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About Book Publicity Services


Kelsey McBride

Kelsey McBride is a publicist and specialize in promoting authors. She has been working in public relations for over 4 years and have successfully promoted a variety of books, both traditionally and self-published. She started Book Publicity Services to help authors get the media attention they deserve. She mentioned that…

“For authors, publicity has become the most crucial factor in their success. With thousand of books being published each month, you need a publicist to make your book stand out from the rest. At Book Publicity Services we can help create awareness of your book, build your online presence, and increase sales through press releases, media coverage, and social media.” To read more about her and the great work she does visit her website http://bookpublicityservices.com/about-us/

 

If you are an author or know anyone who is and they are  looking for more media exposure, increase in book sales, and a better online presence then visit http://bookpublicityservices.com/media-reach/ for more information.

 

November 23, 2013 Posted by | Meet the Author, What's New | , , , | Leave a comment

Mymcbooks Interview Illustrator Sunayana Nair Kanjilal


sunayana

Sunayana Nair Kanjilal is the illustrator of View from a Zoo by Author Artie Knapp

In the summer of 2012, Sunayana Nair Kanjilal made a conscious move from a career in instructional design to pursue her passion in art. She is an Indian illustrator and enjoys working with watercolors, ink and charcoal. Though new to the children’s literature scene, Sunayana’s work has quickly caught the attention of prestigious publishing houses. In 2013, she illustrated a new annotated version of the children’s classic Lord of the Flies with Orient BlackSwan in India. She lives in Mumbai with her husband Srijoy and loves to travel and explore. To learn more about Sunayana’s work, please visit her online at www.colourfills.wordpress.com.

 

I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog

Thank you. It is my pleasure to be here.

What is the last book you illustrated?

The last book I illustrated was Artie Knapp’s ‘View from a Zoo’, which is a wonderful story about a housecat looking for adventure in the city.

What was your favorite children’s book?

I have always loved books by authors like Shel Silverstein and Roald Dahl. However, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s ‘The Little Prince’ is my all time favorite.

What were your earliest drawings?

Well, I started doodling stick figures at an early age, as most children do. In my early years, I found myself curiously studying visuals in picture books, and later, copying illustrations from my textbooks almost perfectly. One of my earliest influences through school was Mario de Miranda, one of the best illustrators that India has produced.

Were you encouraged to draw or was it something that came natural?

I don’t remember being encouraged to draw ever; no one in the family took my skills that seriously. It was something that came naturally and a few teachers or friends, and occasionally my parents would appreciate my work. Growing up, I never thought too much about my skill because art is generally overlooked in a predominantly academic Indian environment. My friends were audience to most of my work and they always encouraged me. My passion drove me on.

What inspired you to draw?

Everything that has beauty, form and color enthuses me to draw. My inspiration comes also from my state of mind. But practically speaking, a worry-free, relaxed day drives me to draw. Art needs dedicated time and sometimes I find that juggling household chores and my hobby gets rather tough.

My inspiration to draw for children came during my first job at a bookstore, where I was reintroduced to the beautiful world of picture books. But the rigours of life took me in another direction altogether. It was only much later that I consciously chose to give this other life up to follow my heart…my passion.

Which of the three methods watercolors, ink and charcoal do you like to work with best?

I like watercolors the best because their results and textures can never be predicted. You can transition easily from opaque to translucent, from rigid to fluid in the same piece of art. In a way, it’s therapeutic when you handle watercolors. Ink is my second choice because I like the definition it gives to a painting. Charcoal is a nice medium as well, although I find it very messy and rather stressful.

Are you working on a new book?

Currently I’m not, but I have been dabbling in ideas and hope to write and illustrate my own book sometime soon.

What is the most difficult part of illustration?

I think to be consistent over the length of a story is perhaps the toughest aspect of illustrating a picture book. In a long project, it’s very important to wake up everyday and feel the same about the story, the characters, the ideas and colors that you are dealing with.

It is very natural to have the tendency to override ideas that one was gung-ho about just yesterday, but this can mess up your work and set you back from your goal.

Do you illustrate full time or do you still have a day job?

I quit a full-time job to turn to illustration. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of working with MightyBook Inc. on Artie Knapp’s book ‘View from a Zoo’, and then with Orient Blackswan in India for an illustrated version of the classic ‘Lord of the Flies’. So for now, illustration is what I’m concentrating on.

What do you hope that readers will take away from your work?

I hope that children appreciate my illustrations just the way I used to admire pictures throughout my childhood. I hope that they are able to connect with my illustrations and are encouraged to draw and read. Most of all, I hope that children and adults alike treasure my work. That will be my greatest gift.

Who are some of your favorite illustrators you would love to dine with?

I wish I could dine with illustrators who have passed on, such as Beatrix Potter, Norman Rockwell, Shel Silverstein, and Maurice Sendak. Bring in Jerry Pinkney and Rebecca Dautremer of the current crop and I will be thrilled.

What illustrator inspires you the most and why?

In terms of form and technique, perhaps Norman Rockwell is my greatest inspiration. Someday, I hope to reach his level of mastery. I love Shel Silverstein’s illustrations as well for their quirkiness and wit. Of late, the works of Jerry Pinkney, Rebecca Dautremer and Erin Stead have influenced me a lot.

What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?

When I take on a project, I set an estimated timeline and work towards it. From thereon, it becomes a routine that involves working for a stipulated amount of time every day. I try not to overwork because it tends to numb your creativity and the repercussions of that are no good in the long run. Although it’s hard in the course of a workday, I try to take short breaks to refocus and come back to my work with renewed perspective. View from a Zoo was

What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read?

The best books are always non-preachy. Righteousness and advice are totally lost on children, so parents should pick books that suggest but do not lecture. Bedtime storytelling is also a great way to build a child’s interest in reading. I’d just say that it’s great to invest quality time in a bookstore with your kids, you cannot go wrong with that sort of time and money spent.

What advice you would give to new illustrators?

I’m quite new to the league myself, so I’m afraid I cannot give the best advice to other new illustrators. But I do believe that you should never lose hope. Competition is tough out there, and if there aren’t enough projects coming your way use your time to build a superb portfolio. Never do a job half-heartedly because it shows immediately and always communicate well with your clients.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Well, I hope that readers will love the story and also my work in View from a Zoo. But most of all I would like it if children are able to identify themselves with Thea in the book and are inspired to read more.

Thank you for this interview.

Thank you so much for having me here, Ella.

 

November 17, 2013 Posted by | Meet the Author | , , , | 4 Comments

Mymcbooks Interview Author Hugh Willard


Hugh Willard

 

Hugh Willard is a writer and psychotherapist living and working in Holly Springs, NC. He has two daughters, two dogs, and two minds (one serious and one
silly), all of which keep him busy and happy. You can learn more about Hugh at http://www.hughwillard.com/About_Hugh.html

 

Hugh Willard is the author of The Goodwill Vultures Club: A Day of Heroes.

 

I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog

 Thank you.

 

What is the last book you read? I just finished Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  A great, great story about a boy with significant facial deformities who bravely navigates moving out into the hard world of middle school. I saw some overlapping themes with my own book: notably, rejection born of fear that comes from ignorance.

 

What was your favorite children’s book? From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by  E.L. Konigsburg, who just died in April.  I loved (and love) the pace, the interplay between the brother and sister, and the just-on-the-edge-of-plausibility of their adventures.  I would label the story “realistic escapism”.

 

What were your earliest memories of writing? Aside from very bad four line love poems to my girl crushes in elementary school, I remember writing a story in the sixth grade.  This was not a class assignment.  Rather I just got the urge to do so.  I remember it was heavy on very useless detail.

 

Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural? I wish I could say that I was encouraged to write when I was younger but that was not the case.  I had many interests so it was easy enough to concentrate my energies in other areas.  I started hearing more positive feedback and encouragement as an adult as I began to revisit my joy in writing.

 

Do you generally get a story idea first or does the main character develop first? Primarily story lines form first, although my characters typically catch up quickly and do the heavy lifting in carrying the narrative along.

 

What inspired you to write The Goodwill Vultures Club: A Day of Heroes? I had a remarkable dream several years ago about vultures that gave me a whole new way of looking at these much maligned creatures.  I came to appreciate how they do their jobs as nature’s refuse collectors with no fanfare, but also no complaints.  And their flight is quite beautiful.  Using the vulture character as a target for the fear and rejection that arises due to lack of information and understanding felt like a great means to highlight the experience that we humans face at times given our own differences.

 

Are you working on a new book? I’m in the end stages of working with my editor on the second book in the Goodwill Vultures Series.  I’m very excited for this one to come out as it introduces the characters in the first book to a soldier returning from the war in Afghanistan.  I deeply feel that this book will be an important resource for children of our veterans.  I also have just begun the third book in the series.

 

What is the most difficult part of writing? Turning off the inner critic that wants to write the perfect phrase or sentence in the initial draft.  It’s very freeing to remember that I can just write and trust that I will come back to edit and improve upon what I have written.

 

Do you write full time or do you still have a day job? I do.  I am a psychotherapist in private practice.  My work is rewarding at times and tough at times.  In one respect, I see my writing as an extension of my work as a therapist.  It’s important to me that my stories offer perspective and help my readers to grow healthier emotionally.

 

How do you react to a bad review and have you ever suffered from writer’s block? At this point in my life, I have a fairly healthy sense of myself.  If I receive a negative review, it may sting a bit, but I can take a step back and consider it with some objectivity. I truly want to improve as a writer.  I want constructive feedback.  Regarding writer’s block, (knock on my wooden head) I’ve never really experienced an appreciable period of it.

 

What do you hope that readers will take away from your book? Fear and the subsequent rejection that fear often causes is the result of not understanding people and things that are different than us; persons in wheelchairs, persons with autism, people of different color or culture or experience. The answer to improving our interactions lay in presence, which is antithetical to ignorance and intolerance.  We still have much work to do in overcoming a lot of the reflexive conditioning we have that says that difference automatically equals threat.  I hope my book encourages all of us to think more broadly.

 

Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with? Barbara Kingsolver, Sue Monk Kidd, Jane Goodall, Judy Blume, Malcolm Gladwell.

 

What author inspires you the most and why? Judy Blume.  I’ve long, long admired her writing for children.  To my mind, she is a pioneer and master in seamlessly melding the silly (read: entertaining) with much more substantive themes.  A true observer and teacher of the human experience.

 

What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.? My publisher has really helped me with this as we have a formal schedule/structure for finished drafts.  As I work full time and also am a single parent, the many demands on my time force me to be discriminating and judicious with my time and priorities.  I typically look at my schedule a week at a time and designate blocks of time for writing and editing.

 

What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read? Read these books yourselves!  You know your children better then anyone else.  Be active in this process.  An added bonus is that you can then have more engaged and targeted conversations with your kids once they have read the books.  Research and follow a few established blogs focusing on children’s literature as well.

 

What advice you would give to new writers? Allow yourself to write potentially poorly at first.  Try to suspend the inner critic and find a way to invite him/her back into the process when you start the editing.  To this point, once you finish a draft, put it away for a few weeks and direct your attention elsewhere.  This will allow you to come back to it with fresh eyes.  Most of all, remember that if you are choosing to write, you have a love of this art form.  So remember to love it in all of it’s unevenness.  It is it’s own reward.

 

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? I really appreciate their time and interest in reading this interview, and I am hopeful that they will enjoy my books.

 

Thank you for this interview.

 

Thank you for your time, interests and efforts on behalf of children’s literature.

 

 

June 22, 2013 Posted by | Meet the Author | , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Book Spotlight and Interview: The Grimm Chronicles, Vol. 2 by Isabella Fontaine and Ken Brosky


The Grimm

The Grimm Chronicles, Vol. 2 by Isabella Fontaine and Ken Brosky

About The Grimm Chronicles: 200 years ago, the Brothers Grimm made a horrible mistake. With the help of a little magic, they brought all of their beloved fairy tales to life. But there was a problem: the longer the fairy tale characters remained on earth, the more Corrupted they became. The big bad wolf. Heroic princes. Millers’ sons. Cinderella. Evil consumed all of them because they didn’t belong. Every generation, a hero emerges to remove the Corrupted and fix the mistake of the Brothers Grimm. Enter: Alice Goodenough, who’s just turned 18 and is about to finish up her junior year of high school. After finding a magic pen in the basement of her library, her happy little life disappears. Now, she hunts down the Corrupted … With a little help from a giant talking rabbit named Briar. http://www.thegrimmchronicles.com/

Ken Brosky

About the authors: Isabella Fontaine lives a quiet life on a farm in rural Wisconsin. She enjoys reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales and writing on a typewriter, which annoys her cats. This is her first book collection.

Ken Brosky received his MFA from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He’s written a number of books and regularly publishes short stories. He also helps out at Brew City Press whenever possible. This is his first young adult collection.

http://www.thegrimmchronicles.com/about.html

I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog

Thank you for having me!

What is the last book you read?   I started reading “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” but only got about halfway through. It felt a bit like an ode to Google’s Awesomeness and started really bugging me. Very subjective opinion, though. From what I understand, it’s a pretty well-liked book.

What was your favorite children’s book?   Calvin and Hobbes, no doubt. For a while, I really got into the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, too. I had Roald Dahl phase, too. Oh, and “White Fang” was a big one for me, too. Made me terrified of wolves for awhile, though.

What were your earliest memories of writing? I used to write and draw comics with my friend when we were really young. We made it a business and sold the comics to our parents. And they bought them, too. We learned early on how to be entrepreneurs. We pocketed a little of the profit, then spent the rest on more comic book paper and special pens to make everything really shine.

Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural? My parents thought I was a good writer. That meant a lot. Don’t dismiss the power you have over your kids. All it took to set me on the path to writing was a single compliment from my parents.

Do you generally get a story idea first or does the main character develop first? Usually, the story comes first. Characters tend to come more difficultly. I try to avoid the most common clichés, but that doesn’t mean I’m always successful. To make things interesting, I try to pick and choose qualities from real-life inspirations, then throw all those qualities into a blender and see what it turns into.

What inspired you to write The Grimm Chronicles?   We wanted to write a Young Adult series, and we wanted to use the stories of the Brothers Grimm. But we also wanted to explore the hero’s journey in an unconventional way. Also, we wanted to write something that would actually be read by more than a dozen people. And I was getting sick of pouring my heart and soul into writing projects only to see them rejected a hundred times by agents and editors. So we went a different way and haven’t looked back.

What was special about Alice Goodenough, the newest hero of the book? Alice is like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, only she needs to use her brain to think her way out of situations. She’s limited in what she can do with her magic pen because it requires her to have knowledge. So she has to learn. She has to be smart in order to survive.

Are you working on a new book?   We’ve been toying around with a science-fiction series, but I’m not going to start it until this series is finished. This is a 12-episode series, and we’ve already released 7. So this entire year will be spent on The Grimm Chronicles.

What is the most difficult part of writing?   Staying focused. I can write a couple pages, then my mind starts to wander. It’s really annoying, but that’s the way we’re programmed now, I guess! Still, it has its advantages … writing for hours on end can be a pain in the wrists. So far, the ideas are coming to me pretty easily. And when they don’t, I can always consult the outline.

Let me tell you something about the outline, because it’s pretty important. When an idea hits you, just plot out some basics. Let your mind really wander. Then, once you actually start writing the dang story, you always have something to draw upon when you’re feeling stuck. It’s saved me more than once.

Do you write full time or do you still have a day job? I teach college English classes at various Wisconsin universities. It’s a great job. I don’t think I’d stop even if The Grimm Chronicles was a best-seller.

How do you react to a bad review? Art is subjective. Some people will like something while others will hate it. You can’t let it get to you … unless there’s something specific that you can improve. For instance, we once got a review that pointed out some grammar issues. That was something we could fix (and thought we HAD already fixed before publication), so we went back and fixed it.

But some people just plum won’t like a story. And it’s not anyone’s fault. It’s just a matter of opinion and taste and interest. No big deal. Can’t take those things personally.

What do you hope that readers will take away from your book? That knowledge is power.

Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with? I’ve often thought it would be fun to dine with Ernest Hemingway. But what if he’s in a bad mood? What if he starts drinking a bunch and gets all rowdy and annoying? That would spoil the dinner, I think.

So maybe Stephen King. He seems all right. Still, I haven’t read any of his recent stuff, so what if he asks about it? Then it would get awkward. I’d lie, of course. But then he’d catch me lying and it would get even more awkward. Then what? I’d have to politely excuse myself to the bathroom and make a getaway through the window. But what if he lives in a gated community and I can’t escape? Then I’d have to go ring his doorbell and calmly explain that I was trying to escape his home but the front gate won’t open and could he please open the gate!

As you can see, most writers are quite insane and should eat alone whenever possible.

What author inspires you the most and why? Right now, no one in particular. I need a new author to latch myself onto. The last few books I’ve read have been real disappointing and so now I need to reinvigorate myself and find someone new. If that doesn’t work, I’ll go back to reading P.G. Wodehouse.

What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.? Write whenever I have a free moment. Utilize my time as efficiently as possible.

What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read?   Let them pick.

What advice you would give to new writers? Find an editor who can give you a fresh perspective. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without my partner.

Thank you for this interview.   No, thank you! Bloggers are the people who make 21st-century literature breathe.

May 7, 2013 Posted by | Author and Book Spotlight, Meet the Author | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mymcbooks Interview Author David Anderson


David Anderson

About the Author: David Anderson is a kids’ chapter book author who also doodles pictures. He enjoys reading and collecting vinyl records. http://www.charliesparrowandthesecretofflight.wordpress.com

 

David Anderson is the author of Charlie Sparrpw and the Secret of Flight.

 

I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog

 

What is the last book you read? The Umbrella Man, a collection of short stories by Roald Dahl. Dahl is famous for his children’s books, but his stories for adults have the same genius, only with darker subject matter.

 

What was your favorite children’s book? I’m embarrassed to say that as a child I did not read many books. Yes, I grew up to be a writer, but only started loving books when I was in my teens. That said, I’m still allowed to have a favorite children’s book, even if I came across it late. It’s a toss-up between The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and Matilda by Roald Dahl.

What were your earliest memories of writing? My earliest memory of writing is being about five and filling blank foolscap pages with chains of deliberate scribbles. I felt I was writing, even though it was illegible nonsense. My next earliest memory is of writing a one-page fiction piece for a Seventh or Eighth Grade class. It was called “Nightmare” and I still have it. Writing that piece was the first time I ever felt a rush of enjoyment from writing a story.

Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural? I had the idea to take up writing on my own, with little influence from outside, including from books, since I didn’t read much. I just decided I wanted to write, and began working on a novel for a year without telling anyone. I was sixteen and really should have been doing so many other things besides trying to write a novel. I was secretive, and I was determined, and I was a very bad writer.

Do you generally get a story idea first or does the main character develop first? I get the story idea, then develop the characters as I go. I don’t usually know much about my characters until they’re written down.

 

What inspired you to write Charlie Sparrow and the Secret of Flight?  In 2007, I took a children’s book publishing class from Michael Katz, the publisher of Tradewind Books, in Vancouver, Canada. He tasked us with writing a children’s picture book that could fit into a standard 32 page spread. I had the idea to do my book about a city of birds that don’t know they can fly. Mike liked the idea, and he encouraged me to develop it into a longer work – a chapter book. That took a few years and many drafts to do.

 

Are you working on a new book? I’m working on a middle-grade sci-fi/fantasy thriller called The Maker. It’s kind of a Jim Henson’s Labyrinth meets Star Wars (the original Star Wars) type of thing. I’m also working on a second Charlie Sparrow book, because I keep getting the comment from readers that they want to see more of Tree City.

 

What is the most difficult part of writing? Have you ever felt that the only thing keeping you from feeling joy all the time is the fear of feeling joy all the time? Well, for me the most difficult thing about writing is something similar. I love writing so much that the hardest part about it is getting up the courage to go to that wonderful place, probably because the freedom and the thrill of it is frightening.

 

Do you write full time or do you still have a day job? I have a full-time job, so I write in the gaps between all the other stuff going on in my life. I did recently quit a PhD in English Literature so the gaps between other stuff wouldn’t be filled with academic work and I could fill them with writing instead.

 

How do you react to a bad review and have you ever suffered from writer’s block? Reviews are one kind of feedback that it’s useful for a writer to have, whether they’re bad or good. It’s an ongoing struggle to keep from taking reviews, or any feedback, too much to heart. The trick is knowing which parts to listen to and make use of to improve one’s writing, and which parts to ignore. Writers are kind of forced to learn this skill, and it’s a tough one.

I haven’t had writer’s block.

 

What do you hope that readers will take away from your book? I hope readers will be entertained by the story and connect with the characters. Charlie, Fanny, and Doctor Percy are my very good friends, and I hope they will be friends to other people too. Particularly to children.

 

Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with? In February, I attended the annual Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) conference in New York City, where Mo Willems, author of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, gave an electrifying speech filled with hilarious tidbits of advice for writers. Now that I’ve seen him speak, I think Willems would make excellent company at a meal. He’s just so full of energy and humor, and he’s got an infectious kind of genius that is fun to be around.

 

What author inspires you the most and why? Without a doubt Roald Dahl. Dahl’s brand of storytelling is something I crave. I’ve tried to put my finger on what it is that he does so well but can’t. All I know is it’s genius and it makes me want to be better at writing stories.

 

What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.? I tend to create short-term goals for myself, and meet them if I can. I wish I had a writing schedule and stuck to it. Say, one hour every day. But I don’t, and have never been able to keep one for an extended period of time.

 

What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read? I’m not a parent, so I don’t know. If I did have kids, I would probably start by giving them stories I loved, and then seeing what they liked and getting them more of that stuff.

 

What advice would you give to new writers? I’ve been writing for almost twenty years now, but I still consider myself a new writer. Charlie Sparrow is the first book I’ve ever finished to the point where I felt I could share it with others. I guess my advice would be: if the urge to write won’t go away, then go on, write. Also, stay open and attentive to the feedback of others and to your own instincts about your work. I’ve found that writing is learning about two things: what my reader wants, and what my voice is.

 

Thank you for this interview. Thank you.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | Meet the Author | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Mymcbooks Interview Author Sibel Hodge


Sibel Hodge

 

About the Author: Sibel Hodge has 8 cats and one husband. In her spare time, she’s Wonder Woman! When she’s not out saving the world from dastardly demons, she also writes books for adults.

Her other books include Fourteen Days Later, My Perfect Wedding, The Baby Trap, The Fashion Police (Amber Fox Mystery), Be Careful What You Wish For (Amber Fox Mystery), Voodoo Deadly (Amber Fox Mystery), A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey, and How to Dump Your Boyfriend in the Men’s Room (and other short stories). Her work has been shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Prize 2008, Highly Commended by the Yeovil Literary Prize 2009, Runner up in the Chapter One Promotions Novel Comp 2009, and nominated Best Novel with Romantic Elements in 2010 by The Romance Reviews. Her novella Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave has been listed as one of the Top 40 Books About Human Rights by Accredited Online Colleges. It’s a Catastrophe is her first children’s book. http://www.sibelhodge.com/

 

I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog

Thanks so much for having me!

What is the last book you read?

Easy by Tamara Webber

What was your favorite book?

That’s so hard, but my favourite growing up was To Kill a Mockingbird. I’ve re-read it so many times.

What were your earliest memories of writing?

Ever since I was old enough to scrawl my first word, which was Halibaaaaa, I knew I wanted to write books. OK, so the word didn’t actually make sense, and it might take a little longer for me to string a whole sentence together, but that didn’t put me off. I was going to write a novel and no one would stop me. After discovering the wonderful world of books, I thought I’d have a go myself, and remember scribbling down stories whenever I had a spare moment. Shame I was only six, and there was no way anyone would publish a book with “I Want Big Girls’ Knickers” in the title.

Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural?

I was encouraged to read, and I think that’s where my love of writing came from. Being able to make stuff up and get paid for it is fantastic! Your imagination is a wonderful thing.

Do you generally get a story idea first or does the main character develop first?

I usually get an idea for a story first then my main characters develop around it.

What inspired you to write “It’s a Catastrophe”?

People often ask me where I get my ideas from for my books, and the truth is, they can come from anywhere – a snippet of conversation, a film, a book, a story someone told me, a news headline, or something that’s happened to a friend. Anything can get the “what if that happened” thought escalating into a plot for a book.

One night, I was sitting on my terrace with my hubby and my friend, and we made a random comment about wondering what cats say to each other when they meow. Then we proceeded to have fake conversations between my 8 rescue cats, which rapidly turned more and more stupid as the night wore on, but gave me an amazing light bulb moment. It’s a Catastrophe was born that night and developed into the story you’ve just read, so I’d like to say a big thanks to Brad and Becky for planting the seeds of ideas into my brain. The BBC’s A Walk on the Wildside also had a big influence on the book. If you haven’t seen any of them, look them up on YouTube – it’s hilarious!

I also wanted the cats to face problems that children (and adults) face in real life, such as dealing with differences, bullying, helping others, and overcoming fears.

Is “It’s a Catastrophe” story about your cats?

I have 8 rescue cats and some of the cats in the stories are based on their personalities and looks. All of them have individual, funny little quirks that I wanted to add in. I’m sure pet owners will know what I’m talking about! Now I can’t look at the book cover without seeing my cats. Now they’re famous, though, they’re getting a bit demanding, asking for smoked salmon and caviar for dindins!

Can you tell us a little about the cast Buster – Mog Father?

Buster is the leader of the Katz Crew bunch of cats belonging to Ma Katz. He’s seen hardship and had to live on the streets so he knows all about overcoming adversity. He’s a firm but fair leader who is so grateful to Ma for taking him in that he tries to keep the other cats in line when they misbehave. He tries to teach them valuable life lessons  to help them get along with each other.

Are you working on a new book?

I’m working on ideas and research for a New Adult coming of age novel.

What is the most difficult part of writing?

Writing about something you know nothing about. I want the story and characters to be authentic so research takes time.

Do you write full time or do you still have a day job?

I’m lucky enough to write full time now.

How do you react to a bad review and have you ever suffered from writer’s block?

Chocolate definitely helps with a bad review.

Yes, there are times when I hit a brick wall and the best thing for me is to step away from the laptop and take a break. I swim, walk, or meditate, and stop thinking about it. Then I usually through ideas around with my hubby and I’ll get back on track.

What do you hope that readers will take away from your book?

Unfortunately life isn’t always fair, but I hope that readers will recognize positive messages that deal with bullying, compassion for each other and treating each other with fairness, and how everything we do has a knock-on effect to others.

Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with?

Janet Evanovich

Sophie Kinsella

Ian Rankin

Lee Child

John Connolly

I could go on forever!

What author inspires you the most and why?

There are so many fellow authors that I’ve had the pleasure to get to know online over the last five years, and they are all hard-working and so helpful. I believe in paying it forward in life, so helping each other out whenever we can, giving advice or bouncing ideas around, is great because writing can be a lonely profession.

What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?

I’m very focused when I’m writing. Sometimes my hubby will ask me a question when I’ve got my head buried in the laptop and half an hour later, he’ll get a “Huh? Did you say something?” reply. I try and get the first draft done within a month, then editing and polishing will take a couple of months.

What advice you would give to new writers?

Read, read, read. Read to know what good writing is. Read everything you can, including different genres.

Write, write, write. Every word you write is a step to improving your craft.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Follow your dreams. Anything is possible if you just take a chance.

Thank you for this interview.

March 17, 2013 Posted by | Meet the Author | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mymcbooks Interview Author Shoba Sreenivasan


Shoba Sreenivasan

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shoba Sreenivasan is a forensic psychologist. She earned a doctorate in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and is a clinical professor at the University of Southern California. She has published several papers and co-authored a motivational book. This is her first work of fiction.

My American experience begins with my parents’ memories of Midwestern American decency and kindness towards two young people in the 1950s who were a world away from their home — Bombay, India.  I was born in Columbus, Ohio where my father was a scientist on a post-doctoral research fellowship at Ohio State.  We then moved to Peoria, Illinois and then back (for them) to India when I was three. http://www.mattiespyglass.com/index.php/about-the-author/

 

I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog.

 

What is the last book you read?
The Way We Live by Anthony Trollope

 
What was your favorite Teen book?
I don’t remember having a favorite Teen book- I read widely as a teenager- romances, historical novels, I remember loving The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and re-read them just to experience the journey again and again.

 
What were your earliest memories of writing?
Probably in the fifth grade when I had to write a short story, though I can’t remember what it was about!

 
Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural?
It came from reading which inspired me to write. I also like escaping into fantasy, considering what if questions like if certain evil people could have been prevented from wreaking havoc on the world, what would have happened? Writing Mattie allowed me to do.

 
Do you generally get a story idea first or does the main character develop first?
As a psychologist people interest me, so I am generally driven first by a main character’s inner motivations and drives, and this leads to the story.

 
What inspired you to write Mattie Spyglass and the 8 Magic Stones? 
A sign on the 101 Freeway going North from L.A. to Atascadero. I had to drive that way quite a bit for work over several years. I kept seeing Mattie Road and Spyglass Road, and put that together and began thinking about Mattie Spyglass. Who was Mattie? What was the Spyglass? I’ve always had stories in my head and this just spun out.

 
Is there a connection between yourself and Geeta in the book?
Yes, I’m a bookworm like Geeta and of course also Indian. But Geeta is quieter than I am, more reflective and influenced by her grandfather (ThaTha) than I am.

 
Why did you pick Dan Ungureanu to illustrate your book?
Dan’s Romanian and immediately connected to the Old World feeling of the book. Mr. Herman Biddle a main character in the book is actually from Russia, and as the cover illustrations show, Dan captured his character well, down to the old fashioned whiskers and cape. Also, he had a good feeling of Siberian winter (a setting in the story), the gypsies, as well as the look and clothing of Mattie, Eddie and Geeta.

 
Do you believe in magic and why? 
Yes. But, maybe not in the way that one ordinarily thinks of magic. I believe in considering experiences beyond the ordinary. Jung, a psychoanalyst, called this memories from our collective unconscious, that is the ancient memories and fears that we carry from generation to generation, that make up the stuff of myths.  So, maybe the answer to the question is this: I believe in the force of myths.

 
Are you working on a new book?
Yes, a sequel to Mattie Spyglass.

 
What is the most difficult part of writing?
Getting beyond a roadblock, which invariably occurs and has to be overcome.

 
Do you write full time or do you still have a day job?
I have a day job as a psychologist.

 
How do you react to a bad review and have you ever suffered from writer’s block?
I’ve published a lot of academic articles in what is called a “peer-reviewed” process. You can’t engage in peer reviewed publications without developing a thick skin to bad reviews (actually, many are scathing). So, I just take the nuggets of good in the review and move on.
I have suffered from writer’s block, and deal with it by just stopping the writing for the day and moving onto something else. Writer’s block is temporary and I believe a way of your creative forces saying, “take a break.”

 
What do you hope that readers will take away from your book?
Many things: the mythical story of the time-travel journey, the battle between good and evil, the lessons from history that are in this book, an interest in learning about ancient Babylonia, and the moral lessons posed by the Path of the Virtuous, and how ordinary people (like Mattie, Geeta and Eddie) can be catapulted into extraordinary responsibilities.

 
Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with?
I think I would have loved to have met Steinbeck, he had such a keen understanding of many different people.  Also, I love Anthony Trollope and it would have been fun to discuss things with him such as the role of women and control of their destinies in Victorian England. Leo Tolstoy is a moral inspiration for me and I love the lyrical nature of his writing.  I would love to have met Margaret Mitchell as Gone with The Wind was an early favorite of mine.  I would have loved to have met Helen Hooven Santmeyer who published her first book “And Ladies of the Club” at age 89.

 
What author inspires you the most and why?
Leo Tolstoy- he was such a great thinker and moralist. His short stories in Walk in Light are moving pieces that can provide a moral framework for all.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I am very disciplined by nature and set a time for writing and accomplishing my goals.

 
What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read?
I would suggest selecting books that have a good lessons in them: like the Tolstoy stories, also ones that have a great story (C.S. Lewis), but also read anything that helps get a child interested in reading. My niece became motivated to read because she loved cartoons and wanted to be able to read them herself in the newspapers.

 
What advice you would give to new writers? 
Write and don’t criticize yourself. Everyone has a story, tell yours (even if it is fiction).

 
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Mattie has been a great mythic journey for me traveling as she, Geeta, Eddie and Mr. Biddle do through the Space Between Two Seconds backwards into time, with the evil snake Uri Gneezy ever at their heels. I hope that your readers will be intrigued and pick up Mattie Spyglass!

 

 

Thank you for this interview.
Thank you for the opportunity to consider these questions, thought-provoking indeed!

 

 

March 14, 2013 Posted by | Meet the Author | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Mymcbooks Interview Author Eric Walls


Eric Walls

About the Author: Eric Walls’ work is well-known to animation audiences, having had a career in family feature film animation for over 20 years with extensive experience in both traditional hand-drawn and computer animation. He has contributed animation to to many classic films of Disney, DreamWorks, Paramount and Warner Brothers.

Before starting his animation career, Eric attended the world-renowned California Institute of the Arts, where he extensively studied animation, art, story, and film. In his second year of enrollment he received a partial scholarship from Disney.

After completing his studies, Eric began his career at Disney where he helped create memorable character performances in “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” “The Lion King,” “Pocahontas,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and “Hercules.” During his time at DreamWorks, he collaborated on the character of Moses in “The Prince of Egypt.” Returning to Disney, Eric animated on “Meet the Robinsons,” “Bolt,” and “The Princess and the Frog.” Currently he is expanding his depth of knowledge and skills as a pre-visualization artist on numerous high-profile live action feature film productions including X-Men: First Class and the upcoming Oz: The Great and Powerful.  http://www.horizonlightmedia.com/author-biography.html

What is the last book you read? I enjoy reading a variety of subjects, fiction, biographies, and other works. I recently finished reading, “It’s Kind of a Cute Story” by Rolly Crump. Rolly is one of the original Disney “Imagineers” who helped create classic Disney theme park attractions like “It’s a Small World” and “The Enchanted Tiki Room.” It’s a great insight into the creativity that brought these immersive experiences to life.

What was your favorite children’s book? I don’t know how I remember this, but my favorite books as a child were a number of the “Arch Books” like “The Boy Who Saved His Family (The Story of Joseph)” and “Jon and the Little Lost Lamb: The Parable of the Good Shepherd.” They are great retellings of Bible stories with beautiful illustrations.  Another favorite book that was a tremendous influence on my artistic development was “How to Draw Cartoons” by Syd Hoff.

What were your earliest memories of writing? My first love is drawing, so my early memories are more vivid in that regard. But I do remember writing a play that my brother and my friends performed for the neighborhood.

By the way, when I was 7, my first “serious” drawing was of Mickey Mouse, and I decided right there that I wanted to be an animator.

Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural? I believe I have a natural interest in writing, but it wasn’t until a high school teacher, who required students to keep a daily journal, really sparked my interest and encouraged my exploration of storytelling.

Do you generally get a story idea first or does the main character develop first? When I develop a story, an idea of a message or moral I’d like to convey comes first. Then, I look for a metaphor that can most clearly illustrate that idea to a child.

In working toward illustrating the bible verse, “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only,” I discovered “Silent Sally,” a character who never talks about doing, but jumps at the chance to be a DOER.

What inspired you to write Silent Sally?  In telling the story, I wanted to demonstrate that having a quiet personality is not a hindrance in life, and has a worth of its own. I wanted to encourage kids to be themselves, and know they are important. It’s what we DO in life that is essential, not what we say.

How was it like creating character performances on Disney animation, and what is your best one yet?   Being a Disney animator was my dream since I was a child, and I was incredibly fortunate and blessed to have realized that dream. All though I don’t currently work directly for Disney, I have fond memories of my time there.

I’ve enjoyed working with many talented artists as a team to help create character performances. Some of the most notable were my first hand-drawn animation in “The Lion King,” as well as work in “Hercules,” and more recently, a career highlight for me, “The Princess and the Frog.” In the computer animation realm, I contributed to “Meet the Robinsons” and “Bolt.”

Are you working on a new book? I have several ideas for future books in various states of development. Several are children’s picture books, and one is a novel for older readers.

What is the most difficult part of writing? Waiting for that “Aha!” moment, the instant that everything you are trying to say “clicks” and becomes cohesive.

Do you write full time or do you still have a day job? I continue my career as a feature film animation artist. The most recent film, of which I’m proud to have been a part of as a “pre-visualization” animator, is “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” in theaters this month!

In my off hours, I enjoy pursuing my writing interests.

How do you react to a bad review and have you ever suffered from writer’s block? I take bad reviews in the context they are written. If the reviewer is obviously serious about their criticism, I try to evaluate their thoughts. Does the reviewer have a point, or do I disagree with their comments? What can I learn from the review?

As far as writer’s block, it happens from time to time, as in any of my creative endeavors. But I try to see it as an opportunity to step back, and evaluate the challenge at hand from a new perspective.

What do you hope that readers will take away from your book? When I develop a story, I have a main, obvious point I want to tell, but I also work hard to weave in other related ideas and observations that the reader can take away upon pondering the story further. Some of the supporting points I explored in “Silent Sally” are selflessness, attentiveness, respect, honor, and humbleness. It’s my hope that I’ve conveyed properly these points to the reader, while at the same time entertaining the child.

Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with? Ray Bradbury, Mark Twain, and a number of others.

What author inspires you the most and why? By far, Ray Bradbury, who passed away last year, is my favorite writer and biggest literary influence. Fortunately, I had several occasions in my life to hear him speak in person. He referred to himself as an “optimal behaviorist,” believing in a proactive, positive outlook in life, doing all we can, with enthusiasm. We can rise beyond our challenges, and make the world a better place for ourselves and those around us.

What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.? I don’t necessarily set a specific schedule or goal. Every story takes on a life of its own, and it’s hard to know how long the creative process will take on a particular aspect. I try to be flexible, but still, it’s important to me to feel like I’m progressing at a timely pace. The important thing is to keep at it.

What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read? There are many children’s books that are really about nothing. They can be a lot of fun and silly, but books that can teach a lesson while still being fun, and without being forced or condescending, those are rarer. I’ve strived to strike the right balance in my books.

What advice would you give to new writers? Learn, and DO.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? When I write, the first audience of my story is me. So not only am I trying to say something, I also need to learn something. With “Silent Sally,” I learned that I need to strive toward becoming the person that Sally is. I fail miserably at times, but the story reminds me that I need to proactively be on the lookout for ways to serve others.

Thank you for this interview.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak your readers!

March 3, 2013 Posted by | Meet the Author | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Mymcbooks Interview Author Maggie Lyons


Maggie Lyons

 

About the Author: Born in Wales, brought up in England, and emigrated to the USA, I’ve zigzagged  through a motley range of professions from playing unofficial British spy—yes, really!—while keeping a troupe of touring ballet dancers happy—oxymoron?—to editing a course on everything you wanted to know about astronomy. I’ve herded cats—oops! I mean I’ve worked my passage in orchestral management, and I’ve taught piano and music theory—amazing how many people ain’t got rhythm. Every step in this career maze was fun—well, sometimes only in retrospect—and full of opportunities to write on a wild range of topics from business law to Beethoven.

After my curiosity was piqued by the streets paved with gold in the United States—well, that’s what they tell foreigners they’ll find over here—I gravitated to Virginia where I threw myself—not literally of course—into editing and writing nonfiction, mostly for adults. To read more click on the link to the author’s website http://www.maggielyons.yolasite.com/about-me.php

 

I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog.  

 

What is the last book you read?  Jerry Spinelli’s Loser—vintage Spinelli, with its mastery of the English language, its heart-wrenching depictions, its humor, and its memorable story.

What was your favorite children’s book? When I was small, I loved Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.

What were your earliest memories of writing? I was not a big writer when I was small. That came later at high school, college, and my subsequent professional career in orchestral management, when I wrote program notes for the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, DC.

Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came naturally? I guess I instinctively chose a career that involved a lot of writing.

Do you generally get a story idea first or does the main character develop first? The idea for the general gist of the story comes first. After that, the characters move the action along.

What inspired you to write Dewi and the Seeds of Doom? For several years, now, I have been acutely interested in how what you eat affects your health. I became aware of the fact that genetically modified organisms (GMOS) are dangerous to health, yet they pervade 80 percent of the food found in any supermarket. I wanted to get the message out about GMOs in the least complicated way—a child’s adventure story. I have wanted, for some time, to contribute my two cents’ worth to putting Wales on the cultural map, so to speak. So, a story about a Welsh dragon who discovers a plot involving GMOs popped into my head.

Can you give us an insight into Vin and the Dorky Duet?  Vin is a seventh-grader who takes up a challenge set him by his devious sister. Mayhem ensues as Vin’s brilliant plan to meet the challenge goes awry.

Are you working on a new book? I’m doodling around with a sequel to Vin and trying my hand at picture books.

What is the most difficult part of writing? Putting words on a blank page. Frankly, everything is difficult for me. I don’t write quickly, nor do ideas come thick and fast. It’s a labor, but a labor of love.

Do you write full time or do you still have a day job? I’m a fairly busy freelance copyeditor with clients around the globe.

How do you react to a bad review and have you ever suffered from writer’s block? I don’t read reviews that have less than three stars. That way I keep my heart rate and blood pressure at the right level.

What do you hope that readers will take away from your book? From Dewi and the Seeds of Doom, I hope children will learn that being inquisitive and asking questions, lots of questions, is important. I hope parents do not try to squash their children’s curiosity about life, even though children’s questions can, often, be quite exhausting!

From Vin and the Dorky Duet I hope children get the message that life is full of challenges and they should try to meet them but not worry if they don’t succeed at all of them. Having a go is what is important.

Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with? Roald Dahl, Jane Gardam, Jerry Spinelli, Dan Gutman, Jeff Kinney, Khaled Hosseini—the list goes on.

What author inspires you the most and why? I don’t have a favorite. There are many authors I admire, for different reasons, including all the authors I mentioned above. I’m inspired by Roald Dahl’s mordant wit, in both his children’s and adult fiction. I’m bowled over by Jerry Spinelli’s ability to move and engage me with just the right words—and the right number of words, and I love his talent for creating memorable storylines and life-like characters. I love the humor of Dan Gutman and Jeff Kinney, and I’m intrigued by Khaled Hosseini’s ability fo whisk me off to foreign cultures and make them come alive and spell-binding. I adore Jane Gardam’s astonishing mastery of the English language, in which every single word has been carefully chosen.

What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.? Alas, I’m entirely undisciplined regarding any sort of writing schedule. I do have the goal of improving my writing, which means writing more. I also would like to see my published books reach many children and I work quite hard to promote them.

What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read? I’m developing a blog site designed to help parents find good books—as well as help writers who want to write good children’s books. The site refers parents to other websites where they can search lists of recommended books, including lists of award-winning books. My blog site is at: http://www.maggie-lyons.blogspot.com.

What advice you would give to new writers? Join a critique group, read as many of the works of great writers as you can, read books on the craft of writing, and write, write, write.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? My books’ website is at: http://www.maggielyons.yolasite.com.

Thank you for this interview.

Thank you, Ella, for having me as a guest. I enjoyed talking to you.

 

 

 

January 27, 2013 Posted by | Meet the Author | , , , , | 7 Comments

Mymcbooks Interview F.T. Bradley, Author of Double Vision.


FT Bradley

 

Author bio: F. T. Bradley is originally from the Netherlands and still likes to travel, like Linc, whenever she gets a chance. Her husband’s Air Force career has F. T. and their two daughters moving all around the world, but for the moment the family lives on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Double Vision is the first book in her new series about Linc Baker and Ben Green. Find out more at www.doublevisionbooks.com, and follow F.T. on Twitter @FTBradleyAuthor

 

I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog.

 

What is the last book you read?

I just finished Michael Connelly’s The Black Box, and Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew: Small Vocanoes, a graphic novel. I usually read a novel written for adults, then a children’s book, to keep things interesting.

 

What was your favorite teen book?

Growing up, Agatha Christie was my favorite author as a teenager. Now, I don’t have a favorite as such–I just love YA and middle-grade mysteries. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson, and Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn are recent favorites in YA. In middle-grade, Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn tops my list.

 

What were your earliest memories of writing?

I remember writing a lot in third/fourth grade, but it tapered off when I got older. I didn’t really catch the writing bug until I was in my twenties, believe it or not.

 

Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural?

Honestly, writing didn’t come to me until a later age, and it came from me, really. I had two small children, and wanted to do something just for me. I’d always wanted to write a book, so I said to myself: “what are you waiting for?” My first attempts at writing were really terrible, but I slowly got better…

 

Do you generally get a story idea first or does the main character develop first?

I usually start with character, and Double Vision was definitely all driven by main character Linc. If you have a strong character, the story follows in a snap.

 

What inspired you to write Double Vision?

I actually developed the concept for the series together with my agent (Stephen Barbara), and later with my editors Barbara Lalicki and Andrew Harwell at Harper Children’s–that was so much fun. But Linc’s character came first, and the other lead characters, Ben and Henry for instance, quickly followed. Although the Double Vision series is fast-paced and has lots of plot twists, the characters really drive the story. They’re what make the writing–and hopefully the reading–lots of fun.

 

Are you working on a new book?

I just finished the second book in Linc’s adventure, called Double Vision: Code Name 711. I’m now writing the third book, and having a blast.

 

What is the most difficult part of writing?

That first draft is so exciting, but kind of scary too. I always wonder: what if I can’t do it? My editors have been fantastic about taking that first draft and helping me make it the best book possible.

 

Do you write full time or do you still have a day job?

I write full-time, but have two school-aged daughters that I home school for the time being. It’s kind of like having a day job…

 

How do you react to a bad review and have you ever suffered from writer’s block?

Thankfully, I’ve only had a few negative reviews–most feedback on Double Vision is very positive. But it’s still a subjective business; not everyone is going to like the book, and that’s okay. I look for anything in the review that can help me make the next book better, but mostly, I just let it roll off my back.

I don’t really believe in writer’s block as some sort of mystical affliction. If I get stuck, it’s usually because I haven’t thought a plot element through all the way, so then I take a walk, or go do something else. In the few cases where I can’t see a clear solution, I check with my editors at Harper. Somehow, they always give me the perfect fix.

 

What do you hope that readers will take away from your book?

I hope they enjoy the adventure! And I also hope that kids realize that you don’t have to be an academic or athletic superstar to be a hero. Just look at Linc…

 

Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with?

That’s a tough one… To be honest, I would love to dine with some of my fellow debut authors. As I travel I get to meet lots of new authors, and it’s so great to share the journey with someone who’s in the same boat. Not a very glamorous answer, but there you have it.

 

What author inspires you the most and why?

I recently had a chance to meet Dan Gutman, who writes The Genius Files and many other books. He has such a great connection to kids, and an amazingly positive and down-to-earth attitude that’s so inspiring.

 

What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?

I’m on a schedule with the Double Vision series, so I have to take writing seriously. I get up early when I write a first draft–about five or so, when it’s nice and quiet in the house. I do editing in long sittings, since it’s the easiest way to grasp the story in its entirety. But I do take breaks–it’s important to give yourself downtime, I think.

 

What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read?

Most importantly: let kids choose. Take your child to the bookstore or library, and let them experience the joy of picking out their own book, even if it’s just one (as long as it’s appropriate, obviously). For older kids that have required reading, do the same thing–you can pair a book of choice with one that meets curriculum. It’s up to us to associate reading with fun entertainment.

And don’t forget to read yourself. Kids who see parents read for fun are much more likely to do so themselves, and continue the habit into adulthood.

 

What advice you would give to new writers?

Stay positive. Don’t give up–rejection is part of the business (like those negative reviews), so learn to take criticism in stride, and move on. Find some fellow writers, so you can share your rejections and successes with people who get it.

 

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

If you read Double Vision, let me know what you think! And for you teachers and parents: I have lots of fun links to kid-friendly spy games, and Common Core teacher guides to use in the classroom on my website www.doublevisionbooks.com.

 

 

January 10, 2013 Posted by | Meet the Author | , , , , , | 5 Comments

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