Welcome to the children’s author blog hop! Thanks to Middle Grade author S.D. Keeling at http://sdkeeling.com who invited me to participate. After you finish here, I invite you to read about Sharon's MG fantasy adventure. Blog hops are a great way for authors and readers to connect, plus by adding links to each other’s pages, we create some dynamic group marketing.
The blog hop rules are simple. Each author answers four questions and invites three other children’s authors to participate the following week. I invited some entertaining, talented authors to participate. You'll see their names, book titles and links to their sites below.
First up, my job is to answer four blog hop questions as follows:
What are you working on right now?
I always juggle several projects simultaneously but I’ve just submitted my first-ever children’s holiday picture book to my publisher. I’m anxiously awaiting the illustrations for SANTA’S SECRET. It’s such fun to watch your words come to life and Christmas is such a special time for kids. I can’t wait to share it with you. My previously published picture books (say that three times!) are WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE? a book I wrote to inspire children to dream big during our country's high unemployment and THE MISSING KEY, a wee mystery where Mother and Amy turn the house upside down in search of an elusive key. Both are available on Amazon and BN.com.
After 20 years in marketing in corporate America and now as an author, I see a great need for a marketing book for authors. I’ve given talks on marketing and authors crave this information. Many don't know where to begin, so I’m in the process of drafting such a book tailored to authors.
I’ve also just submitted my debut novel, THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS, to a few agents and editors who are currently considering it. I tend to write very long (350 pages) or very short (6-word memoirs)! I enjoy mixing it up and encourage everyone to do the same. That way, you are never, ever bored.
Why do you write what you do?
Several close friends know my story. I started out writing novels (women’s fiction, contemporary romance and romantic suspense), but a horrific tragedy struck our family. It was heartbreaking and I had to set my novel aside for nearly three years because I couldn’t bear to edit my own tragic scenes. It was just too much. I wanted to keep writing so I switched gears (genres) and researched writing for children.
Now, I can’t think of anything more important than children’s literature. I loved reading as a kid and would check out piles of books at the library. I also enjoyed reading to my toddler daughter at bedtime. When I get fan letters, smiles and hugs from children who have read my books, it’s much better than receiveing a huge diamond necklace. I’m finally getting back to novel writing but I will ALWAYS write for children. It has been my therapy, my joy and my honor.
What is the hardest part about writing?
For me, its distractions like social media (especially Facebook) and chores at home. When I worked in healthcare, banking and education, I had weekly deadlines, a boss and board of directors to answer to, so it was much easier to stay on task and churn out volumes of work. I had to be disciplined and organized. Now, that I work for myself, I start later, play longer, throw in laundry, and get mad at myself for being unproductive. Maybe I should hire a pretend “boss” or lease office space and dress up!
What scares you?
Public speaking scares me (as it does 99 percent of the population, apparently). I force myself to speak to groups but I’m usually a wreck for two weeks beforehand. When I figure out what I’m going to say and have my handouts prepared, I’m fairly calm once I get to the meeting. In fact, most participants tell me I do a great job. A secret: I even find it a little intimidating to walk into a classroom but once I start reading and see the kids’ faces, I relax and always leave with a smile wrapped around my head. Still, public speaking is scary. I know we have to put ourselves out there as authors and what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?
I hope you got to know more about me. Now, don’t forget to hop over to my fabulous friends’ blogs next week. All of their books are amazing!
Shirley McCann, YA mystery writer and author of The Necklace
Rob Myers, Picture book author of Ignor Ramus - A Curious Rhyme
Phyllis Griggs, Picture book author of Bob Beetle Book Bug
Tim Hill, Picture book author of a three-book series. First book: Joe the Crab Takes A Walk