Posted in Author Meet Up, Meet the authors

Meet the author: Joan Dee Wilson

*  Author website/social media: https://www.joandeewilson.com   and Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/thebluefooties/

Tell me a little about yourself: I think I was a young artist at heart, drawing a lot and continued through high school and college. After only a few years of college where I traversed between fine art, technical art, sculputure and advertising, I got my first art job helping to produce automotive ads and catalogs. From there I got married and started our family, raising three children who are now older and raising their own kids. I was always selective choosing what I read to my young ones then, many years after I retired, I shopped for books for my grandson and decided to write my own books. With my artist background, my love for birds and the research I’ve done on them, my bird characters have evolved.

When you were my age, did you like to read? Yes but I also spent a lot of time outside. I am from a large family and a lot was different than what it is today. Quiet time at home was a premium and much too seldom. I do remember looking forward to an afternoon at the Library.

2   What was your favorite story?The first books that come to mind were the Nancy Drew series, The Box Car Children and many more long forgotten.

3   How do you get your ideas? Ideas come to me when I’m doing other things. Like one evening w lost power I wrote much of my new book using a flash light under a tent of blankets. It was very cold.

4. Is it hard to write/illustrate a book? No. It is all I have to focus on these days.

5   Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated? Yes, Snowy Lodin. I am thinking about revising it this winter. I have an idea for continuing the story.

6   What author do you really like right now? There are so many I don’t feel it’s fair to ame just one.

7   What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author? Read. And ponder what you read. And be honest with yourself. If you think a particular read is not good – stand by your oppinion without going along with trends just because.

Posted in Author Meet Up, Meet the authors

Meet the author: Joe Spraga

Author website/social media:  https://joespraga.com/ / @joespraga (Twitter)

Tell me a little about yourself:  I am a graduate of Western Michigan University, with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English (Creative Writing) and a Minor in Philosophy.

When you were my age, did you like to read?  Yes, very much.

What was your favorite story?  The Very Hungry Caterpillar – (this is really cool-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75NQK-Sm1YY

How do you get your ideas?  My ideas honestly just pop into my head in a sing/song way. I have a very vivid/musical imagination.

Is it hard to write/illustrate a book?  If you just want to write a book, and you don’t know what about, it can be difficult. However, if you know what you want to write about, it’s easy. Of course we can always use practice to get better as we write/draw more and more. Although I did a series of paintings for my book, I hired a talented artist to take my paintings to a new level for the illustrations in my book.

Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated?  Just this one- The Snitch, The Witch, and The One Who Was Rich.

What author do you really like right now?  I am really into Oscar Wilde right now.

What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?  Read a lot when you are young. When you are out and about just living your every day life, make those moments visual memories in your mind. Once you have a lot of memories, they will start to flow into a story with words, and you will find your voice!

Posted in Author Meet Up, Meet the authors

Meet the author: Shutta Crum

www.shutta.com ,  www.facebook.com/shuttacrum , https://twitter.com/shutta

I write poetry, children’s books, children’s novels and nonfiction articles for magazines and journals. By Dec. 2017, I’ll have sixteen books out. My newest book is MOUSELING’S WORDS. I love writing for kids of all ages!

Questions:

1. When you were my age did you like to read? As a kid I loved reading everything! I wanted to read all of the books in our small school library. But I did especially love adventure books.

2. What was your favorite book? One book I loved and still think fondly of is: MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN by Jean Craighead George.

3.Where do you get your ideas for books? Ideas are all around us all the time—it just takes a few quiet moments to think about why something is happening, and how if you just made on little tweak . . . really wild things could happen. I like playing “what if.” That is, asking myself what if this or that? What if a space ship landed on the roof of my house on Christmas Eve, instead of Santa?

4. Is it hard to write a book? It’s VERY difficult to write a good book! It’s easy to write a bad book. Sometimes it can take me years to finish a book. But that’s all right, because in the end I know I’ve given it my all and tried to make it the best book I can.

5. Do you have a favorite book of the ones your have written? All my young readers ask if I’ve got a favorite book of my own that I’ve written. That’s always difficult to answer because I like different ones on different days for different reasons. But, overall, MY MOUNTAIN SONG pulls at my heart because it is similar to how I spent happy summers with my grandparents. And THOMAS AND THE DRAGON QUEEN is dear to me because I had my father in mind as I wrote it.

6. What authors are you reading right now? Right now, I love many many authors! I’m reading a lot of Jason Reynold’s novels lately. And I just reread A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness. Really enjoying this reading. As far as books for the very young, I love Rosemary Wells’ books, Sandra Boynton and Jon Klassen.

7. Do you have advice for kids who want to be an author? My best advice: read, read, read! How do you know what you want to write if you don’t read at all levels and in all genres? A good writer needs to really be versed in their field. Read at least a thousand books before you begin your own.

Posted in Author Meet Up, Meet the authors

Meet the author: Jean Alicia Elster

website– http://jeanaliciaelster.com
Facebook author page–
https://www.facebook.com/Jean-Alicia-Elster-Books-160713827312932/
Twitter– @j_a_elster

1. When you were my age, did you like to read? As a youngster, I loved to read!
2. What was your favorite story? My favorite book was Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

3. How do you get your ideas? The ideas for my two most recently published books, Who’s Jim Hines? and The Colored Car, came from real events in my family’s history in the city of Detroit during the 1930s. As a young person growing up, I heard the core of many of these tales during family gatherings. Of course, for my books, I fictionalize, expand and embellish these core bits of family lore.

4. Is it hard to write/illustrate a book? Writing is a very complex and exacting activity: taking a thought in your mind and writing words that allow the reader to share that thought. So in that sense, writing a book is not an easy endeavor. However, I love the process of writing and I love the end result (creating a book!), so it is not hard for me to write my books.

5. Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated? I do not have a favorite among my many books–they are all very special to me.

6. What author do you really like right now? An author that I am enjoying right now is Edwidge Danticat, a Haitian-American author.

 7. What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author? My advice to any young person who wants to be an author is to read, read, READ as much as they can. They should read different genres of literature, and they should read authors of different nationalities. They should immerse their lives in words.

 

Posted in Author Meet Up, General

Special news flash

You can meet your favorite author. Just follow them on social media or write to them. I have found most respond so write!

You can also meet authors and illustrators at events. Check your libraries and book stores for events. I went to an event to meet three authors and saw another author I knew, so authors also support authors. There was another author at Salina Yoon’s library event!

On Saturday, when I met Marcie Colleen, some kids didn’t even realize they were with an author. They didn’t seem to believe it when I told them she was the author. For all you know your favorite kids author is standing next to you.

And if you connect with them, you might just give Jarret J. Krosoczka a ketchup and mustard high five, play mime with Salina Yoon, be on the radio with Guy Raz or get Mike Maihack’s Cleopatra’s before they are released.

So write to your authors and illustrators!

Posted in Author Meet Up, Meet the authors

Meet the author: Jim Benton

Author website/social media: www.jimbenton.com

Tell me a little about yourself: I’m an author and artist, and I created Franny K Stein, Dear Dumb Diary, Victor Shmud, as well as licensed properties like It’s Happy Bunny

When you were my age, did you like to read?: I would read anything. I liked MAD Magazine, and Batman comic books, as well as longer stories. I also liked some old books like The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

What was your favorite story? My favorite story???? I have no idea!! I don’t know how to pick a favorite!

How do you get your ideas?: I just sit down and start doodling or writing. The ideas eventually just come.

Is it hard to write/illustrate a book? Only sometimes. Usually it’s a lot of fun, but if a drawing is giving me trouble, or if I’m stuck on part of a story, that can be kind of frustrating.

Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated?: My favorite is whatever I’m working on at that very moment. Currently it’s a Christmas book.

What author do you really like right now?: One of my all time favorites is an author named P.G. Wodehouse.

What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?: Keep reading and keep writing. Even silly little things are great practice and your work matters.

Posted in Author Meet Up, Meet the authors

Meet the author: Nancy Shaw

DSC00002

nancyshawbooks.com

facebook.com/nancyshawbooks

When you were my age, did you like to read? I have always loved to read.

What was your favorite story? In elementary school, I liked Beverly Cleary, Ruth Stiles Gannett, and especially Half Magic by Edward Eager. (I like Harry Potter and I’m sure they would have been favorite books if I’d had them when I was young.) I kept loving to read all the time I was growing up, and I still do.

How do you get your ideas? Why Sheep? Ideas can come from real life–I wrote Elena’s Story because of visiting a middle school in Guatemala. I wrote Raccoon Tune because raccoons kept messing up our trash cans. The Sheep stories started from goofing around with rhymes–I wanted to see if I could tell a whole story that rhymed with “eep”–and then grew because sheep are fun to put in silly situations. They have a reputation for not being very sensible.

Is it hard to write/illustrate a book? It’s hard for me to write a book–especially getting started, and then making the characters have enough of a problem to be a real story.

Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated? I’m fond of Raccoon Tune and Sheep Out to Eat, but I like them all.

What author do you really like right now? I have many favorite authors, especially Jane Austen and Anthony Doerr for adults. Some of the authors I like for young people are Maryrose Wood, Gennifer Choldenko, Lisa Yee, Cece Bell, David Wiesner, and Jerdine Nolen. A new favorite is The War That Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.

What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author? Reading what you love is good practice for being an author. You will get a sense of how stories work, even if you are not thinking about it directly. And write what you enjoy writing, too