Monday, December 17, 2012

Welcome Author Cheryl Shireman!

I am very honored to have Cheryl Shireman here today to talk about her children's books. They are an absolute delight. I hope you enjoy them!

What was your favorite childhood children’s book?

My favorite book from childhood is Harold and the Purple Crayon.

What drew you to it? It is such a simple little book. A boy uses his purple crayon to create worlds and then has all kinds of adventures in those worlds. The idea of creating worlds appealed to me as a child. It still does as an adult! I think that is the thing I most enjoy about writing - the ability to create worlds and get lost in the story.
 
What is your favorite children’s movie?

One of the first movies I remember watching as a child is Wizard of Oz. In those days (when we only had a handful of TV channels!), the movie was shown once a year and it was such a treat to sit and watch it with my parents. I still get choked up at the beginning of the movie when Judy Garland sings Over the Rainbow, and I still think those flying monkeys are frightening!

What brought you into the wonderful world of creating children’s books?

My granddaughter, Anna! I never thought I would ever write a book for children. Honestly, I’ve always been so focused on writing novels that it never crossed my mind to write any other kind of book. Then, one day Anna and I were watching birds through the window. She was only two, but was fascinated by the various kinds of birds. I retrieved a book for identifying birds and showed her some of the pictures. She loved it! We sat together for over an hour looking at a book that was written for adults. As we were looking at the book, I realized how much Anna enjoyed learning about the birds, even at the age of two. At that moment, I decided to buy her a toddler book about birds.

Later that same day, I looked online for some type of well-illustrated book that would also be educational. I wanted something with realistic photos and text that she could understand. I found nothing. Immediately, I started thinking about writing a book for Anna about birds. Within a short time that idea became the illustrated book for preschool and toddler kids, Let’s Learn About Birds. I was so excited about the idea that I created a series of eight books and named it the Curious Toddler Series. All of the books, of course, are dedicated to Anna. The series includes the titles: Let’s Learn About Dogs, Let’s Learn About Cats, Let’s Learn About Birds, Let’s Learn About Things to Drive, Let’s Learn About Jungle Animals, Let’s Learn About Wild Animals, and Let’s Learn About Farm Animals.

The series has been very well received. Someone just did a review of Let’s Learn About Dogs and wrote that their grandchildren asked them to read the book over and over again, and they are currently in the process of naming all of the dogs in the book. Really, it doesn’t get any better than that! I love that someone is sitting down somewhere and reading one of my books to a child. It brings me tremendous joy.

What is your current project? Tell us about it.

I just published a two-book project, again inspired by my granddaughter, Anna. I wanted to create a book that makes children feel loved - a book that a parent/grandparent/relative could read to a child and express how very much that child is loved. A story that would tell a child that he or she is loved no matter what they do or how they act. I started working with a wonderful illustrator who lives in London, Charlotte Ellis. Via email, I shared my ideas with Charlotte and we worked together to create not only a curly-haired little girl (Anna has curly hair!), but also an adorable little boy. The final result is two beautiful books (both with the same text), one featuring a boy in all of the illustrations, and one featuring a girl in all of the illustrations - I Love You When (For Girls) and I Love You When (For Boys). Charlotte knocked these out of the park. I love these books.

I read both books to Anna (who is now three) for the first time last week. As soon Anna saw the cover of the version for girls, she said, “That’s me!” She asked me to read the girl version to her, then the boy version, and then the girl version again. Just like the “Let’s Learn About…” books, the “I Love You When” books are a hit with Anna. My job is done. At least until Anna inspires another book for children!

What advice do you have for the little ones out there?

Enjoy every day. Spend a lot of time playing. Remember, everyone needs love. Be kind. Be patient. Give lots of hugs and kisses. It is the same advice I would give adults.

 
 
 
 
Thank you Cheryl for stopping by today. Wonderful interview!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday Blog Hop

 
 
Welcome to the 2012 Holiday Blog Hop!!!There's all kinds of swag to be won as well as some amazing grand prizes!


Each writer will be hosting their own giveaway on their blogs and offering their own prizes IN ADDITION to the grand prizes.
 
I am offering two prizes:
 
#1 A $15 amazon gift card
 
#2 A copy of your choice of one my children's eBooks to two winners
 

Announcing winners on Monday!
Thanks for entering.


Winners are:

Gift Card: Cathy

eBook: Gaele

eBook: Kris


I just want to say thank you so much for taking the time to enter and join in on our Hop. We really do appreciate it. I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season. Be sure to return for our Hop in the New Year!

 
As the for the grand prizes, there are five. What are they?


PRIZES ONE AND TWO

NOT ONE BUT TWO 7" KINDLE FIRES
WITH HD, 16 GB, WI-FI, AND DOLBY AUDIO.
$199 VALUE EACH

PRIZE 3

$25 AMAZON GIFT CARD


PRIZE 4

25 SIGNED PAPERBACK BOOKS THAT WILL BE MAILED RIGHT TO YOUR DOORSTEP.


PRIZE 5

40 DIGITAL BOOKS THAT WILL BE DELIVERED TO YOUR KINDLE

 

AMAZING AUTHOR GIVEAWAYS AWAIT YOU!!!***
 
 
To enter for these prizes visit the Holiday Hop site here:
 
 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Welcome Author, Angela Muse!!!

I am very excited to have Angela here today for an interview. Her little books are sooooo adorable and her new book is just--WOW CUTE! You have to check it out.

What was your favorite childhood children’s book? What drew you to it?

My favorite of all time would probably be The Wizard of Oz.  I loved being able to go to this magical land of Oz in my head and never knowing what to expect as I explored the story.  That is the magic of books.

What is your favorite children’s movie? 

Beauty and the Beast.  This love story is timeless and I really appreciate the message relayed that we should look for what is in the inside of a person before judging them.  What’s most important is what is inside someone’s heart.

What brought you into the wonderful world of creating children’s books?

I wrote one children’s book called Lil Glimmer back in 2009 and created the paperback as a gift to my two young children and never had any intention of creating any more.  I had written several other children’s stories that I told to my own kids, but I never thought I would pursue my writing any further.  My son actually encouraged me to create books for my other stories so I made it a goal for 2012 to accomplish that and see where my writing would take me.  The response to our stories has been great so far and I couldn’t have done it without the encouragement and support I’ve received from my family.

What is your current project? Tell us about it.

Our latest book, Suzy Snowflake, has just been released. 
 
Suzy is a snowflake fairy who starts to notice that she looks different than those around her and this worries Suzy. When one of her friends sees Suzy praying to God he becomes curious. Suzy shows him how to pray so he can talk to God. Both friends realize that all of us are unique just as God intends.

We have been blown away by the great responses we have gotten so far from this story. 

 
 
What advice do you have for the little ones out there?

I was born in California to a military family. This meant that I was the "new kid" in school every couple of years. It was hard always trying to make new friends, but I discovered I had a knack for writing. I began writing poetry in high school and really enjoyed expressing myself by using pen and paper. After becoming a Mom in 2003, I continued my storytelling to my own children. In 2009 I wrote and published my first children's book aimed at toddlers. Since then I have released three additional children’s books in 2012.
 
 
Where do you get your inspirations for your characters and storylines in your books?

My inspiration typically comes from my two children.  While picking up acorns in the backyard to decorate our mantle I got inspired to write a story about a little family of acorns.  Soon, The Nutt Family:  An Acorny Adventure was born.  My son was very frightened of bumblebees as a young child so this inspired me to write The Bee Bully.  My daughter came up with the idea to write a story about a character named Suzy Snowflake and an idea was formed.  My kids have great imaginations so they fill my head with lots of ideas.

What were your favorite books from your childhood? 

I enjoyed Green Eggs and Ham, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Where the Wild Things Are.

What are the best and the worst things about being a writer?

Being an indie writer can be a real challenge.  You have completed creating this wonderful little story, but nobody knows about it yet so you really have to put your marketing hat on to get the word out about it.  I love being able to create characters that children can respond to and entertaining them or imparting a good message to them through that story.  The worse thing is not getting that immediate feedback on your work.  You have to be patient and sit back and wait to see reviews come in or feedback on your blog.  Writing and publishing indie books is a process all of it’s own.

Tell us a little bit about your books, what age group they are for and where
Can people buy your books?

We currently have six children’s books out now exclusively on Amazon:

Lil Glimmer

The Nutt Family:  An Acorny Adventure

The Pig Princess

The Bee Bully

Eager Eaglets:  Birds of Play

Suzy Snowflake

All of our picture books are aimed at children aged eight and under.

You can find out more about what stories we are working on by visiting us at http://www.4eyesbooks.com or following us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/4eyesbooks/126599224129551?ref=hl
 
 
Thank you Angela for stopping by today. Your books are just wonderful!!!
 
 

 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It's November!


Hey everyone! November is going to be a busy month for us. We have little Suri here in the works. She is the sea lion in Crosby. This tale will be out in December! Otherwise, I am currently writing a little story that's due out in the New Year, will post the cover when it comes in.

This month, I'd say, holds my favorite meal of the year. I wonder...haha. I will be having family over and I'm doing up the bird. I oh so love turkey mmmm. But...my absolute beloved part of that meal is the dressing. I'd be perfectly fine with just that topped with gravy and cran.

I hope you are all well J

Saturday, October 27, 2012

#1 Hot New Release

Thanks to those of you who picked up our new Halloween book. It is the number 1 Hot New Release in Halloween, Holiday, & Children's Poetry. Thanks :)

Halloween is right around the corner!!! OOOO. I'm carving pumpkins today.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Witches

Who likes witches? Me!!!

I dressed up as one last year for Halloween. I'd post that pic, but this one is better--haha.

This is the witch in our new Halloween release. She is casting a spell, calling on all the spooks of the night.

What is a witch? A witch is a woman who can cast spells. She has magic powers which can be used for good or evil. They are known to wear tall, black, pointy hats and a long black cloak and gown.

What would you do if you came across one? I'd probably be polite considering all the things they could conjure up on you in a moment's notice--turn you into a toad or a lizard. I'd ask to be a big fuzzy bunny. Please?

Witch costumes are very popular for Halloween and very easy to manage. You just need a hat, you could make one out of paper or buy one and you could use a black sheet for the cloak. Use your imagination.

I did some fun makeup for the look with dramatic eyes and pale skin. I skipped the green. I don't know. I don't quite suit it :)

Have fun with your witch costume if that's what you choose and don't forget your broom. How else are you going to streak across the night sky?

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Halloween Night

 
Now Available!
 
 
Ghosts and goblins, witches and goons—what is going to happen on this Halloween Night?

A little boy wakes up to a mysterious noise, only to find out that a spell has been cast!

This is a fully illustrated eBook for ages two years and up.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ghosts

October is my absolute favorite month of the year. It has everything: sunny days, autumn leaves, great food, pumpkins, Halloween, and most of my fam's birthdays are this month. It really is very busy for us--good busy.

I'll be doing some fun themes this month on the blog and chatting about some characters. We also have our Halloween book coming out which should be done soon. I can't wait.  It contains a ghost!

Ghosts

This is a picture of a ghostly hand. This is my hand. I placed it against the wall and took a picture of it with a thermal camera. Red is hot. I left my heat signature there, unable to be seen with the naked eye. I did this because this is how I think of ghosts. They are there, but you may not be able to see them.

Now, what is a ghost exactly? It is the spirit or the soul of a deceased person or animal. Do they even exist? This is up for debate. Some believe in them and some do not. I suppose that is entirely up to you.

All I know is that they are interesting to think about. If you've ever seen one, it would be most memorable I imagine.

I've dressed up as a ghost for Halloween with the usual white sheet and cut out eyes. Why would this form be chosen for a ghost? As the ghost manifests, it may not take the full original shape of the person or animal. It could be as a mist or as a uneven form--a shadow. I think a sheet goes well to represent that. It's a very easy costume to do up for trick or treating as long as your mother okays the sheet. You wouldn't want to just go in the closet and pick out just anything. :)

Where do ghosts hang? Considering that a ghost used to be a person or an animal, they like to hang out where they lived when they were in the real world. This could be a house, this could be a place where they worked, or a special place they held dear. I figure if I was ever a ghost I would like to visit the Space Needle. That is where I got married. I love that place. Where would you go?

I think if I ever meet a ghost, I would probably scream--it would be very surprising and unexpected indeed. Have fun on your Halloween night! Watch out for those spooks!

Well, it's been fun chatting about ghosts today. See you next week!







Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Welcome Author Corey Feldman

 
Corey is a fellow children's book author and has stopped by for an interview. I'd love to welcome him. His little elephant is adorbale. Can't wait for the illustrated version to launch. I know my little ones will love it.
 
What was your favorite childhood children’s book? What drew you to it?
Winnie-the-Pooh. On the surface you have what seems like simple characters yet they offer a tremendous amount of complexity. The more I read, and the older I got, the more I saw. I mean how many other children's books can be used to explain Taoism. - The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet.   
 
What is your favorite children’s movie?
Not sure I had a favorite, I always preferred books to movies. 
 
What brought you into the wonderful world of creating children’s books?
I wrote a poem to thank someone who helped me come to terms with an opportunity for growth. She and others convinced me to try and turn it into a children's series. When I decided to try it, I took the adult character I had created and turned her back to age 5, the age of my oldest child. When I started reading them to him, Joshua, he fell in love with them. I couldn't help but go on. I also started blogging the draft poems/stories. For the most part they grew in complexity and length as time went on, and suddenly I had over 30 some poems/stories written. I also got a tremendous amount of positive feedback and had teachers and parents asking me if they could read them to their classes and children. I felt I had something special, but didn't have the patience to query agents and publishing houses, so I decided to go the indie route. I pulled out 7 stories for Egret at Five (working title) and hired an illustrator. I hope to have the project complete by next moth. While writing the 30+ stories/poems for the series I also wrote 3 other stories with Egret and her sister as grownups. Since I had never put together an eBook before I though a practice run was in order. I took the 4 stories, left them unillustrated and made Egret and Red: The Later Years. Since it was so short I kept the price to .99, when it got a wonderfully kind amazon review, it made my week. I hope the main project is received as warmly.
 
What is your current project? Tell us about it.
My current project is essentially a prequel to Egret and Red: The Later Years and unlike the first, it will be illustrated, It is about a 5 year old anthropomorphic elephant named Egret who loves to dance, especially under the moon. I currently have about 3 books worth of stories and poems, most of the drafts can be found at http://www.egrettheelephant.com/. Each book will be made up of vignettes, sort of like the Frog and Toad series. I also plan on writing stand alone books in this world as well. For example I have started a book where Egret and her best friend Samara go on a scavenger hunt. This will likely be the first standalone in the Egret series. 
 
What advice do you have for the little ones out there?
Books remind us of the magic in the world, keep reading.  
 
Thanks for stopping by Corey!
 
Find his collection here:
 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Moo Baa La La La


This little board book by Sandra Boynton is an all-time children's favorite. I don't think I have met any mother who has not read it with her children. It’s for all ages.

It is short and simple, my son loves this one, he has for over a year now and he carries it about with him around the house on occasion. It has been read so many times the edges of it have worn away. Nonetheless they still go for it above many other stories.

What is it about this little book?

I think it's the La La La. That is the best part of the story. What? These pigs sing. Haha

Looking for it now, I can’t find it. I’m sure it’s under a bed J

Pick it up if you don’t have it. I’m sure you do though.

 
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Writing eBooks for kids

I was pleased to be a guest this week at Indie Review Tracker! Here's my thoughts on children's eBooks:

http://indiereviewtracker.com/writing-e-books-for-kids/

Thanks, Karen for having me :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Welcome to my new homepage!


Let's go! This is the spot where I will be announcing upcoming books, doing some posts for fun and just chatting.

Feel free to comment. I am here for you.

Otherwise---let's enjoy the sun while it's still hanging. This is a pic of me standing over the Rio Grande in New Mexico.

More to come soon!