AUTHORS I INTERVIEWED
Interview with writer and poet Marta Moran Bishop
– Thank you, Leyla for the gift of allowing me to join you on your website today. I am touched and thrilled to be here. Your questions are deeply thought-out and are sure to make me think, which is always exciting to me, for I love the challenge.
1. Marta, could you please tell about yourself? Where you grew up, the places you lived, your family and your current place of living?
I hope you don’t mind a lengthy answer here, for it cannot be told in a few sentences, however much I might like too. I think I will start with where I grew up, the places I have lived, and those I grew up with, for that is the beginning of who I am.
I was born in Southern Illinois, but moved to the Mesabi Iron Range, in Minnesota, just before my 2nd birthday. At the time I lived in Babbitt Minnesota, it held two records, one that sixty percent of the population was under the age of six. The second was it had the highest birth rate in the country. For a little town of about 10,000 people it is remarkable. My family was considered to be one of the mid-sized families, there were only nine of us. I am both a middle child and the oldest of the youngest group, but that is another story.
From Northern Minnesota we moved to central Minnesota and then to Saint Paul Minnesota. It was while living in Saint Paul that I moved with my older sister to Seattle Washington, leaving my younger siblings and mother in Saint Paul. Though, shortly after my move to Seattle, my mother and siblings moved to Chicago, where six months after our stint in Seattle, my sister and I joined them in Chicago, Illinois. After my marriage, I lived with my ex-husband in Chicago, Ohio, West Germany, California, and Hawaii. A few years later, after my divorce I traveled for work to multiple states in the south and mid-west, though always returning to Chicago. Until my mother became ill with MS. At that time, she moved in with me and the two of us lived in California, Chicago, and Massachusetts. After her passing and before my marriage to my husband Ken I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Chicago, before moving back to Massachusetts and getting married. Ken and I live on a small farm in Massachusetts with our three horses, four cats, and a parrot named Jack.
Each place I have lived and each person I have met, has left a mark on my heart and spirit. Whether it turned out to be a good experience or a not so good one, I have grown and learned a bit more about myself and who I want to be.
2. What kind of person are you?
I am a person who wishes to make others happy. To do and give the best in me to be, it doesn’t always work out how I wish it would, but that is always my motive. When I was young, I had a bad accident and nearly died, at that time I believed it my job to take away as much of the pain of others that I could. As I grew older I realized one must be compassionate, but not a martyr or you will be eaten alive by the emotions and lives of others. By and large I always look for the best in others, if the relationship or friendship ends for one reason or other. I am someone who will first analyze what my part in it may have been, so that I may grow. As a middle child it made me more sensitive to the emotions of others. When my parents divorced I was the oldest child at home and thus believed it my job to help my mother raise my three younger siblings. I started working full time when I was twelve in order to help support the family.
With my poetry (both the children’s and the adult) my inspirations comes from something as little as a puddle, tree, cloud, etc. to the emotions I feel in others. Sometimes current and past events surge through me and a poem or verse is born.
My stories and novels are sometimes, like Dinky: The Nurse Mare’s Foal, born of meeting Dinky, learning about nurse mare foals and watching my horses interact with their world and with us.
Other novels such as The Between Times and The Choosing came to me almost as if they sprung from a well outside of myself, as if I were living someone else’s life. At other times, the stories spring out of me from some event that takes place, which spins a web in my mind and a book is born. The Void, came from my experiences at my job, though a paranormal/fantasy book, the emotions of the protagonist are those I have felt around me at my place of work.
4. What are your books about? Why do you write?
I write because I must, it is my outlet, my home, and my sanity. In my writing I can both express my inner soul and worlds I see and feel are out there.
5. You write quite a lot of fiction. Can you explain why and how it relates to your own vision of the world?
In fiction I can express a feeling or an idea. I can share someone else’s life, show what can be, take another into the mind and heart of other beings, or help another look at the world through another’s eyes.
In my books I usually need to have a bit of hope at the end of the tunnel, a bit of light to shine into the story. It is in this bit of light, joy, rebirth, or silliness that I keep the hope and belief in others and in the basic goodness of life alive.
I am currently working on numerous stories and books. I have about a third of the story of Dinky’s mother done. I am working on the prequel to The Between Times, currently called Darkness Descends. The sequel to my mother’s story The Hollowers, and lastly the next book in The Memory Keeper series, (The Choosing is book one)
Alas, I also have about a dozen short stories that are still in bits and pieces. If an idea or a bit of a story comes to mind I write it down, sooner or later it finds its way into a book or story.
I will have another book of poetry out either the end of this year or the beginning of 2015, called Darkness into the Light. It is finished except for the formatting and cover. Oh time where are you?
7. What are your hobbies?
My hobbies are as varied as my writing I fear. I ride, make videos, paint, knit, read, dance, and picking the horses stalls. LOL
You can find out more about Marta and her books at her official website: www.martamoranbishop.com and http://www.martambishop.blogspot.com/. And of course everything is available on Amazon, some on Barnes&Noble and a few bookstores.
Awesome interview with award-winning author and book marketing coach Alinka Rutkowska!
- Alinka, could you please tell about yourself? Where you grew up, your roots, the places you lived, your family and your current place of living?
- I grew up partly in Poland and partly in the USA – in Oklahoma exactly! My parents say it was a little bit boring there but I don’t get it – I had a blast in kindergarten and in primary school! I studied and worked in the corporate world all over Europe, Milan and Paris being some of the magnificent cities I lived in. I did learn to drive in the French capital, which is not an easy task, but I never learnt the language of love as well as I learnt Italian. After a couple of years of a fast paced corporate career I decided to take a year off and flew to New Zealand to take a cruise. There was a very handsome sailor on board who would send chocolate-coated strawberries to my cabin every day, so I married him. Now we live in a beautiful village by the sea in North-west Italy, and our two-year old is having a blast!
- How can you describe yourself? What kind of person are you?
- I’m a very dynamic person. I like to act fast. When I set my mind on something I go and get it. I used to set goals and take action to achieve them and I almost always did. Now I am more relaxed about it all. I make sure that I’m enjoying what I’m doing and my actions are inspired rather than motivated. I’m a happy person but it took me years to learn to be this way. It’s all a matter of thinking. If you just keep thinking better-feeling thoughts, you get to a place in which you feel really good most of the time. And then those things that I used to struggle for flow easily into my life.
- You are an author of many wonderful children’s books. Could you please tell from where comes your inspiration for writing books for children?
- Thank you, Leyla. My “Maya & Filippo” Series was inspired by both my cruising (I married a seaman so there are perks!) and my life philosophy. The books show children various places around the world and introduce them to a positive life philosophy. There a let of facts, a positive message slipped in and a quiz at the end – all of which make my readers write exceptional reviews 🙂 Come over to my website at http://alinkarutkowska.com and I’ll give you one of my books for free 🙂
- It was amazing. I’ve won other awards and attended other author events but the Readers Favorite Award Ceremony in Miami was magical. I met some amazing, talented authors, I made invaluable connections and I had the most wonderful time! I hope to win again next year to be able to come and repeat this marvelous experience.
- Do you have any other activity associated with book business?
- I coach other authors on how to achieve the success they desire. I offer trainings and coaching on a variety of topics. Why don’t you come over to my hub for authors at http://alinkarutkowska.com/authors-home/ and I’ll get you started with a free e-book “200 BOOK MARKETING TIPS”.
- I’m about to launch a completely new children’s book series and I cannot contain my excitement! I can’t wait to see the book on paper, to leaf through the pages, to smell it (yeah, I do it) and to shout out from rooftops about it! I have several other projects going on that I hope will benefit and excite both my readers and my fellow authors. Connect with me at http://alinkarutkowska.com to stay in the loop 🙂
- What are your hobbies?
I love skiing, traveling, cruising, body-pump, body-combat, romantic comedies and going to the beach for no longer than an hour close to sunset. I really enjoy good wine (it has to be good) and dark chocolate. Does it count as a hobby?
Thank you for the great interview, Alinka! Readers can find out more about Alinka Rutkowska and her books at her website: http://alinkarutkowska.com/
My series of author interviews continues! Today my guest is a talented award-winning author Jill Bowers Sayre whom I met at 2014 Readers Favorite Awards Ceremony in Miami few months ago.
I was born and raised in Southern California. I received a degree in Art at UCLA, and then my teaching credential from California State, Los Angeles. What I loved most about living there was the weather and the fact that I was a short car ride to the beach, the mountains, and the desert. I love gardening and spent a lot of time outside with my roses and citrus trees. But when my husband and I had the opportunity to move to Dallas for his job, we decided it was going to be a great adventure to live somewhere else. We fell in love with our new home, especially the beautiful Turtle Creek where we take walks with our children and dog all of the time. This creek was the inspiration for my first book.
- What kind of person are you?
I would describe myself as friendly and creative. I enjoy spending time with friends and love to entertain. When I’m not writing, I am a substitute teacher at a local elementary school, or enjoying lunch with friends, or doing some sort of drawing or craft. I am also very involved with co-chairing a local Literary Festival where writers of all genres come to our high school and teach workshops to the entire student body. However, my favorite days are when my calendar shows I have no appointments. On those days you might catch me at my computer, writing in my pajamas, late into the afternoon.
- Could you please tell from where comes your inspiration for writing?
I grew up always thinking about “what if” scenarios. What if that apple could talk? What if there really were supernatural beings in the world? So, for my first book, I explored the possibility of fairies being real. What if fairies live every day outside our door? What would it take to convince someone who didn’t believe in them at all? I am inspired, just as you are, Leyla, in your book “Charm: An Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat”, to expose those little miracles in life to readers. One of my very favorite quotes is by the children’s author Roald Dahl: “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” I believe in everyday magic, especially when I look at nature and create art.
- You recently attended the 2014 Readers Favorite Award Ceremony in Miami. Tell about this!
I am very honored to have been awarded the Silver Medal in the category of Children’s Fiction: Fantasy. It was wonderful to meet so many talented authors and to talk about the writing process with people who truly understand it. I met you and several others who continually motivate me to push forward in my work. It was a wonderful few days in beautiful Miami!
- What your book is about? Why do you write?
My book, “The Fairies of Turtle Creek”, is about a rational eighth grader, Claire, from a suburb of Dallas, who believes science can prove the existence of everything. Her life has changed dramatically ever since her brother went to fight in Iraq. And her world is flipped around even more when her estranged grandmother comes to live with her and begins telling about the family’s history, with twists of the supernatural and whimsical. At first, Claire is skeptical about her seemingly senile grandmother’s tales of mystical happenings down by the creek that she loves to observe and draw. But eventually, Claire is forced to face some truths she never thought possible. Could fairies actually exist? Could believing in magic actually provide her with a sense of hope? To learn more, please go to www.jillksayre.com.
I write to share my unique perspective, just as I love to read to explore someone else’s point of view. As a painter, I have found writing to be an outlet of creative expression by painting with words. I also write to grow as a person. By attending conferences, writing group meetings, and writing classes, I not only get better and better at my craft, but I gain so much new insight into others. It’s wonderful to have a published work, but the journey of getting it there is just as special to me.
- What you are currently working on? Any future plans?
I am currently writing a Young Adult fantasy/romance involving gargoyles. Also, there are plans in the works for the next “Fairies” book which will be about mermaids, sea sprites, and magical Hawaiian beings called “menehunes”. I am also working on some articles for magazines on Hawaiian culture and am outlining a non-fiction book on Art Journaling.
- What are your hobbies?
Outside of writing, I love to cook with friends, take walks, and my three children, two of which are still in high school, keep me pretty busy. I also spend a lot of time with my ‘writing assistants’, my vizsla dog named Bella and my calico-tabby cat named Lemmy-Winx.
NOVEL INTERVIEW WITH RICHARD ARBIB. #books, #author #interviews.
- Richard, could you please tell about yourself? Where you grew up, the places you lived, your family and your current place of living?
I was born in New York City, later lived as a teenager in Squaw Valley (site of the 1960 Winter Olympics). Studied at San Francisco State University where I received a master’s degree in English and creative writing. Now living in Reno, Nevada. I’m single and my ideal woman would be Sylvia, the female character in my novel, The Vampire Girl Next Door.
- What kind of person are you?
I’m similar in many ways to Mark, the narrator of my novel. The character and I both were students at San Francisco State University, both exercised at Gold’s Gym, both practiced Wing Chun kung fu. But none of the events in the novel happened to me. I’ve never had a girlfriend who was a vampire. While it’s probably obvious to many that the character Mark is similar to me in some ways, it’s also true of the character Sylvia. Like her, I enjoy art and music. While I can’t play the harpsichord and she does, I appreciate the music on the harpsichord. Sylvia is involved in the practice of magic and I have always had an interest in magic and the supernatural dating all the way back to the 1970s and 1980s when I learned and practiced magic with others.
- Could you please tell from where comes your inspiration for writing?
As to where the inspiration for my novel came from, I was influenced by three stories I read in 1978: “Clarimonde,” by Theophile Gautier (1836), “Carmilla,” by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu (1871), and “The Spider,” by Hans Heinz Ewers (1915). All three have beautiful female vampires who are seductive, seemingly sweet and innocent, yet dangerous. All three are narrated by the actual victim, who has fallen under the spell of the alluring vampire.
- What is your book is about? Why do you write?
Here is my short description of my novel:
When Mark first meets Sylvia, he tells her, “You’re the girl of my dreams!”
Sylvia smiles and responds with a warning—“Be careful what you wish for.”
My novel would be categorized as paranormal romance. I like reading stories in that genre. I like writing them because I can create the outcome. When Mark tells Sylvia that he saw her in his dreams, she replies, “Freud would call this wish fulfillment.” I think I created Sylvia and the romance of the two characters because it was something I wanted to experience .
Right now, I’m rewriting the original draft of the sequel to The Vampire Girl Next Door. While the first novel was set in San Francisco, the sequel moves the location to Sylvia’s home in London. After the sequel, there may be a third novel in the series. After that, I will probably write another paranormal romance, but with a ghost instead of a vampire.
- What are your hobbies?
I enjoy art museums, plays, book discussions, photography, but also athletic activities such as bicycling, going to
the gym, martial arts, and ice-skating (racing).
Interview with award-winning author Wayne Clark!
- Wayne, could you please tell me about yourself? Where you grew up, the places you lived, your family and your current place of living?
I was born in 1946 in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, but my dad was in the army and by the time I was about seven we had become a mobile family. Our first posting was Germany. From that point on the place I would call home changed every few years. The upside is that I think I’ve become very adaptable to new situations and interested in other cultures. I’ve lived coast to coast in my own country and lived briefly in Holland and Mexico. The downside is that I have almost no memory of childhood friends, teachers, schools and so on.
I started working very young as a newspaperman, which I loved because it afforded a chance to meet people from all walks of life. Doing something different every day, and the deadlines, were exciting. That led to the world of magazines, where I worked for years on staff or as a freelance writer and editor. Magazine writing gave me much more leeway to develop my writing than newspapers, and I worked with some superb editors, one of whom ended up editing my current novel so many years later. Since 1968, I’ve called Montreal home. I fell in love with the city when I was a young man. Although I’ve moved around a number of times since then, it’s the only city I ever truly feel homesick for. I’m the father of two grown daughters, both (happily for me) still living in Montreal. I also have a younger brother.
- What kind of person are you?
I’m someone who needs a lot of time alone. While I probably fit an introvert’s profile, I am actually quite sociable. I often have to be dragged out of my place kicking and screaming but I love meeting and talking to people. However, I’m not at all comfortable in large groups. I heartily dislike most parties but love being at a dinner table with a small group of family or friends. Most of all I love talking to people one-on-one.
While I can appreciate nature’s wonders, especially the sea, I am overwhelmingly a city person. I want to look out my window and see lots of people. I like crowded streets and subways. I’m a people watcher and an eavesdropper, which is why I don’t clamp on earphones when I’m out.
- Could you please tell me where your inspiration for writing comes from? Why do you write?
Whether as a newspaperman, magazine writer, advertising copywriter or translator, I’ve almost always made my living with words. I simply like writing… anything. I’ve also kept a journal since the 1970s. It’s as if I don’t believe anything is real until I write it down. When people still wrote letters, I wrote long ones. I’ve wanted to write a novel since I was an adolescent, and I’ve often had a novel in the works while earning my living doing other things. The novel I published recently is the only one I liked enough to publish, but the important thing is that from the time I started writing it to the day my first draft was done, I never once thought of publishing it. I was writing because I love writing scenes, scenes based on things that have either struck me emotionally — imagined, dreamed about, witessed, read about — or seemed strangely out of place or incongrous or just incomplete, scenes that beg to be flushed out. Sometimes a painting draws me in and I don’t know why. I want to imagine where it is trying to take me.
I find the destinations, explanations and connections the imagination provides to be as close to magic as I’ll ever get. I tell myself in the morning that all I have to do to enjoy that magic is to put my fingers on the keyboard. Some days nothing happens, but at other times I find a whole day has gone by and there is something on my screen that never existed before. I do that sort of writng for my pleasure. I think about novels now and then, and I do sometimes find myself saying “Yes, that (fill in the blanks) might be worth a novel.” But nowadays I mostly just start writing scenes to see where they will take me. I think inspiration comes from making yourself open to the creative side of your being and being willing to accept and flow with whatever “reality” it presents. If there were no surprises I wouldn’t do it.
“he & She” is about a middle-aged man who realizes his life has ended up as nothing. He is alone, he has a booze problem, his relationships have withered away, he is afraid of the final years of his life. He feels he has nothing to look forward to, but at the same time nothing to lose. Above all, he feels dead sexually. He tells himself his sexuality is only real barometer of being. By chance, he sees a photo of a young woman on the Internet. He is transfixed. Only later does he notice she is a dominatrix. In his desperation about what’s left of his life, he makes a decision that ends up transforming it. If I may I’d like to quote an excerpt from a review that I think gives a pretty good picture of the book:
“…Clark uses the narrative to explore how diverse and intricate sexuality can be. The BDSM scenes are raw and realistic without being too much for newcomers who haven’t read erotic books like this before. The story builds upon itself aggressively, never veering away from the gritty conclusion that barrels ahead as the final pages come to an end. All in all, this is a delectable novel about a man exploring his unknown sexual fantasies at the price of possibly losing his true self along the way.”.
5. You recently attended the 2014 Readers Favorite Award Ceremony in Miami. Tell about this!
What can I say right now other than stating that I’m answering your question in late January, the coldest month of the year in Montreal? Speaking seriously, the warmth I felt when meeting so many wonderful writers at the ceremony had nothing to do with temperature and palm trees. I said above that I am very uncomfortable in large groups and I admit to having had reservations about what the experience of being surrounded by hundreds of writers would be like. But that apprehension evaporated on Day 1, even before I had a drink. What made Miami rewarding was that it was a culmination of something else, namely the group created for us on Facebook where we got to know each other online for months before the awards ceremony. Meeting one another face-to-face seemed only natural. As for the awards we received there, I think they had the effect of telling us someone has noticed — and valued — what we spent so much time creating. If it were not for that award, I believe there would be days when I would find myself sitting alone at home trying to assure myself that I really did publish that novel. It’s a cliché but writing is indeed a lonely profession. Hearing now and then from friends I made in Miami reminds me that I’m not alone.
- What you are currently working on? Any future plans?
I didn’t believe it when I first read it, but it’s true: marketing your book takes as much time and energy as writing it. My book was published in late October 2013, but I’m still very busy learning the ropes of life post publication. As for another book, I can’t say I’m actively planning one but I can say I’m toying with two ideas. One is resurrecting an idea I worked on many years ago for a totally different kind of book, a novel set in New France in the 17th or 18th century. I researched that idea for several years. Because I wrote he & She without an outline, I’m starting to think the reason I didn’t write the historical novel was that I had too much research. Boxes full of it. It froze me. The other idea I’m tossing around is a new one, and I never talk to anyone about those ideas until I’ve actually started writing. Even then I tend to keep my mouth shout, not because I’m particularly secretive by nature but because once I talk out a story that’s percolating in my head it dies. There’s nothing more to create. That’s advice I would give any writer: Don’t talk about it, write it.
- What are your hobbies?
I’ve always loved reading, although I stopped reading fiction while I was writing he & She. I’ve gone back to it but I spend far fewer hours doing so, partly because of vision problems. I love music. I play alto sax and flute. I stopped playing the horn for decades because you always worry about neighbors. However I took it up again seven or eight years ago and found out my neighbors don’t mind. I always used to play classical on flute but now I play the sax almost exclusively to explore my other love, jazz and blues. I’m a lousy musician but I find playing sax the greatest way to shut off my mind. I find great release in it.
Readers can find out more about Wayne Clark and his book at his author website: http://www.wayne-clark.co
Interview with award-winning author Danielle Soucy Mills!
- Danielle, could you please tell about yourself? Where you grew up, the places you lived, your family and your current place of living?
I grew up in Gloucester, Massachusetts, a small seaside city which can pretty much be considered an island, since it’s surrounded by water on all sides and you have to cross a bridge to get there. It is a very beautiful place, a place I did not totally appreciate until I moved away. I pretty much lived in the same house my whole life until I went to college in Rhode Island. I first ended up at the University of Rhode Island, undeclared as a major and hoping to join their gymnastics team. I was devastated when I did not make the team. Instead of giving up, I continued to practice at a nearby gym, and ended up transferring colleges. Rhode Island College was just 40 minutes away, and so I ended up not only finding a great college gymnastics team to compete with, but also a school which allowed me to focus on English and creative writing. I won my first award for a college of short stories. After I was finished with my undergraduate degree, I followed my yearning to live in a place with warmer weather and palm trees. I got accepted to Chapman University, a small private school in Orange County to pursue my M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and the rest is history. I now live in San Diego, and I absolutely love it beyond what I can express.
- What kind of person are you?
Believe it or not, I’m actually kind of a shy person. As a kid, I was very sensitive, and often kept to myself. I had very low self-esteem, and so I worked through a lot of that only to realize as an adult, most of the stuff you worried about as a kid was pointless. Now, although I am still very sensitive, I channel my emotions into my writing and gymnastics coaching as well. I am a go-getter. I have always known that my purpose here on earth was to become a writer, and also a gymnastics coach. I fell in love with both at a young age, and so I’m working to inspire kids (and adults) to really pursue what lies within the depths of their heart.
- What is your award-winning book “Tina Tumbles” about? Could you please tell from where comes your inspiration for writing?
My children’s book is about a young girl named Tina who sees gymnasts flipping across the TV and wants to try gymnastics herself. It looks easy enough, but when she tries, she just can’t seem to get it right, and is constantly tumbling over. She tries everywhere—on her bed, on the couch, on her swing-set. And she doesn’t want to do anything else. Finally, her mother realizes she needs to sign her daughter up for gymnastics lessons. In the gym, Tina discovers all of the awesome things she couldn’t do at home—the uneven bars, the balance beam, the foam pit. She also learns the power of positive thinking, and how listening and making corrections from her coach finally helps her reach her goal of landing on her feet in her cartwheel. This book was inspired by my own experiences in gymnastics. I began like Tina did, on the furniture in my home. My mom was so afraid I’d get hurt that she signed me up for gymnastics lessons at the age of 3. I loved it so much that over 25 years later, I’m still doing it, and I don’t ever plan to stop.
- You have just launched your second book, “Illusion of an Ending.” Congratulations on it! It hit the top Amazon Best sellers in Visionary Fiction, it was also a hot new release. Amazing! How did you do that?
Thank you so much! After launching my children’s book, I knew it was important to put my novel in the perfect category on Amazon. I also decided to donate the proceeds of my launch to certain non-profit organizations, which also helped spread the word about the book. I went on a few radio shows, and told my friends and family. But the work does not end at the launch. I am planning on doing a blog tour to help raise more awareness within its genre.
- What are you currently working on? Any future plans?
I already have the next book in the “Totally Tina” series, which is actually not gymnastics related. It’s about Tina wanting to lose her first tooth. I do plan to return to the subject of gymnastics in the next book though, and will probably go back and forth between different aspects of what it’s like to be young and to learn to view the world with a positive outlook. I have a few other children’s books that I’ve written that I am going to continue to work on, one in the same genre as my novel, Visionary & Metaphysical fiction. I also plan to write my next novel soon as well, which will follow similar themes.
I absolutely love everything outdoors. The beach and the ocean, the mountains, hiking, biking, and enjoying the beauty and peace in nature. I am lucky to be married to a great guy who loves all of the same. We often go out at nights and throw around our light-up Frisbee. Staying active is important to me, and so I try to “work out” and do gymnastics when I can, although I’m certainly not as limber as I used to be! I also love music, writing anything from blog entries to poetry, and of course, reading books. Especially New Age/metaphysical books which delve into the topics of our life purpose and how to live our best lives. I do not believe in coincidence or that anything that happens to us in life is random.
Thanks for the wonderful interview! You can visit me at my website: http://www.daniellesoucymills.com/
Interview with award-winning author Sherrill S. Cannon. #books
I am so honored to interview an award-winning author of multiple children’s books, Sherrill S. Cannon for my official author website. A former teacher, Sherrill S. Cannon of New Hope, Pennsylvania, is now retired and travels the country with her husband in an RV, going from coast to coast to visit their children and grandchildren, sharing her books along the way.
Author Sherrill S. Cannon’s children’s books have won her twenty-eight prestigious awards in 2011-14. In the past five years, this award-winning former teacher has had six books and seven children’s plays published. Her seventh will be released in 2015!
- Sherrill, could you please tell about yourself? Where you grew up, the places you lived, your family and your current place of living?
I was born in West Palm Beach, FL but only stayed there until I was 9 months old! My hotel-manager Canadian father took us to the Royal Muskoka Hotel (Ontario, Canada) for several years before he became the Manager of the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. when I was 6. We lived there for 10 years – which made me sort of an “original Eloise”! My husband and I married when we were 20 and 22 respectively, and lived in Northern Virginia for 19 years, ten of which I was a teacher, and later a newspaper sports photographer and columnist while raising our 4 children. Multiple years and moves (and jobs, including running a Dinner Theatre, and being an Office Manager) later, we are now in New Hope, PA, a suburb of Philly, where we are retired (if you don’t count my husband’s consulting business and my children’s books…) and traveling in our RV. We celebrated our 54th Anniversary in June!
I like to think that I am a giving person… I truly love to give, and make others happy. My greatest achievement in life are my children who are all contributing nicely to society… well, that and the success of my books for children!
3. You are an author of many children’s books. Could you please tell from where comes your inspiration for writing?
The first children’s book I wrote was Peter and the Whimper-Whineys, which was a story my mother told to me as a child, and later to her grandchildren, which I wanted to get into written form so that it would not be lost. Because I have always loved poetry – and the rhyme and meter of words – it seemed wonderful to combine both story-telling and poetry…so that children could hear the music of the words. My first published children’s book was Santa’s Birthday Gift, which was inspired by my granddaughter who, after listening to me read the story of the Nativity to her, looked at me and asked, “But where’s Santa?” That story actually came to me in a dream that night – and it’s not about what Santa gets, but what Santa gives…a promise to baby Jesus to bring gifts at Christmas to celebrate His birthday.
All of my books try to teach values to children – I guess once a teacher, always a teacher – but they are all disguised as fun stories! “The Golden Rule” is the subliminal message…if everyone could treat others as they wish to be treated themselves, think of what a wonderful world we could have!!!
My books also have strong social messages – about thinking of others, manners, how to cope with bullying, self-esteem…and also are all part of two ongoing fundraisers: http://sbpra.com/CureJM and http://sbpra.com/Imbullyfree – where 50% of the cost of the books goes to each charity.
My seventh book, Teacher’s Warning, has just gone into Illustration with my wonderful illustrator, Kalpart, and will be released in April 2015 (hopefully!) Please stay tuned for another rhyming story, with some familiar characters, but a very different storyline!
6. What are your hobbies?
Other than keeping up with all the social media, I love to read – and spend time in the RV, exploring the beauty of the U.S. as we travel to Florida and California and back each year to spend time with our family (and, I admit, to stay warm!)
You can find out more about author and her books at her website: http://sbpra.com/sherrillscannon/