Mymcbooks Interview Author Tracy Bickhaus
Tracyis a mother of three and freelance writer. She was inspired by her son to create a series of books about a real-life superhero. She currently lives in theSeattlearea and creates content for businesses and their social media sites. Her first Children’s Picture Book is titled “Super Blake and the Cavity Monster.” This book is one of 8 in the series. http://www.superblakebooks.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/brickhousemedia
Tracy Bickhaus is the author of Super Blake and the Cavity Monster.
I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog
What is the last book you read?
I read a lot of Social Media and Marketing books for work-related info and really enjoy reading these kinds of books. My most recent find, “The B2B Social Media Book: Become a Marketing Superstar by Generating Leads with Blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Email, and More.”
What were your earliest memories of writing?
For as long as I can remember, I have loved writing! I began writing poetry for my parents in mother’s and father’s day cards and other various gift-giving occasions.
What was your favorite children’s book?
My favorite children’s books are by Dr. Seuss. I love the rhythm of rhyme and they are super fun to read aloud. Specifically, I like Diffendoofer Day! It was finished after Dr. Seuss had passed away but was and is a favorite of mine to read to my children.
Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural?
Writing definitely comes naturally to me. That being said, not everything that goes on paper makes it to the final draft. I enjoy the process of brainstorming, mapping and organizing the story.
Are you working on a new book?
I have already written 7 more books in the Super Blake series. I wanted to create a series of stories that had depth to them while remaining fun and entertaining. Each story has a lesson to learn. Stay-tuned for book #2!
What inspired you to write Super Blake and the Cavity Monster and how did you come up with each character?
I typically carry a notebook with me most places I go. If I forget, I have a note taking app on my smart phone but I enjoy the process of hand writing my ideas. I wrote Super Blake and the Cavity Monster while sitting at my daughter’s basketball practice. I have spent many hours sitting and waiting and have learned to utilize my time by reading, writing and sometimes knitting. At the time, my son was in the depths of his superhero phase and was going around the gym battling evil. We have always played a game during tooth brush time of “getting the cavity monster.” So the idea hit me, right there in the gym—write a story about Blake becoming a superhero while he battles the Cavity Monster. And the series was born!
What do you hope that readers will take away from your book?
I had the opportunity to work with a great illustrator, Korey Scott. I hope that the kids enjoy the bright images and playfulness of the characters. I am amazed at how he took my written description of each character and brought them to life. I also hope they find brushing and flossingFUNafter reading the book. The message in the book is how to become a superhero by making good choices.
What is the most difficult part of writing?
The most difficult part of writing is the editing! Once I put it down on paper, it’s hard to cross it out and realize that maybe it doesn’t work so well. I did appreciate the editor’s notes on my books though. It’s always good to have another set of eyes look at your work and help you maintain focus on your story and let you know when it’s not working or difficult to understand.
Do you write full time or do you still have a day job?
My official work title is Freelance Writer. I work for a variety of companies and create content for their websites, social media sites, email marketing, SEO and more. I am passionate about writing and enjoy any opportunity to do so.
How do you react to a bad review and have you ever suffered from writer’s block?
Thankfully, I have only had one negative response about the book and it was from a mom blogger who admittedly didn’t enjoy the picture book genre and didn’t want to review it. I didn’t take it as a rejection of my work but rather someone expressing their opinion on the genre of books they enjoy.
I think writer’s block happens to most people. If I get stuck, I will walk away from the project and come back to it. There are definitely days when the creativity flows better than others.
Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with?
I would love to be able to rattle off a list of a dozen authors that I love! The truth is I enjoy the nerdy Social Media and marketing genre as well as other “reference” or “enriching” titles. If I’m not reading that kind of book I do enjoy Chick Lit—anything light and funny.
What author inspires you the most and why?
I think the stories of J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer are inspirational. J.K. Rowling received rejection after rejection and then turned her writing into an industry of its own with a huge following. Stephenie Meyer had a dream and followed it by creating another series of books that were a Pop Culture sensation. Their experiences say to me, follow your dreams and anything can happen!
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I am a stereotypical creative person and can get distracted easily. Lists help focus me and keep me on task. I also like to break down large tasks into smaller “bite size” pieces to keep me motivated.
What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read?
I think the most important thing is finding a book that they are interested in. Once a child develops their ability to read fluently (while reading books they like) they are more confident and able to read and comprehend books that are assigned by their teachers at school.
What advice you would give to new writers?
If you enjoy writing, keep writing. Nothing hones your skills better than “flexing” your writing muscles. Start out writing about what you know and keep going.
P.S. Carry a notebook with you wherever you go!
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Random Facts about Me:
I grew up inTexasbut currently live in theSeattlearea.
I don’t drink coffee. (People inSeattlefind this hard to believe)
I am married with 3 children (2 girls and a boy).
I love to sing.
Orangeis my favorite color.
I have 4 sisters. (3 of them LOVE to write)
The gym is my happy place. (Where else can you stream HULU and burn calories).
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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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