Meet Children’s Author Anne K. Edwards

Anne K. Edwards lives on a small Pennsylvania farm with a very tolerant husband and a band of domineering, critical, cats that expect instant obedience of their two humans.  The only free time Anne has to write is when they are all asleep.  Of course, there is always one cat sleeping on the monitor table to keep an eye on her.  The duty roster for that job changes daily or even hourly, and it is a highly prized position as the winner can get petted as wanted, held as deemed necessary, or block Anne’s vision of the screen to take a bath or stand up to look out the window though it is at eye-level. When she can escape their scrutiny, Anne likes to shop or meet new people, especially anyone interested in writing or reading. Website:  http://www.AnneKEdwards.com

changingplaces

Thank you for joining us today, Anne. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself? 

I won’t start with the day I was born because I don’t remember it, but jumping to ages 5 and 6, that’s when I discovered the world of books.  As I learned to read, I fell in love with books – any that I could read. Back then I had plenty of time to read and devoured every one I could get my hands on.  When I got my much prized library card at 8 years old, I weekly carried five books home and returned them faithfully for a new load as soon as I could.  I realized as I got older, that reading was a form of escapism. I lived in all those worlds but I had no favorite author and I disliked intensely being forced to read books considered suitable for a child. I found them dull and repetitive so I sought permission to read others. The teachers gave me permission as long as I turned in a book report.  I’ll always be grateful to those kind women.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I was trying my hand at writing in the third grade when we had to write a paragraph about something or someone we knew.  I wrote about my step grandfather’s cow and earned an ‘A’.  I was so pleased that I began to write other things just for the fun of it.  I was too shy though to ask the teachers to read what I wrote.  It wasn’t until I turned eleven that I wrote what I thought were good stories that I could send to the Saturday Evening Post and other magazines of the day.  The anticipation of getting paid to write was on my list of expectations. I wanted to buy a swimming pool for our yard.  I never got the pool so that tells the success of my being published then.  But I wouldn’t have traded that hope for anything else.  It kept me writing.

dominickandthedragon

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

I never planned on writing for children as I enjoy working in all the traditional adult genres.  Nothing extreme, however. I wrote the type of story I enjoyed reading.  But, that changed when the idea of a book about how a child could think for himself when they were facing a problem.  The problem in Dominick and the Dragon became a hungry dragon that Dominick had to outsmart to get home.  These tales are based on “What would happen if…”  and I find that a good way to begin thinking of a plot for other children’s books that I might write.

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?

The answer would be, no. Bur I am speaking only from my own perspective and the type of stories I write. Other authors may not agree as they are published by large presses or a well-known online press that specializes in this genre.  I write the book, editing as the book forms and reread it several times afterward.  I write for the fun of it and don’t take myself foo seriously which is why I don’t consider it any harder than writing a book for adults.

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

Making up the story and trying to keep humor in it.  I count it a success if it makes me laugh, at least once or am pleased with the satisfaction of a child’s success in facing down a problem.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

I have a new book in progress, the second in the dragon series.  The motive is different in this tale as Dominick helps the dragon with his problem. Hopefully it will be ready for release in the fall of next year as it takes time for the artist to do his wonderful work.

What inspired you to write it?

To be honest, the story is based on my favorite holiday of the year and I remember the anticipation of that season. I wondered ‘what if…’ the dragon didn’t know anything about holidays and the story quickly took shape.

Where can readers purchase a copy.

When the book is published, it will appear on Amazon Kindle as the other two are.

What is up next for you?

I am presently working on a long short story and a mystery that need finishing.  Once they are done, I have another children’s story to work on.  My ideas often exceed the time and energy I have to work on them, so I’ll  slog through them, one at a time.

Do you have anything else to add?

I can’t think of anything much else to say except, if one reads my children’s tales, I hope they enjoy them as much as I did in writing them.  That is the best reward for any author.

Thank you for spending time with us today, Anne. We wish you much success.

I enjoyed the opportunity to talk with you and I’d like to say how much I appreciate it. Thank you for letting me join you.

Changing Places, by Anne K. Edwards
Age level: 4-8
Price: $1.99
Pages: 14
Find on Amazon
Changing Places. A black cat named Whiskers encounters a snake that has lost his home when he goes outside to see the world.

dominickandthedragon

Dominick and the Dragon, by Anne K. Edwards

Age level: 4-8

Price: $1.99

Pages: 42

Find on Amazon

Synopsis 

Dominick is a little boy fascinated by dragons. When he finally meets one named Elvis that wants to eat everything, including him, he has to find a way to outsmart him. His adventure proves a boy can be smarter than a dragon.

 

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Interview with Chidren’s Author Michelle Nott

Press photo (2)Michelle Nott holds undergraduate degrees in French Education and Creative Writing and a M.A. in French with a concentration in Surrealism. Before becoming an author, Michelle Nott was a French teacher (pre-K to university levels) in the U.S., worked for a French company in Paris and an art gallery in NYC. She has also edited and written articles for numerous on-line and print magazines in the American and European markets.

In 2004, Michelle moved to Belgium. When she noticed that her daughters’ book collection included more French titles than English ones, she decided to write stories for them herself. Many of these early stories can be found on her blog Good Night, Sleep Tight where she also reflects on raising Third Culture Kids.

In 2015, Michelle and her family returned to the U.S. But with American and French citizenship, they travel to Europe regularly. Their favorite places include the French Alps, the Belgian countryside, and the Cornish coast in the UK. Her family’s life and adventures prove to be great inspiration for her stories.

Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses is Michelle’s first book for children. Her future children’s books are represented by Essie White at Storm Literary Agency. She is a member of SCBWI, Children’s Book Insider and Houston Writer’s Guild.

Links to your site/blog/FB and Twitter:

www.authormichellenott.com

www.gn-st.com

@MimiLRN

Thank you for joining us today, Michelle. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

I grew up in Ohio, but as soon as I graduated from high school, I started to travel. I have travelled to and/or lived in seven states and 15 countries.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

Freddy and Hoppie Cover Art (1).jpgI was bit hard in third grade and that bug has been itching ever since. My teacher had assigned us to write a fictional story that the room mothers transformed into “real books” with scraps of fabric and cut up cereal boxes. When I saw the final product, I knew that being an author was what I wanted to be.

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

I wrote mainly short stories and poetry throughout college and beyond, but always wanted to write for children. Yet, I couldn’t find the right inspiration or words until I had my own children. Their lives have sparked even more inspiration than I could possibly write about!

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?

I think writing any book is hard work. But I will say that writing for children is extra challenging because the word count and the word choice are much more limiting.

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

I love being able to get into a child’s mind again and relive the excitement and the innocence of every day adventures.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

My latest book out in stores now is an early reader, Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses, about a young boy named Freddy who is has problems at school, gets headaches, and experiences a bit of bullying all because of his eyesight. With the help of his imaginary frog, Hoppie, he find the courage to tell his mom something is wrong.

What inspired you to write it?

The book of Freddy was inspired by my youngest daughter when she was prescribed eyeglasses. Freddy’s story is very different from hers as her vision problems were noticed at a routine check-up. As she had never complained about not being able to see, I wondered how many children do not even realize they may have a problem. My hope was to write a story, not just about vision problems, but about a child struggling with an issue, any issue, and who needs to find a way to tell a trusted adult.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

Readers can purchase Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses on my publisher’s website, on Amazon, or request it at any bookstore. 

What is up next for you?

I recently signed with Essie White at Storm Literary Agency who will be representing my future picture books. I am very excited to see where this next venture takes me and my stories.

As far as what I’m currently writing, I’m working on revisions for a middle grade magical realism story that takes place in Belgium, where I lived for over 11 years.

Do you have anything else to add?

Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a pleasure.

Thank you for spending time with us today, Michelle Nott. We wish you much success.

 

Discount of the day: Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat series, Book 1) only $.99!

Title: Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat series, Book 1)

Author: Zoe Kalo

Genre: YA mythological fantasy/paranormal

Word count: 93,000 words / 330 pages

Official Launch: May 1, 2016

Amazon purchase link:http://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Sun-Cult-Cat-Book-ebook/dp/B01DRDUQW8

Only $.99 until Wednesday May 11th(regular price $4.99)

Get your copy on Kindle today!

Daughter of the Sun, Book 1 – blurb

Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.

But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities.

Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to eighteen-year-old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to confront her true self—and a horrifying destiny.

What readers are saying….

“This was an amazing story!” –Hot Off the Shelves

“This book was so super good! Great writing, great characters, great plot. Very immersive reading experience.” –Awesome Book Assessment

“Wow- this book was a stunning, magnificent adventure! Very well written and full of intricate details, I was immediately drawn in and just absolutely did not want to put this one down… The intrigue just leaves you racing through the pages to find out what will happen next! I absolutely, completely enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see what happens in the next one!” –The Recipe Fairy

“The way [Zoe Kalo] writes cats into the book is astounding. Every little quirk, mew and lick is incredibly authentic. I love it when a writer is skilled at writing about the animals in the character’s story, it makes it more warm and fuzzy, no pun intended.” –Samantha Writes

“Daughter of the Sun is an intriguing young adult mythology read full of mystery, magic, action, and history… [it] kept me flipping pages like an addict.” –Fishing for Books

“Oh my God. This is definitely a ‘something.’ This concept and the plot is soooo unique and weird and fascinating that I did not want to put this down. I literally breezed through this one…. This book was an overdose of kitty love.” –Grape Fruit Books

“If you are looking for a Young Adult Fantasy book that is different from the norm, then look no further. Daughter of the Sun is full of Egyptian mythology, with layer upon layer of mystery just waiting to be uncovered.” –Archaeolibrarian

About the Author

A certified bookworm, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery…

A daughter of adventurous expats, she’s had the good fortune of living on 3 continents, learning 4 languages, and experiencing a multicultural life. Currently, she’s working on a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, which she balances between writing, taking care of her clowder of cats, and searching for the perfect bottle of pinot noir.

Connect with Zoe Kalo on the web: www.ZoeKalo.com /Facebook / Twitter

A Chat with Donna McDine, Author of ‘Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters’

donnaMulti award-winning children’s author, Donna McDine’s creative side laid dormant for many years until her desire to write sparked in 2007. Her latest release Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters joins the four early reader children’s picture books, A Sandy Grave (January 2014), Powder Monkey (May 2013), Hockey Agony (January 2013) and The Golden Pathway (August 2010) all with Guardian Angel Publishing. Join McDine as her adventures continue as she ignites the curiosity of children through reading. She writes and moms from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI.

Connect with Donna on the Web: www.donnamcdine.com / www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/DonnaMcDineAuthor

https://twitter.com/dmcdine

About her latest book, Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day JittersThe anxiety of finding one’s own place and friends in kindergarten without the comfort of having her fraternal twin sister nearby at first overwhelms Dee until she realizes even without her fraternal twin sister, Dee and her classmates for the most part are in the same boat.

Find out more on Amazon.

Thank you for joining us today, Donna McDine. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself? I have always enjoyed immersing in a book that has me easily blocking the distractions of the world around him and I’m striving to create that joy from my books. 

deeWhen did you first get bit by the writing bug? I fondly remember watching the television show, Lou Grant with my dad and I always found it fascinating how the research to the investigative reporting was conducting. I dreamed of becoming a reporter myself one day, but for some reason I did not follow this path. Happily I find myself many moons later writing for children. 

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

My writing bug resparked in 2007 when I came across the aptitude test for the Institute of Children’s Writing and eagerly completed the test and mailed in. To my pure joy I was accepted into the program and I’m now proud to say I have five published books to my credit.

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?

I don’t feel it’s harder, but rather a different approach is required. Engagement and not preaching is essential in having the child wanting to come back for more.

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

Watching their faces light up with excitement when they find a book that resonates with them and they then ask for more books along the same style or theme. It’s exciting to watch them open up the world at their fingertips.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

The anxiety of finding one’s own place and friends in kindergarten without the comfort of having her fraternal twin sister nearby at first overwhelms Dee until she realizes even without her fraternal twin sister, Dee and her classmates for the most part are in the same boat. 

What inspired you to write it?

The desire to share my personal childhood experience of being separated from my fraternal twin sister for the first time and that it all turned out okay.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

Pre-orders are available at my website www.donnamcdine.com and once December 1, 2015 rolls around Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters will be available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Guardian Angel Publishing as well as my website.

What is up next for you?

I’m dusting off a long ago shelved work-in-progress with a historical fiction theme.

Do you have anything else to add?

Keep reading and never stop. The exploration of the world is endless through books.

Thank you for spending time with us today, Donna McDine. We wish you much success.

Thank you, it was a true pleasure visiting with you and your visitors today.

 

Interview with Christopher Nuttall, Author of ‘Trial By Fire’

nuttall_pix_med (1)Christopher Nuttall was born in Edinburgh, studied in Manchester, married in Malaysia and currently living in Scotland, United Kingdom, with his wife and baby son. He is the author of 20 novels from various publishers and thirty-nine self-published novels. More than 100,000 ebooks in theSchooled in Magic series have sold since March 2014.

Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Trial By Fire, Book 7 in your Schooled in Magic series. When did you start writing and what got you into fantasy? 

Well, I started writing seriously around 2004-2005 and … well, I write the sort of books I like to read. I began with a military thriller, then went through alternate history and alien invasion before starting to experiment with fantasy. Frankly, I’m still fond of all four genres, although military science-fiction is probably my favorite. 

What is your book about? 

Oh, a hard question.

The Schooled in Magic series follows the adventures of Emily, a teenage girl from our world who is accidentally kidnapped by a necromancer and swept into an alternate world where magic is real, dragons fly through the sky and young magicians are sent to boarding schools to learn magic. But it’s also a series about the introduction of new ideas into a static society and just what happens when those ideas are developed, then start to mutate.

Trial By Fire follows Emily as the repercussions of her actions in earlier books finally come back to haunt her, putting her at the center of a deadly plot that will force her to fight for her life – or die at the hands of a relentless enemy.

What type of challenges did you face while writing this book? 

Making it convincing, alas.

Ok, that sounds absurd; fantasy is not, by definition, convincing. A world where someone can be turned into a toad with a snap of a witch’s fingers isn’t our world. However, it does have to follow its own logic – and, if that logic is violated, people tend to protest. (They also protest if humans don’t act like humans, although creatures like Elves get a free pass – they’re not human.)

TrialByFire_med1One very notable example comes from Harry Potter (I use this because most of my readers will probably be familiar with the series.) In Goblet of Fire, Harry is forced to compete in a deadly contest that could easily leave him dead … apparently because having his name put in the titular Goblet creates a magically-binding contract that enforces participation. But we know Harrydidn’t put his name in the Goblet … which raises questions about how the contract was binding in the first place. (And why, if you can create a contract binding someone, they don’t use it on the Dark Lord.)

(Personally, I tend to think that Dumbledore was the one under contract; he’d sworn to make sure anyone whose name came out of the Goblet had to compete, which would have included Harry as well as the other guy. And it would be perfectly in character for Dumbledore to keep mum about this and push Harry forward.)

In Trial By Fire, I worked hard to put together a trap for Emily that wouldn’thave a thinking fan banging his head off the wall. I hope I succeeded. 

What do you hope readers will get from your book? 

Well, I hope they will have an enjoyable story.

Let’s be honest here. I’m not trying to write something that will echo down the ages, something with the staying power of the Foundation series. I’m writing so my readers will have fun reading the books. If they learn something about the importance of technology, the spread of ideas and just what can happen when whole new approaches are explored … well, that’s a bonus. 

Did your book require a lot of research? 

The series absorbed a great deal of research <grin>. I actually spent years reading about the Middle Ages, just to flavor my work. The Allied Lands themselves have a great deal in common with Europe, particularly in the Reformation era. I studied how those societies worked, what drove them, how their people thought and what weakened them in the face of stronger enemies.

Of course, there are differences – the presence of functional magic, for a start. 

Many writers experience a vague anxiety before they sit down to right. Can you relate to this? 

Sometimes. Oddly, I feel it while crafting the next installment in a successful series.

Trial By Fire was originally intended to serve as the end of the first arc of novels set within the Schooled in Magicuniverse. I knew it had to be spectacular, the moment when Emily steps up and takes firm control of her life, and so I was nervous about actually having her do it. I hope it lives up to its purpose. 

Do you have a writing schedule? Are you disciplined? 

Very disciplined. Truthfully, you don’t get anywhere in writing unless you’re disciplined.

I get up, eat breakfast and drink coffee, then get to work. I set myself a goal of three chapters a day, except for the first day; that generally takes around five hours. Then there’s the task of checking the beta reader comments and editing the manuscript. Between drafts, I generally try to move to something different or edit completed manuscripts. 

How do you define success? 

Success comes in the form of people buying my books and writing good (and thoughtful reviews). I know; I probably won’t win any major awards. (I did win the Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards for Bookworm.) However, I’m happy with being paid and being told I did a good job. 

What do you love most about the writer’s life? 

I get to work from home, set my own hours and generally be my own boss. And then there’s the fact I get to meet fans, even if I am a little shy. 

Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about your work? 

I have a website, a blog, a mailing list and a Facebook fan page. <grin>

The website contains free samples – I try to give away at least a couple of chapters, sometimes as many as ten – and a number of older books that are completely free. They’re really ones I wrote during my first period as a writer; not good enough to be published, perhaps, but people liked them. A couple have even been rewritten for later publication.

The blog and Facebook page cover everything from my musings to fan comments and suchlike, allowing a degree of fan participation. All are welcome. The mailing list, however, is only for new releases – I believe in trying to avoid spamming people where possible.

Where is your book available?

The ebook version of Trial By Fire is available for purchase from Amazon Kindle, Apple iBookstore, BN Nook, Kobo Books, OmniLit, etc.

The print version of Trial By Fire will be available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble Bookstores, Brodart, Coutts, Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Emery-Pratt, Follett, Ingram, The Book Despository, The Book House, etc.

Purchase links will be available on the chapter excerpt page.

What is your advice for aspiring authors? 

I think I’ve said this before, time and time again, but the best advice I can give is work hard, work hard and work hard. Writing is 10% inspiration and 90% hard work. It is very rare to get a first novel published, unless you have VERY strong connections with the publishing industry or a name you can exploit (and those books tend to be terrible). Eric Flint said you really need to write at least a million words before you have something worth reading and I tend to think he was right.

Once you have a manuscript, get a few readers to look at it and give you honest feedback. If they said “this sucks, because [insert reason here]” listen to them. They may be wrong, which is possible, or you may have failed to explain something properly. Either way, they should make you think about it … which is better than having a review that boils down to “this author is an idiot.”

And grow a thick skin. You’ll need it. 

Anything else you’d like to tell my readers? 

I offer cameos for anyone who reads a book and reports an error to me. All (again) welcome.

My interview was originally published in Blogcritics Magazine.

Interview with Melissa Abramovitz, author of ‘Helping Herbie Hedgehog’

0799Melissa Abramovitz has been a freelance writer/author for 30 years and specializes in writing nonfiction magazine articles and books for all age groups. She is the author of hundreds of magazine articles, more than 40 educational books for children and teenagers, numerous poems and short stories, several children’s picture books, and a book for writers titled A Treasure Trove of Opportunity: How to Write and Sell Articles for Children’s Magazines.  Melissa graduated from the University of California San Diego with a degree in psychology and is also a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature. She is a member of SCBWI, NABE, and The Working Writer’s Club. Visit her website at www.melissaabramovitz.com  

Thank you for joining us today, Melissa. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself? I’ve been writing professionally for about thirty years and love being a writer. Most of the work I do is writing books for educational book publishers, but I also write magazine articles for all age groups, some fiction, poetry, and children’s picture books. So I’m what you call an eclectic writer since I don’t stick to one type of writing or one genre. In addition to working full-time as a writer, I enjoy volunteering regularly at my local animal shelter – yes, I’m an animal lover and really enjoy doing something that makes a tiny positive difference in the world. And I spend as much time as possible with my family. I have two grown sons and three beautiful grandchildren! 

When did you first get bit by the writing bug? I have enjoyed writing all my life. As a child I used to write stories and poems all the time, and the first thing I ever had published was a poem I wrote when I was in high school. The poem won some sort of competition and was featured in a local school district publication. Believe it or not, I even enjoyed writing term papers in high school and college because I liked finding new ways to express myself through writing. But I never envisioned having a career as a writer until later on. I got my degree in psychology and planned to become a clinical psychologist, but that never came to be. When my children were small, I was lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom, and I decided to take a writing class to explore the possibility of starting a part-time career in writing that I could fit in around my main role as a mom/homemaker. I sold the first magazine article I submitted to a publisher, and I was on my way! But it wasn’t all smooth sailing – like all writers, I received and still receive lots of rejections. But being a writer has proven to be a perfect career for me. 

HHH9x150Why did you decide to write stories for children? The first writing course I took was through the Institute of Children’s Literature, so I learned a lot about writing for children through that class. I also write for adults, and enjoy that too, but there is something very special about writing for kids. Not only do I like creating stories and books that kids will want to read, but writing for children has restored my child-like wonder about the world because it helps me see the world through childrens’ eyes. 

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience? Absolutely. Some people think it’s easy to write for children, but it’s much more difficult than writing for adults is. Every word and idea must be age-appropriate for children. The word counts for childrens’ books and magazine articles are typically much more stringent than for adults, and this is also challenging. It is incredibly difficult to present a story or nonfiction piece in 100 to 500 words, which is a typical length for young children. 

What is your favorite part of writing for young people? I really like knowing that something I wrote has the potential to get kids excited about reading or that it can motivate them to become better people or do something good in the world. 

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about? Helping Herbie Hedgehog is an interactive picture book/early chapter book about a clueless hedgehog who needs help figuring out how to get places and go about doing other things in his day like chores, shopping, exercising, and other activities. Amusing rhymes invite kids to help Herbie make decisions such as whether to ride his bicycle or take a sailing ship across the ocean, or whether he should buy a hat or a shoe to wear on his head. As the book blurb states, “Herbie has places to go and things to do. But he needs some help ‘cause he hasn’t a clue! If you’ll help Herbie decide what’s right and wrong, he’ll be busy and happy the whole day long!”  Recommended for children ages 2 to 7, Helping Herbie Hedgehog helps kids learn about everyday things while having fun.

What inspired you to write it? : Most of the books, poems, and magazine articles I write are educational in some way. I’m always looking for ways to make learning about concepts or other ideas fun for kids.  Many years ago, knowing how much small children enjoy being right, I got the idea to write a series of funny poems about animal characters that need to figure out how to get places and do other things. I decided to engage young readers in helping the characters decide what to do, given some silly choices. I ended up incorporating all the poems into a book that featured a single character, Herbie Hedgehog. 

Where can readers purchase a copy? It’s available at Amazon www.amazon.com/Helping-Herbie-Hedgehog-Melissa-Abramovitz/

and at the Guardian Angel Publishing website: www.guardianangelpublishing.com/herbie-hedgehog.htm 

What is up next for you? I’m always working on new educational books, and plan to continue to do that. I’ve also completed several more picture books and hope to find publishers for these books. I’ve been thinking that the best way to go about this may be to hire an agent, even though I’ve never used an agent before.  So many publishers have closed their doors to unagented submissions these days. So I need to invest some serious time in finding the right agent. And of course I’m looking forward to doing more promotions for Helping Herbie Hedgehog!

Do you have anything else to add? Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share information about Herbie Hedgehog and myself. I’ve been thrilled by the positive reviews and feedback I’ve received about Helping Herbie Hedgehog since it was released, and hope this book continues to be a source of laughter and fun for those who read it.

Thank you for spending time with us today, Melissa. We wish you much success.

 

Book Review: ‘Meditation is an Open Sky: Mindfulness for Kids’ by Whitney Stewart

Meditation is an Open Sky banner (1)Title: Meditation is an Open Sky: Mindfulness for Kids
Author: Whitney Stewart
Publisher: Albert Whitman
Pages: 32
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Format: Hardcover/Kindle

Meditation is an Open Sky 3Book Description: Feeling mindful is feeling good! You know when you’re having a bad day, you have that wobbly feeling inside and nothing seems to go right? Find a quiet place, sit down, and meditate! In this daily companion, kids of any age will learn simple exercises to help manage stress and emotions, find focus, and face challenges. They’ll discover how to feel safe when scared, relax when anxious, spread kindness, and calm anger when frustrated. Simple, secular, and mainstream, this mindfulness book is an excellent tool for helping kids deal with the stresses of everyday life.

My Thoughts…

Wow, this is a wonderful book for kids to introduce them to the art–and habit–of meditation. So many skills are taught in school…yet I wish this important one could be taught as well. The author has done an amazing job at explaining not only what meditation is, but also provided instructions on how to meditate depending on the child’s various moods–all in simple, straightforward language. The illustrations match the content beautifully, with soft pastel colors that are calming to the mind. I can’t say enough good things about this important book. If you’re a parent or a grandparent, I urge you to buy it for your little ones. If you’re a teacher, this would be a wonderful book to have a class meditation as a group. Highly recommended!