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.