Category Archives: author interviews

Interview for Brooke Stevens

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Brooke Stevens is the author of Planet Zero, the third book in the Super Science Squad series.

Summer is a time for freedom and fun. But if you’re looking for something to keep your child engaged in some active learning and support their reading for pleasure learning, here is a great find. The Super Science Squad is a science adventure series that should hook many kids into reading for fun while learning about science. In the new series book, Planet Zero, the squad helps the king of Planet Zero.

The author, Brooke Stevens, has created a fantastic combination of reading and science in her series including fun at home science experiments. I had a chance to interview Brooke about her childhood memories, writing routine, and what writing means to her.

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

Brooke Stevens: I used to love when my mom read me bedtime stories. Story time was uninterrupted bonding time. I used to write and create my own stories and characters. I thought creating books would be a great job when I grew up, and here I am, a published author creating stories for kids all over the world.

2) Do you have a writing routine? What works for you?

Brooke Stevens: I have a little secret that helps me write. The secret is to write a terrible story first. Even a terrible story can have good ideas and trigger creative ideas. When you know it can be terrible, the pressure goes away. It’s amazing how a terrible story can turn into a beautiful story over time.

3) What subject(s) would you like to write about in future projects?

Brooke Stevens: In the future I would love to write about time travel. I have always had a passion for history. I have always wondered what it would be like to visit another time period, so this could be a really fun project. I could bring this dream to life in a story.

PlantZeroCVRPlanet Zero: Book 3 in the Super Science Squad series is an innovative story about kids using real science to help in fun, filled adventures. Join the squad as they help out the king of Planet Zero. Enjoy the fun twists and the real science experiments that you can try at home too. Maybe you can help save the universe with science.

Planet Zero: Super Science Squad Book 3 is available at Amazon.com. This is a Kindle Unlimited title.

 

 

 

 

Interview with Tenile Carlos Bey

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Tenille Carlos Bey wrote the girl’s journal “Mommy & Doodlebop: A Journal for Girls We Love” with her daughter, Aalani.

During the summer, it’s good to keep your child engaged with activities. With all the need to social distance, it’s even more important to look for activities that children can engage in and be safe while doing. What about journaling? This is a historical time, when first person resources will be documenting how children and people lived through the pandemic. Your child can be part of the moment, writing out thoughts, feelings and what life was like during these strange times. I have the perfect journal for you child to begin their writing journal. It is written by a daughter and mother team, Tenille Carlos Bey and Aalani Carlos Bey. It’s called “Mommy & Doodlebop: A Journal for Girls We Love”.

Written as a support for inclusivity for girls with African ancestry, this journal is for girls to write out their thoughts and feelings for good or bad days. It will be a companion to sort their feelings during the pandemic. I also had a chance to interview Tenille Carlos Bey in regards to her childhood reading memories, future writing subjects, and what writing means to her.

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

Tenille Carlos Bey: My favorite memory was sitting on my stairs engulfed in a good book.

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

Tenille Carlos Bey: I would love to write about children & their experience from their eyes as often times they are voiceless.

3) What is writing to you in one sentence?

Tenile Carlos Bey: Writing to me is therapeutic.

Happiness Where Sun Shines CoverMommy & Doodlebop: A Journal for Girls We Love” is an interactive journal for all the little Brown girls loved. It’s developed to help a girl express herself daily engaging creativity and expression of ideas in words on a daily basis. Keeping a daily journal will increase writing ability and help your child work through daily problems and feelings. This will make a great gift or at home activity during the pandemic.

“Mommy & Doodlebop: A Journal for Girls We Love” is available at Amazon.com.

 

 

 

Interview with Tiffany Watkins

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This pandemic has made many of us become aware of those things to be thankful for. It may also be bringing on feelings of resentment of what your child might have lost out on. Help them deal with the loss and look at the positives of their new situation with a fabulous find, a “Gratitude Journal for Kids”.

Tiffany Watkins is the author of this book. She has a BSA in Sociology with a minor in Child and Family studies, and a master in Divinity Studies. She received a doctorate in Christian Counseling. She enjoys serving her community and working with the United Way Young Philanthropist Program. Through her book, she hopes to encourage children to look towards what they are grateful for each day and find the magic in a moment of their day. I had the chance to interview Tiffany about her childhood reading memories, favorite author, and what projects she has in store for the future.

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

Tiffany Watkins: My favorite memory from reading as a child was how fun it was to have your peers reading about the same thing and able to discuss it among them.

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

Tiffany Watkins: My favorite memory from reading as a child was “Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret?” by Judy Blume. This book greatly influenced my walk as a middle schooler because it addressed the things I was experiencing at the time.

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

Tiffany Watkins: In the future, I would like to write about positivity for kids.

Gratitude Journal for kids front pic“Gratitude Journal for Kids” is a helpful tool to help children focus on the positive aspects of their lives. Written to encourage an Attitude of Greatness, the journal has daily entries so your child can write three things daily about what they are grateful for. Each entry also includes a “Magic Moment of the Day” in which they can reflect on something that was positive and memorable about their day. Drawing is encouraged in the entry to express their gratefulness and artistic abilities. This book will help your child get in touch with their feelings and cope with the loss of a daily routine and events during the COVID19 pandemic.

Gratitude Journal for Kids” is available at: Amazon.com.

For more information on Tiffany Watkins, visit her Amazon Author page.

 

Interview with Jacqueline Stokes

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For the next few weeks, I’ll be featuring authors and their books for your child’s summer reading list. It’s good to keep the academics going through the summer months to maintain reading levels and add to literature skills. My next summer reading find is a book by the author, Jacqueline Stokes. It’s got a great attention grabbing title, The Stinkies. This middle grade novel will be a treat for any child looking for a sci-fi/fantasy action adventure to read.

Jacqueline Stokes is an author and screenwriter. She’ll soon be starting her own publishing company to help other writers reach their dreams. In her spare time, she enjoys exercising, taking long walks, and broadcasting on her own podcast called “Champion”. I had the chance to talk to Jacqueline Stokes about her childhood reading memories, her writing inspirations, and what she has in store for us in future projects.

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

Jacqueline Stokes: My favorite book as a child was Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.

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

Jacqueline Stokes: Dr. Seuss. I loved his imagination. His writing makes you feel like you’re one of his characters.

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

Jacqueline Stokes: When writing, I am usually inspired by an idea that will just pop into my head, and I write from there. I have no set routine. Routines can feel like “work.” Writing allows me to experience the adventure of the content that I am writing which never feels routine.

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

Jacqueline Stokes: I have another children’s book that I will be publishing in the near future. I am skilled in multiple genres.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Jacqueline Stokes: Writing is an ADVENTURE.

stinkiescvrThe Stinkies is a sci-fi, action adventure that will take you out of this world. It’s filled with tons of action and most important, baseball. Spencer Cummings loves baseball, but his little league team is one of the worst teams in the league. Instead of being called the Meteorites, they’ve earned the name of “The Stinkies”. After making a wish for a better baseball field and to win at the championships one day at the county fair, Spencer and his whole family find themselves on a whole new planet.

Suddenly, he must blend in with these aliens or be revealed as an Earthling. Can Spencer and his family avoid capture and find out the secret to wishes that will allow them to go home? And will that secret help turn the Earth he once knew into something completely different.

The Stinkies is available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.

Interview for L. A. Davis

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Summer reading will be starting soon. I’ve got a lot of fabulous books lined up to add to your child’s reading list. My first author in the series of recommendations is L. A. Davis. She has written a fabulous coloring book called “AJ Learns Her Colors & Shades”. The character is based on her granddaughter and is the first in a learning series. Children can learn primary colors, secondary colors, tertiary colors, the colors of the rainbow, and shades with the help of their parents. It’s a great activity book for the summer days ahead. I had a chance to talk to author L. A. Davis about childhood reading memories and about writing.

1) What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?
L. A Davis: My second-grade teacher allowed each student to sit in front of the class and read a book from the “library” we had in the back of the classroom. I hate that I don’t remember the name of that book, but I do remember it was about snow and the child had on a red coat with a pointy hat. It might have even been a bunny suit, but it was red and the hood part was pointy. It stood out to me because I was born on an island and we don’t have snow. Another book I do remember is called “The Little House.” I got to read that one in front of the class also.

2) Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.
L. A Davis: Usually when I write, I pick a song and play that song to inspire me. I haven’t found a routine in writing the coloring books, but give me time :0).

3) What is writing to you in one sentence?
L. A Davis: Writing is so much fun!

aj cover-pagefront“AJ Learns Her Colors & Shades” is a fabulous child’s coloring book that teaches the basics of colors and the rainbow. Fill summer days and weekends with this fun activity, and apply new artistic skills to decorate your home. This is a great activity book for distance learning and for the summer months ahead.

“AJ Learns Her Colors & Shades” is available at: Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com.

Interview with R. J. DiLupo

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Here is a picture book that will help any family deal with grief and the loss of a parent. The book, Papa Bear Isn’t Feeling Well, was written to help a family deal with their father dying from cancer. I got the chance to ask the author, R. J. DiLupo, about his child reading memories, his favorite author and what writing means to him.

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

R. J. DiLupo: My favorite memory reading as a child would have to be Christmas with my grandmother. She would read “Night before Christmas” to all of her grandchildren. This was after a day of cookie baking and Christmas song singing. The whole experience was just very magical.

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

R. J. DiLupo: My favorite author is David Sedaris. I was assigned one of his books in school. His stories encouraged me to be as honest and straightforward as I could be. His stories encouraged me to delve deep into my consciousness to find the precious moments in life, and to reflect on them honestly.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

R. J. DiLupo: Writing ensures our tales live on.

PapaBearcvrPapa Bear Isn’t Feeling Well is a picture book that teaches the theme of family and caring during times of crisis. At the head of it all is the patriarch, the father, the Papa Bear of the family. The pillars of faith, love and family help everyone rally around Papa Bear as he faces his biggest foe yet, cancer. Written to help readers deal with the upcoming grief of losing someone close to them, this touching story will help parents and children with the difficulty of loss.

Papa Bear Isn’t Feeling Well is available at Amazon.com as a Kindle Unlimited title.

 

 

Interview with Jenny Wilson

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Jenny Wilson is the author of the children’s fantasy book, The Lighthouse Keeper: A Story of a Soul.

I’m sure you are looking for a great fantasy book for your child to escape into while practicing reading skills. Not to mention, some of their teachers are likely still asking for children to keep up those twenty minutes of silent reading a day (D.E.A.R. Time). I’ve got a fantastic fantasy that will support any Harry Potter fan. The Lighthouse Keeper: A story of a soul takes you to the Vale of Aisenma where a lonely boy realizes that the world around him is full of magic and that he is not alone.

The author, Jenny Wilson, has drawn from her upbringing of growing up in Scotland to bring you a mystical tale. I had the chance to ask her about her childhood reading memories, how she got her story ideas, and what she has in store for us in future projects.

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

Jenny Wilson: I read constantly as a child – I devoured books. One of my earliest memories is making a book called “The Adventures of Teddy” and giving it to my mum. She still has it now, nearly 40 years later!

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

Jenny Wilson: There were so many different authors but the one that stands out for me is Lucy M. Boston. The Children of Green Knowe is one book that I keep coming back to even now. I think I have read it about 30 times now and it is still as fresh and as magical as the first time I came across it. I love how a book can stay with you long after you’ve read it and show you things you hadn’t noticed before. Lucy M. Boston’s writing is enchanting. Words are like spells and a well-written book has the power to transport you to anywhere.

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

Jenny Wilson: My writing routine is just to sit down and do it. Little and often is much better than big long stretches once in a while. If you get into the habit of dedicating a time and a space to do something it becomes automatic.


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

Jenny Wilson: I am working on a prequel to The Lighthouse Keeper at the moment. My aim is to show the world that there is magic all around and within us, and that our thoughts have the power to transform our lives.

5) When did you first become interested in stories about magic?

Jenny Wilson: Well, all stories are magical in some way, if the writer can engage the reader and transport them. So in that sense, for as long as I have been reading! But in terms of magical realism, I love the works of Italo Calvino. He makes the everyday seem extraordinary. I love how changing the way you look at something completely transforms that thing. In this sense, words can be like spells.

6) How did being born and raised in Scotland affect your stories?

Jenny Wilson: I think wherever you are born and raised, your environment will seep into your experience one way or another. Scottish weather is not exactly predictable and lends itself quite nicely to curling up with a good book, which suited me perfectly! There are parts of the country where you can feel the magic in the air as well. One of my favourite parts of Scotland is Stirling and the surrounding countryside. There, when you’re standing up on the top of a hill and looking down below at the rolling fields, you really feel that anything is possible and that you are part of something truly magical.

7) What subjects would you like to explore in your writing?

Jenny Wilson: I want to explore how our thoughts shape the world around us and that we are in charge of our thoughts and, therefore, our worlds. I aim to show how nobody is alone, that even though you may feel wretched and powerless, you are part of something and that if you listen carefully within, you already know what to do.

8) What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Jenny Wilson: To just sit down, take a deep breath and do it! I am very easily distracted and I know how easy it is to let other things take over and seem more urgent than they are. For a while, I had the tidiest cutlery drawer in Europe. Now, I am happy to say, I do some writing every day and my drawer has gone back to being a muddle.

9) Where do you see your writing taking you in five years?

Jenny Wilson: I’m working on the prequel to The Lighthouse Keeper: A story of a soul now and aim to have four more book titles in five years.

10) What is writing to you in one sentence?

Jenny Wilson: Writing is my soul mission.

The Lighthouse Keeper CVRThe Lighthouse Keeper: A story of a soul is a book that can show you how magic is all around, and how it can shape your life. The people of Aisenma live in constant fear. Wolves prowl around the Bay of Sevlow. The storytellers have been banished. But a lone boy discovers his inner magic and goes on a journey to save his home and all the people in Aisenma. Join in this fantasy adventure that will remind you that nobody is ever alone, especially if they have their true inner magic.

The Lighthouse Keeper: A story of a soul is available at: Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.

For more information on Jenny Wilson, visit her website at: Amazon’ Author’s Page.

Interview with Javelin Jaaziel

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Need a perk up for your child’s reading? Here is a spunky book to make the whole family laugh. Javelin Jaaziel is the author behind a fantastic character, Slog the Winged Frog. Javelin got the idea from a hypothetical question that a zany and inspiring Science teacher would often ask. A terrific story to get the imagination sailing, Slog the Winged Frog: Sister’s Surprise begins the series with this loving and endearing character. I had a chance to talk to Javelin Jaaziel about the love of writing, memories of reading as a child, and what projects are in store for us. 

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

Javelin Jaaziel: When I discovered the little girls next door were fake reading. They read a line in a picture book “black and white ducks”, when really it read “white and black ducks”, but they had memorized it incorrectly. 

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

Javelin Jaaziel: More about Slog and his continued attempts to fly, and another story that’s still under wraps. Also something about ocean thermal energy conversion and it’s many potentials, including its ability to end the devastating effects of droughts and hurricanes.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Javelin Jaaziel: A creative outlet, and a way to express ideas.

Slog the Winged FrogSlog the Winged Frog: Sister’s Surprise is the introduction to the lovable frog character of Slog. He lives in a normal swamp with normal friends. But Slog is no ordinary frog. He has wings. Yet, he doesn’t know how to fly. In his search for the answer, he meets Hooty the Owl and Squiggly Squirrel. Does he find the courage to fly? Find out in this delightful story that combines humor and acceptance into a new spin on the Dumbo theme.

 

Slog the Winged Frog: Sister’s Surprise is available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

 

 

 

Interview with Belle Brown

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In these hard times during the corona virus, it’s nice to read to your little one(s) about hugs. Here is a great picture book that tells of a cuddly porcupine that has to overcome the obstacle of his quills. Belle Brown is the author of the fabulous book, Porcupine Hugs. She wanted to bring the power of learning through storytelling with her writing. Each of her books develop children’s cognitive abilities, help parents bond with their child, and nurture a love for reading. I had a chance to talk to Belle Brown about her childhood reading memories, writing process, and future projects.

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

Belle Brown: When I was a child, my grandmother, a retired teacher, would bring us hand-me-down books from my older cousins when she would visit us every summer. I remember getting excited just knowing that I will have new books to read. I had no favourite books, back then, but I would re-read all the books that she brought home for us. I distinctly remember reading Green Eggs and Ham, though, when I was six.

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

Belle Brown: My favourite author is Dr. Seuss, and so I love to make silly rhymes and rhyming stories.

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

Belle Brown: I would like to write more about learning books which introduces important concepts to toddlers and preschoolers. I would also like to add more to my learning series, Patrick the Piglet’s Learning Adventures Series.

porcupinehugscvrPorcupine Hugs is a picture book written in rhyming verse and illustrated to bring your child into the world of Perry the Porcupine. This persistent porcupine loves to give hugs. But he’s got one problem. His quills. What is a porcupine to do? Inspiring in the way he solves this problem, Perry will warm your heart as much as teach about positivity and positive thoughts for everyone. Filled with high frequency sight words, this picture book will uplift your child’s day as well as help them learn the building blocks for reading.

Porcupine Hugs is available at: Amazon.com as a Kindle Unlimited title.

 

Interview with Shirley Martin

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Shirley Martin is the author of the middle grade novel, Kateri O’Leary and the Computer Mouse.

Looking for a wholesome, middle grade novel for your child? Want to bring them some stabilizing reading during this pandemic? Shirley Martin has a fabulous middle grade book called Kateri O’Leary and the Computer Mouse. It reminds me a lot of a cross between Judy Bloom and Beverly Cleary.

Shirley Martin lives in Canada along the rugged coast of Ucluelet BC. She’s taken some of her childhood experiences and created a relatable spitfire of a main character similar to her younger self. I had a chance to ask Shirley about her memories reading, growing up and writing, and what future projects she has in store for us.

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

Shirley Martin:  My favourite memory from reading as a child is that delightful sensation of being transported to a different reality. (I still love that about reading!) I was enthralled by ‘The Wind in the Willows’. I loved the adventures in the ‘Swallows and Amazons’ series by Arthur Ransome. I was one of those kids who read late into the night, flashlight under the covers, after being told to turn out the light and get some sleep. Once I was of school age, I’d rush home after school and dive back into a book.

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

Shirley Martin: One of my favourite authors was Lucy Maud Montgomery. I identified with Anne because of her red hair, and was inspired by her feisty spirit and sense of drama. I also liked the rich descriptions of her environment.

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

Shirley Martin: I have a specific writing area and try to work there for several hours every afternoon; that being said, I also wander around the house sporadically during the day, writing in various spots. And sometimes life gets in the way and I go for chunks of time without writing. Then I really miss it!

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

Shirley Martin: There are so many subjects I would like to write about! I am working on a local history book, which is a subject I am passionate about. I plan to continue writing books for kids of varying ages, covering many different topics: friendship, creativity, the environment, adventure….the list goes on and on.

  • Did you have pets as a child?

Shirley Martin: When I was kid and we lived in a logging camp, we had two pets, a Calico cat named Judy and a Springer Spaniel named Punch. When we moved the five miles into town, Judy kept returning to the logging camp, so eventually we found her a new home there. It made me sad, but it was obviously what she wanted. Punch loved the water, and flourished in our new home on the bay. We later had another Springer Spaniel named Skipper; he also loved the water. Then I was given a Ginger cat named Gus and an Irish Setter named Belle. Pets were a big part of my growing up experience!

  • Did you have a best friend move away when you were younger?

Shirley Martin: I had a best friend named Penny who moved away with short notice when I was a little girl. Her family left to start a new life, and we never kept in touch. Years later we met up at an out of town Brownie camp, and were thrilled to be reunited!

  • How did you deal with bullies in school?

Shirley Martin: I was never bullied in school. I was teased a lot because of my red hair and freckles; sometimes it upset me, but mainly I just smiled and carried on.

  • What is your favorite thing to do at the beach?

Shirley Martin: My favourite thing to do at the beach is to just sit on a log and take it all in….calm seas or stormy, sea life and birds, boat traffic or silence, I love it all.

  • Do you plan to write more books for the middle grade audience?

Shirley Martin: Yes! I have already written a second book about Kateri O’Leary and plan to publish it later this year. Kateri has captured my imagination and inspired a series.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Shirley Martin: Writing is a challenging adventure, and a path to fulfillment.

Kateri O'Leary Computer Mouse by Shirley Martin coverKateri O’Leary and the Computer Mouse finds an eleven-year-old girl trying to settle into a new home, school, and fitting into a new life. It doesn’t help she has red hair and freckles that make her a prime target for Clive, the school bully. Luckily, she has a pet mouse to confide in until he escapes at school one day. Can she ever get used to her new home, finish her school project, and avoid Clive? Can she survive the pressure of being the new girl? Can things get any worse?

Kateri O’Leary and the Computer Mouse is available at: Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com.

For more information on Shirley Martin, visit her website at: ShirleyMartinWrites.com.