Tag Archives: indie children’s author interview

Back To School Blog Tour 2017 Day 3: Featured Author Teddy O’Malley


2017B2SchoolBannerWelcome to the third day of the Back to School Blog Tour. Today’s featured author is Teddy O’Malley. Her books feature characters with diverse characteristics. She’s won the Reader’s Favorite Five Star Seal for her book Cool Kids Wear Glasses. Ms. O’Malley took time out of her busy schedule to share with me her love of reading and writing, memories of school, and what she is working on now.


Teddy O’Malley is the author of The Fairy’s Bubble Wand available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

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

Teddy O’Malley: My favorite children’s author as I was growing up had to be Judy Blume. Her characters were so realistic. Her writing style was what I aspired to write like when I would sit down to type my stories on my old computer when I was a kid. She made me realize that I wanted to publish books. I still hold her books close to my heart, and I can still read them with the same enjoyment I did when I was a kid.

What is your most memorable school moment?

Teddy O’Malley: One of my most memorable school moments happened when I was around twelve years old. We were sitting at the lunch table, and we had been promised candy. Well, that parts a bit fuzzy, but the next part of the memory is clear. I started banging my fists on the table, going, “We want candy! We want candy!” Then the kid next to me did it. Then the kid next to them joined in. Soon, a whole table of kids was shouting, “We want candy!” in unison. I was the quietest kid in the whole school, and I started that. It taught me that one person really can make a difference.

Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.
Teddy O’Malley: I would like to have a routine, but it’s kind of hard since I am currently in college, studying to be a veterinarian. On my days off and during the summer, I aim for no less than five hundred words a day. That’s really to get the ball rolling, and I usually write more than that. During school, I often write between classes. Sometimes I write to procrastinate other things I should be doing. Shh!
Was there anything in school that was difficult for you?

Teddy O’Malley:As far as school subjects go, I really struggled with math. I went through a few math classes multiple times. But now, in college, I actually am starting to like math a bit. I still struggle with it, but I have a professor who has taught me to look at it in a more fun light. Teachers really can make a difference.

What is writing to you in one sentence?

Teddy O’Malley: To me, writing is like breathing.

What projects are you working on right now?

Teddy O’Malley: I’m mostly brainstorming at the moment. I’m planning to write more books for kids in the middle grade age range.

blog-tour-188x300**To continue with the blog tour, head over to one of the participating author’s websites to read a book review of Teddy O’Malley’s The Fairy’s Bubble Wand . Becca Price was featured yesterday in the blog tour. Today, she is posting a review of Teddy O’Malley’s book, The Fairy’s Bubble Wand. So, please, head over and enjoy her book review.

Teddy O’Malley’s book can also be purchased here on Amazon.com or here on Barnes and Noble.com.

**Plus, the $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway is still going on. Be sure to head over and enter today!



June Author Spotlight: Zachariah Rippee, an author interview

Willard Photo

Zachariah Rippee is the author of the children’s picture book series that deals with the joys of reading.

This month, our featured Indie children’s book author is Zachariah Rippee. Zach has written an amazing series of picture books that deals with the treasure that can be found while reading. His main character, Elijah, has a series of adventures discovering the joys of taking a perusal through a book. Each book deals with a different theme of reading.  Knowledge and imagination start out the series in the first two books, Elijah and the Key of Knowledge and Elijah and the City of Danger. 

I had the chance to talk to Zachariah about his series and the joys he’s discovered writing them.

1) How did you get the idea to write your books? 

Mr. Rippee: This is a good question. It is always fun to look at the “birth” of an idea. From a young age I have hoped and dreamed of being a father. Most kids dreamed of being doctors and firemen, a policeman maybe. Nope, not me. I wanted to be a father, a husband. I think that is because of the strong example I had in my own father (who is today my biggest hero). As I got older I began to understand this desire was not only to be a father, but to be a role model for children.

Plain and simply put our children are our future. It only seems logical to want decent role models for our future. As a father I hope my children learn to love reading. As a teacher and role model I want the same thing for my students. I want to do as many things to encourage that as possible. The books are just an extension of my desire to help our children build a better future. Reading is the key to that. If a child can read, they hold the key to their own learning and to a brighter future.
2) Did you have trouble reading as a child? How did this inspire your books?
Mr. Rippee: Short answer: YES!!! I can honestly say, without a doubt and with full understanding of what these words mean, “I HATED READING AS A CHILD!” I did not learn to read easily. I fought to not read. I had such insecurities because of reading deficiencies. I can actually trace being shy and introverted back to an insecurity because of my poor reading ability. Many are shocked to find out that I did not read my first chapter book from cover to cover until I was 22 years old.
The first chapter book I read was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Full disclosure, I only read this book so that I could talk to a girl. The girl!!! She loved reading. She always talked about the Potter books. I find it humorous that reading caused me to pull away from social settings as a child, and reading was the door through which I entered into the most important “social setting” of my adult life. That girl, the girl, is now my wife of nearly eleven years. She has helped me grow my own love of reading. Because of her example I can now see the value of reading as an important life tool. (She also scolded me for reading the Harry Potter books out of order)
My troubles with reading inspired my own books because my books were born out of the desire to prevent my story from becoming my children’s story. After I wrote my first book, Elijah and the Key of Knowledge, I realized that it wasn’t only my story or their story. Kids all over the country are living the same struggles and experiencing the same fears and anxiety that I did. Thus my continued writing.
3) What would you suggest to a reader to try if they want to be an author someday?
Mr. Rippee: In today’s world there are so many tools available to aspiring authors. Social media is full of groups and clubs that are geared towards helping authors learn and grow. Publishing has become so easy with online self-publishing platforms. You can LITERALLY write, illustrate, and publish your own books in a few days. That being said, consider these things: What is your message or story? Who is your audience? How will you build your platform? Who are people you can trust to be helpful resources (editors, illustrators, proof readers, and people to bounce ideas off of)?
Finally, if it is a dream of yours to become a writer…write!
4) What were some of your favorite authors while growing up?
Mr. Rippee: As a child I didn’t like reading. However, since I have been “playing catch up” I have found several wonderful stories by amazing authors.
I am a fan of older (some might say classic) dystopian novels, mysteries, spy novels. Ann Rand, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian Fleming, Ray Bradbury, Edgar Rice Burroughs, George Orwell are some of my favorite authors. I love Anthem by Rand and my favorite book is probably her epic Atlas Shrugged. The ideas and philosophies the novel discusses are interesting to me. I actually spent hours reading it during my 10 year wedding anniversary trip (in flight reading).
I love J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. Jay Asher is a good author. I am also reading The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday.
5) What was the drawing and writing process for your children’s books?

Sketches by Zachariah Rippee during his illustration process in creating his children’s book series.

Mr. Rippee: The drawing process began 5 years and 9 months before my first book was published. I illustrated my character Elijah on the day my wife told me she was pregnant for the first time. (included image). All of my illustrations start as hand drawn sketches that are then scanned and colored digitally. Formatting has been a fun journey for me, as I format all my own books. That is the beauty of self-publishing. You get creative control of the entire project. Several steps happen in between the first sketch and the final draft.


Finished layouts of the book Elijah and the City of Danger by Zachariah Rippee.

As far as the writing process, I have adapted a saying my father taught me. When building something ( we dabble in woodworking) he says “Measure twice, cut once.”   I will consider a page or paragraph in my head for days, rewording it, revising it, and so on. When it hits the paper it is usually fairly close to the finished product. Most of my writing happens in quiet times of waiting ( at the grocery store, eating lunch, in the car). My mind just rolls it over and over until something shiny pops out at me!

6) What writing projects do you have coming up?
Mr. Rippee: I am currently rolling around several stories in my head. I just began self-publishing in the spring. So several ideas have been pent up waiting to burst forth. I am currently working on books that nod to the classic monster movies and campy 60’s superhero shows. I am also working on a whimsical look at how feelings affect our perception of the world around us.

Thank you so much to Mr. Rippee for sharing his experience and his creative process with me for my blog readers. I’m hoping you’ll be inspired to start writing your own stories. For more information on Zachariah Rippee’s books, visit him at Facebook or his Amazon Author Page at:

Facebook Link: https://m.facebook.com/mr.rippee.sir/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Zachariah-Rippee/e/B06XFKLHK9

ElijahKeyKnowledgeCvr***His picture books, Elijah and the Key of Knowledge, Elijah and the City of Danger, and The Green Ladybug: A Book About Kindness are available on Amazon.

***Barnes and Noble links:

***Next week, book reviews of the featured books by the author in the Indie Authors Monthly Spotlight!

-Tiffany Turner

***Tiffany Turner is a children’s author that has been self-publishing for over 10 years. She started the Indie Children’s Authors Connection to help get the word out about amazing children’s books she has found by other Indie authors. Her children’s fantasy adventure books, Crystal Keeper Chronicles series, is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

Back to School Blog Tour 2015: Day 2 Featured Author Rachel Elizabeth Cole

2015 Back to School Blog Tour: DAY TWO

2015 Back to School Blog Tour: DAY TWO

Welcome to day 2 of the Back to School Blog Tour. If you haven’t tried to sign up for the 4 giveaways going on, they are listed at the Back to School Blog Tour Page. There are still several days left. Entering is easy. From liking authors on Facebook to commenting on their blog, you can enter to win fabulous children’s books, children’s ebooks, and Amazon Gift cards.

Today’s featured author is Rachel Elizabeth Cole. 

Rachel Elizabeth Cole writes a mix of genres–from heartfelt literary and women’s fiction, to laugh-out-loud chick-lit, to quirky contemporary middle grade fiction. Her short stories have appeared in literary magazines both online and in print, including Cahoots, Literary Mama, and Flashquake.

When she’s not writing, Rachel works as a graphic designer specializing in book covers. Her favourite season is autumn, she prefers tea to coffee, and she wishes every morning began at ten a.m.

Even though she hates the rain, Rachel lives just outside Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband, their two sons, and two very spoiled house rabbits.

I got to ask Rachel about her school memories, writing inspirations, and upcoming Rabbit series books. I absolutely love them! It might be the teacher in me that I’m a sucker for a cute bunny eating homework, but it’s a great title, book, and she’s an amazing writer. I hope you enjoy her interview.

Rachel Elizabeth Cole is the author of soon to be released "The Rabbit Ate My Flipflops".

Rachel Elizabeth Cole is the author of soon to be released “The Rabbit Ate My Flipflops”.

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

 Rachel: When I was a kid, my favourite author was Gordon Korman. He’s a fellow Canadian who wrote his first book when he was twelve and in Grade Seven. It was published when he was fourteen. That really inspired me to think that if he could write and publish a book, then so could I!


2) What is your most remembered Back to School memory?

Rachel: I don’t have a particular Back to School memory, but I always enjoyed school and learning, so I looked forward to going back every fall. I liked how the classrooms were so clean, the chalkboard washed and shining, the desks empty and waiting for students to put them to use, new books, new pencils, new shoes, new clothes. And, of course, the opportunity for new friends and new learning experiences.


3) Did you have any subjects that were difficult for you in school?

 Rachel: Math. I still struggle with simple arithmetic like multiplication and subtraction—and forget long division! I found it discouraging that all the other kids seemed to get the concepts down so quickly, while I struggled and struggled. Thank goodness for calculators!


4) What helps motivate you to write a story?

 Rachel: The best motivation for me is knowing I’ve got readers eager and waiting to read my books! I write to connect, to teach, to share, to move, to entertain. The best feeling in the world is when readers—especially the reluctant ones—tell me they’ve read my book and loved it so much they’re eager to read more!


5) How would you summarize how writing is for you in one sentence?

 Rachel: For me, writing is like breathing. 


6) What other projects or books are you working on right now?

Rachel: I’m about to start work on The Rabbit Ate My Hall Pass, the third book in The Rabbit Ate My . . . Series.

How To Find This Author:

Website: www.rachelelizabethcole.com
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/rachelelizabethcole/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/rachel_e_cole

Her Rabbit Ate My Homework series is available on Amazon. Purchase links below.

The Rabbit Ate My Flip-Flops releases on Sept. 9 on Amazon. Preorder available now.

The Rabbit Ate My Flip-Flops releases on Sept. 9 on Amazon. Preorder available now.

Her new book, The Rabbit Ate My Flipflops, releases tomorrow Sept. 9.

The Rabbit Ate My Homework Amazon Link:




The Rabbit Ate My Flipflops Amazon Link(Preorder available. Releases Sept. 9):

Kindle FREE Ebook THIS WEEK: The Secret No-Girls Club:



Back To School Blog Tour 2014: Featured Author D.R. Martin


b2schblogtour2014Welcome to Day 4 of the Back to School Blog Tour 2014! If you haven’t signed up for the Book Bundle Giveaway, there are still several days left. Entering is easy. From liking authors on Facebook to commenting on their blog, you can enter to win the fabulous book bundle of children’s book each day. So, keep coming back each day and enter.


Today’s featured author is D.R. Martin. He began his writing career as an arts journalist before moving on to marketing communications work. He has covered topics ranging from consumer electronics and medical technology to travel and classical music. For many years, he reviewed science fiction and fantasy books for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

D.R. Martin is the author of the Johnny Graphic Adventures series.

D.R. Martin is the author of the Johnny Graphic Adventures series.

D. R. is the author of the Johnny Graphic children’s ghost adventure series and the Marta Hjelm hard-boiled PI mystery Smoking Ruin. Under the pen name Richard Audry he has published the Mary MacDougall historical mystery novella A Pretty Little Plot and the canine cozy mystery The Karma of King Harald. The second Mary MacDougall novella, The Stolen Star, was issued this past summer. A Mary MacDougall Mystery Duet is the paperback edition of the two Mary MacDougall novellas. In addition, D. R. is the author of Four Science Fiction Masters: Lost Interviews with Herbert, Pohl, Simak & Dickson; and Travis McGee & Me: Reflections on the Man from Slip F-18.

Below is the exclusive interview with D.R. Martin:

1) What is your favorite memory from the beginning of a school year?

Trying out for plays. We had a great theater program and I was fortunate to get parts in shows every autumn. I always had some stage fright before performances, but a great sense of accomplishment afterwards.

2) Who was your most inspiring teacher? Why?

His name was Robert Burrows. And his demanding high school history and English courses scared away most of the students in my school. But those of us who took on the challenge of his classes felt we learned ten times more than we would have otherwise. In addition to the subject matter, we learned discipline…how to research…how to give and take criticism…how to frame arguments…how to study and write long and hard. For junior year English we each had to create our own American literature textbooks. I still have mine, almost three inches thick—self-illustrated in pen and ink. I think I began my journey as a real writer in Mr. Burrows’ classes.

3) What is the advice you would give children’s authors to get started?

There are various genres of children’s books and you should choose the one you feel the most passion for. For me, it was middle grade fantasy adventure. Make up a list of story ideas, filling in as much of the plots as you can. Then choose the best one and write the book. Get as much feedback as you can. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t have immediate success. You may need to write several books before you learn how to do it well. You must be willing to keep writing, even without much encouragement in the form of income and recognition. In a nutshell, the trick is to keep writing. Never, never, never quit.

4) Who is your favorite character from a children’s book?

As a boy, I loved to read science fiction and fantasy stories, and action-adventures. It was that sort of thing that inspired me to tackle the Johnny Graphic Trilogy. I simply wanted to create a ripping ghost-adventure yarn that both young readers and adults could enjoy. But having said all that, my favorite character in a children’s book is something quite different. It’s Ratty, from The Wind in the Willows. (Which is my all-time favorite novel.) He is the center of gravity in that peerless story of three fast animal friends. While the Mole is shy and timorous, and the Toad grandiose and lunatic, the Water Rat is the solid one who keeps it all together. We should all be as decent and steadfast as Ratty.

5) How could you sum up what writing means to you?

I’ve been fortunate to make my living as a journalist and marketing-communications writer. But even when no one is paying me, I have to keep writing. Though my novels and blogs don’t make much money, I have to write them. Writing is simply too much fun to ever quit putting words on the page. To me, it is as essential as breathing.

6) What are your current writing projects?

In the year since I finished the second Johnny Graphic book, Johnny Graphic and the Attack of the Zombies, I’ve concentrated on two adult mystery series, written under my pen name, Richard Audry. The Karma of King Harald is the first book in a canine cozy series starring a rescue dog who sniffs out crime. I’m working on the second book, King Harald’s Haul, right now. I’ve also written two historical mystery novellas, A Pretty Little Plot and The Stolen Star, which feature 18-year-old sleuth Mary MacDougall. And I’m plotting out the third and final Johnny Graphic adventure. I’ve grown very fond of Johnny and his friends, and I want to make sure they end up safe and sound after all the turmoil I’ve put them through.


His websites include: D. R. Martin Books; The Johnny Graphic Adventures; and Travis McGee & Me.

A free reader’s guide for Johnny Graphic and the Etheric Bomb is available at the Johnny Graphic Adventures website.

Adobe Photoshop PDF



Johnny Graphic Adventure #1: Johnny Graphic And The Etheric Bomb

Available at:

Amazon(paperback): http://www.amazon.com/Johnny-Graphic-Etheric-Bomb-Volume/dp/0985019611

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008B6Z6B8

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Johnny Graphic Adventure #2: Johnny Graphic And The Attack of The Zombies
Available at: