Archive for the ‘author interview’ Category
Spotlight Interview with author and retired teacher
Bette A. Stevens by Winsome Campbell-Green
- Author Bette A. Stevens (4writersandreaders.com)
FIND OUT ABOUT THE… Who? What? When? Where? & Why? behind Stevens’s latest book: PURE TRASH, The Story.
Tricia Drammeh of AUTHORS TO WATCH interviews Stevens about her latest book. Read all about it here http://www.authorstowatch.com/2013/10/interview-with-bette-stevens.html
- PURE TRASH, The Story by Bette A. Stevens (4writersandreaders.com)
- “Short story filled with images and flavor only better provided by an ice cream cone…” (4writersandreaders.com)
- Pure Trash Has Been Added to Book Club Reading List (4writersandreaders.com)
on Oct 3, 2013
Meet the writing team of D.C. Rush
What are reviewers saying about one of the books in D.C. Rush’s children’s storybook series?
“Robby’s Quest for Seed by D.C. Rush is an entertaining tale filled with humor and adventure which are cleverly used to teach children about friendship and teamwork.”
“This could easily be a five-star best seller and a future children’s classic.”
Welcome, Don. It’s great to have you with us at 4writersandreaders blog. Tell us a little about D.C. Rush.
My wife Cathy and I wrote and published the Robby’s Quest children’s storybook series. We write under the name D.C. Rush, short for Don and Cathy Rush. I was born in Cleveland and Cathy was born in Chicago. I spent most of my working life, over forty years, in the manufacturing sector, working my way up from machinist to plant manager. I’ve spent most of those years working in aerospace at AlliedSignal then in the recreational vehicle industry in Minnesota producing hardware for ATVs, Snowmobiles and Motorcycles. Cathy is a pharmacy tech, retired and currently a homemaker. We met and were married in Phoenix back in 1985.
Tell us about your family.
Cathy and I have been married 27 years. we have two daughters, Becky and Tiffany, both new mothers. So that means we are new grandparents. Becky’s three month old daughter is named Abygail and Tiffany has two children, Rylie her two year old son and her two month old daughter Aubree, the newest addition to the family. Becky lives close by so we see her often and we babysit for Abby once a week. Unfortunately Tiffany lives in Minnesota and we don’t get to see her often enough. I also have a brother who lives close to us but most of my family lives in Ohio.
How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you do?
Cathy and I retired and moved back to Arizona in 2009. We began playing with the idea of writing a children’s book in 2010.
Our books are fictional stories about a group of birds, life-long friends, who travel across America searching for new adventures and making new friends. Written for early readers, they also make excellent bedtime stories for the little ones.
Can you give us a brief synopsis of Robby’s Quest for Seed?
Robby the robin, his brother Ricky and their flock of feathery friends decide to fly south for the winter. Also in the flock are three mourning doves, a family of six sparrows and one lone blackbird. Robby is the group leader; however, he believes in and promotes democracy. The birds vote on most major issues. During the trip south, Joy the youngest sparrow wanders from the flock and lands in the backyard of a very determined and hungry cat named Hershey. The other birds must form a search party and save the little bird. When the group arrives in Florida, they discover their winter homes were destroyed by a hurricane. The birds face a dilemma. Should they stay in Florida until the waters subside or travel west to Arizona? Robby’s Quest for Seed is a story about teamwork, leadership and friendship that children are sure to enjoy.
What prompted the team of Don and Cathy Rush to become writers?
We wanted to leave something behind for our children and their children. We really did not expect to publish our story. The manuscript sat on our hard drive for over a year before we were persuaded to self-publish. The birth of our grandson gave us some added incentive to publish and we dedicated the first book to Rylie. After we wrote and published the first story, it seemed natural to write a second story. We never expected to write four books , but it seemed we had more stories to tell.
Do you have a favorite line from the book?
There are many passages I really like. This one is from the first book.
“Today was a very special day. Today was the day when all the birds would begin the journey south for the winter. Once arriving at their destination, it would be like spring break for birds.”
Look and listen…
Who is your favorite character and why?
I like Robby the robin. Over the years, I enjoyed being in management. Robby has my management style. He enjoys being the leader; but he also enjoys empowering others. Robby seeks agreement from the group for critical decisions and listens to others when they try to help. Robby is dedicated to the flock and would not let anything bad happen to anyone.
What was the hardest part about writing your book? The first book took a long time to write. We really struggled with the plot and how to actually form a story. By the third chapter we had an idea where we were going with the storyline so things began moving along. One problem was that we kept going back correcting our grammar and we weren’t really getting anywhere. We decided to just continue to write then we would go back later and check for grammar, punctuation, etc. It’s best to get your thoughts down on paper as soon as you can.
Do you do anything besides write? I spend most of my time marketing our books. Social networking takes a great deal of effort. My first priority is our website www.dcrushbooks.com. This is our main advertising hub for all our social networking efforts. We also have a Facebook Page www.facebook.com/dcrushbooks and we are active on Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest. We also have a WordPress blog that we are still tweaking. I enjoy surfing the internet and looking for new ways to promote our books. Cathy enjoys Facebook and she helps with ideas for the blog and website. We also enjoy watching action-adventure movies and crime-drama television shows like Criminal Minds, CSI Miami and Law & Order.
How can our readers get copies of your books?
Our first three books are available in eBook and paperback editions. The first and second books are also available on audio. We found a wonderful narrator from Los Angeles with voice-over experience on radio and television. Tracy does an amazing job. You can find all the links to every book and every format on our website www.dcrushbooks.com. On our website you can also watch any of three book trailers and listen to samples of the audio books.
Here are the eBook, Paperback and Audio Book links to Robby’s Quest for Seed
eBook on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009V7GZ2K
Paperback on Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/4257882
What’s next for Don and Cathy—D.C. Rush?
We are kicking around the idea of a picture book for the little ones, but we really need to get the Robby’s Quest series in front of more readers. We like to visit local hospitals and give the children a paperback to read; but again, we need to begin selling our books in order to continue doing this. We do have a new publicist who will begin a marketing campaign starting January 1st for Book One, February 1st for Book Two, etc.
It’s been a pleasure learning more about D.C. Rush and Robby’s Quest for Seed. Thanks so much for joining us here today. — Bette A. Stevens at http://www.4writersandreaders blog
Where to find D.C. Rush:
- What is an eBook? Why and How to Use Them (rasmussen.edu)
- 6 Children’s Book Authors Influencing Child Development (rasmussen.edu)
MEET THE AUTHOR: M.C.V. Egan
M.C.V. Egan lives in South Florida. she is fluent in four languages; English, Spanish, French and Swedish. From a young age became determined to solve the ‘mystery’ of her grandfather’s death, she has researched this story for almost two decades. the story has taken her to Denmark, England and unconventional world of psychics.
Peace In Time Book Blitz
Genre: Historical Paranormal
Publisher: AuthorHouse Publishing
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Author Interview with M.C. V. Egan by Bette A. Stevens
Welcome to 4writersandreaders, M.C.V. Egan.
Thank you, Bette, for inviting me today for an interview and for participating in the acknowledgement of the United Nations 33rd International Peace Day.
It’s both a pleasure and a privilege to have you with us today, Catalina, as people around the globe recognize September 21st as The International Day of Peace. Your novel, The Bridge of Deaths, promotes world peace in a unique way. I’m sure we’ll find out more about that from you today.
The Bridge of Deaths, opens with this quote:
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
Tell us a little about yourself, Catalina.
I was born in Mexico City, Mexico 54 years ago. Through the twists, turns and opportunities in life, I have lived in Mexico, France, Sweden and various parts of the USA. Consequently I have managed to acquire four languages and a variety of cultural influences. I now live in South Florida with my husband and teenage son.
How about your family and community life?
I am a mother and a wife. I am also a step mother and a step grandmother. I live in an area where the sense of community is very mixed as the brunt of the population only lives here for part of the year; they are known as snow-birds and flock from various northern parts of the USA, Canada and Europe. This has enriched our area in so many ways. Exposure to cultural diversity and great restaurants are only a small part.
How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you normally do?
I have been writing since I was a young child. My writing varies with the exception that I have never dipped into Horror, Sci-Fi or Fantasy, I dabble and test just about any other genre.
Can you give us a brief synopsis of your novel?
It is a well-documented historical journey with a touch of fiction and a metaphysical twist. The story revolves around the 1939 crash of airliner G-AESY and it is explored from the perspective of a modern-day couple researching their past lives.
What prompted you to become a writer?
In general what prompted me to write was an innate need to communicate. It is not that easy to be heard when you are one of eight kids in a family of very loud voices.
Do you have a favorite line or brief selection to share from The Bridge of Deaths?
I do have one, but it would make no matter of sense at all to anyone who has not read the book.
“It wasn’t the best copy. It was from an old microfilm machine. The resemblance was unmistakable. She found herself out the door, in her car, and heading back to where she’d promised herself she would never go again―to the accountant’s office”
Who is your favorite character and why?
Maggie is my favorite character for a number of reasons. She is the only primary character who is absolutely fictional, and that granted an amazing freedom to me as a writer. I could make her as fearless and lovely as I chose. Also, I made her a young woman of great convictions, especially in regards to striving for WORLD PEACE.
What was the hardest part about writing your book?
In the case of The Bridge of Deaths, acquiring the information―research was the hardest part.
Do you do anything besides write?
I am trying to devote myself to writing and parenting these days. I have worked in the past and I enjoy it. I feel at this stage in my son’s life it is very important to be a very hands-on parent.
How can readers get a copy of The Bridge of Deaths?
- AMAZON http://www.amazon.com/The-Bridge-of-Deaths-ebook/dp/B00D4L82XO/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=
- BARNES AND NOBLE http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-bridge-of-deaths-m-c-v-egan/1103737050?ean=9781463410391
- AUTHORHOUSE http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000463131/The-Bridge-of-Deaths.aspx
What’s next for you, M.C.V. Egan?
I am writing, working on a series in more of a Chick Lit genre. Also, through a local writers group, I am dabbling in short stories and one-act plays. Next year when new files pertinent to the crash of the G-AESY ―because of the 75-year disclosure rule in Europe―I do hope to uncover much more or all of the facts surrounding the crash.
But the next four years in parenting will be pivotal, so my projects may well go slowly.
Thank you, M.C.V. Egan, for including 4writersandreaders in your PEACE IN TIME Book Blitz & Blog Hop presented by The Bridge of Deaths and VBT Cafe. It’s been wonderful having you featured here on September 21st ― United Nations 33rd International Peace Day―a day designated to promote world peace.
Readers, come join the Blitz―enter the contest to win some fantastic prizes; then, stop back to visit the great blogs promoting world peace with M.C.V. Egan. And, don’t forget to get your copy of The Bridge of Deaths, if you haven’t already had a chance to read it. Find out how Maggie shares M.C.V. Egan’s message of Word Peace. I highly recommend this novel to readers around the globe.
Readers can get my personal perspective on world peace in my article Let’s Paint the World with Peace. http://4writersandreaders.com/2013/09/19/lets-paint-the-world-with-peace/ ~ I invite you to stop by to read my post and leave me your perspective on how we can attain world peace. I would love to hear what you think about World Peace.
~ Bette A. Stevens at 4writersandreaders.com
The Bridge of Deaths is a love story and a mystery. Fictional characters travel through the world of past life regressions and information acquired from psychics as well as archives and historical sources to solve “One of those mysteries that never get solved” is based on true events and real people, it is the culmination of 18 years of sifting through sources in Denmark, England and the United States, it finds a way to help the reader feel that he /she is also sifting through data and forming their own conclusions.
The journey takes the reader to well-known and little known events leading up to the Second World War, both in Europe and America. The journey also takes the reader to the possibility of finding oneself in this lifetime by exploring past lives.
DON’T FORGET TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY (simply click the link below) RIGHT HERE!
- International Day of Peace (bamboozebra.com)
- http://4writersandreaders.com/2013/09/18/paint-the-world-with-peace/ (Let’s Paint the Word with Peace!)
- World Tolerance (ishratmomin.wordpress.com)
on Sep 21, 2013
My family escaped to the West just before the infamous wall went up. They moved around in Germany until finally settling in Munich where I studied architectural drafting and met Albert in 1965, marrying in December 1967. I worked as a civil draftsperson in various private consultancies in Munich.
Since my uncle was a writer, I tried to write short animal stories myself. Nothing further came of it, but I developed a love for the written word and started to consume books.
In May 1975, my husband and I moved to New Zealand. Because of language challenges, I started a handcraft business. As a specialty, I made colorful parrots of which I sold thousands in a few years.
In 1988, we decided to adopt and became adoptive parents of twin girls from Fiji the year after. We lived in New Zealand for eighteen years and moved to Australia in September 1992.
Two years later I was diagnosed with cancer. After operations and radiation, I withdrew, thinking that I would soon be dead, like my friend who had died of cancer, but my two little girls gave me the courage to keep going. After a few years, still among the living, my brain started to work again, so I thought, “Get a grip on yourself and do something good with your life.”
I remembered the time when I wrote short stories and got inspired again, seeing my husband Albert writing the story of our adoption. My English became increasingly better so I pressed on to develop my creative writing.
How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you normally do?
I am writing now for the last 20 Years.
I survived cancer and I came to my senses again. Since I couldn’t work at a traditional job any longer, I started to write. In the beginning I wasn’t sure, in which language I should write. But then I decided to write in English, since my English became better and we live in an English-speaking country.
Albert taught me how to use a computer and I wrote many short stories. I entered them in competitions and often got very good reports back, which gave me confidence to go on writing. One of the short stories was about Talon and Matica. Judges from the competition loved the story and so I thought, I could probably develop a series about Talon and Matica. And so the TALON series came to life.
Can you give us a brief synopsis of your books?
The first novel in the Talon series: Talon, come fly with me
Nine-year-old blond Matica lives in a remote little village on a dry plateau in the Andes of Peru. She moved here with her Australian missionary and schoolteacher parents when she was five years old. Ever since she could remember she faced cruel rejection because of her growth handicap. She is trapped in a body the size of a two-year old. Because of that the local Indians wouldn’t accept her into their community or allow her to play with their children.
Under the watchful eyes of her parents who understand her, lonely Matica explores the plateau for entertainment.
Back when she was seven years old she had noticed a pair of condors soaring near the mountains. With patience and a sense of adventure she befriended them and named them Tamo and Tima. A strong bond and love developed between them over the next two years.
The book begins here when Matica is nine.
Tamo and Tima try to fight off a couple of poachers, but the poachers succeed in stealing their egg from its ledge. Eventually Tamo drives them away but the poachers leave the egg between some boulders on the plateau. Being unable to bring it back to the ledge, Tamo and Tima make it clear to Matica to take care of the egg, so she does.
Exactly on Matica’s tenth birthday, the condor fledgling Talon hatches. The book then describes in detail how Matica helps Talon grow into the majestic bird he was meant to be.
Two months after confidently flying, the most unbelievably amazing thing happens. What Matica had dreamed of ever since she first befriended the condors, actually unfolds. That changes her life so completely that she can now see a positive side to her handicap. The Indians then fully accept the new Matica into their community.
This is the beginning of a time of incredible adventures with Talon and Matica, which continues in subsequent Talon books.
The second novel in the Talon series: Talon, on the wing
What Matica has dreamed ever since she first befriended the condors actually happened in the last chapter of the previous book, Talon, Come Fly With Me. And now the adventure continues.
Finally accepting Matica into their community with that incredible event, the Indians of Peru love seeing her together with Talon and his parents, Tamo and Tima. Now she has to tell all of her adventures with her condors to her classmates. Matica’s mother isn’t very impressed with that event, but she finally is turning around as well and loves seeing them together in that intimate way. Her mother first saw danger in it, but after seeing how safe Matica is with Talon, her mother gave her the go ahead.
Matica is now happy that she is small and doesn’t want to have it any other way. She is accepted, she is loved and she can have incredible adventures with her beloved Talon. What more could she have? All her rejection and hardship is over.
In this book Matica has scores of incredible adventures and near disasters with Talon. Also, a love between Amos and Matica develops.
The adventure continues.
The third novel in the Talon series: Talon, flight for life
Matica is walking with her father to the city of Cajamarca to purchase some food, medication and the tickets for their six month holiday in Australia.
On the way she misses her condors terribly, but still has an adventurous time with her father as they walk through rain forests and other parts of the beautiful country of Peru, seeing macaws, toucans, monkeys and even a puma.
In Cajamarca they heard that the poachers are back, asking for condors. Matica becomes distressed, and wants to go home quickly, to tell her condors.
On the way home they visit an old Incan dwelling. And there, her father falls ill with high fever after he is bitten by a spider.
Not knowing what to do, Matica calls for her condors. But the wait until they arrive is the hardest time she has ever had to endure.
Do you have a favorite line from the book?
Yes, I have a few:
“Size is nothing. The heart is all that counts. And you have the best, softest and most caring heart I ever have encountered. Because of your heart, you survived the hardship the Indians have put you through.”
“Be you, yourself, be happy again. Don’t let life pass by you. Don’t look back, look into the bright future. The future is as bright as the promise of God. Smile – it’s the most beautiful attire.”
“I can do it. These four words are the most power-filled words.”
“Let your smile change the world, don’t let the world change your smile.”
“If you don’t know how to go on in life, whatever it might be, even if you have a disability, find a ‘condor’.”
That is just what Matica does in my book, TALON, COME FLY WITH ME. Now she can handle every obstacle…
Who is your favorite character and why?
Well, my favorite character is Matica, but I love Talon, the condor. He is so funny but again so loving, with his mum Tima and his dad Tamo.
What was the hardest part about writing your book?
To face myself. Because Matica is me. Not that I have her disability, but I was bullied in my young life, not physically, but with words. As I describe myself, I was like a turtle, I could crawl back into my shell and I would only come out. Later in my life I described it more like this: I was in a black hole. It was very hard to get me out. But while writing The Talon series, I faced myself and became a better person.
Do you do anything besides write?
During the holidays I love to go on 4×4 drives into the outback of Australia with my husband. I still love handcrafting, cross stitching, knitting, crochet, painting with oil or pencil, making soft toys. Everything that hands can create.
How can my readers get a copy of your books?
My website: http://www.gigisedlmayer.wordpress.com
Animation clips for the Talon books:
What’s next for you, Gigi?
I am just about to publish the fourth novel in the Talon series: TALON, connected.
I am currently writing the fifth: TALON, hunting the hunter. I am planning eight or nine books in the Talon series.
Thanks so much for joining us today, Gigi. It’s been great to learn more about you and your exciting adventure series. You’ve already received great reviews from your readers and we’ll be watching for your latest books in the Talon Series. — Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com
Read the reviews!
Invaluable lessons from PIE: An Old Brown Horse (That Knows What He is Doing) and author Kandy Kay Scaramuzzo:
“There is nothing like seeing the bond of child and horse. These magnificent beasts can be so gentle and protective. The unconditional love and trust they show is unfathomable.” Kandy Kay Scaramuzzo
“This is a feel good story about life, second chances and giving back.” January Magazine
“[Pie} became the most amazing mentor and therapy horse." The Wall Street Journal
“Writing a story in the first person is not uncommon, but when that first person is a horse, well, I really wasn't expecting it to actually be entertaining to say the least... What a pleasant and thoroughly enjoyable story this is.” Colleen Bratley
Welcome to 4writersandreaders, Kandy. It's great to have you with us today. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a seventh generation Texan with a brick at the cowgirl museum. I have always loved animals. I have worked in alternative education for over twenty years after a short career in the justice system. My formal training is in criminology so it works well with the job that I do during the day. My nights and weekends are taken up pretty much with working with animals. I have trained dogs for over twenty-five years at several major institutions. Working with horse, dog, cat, and snake rescues is something I do because I feel I need to give back. Some of time has been spent training and working with Therapy Dogs. After we got the horses, I moved on to therapeutic horseback riding for special needs children.
Tell us about your family?
I am married to a wonderful man who not only puts up with, but helps with all my projects. We have been married for twenty-three years and have one daughter. Our daughter is grown and is trying to find her way in life. She is very artistic. It will be interesting to see where her path leads her.
We have two dogs, a German Shepherd and an Australian Shepherd that share our house with three cats. They are our four children now that our daughter has moved out. My last snake unfortunately died a couple of months ago.
How long have you been writing? What type of writing do you normally do?
I have been writing off and on my whole life. I have just never really done anything with it. I have always had to write and create things to keep my students interested.
Can you give us a brief synopsis of your book?
Briefly, this is a book about an old rescued ranch horse and all of the amazing things he has done since he was rescued. The book was basically written and told by him. I just gave him some minor help with the computer. The most amazing part of it all, is that Pie is still with us at the ripe old age of 38!
What prompted you to write a story about PIE?
After seeing all the wonderful things Pie has done over the years, I felt that his story needed to be shared. There is nothing like seeing the bond of child and horse. These magnificent beasts can be so gentle and protective. The unconditional love and trust they show is unfathomable. The strength and security they impart to their riders is something to behold. Pie, has done this over and over and over again through the years. I know he didn’t serve in a war, or win any awards, but he has done more than his share as a merchant of hope for those that needed help.
Do you have a favorite line from PIE: An Old Brown Horse?
That would have to be the one from my husband in the forward: “Stop messing with the pretty ones and go get an old brown horse that knows what he is doing.”
Who is your favorite character and why?
Hands down, it would have to be Pie. His descriptions and insights are spot on. Sometimes they are funny and sometimes they are just downright snarky. Pie's personality definitely shows through in his observations.
Watch PIE's video and find out more about how a once broken horse finds new meaning in life and how he help special needs kids do the same:
I just love PIE’s video, Kandy. What was the hardest part about writing your book?
The hardest part I think came after writing the book. That would be trying to figure out how to promote it. I had some serious problems when the book first came out. As it turns out there was a misunderstanding and the book was printed without the final edit. Ouch! That has since been fixed. We pulled the book from production and edited it. Unfortunately, I was not able to pull the sample from Book Daily, so it continues to be a constant reminder of the problem. What is out there now no longer has the edit issues. Some of the earlier reviews reflect those problems. I would just like to tell everyone that bought an unedited book if you will contact me, I will be happy to replace it.
“The book itself was already in my head and came out on the paper with no hesitation. I think I was temporarily possessed by Pie.”
Do you do anything besides write?
I have a day job working with behavior challenged junior high students. I keep a barn full of horses. We go horseback riding, walk and train the dogs, and spend time with my family. My daughter has moved out, but still lives close. She and I spend time together doing things with the horses. My husband and I spend time touring in his 45th anniversary Camaro.
How is the book doing? I am really happy at how well my little book is doing. He has been mentioned in January Magazine and in the Wall Street Journal. Recently PIE received a five-star review from Reader’s Favorites and also earned a Silver Star for his cover.
Where can our readers get a copy of ‘PIE: An Old Brown Horse’? http://www.amazon.com/Pie-Brown-Horse-Knows-ebook/dp/B00A7ZMHKE/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372112877&sr=1-1&keywords=PIE%3A+The+Old+Brown+Horse PIE: An Old Brown Horse is also available on Barnes & Noble.
Well, Kandy, now that PIE is off and running, what’s next for you?
I’m not sure yet, but I think I feel another book possession coming on…
I can hardly wait to find out about your next inspiration. Thanks for joining us at 4writersandreaders. It has been great learning more about you and PIE. What a great success story for PIE and how therapeutic horseback riding is helping special needs children. ~ Bette A. Stevens
Find out more about author Kandy Kay Scaramuzzo and her adventures with PIE at http://www.kandykayscaramuzzo.com/
- Saddle Up for an Amazingly Entertaining Read (sandrabennettauthor.com)
- Pie on Peace – A Special Guest Post (imagineerebooks.wordpress.com)
- 10 Books for Girls Who Love Horses (thekennedyadventures.com)
- What’s the connection between horseback riding and creativity? (artandideasstudio.wordpress.com)
“Kathryn has written the How-to-Book for authors of reviews, interviews, blogs, and social media. She has creative ideas for book signings, contests, and author speaking engagements. This is a great marketing outline for me, as I get ready to publish new novels. I highly recommend this book to the new author and anyone needing a quick update on book marketing.” Michelle Renea Anderson, author of Shelby’s Plan
“This is an extremely useful little book… jam packed with tips that will help you market your book. Many of us have sweat blood and tears to write and self-publish a novel, and then wondered how we could get it to sell. This book will really help.” Charlie Bray, author of Open House
Welcome to 4writersandreaders, Kathryn. It’s a pleasure to have you with us today. Your awesome little book is a gem for authors and I’m sure glad I’ve got my copy as a handy reference right on my laptop.
First, tell us a little about yourself. I have been a published writer since 1987. What that means is that I’m fairly old but young at heart. I graduated from college in my 40s, and started a new business (Idea Creations Press) just last year. I guess that also means I am a go-getter and never allow age to stop me from doing anything.
How about your family? I have a husband and three daughters. One of my daughters and her two children live with us. Yes, she’s divorced, but sometimes life is that much sweeter when you make a needed change. My home is sort of a mix between grandma type fare and children’s toys. It’s difficult to keep the living room clean, but the kids are cute and I love them. My husband and I run Idea Creations Press. I do all of the stuff that has to do with writing and editing and he takes care of the technical stuff like the book’s interior and exterior layout. We make a good team.
How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you normally do? I have been writing for quite a few years (as discussed above) but I didn’t start out writing books. My first endeavor was a short article for a magazine. It took eight long years to just reach that point. After that I continued to work on short projects and published my first book in 2002. My second book wasn’t published until 2012, some ten years later, because I was doing other things—college being one of them. I write fiction and non-fiction and some YA.
Can you give us a brief synopsis of your book? How does an author best get book reviews? What of interviews, blogs and social media? How can a new author expect to be seen while crowding the lane with other authors of his/her genre?
Marketing Your Book on a Budget is tiny for a reason; any author can afford it. But be prepared for the endless information enclosed. You’ll never wonder again about the best ways to speak up about your book, get free advertising, or learn why postcards can help you get the word out faster and easier than any other way.
Plus, once you have downloaded the Kindle version, expect yearly updates for FREE. Just contact us to register via the email at the end of the book. Never be in the dark again when it comes to marketing your book. See what little or no money will really attract!
What prompted you to become a writer? The first time I wrote anything down, hoping to publish it, was when I was pregnant with my first daughter. I was sick, and feeling as if I couldn’t do anything but sit on the couch. That’s when I decided to be a writer.
Do you have a favorite line from the book?
“It’s easy to say you’re going to market your book, far more difficult to actually do it.”
Any writer who reads and applies the ideas within this book will have success. A writer who does more than dream of success, but does something, will have it.
What was the hardest part about writing your marketing book? The hardest part of writing was actually making sure the sites that I chose for the book were still in operation at publication. This is one reason I decided to bring the book out once a year. So many things change, including websites, and I wanted to make sure readers got the most up-to-date information possible.
Do you do anything besides write? Yep. Since I’m a grandmother I do some pretty hefty tending, and of course I love to read. I love working in the flower garden and taking long walks (especially if I’m on vacation and near an ocean).
How can my readers get a copy of your book? They can get a copy of Marketing Your Book on a Budget 2013 at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Marketing-Your-Book-Budget-ebook/dp/B0094XV6MA or at my website: email@example.com. They may also want to check out http://ideacreationspress.com/, especially if they have a book in the works.
What’s next for you, Kathryn? I have a follow-up book to Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones, called The Feast: A Parable of the Ring, that will be released summer of 2013. My husband and I are growing the business and are looking for a new home big enough to house both the business and our family. Lots of changes!
It has been a pleasure to learn more about you and your books, Kathryn. Thanks so much for sharing insights into your great little marketing gem with us today. ~ Bette A. Stevens
You’re invited to join us on Monday, April 29th at 8:30 p.m. EST.
Call in to speak with the host (949) 272-9578
‘PURE TRASH, The Short Story‘ by Bette A. Stevens
The year is 1955. If you grew up in the 1950s and the 1960s, you may be among those who like to recall those good old “Happy Days” of television fame. Even younger generations enjoy watching the old TV reruns to get a peek into what life was like back then. In this short story, Shawn and Willie Daniels are off on a Saturday adventure in search of trash to turn into treasure. It was going to be a great day. Shawn was sure of it. No school and no bullies to remind him that he’s not one of the crowd. This is a story about bullies and what it’s like to be bullied. It may redefine your definition of bullying. If you were a child who was thought of as “different” in some way, you know what bullying is about: torment, persecution, intimidation, to name a few of its descriptors. For Shawn and Willie, their difference was based upon the social status of the dysfunctional family and the alcoholism and abject poverty in which they grew up.
- Bullying Information Center | Education.com (education.com)
- Why is bullying an age-old problem? (education.com)
- GOOD NEWS: New book inspires kids to meet challenges with patience and persistence (4writersandreaders.com)
I Can Dance, Too!
by Victoria C. Ames and Lynette Toma
“Victoria and Lynette,
Thank you for the book. I can do lots of things too! The book the two of you wrote couldn’t have come at a better time. Our daughter had experienced exclusion during an activity and her self-esteem was greatly affected. Although all of us close to her were trying our best to make her feel good about herself, nothing was really working. The book really made a difference; it prompted her to think about all of the things that she can do.
Hi, Victoria. Welcome to 4writersandreaders—It’s great to have you with us today.Tell us about how you came to co-author your wonderful children’s book.
Lynette and I lived at the same apartment complex in San Diego, CA. One day, Lynette walked over to me and asked if anyone was sitting on the pool lounge chair next to me. I invited her to sit down and I noticed that we each had a book in our hands, one describing the strengths and needs of an individual with a speech and language impairment and one guiding us through a woman’s journey to create a better life for herself. An instant connection. We were both speech therapists, we both grew up far from California, we both loved books and we both said, “Why not?” Within an hour we had decided to write a book together to combine our dreams and passions.
That is so exciting, beginning a book project as a team. Give us a brief synopsis of “I Can Dance, Too!”
Mia would love to dance, but she cannot hear the music unless she wears her hearing aids. After questions by the other children, Mia proves that she can dance and that she is not different from the others.
What do you enjoy most about being an author?
Every time I read the book to my students, or to any child, I get a rush of adrenaline. Whether it’s in front of a filled auditorium during a performance or the small setting of my office at school. It is incredible. The children have such a good time reading the words, commenting on the beautiful illustrations, and trying to find the dragonflies on every page. Many of the kindergartener through second graders can read the words or confidently attempt to read them with support as needed. Almost all of them did not know what a hearing aid was and most of them did not think Mia could dance with them in her ears. Both boys and girls get to share Mia’s enjoyment when she explains that she can hear the music and move her body to the song. Even the boys get up and stretch their legs, turn, leap and say, “Look at me—I’m dancing!”
Walking down the hallway at my schools I can hear, “Miss Ames, I can dance, too!” I was recently working with a student, who struggles with literacy and is getting to the point that when asked to read, she tears up. She noticed I Can Dance, Too! sitting on my desk. First, she flipped through the pages, discovered all the dragonflies and volunteered to read the book with me. Then, she asked if she could take it home and share it with her mom. I could not ask for a more thrilling and rewarding experience.
That is incredible, Victoria. Rewards don’t get better than that. What was the most challenging part of writing your book?
The most challenging part of writing the book was that very first step, overcoming the fear of rejection from potential publishers. Our thoughts and questions: The idea becoming words written in a notebook, sharing our Mia with someone else, making our vision vulnerable to the world, subjecting our selves to critics, will people love this as much as we do? Could this really happen? Deep breath in… Exhale. Send the manuscript and wait. The most challenging part of anything is waiting, isn’t it?
During this time I read my laminated, personal bound, photo-stock-imaged manuscript to my students. After all, they were the target audience. Their opinion was the most important one. What age group was best? Was it too difficult? Were they interested? Did the boys like it? I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised by the positive feedback. Not only did they enjoy it, most young children could pronounce the name Mia, as we intended. (Try saying Mia without smiling, go ahead, try…) It was also very challenging to keep it so simple. It was a priority for us that the words were age-appropriate and the sentences were not too long. We wanted the concept to be direct and not overwhelming to little ones. The simplicity was with purpose.
What was your favorite part of writing your book?
Watching Mia come to life. Our illustrator is amazing and she created exactly what we envisioned. I still find it entertaining to flip through the pages of my writing journal (given to me by my co-author, Lynette) and read through the funny comments describing our journey to becoming published. The different ideas we had, how Mia had physically changed, every thought, different places we met to write. Organizing our ideas at the park, coffee shops, restaurants and even at the beach. What was going on in our personal lives at that time. I wanted to make sure that I captured every step along the way because I knew how important this was to Lynette and to me.
What is your favorite line in the book?
“My ears may be different but I can still dance, let me show you!”
It is the moment that she wipes away the doubt of the other students and proves that she belongs in that group—her Mia Moment!
Have you always enjoyed writing?
Absolutely. Both reading and writing have been a significant part of my life from before I was born to the moment I was strong enough to sit up independently and hold a book in my hand, as reported to me by my mother. Literacy was always encouraged by all of my family. You could always find my mother, my sister and my grandmothers reading. I had very good role models growing up. Actually, let’s rewind to first grade. My teacher, with whom I still keep in touch very closely, has recently reminded me of how I loved reading so much and always loved to ‘perform’ and read out loud to my classmates.
I remember my fifth grade teacher giving us a writing assignment. Upon my initial review of her feedback, I noticed at the top of the paper it stated she wanted to see me. What is the first thought we have when the teacher requests to see us privately? Yikes! Standing outside her door, she handed me a brand new journal and asked that I not tell the other students because this was a special gift just for me. She told me that there was something very special about my writing and she hoped that I would continue throughout my life. I smile today, 20 years later, just thinking about how much that meant to me. The simple gesture of presenting me with that blank canvas was unforgettable and perhaps an incredible catalyst that ignited my passion for written expression.
How do you spend your time when you’re not writing?
I am a Speech Language Pathologist. Throughout my career I have worked with both children and adults. I genuinely enjoy my profession. How do I spend my time when I am not working? Quite frankly, it depends on where I am. Living on the East Coast, I competed in and taught all types of dancing, including ballroom, jazz, tap and acrobatics. I always found myself outside somehow enjoying the beach and the fresh air or watching the sunset. On the West Coast, I was a Zumba instructor at a hip hop cultural center as well as a tap and ballet teacher at a performing arts academy. I have also been known to choreograph my friends’ wedding dances or give piano lessons to colleagues. Free moments in San Diego, California were spent at the beach lying on my towel, listening to the waves, reading or writing until the sun set over the Pacific. In my new state, I hike, run up and down trails, rock climb, snowboard, mountain bike, and basically look for any reason to be outside and up in the mountains. And yes, watching the sunset over the Rockies reminds me everyday that life is beautiful here in Colorado.
Who is your favorite character?
Of course I love Mia! However, after reading and presenting my book to numerous audiences, I am starting to become fond of the little boy who questions her. He changes his mind after a bit of social education and then welcomes her to the group. Simply put, that’s the point, educate and hopefully elicit a positive response.
What originally inspired you to write your book?
In my profession as a speech and language pathologist, I can provide services to children or adults in a one-on-one setting, a small group of two to four, or a whole classroom of approximately 20 children. After a few years of experience in the field, I wanted to figure out a way to help more people, as many as possible. What can I do to reach children and their families that I have never even had the pleasure of meeting? I will never forget the first email I received from a mother who had purchased I Can Dance, Too! from our website. This woman had written a message describing how the book had helped her little girl overcome feelings of rejection from classmates and encouraged her to think about all of the things that she can do! My reaction? Tears dropped, goose bumps appeared and my heart jumped! That one email, the first of many, was confirmation that my dream and vision had become a reality.
What is next for you, Victoria?
- I am in the process of converting the book to an eBook that will be available on Amazon and on Barnes and Noble, in addition to the paperback copies that are currently available online.
- I am working towards creating interactive technology that will assist the children and their reading partners. It will increase their communication and creativity and help them get practice answering comprehension questions to encourage their overall success.
- We will be publishing the remaining stories so we can introduce the rest of Mia’s friends.
- It was the original vision to have I Can Dance, Too! in the preschool or elementary curriculum to promote literacy and acceptance while meeting academic requirements.
- I hope to continue our involvement in dance productions or dance studios. Please stop by our I Can Dance, Too! Facebook Page for pictures. https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Can-Dance-Too/211393855603764?fref=ts
- I will be speaking at the 2014 conference for Zonta Professional Women’s Service Club.
You sure do have a full schedule, Victoria. Is there anything else that you would like to say to our readers?
Our book is more than just pages bound together, more than illustrations and words presented on a kindle and more than a tangible product to sell. It is a mission to encourage literacy, respect, acceptance, connections, passions, discoveries, self-esteem, self-worth, belonging, and trusting yourself when those around you are doubtful. Face challenges with confidence, overcome obstacles, and realize that you can… Always believe that anything is possible!
I highly recommend “I Can Dance, Too!” to all of our readers who have young children. Where can they find a copy of your book?
They can purchase it directly from our website or through Amazon and Barnes & Noble:
Thanks so much for joining us today, Victoria. It’s been a pleasure learning more about you and your most amazingly co-authored book for young children.
Mom’s Choice Gold Award Recipient-Inspirational and Motivational
Social and Emotional Encouragement Book Set: Kaplan Early Learning Companyhttp://www.kaplanco.com/store/trans/productDetailForm.asp?CatID=6%7CCB1070%7C0&PID=51187&WT.mc_id=KAFB
American Speech and Hearing Association; Books About Communication: Hearing Disorders