Saturday, March 22, 2014

Interview With Bonnie Ferrante

Meet The Author Who Inspires Self-Esteem Through Humour
 
Bonnie Ferrante
 
What inspired you to write your first picture book?
 
I wanted more books for young children that merged good values and female protagonists into fun and interesting stories.
 
When did you start considering yourself a writer?
 
When I was hired to write a weekly humor column for a regional newspaper which I did for more than three years.
 
Out of the books you've written, which is your favourite?
 
Rumpelstiltskin's Child is my favourite because I enjoyed researching medieval items and illuminated manuscripts for my illustrations.
 
How do you feel about being interviewed by a children's book character? (That's me, Destiny!)
 
It's charming. :-)
 
What are you working on next?
 
I have several irons in the fire. I'm illustrating my children's book "No More Red". I'm sketching ideas for my protagonist and her pet for "Where is Jayda?".  I'm practicing drawing cats for "Pirate Smells." All are picture books. I'm also working with an editor to finish my YA book for Tradewind Books.
 
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
 
"No More Red" is about a little boy who dislikes red so much he wants it to disappear.
 
Out of your own characters, do you have a favourite?
 
I love Sunny in "Rayne Shines." She brings her own fun wherever she goes. She's happy with what she has and she's patient with Rayne, who has been taught to be unappreciative and gloomy.
 
Do you have any advice for other writers?
 
Take classes and read books. Treat it like a career. Join a critique group. Get a lot of feedback on your writing. Do not try to jump straight to self publishing. The market is flooded with work that was released prematurely.
 
What do you do when you are not writing?
 
I read a lot. I love playing with my granddaughters. I illustrate. I've changed from acrylics to digital illustration because I've developed Parkinson's Disease (like Michael J. Fox).
 
If you had to live in one of your books which book would it be?
 
The Amida Tree.
 
What was your favourite book when you were a kid?
 
I loved old fairy tales. I read Heidi eight times.
 
Anything you would like to add?
 
I was a grade school teacher for thirty-three years. One of the things I miss the most is reading to the class. I love public readings with small children. That's when my books really come to life, when they are read aloud.
 
Thanks for joining us, Bonnie! It was great to have you!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Rayne Shines by Bonnie Ferrante

 
Rayne Shines is a book with a hilarious twist on learning to count your blessings.
 
Rayne is a young frog whose family always complains. Mom complains about movies. Dad complains about music. Everybody has something to complain about. Rayne was brought up to complain right along with them.
 
But one day new neighbours arrive. Their little girl, Sunny, always sees the positive in everything. Maybe after playing with Sunny for a while, Rayne will learn to see the positive side of things, too.
 
This is a great way to introduce to introduce any child (or even an older person) to positive thinking. Rayne Shine shows how much fun it isn't to hang out with people who do nothing but complain!
 
When Rayne alters her perception by seeing the positive in everything, instead of the negative, thanks to her friend Sunny, she learns that it can alter your mood and make you feel better and happier!
 
The book is simple and can deliver its message to even the youngest of readers. The illustrations were wonderful and matched the story well. I really enjoy looking at them as I read through the story.
 
The positive message in Rayne Shines make this book top shelf!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Interview With A.J York

Meet The Author Who Makes Us Want To Dust
 
A.J York
 
What inspired you to write your first book?

I was about to move out of a flat that I had been renting. It was an old place with a room off the kitchen, where the maid would have once slept. I was giving the place a good clean, when I started to wonder who the maid might have been and what her life would have been like. I was disastrously dusting a book shelve when I started to imagine Delilah and her special powers over dust.

When did you start considering yourself a writer?

I guess this would have been after I published Delilah Dusticle, as I started to add writer to my professional profile.

Out of the books you've written, which is your favourite?

I love The Delilah Dusticle Adventures, but my favourite piece of writing I have done so far is actually a poem called The Exhausting Perils of Should. It is about what we feel we should be doing/not doing/thinking/not thinking/being/ not being, etc. I have uploaded it onto Goodreads for anyone to read.

How do you feel about being interviewed by a children's book character? (That's me, Destiny!)
I think it is great! I studied drama at university, so interacting with a children’s book character is a lot of fun for me.
What are you working on next?
I am busily writing Delilah Dusticle and the Cursed Tempest. I have added a sample chapter at the end of book two to whet your appetite.


Can you share a little of your current work with us?

The next story is set in India and I am doing quite a bit of research. I have been looking at the landscape, types of storms and what regions they affect. I am also reading up on Indian myths and Hindu gods. It is very interesting and I would love to travel to India one day.

Out of your own characters, do you have a favourite?

The spiders. I am actually quite afraid of them in real life, yet they keep appearing in my stories.


Do you have any advice for other writers?

I still feel very new to writing to be giving advice. The best advice I have received was from another author. She said that I should write about things that genuinely interest me, and not what I think others think I should be writing.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I love hanging out in cafés and luckily for me Gothenburg is full of them. Some cafés have special afternoon tea events, others have piano players and fantastic cakes!

If you had to live in one of your books which book would it be?

I think it would be Delilah Dusticle’s Transylvanian Adventure. I would really like to go to the Hallow Eve Ball and join in with the food fight.

What was your favourite book when you were a kid?

I love Pippi Longstocking. When I was very small I would visit my Grandmother in Sweden and watch Pippi programmes in Swedish. At that time I only spoke English and I had no idea what they were saying. It really didn’t seem to matter as I still happily watched all the episodes.

Anything you would like to add?


Thank you for having me on your blog!

Thank you for joining us! It was good to have you!

A.J York's website: http://www.ajyork.com
Twitter: @delilahdusticle
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/delilahdusticle
 

 
 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Delilah Dusticle by AJ York

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“Truth is, everyone has something special, Abi, and they usually overlook it looking for something they think is grander or fitting in some way.” - Delilah, Delilah Dusticle
 
Delilah is a young girl with the special ability to eradicate dust. She is one of the best dusters in the world until her heart is broken. Then everything she touches seems to gather dust instead of becoming cleaner.
 
What I really like about Delilah Dusticle is the underlying message. Because even though her heart was broken, Delilah eventually moves and finds work and friendship elsewhere. This is a message that everyone needs to hear. Life isn't over just because your heart aches.
 
A.J York delivers this message in a fun and sometimes very funny way. Delilah is a very relatable character and we all might have felt like we've been in her shoes at one point. Being depressed over something can make it seem difficult to move on with life. But Delilah learns, as we all must learn, that sometimes starting over is the first step to moving on.
 
"The ordinary can be extraordinary overlooked." - Delilah
 
 


Monday, March 10, 2014

Interview With Author Carmen Parets Luque

 
 
And now for our interview with witchy author
 
Carmen Parets Luque
 
Image of Carmen Parets Luque
 
What inspired you to write your first book?

The mountain that appears in the story is fully real and is located in the village where my father was born. Since childhood I was struck by its strange form of witch hat and around it there were legends of witches and giants that lived in it. I always loved those old legends which I was listening with open mouth.
One of them relates that the witches went down to scare the village's residents and hence it was born the character of Naia.
 
 
When did you start considering yourself a writer?

I think it all started at the beginning of my studies as a child educator. Many of the jobs they entrusted us with were the creation of invented storytellings and I greatly enjoyed producing them, in fact it was my favorite activity. I love the stories since child, that magical atmosphere that is created while listening or reciting it, remains stuck in the memory of one, no matter how much you grow up. As a writer I want to awake or stir feelings and consciences. In addition, if it deals with children's books they are an essential tool to teach good values since childhood.
 
Out of the books you've written, which is your favourite?

My favorite is a story that deals with the "SuperGranny" types that exist and is inspired by my own grandmother. Right now I'm waiting to receive news about its possible publication and it would be a great tribute to her memory.
 
 
How do you feel about being interviewed by a children's book character? (That's me, Destiny!)

I think that's the perfect person. Who better than a character out of a book? It is also my first interview, I am very excited!
 
What are you working on next?

I am working in three languages, Spanish that is my native language, Catalan and English. Right now I'm engrossed in my blog stories and in my Youtube channel carrying a lot of work. For now I'll see how things go with my two books published in English, ‘’Naia The Witch’’ and ‘’Paula and her multi-coloured hair’’ before starting another.
 
Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I can talk you about ‘’Paula and her multi-coloured hair’’. It is a story to teach and identify the emotions. Emotions are part of our everyday lives, but unfortunately sometimes we do not give them the importance they deserve. We think in the importance of children learning colors, numbers or seasons, without thinking that emotional education is one of the most important and valuable subjects in the personal growth of a child for their present and their future.
Ideally, what we all seek is to keep a fluid and open communication with children, in order that they tell us what they worry about and how we can help them. But sometimes express their emotions and frustrations is very complicated, that is why it is born the story “Paula and her multicolored hair”.
This story is thought-out so that while the child is having fun with the story of Paula, also learns to recognize the most basic emotions, accepts them and can express and channel them positively and healthy.
It is a story written in simple language and is recommended for children from two to three years.
 
Out of your own characters, do you have a favourite?

The Naia witch for being my first character and because she is a lot like me when I was a little child, very naughty but without malice.
 

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Feel what you write, never force yourself to write anything, things should come naturally and should always be a fun experience.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I read a lot, I consider myself a “books devourer”.

If you had to live in one of your books which book would it be?

In ‘’Naia The Witch’’, I always wanted to be a witch and have powers.

What was your favourite book when you were a kid?

The Little Mermaid. She was different to other more bland princesses, I admired the strength she had and the more adventurous she was.

Anything you would like to add?

Thank you for this opportunity. It is very hard to get noticed without a publisher to back you, but I'm glad to find people like you who are willing to listen to people starting. It has been a pleasure to participate in your blog.
 
And thank you for joining us, Carmen. It was a pleasure having you!
 
 


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Naia The Witch by Carmen Parets Luque

 
Many children will relate to the very spunky Naia. After all, she would rather play pranks than go to school. She uses her spells to play pranks on people, but one day her spell goes horribly wrong and she learns a very important lesson.
 
This book is adorable and Naia is a great character. My only complaint about this book is that it is too short. I would have liked to read a little more about Naia and gotten to know her character a little better. But the overall message is that while it may be fun to play pranks, it will not win you friends. And that school is important.
 
My favorite thing about Naia The Witch is the artwork. The artwork is very fun, and I found Carmen's illustrations fascinating. The text lying over the images gives this the feel of a traditional picture book.