Author Archives: Tiffany Turner

About Tiffany Turner

I am a teacher by day, writer during the evening and weekends. I've written a children's fantasy series called the Crystal Keeper Chronicles. I've learned a lot as an Independent author. I want to share that now through blog posts, interviewing fellow authors, and reviewing other children's books. If you don't see it out there, build the blog yourself. I'm hoping to create a resource for people to find quality children's books that don't always fall along the lines of mainstream.

Interview with Tracy Kauffman

Standard
tracy5

Tracy Kauffman is the author of the book “Captain Honey Bear”.

Here is a sweet, caring fairy tale story to start off the year, and I’d like to introduce you to the author, Tracy Kauffman. Tracy has written a beginning chapter book called Captain Honey Bear. It’s an adventurous tale in which Papa Honey Bear learns to be the superhero of the forest. I had a chance to talk to Tracy about her favorite memories reading as a child, her writing routine, and what future projects she has planned for us.

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

Tracy Kauffman: My favorite memory was reading Alice in Wonderland. I loved the characters and the way they seemed to come to life through this book.

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

Tracy Kauffman: My writing routine is pretty much that I have a basic idea of what the book will be about and brainstorm ideas before writing.

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

Tracy Kauffman: I would like to continue a series of books started from this first book: Captain Honey Bear.

captainhoneybearcoverCaptain Honey Bear is caught stealing honey from a bee’s nest and is sentenced to start helping as the forest superhero. His first assignment, find Squirrel Goldie Locks that has been kidnapped. Captain Honey Bear is off to the rescue, having to face challenges that will turn his grumpy self into a superhero.

Captain Honey Bear is available at Amazon.com.

 

Advertisements

Interview with Family Traditions Children’s Book Author Margaretta James

Standard

Got someone in the family with tattoos? Well, here is a great gift idea! Plus, it’s a great way to share something that is becoming more of a passed down tradition. I was able to interview Margaretta James, the author of the book “Mummy and Daddy Have Matching Tattoos”. Margaretta is a teacher and writer. She likes to focus her writing on contemporary family issues. I had a chance to sit down and talk with her about her memories of reading as a child, subjects should would like to explore in her writing, and what writing means to her.

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

Margaretta James: I loved it when my mother would spend all afternoon reading traditional tales to us.

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

Margaretta James: I am currently working on my novel set in the Australian outback. It is slowly taking shape; however, I keep getting new ideas for children’s picture books!

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Margaretta James: Writing is a compulsion and a joy. I become so immersed that days fly by!

bookcovertattoos2amazon“Mummy and Daddy Have Matching Tattoos” is a rhyming book about the weird and wonderful tattoos in a little girl’s family. Where is Aunt Sue’s secret tattoo? And of course, it all ends up with the little girl joining in the tradition and getting her own tattoo. But what will it be?

“Mummy and Daddy Have Matching Tattoos” is available at Amazon. It will also be on sale for FREE this weekend only, January 19-23.

 

First Interview of 2019: Helen Gibbs Pohlot

Standard

I enjoy a good pet or animal story. Here is a good one for you to start your child’s 2019 reading list. Lucky’s Will is an inspirational book based on a true story. The author of this extraordinary tale is Helen Gibbs Pohlot. Helen was a reporter for more than fifteen years before she started writing children’s books. She uses telling stories to her son as inspiration and lives with her family in Pennsylvania. I was able to interview Helen about her writing process and what writing means to her.

1) Do you have a writing routine? Share what works with you.
Helen Gibbs Pohlot: My routine is to write at least 2000 words a day. Consistency works.

2) What subject would you like to write about in future projects?
Helen Gibbs Pohlot: I want to write a fabulous series with interesting characters involved in thrilling situations as they travel around the world.

3) What is writing to you in on sentence?
Helen Gibbs Pohlot: Writing to me is an expression from the heart that informs, entertains and comforts the reader.

a new luckys willLucky’s Will tells the story of a dog who is stranded outside their rural home in the bitter cold and snow after her owner dies suddenly. Lucky survives for 18 days guarding her beloved Will. When rescue arrives, Lucky faces an uncertain future until a young boy stands up and fights for her life.

Lucky’s Will is available at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07LGFZYFV

Author of Middle Grade Mystery Series: Interview with Stacy Bourns

Standard

If you want a good mystery series to give for Christmas this year, I’ve found one. As Cold As Charity is the new installment in the Ghost Club Mystery series. This weekend, Dec. 15 & 16 only, it will be free on Amazon! I was lucky to be able to interview the author, Stacy Bourns on her childhood memories, her favorite author, and what she plans for future projects.

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

Stacy Bourns: My love of books started early in life, so I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a book in my hand. I can still recall the night I began reading The Hobbit, though. I was in bed in my bedroom, which thanks to the slanted ceiling, was particularly cozy. As I read about Bilbo’s adventures, I listened to the Commodore’s Greatest Hits on my cassette player – this tells you how long ago it was! So now, whenever I hear one of the Commodore’s songs, I always think of The Hobbit and that carefree time in my life.

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

Stacy Bourns: One of my favorite authors is Maud Hart Lovelace who wrote about her own early 19th century childhood and coming of age in her Besty-Tacy series. My aunt, writer Barbara Bartholomew, gave me the first book of the series, and from that moment on, I was smitten. These books are dear to me, because I grew up alongside Lovelace’s protagonist Betsy. Because her writing is so vivid and nostalgic, it almost felt like I was part of Lovelace’s family. Books have so much to offer to a growing child—companionship, adventure, and guidance—and as I wrote my middle elementary Ghost Club series, I hoped to provide many of the same experiences for my own readers. In my most recent Ghost Club book, As Cold As Charity, the young protagonist is struggling with her parent’s possible divorce.

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

Stacy Bourns: I have one more Ghost Club book in mind, but I am also working on a YA Book about a young woman who travels to Great Britain to learn more about her English roots. Since I adore paranormal fantasy, my protagonist will of course find herself encountering the paranormal. To me, there’s no better way to represent the challenge of growing up than with monsters. In a way, the imaginative act of slaying a monster is psychologically easier than say, dealing with family dysfunction, bullies, or any number of problems that children and teens experience. Ultimately, a monster is just a symbol of a problem that feels insurmountable. And, the most satisfying thing about fiction is that most of the time, the hero defeats the monster and saves the day.

ascoldascharityAs Cold As Charity is the third book in the Ghost Club series. The Ghost Club girls are investigating another case. This time at a luxury inn where sinister laughter is heard, a self-playing piano, and ghostly cries of a child are scaring customers away. They soon discover that they may have taken on more than they can handle and will have to rely on their strength, sleuthing power, and paranormal experience to save themselves.

As Cold As Charity will be free Dec. 15-16 at Amazon.com. It is a Kindle Unlimited title.

Interview with Storytime YouTube Channel Host: Mr. Whiskers

Standard

storytime I have discovered a darling YouTube channel that features a puppet cat narrator named Mr. Whiskers. He takes you into the world of children’s books, narrating picture books while turning the pages with his paw. It’s a great way to get a child interested in reading and expose them to MORE BOOKS! Plus, authors may submit their books to be read out loud on the channel. In the interview below, Mr. Whiskers answers questions about reading as a young kitten, how authors can apply to have their books read, and what you will find when you tune into the YouTube Storytime Channel.

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

Mr. Whiskers: I would have to say my fondest memory would be snuggling up under the covers and have my grandmother cat read me my favorite stories.

  • Why did you start the Storytime YouTube Channel?

Mr. Whiskers: I wanted to recapture that feeling I had as a kitten when being read to. I felt that with my sense of creativity and flair for animation and video editing, I could create a format that would be fun and entertaining for children.

Children who tune into our chow will be able to enjoy stories read by myself, the lovable stuffed-animal host, Mr. Whiskers. I read the new weekly stories. So, there’s always a new story to enjoy.

  • How could an author submit their picture book to be read on the channel?

Mr. Whiskers: Authors looking to have their children’s story featured on our channel may submit their story to us for consideration. We can be contacted at http://storytimewithmrwhiskers.com for more information.

Storytime LogoThe Storytime YouTube Channel is a free weekly program that is a great way to get your child into the spirit of reading. Children can listen to the book being read, follow along with the pages of the picture book on screen, and can help with read alouds in the classroom. Each turn of Mr. Whisker’s paw brings alive the read aloud experience for any child.

You can find the Storytime Channel at YouTube HERE! 

For more information about the channel or how to submit your book, please visit the website here: https://www.storytimewithmrwhiskers.com/.

 

 

A Christmas Surprise: Interview with Kimberly McDonald

Standard
KimberlyMcDonald

Kimberly McDonald is the author of the picture book Child Of A Firefighter.

The Holidays are approaching, and if you are looking for gift ideas for your special little one, I’ve got a great inspirational picture book for you. It is called Child Of A Firefighter and is written by the fabulous author Kimberly McDonald. I had a chance to talk to Kimberly about her childhood memories of reading, what it’s like to be a writer, and what she has in store for us next in her upcoming projects.

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

Kimberly McDonald: My favorite memory from reading as a child was the excitement I would get when pretending I was the characters. It felt like reading a good book was like watching a good movie. It broadens the imagination and made it feel like I was in another world. This is the impact that I would like to have on others when they are reading my books.

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

Kimberly McDonald: As a teen growing up, my favorite author was Bebe Moore Campbell who wrote the book Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine. She has a real talent for painting visual pictures with her captivating story telling abilities.

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

Kimberly McDonald: I don’t really have a writing routine. I use everything around me for inspiration. I must admit that I find writing at night more enjoyable.

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

Kimberly McDonald: In the future, I would love to write a suspense novel since it’s also the genre I enjoy reading. But we will see.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Kimberly McDonald: Writing to me means the freedom of expression. It’s a world of no limits. I write because I enjoy creating and “to think is to create”.

Child0FirefighterChild Of A Firefighter is a journey of a boy named Andrew with his Dad. His Dad is a firefighter. Through Andrew’s eyes, we see his Dad’s career and how Andrew can view things positively about it with the help of his mother. It’s sometimes hard, and we see the ups and downs for the whole family. This is a great book for anyone in the firefighting community and to teach others to show what it is like to be a part of and supportive of this enduring career.

Child Of A Firefighter is available at Amazon.com.

For more information on Kimberly McDonald, please visit her website at:

www.mcdonaldcreate.com.

A Thanksgiving Surprise: Interview with Carey Azzara

Standard
Carey A's head photo

Carey Azzara is the author of the picture book, Ready Or Not, Here I come!

With Thanksgiving around the corner, it’s time to start thinking of Holiday gift ideas. I was able to interview a wonderful author, Carey Azzara, and find out about his new book, Ready Or Not, Here We Come! It’s a beautiful picture book that will make a great gift for your little someone. Mr. Azzara has had ups and downs in life, with the loss of his little sister when he was sixteen, two graduate degrees, and a career in public health. It’s these twists and turns that have lead to many of his stories. I had a chance to sit down and find out about Carey Azzara’s childhood memories, favorite authors growing up, and what future plans he has for us.

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

Carey Azzara: Who remembers that far back? LOL One of our neighbors liked to read with me. We read stories about pirates and swashbucklers – I loved it and the extra attention he gave me. Thanks Mr. Mullvahill! I remember his large hands, strong but kind, he was a union man. His love of reading helped me change from a kid who hated to read to one who enjoyed it. 

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

Carey Azzara: My favorite author has always been Mark Twain. He taught me the meaning of a “good lie” and the value of friendship. His brilliant dialogue inspired me.

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

Carey Azzara: Most of the time I write in the mornings after a good strong cup of coffee, my wife brews the best coffee. And again in the evening after dinner and before I walk the dog one last time for the night. But I also have bursts of inspiration, you know, when the muse seems to flow through me –that’s fun. 

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

Carey Azzara: I am writing a series of books for kids in 4th – 8th grade titled, Heidi’s Hounds. I decided that after writing a short children’s book in honor of my first grandchild titled Ready or Not, Here We Come!, writing for kids would be a worthwhile endeavor. I like to write stories about people and animals and the next project will be another series of stories about Halley [a character in on of my novelettes] and her adventures in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico—Halley has a gift that makes her extraordinary. 

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Carey Azzara: The joy of sharing my stories with readers and touching the lives of people I might not otherwise ever encounter.

ready-or-notCarey Azzara’s book, Ready or Not, Here We Come!, is a journey of little Leona and her dogs. While her parents are out, Leona decides to try to stay busy by playing hide and seek. But now the dogs must find her. But what could happen next? Find out in Ready Or Not, Here I Come!, a great gift for the Holidays.

Ready or Not, Here We Come! is available at Amazon .com. This is a Kindle Unlimited title.  https://amzn.to/2Q6uRgq.

For more information on Carey Azzara, please visit his website at: www.careyazzara.com.

A Belated Trick or Treat: Interview with David Lee Ross

Standard

I hope you have enjoyed your Halloween Trick or Treats, and are ready for a last minute treat. I had the chance to talk to David Lee Ross, the author of the book, Clayton’s Mackintosh. It’s a magical fantasy adventure available on Amazon. I talked to Mr. Ross about his favorite authors, subjects he’d like to take on, and his writing process.

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

David Lee Ross: My favorite author by rights is Shaun Hutson. Although I am a children’s writer, I have always been a great fan of horror, funnily enough.

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

David Lee Ross: Well, I have written other genres, but what works for me with my children’s books is picking images and writing them. I find it easier to extend upon an already baked idea.

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

David Lee Ross: Well, I have already written what I want in a few genres including horror, a cocktail book, and a cookery book, but my favorite is children’s books and Clayton’s Mackintosh is one of my favourites. It reminds me of the stories I used to tell my children, nephews and nieces when they were small, which one of the reasons I started to write children’s books.

Clayton's MackintoshClayton’s Mackintosh is a magical adventure in which Clayton challenges demons with nothing but his trusty Mac. With the help of football and basketball stars, Clayton must win at several sports challenges against the evil demon to save the day. It is available on Amazon.

For more information on David Lee Ross, visit his Amazon Author Page.

 

 

 

 

 

Write Your Own Spooky Story For Halloween

Standard
halloween

Write your own Spooky Story this weekend, Oct. 26-31.

Each year, I would teach a unit on how to write you’re own spooky story to my class. Since my semi-retirement, I’ve posted the whole process over a 6 day period. Now, you can follow the same plan and create you’re own spooky story.

Here are the links to each step in the process. You can write your story over the next 6 days ending on Halloween, or take each step faster.

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

If you’re a teacher and would like this entire unit to teach your class, here is the link for the Spooky Story Unit on TeachersPayTeachers.

Pumperthumb

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner

Also, I have a Halloween Picture Book, Pumper the Pumpkin, that is available on Amazon that was my own spooky story when I was a kid. It is only $0.99! Check it out start out your Halloween weekend. Great for young kids that are going to be carving pumpkins this weekend. 😉

This was my own spooky story that I wrote at the age of 10 in 5th grade, back in the day. I have since updated it and drew my own illustrations, but the core and idea was written when I was ten. I enjoyed creating my own Pumper the Pumpkin carvings and designs for several years after I wrote the story. In fact, I still do. 😉

Have fun and stay safe this Halloween! -Mrs. Turner

 

 

Interview with Daniel Rappaport, Author of The Spellbook

Standard
daniel_l_rappaport_formal_headshot

Daniel Rappaport is the author of the multi-media interactive children’s book, The Spellbook.

I am pleased to introduce the author Daniel Rappaport. He has come up with an inspiring new book, The Spellbook. It combines multi-media with a children’s story so the reader can experience a collection of “spells” thought of by the wizards in the world of two other books, The Legend of Rose and Spark the Flying Frog.

Daniel Rappaport has over twenty-five years working in the multimedia industry and has worked for companies such as Disney, MGM and Fox. He has received the Lieca Photographie International Master Shot Gallery Acceptance. He recently has worked on the film “Wild” that received two Academy Award nominations.

I had the chance to talk with Daniel about his childhood memories and inspiration, a shared appreciation for the role model Walt Disney, and what he has planned as future projects.

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

Daniel Rappaport: My favorite memory is being totally caught up and swept away in the book The Neverending Story.

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

Daniel Rappaport: Walt Disney. While not a traditional book author, he has influenced me more than anybody else. His boundless imagination and forward thinking perspective are very close to my heart.

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

Daniel Rappaport: Not really. I am not one of those who is constantly writing . I tend to think of my work on a more project by project basis.

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

Daniel Rappaport: I am going to do a rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. This will not be a book, but a way to tell the tale, utilizing technology, in a new and fresh format.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Daniel Rappaport: It’s the process of taking imaginative thoughts, organizing them and putting them down on paper, in a compelling way.

  • What are some of your hobbies or what you like to do in your spare time?

Daniel Rappaport: I am a really big foodie, actually. I enjoy cooking. I love keeping up with the food world, and seeing what the latest and greatest is. My favorite kind of food is French haute cuisine. I really appreciate the time, dedication and craft that goes into those detailed, fabulous meals.

  • When you were a child, what would spark your imagination?

Daniel Rappaport: Wow. That was a really, really long time ago, lol! I suppose, many things. So, I think that I got into the industry that I am in, because I totally (and still do) enjoyed watching those wonderful “making of” videos, as they related to film. I always marveled at how special effects were and are created. That also led me into studying magic (which took up a tremendous amount of my childhood). I performed stage illusions, and still do magic today.

  • What were the things that attracted you to Walt Disney as a role model?

Daniel Rappaport: Oh gosh. Countless things. I’ve only more recently discovered this, but he was actually homeless three times. His extraordinary and vastly far reaching imagination, I have always been drawn towards. He never settled for less than the absolute best, and always hired the best.

He instinctively knew what people wanted to go and see, and he just have it to them. He moved every industry he ever touched (weather directly or indirectly) light years forward. Another strong point was diversity. Did you know that he played an extremely valuable role in ending WWII? There was hardly an industry that the man didn’t touch.

I wish that, for today, the company would’ve continued to follow his lead, as it related to the future. Walt was interested in rocketry, outer space, the betterment of humanity through technology, etc. Disney hardly does any of that today.

Well…

More for Pazzaria Productions to do!

  • Tell me about the “The Spellbook”. What gave you the idea to do a book with the multimedia tie-ins?

Daniel Rappaport: So, while the Spellbook is the first in the series, it was actually the last to be written. There are two more. Part 2 is called Spark the Flying Frog and part 3 is called The Legend of the Lost Rose. They get progressively longer. TLOTLR was actually the first to be written. Then, STFF and finally TSB. STFF, at the time, was written because prequels were very popular.

When it was tie to write TSB, when looking at my array of products, I really wanted to come up with a solid, core foundation for the company. This led to writing TSB. The full, touch screen animations are inspired by the other two works. I thought that it would be interesting to have the text from the iBook appear as one progressively touches the screen (as opposed to the animated images that are in the other two works).

In terms of the music, I have ever only seen a soundtrack for a book one time in my life, and this was before the internet. It was on CD.

I love to write music, and it is such an important part of entertainment. Also, Pazzaria Productions was lacking any musical soundtrack of any kind. This was the perfect opportunity to write one. It would introduce my guests to what we can do, musically. It’s in 5.1 surround sound also, and also adds to our core product line.

There wasn’t really one thing that gave me this idea, other than the fact that I love to constantly experiment and do things in a new and fresh way.

  • What advice can you offer aspiring young writers and artists?

Daniel Rappaport: Practice your craft until you feel that you have mastered it. Never stop learning. Be extremely curious about everything. Curiosity is what led me to learn about so many different arenas of entertainment.

Unless you have an extraordinary deal form a publishing company brought over to you on a silver platter, I actually wouldn’t go through the traditional query letter + agent route, to get a book published?

Why?

Within the same amount of time that you would be doing that, you could be reaching out to your own audience, directly. Later on, after you have built up a solid foundation and legacy, and can show an audience who will even purchase your work, THEN, you MIGHT have some bargaining power.

Do your absolute best to not have people take advantage of you. If you are gifted enough to showcase many different skills, and utilize many of them in a job situation, tactfully mention that you are different than the other artists around, and perhaps might command a different rate in pay/salary.

Good luck out there, and all the best!

The_Spellbook_Cover _A_HubDaniel Rappaport’s book The Spellbook is part one of the innovative, epic fantasy entertainment iBook series that revolves around the book, The Legend of the Lost Rose. The Spellbook is a collection of spells created by wizards in the world of Light. It has an integrated sound track, a tie-in to the books “The Legend of the Lost Rose” and “Spark the Flying Frog”. It extends the world experience by connecting the reader to what they buy, see, wear, eat or touch in the World of Light. It also connects you to other people in the realm.

The Spellbook is available at this link HERE.

For more information on Daniel Rappaport and Pazzaria Productions, visit his website HERE.