Category Archives: author interviews

Interview with Tom Murdoch

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Before all the scary, spooky stories start to take over your child’s brain, I’d like to introduce you to Tom Murdoch. He’s a fun, adventurous author that writes soothing bedtime stories. He has written “Where will you go, Ricky Jo?”, a sweet, adventure story about an outgoing Chihuahua that loves to explore. I got a chance to ask author Tom Murdoch about his childhood reading memories, writing and what he is thinking of accomplishing next.

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

Tom Murdoch: My dad read to me, sometimes scary stories! As a child, I read all the Hardy Boy books.

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

Tom Murdoch: I write all day as a copywriter, so for my book projects I try to squeeze it in as I can.

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

Tom Murdoch: I hope to continue a series about puppies.

RickyCover“Where Will You Go, Ricky Jo?” is a classic bedtime story certain to inspire imagination as well as sleepy time adventures. Featuring vibrant illustrations, journey with Ricky Jo, a loveable Chihuahua, chasing after fire engines, soaring high on airplanes, riding on horses and visiting a farm. His journey ends with bedtime where he starts his dream adventures. This charming picture book will make a great addition to any family’s home library.

 

“Where will you go, Ricky Jo?” is available at Amazon.com.

This is a Kindle Unlimited title.

 

 

 

 

Interview with Carey Azzara

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Carey Azzara is the author of the children’s book, The Sick Puppy. 

I have an extra treat for you. A new book from the author, Carey Azzara is coming out in this week. Carey is one of those authors that just have to write and get his message out to the world. His upcoming book, The Sick Puppy, is due out for release on [release date inserted]. I had a chance to talk to Carey about his influences as an author, his writing routine, and what he would like to write about in the future.

Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?
Carey Azzara:
I’m a fan of Mark Twain (who isn’t right?). His stories flow with ease and they all make sense. He teaches as well as entertains (something I aspire to). We learn something of true value from his writing, like the concept of a good lie in the book Huck Finn.

Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.
Carey Azzara:
I am not overly disciplined in my routine. I typically do my best work in the morning and late in the evening. However, when an idea strikes, I try hard to get it down on paper no matter when the muse is being helpful.

What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?
Carey Azzara:
My next project is a series of books written for the YA audience. It features a fifteen-year-old girl living in New Mexico who is part Apache. Along with her Apache mentor, an elder in the local Native American community, she discovers she has extraordinary powers. The working title is Gila Wilderness Warrior.

the-sick-puppy-ebook coverThe Sick Puppy is the story of a seven-year-old girl that has enjoyed living in her home in Cumberland, Maine. But when her Dad receives special news, her life is turned upside down to adjust to a new home. Heidi learns to adjust to her new town by a friend that puts the meaning into rescue. A sweet, little puppy.

The Sick Puppy is available on Amazon.com in ebook edition or paperback. It is also available at the publisher’s website at Glass Spider Publishing.

For more information on Carey Azzara, please visit his website at:

https://careyazzara.com/.

 

 

 

 

Interview with Cody L Clark

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Fall is a beautiful time of year to read a book with your young one, or enjoy some quality time at bedtime. Here is a newly discovered children’s author I’d like to introduce you to for these longer night reads. Cody L Clark grew up in a small North Carolina town. His imagination was active as a child, and it just never stopped. It helped him create a story about his two dogs that were adopted from the Atlanta Humane Society.

Lucky Dogs Shake Paws is based on the meeting of two dogs from different backgrounds. Cody L Clark tells a story of two dogs learning to get along in a new home. I had a chance to talk to him about his writing, inspirations, and what he has in store for us.

1) Why do you enjoy writing?
Cody L Clark:
Writing allows me to create my own adventure by using my imagination. Writing also allows me to share the adventure with others. To sum it up, I enjoy writing because it gives me the freedom to create a story with my imagination and share it with people.

2) What inspiration sparked the story Lucky Dogs: Shake Paws?
Cody L Clark: My two dogs are the inspiration behind the story; Ruby and Juliet. When the dogs first moved in together, uncertainty was clear, but over time they have become best friends.

3) What is the moral of the story?
Cody L Clark: Acceptance. The story is about accepting others and their differences.

4) Why did you choose to name the town Dogwood?
Cody L Clark: Being from North Carolina, I decided Dogwood was fitting since that is the state tree.

5) Will Lucky Dogs be a standalone book or do you see this become a series?
Cody L Clark: I plan to make it a series. The characters are a lot of fun.

PawsCoverMayor Ruby has a problem in Dogwood. It’s the quietest and most peaceful place on Earth. But when a new dog arrives into town, the new hound, Wiley, creates uproar. Will Mayor Ruby find a way to keep the peace in Dogwood without upsetting the new resident?

Lucky Dogs Shake Paws is available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Nobles.com.

 

 

Interview with Nasser Abuhamda

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Nasser Abuhamda is the author of the book Backyard Adventures. 

I’ve got a wonderful author to introduce you to in time for all of your fall reading. Nasser Abuhamda grew up in Michigan having kid adventures that have inspired his stories. He currently has many books that can appeal to the wild child at heart. I had a chance to talk to Nasser about his memories of reading, authors that have inspired him, and what he plans to write about in the future.

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

Nasser Abuhamda: As a child I liked reading about dinosaurs in the backyard laying on the grass on a sunny day. My mother would always come to read with me and explain the book I was reading. Reading certain stories would inspire me to write the stories I have today.

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

Nasser Abuhamda: Steven King inspired me from reading his books. I’ve watched his movies. He inspired me to use my imagination to write my own books and stories.


3) What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?
Nasser Abuhamda: I would like to write about fictional subjects as well as science fiction.

backyardadvCoverBackyard Adventures is Nasser Abuhamda’s most recent book. It is a book about a young boy that likes to delve into his imagination in his backyard. One day, he’s a cowboy. The next day, he’s a pirate. But then one day, his adventures turn into a situation where he has to make a decision like the real heroes in his backyard adventures. This delightful book is a fun bedtime story to help kids engage their imagination. It will make a wonderful addition to any child’s home library.

For more information on Nasser Abuhamda and his books, visit his author page.

Interview with Kevin Hindriks

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As the weather starts to turn, it’s a great time to start looking for books to read for your little ones. More time indoors means more time to read books. I found a wonderful author that creates charming stories with a little girl, dapper cat, and quests of adventure. Meet Kevin Hindriks. He is the author of the picture book Tasha & Pierre. Kevin is a self-published author living in the Philippines. When not writing children’s books, he is working in film as a director for documentaries and music videos. I had the chance to talk to Kevin Hindriks about his childhood reading memories, writing routine, and future projects.

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

Kevin Hindriks: My favorite memory from reading as a child was reading “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss. I must have read that book hundreds of times – in those days we only had a few books in the house. Those illustrations will always be etched in my mind, and the moral value at the end will always stay with me.

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

Kevin Hindriks: My writing routine is basically just trying to put in a few hours everyday. I have a full time job as a filmmaker, so I can only dedicate a couple of hours a day. I don’t force myself to the point of frustration. I feel that it’s better to be relaxed and take things as they come. When it comes to illustration, I sketch everything myself then pass it to my illustrator, who then makes nice versions of my sketches.

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

Kevin Hindriks: In the future I would like to make more children’s book related to parenting. I am a new parent, and so it would be enjoyable for me to share some of my experiences. I also love Brazilian jiu jitsu, and I’d love to make a baby book about that, targeted to jiu jitsu parents.

0 coverTasha & Pierre is a delightful picture book that tells the story of a charming girl and her dapper cat as they go on a journey to discover the world. Beautiful illustrations their page-turning adventures creating valuable together time for toddlers and their parents.

 

Tasha & Pierre is available at Amazon.com.

 

 

 

Day 4 of the 2019 Back to School Blog Tour

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back2schoolbanner2019Welcome back to the fourth day of the 2019 Back to School Blog Tour. Our featured author today is Joy Hardin. She has plans for a new, inspiring book. Joy Hardin wants to write a race driving series with strong female characters. She’s come up with the Team ABC Racing series to help kids learn their letters, connect with parents through reading, and inspire girls to enjoy race car driving. She has put together a Kickstarter campaign to help this book get published. I had a chance to ask Joy about her favorite authors, inspirations, and what she hopes to achieve from this project.

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

Joy Hardin: Trips to the library to find new books gave me some of my favorite reading memories. Discovering that the library was full of thousands of books, each a different world, was thrilling. While our school had a decent library, it was always exciting when my mom would take us to the public library to pick out a stack of new books.

2) Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.
Joy Hardin:
As with most things in my life right now, my writing routine is pretty scattered. While I’m still working to get my first book published, I’ve written four books. With each one, I start with an idea (I have a long list). Then I basically sit down and write down my thoughts. My ideas are all over the place so a first draft helps me focus. After that I reread it and revise it before having my husband or family read it. From there I get an editor and illustrator involved to help make my story come to life.

3) What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?
Joy Hardin:
I hope to write more about little girls achieving their dreams. Girls can accomplish anything. It’s important for girls to see female characters doing things like driving race cars and things that girls usually aren’t thought of doing.


Annabelle's Big DreamAnnabelle’s Big Dream
is the first book in the Team ABC Racing series. Annabelle is a female race car driver that dreams of winning the big race. Annabelle works towards achieving her dream, as well as teaching children about teamwork. Activities and lesson plans will be available for the book.

For more information on the Kickstarter campaign to help get Annabelle’s Big Dream into a published book, visit the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/teamabcracing/annabelles-big-dream-empowering-girl-with-team-abc-racing?ref=user_menu

Getting down to the wire to enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Get new books for Back to School to add to your library at home or in the classroom. Giveaway ends on Sunday, Sept. 15. LINK HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

 

Day 3 of the 2019 Back to School Blog Tour

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Lisa Parkes is the author of the children’s book Stuck Between Two Worlds.

Welcome to third day of the Back to School Blog Tour for 2019. I’d like to introduce you to our featured author for the blog tour today. Lisa Parkes is an extraordinary author. She is an author and life coach that helps children deal with their trauma. With many years of training, she has helping children through PTSD, anxiety and depression. With many challenges as a child, Lisa Parkes has used her experience and training to create a story that will help and inspire children going through a similar crisis. Her book, Stuck Between Two Worlds, explores the ways to help heal from childhood trauma while incorporating the love of fantasy and magic, and escaping into another world. I had the chance to talk to Lisa about her childhood memories of reading, growing up, advice for aspiring writers, and what she has in store for us with future projects.

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

Lisa Parkes: I remember relaxing rainy days where we couldn’t go outside. I would sit in my playroom or lie on my bed and read. I could literally dive into a book and lose myself for the whole day. It was my idea of heaven and even now – all these years later- I love a rainy Sunday.

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

Lisa Parkes: I loved Enid Blyton. In her book, The Enchanted Wood, she created other worlds to explore at the top of the Magic Faraway Tree. She helped me see that my imagination was limitless and gave me some respite from a noisy world. I realized I could go anywhere in my mind and nobody could find me there. It was my most private place and I was happy there.

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

Lisa Parkes: I love to write to music. Music is energizing and uplifting. I’m better writing early in the day. When I wake up my brain is full of ideas. I’m inspired by my work and by things I observe in daily life. I usually make notes in my phone if something happens or I see something that moves me or teaches me something. I like to write in a journal most days by hand. But when I’m writing a book or a podcast episode, I just sit down at my laptop and let my fingers do the talking. I write unedited and from my heart. I think about what I want to say, not what other people will want to hear. Then go back after a cup of tea and tweak it.

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

Lisa Parkes: I would like to write more about how we treat children and what they need to grow up feeling happy and healthy. I would also like to write more for the child who feels like they don’t belong or who feels alone or different.

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  • What is your favorite memory growing up? 

Lisa Parkes: Going on holiday – stepping out of the daily routine and visiting somewhere new. I love the sea, ice cream, swimming and reading in the shady spots. I was lucky as a kid, in that I went to Disney a few times and I fell in love with the magic of the place. I can remember having my picture taken with the Minnie and Mickey. The highlight was watching the electrical light parade on Main Street and telling my Mum that I wanted to be a Disney dancer. That or a dolphin trainer. I loved swimming and dancing. I still do!

6) What inspired you to become a life coach and then children coach? 

Lisa Parkes: It wasn’t a path I chose – it chose me! In my personal life I had a lot of therapy to heal from childhood trauma which manifested as PTSD, anxiety and depression. As a life long learner and avid reader, I then began to study everything I could get my hands on. It was a long and painful process and lonely at times. I wanted to make a future contribution to break the cycle and for there to be less hurt children in the world.

  • What gave you the idea to write “Stuck Between Two Worlds”? 

Lisa Parkes: I didn’t know how, but I had the idea to write a book that would incorporate my childhood and my work with children in a way that could be understood on different levels. I think I have done that with the magic and the wonder of The Wilderness – a free place for children to follow their hearts, and Nettie the fairy mentor who is playing the role of the ‘good enough’ parent. Luckily for me, once I started to write it all fell out on the page easily.

  •  What would be some advice you could give to aspiring younger authors? 

Lisa Parkes: To write as often as you are able to. Find ways to make writing part of your daily routine – journaling is good for that. Don’t edit yourself. Write what is in your heart, not what you think people want to hear. Don’t be afraid to speak your truth and what is right for you. It’s your story, your words and it is unique to you. Write from your own real life experiences and the places you go to in your imagination. 

  • What is it you love the best about being a children’s author?

Lisa Parkes: This is my first book and I find it hard to wrap my head around that word! I’m excited that I can reach more people with my work and do it in a way that is enjoyable. Learning about ourselves and the world we live in should be fun. I like to think that my book would keep the reader company during those times when they felt lonely or disappointed by life.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Lisa Parkes: Writing gives me the freedom to express my inner world, and share that with other like-minded souls.

B2W Final Front CoverStuck Between Two Worlds is a fantasy children’s book that helps many school-aged children learn to deal with those negative and scary feelings like low self-esteem and anxiety. Firecracker Ruby was in trouble again. Crying in her room seemed to be the only way she could express herself until she had a fairy friend visit her. Nettie takes Ruby to the world of the Wilderness where she learns that she is a “wildheart”, a strong-willed child with a sensitive soul. Ruby learns how to use her wildheart powers for good, to shrink her worries and master her fears while dealing with life’s lessons. This story will touch any child that needs inspiration to be themselves and inspire self confidence. This heart-warming story will bring them into a world where they learn they may be a wildheart too.

Stuck Between Two Worlds is available as a Kindle or paperback edition at Amazon.com.

For more information on Lisa Parkes, please visit her website at: http://www.smileyforlife.com/book.

To enter the Back to School Blog Tour Giveaway, please link to the Rafflecopter Giveaway HERE! Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card to add to your Back to School Library at home or in the classroom.

remember-9-11I’d like to close today’s entry with a moment of remembrance for all those lost 18 years ago today on Sept. 11, 2001. Never forgotten!

 

 

Day 2 of the 2019 Back to School Blog Tour

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Vijaya Bodach is author of the novel, Bound.

Welcome back to DAY TWO of the Seventh Annual Back to School Blog Tour. I’d like to introduce you to today’s featured author: Vijaya Bodach. She is a scientist as well as a children’s writer that has recently started publishing her own books as Bodach Books. She has written over 60 children’s books, including Ten Easter Eggs, along with magazine articles, stories and poems. Bound is her first novel. I had the chance to ask Vijaya about her childhood reading memories, what inspires her, and what future projects she has planned.

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

Vijaya Bodach: I remember learning to read on my own at the age of six and how it opened the world for me. I no longer had to ask anybody to read me a story. I loved the freedom it gave me to read as many books as I could on our regular trips to the library and then picking out four books of my own to bring home for a month.

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

Vijaya Bodach: My favorite author was Enid Blyton when I was young. She wrote imaginative tales of animals—I loved how Brer Rabbit always outsmarted the other bigger animals. She also wrote realistic boarding school and adventure stories. It was pure entertainment always filled with interesting tidbits of information. It reminds me always that what matters most is a good story.

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

Vijaya Bodach: I began writing when I became a mother so I was a night-time writer for a few years until the children started school. I’d steal a few minutes at the kitchen counter during the day to jot down thoughts and ideas and those 10-20 min added up. Once I got the children off to school, I’d get to my writing after doing morning chores. I got a couple of good 90-min blocks to write most days. I’d write a bit after supper and on the weekends if I had deadlines to meet. My husband was very supportive by taking care of the children. My kids are grown and away at college now, but I suspect I’ll stick to the school routine.

One thing I did from the beginning was to reserve one day per week for the business aspects—querying, submitting, researching magazines and book publishers. I need to start doing this again. It’s so easy to get lost in your own world and neglect the business aspects in writing.

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

Vijaya Bodach: I have several picture book biographies I want to write but my characters from BOUND are again talking in my head. So, I need to pay attention to them first. Their lives have been percolating for over a year.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Vijaya Bodach: Writing allows me to think more deeply about the questions that haunt me.

vidjaya cover bookSeventeen-year-old Rebecca Joshi, an adopted girl from India, burn survivor, and primary caretaker of her intellectually disabled sister, Joy, has the one dream to be a physician. Her traditional Indian father relies upon Rebecca to care for Joy while he buries himself in work to drown his grief over his wife’s death. Leaving home is the only way Rebecca can envision reaching her goal.

She helps Joy develop greater independence, and is devastated when Joy becomes pregnant. Rebecca tussles–with her father and with herself–over who is responsible for Joy and her baby. When Rebecca discovers the truth of what happened the day she was burned, she struggles to hold onto her dream while wrestling with questions of life, love, and responsibility.

This will make a great YA book for any high school classroom. Great gift for the beginning of school.

Bound is available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.

For more information on the author, Vijaya Bodach, please visit her website/blog at:

https://vijayabodach.blogspot.com

back2schoolbanner2019Plus, for a chance to enter and win a $25 Amazon Gift Card for visiting during the Back to School Blog Tour, please visit the Rafflecopter giveaway link below. Winner will be announced Monday, Sept. 16, 2019.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/20834f9e19/

**Come back tomorrow for another featured Indie Children’s Author!

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1 of the 7th Annual Back to School Blog Tour

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back2schoolbanner2019Welcome to the first day of the 7th Annual Back to School Blog Tour. We have a fabulous first author featured today, Terry Gunn. But first, I wanted to put up the Blog Tour giveaway. If you’re a student or teacher, here’s a great way to supply yourself with books for the school year by winning a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Follow the link below to enter:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/20834f9e19/

Note: Giveaway begins midnight EDT.

And now without further adieu:

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Terry Gunn is the author of the picture book, The Adventures of Klaus, the Happy Schnauzer.

I’d like to introduce you to the first featured author for the 7th Annual Back to School Blog Tour. Terry E. Gunn lives in HTB California with her family and newest fur baby, Rocket Riley. She has written a fabulous picture book about the adventures of her beloved schnauzer going through a typical dog day. It’s a playful story that can be a wonderful repeating read-aloud to help children fall asleep each night. I had a chance to ask her questions about her writing routine, childhood reading memories and favorite authors growing up.

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

Terry Gunn: My favorite memory as a child and still today is memorizing books, reading them aloud, conducting plays or singing songs from the sound of music to my young cousins.

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

Terry Gunn: Favorite author is Judy Schachner, she writes about her kitty and I love the stories. My first book is about my beloved Klaus Von Dog.

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

Terry Gunn: My writing time is early morning when the house is quiet and my imagination is not interrupted, but my job interrupts story creating and stories are a way to bring joy into children’s heart and allow Klaus to live in the hearts of children.

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

Terry Gunn: The subjects I write about are dogs and their adventures. I use to memorize the different dogs and collected dog statues during my visit to Catalina Avalon. But I have two stories in the works about hats and pennies.

  •  What is writing to you in one sentence?

Terry Gunn: The story begins in the heart, continues with a pen and ends with a smile. Happy reading.

KlauscvrThe Adventures of Klaus, the Happy Schnauzer is a wonderful picture book that goes through the typical day of a beloved dog. From the challenge of trying to catch the neighborhood squirrel to doing tricks for a treat, children are taken through his dog-oriented day. His owner helps you grab his leash and go with him to explore the neighborhood.

Out on their walks, the two set off to the park for a game of catch, play with other dog friends, and then for a game of hide and seek. At the end of a busy day, Klaus is ready for sleep. Like most dogs, he falls fast asleep to do it all again the next day. His activities parallel a similar day for a preschooler with waking up, eating breakfast, playing, meeting friends and going to sleep. This would make a great read-aloud to settle down any youngster before bed.

The Adventures of Klaus, the Happy Schnauzer is available at Amazon.com as a paperback or ebook edition.

Link here for the book trailer on YouTube!

***Come back each day this week for a new featured author interview and a chance to win the $25 Amazon Gift Card giveaway.

 

 

Interview with Toni William

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For those looking for a fun read to end their summer nights, here is a great international award-winning author I’d like to introduce you to. Toni William lives in Scotland with his family. He writes from inspiration taken from drawing with his son. Mr. William has created stories and images that emerged from collaboration with his son, putting together imaginative tales. “The Frog Who Lost His Croak” is one of these delightful tales that bring to life vivid characters through rhyming text and playful images. I had the chance to talk with Toni William about his writing routine and process, future projects, and what writing means to him.

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

Toni Williams: I don’t have a writing routine as such. I tend to find I work best with a clear mind. So a lot of my writing and ideas come to me when I’m driving.

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

Toni Williams: I plan to write another three books in this series. Two are already being written currently, one is a story about the importance of sharing, and the other is a fun Christmas story.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Toni Williams: Writing is an escape from reality, you create your own world for others to live in.

Frog Who Lost His Croak cover“The Frog Who Lost His Croak” is a charming adventure about a little frog that woke up with a shock. He had lost his croak. Join him on the journey to find his croak, and all the ups and downs that he encounters. This story is full of beautiful illustrations and engaging rhyming text. It is sure to be a favorite for your child and a repeat read-aloud at bedtime.

“The Frog Who Lost His Croak” is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. This is a Kindle Unlimited title.

For more information on the author Toni William, please visit his website at: https://toni-william.wixsite.com/portal.