Guest Blogger: Nicole Weaver, Author of Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle

  Today’s special guest is Nicole Weaver, author of the trilingual book, Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle/María y su amiga la Tortuga del mar/Marie et son amie la Tortue de mer.

This story is about the love that developed between a little girl named Marie and a stranded sea turtle. The story tells the struggles Marie had as she helped the sea turtle back out to sea.

Esta historia es sobre el amor que se desarrolló entre una niña llamaba María y una tortuga que vino a tierra para poner sus huevos. La historia cuenta las dificultades que tenía María para regresar la tortuga de nuevo al océano.

Cette histoire est au sujet de l’amour qui s’est développé entre une petite fille qui s’appelait Marie et une tortue de mer qui est venue sur le sable pour pondre ses oeufs. L’histoire raconte les difficultés que Marie a rencontrées pour remettre la tortue dans l’océan.

The Challenges of Writing for Children by Nicole Weaver

I once heard the statement “Writing children books is a lot easier than writing novels and other books.” I cringed and thought to myself, the opposite is true. Unfortunately this is the sentiment of many people who are not familiar with what it takes to write an engaging book for children.

My challenges as a children’s author are numerous. The pressing challenge for me is making sure my manuscript is well written in English. I get tons of ideas, but as a non-native speaker of English I have to make sure the way I write is clear and concise. Once my script is ready I can easily translate it to French and Spanish. I grew up speaking French; consequently it is very easy for me to translate the text. I learned Spanish as a fourth language. French and Spanish are similar because they both are derivatives of the same root language–Latin. I recently read Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul. This book is a must for anyone serious about learning the craft of writing for children. I am about to start reading the book Picture Writing by Anastasia Suen.

A second challenge is finding time to write. I am a full-time French and Spanish teacher at the middle and high school levels. I am quickly finding out in order to stay abreast and get better as a write, I need to write every single day. It is not good enough to write during my summer vacation, spring break and Christmas vacation. Writing every day has afforded me more fluidity with my thoughts. It takes less time to write a manuscript. I always carry a little notebook with me. Once I get an idea I write it down and during my lunch period I start working on the manuscript. My second children’s book due to be published by Guardian Angel Publishing was written during my lunch. After I visited my half-sister for the first time, I could not help but wonder why destiny kept us apart for so long. Thinking about the fun we could have had if we were raised together led me to write a story about her being my best friend. My Sister is My Best Friend will be published in 2011

A third challenge is finding time to promote my book. Getting published is great, but the real work starts with promotion. No one will buy your book if you do not promote it. I promote through many channels. I use Facebook and Twitter, and I post media releases on free sites. I have joined various writers groups as well. To date, the most important step I took towards self-promotion is when I joined The National Writing for Children Center. The founder, Suzanne Lieurance, makes available weekly teleclasses on many useful topics on promotion. Suzanne is a great coach, and the rest of her team is pretty good as well. The members are all very helpful and supportive of each other. I have learned so much since joining the group.

Lastly, creating a good website is an essential part of promoting a book. I knew very little about blogging and creating a web presence. Thanks to fellow authors from Guardian Angel Publishing I have learned a ton about blogging and creating a web presence. I work hard every day to overcome challenges, but I still have a lot to learn. I am thankful to my friends at Guardian Angel Publishing and The National Writing for Children Center. Without their unrelenting support and help I would be totally lost.

Nicole Weaver was born in Port-au-Prince Haiti. She came to the United States when she was ten years old. She is fluent in Creole, French, Spanish and English. She is a veteran teacher of French and Spanish. She is the author of a children’s trilingual picture book titled Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle.

The story is about a Haitian little girl who resided by the beach in Haiti. Her second trilingual children’s picture book will be published by Guardian Angel Publishing. The book titled, My Sister is my Best Friend, will be published fall 2011.

You can visit Nicole Weaver’s website at http://www.melangeofcultures.wordpress.com and her book’s blog at http://marieandherfriendtheseaturtle.blogspot.com/.  

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