Joining us today is Margot Finke, author of :
*Taconi and Claude Double Trouble- mid-grade adventure for boys and tomboys 10-14
*Horatio Humble Beats the Big D (dyslexia)- rhyming picture book 5-8
*Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind – rhyming picture book 5-8
Thank you for joining us today, Margot. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
I am a transplant from Down-under, and I have lived in Oregon with my husband and three kids for many years. Kids all grown now, doing well, and have gifted us with seven grand-children. YEA! I love to travel, read, read, read, and work in our large garden. Of course that only happens these days in the cracks between writing, promoting my latest three books, and working with clients in my Manuscript Critique Service business.
When did you first get bit by the writing bug?
When I discovered I could get A’s on all my composition exams back in middle school. After that, writing simply became a part of me, like my fingers and toes. Before computers, I had drawers bulging with stories I had written – most of them I’ll admit were pretty awful. But it remained a wonderful outlet I could throw myself into when the rest of my life was crashing around me. Then computers came along, and I convinced my husband to buy one. I joined a fledgling online writing list, and realized that if I really learned the craft of writing, I could do much better than that awful stuff in my drawers. Several wonderful writers on that list mentored me. It took time, lots of rejections, and more writing and rewriting than I can possibly count – but I made it!
Why did you decide to write stories for children?
When I began to be serious about writing, my kids were young, and I worked part time as a teacher’s aide. Kids loved my “off the top of my head” stories about Australia and their weird and wonderful animals. The fun animal stories I told my kids at bedtime, and to the classes at school, became my first published books. “Wild and Wonderful” comprises 7 rhyming books about animals from the US and Australia – fun e-Books, as well as educational; great for home school or classroom projects.
Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?
I don’t think it is harder. I DO believe that many people think writing a children’s book is easier. For some reason, people assume you can rip off a picture book in a weekend, send it to several publishers ( no research done of course), and be immediately accepted by one of them. Huge advance, followed by royalties, while author sits back and glows with pride. HUH?
Just like writing for adults, you have to learn the writing ropes, read many books in the genre you are writing for, and be prepared for lots of rejection letters. Even take a writing class or three – GASP! A good critique group will offer writing feedback as well as support. Rewriting and reworking your MS until it is well polished is always your secret weapon.
I have a friend who is a very successful children’s author, with many published books. After her umpteenth book came out her mother-in-law said to her, ”Very nice dear, but when are you going to write real books?”
What is your favorite part of writing for young people?
Oh, definitely the idea that comes to me in the middle of the night. I can’t wait to rush down to my computer lair and start plotting and planning it into reality. At the other end of the writing process is the rapt look on kid’s faces when I read them one of my stories. That engaged and happy look is my payback – better than gold bars, mate.
Can you tell us what your latest books are all about?
Taconi and Claude – Double Trouble
Like a lot of boys these days, my son was a reluctant reader. This prompted me to write books with a WOW factor that grab their attention. I wrote “Taconi and Claude – Double Trouble“ with boys (and tomboys) in mind. Plenty of action, fast pace, an Aussie outback setting, + the surprise and mystery of an aboriginal tribe and its Dreamtime beliefs. This historical novel, set in the early 1950’s, would make a great home school or class history project using the help in my Teacher’s Guide: http://mysite.ncnetwork.net/mfinke/Teacher%27s%20Guide.htm#teach ** I also include a glossary of fun and interesting Aussie sayings, plus aboriginal words and names.
Horatio Humble Beats the Big D
It seems that Dyslexia and other learning problems beset many of today’s children – especially boys. “Horatio Humble” is a smart boy, yet he can’t read. He thinks going to Special Ed classes will brand him dumb. However, go he does, with amazing results. The story encourages these kids that they CAN learn to read.
**The parent-teacher guide suggests early diagnosis + links to helpful websites and advice.
Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind
Many kids suffer deeply due to big changes in their lives. Changes they have no control over: like a death, a divorce, a move far from friends and family etc. “Ruthie” is such a child, and she reacts with snotty behavior and tantrums her parent find hard to manage. Finally, something wonderful happens to change her back to a sweet and loving girl. Kid friendly and fun to read.
**The parent/teacher guide offers a helpful Q and A plus links to more serious help.
Where can readers purchase a copy?
Guardian Angel Publishing (all three) – Scroll down for Margot Finke
My Website for Autographed copies – + a free new Bonus Book!
Taconi and Claude is now available on Kindle at http://preview.tinyurl.com/3r4h9e4
Powell’s Books: http://www.powells.com/biblio?isbn=1616331305
Barnes and Noble: http://preview.tinyurl.com/3dvtxnj
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
Website – BUY my Books, Help for writers, Manuscript Critiques
HOOK KIDS on READING – Lists of other great books, writing news and interviews:
What is up next for you?
Polishing several mid-grade manuscripts, and completing a sequel to Taconi and Claude, titled “Survival by Walkabout.” The sequel has Bindi and Josh, the grand-sons of Taconi and Boss Howard, going walkabout together. It begins with a spiteful threat and sibling rivalry, then the Aussie outback and a nasty Medicine Man almost kills them. Thanks to Bindi’s outback skills they survive – barely. Once back on Coorparoo Station, Josh is determined to get to the bottom of his brother’s resentment.
Do you have anything else to add?
Yes please. I would like to offer a new, TOTALLY FREE SHORT ADVENTURE to anyone who BUYS a hard copy book from my Website. I will autograph your book, and also include a FREE (pdf) COPY of the short story. I wrote it to celebrate the publishing of these last 3 books, and it includes all 3 of the characters.
Taconi and Claude’s 21st Century Adventure.
Because of a magical Boab tree, Taconi and Claude find themselves trapped in the 21st Century. Ruthie and Horatio join forces to help Taconi and his cockatoo find their way back home to where they belong – in the Aussie outback of the 1950’s.
Thank you for spending time with us today, Margot. We wish you much success.
Thank YOU, for letting me spend time chatting with your readers.
Write a comment on any participating blog during my June Book Tour,
and win a FREE COPY of this fun time-travel story.
I wrote it specially for kids.
One copy per person. Please leave your e-mail.
( Safe sample: mfinke<@>frontier.com )
World of Ink Schedule for Margot Finke
The Brand Buzz Network – Author Spotlight
Mymcbooks Blog – Book Review and Giveaway of Taconi and Claude http://mymcbooks.wordpress.com
Families Matter Blog – Interview
The Maggie Project – Guest Post: The back story of Taconi and Claude www.themaggieproject.blogspot.com
Roth’s Inspiring Books & Products – Interview http://rothsinspiringbooksandproducts.wordpress.com
One Zillion Books – Book Review of Ruthie and the Hippo
Stories for Children Magazine FG Interview
Home School Blogger-Book Review of Taconi and Claude http://homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolbookreview/
Families Matter Blog – Book Spotlight
Utah Children’s Writer Blog – Guest Post: Tips on Writing for Children http://utahchildrenswriters.blogspot.com/
World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children with hosts: VS Grenier, Kris Quinn Christopherson and Irene Roth.
Live Radio Interview at 11am MST (10am PST, Noon Central and 1pm EST)
or call in to listen or ask questions (714) 242-5259.
You can also listen on demand after the show airs!
BiblioReads.com – Book Review and Giveaway of Horatio Humble http://BiblioReads.blogspot.com
Writing to the Hearts of Children- Interview and Book Spotlight
The Crypto-Capers Review – Book Review of Ruthie and the Hippo http://thecryptocapersseries.blogspot.com
Home School Blogger-Book Review of Horatio Humble http://homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolbookreview/
Children’s and Teen Book Connection – Interview https://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com/
The Writing Mama – Interview
Wee Share Blog – Book Review and Giveaway of Taconi and Claude
Rambling of a Coffee Addicted Writer – Book Review and Giveaway of Ruthie and the Hippo http://ramblingsofacoffeeaddictedwrter.blogspot.com/
Roth’s Inspiring Books & Products – Book Review of Horatio Humble http://rothsinspiringbooksandproducts.wordpress.com
Book Marketing Network – Guest Post: Tips for Online Marketing
VBT-Writers On The Move – Guest Post: Finding a Publisher
Coloring Outside the Lines – Book Review of Taconi and Claude
Putting Words Down on Paper – Book Spotlight
Bless Their Hearts Mom – Book Review of Taconi and Claude http://blesstheirheartsmom.blogspot.com
Coloring Outside the Lines – Author Spotlight
Putting Words Down on Paper – Interview