Cheryl, thanks for hosting me. At the end of the tour, I will pick out one commenter’s name and send an autographed copy of Boo’s Bad Day to a United States address only. If the name I pick is someone who lives outside the U.S., I will send a PDF copy of the book. So remember, readers, be sure to leave contact information when you comment!
Penny Lockwood has published more than 100 articles, 75 stories, a chapbook, and her stories have been included in two anthologies. She writes for both adults and children. Her fiction has appeared in numerous genre and children’s publications, and non‑fiction work has appeared in a variety of writing, parenting, and young adult print magazines and on line publications. She edits for MuseItUp Publishing. Visit her web site at http:// pennylockwoodehrenkranz.yolasite.com. Her writing blog is located at http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com/.
She has recently released Boo’s Bad Day with 4RV Publishing and has three other children’s books under contract with them: Ghost for Rent, Ghost for Lunch, and Many Colored Coats. She has three romances published by MuseItUp Publishing: Love Delivery, Lady in Waiting, and Mirror, Mirror. Her short story collection, A Past and A Future, is available through Sam’s Dot Publishing and Smashwords.
Thank you for joining us today, Penny. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
I am a wife, a mom, and a grandmother. I love animals and can’t remember not having at least one. (Most of my stories that have animals contain little adventures our animals have had.) I enjoy reading, mostly science fiction and fantasy, with an occasional romance. I’m a member of a wonderful women’s book group where I have to stretch myself and read other books I might not pick up on my own.
When I’m not involved in writing-related activities, I am a line editor for MuseItUP Publishing. I love to putter in my garden, go for long walks, and in the evenings, I spend time watching a little TV and working on crocheting projects. I feel fortunate to live in a beautiful part of the country, the Pacific Northwest.
When did you first get bit by the writing bug?
When I was a young child, my dad would tell us stories at bedtime. I definitely got the bug by listening to his “tall tales.” I remember thinking how great it was to be able to make up stories and entertain someone with them. For my own entertainment, I wrote stories and illustrated them when I was in grade school and continued to enjoy creative writing through high school and college. My professional writing career was put on hold until much later.
Why did you decide to write stories for children?
As a mom and a grandmother, I’ve read a lot of books to my kids and grandkids. I love watching them connect the letters on a page with words and their first struggles to read. When I decided to write professionally, my children were fairly good readers, and I wanted to write stories they might enjoy. Now, my “target” audience is my five-year-old granddaughter and my twenty-one-month-old grandson.
Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?
Yes, I do. My current release, Boo’s Bad Day, is a picture book. I’ve also written two middle grade novels. When writing for children, the author needs to be able to relate to the age level to which he or she is writing. This means knowing what makes kids laugh, what scares them, and what they’re curious about. It’s important to spend time with kids of the age level you are targeting. When writing a picture book, you are limited to only a few pages and less than a thousand words. Yet, you have to tell a complete story including characters, obstacles for your character to overcome, and a resolution. This can be quite challenging.
What is your favorite part of writing for young people?
Watching them become so involved in reading the story, they don’t want to put it down. I can recall as a child, hiding under my blanket with a flashlight so I could keep reading after bedtime. I love it now when my grandson asks his mom or dad to read “the kitty” book (Boo’s Bad Day).
Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?
Here’s the blurb and tagline for Boo’s Bad Day:
Boo sneaks out of the house and discovers that freedom by himself can be scary.
Boo is a very bored kitten. When Timmy and his mom return home, Boo sneaks out of the house. Boo is frightened by the noises of the big world outside of the safety of his warm home. When Timmy coaxes Boo back into the house, Boo realizes some places are safe and some are not.
What inspired you to write it?
Years ago, we had a black teenage cat by the name of Boo who had an adventure. He was an inside/outside cat and happened to be outside when an ice storm stuck. We called him, but he didn’t come in. We were, of course, worried and kept going outside to call him. We finally heard him meowing and located him over 50 feet up in a fir tree on our property. He wouldn’t or couldn’t come down. The next day, my husband tried climbing our tallest ladder but couldn’t reach him. We finally asked a friend, who was taller, to help out. He was able to grab Boo and get him down. The poor kitty’s meows were getting sadder and sadder. He was so glad to get inside, he didn’t move from our woodstove for almost a week!
Where can readers purchase a copy?
From their local bookstore by ordering ISBN# 13: 978-0-9852661-5-8
Online from the publisher: 4RV – http://www.4rvpublishingcatalog.com/penny-lockwood.php
$8.99 includes s/h
What is up next for you?
I am finishing up edits for my two-book series Ghost for Rent and Ghost for Lunch, which will be packaged together and sold through 4RV Publishing. Ghost for Rent was previously released as an ebook through a company no longer in business. I’m looking forward to having it available in a newly edited and illustrated print edition.
We are getting excited about the birth of our newest granddaughter in July, so I’ll be taking some time off to help my daughter after Cora arrives.
I’ve got a couple of writing projects in progress including a new Ghost book and a NA/adult fantasy.
Do you have anything else to add?
I want to thank everyone who has been following along during Boo’s blog tour. I also want to thank you again, Cheryl, for having me and for asking such insig
htful questions. (I might have to steal a couple of them for my own author interviews…) I also wanted to say how thrilled I am by the illustrations created by Deborah C. Johnson. I couldn’t have asked for better. She did a fantastic job of capturing Boo’s expressions.
Thank you for spending time with us today, Penny. We wish you much success.
Boo’s Bad Day is an adorable story of one kitten’s adventure. Boo thinks being inside is boring, so when Timmy and his mom open the door on their return home, he sneaks out for a bit of excitement. He soon discovers, however, that the outside world is a scary place filled with loud noises and scary situations that make the inside look mighty inviting.
As I thought about this story, I realized that Boo is no different than a young child who wants to explore new things and then discovers the safety and comfort of normal everyday situations is good too. Written for children from ages 18 months up to six years, this charming adventure story engages and entertains. Lockwood’s prose indicates a knowledge of her intended market; and the simple text will help as youngsters transition from being read to, to reading independently.
The colorful artwork by Deborah C. Johnson is a delightful complement to Lockwood’s story. Children will enjoy watching the emotions play across Boo’s face from beginning to end.
Boo’s Bad Day is a wonderful book that I am thrilled to have as part of my children’s library.
Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC (February 7, 2013)
The author provided me with a PDF version of the book. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.
Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of this adorable book. Please include your email address so the author can contact you if you win.