Tag Archives: books for kids

Interview with Nancy Strom, Author of Scooter and Friends Take a Vacation

Hello!

Today’s interview is with Nancy Strom, author of Scooter and Friends Take a Vacation!

Please enjoy!

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

 

Interview:

1. What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?

  • My author name is Nancy Strom and I live near Seattle, Wa – although I’m about to embark on a 6 month to a year journey in a motorhome with my husband and dog.  We’re going to try and see every state in the lower 48.

 

2. What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?

  • Scooter and Friends Take a Vacation is a children’s picture book, which is written in rhyme and beautifully illustrated

 

3. What is the book about?

  • The book is a story where four animal friends – a red fox pup, a hedgehog, a beaver, and a raccoon – go on their first vacation and find a bit more adventure and excitement than they originally anticipated. The story is a fun romp for the entire family, and contains some valuable life lessons.  It celebrates diversity, through the inclusion of a variety of animals, both female and male.  It shows children the importance of working together, and how teamwork is reworded.  It shows the value of listening, taking advice, and to not be afraid to try something new.

.

4. Where did you come up with the idea?

  • I have loved Kenneth Graham’s Wind in the Willows since I first read it as a young adult. I have read this book to my grandnieces and nephews over the years, and taken them on many mini-adventures, as well.  Also, over the years, I have written a lot of new lyrics to existing melodies for events like birthday and anniversary parties.  So once I retired I thought it would be fun to connect three things I have enjoyed for so long –  reading to children, taking them on adventures, and rhyming lyrics – by writing a children’s book that would be an animal adventure story written in rhyme.

 

5. How long did it take you to write it?

  • Once I sat down and got started writing it went rather quickly. And then once I found the publisher with whom I wanted to work, I realized the work wasn’t finished but rather just beginning.  From writing the book, and then going through the publishing process, it took a little over a year. (obviously, as a 2200 word children’s book, my timing was much shorter than what many will experience 😊)

 

6. Did you learn anything from the project?

  • The entire publishing process was one huge learning experience: I found out about the evolution of the publishing industry, from 75 years ago when traditional publishing houses had a virtual monopoly on what got into print, to today- where 80% of fiction and non-fiction published is by one type of self-publishing or another.  I’ve learned what the publishing process itself entails: everything from  getting an appraisal to the editorial, illustration, and formatting processes.

And finally I’ve learned so very much about marketing my story – I’m taking a marketing class that I started in May of 2019, and I still have 2 sessions remaining!

 

7. Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?

  • My website is nancystrom.com    On the website is my Video Book Trailer, and a few blogs. There one can also find a celebrity endorsement, a Rotary president’s testimonial, beta reader reviews, etc. of Scooter and Friends Take a Vacation. 

 

8. Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?

 

  1. ALLi – the Alliance of Independent Authors – is a goldmine, in particular for the novice to the self-publishing world.  I found my publisher – Ocean Reeve Publishing – through ALLi.  On the ALLi  website there is a particularly valuable index where ALLi rates any publisher or individual associated with the independent publishing industry.  One can find full-service publishers, as well as individual editors, appraisers, proof-readers, publicists, illustrators, formatters, marketing specialists, agents, etc. etc.  I can’t say enough about how valuable this ALLi “find” was for me!
  2. Get an Appraisal done of your manuscript. The Appraisal I received was a systematic and objective study of the marketability of my book, as well as an assessment of the revisions, rewrites, updates, and changes that would be needed to ensure that my book would be of the highest quality.
  3. My illustrator, Carolyn Van Hosen, is a wonderful artist, who took a lot of time to find out what my vision was for my characters. She did my cover art, as well as my 16 full-color illustrations, and my animal portraits that appear on page 3 of my book.  Once Carolyn had the characters as I envisioned them and I signed off on the final versions,  I got the idea to have portraits done so that as we proceeded through the illustrations she could refer back to them as a guide.  And I decided to put them on page 3 so the reader and those to whom they were reading could see the animals “front and center” and know what each looked like –  like “meet the stars of our show”.
  4. The appraiser and the editors with Ocean Reeve Publishing are great. And an author can cherry pick what assistance he or she wants.  No contract to sign with Ocean, you pay only for the service(s) you need/want.

 

(Number 9 below is a continuation of the interview questions.)

9. What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?

Just for pleasure (as opposed to book club books) I love international intrigue – Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, David Baldaccci.  And historical fiction by W.E.B. Griffin.  He has several series, including two great ones on the OSS – one series takes place in the European theater and the other in South America.  I have enjoyed each of Griffin’s series – he has about 10 different ones.

I also love stories with animals – The Art of Racing in the Rain is a big favorite of mine.

I would be very open to reading new authors and would definitely be willing to give reviewing their work a try.

 

10. What is your favorite book of all time and why?

  • Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, because it is full of wit, wisdom, fun, and love. And when it comes to the movie version, there is none better than the A&E version with Colin Firth –  he will forever be Mr. Darcy to me.

 

11. Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?

  • I have a black lab named Molly. She is an absolute hoot, and a sweetheart, and we love her!   My favorite cat of all time was named Newt.  He was the son of a stray who adopted us (we live on a farm, which is a great place for cats and dogs), and Newt actually thought he was a dog.  He played fetch; he went on walks with me; he came whenever I called him.

 

12. Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?

  • I have a Kindle. It’s great for traveling, but I still love to hold a book in my hands when I’m at home.

 

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

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Interview with Christine Reynebeau, Author of Home

Hello,

Today’s interview is with Christine Reynebeau, author of Home.

Please enjoy.

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
Christine Reynebeau, Wisconsin
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
Home, Children’s Books
3) What is the book about?
Change and how to handle transitions
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I had a friend recommend writing a book about moving, and when I asked what the lesson in that would be, she said that change can be okay. And I’ve always been bad at change, so helping others to practice the skill early felt important.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
Probably about 6 hours over the course of two to three months.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
Every time I work with a new illustrator I learn different ways to manage a project and work with different people to bring my story to life.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
My biggest advice is to do your research, protect yourself and don’t let anyone pigeonhole you in a publishing journey that doesn’t fit you.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
I love a good fiction novel, and always I am open to reading from new authors and reviewing work, it’s so important for authors to support each other.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
That’s so tough, but They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky by Benjamin Ajak. Because it is a story of human will to survive and the best lesson of my life, I learned from that book. There’s a beautiful humanity those portrayed in the desire to simply survive. And while I have never been faced with the risk of not surviving, it is always humbling to remind ourselves how capable and determined our bodies are to survive.
11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
Walter, he is a German Shepard/Terrier Mix and featured in two of my books!
12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
Absolutely not, I have never been able to get on board with electronic reading devices. I do produce ebooks, but I personally like hard copy books. I’m an old soul.
*As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

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Interview with Dawn Young, Author of Melvin Fastidious the Sailor

Hello,

I’m pleased to bring you this interview with Dawn Young, author of Melvin Fastidious the Sailor.

I hope you enjoy it.

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

 

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
Dawn Doig.  I penned one book under my maiden name, Dawn Young, because it was inspired by and written for my father.
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
‘Melvin Fastidious the Sailor’ is my most recent release.  It’s a children’s picture book.
3) What is the book about?
A sailor with OCD.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
Growing up with my father, a veteran of the Canadian navy, and his need to have things ‘just so’.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
About 3 hours.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
I have learned how to work with illustrators through the publication of all of my books so far.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
Persevere.  If you love writing, keep doing it.  I have appreciated the art work of all of the illustrators I have been put in contact with through Pen It! Publications
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
Crime detective, historical romance, and children’s books; I work full-time so my ‘free’ time is limited.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
I don’t have one favourite – I enjoy all of Diana Gabaldon’s books and anything I have read by James Patterson.  I also love ‘Stellaluna’ and ‘The Phantom Tollbooth.’
11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
Two beautiful cats we adopted in Mongolia.  My husband and I have always had cats.
12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
iPad mini – I don’t use it for reading books.  Actually, I seldom use it, but my tech-loving husband insisted I have one.
*As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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Interview with Elaine Bosvik Ciarnau, Author of The Adventures of Cardigan

Hello,

Today’s interview is with Elaine Bosvik Ciarnau, author of The Adventures of Cardigan.

Please enjoy!

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
Elaine Bosvik Ciarnau    Canada
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
The Adventures of Cardigan.  Children’s Fiction
3) What is the book about?
  A six year old boy and his dog, a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, experience several adventures with majestic wild life in the wilderness of Northern, Ontario. They are picking blueberries with a bear. They raise a crow that fell out of its best, have a bear and Cardigan having dinner at a cookhouse.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
 The stories are from my own adventures while growing up in the Bush Camps
5) How long did it take you to write it?
 I started writing them over twenty years ago. As my son was growing up, I used to tell him the stories of my childhood. He would want to her more so I decided to share them in a book.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
  I learned kids  are curious about wildlife.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
No
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
 Write about what you know. Let others read and give you advice on what they read.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
 I like to read anything except history. I have been reviewing books for other authors.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
 The Moon child by Kenneth McKenney.  The book scared me so much I would have to put it down so often but,I had to keep picking it up to find out what was going to happen next.
11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
 2 Russian Blue cats. Had a rabbit named Piggy and a cat Tiger that passed. Always had pets, wild and domestic.
12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?

No. Just use my tablet.

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Monty and the Monster by Rhonda Smiley

When seventh grader Monty Hyde moves for the fourth time in two years, it’s the same old story. New neighborhood, new school, new bullies, no friends. With his dad working all the time and his older brother too popular to notice, he’s the lonely outcast yet again. That is until he finds a mysterious replication serum in his basement and decides to make a friend. From scratch.

But when his creation turns out to be a stinky, hairy eight-foot-tall monster that might be eating the neighborhood kids, Monty knows he must undo his experiment. Problem is, it’s the best friend he’s ever had.

 

 

*As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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Interview with Mary Feliciani, author of The Invisible Boy.

Today’s interview is with Mary Feliciani, author of The Invisible Boy!

I hope you enjoy it!

Best,

Vincent Lowry

 

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?

 

My name is Mary Feliciani, and I am a Canadian author and publisher from Mississauga, Ontario.

 

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?

 

My latest eBook, The Invisible Boy, is the second installment of what will be a trilogy about bullying that happens in a school environment. It is about a boy who feels invisible at school. Although it is part of a trilogy, it is also a stand-alone.

 

3) What is the book about?

 

Carlo, the main character, feels invisible at school for a day. The reader is taken through his lonely and painful journey as the other students ignore him. I think the story creates empathy and enlightenment for students that haven’t gone through this kind of experience.

 

4)  Where did you come up with the idea?

 

I taught elementary school for many years. It became apparent to me that the issue of bullying was a challenge for both teachers and parents alike. The story is a great way for teachers and parents to ignite a discussion about bullying. Not all children realize that shunning is a form of bullying. There are discussion questions at the end of the book to help put the story in perspective.

 

 

5) How long did it take you to write it?

 

It is difficult to say because I don’t sit down to write until most of the story is written in my head. This is a good way to avoid writer’s block. If I have to put a time frame on the process, it would be a year. This includes the writing, editing, illustrations and publishing.

 

6) Did you learn anything from the project?

 

The Invisible Boy is my fourth book. I find that one story idea leads to another. It becomes easier for the creativity to flow once you are emerged in writing or storytelling.

 

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog?

 

Yes, I have both.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14210392.Mary_Feliciani

 

Website: https://www.mfpublishing.com

 

 

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?

 

The best advice that I can give anyone who wants to publish a book is that they should join Goodreads. It is the simplest way of acquiring reviews. My other piece of advice is to have your work edited by a professional editor. I have two editors who respectively do a first and second reading of the books. I have been very lucky to have employed two great illustrators. I am a small publisher but try to do everything that a traditional publisher does, but on a smaller scale. My illustrators are given credit on the cover of my books. If you want information on my editors, ask on my website or message me on Goodreads.

 

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?

 

The Mystery genre has intrigued me since I was a teenager. It never gets old. I also like Historical Fiction. I have read books by new authors and I enjoy writing reviews when I am inspired. Writing a review after being enthralled with a book, is like savouring the flavour of it.

 

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?

 

Since mysteries are my go-to books, and I have to choose just one, I will pick Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. And Then There Were None is a close second. Agatha Christie is the queen of the cozy mystery. These two books have all the puzzle-solving qualities of a good mystery, but they also have a moral dilemma in each. Since joining Goodreads, I have been introduced to, and appreciated the works of, Tana French and Donna Leon.

 

 

*As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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Interview with Denver Kidd, author of Bubbles and Buddy!

Hello,

Today I’m happy to bring you the interview with Denver Kidd, author of Bubbles and Buddy! Please enjoy!

Best,

Vincent Lowry

*As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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