Category Archives: author interviews

Interview with Davide Amante

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“The Guardian of the Stars – The Journey of Anais with the Wind” is the newest release from award winning author, Davide Amante.

I love searching high and low for books that are inspirational and have a girl protagonist. I think I’ve found a hidden gem emerging from the European book market by celebrated award winning author, Davide Amante. Many things have led to his recent book release. With a background of studying at American and Italian schools, traveling extensively, and teaching modern literature, he has crafted already four brilliant novels.

His new book, “The Guardian of the Stars –The Journey of Anais with the Wind” is reminiscent of “The Little Prince” with a girl leading the adventure. I had the opportunity to ask Davide Amante about his childhood reading memories, author influences, and what future writing projects he has in store for us.

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

Davide Amante: I remember reading Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows and de Saint-Exupery’s Little Prince in the hot summer afternoons, on an old chair in the backyard of my grandfather’s summerhouse on a small island. From the backyard you could barely catch sight of the sea, but with the hot wind came all the anticipation of the summer and its unexpected hours.

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

Davide Amante: I loved so much reading that there really was no favorite author. Every author seemed to me to unveil a world so big and so boundless that really every author seemed to me to hold the secret of life.

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

Davide Amante: I write three or four hours a day, the rest of the time is what happens before actually writing: it is observation and inspiration.

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

Davide Amante:  I didn’t expect the success “The Guardian of the Stars – the journey of Anais with the Wind” is having. It all began as a tale I told every night before going to sleep to my children. At one point, I realized it was becoming a novel and I wrote it. Although I don’t usually write for children, I am certainly thinking of another book like this.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Davide Amante: It is the only way I know to express what I feel inside.

“The Guardian of the Stars- The Journey of Anais with the Wind” is an incredible journey of a girl connected to nature and driven by the wind. The wind leads her through a Forest of Talking Trees, connects her with a wolf, and helps her connect with the deserted island that she shares with her grandfather that works as a lighthouse keeper.

The summer the wind arrives is the turning point in her life. The wind helps guide her to see the other side of things, leads her to learn about loneliness, connects her with emotions, and points her in the direction of how to live. It’s a charming and powerful story of finding the essence in life and growing up.

“The Guardian of the Stars-The Journey of Anais with the Wind” is available at Amazon.com.

Book Trailer:

For more information on the author Davide Amante, please visit his website here.

Interview with Rachelle Nones

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One thing I like to highlight is a unique book that can be used in any teacher’s curriculum or for home schooling. I think I’ve found such a book from a fabulous author.

Rachelle Nones is a multimedia writer, editor and a trained storm spotter.

She used her expertise to create a wonderful book for those that love to weather watch and learn about meteorology. Her book, In the Sky, is a great read for anyone who wants to teach about clouds, tornados, storms and our ever-changing weather. I had the chance to talk to her about her childhood reading memories, her writing routine, and what writing means to her.

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

Rachelle Nones: As a child, I read poetry, science fiction, animal and adventure stories, and mystery and detective novels like The Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot by Robert Arthur Jr. I loved to visit the local library and wore out my library card from using it so much!

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

Rachelle Nones: As a freelance writer, I typically work on contract writing projects. I work remotely and get to set my own routine, which varies according to the project. I prefer to start working early in the morning because that’s when my energy level is high.

3) What is writing to you in one sentence?

Rachelle Nones: Writing is like wrestling a tornado.

In the Sky is a book to help readers understand the ever-changing weather. With creative illustrated rhyming content, it includes a range of cloud facts, cloud-related quotations, resource links to cloud-related poetry, songs, science projects and more. This book will make a great addition to any weather science unit and is ideal for readers grades 5 and up.

In The Sky is available on Amazon.com. This is a Kindle Unlimited title. It is also available as a premium color paperback edition.

For more information on Rachelle Nones, please visit her website at her Amazon Author Page.

Interview with Ron Crouch

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Ron Crouch is the author of the Beyond Belief series. The second book in the series, “Beyond Belief: The Adventure of Zombie Island” will release on March 31, 2021. Pre-orders available now.

I am a sucker for a good zombie book. I also remember teaching all the different genres when I was a teacher. October was the “Spooky” genre month, but I found many students reading them all year long. If you have a child that enjoys the “Spooky” or horror fiction genre, I think I’ve found the right author for you.

Ron Crouch is a child psychologist that loves to write and help kids critically think. He is writing a series of middle grade novels and the second will be released on March 31. With a love of fantasy as a kid, he brings alive a gripping and humorous world kids can get lost in. I had the chance to talk to Ron Crouch about his childhood reading memories, favorite author, writing routines and what projects he has planned in the future.

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

Ron Crouch: My favorite memory from reading as a child was the joy of stumbling onto a really good series and realizing that there were many more books to read.

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

Ron Crouch: I loved Lloyd Alexander and I read every book he published. I finished them sometime between the ages of eight and fourteen. When I took up writing myself, I found that although my settings and characters are very different, and my use of language in much more modern, I still had the same love for quests, adventures, and tall tales.

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

Ron Crouch: I work as a child psychologist during the day, so my writing routine starts early, usually before 5AM. I try to fit in all my writing before I leave for work at the hospital each day. Luckily, I’m an early bird by nature and find that I am most creative in the hours before the sun rises.

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

Ron Crouch: The Beyond Belief book series is for middle grade readers, and I would like to finish the series with five books. But beyond that I would like to write nonfiction for parents. In particular I would like to help parents in their efforts to teach their children how to think critically in our current misinformation age.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Ron Crouch: For me, writing is a way of contacting like-minded people and offering them a sense of belonging in a world that might not value them and support them.

“Beyond Belief: The Adventure of Zombie Island” is Ghost Adventures meets the Goonies. Kenai is an ordinary kid that just happens to be a paranormal investigator. With his sidekick Tinkerbell, an AI drone, he has gone after ghosts in a haunted theater, run from herds of jackalopes, and gotten lost in underground bunkers. But in this book two of the series, he finds himself somewhere he’d never imagine: stuck selling door-to-door products for the Happy Day pyramid scheme. But there seems to be something wrong with the company. Can he find out what is behind the sinister business before the zombie thugs find him?

“Beyond Belief: The Adventure of Zombie Island” is the second book in the Beyond Belief series. It is available starting on March 31, 2021 and is currently on pre-order at Amazon.com.

If you’d like to start the Beyond Belief series with book one in preparation for the release of book two, here is the link to it. Start with “Beyond Belief: The Adventure Begins” HERE.

Both titles are in the Kindle Unlimited program.

For more information on Ron Crouch and his other projects, please visit his website at:

https://raisingaskepticalkid.com/.

Interview with Lia Ginno

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I always like to look high and low for new, interesting children’s authors. I really do love it when I find a new children’s fantasy author. She has a background in children’s development that gives her books that extra insight to support children.

Let me introduce you to Lia Ginno. Her unique, fantasy books deal with characters struggling to fit into normal and realizing often that they are fine the way they are. Her newest picture book, “Turmeric and Magic”, deals with a dragon trying to find her magic.

I had the chance to talk with Lia Ginno about her childhood reading, favorite author, and what writing means to her.

What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Lia Ginno:  I loved going into another world.

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

Lia Ginno: I loved Enid Byton’s, Secret Seven series and Famous Five series. I think I was at an age when I could imagine such adventures with friends. I remember I had a group of friends and an old tumbledown building as our headquarters for a ‘secret club.’ Unfortunately we never ‘lived’ the adventures in the books, but we all read them. They inspired my imagination and the first book and a play, I ever wrote, was when I was twelve. Also, a local reporter in an interview compared my first Legend book to one of EB’s books. So, she had more of an influence than I realized.

What is writing to you in one sentence?

Lia Ginno: A book is a dream you hold in your hand as imagination, problem solves, and creates everything on earth.

“Turmeric and Magic” is a picture book that deals with the diversity in all of us. Tumeric is different from other dragons. She cannot fly and is allergic to fire and smoke. She dreams to be like other dragons. Being an avid reader, she discovers that there is a book that will teach you magic if you are determined to find it. She begins a journey to find the book. Will following her dreams lead her to the book? Can it help her magic to appear? This delightfully illustrated picture book will enchant and help children explore their unique differences that can turn into inner strength.

“Turmeric and Magic” is available at Amazon.com. This book is a Kindle Unlimited title. Links to Amazon.co.uk Kindle sales here.

For more information on Lia Ginno, visit her at her FB page here.

Interview for Kevin Asla

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Kevin Asla is the author of the new picture book, “When Fitch Lost Summer”.

If you have a child that loves fantasy, look no further. I’d like to introduce you to Kevin Asla. He’s a children’s picture book author that illustrates and writes his own books. He grew up in London surrounded by his mother’s books. Having studied under an ex-Disney illustrator, he wishes to bring what he has learned to his work. His new book, “When Fitch Lost Summer” reflects the magic he brings into his books as the illustrator and writer.

I had the chance to talk to Kevin Asla about his reading memories, favorite authors, and what future projects he has in store for us.

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

Kevin Asla: My mother would get me books every day, so it’s hard to pick a favourite moment.


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

Kevin Asla: My influence comes more from the storytelling found in video games like Spyro the Dragon.


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

Kevin Asla: I tend to write stories by primarily using storyboards and refining dialogue once the main action of the scene has been set up. I have the whole stories skeleton pretty much clear in my head and then storyboard chunks, a few pages at a time, with some place holder dialogue and then go back in and lock down the words.


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

Kevin Asla: I am currently finishing the “When Fitch Lost Summer” series, but after that, I would like to write a more educational book about Vikings.

5) What is writing to you in one sentence?

Kevin Asla: Writing is story-telling, presenting viewers with a fantasy and hope they enjoy it.

“When Fitch Lost Summer” is a charming fantasy about a Fox looking for a Lost World of Summer. Fox wakes up in the mysterious Land of Autumn. Where did Summer go? Fitch sets off to look for Summer. Along the way, he encounters new friends and strange, magical things. But will it be enough to get him back to Summer?

“When Fitch Lost Summer” is available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com.

Ebooks are also available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com.

For more information on Kevin Asla, please visit his website at kevinasla.com.

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Interview with Chris Lewis

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Chris Lewis was kind enough to write a guest blog post on engaging young readers already on my blog. Today, I will be introducing you to this fabulous British author, and to the new book, Jax and Sheba Get Messy. I had the chance to ask Chris Lewis about current projects, what it’s like to write a book, and all about Jax and Sheba.

1) What are you currently working on?

Chris Lewis:  I’m playing around with some ideas for another children’s picture book series, Jax and Sheba.  For the older reader, I am toying with the idea of an Artificial Intelligence thriller in the long term.

2) How long does it take you to write a book?

Chris Lewis: That’s like asking how long is a piece of string. My longest book took three years and my shortest took six months. I usually need to go through several versions until I am ready.

3) What is your latest book about?

Chris Lewis: Jax and Sheba Get Messy is the first in a series about best friends Jax and Sheba. Jax is a floor-cleaning robot who loves to zoom, and Sheba, a cat who likes to point. They live at the edge of a faraway forest in a distant world with their good friend, Velo, a dinosaur dance teacher. This short 500-word story is designed to be a fun read for little ones to read to or read by themselves.

Book Blurb for Jax and Sheba Get Messy

At the edge of the forest in a distant world, live two best friends, Jax and Sheba. Velo is their dinosaur friend that teaches dance. Jax is a floor-cleaning robot that loves to zoom while Sheba is an ever-ready practical cat that likes to point. Together, they make an odd team. But what happens when Jax wants to clean too much? Will the two be able to work together again? This humorous story will make a great read-aloud for school or home. Help your child understand that it’s okay to take a break.

Recommended for ages 3 – 5.

Jax and Sheba Get Messy is available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com. **Ebook available now. Paperback edition releases on March 16, 2021. Pre-order available!

Please visit Chris Lewis’s website to find out more information about Jax and Sheba.

For a look at the guest blog article, “Tips to Encourage Children to Read” by Chris Lewis, follow this link!

Interview with Eva and Amaira Deotale

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Eva and Amaira Deotale are the co-authors of the children’s book “Short Stories: By the Children, For the Children”.

During these cold winter months, it’s good to have some inspiration to brighten the days ahead. I’ve found a delightful, twin duo that writes their own short stories to encourage other children to read and write. Their names are Eva and Amaira Deotale. They’re six years old and live in the United Kingdom. Eva loves to sing and tell stories influenced from nature. Amaira loves puzzles, drama and is a keen observer. Together, they love to spend time in the garden and take long walks.

Their current book, “Short Stories: By the Children, For the Children” is a collection of children-written fables. I had the chance to speak with both the girls about their favorite reading memories, authors and future writing projects.

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

Eva and Amaira Deotale: Our favorite book memory is reading and listening to “The Giant of Jum” book by Elli Woollard. This book is one of our favorite because it’s a rhyming book with a twist – the giant in this book likes children and is very friendly.

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

Eva and Amaira Deotale: Dr. Suess, Julia Donaldson. We love their storytelling and each story has a message.

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

Eva and Amaira Deotale: Our next book will be another short story book with funny creatures and a message on disability inclusion. Our latest venture, beingpurple.co.uk, is all about empowering people with disabilities.

“Short Stories: By the Children, For the Children” is a great collection of wonderfully illustrated short stories for children. Written by children, it is relative to kids and can help teach morals and values. These eight easy-to-read fables make great read-alouds in the classroom and short stories to read together at bedtime. Stories include themes of inclusion, courage, learning and exploring, and the lesson to never give up. Give the gift of values to any child.

“Short Stories: By the Children, For the Children” is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

For more information on the authors Eva and Amaira Deotale, please visit their website here.

Interview for Tracy Clinton

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With all this time at home, it may be hard to teach social skills or even reorganize some kind of normal for your family. I have found a fabulous author that might be able to help.

Tracy Clinton is the author of the children’s book, “Miss Tracy’s, I Need Screen Time”.

Tracy Clinton is a parenting coach with many years experience. Combined with her teaching background, she has come up with a fabulous new way to teach skills for growing up. Through literature, children and parents work together to teach new life skills. In her first book, “Miss Tracy’s, I Need Screen Time”, she has written a story that will teach a successful way to help your child balance their chores with their screen time.

I had the chance to chat with Tracy Clinton about her childhood reading memories, favorite author and influences, and what writing means to her.

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

Tracy Clinton:
In kindergarten, my school library had a treehouse built inside that went all the way up to the ceiling. It was full of pillows and it felt huge at the time. Once a week the teachers would pair us up with an older child that would read to us and that’s when we could climb up into that glorious treehouse. It felt so magical, to listen to fairytales and feel like I was living in one at the same time.

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

Tracy Clinton:
When it comes to children’s books, I would have to say, Marcus Pfister. The Rainbow Fish was my favorite book as a child. Not only was it shiny and beautiful, but it taught an amazing lesson about finding joy in giving. I feel that it’s important to teach children lessons that will benefit them throughout their lives. Using children’s books is a great way to send them positive messages that will stick with them forever.

3) What is writing to you in one sentence?

Tracy Clinton:
Writing is creating alternate worlds, so others can find lessons and joy in them.

“Miss Tracy’s, I Need Screen Time!” is a book designed to be read with your child to help introduce the use of time allowance charts. Tristan doesn’t like doing his chores. He wants to spend all his time playing video games and watching videos. His mom is frustrated, and takes away his screen time. Tristan is super upset, and makes a wish for his screen time back. Suddenly, Miss Tracy appears. Will Tristan be able to follow what task he must do to get his screen time back?

“Miss Tracy’s, I Need Screen Time!” is available at Amazon.com.

For more information on Tracy Clinton, visit her author’s page here.

Interview with Valerie Anne Hudson

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One of my favorite books I read in 5th grade was called “Half Magic” by Edward Eager. I think it’s one of the books that drew me into fantasy as a kid. So, I’ve always been intrigued by wishing magic stories. I think I’ve found a great one to read aloud to your class or have your youngster dive into during this pandemic. Reading is such a great escape and distraction, as well as building literary skills. I think I’ve been doing more reading since the lockdowns started back in March 2020. So, this is the perfect new release to treat your class or child at the start of 2021.

Valerie Anne Hudson is the author of the new children’s fantasy book, “Watch What You Wish For”.

I’d like to introduce you to the author, Valerie Anne Hudson. She’s written the book involving wish magic called “Watch What You Wish For”. I had the chance to ask her about her reading inspirations as a child, writing routines and helpful methods, and all sorts of interesting facts on her process for writing her book.

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

Valerie Anne Hudson: The sudden realization that I could read ‘grown up’ books.  I vividly remember having absolutely nothing to read one day. Out of desperation, I took one of my parents’ books off the bookshelf – it was a Readers’ Digest containing a variety of condensed novels.  I devoured the contents, and was so proud of myself!

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

Valerie Anne Hudson: As a child my favorite author was Louisa May Alcott.  I still have my original dog-eared copy of “Little Women.” I must have read that book dozens of times over the years. What a superb achievement, to write a book that’s still enjoyable and relatable 150 years later.

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

Valerie Anne Hudson: I write for 4 or 5 hours a day, which is easy for me now that I’m retired. I’m truly fortunate to be able to do that!

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

Valerie Anne Hudson: At the moment I’m focused on fantasy:  the paranormal and the supernatural, and I write for children. I hope that my writing evolves, though, and would like to attempt something for adults in the future.

5) How has your day job/career prepared you to be a writer?

Valerie Anne Hudson: I taught school for 25 years, so there’s lots of writing involved there. I taught grades 4 to 6 for many of those years, and always loved teaching English and creative writing.


6) Why are you drawn to writing fantasy and about the paranormal?

Valerie Anne Hudson: An overactive imagination! I’m a huge Stephen King and Dean Koontz fan, along with JK Rowling, of course.  Such great escapism!


7) What activities do you do to help with the creative writing process?

Valerie Anne Hudson: I’m always on the alert for potential plots or scenes for upcoming stories. It’s amazing how many ideas you can get from real life news stories – truth is always stranger than fiction, as they say. Also, I try and read other people’s books as much as I can. All types and genres.


8) How did you get the idea for the “Wishing Tree” in your book, “Watch What You Wish For”?

Valerie Anne Hudson: I was thinking, what if you made a wish that actually came true? And what if you regretted making that wish and wanted to take it back? Then I started researching wishing wells and the stories associated with them, and discovered that there are actually wishing trees in some parts of the world. A tree seemed like it could be more dramatic than a well, so that’s how the idea blossomed.


9) Is the town of Mariposa a real town? If yes, why did you choose it? If no, was it inspired by a real town and which one?

Valerie Anne Hudson: Mariposa is a fictional Canadian town originally created by renowned author Stephen Leacock. Although he denied it, it was actually based on the town of Orillia, Ontario, which is where I live. I’ve changed the layout of the town and its surroundings around a fair bit in my story, so it wouldn’t have been fair to call it Orillia. Mariposa seemed like a good alternative choice.

10) What is writing to you in one sentence?

Valerie Anne Hudson: The desire to entertain my readers with sheer, delightful escapism!

Released on Jan. 8, 2021

“Watch What You Wish For” isn’t your normal fairy tale. 12-year-old Sophie isn’t happy about moving to the small town of Mariposa. She misses the big city, but luckily finds some friends also in the 7th grade. Their adventures lead to the discovery of an ancient Wishing Tree. They find the secret to unleash an evil power connected to the towns shadowy past. People start to go missing as lives turn upside down. Faced with the need to try to get things back to the way they were, our heroes embark on a journey that leads to self-discovery and friendship.

“Watch What You Wish For” is available at Amazon.com as a Kindle Unlimited title.

For more information on Valerie Anne Hudson, visit her website here.

Interview with Wolf Cub Chlo

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With the first interview and book recommendation of this New Year, I thought all of us could use a good laugh. Not only have I found a book likely to make you smile, but also it will guide you into reading and how to tell jokes to brighten up your family’s day.

Wolf Cub Chlo is the author of the children’s joke book, “Once ‘a pun’ a Time: A Guide to reading and telling jokes”.

Wolf Cub Chlo is a child author that loves to tell a good joke. So much, she’s written a book about it. There’s nothing like a child giving insight to something that can make us all feel much better. What a great gift this little cub has given us all in her book, “Once ‘a pun’ a Time: A Guide to reading and telling jokes”. I had a chance to talk with Wolf Cub Chlo about why she writes, what she loves about reading and writing, and what future projects she is planning.

  1. Can you introduce yourself and tell us why you wanted to write your book, “Once ‘a pun’ a Time”?

Wolf Cub Chlo: Hi! My name is Chloé, but I write all my books under the name Wolf Cub Chlo, and I’m 6 years old. I like to think of silly words and create stories around a simple word. But, for my book, I turned those silly words into jokes.

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

Wolf Cub Chlo: For my next project, I would like to write silly stories using sight words to help other kids learn to read while having fun. I want it to be a series like Bob books. I really love those books too.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Wolf Cub Chlo: To me, writing is a way to relax and bring a smile to my face. Just like coloring.

“Once ‘a pun’ a Time” is a book that is medicine to help you heal others through laughter. Laughter is something people need in their daily lives. Jokes are one way people can support each other during these difficult times during COVID lockdowns. Learn tips and tricks on how to tell and write your own jokes. Share laughter with friends and family through video conferencing and help others heal. Remember, we’ll all get through this together.

“Once ‘a pun’ at Time” is available from Amazon.com as a Kindle edition.

For more information on Wolf Cub Chlo, visit her website here.