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
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.
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.
Dominick and the Dragon, by Anne K. Edwards
Age level: 4-8
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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.