Interview with Lou Jenkins

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As we get closer to the 25th, you might find yourself browsing the Internet looking for gift ideas for the grandchildren, niece or nephew or other little ones on your Christmas List. Well, I’m sharing some new authors this week to help give you some perfect gifts for this year’s holidays.

Let me introduce you to Lou Jenkins. Having worked as an RN for decades, she earned her MFA in literature and writing after many years of service to her community. She loves to write stories that nurture and connect with nature, animals, and that promote science. In her book, “Goodnight Dear One”, she builds a night of peaceful thoughts as the animals around the world fall asleep, passing gentle comfort and wishes to each other. I had the chance to talk with Lou about her favorite childhood reading memories, author influences, writing routine, and what she has in store with future projects.

Lou Jenkins is the author of the picture book, “Goodnight Dear One”.
  1. What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Lou Jenkins: My favorite childhood memories of childhood reading are not from my childhood, but more from the years I read to my children. Some of my favorites: Turning pages with a giggling toddler we read ‘The Monster at the End of this Book;’ going to the library or bookstore with my selections of nature essays while my kids finding their interests in classics, silly books, as well as the popular Harry Potter series and

Jerry Spinelli books: and talking about what we are reading together. I still do this today with my grown kids. Sharing a love of reading builds a rich relationship. When I write a children’s book like ‘Goodnight Dear One,’ I imagine the experience of reading to a little one and the possible alchemy of emotion present while the book is read.

2) Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Lou Jenkins: One favorite author? Impossible. One of my favorites is Barbara Kingsolver. There is an authenticity to her work that inspires me to find truth on a path to self-actualization. Her essays, memoirs, and fiction all resonate with a love for language, a reverence for the natural world, and a spiritual seeking that seeks to love rather than judge or control. I need to mention another writer. Shel Silverstein’s children’s books helped me to feel free to write for children as well as adults. He was a tough guy who could be silly and loving and stoop down to look into the eyes of a little one and see an important human. He reminds me to respect all readers.

3) Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Lou Jenkins:

I learned from Natalie Goldberg that I need a writing routine and that, for me, routines sometimes stop working. I used to write in the middle of the night when the house was quiet. Now I write in two blocks of two hours on most days. If things dry up, I switch it up and go to a coffee shop or change rooms. When something works, I stick with it. I write

4) What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Lou Jenkins: I write memoirs, nature, and literary criticism. I’m writing a series of writing courses now for JackWalkerPress.com. I write book reviews for the Sierra Club.  I also write for children as they inspire me, and I have two other titles in the works. See what I’m up to at AmyLouJenkins.com.

5) What is writing to you in one sentence?

Lou Jenkins: Writing is an art that can create a contract with the reader that is fulfilled when the words and story become part of the life of a reader.

Book Blurb:

“Goodnight Dear One” is a bedtime story that fills the room with a world of love. The tall Giraffe’s wishes for sweet dreams drift in the breezes above the African plains. The fishes send their good night words of comfort from deep in the water. The lovely moths brush at the window as they offer their evening wishes. All around the world, animals say goodnight with caring words of comfort.

Fill your home with love for your dear one. This is bedtime reading for a bonding, calming, and loving bedtime ritual.

“Goodnight Dear One” is available in eBook and paperback at Amazon.com.

***Hardcover edition will be released on Jan.2, 2022.

Interview for Sola Oluwande

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! As we get nearer and nearer to the 25th, you might be stuck looking for the right gift. So, I’m going to continue giving you info on some newly discovered authors and their books for your Christmas List and what will make great additions to under the tree or in a stocking.

I’d like to introduce you to Sola Oluwande. She lives in Illinois with her family, and has a background in pediatric speech language pathologist. As a retired teacher, I have respect for those that work with children’s speech issues. I also used to be one of the kids that went to “speech” as a child back in the 70s. So, I know the work she does is very important. Sola loves helping kids develop their speech and language skills through books and play activities.

Sola Oluwande is the author of the children’s picture book, Polka the Dotted Sock.

Her book, Polka The Dotted Sock, is an engaging book about a unique sock that loves who she is, but has some issues facing a thing she doesn’t like, the dryer. It takes her on a unique journey that will bring a smile to children and their parents.

I had the chance to ask her about her childhood reading memories, influences, her writing routine, and what she has in store for us.

  1. What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Sola Oluwande: I loved reading nursery rhyme books – Little Miss Muppet, Hickory Dickory Dock, and Itsy Bitsy Spider etc. were my favorite.

2) Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Sola Oluwande: I loved Enid Blyton books “Famous Five” books in elementary school. I always wanted to turn the page to find out the next thing.

3) Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Sola Oluwande:  I write once an idea comes to me – I jot down on paper or send a text to myself. I get ideas on my walks, when working out, even late at night and I have to jump up and send a text.

4) What subjects would you like to write about in the future?

Sola Oluwande:  Speech impairments, being unique, everyone having at least one talent and discovering how to use it. Basically books that celebrate each person and reminds people we’re all different and we all have different things to offer.

5) What is writing to you in one sentence?

Sola Oluwande: Writing to me, is passion and bliss put together.

Book Blurb:

Polka The Dotted Sock is a fun and creative children’s book about a sock named Polka who lives in a tidy mismatched drawer. Polka loves life, loves being worn, loves folding herself into different shapes and she really enjoys being washed. BUT… she doesn’t like going into the dryer. To avoid it, Polka catapults herself into a life-changing adventure. Where will she go? The mountains? The ocean or even Santa’s workshop? Her heart will lead her, and she’ll take you with her too.

Polka The Dotted Sock is available at Amazon.com and is a Kindle Unlimited title.

Interview with Dralan Pierce

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Greetings everyone! This is the time for thanks and for being grateful. I am so grateful for so many things this year, including to all of you for following my blog and making it through this pandemic together. It has been a crazy year, and I am so happy to finally be able to spend it with my family this year. I hope you are enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends as well.

Along those lines of giving and family, I wanted to introduce my next author. Dralan Pierce is an ambitious author that likes to write about redefining family relationships to build a better society while inspiring our youth. He has written a fabulous book called “The Catch”. It deals with building a healthy relationship between fathers and daughters, something I’m thankful for that I had a chance to do with my own father before he died a few years ago. So this story goes to my heart immediately.

I had the chance to talk to Dralan about his favorite author, childhood reading memories, his writing routine, and what future projects he has in mind.

  • What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Dralan Pierce: Being able to imagine the book being a movie that I’m a part of is a favorite memory of mine as a kid.

  • Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Dralan Pierce: Lance Peeler. I felt like he was writing my life story before I start living my life.

  • Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Dralan Pierce: Yes, all I need is a desk and some jazz music.

  • What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Dralan Pierce: I’d like to write about my family relationships, especially redefining them from all aspects from my dad to my mother, sister and brother.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Dralan Pierce: Life.

Book Blurb:

“The Catch” is a heart-warming story about a father and daughter bonding during a fishing trip. Together, they learn to enjoy each other’s company and build a healthy relationship that will sustain them through their lives. A great gift for the holiday season, “The Catch” will touch any father and daughter and make a great gift for Father’s Day.

To purchase “The Catch” or for more information on Dralan Pierce, please visit his website at piercetheheart.org.

A Second Interview with Stephanie Jane Markham

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As we head into November, it is time to start thinking about the Holidays and what gifts your little one may love. Plus, with supplies for toys dwindling, maybe considering a fabulous book for your little one this year is a great solution. So, I’m looking high and low for the right gift books to recommend for this Holiday Season.

Stephanie Jane Markham is a children’s author, actress, director, and musician. Her second book, “Duncan and His Unicorn” is available now.

I’d like to start with a previously featured author on my blog. She has a new book out, and I can’t resist recommending it for your next purchase. Her new book, “Duncan and His Unicorn” is the next book in her Second Street Series.

Stephanie Jane Markham is an actor, filmmaker and singer/songwriter living in Los Angeles. Her Sunnyside Street Series draws from her memories from growing up in Scotland and Kentucky. I had the chance to ask more in depth questions on how Stephanie’s acting career has affected her writing, her reasons for writing children’s books, and what advice she has for aspiring writers.

  1. What was your inspiration for writing your new book, “Duncan and His Unicorn”?

Stephanie Jane Markham: Duncan is Maisie Mae’s best friend. I like the friendship between the two. Maisie is this overly tall, outgoing girl and her best friend is a younger boy. Growing up with two brothers and five boy cousins, I can relate. The book touches on Duncan’s anxiety when he is separated from his unicorn, Letty Lou. I have struggled with anxiety since I was a child. I want to give my son, and any kid who reads the book acceptance. I want them to know they are not alone, even when it seems like it.

2) Why did you decide to start writing children’s books?

Stephanie Jane Markham: I’ve always had ideas, but never took the time or committed to writing a book. Also, I’m writing them for my son, Henry. It’s so fun to hear his feedback. He has lots of opinions.


3) Has working as an actress helped you as a writer? If so, how? 

Stephanie Jane Markham: I’m not sure. I have always had a flair for the dramatic and a sense of storytelling. Probably.

    
4) What advice do you have for aspiring children’s authors? 

Stephanie Jane Markham: Just tell your story. Don’t take it too seriously. Kids don’t put limits on their imaginations. It’s so freeing to let go of that inner critic that comes with being an adult.


5) What other future writing projects do you have in store next? 

Stephanie Jane Markham: In December, Maisie Mae’s Christmas Cheer will be released! It’s Maisie and Duncan and the whole Sunnyside Street gang. I had so much fun writing that one, Christmas is my favorite holiday. 

Book Blurb:

“Duncan and His Unicorn” is a tender story of childhood anxiety and true friendship.

Duncan and His Unicorn, Letty Lou, go everywhere together. They climbed Rainbow Mountain all the way in Peru, swung on the vines in the jungles of Kanha and flew to Cebu just to eat a banana!

Then, Duncan’s unicorn ran away. Duncan feels anxious without his favorite toy. He’d always been able to count on Letty Lou. Follow Duncan and Maisie Mae as they search high and low for Duncan’s lost unicorn. Will they be able to find her or has she decided to run away forever? Filled with the fearfulness of a lost pet, this story will show the bond of friendship during times of anxiety.

“Duncan and His Unicorn” is available at: Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

To read the first interview with Stephanie Jane Markham on my blog, please link here.

For more information on Stephanie Jane Markham, please visit her social media links below.

Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/MaisieMaebooks/


Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/maisiemaesunnyside/

Get Into the Halloween Spirit: Books, Online Course, and More!

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Happy October everyone! Are you ready to have some fun this fall? This was always my favorite time of year as a teacher. I tried to channel all of that creative excitement with Halloween into writing and language arts projects for my students. Through this, I developed a “How to Write a Spooky Story” unit that I have now made available in many different forms through the years. I’ve even written a pumpkin story that originated from one of my own spooky stories as a child. So, if you’re ready to explore the fantastic learning opportunities for your child, here is a list of all that is available that I’ve put together.

Full Online Free Spooky Story Writing Unit: This is a free online unit that I posted over five years ago. I made it a simplified version of what I used to do in my classroom, and it takes about a week. Children can follow along with each post daily, and create their own shareable story by the end. I relist the posts each year. I’ve seen visitors from around the world engage in story writing, and I’m proud to again share the links and posts to keep generations of children writing. This is great for parents or basics for teachers to assign online.

Day 1: Write Your Own Spooky Story, Create Your Main Character

Day 2: Creating a Spooky Setting Or Plot

Day 3: Starting the Rough Draft

Day 4: Continuing Rough Draft with Dialogue

Day 5: Revising and Proofreading Your Story

Day 6: Writing the Final Draft

Spooky Story Online Writing School Course: If you just want to get your child set up and running with a course that will do all the teaching for you, guess what? I’ve started my own online writing school, and have put together the above unit into a self-teaching course. It goes more in-depth than the free online one, and I’m there to support too. Check out the link below to get more information. It’s just $19.99.

For Teachers: Teachers Pay Teachers Spooky Story Unit: If you’d like to teach the unit to your own classroom, I’ve got the full writing workshop format unit I developed at Teacher Pay Teachers. I also have a unit on writing mysteries and other helpful writing lesson plans that are available. It’s just $2.95.

My own Halloween picture book story, Pumper the Pumpkin, is available online at Amazon.com. I wrote this originally when I was ten in 5th grade, and discovered the magic of writing. The main story stuck with me, and I rewrote it as an adult. This is the latest form of the story illustrated by myself. It was my first attempt at a picture book, and I learned a lot from creating it. It’s just $0.99.

So, get ready for Halloween and focus all that creative energy into creative writing for your child. All of the writing techniques work for adults too. So, if you’d like to take a stab at spooky or horror story writing along with your child, you could share the stories between you.

Happy Halloween 2021! Stay safe!

-Mrs. Turner

Interview with Jessa Matthews

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As our Back to School Blog Tour event comes to a close, I’m sure your munchkins at home and school are already starting to look ahead to the most fabulous and exciting time of the year for a kid, HALLOWEEN! As a teacher, I always fed into the excitement by encouraging spooky stories and other related books to get kids into the mood. It was a wonderful way to encourage their creativity and interests while encouraging reading.

With that said, I’d like to introduce you to a fabulous author with a spooky related series. Jessa Matthews is a wife and mom that loves to camp, go boating and take trips with her family. She also loves to write books that help children learn morals in a light-hearted story. Her recent book, “The Coffinpaw” is a fun, Halloween themed mystery that is part of her series, the Woozy Town Stories.

  • What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Jessa Matthews: My parents reading my favorite book at night as a kid. The name of the book was I Wish I Had Duck Feet.

  • What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Jessa Matthews: I would like to write about children’s emotional support and mental health.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Jessa Matthews: Expressing thoughts feelings and ideas.

“The Coffinpaw” is a fun halloween themed early reader children’s chapter book. As part of the Woozy Town Stories collection of books, it encourages children to be brave. This book is a fun mystery aimed at children aged 4-8.

• Great family and classroom read-aloud book
• Appeals to readers of all ages with the light-hearted tone and cheerful illustrations
• Books for kids ages 4–8
• Children’s book for early elementary students

“The Coffinpaw” is available at Amazon.com as a Kindle Unlimited title.

For more information about Jessa Matthews, please visits her website here.

Winner Announcement for the 2021 Back to School Blog Tour Giveaway

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So, another successful blog tour event has come to a close. And with that, it’s time to announce the winner of the giveaway from last week.

I am happy to announce the winner is:

Helen S.

Your email from the entry has been mailed to let you know you are the winner. Plus, the $25 Amazon Gift Card has been sent to your supplied email from the giveaway. Congratulations on being the winner for this year.

And with that, I’d like to wrap up the festivities from this year’s Back to School Blog Tour. I’d like to thank our authors:

But most of all, I’d like to thank you, the reader, for stopping by and continuing to support Indie Children’s Authors. It’s because of you that many of us still keep writing and creating books for the next generation.

Until next year,

Tiffany Turner

Editor/Head Writer for the Indie Children’s Authors Connection Blog

Day 5 of the 2021 Back to School Blog Tour: Z. B. Sanders

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Welcome to the last day of the 2021 Back to School Blog Tour. I have really enjoyed introducing you to these fantastic authors and their books all week. It’s always a highpoint of my year and my pleasure to help support teachers, parents and children in their reading journey and learning paths. I’m closing this blog tour with a fantastic author and artist, Z. B. Sanders.

Z. B. Sanders is the author of the children’s books, “Hands” and “The Little Blue Worm”.

Z. B. Sanders loves to connect art appreciation and basic skills into literature. Her first book, “Hands” teaches art to young readers by transforming an average Joe into an artist through a series of comical events. Her second and most recent book, “The Little Blue Worm” deals with bullying by combining storytelling and art. I had the chance to talk with Z. B. Sanders about her childhood reading memories, her inspirational author, writing process, and future projects.

  • What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Z. B. Sanders: My favorite childhood reading memory is from storytime at the public library after school. Growing up I had nearly perfect reading comprehension scores and a creative mind. I attribute this to group storytime sessions my mom would take me to afterschool. The library made a special room where an entertaining librarian would read out the stories in funny voices. Afterward, they would ask children what was the moral of the story. These questions sparked group discussions.

When I decided to write my own children’s book, I kept group discussion in mind. That’s why my book addresses bullying. I hope to create an open dialogue with elementary schools about bullying with my book. Conducting an open discussion doesn’t target anyone to embarrass (because early aggression in children can be the result of mimicking behavior they don’t even know is wrong. For example, a child that watches wrestling may mimic a wrestler on the playground unaware of their behavior). An open dialogue addressing this issue early will hopefully provide a number of students with several positive courses of action so they do not feel powerless. My goal with the book is to take some early preventative steps towards preventing fights and more serious issues down the line.

  • Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Z. B. Sanders: My favorite author is Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author and illustrator of “The Little Prince.” This was a book my mom loved so much that it followed the family from childhood to adulthood. As a child, I read a story about a little prince guarding a rose. As an adult, I read a story about love. Similarly, I aspire to create work that speaks to children, but also carries greater wisdom so that it can be revisited later with greater insight. I wrote “The Little Blue Worm” as a tool to prevent bullying from an early age. My greater aspiration for my book is that the lessons learned can be referenced later on, as a teenager or even as an adult. I want people to keep it with them, pass it down, and cherish it.

  • Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

    Z. B. Sanders:
    Right now I have two books out and both were created differently. “Hands”, my first book, was created in a series of blog posts. I dedicated roughly fifteen minutes at least (longer if I was compelled by the story) towards my single post. After a good year, I pulled down the blog to create the book. This was a fun way to write because I had “followers.” In fact, while I wrote “Hands” I ran into readers on the street. I got instant feedback in knowing that it must be entertaining to have people following my online work.

    “The Little Blue Worm” was more or less an art project. Art is an activity I do to relax. I had a very stressful job when I developed “The Little Blue Worm.” I would use a couple hours on the weekends to create a couple of pages (while I put on some good music, or listened to a show). The important part of the creative process is that I let myself feel free. My illustrations carry a very childlike quality for this reason.
  • What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Z. B. Sanders: I was actually inspired by my children’s book, “The Little Blue Worm” to expand into the subject of bullying for an older crowd. I recently finished “Hollywood Park” by author Mikel Jollett, and found a new energy to revive a project I put on the back-burner. A while back, I was developing a fictional teen drama inspired by some of my life events. I lost focus on the project.

After taking a step back to reflect, especially when developing “The Little Blue Worm,” I feel inspired to add more on the topic of bullies. I feel it is essential that I add an educational message, greater lessons, inside of my work.

One of my inspirations in writing is Charles Dickens for creating work that inspires social changes. He picked the “have vs. have not” themes in order to shed light on social issues in a way that didn’t preach or condemn. In that way, he was “heard” by people who would not listen otherwise. Dickens simply wanted to show the world to itself and raise the question, “is this fair?” In that respect, writing that influences behavior should put the readers in the character’s shoes, then ask, “is it fair?” Writing provides us with a mirror in which we see ourselves in other people.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

    Z. B. Sanders:
    Purposely reiterating: Writing provides us with a mirror in which we see ourselves in other people.

“The Little Blue Worm” is a new take on the old tale, “The Ugly Duckling” to address bullying with an artistic twist. The Little Blue Worm is ridiculed for his inability to fly, connecting children to the discussion of bullying. Helpful as a read-aloud to create a safe learning environment, this book will make a great addition into any class or home library.

“The Little Blue Worm” is available as a print edition at Amazon.com.

For more information, please visit and follow Z. B. Sander’s Facebook page.

So, this is going to wrap up the blog tour for this year. I want to thank you, the reader, for stopping by and checking out these fantastic authors. There is still time to enter the $25 Amazon GC giveaway. It will still continue through the weekend, and the winner will be chosen on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. Click on the button below to enter. Giveaway is powered by Rafflecopter.

Until next year, keep reading, writing and please stay safe! Best wishes for a great year to all those teachers and students out there.

-Tiffany Turner

Head editor/writer for the Indie Children’s Authors Connection Blog

Day 4 of the 2021 Back to School Blog Tour: Lisa Carter

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Welcome to day four of the Back to School Blog Tour 2021. I have a fabulous author to introduce you to today. May I introduce, Lisa Carter.

At the age of fourteen, Lisa Carter was bitten by the writing bug. Now, she specializes in writing books about social issues within families. Her new book, “Brown Like Mommy” deals with a child learning to be happy in her own skin. I had the chance to ask Lisa Carter about her childhood reading memories, favorite author, and what future projects she has in store for us all.

Lisa Carter is the author of the children’s book, “Brown Like Mommy”.
  • What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Lisa Carter: Hiding a book under my pillow at night, waiting for everyone to go to sleep so I could enjoy reading it without interruptions. My highlight of the day was bedtime so I could read.

  • Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Lisa Carter: Judy Blume. She really influenced me to express myself without restrictions.

  • Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Lisa Carter: No, a writing routine doesn’t work for me. I tried it before but it feels forced. I never do well when I feel forced. My way of writing is just putting it on paper when it comes to my head.

  • What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Lisa Carter: I only write about social issues. In the future, I would like to write in the academic field.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Lisa Carter: Writing is taking the reality of my world and using my imagination to complement it.

“Brown Like Mommy” is a story where a child learns to be comfortable in her own skin. Kim has always wondered why she did not have brown skin like her mommy. It seemed unfair that her sister and brother had brown skin like her mommy. A lot of Kim’s friends had brown skin too. When Kim started school, she saw different shades of skin. It made her feel better until she saw the other kids’ parents. The kids at school had the same skin as their parents. After a series of events that made Kim sad, her father explained to Kim that her skin was beautiful because she had skin from both her mommy and daddy. Kim was now happy in her skin.

“Brown Like Mommy” is available at Amazon.com.

For more information, please visit Lisa Carter’s Website here.

Don’t forget you’ve got a couple more days to enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card. It’s a big thank you for stopping by and participating in the blog tour this year.

Hopefully, you’ve been able to find out about some fantastic new authors and their books. Please come back tomorrow for our last day of the Back to School Blog Tour. Until then, stay safe and please, wear a mask! -Mrs. Turner

Day 3 of the 2021 Back to School Blog Tour: Linda S. Gunther

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Welcome to Day 3 of the Back to School Blog Tour for 2021. I have another amazing, talented author to introduce you to today. Linda S. Gunther is an author that dabbles in many different genres. She writes romance, mystery and children’s books. I’ve met her through one of my writing groups, and I have been wanting to feature her for awhile on my blog.

Linda S. Gunther is the author of the children’s picture book, PANICKY POLLY.

Linda S. Gunther has been featured in numerous literary publications, and her passion for travel fuels her writing. She has six suspense novels with the most recent being DEATH IS A GREAT DISGUISER: A Santa Cruz Murder Mystery and three self-published illustrated children’s picture books. PANICKY POLLY is her most recent children’s book release that involves a girl dealing with anxiety as a child. I had the chance to talk to Linda about her inspirational authors, writing routine, advice for aspiring authors, and what future projects she has in store for us.

  1. Who is your favorite author from childhood? 

Linda S. Gunther: My fav children’s book author was Maurice Sendak. I loved Where The Wild Things Are ever since I can remember. When I was a primary school teacher in NYC, Santa Clara, California and in London, England, my “go to” children’s book was definitely this one, winner of the top honor – the Caldecott Award. I have to admit in London, I did also love reading The Berenstain Bears by Stan and Jan Berenstain. There is a series of these which was also made into an animated series.  

  1. Do you have a writing routine? Please explain your routine.

Linda S. Gunther: I’m going to be honest here. I’ve authored 6 suspense novels and 3 illustrated children’s books. I don’t have a writing routine. I write at odd times whenever I feel compelled to craft a character or build a story with twists and turns. It might take all day or be a few hours late at night. Like my adult fictional works, with my children’s stories I just get an idea, and go! 

I take a walk by the beach where I live and in my iPhone Notes app, I write notes and sometimes even dialogue related to what’s on my mind in terms of potential plot, action, or the underlying message that I think will help children grow and learn lessons about life.

For my latest children’s book, PANICKY POLLY, I imagined a little girl who panics about the little things that go wrong in her day to day life. She learns a little bit of yoga meditation which literally changed her life. I found a young artist in South Africa that crafted the illustrations that were in my head. I sent her photos of what could be made into art for each page.

When I wrote PANICKY POLLY, I had no idea that the pandemic was coming, but it turned out to be very apropos. Polly’s story can help children deal with little things and big things like the COVID pandemic. I published this book in February 2020. Unfortunately, my planned book events and signings were cancelled in schools and at bookshops.

  1. What advice would you give to aspiring authors? 

Linda S. Gunther: Write down the ideas swimming in your head that might make an interesting children’s story. Don’t let your ideas fade away. Wherever you are, whether waiting for a dental appointment, or in line at the grocery store, or sitting in a parking lot waiting for a friend – WRITE DOWN YOUR IDEA and a possible outline (bullet points work well) for the story (if it comes to you)! When you start doing this, like writing down your dreams in the morning, you will be amazed at the budding ideas you have for good stories. Also, pay attention to the news of the day because you may find something about an animal or child or a situation that is absolutely fascinating. DON’T LOSE IT! WRITE IT DOWN.

  1. What projects are you working on? 

Linda S. Gunther: Well, I have an idea for a story about a famous owl who is found in the Christmas tree that is being erected in Rockefeller Center in New York City. I’m thinking about writing that one, develop the character (Rocky) and give him a backstory and also feature an overall learning message, maybe: hopefulness no matter what the scenario. 

Also, I’ve been writing short stories (both fiction and personal essays), and lately, I’ve been getting my stories published in a variety of literary journals. It’s my new adventure. For example, I’m writing stories about growing up in the Bronx. I didn’t realize before that I really have a talent for writing stories about my real-life whether about my childhood or related to things that I experienced in my young 20’s or 30’s while traveling.

  1. What is writing to you in one sentence? 

Linda S. Gunther: I search for the soul in the story I’m aiming to tell and then write around it, fill it out. Some writers call it the “through line.”

PANICKY POLLY is an honest and forthright story to help children deal with their own anxiety. Polly is a young girl that panics at the little things in life. If something goes wrong, she goes into a panic. It gets so bad for her that she has trouble sleeping and eating. Her family, teachers and friends all try to warn her off of panicking, but it takes the kind words of Mr. Chang, the local vegetable store owner to give her the valuable advice to ease her panic attacks. His advice leads to the golden secret to end all her panicking. Share this story with children having similar anxiety to help them learn the golden rule and deal with anxiety. This is a book many parents may wish they had as a child.

PANICKY POLLY is available in print edition at Amazon.com.

For more information on Linda Gunther and her other books, please visit her website here.

Don’t forget to enter the $25 Amazon Gift Card giveaway going on right now during the blog tour.

You’re welcome to come back each day to enter the giveaway and find out about the new featured author of the day. I hope all the students, teachers and parents are enjoying this unusual and eventful return to school this year. Please stay safe and wear a mask. Until tomorrow, -Mrs. Turner