one. I loved writing poetry as a teenager, and my grade nine English teacher really inspired me to pursue my passion of writing.
What was your favorite children’s book? I had many, but the ones that stick out in my mind are The Velveteen Rabbit, Curious George and the Rupert series.
Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural? I think writing came natural to me, it was something I enjoyed, and I grew up in a family of storytellers. Listening to my family tell stories inspired me to do the same through writing. I always loved to be read to as a child.
Are you working on a new book? At this time I have several in the works. My children’s book Toby Says Be a Buddy Not a Bully (Bettie Youngs Books) will be released in 2012, as will my new co-authored book GPS Your Best Life (Bettie Youngs Books), and I am releasing a book to help authors sell and market their books, Your Book As a Business.
What inspired you to write Toby and his hospital friends and how did you come up with each character? Seeing how Toby inspired children in the schools he visited and in the hospital he volunteered, it seemed like the next step…to share his story. Toby’s story is rich with lessons of love, perseverance, patience, understanding and unconditional acceptance and kindness…so we made that the foundation of his children’s book. The characters are based on the patients he has met in the hospital and at schools.
I notice one of the characters in your book is named Miss Charmaine, could you tell us a little bit of Miss Charmaine’s part in the book? Miss Charmaine is me, Toby’s owner, and pet parent, and accompanies Toby to the hospital every Wednesday.
What do you hope that readers will take away from your book? I hope that readers will be inspired by the role a pet therapy dog can play in the lives of adults and children in the hospital. I also hope that readers will recognize the ways that kindness and unconditional acceptance can profoundly impact the lives of others.
What is the most difficult part of writing? Sometimes the challenge is finding the time to write.
Do you write full time or do you still have a day job? I am a professional speaker, I have my own business, and writing is also a significant element of my business now.
How do you react to a bad review and have you ever suffered from writer’s block? I certainly have had writer’s block from time to time. Book reviews are an important part of our learning as an author. Not everyone will love your book. I find that being grateful for the feedback allows the author to have learning from the review and accept the feedback graciously.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.? To the best of my ability, I set goals, and deadlines. I schedule in writing and project time into my daily schedule, and I review my goals. I also ask for help when needed.
Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with? I would love to dine with authors Dr. Seuss, Jann Arden, Jack Canfield, Blake McCosky
What author inspires you the most and why? There are so many authors that inspire me… the ones I am inspired by are great story tellers, are authentic (you feel that you are in a conversation with them), and create the characters/develop the characters and story line so well that I feel I become a part of the story.
What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read? Choose books that your child is interested in, they are more likely to read it. Choose books that offer discussion questions at the end, to foster conversation after reading the book.
What advice you would give to new writers? The work really begins when the book is written. Start building your platform and marketing your book early. Systematize everything you do… it will come in handy for your next book.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
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
Book Given in 2013: 330
Book Given in 2014: 257
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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