Category Archives: Children’s author

Chesterville ~ November 7th

Today’s stop on my fall/winter tour was at the Royal Canadian Legion in Chesterville, Ontario.

This is the second time I’ve done this event and it was so much fun the first time around last year, that I had to come back.

My strings of battery-operated LED lights are wrapped around the books although they don’t show up well in these photos.

The plan was to bring along my inspiration board for A Shadow in the Past – I packed the easel in the car, but wouldn’t you know it – I forgot the inspiration board. I realized that shortly after getting on the highway and wasn’t about to come back for it. Oh well, I’ve got plenty more shows remaining this year so I’ll just have to remember to put it in the trunk of the car.

Chesterville
My display
Chesterville
My display
Chesterville
Me with my display

All in all, it was a great day. I met many interesting people, including a friend of my mum.

I sold 3 copies of A Shadow in the Past, 3 copies of Tim’s Magic Christmas and 2 copies of The Consequences Collection.

I’ll definitely be back here again… that is, if they’ll have me.

WEIRD NOISES IN THE NIGHT by Beverly Stowe McClure ~ COVER REVEAL

weird noises in the nightBlurb:

Weird noises in the night send the imaginations of three young girls soaring. Is it the rain, a dragon, an alien from outer space, or a ghost? As Olivia and her best friends seek the source of the sound, they discover that the truth is not as scary as their imaginations.
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Title: WEIRD NOISES IN THE NIGHT
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Illustrator: Eugene Ruble
Print ISBN: 9781616336066;1616336064
eBook ISBN: 9781616336073;1616336072
Ages: 6-9
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Links:
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About the Author:
weird noises in the night
Most of the time, you’ll find Beverly in front of her computer, writing the stories little voices whisper in her ear. When she’s not writing, she takes long walks and snaps pictures of clouds, wild flowers, birds and deer. To some of her friends, she is affectionately known as the “Bug Lady” because she rescues butterflies, moths, walking sticks, and praying mantis from her cats.

For twenty-two years Beverly taught children in grades two through five how to read and write. They taught her patience. Now, she teaches a women’s Sunday school class at her church. To relax she plays the piano. Her cats don’t appreciate good music and run and hide when she tickles the ivories.

For a chance to win a PDF or Paperback copy of the book answer the question: What do you think the weird noise is that the girls hear? 

 

Brady’s Lost Blanket by Stephanie Burkhart

BradysLostBlanketCover.inddBLURB:

Brady is a sensitive young boy who takes his blankie wherever he goes. After traveling with his parents to visit his new cousin, Brady accidently leaves his blanket behind. Can Brady learn to get by without his blankie?

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Welcome to Celtic Connexions, Stephanie. I’m always happy to host a fellow 4RV author here. I’m sure everyone wants to know the story behind the book and more…

What inspired you to write the story?

One of my husband’s relatives mentioned their grandchild had a blankie and was having a hard time without it. I drew on my own childhood memories of having a blankie. I think letting go of the blankie is the first step in growing up.

How long did it take?

It took about a week to write the story. I have to thank 4RV Publishing for publishing Brady’s Lost Blanket. It took about 2 weeks back and forth with the editing.

Did you pick the illustrator?

No, I did not. 4RV Publishing selected the illustrator. I think Bridget McKenna did a great job with the illustrations. They have a very whimsical feel and compliment the story well.

What makes this book special?

Brady’s Lost Blanket has a message for all young children who become attached to “something” (be it a blanket or something else) because they want to feel secure. It’s okay to let go of our “security” nets and move forward. It maybe a little scary at first, but once you go without it, you learn you can live without it.

How long have you been writing children’s books?

About 5 years now. My first children’s book, “The Giving Meadow” was published with 4RV Publishing in 2010. It has a great message about sharing and caring for young children as well as telling about Caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly. It’s perfect for Easter as it helps young children understand Jesus’ story.

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My review:

Brady’s Lost Blanket is a delightful children’s story about growing up and moving on from the security of a ‘blankie’ to not needing it anymore.

It’s a well-written book and thoughtfully told story.

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Inspiration comes in small packages

By: Stephanie Burkhart

One of my husband’s relatives told me a story about her grandchild who was attached to his blankie. He left it behind when he was visiting relatives and was having a hard time without it. That brought back memories of the time when I was a young girl and had a blankie. My blankie was soft blue with silk blue trim. I loved to rub it against my face. It was very soothing. My blankie was my security net. It was always there for me. I could count on it to relax my ruffled feelings or frustration – until it mysteriously disappeared. One day, when I was five, my blankie turned up missing. I had no idea what happened to it. I felt “out of sorts,” “uncomfortable,” and “anxious.” (My mother hid it on me. She decided it was time for me to learn how to get along without it.)

Those first couple of days without blankie was rough, but I soon learned other age appropriate coping stragedies. I played with Barbie and her Beach van. I picked up a book. I began coloring. I loved playing with Matchbox cars. Soon my imagination grew and I didn’t need blankie anymore.

Giving up blankie was my first step to growing up.

Brady’s Lost Blanket is about taking that first step. It’s a great message for children. Growing up isn’t easy. There are all kinds of challenges, but learning how to get along without a blankie is usually the first one a child faces. In the story, Brady has a lot of support from his parents who offer him other ways to deal with the anxiety of losing his blanket. I hope that when other children read the story they realize that while it may be upsetting at first, letting go of blankie and embracing new things can be fun and they’ll be all right.

ABOUT STEPHANIE:

steph7Stephanie Burkhart was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire, but now calls California her home. She currently works for LAPD as a 911 Dispatcher. Stephanie has been writing since she was five, when she crafted homemade comic books on the kitchen table. Her previous books with 4RV Publishing include: The Giving Meadow, and First Flag of New Hampshire.  Stephanie enjoys coffee, adores chocolate and is currently the Den Leader for her son’s Cub Scout Den.

BRADY’S LOST BLANKET is available in print from 4RV Publishing.

BUY LINKS:

4RV PUBLISHING BOOKSTORE

AMAZON

BARNES & NOBLE

FIND STEPHANIE ON THE WEB AT:

WEBSITE

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

GOOD READS

YOU TUBE CHANNEL

PINTEREST

Did you have a blankie growing up? Did you know someone who had a blankie?

Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll is now open

Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll for 2013 is now open

Once again my publisher – 4RV Publishing – is nominated in the Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll in a number of categories. Voting is easy. Click on the link beside each category listed below, select the 4RV title/author/artist etc., then scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your name and email address. And to confirm you’re not a spammer, enter the author’s name in the box beside the thumbnail of the book cover that’s there. You’ll receive a confirmation email with a link in it. Simply click on it to confirm your vote. (My debut novel, A Shadow in the Past, finished 3rd in its category in the 2012 P&E Readers’ Poll.)

4RV Publishing is nomininated in the following Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll categories:

Other novels:

A Wandering Warrior by Harry Gilleland – http://critters.org/predpoll/novel.shtml

Young Adult novels:

Taking the High Ground by Amy Alessio http://critters.org/predpoll/novelyoungadult.shtml

Children’s books:

I Like Pink by Vivian Zabel http://critters.org/predpoll/novelchildrens.shtml

Book/eBook cover art:

A Wandering Warrior Aidana WillowRaven http://critters.org/predpoll/bookart.shtml (Aidana did the gorgeous cover for A Shadow in the Past)

Author:

Vivian Zabel http://critters.org/predpoll/author.shtml

Print/electronic book Publisher:

4RV Publishing http://critters.org/predpoll/ebookpublisher.shtml

Artist:

Ginger Nielson http://critters.org/predpoll/artist.shtml

Print/eBook editor:

Carla Ralston http://critters.org/predpoll/bookeditor.shtml Carla was my editor for A Shadow in the Past and we had a great editor/author relationship.

Bookstore

4RV Publishing http://critters.org/predpoll/bookstore.shtml

It would be great to see 4RV finish first in each category but in order for that to happen, they need your votes. Only one vote per category, too. The Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll closes January 14, so don’t delay.

 

Introducing TWIG STORIES author Jo Marshall

If I may first thank you, Melanie, for being such a gracious host and sharing a little about my four book collection called Twig Stories with your friends. It’s exciting for me to know an author of Scottish descent who embraces her heritage the way you do, and learn more about your ancestors’ beautiful country, its history, and culture.

What made you decide to write children’s books?

A few years ago I first became aware of climate change impacting the wildlife and forests where I live in the Pacific Northwest in the US. My young daughter, Ali Jo, and I had recently taken a trip to British Columbia in western Canada, and witnessed entire forests dying from infestations by mountain pine beetles – insects which normally die off in the cold winters. The warmer temperatures now allowed them to multiply into swarms and attack trees by the millions. In 3rd grade Ali Jo also began studying animals in our region threatened with extinction due to a changing climate like the alpine pika, woodland caribou, wolverine, Kermode bear or ‘spirit’ bear, horned lark, and so many others. The effects of global warming were overwhelming for her and her young friends. We felt there must be a more personal approach to understanding it. We had always joked about tiny, stick creatures living in the old growth forest behind our house, and began to wonder how they might battle climate change. So we decided to create stories about these creatures we called Twigs. Naturally, we wanted to share the royalties with conservation nonprofits. It was just one way to contribute to their research and youth programs. It was very much a conspiracy of creativity by Ali Jo and me.

You incorporate environmental issues into your stories, is it difficult to do without sounding preachy?

Well, Twig Stories are primarily fun and thrilling fantasies about a boyish Twig named Leaf and his companions – other Twigs and creatures of the forest, glaciers, and prairies. There are underlying themes of caring for wildlife and unusual impacts created by climate change, but they are secondary to the exciting adventures of Twigs and animals in the wild. Any author who writes eco literature uses the natural world to tell their stories, and Twig Stories books offer this same approach. A reader’s concern about global warming and its impacts will grow only because of Leaf’s unexpected journeys into climate crisis. And if a young reader simply enjoys Leaf’s exploits without realizing anything about the underlying themes, then that is wonderful, too.

Do you write in any other genres?

No, writing children’s eco literature books keep me busy enough.

Are you currently working on a project? If so, can you tell us a bit about it?

I’m working on Leaf & Echo Peak, the fourth book in the Twig Stories collection. In this story global warming reaches its tipping point. The threatened eruption of Echo Peak warns of an extreme climate on the horizon. Yet, Twigs are resourceful and find new ways of living. Along with the plants and animals in the forest, they adapt. Echo Peak will be finished and published in 2014.

If your followers are interested, the Twig Stories books are:

Twig Stories ~ Leaf & the Rushing Waters ~ front coverLeaf & the Rushing Waters ~ An outburst flood from a melting glacier traps Leaf’s family in their tree-home, so Leaf and his friend Rustle search for goliath beavers to build a mighty dam. In reality, beaver dams are natural solutions to mitigate worsening flood and drought due to unusual climate shifts.

 

 

 

 

Twig Stories ~ Leaf & the Sky of Fire ~ front coverLeaf & the Sky of Fire ~ Leaf attempts a fool-hardy rescue of six Twig babes in the North Forest from swarms of mountain pine beetles, which in the real world have already destroyed entire forests in western North America. The dying trees infested by ‘barkbiters’ also create horrific wildfires.

 

 

 

 

Twig Stories ~ Leaf & the Long Ice ~ front coverLeaf & the Long Ice ~ Leaf must journey to the shrinking glacier of Echo Peak to find his runaway brothers, Buddy and Burba. During this wild, funny adventure we learn many rare creatures of the ice may go extinct without their alpine habitat. The loss of the glacier’s ice and fresh water is inevitable.

 

 

 

 

Thank you so much, Melanie. Wishing you the best of luck and great success with your exciting, e-book launch of your novel A Shadow in the Past. It’s wonderful to know you and your fans of Celtic Connexions!

Here are some links:

Twig Stories website: http://www.twigstories.com
Amazon.com author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/jo.marshall
Facebook book page: http://facebook.com/twigstoriesbooks
Facebook author page: http://facebook.com/twigstories
Twitter & Pinterest: @TwigStories

KINDLES

LEAF & THE RUSHING WATERS by Jo Marshall ~ http://www.amazon.com/Leaf-Rushing-Waters-Stories-ebook/dp/B006K9NO3A/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1350875144&sr=1-1
LEAF & THE SKY OF FIRE by Jo Marshall ~ http://www.amazon.com/Leaf-Fire-Twig-Stories-ebook/dp/B004VTCCHU/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1350875144&sr=1-2
LEAF & THE LONG ICE by Jo Marshall ~ http://www.amazon.com/Leaf-Long-Ice-Stories-ebook/dp/B00B4I88BU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1358957126&sr=1-1&keywords=leaf+%26+the+long+ice

PAPERBACKS

Leaf & the Rushing Waters http://www.amazon.com/Leaf-Rushing-Waters-Twig-Stories/dp/1461135788/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322030239&sr=1-1
Leaf & the Sky of Fire http://www.amazon.com/Leaf-Sky-Fire-Twig-Stories/dp/145630092X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1306174492&sr=8-2
Leaf & the Long Ice http://www.amazon.com/Leaf-Long-Ice-Twig-Stories/dp/1480080888/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357668543&sr=1-1&keywords=leaf+%26+the+long+ice

EchoPkfrontcvr - croppedLeaf & Echo Peak will be out in 2014!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

JoMarshall.PHOTOJo Marshall lives in the Pacific Northwest near volcanoes and rainforests.  She spent seven years as a literacy tutor for young readers. In 1986, Jo earned a B.A. in German Language and Literature from the University of Maryland in West Berlin, and worked as a diplomatic liaison for the military command.  From 1999 to 2006, she worked in D.C. for two nonprofits as their Legal Assistant to the General Counsel – the Paralyzed Veterans of America and Oceana.  Jo is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, and many conservation nonprofits. She resides in Snohomish, Washington with her family.

 

 

Interview with Vivian Zabel, Founder/Owner of 4RV Publishing

Fellow 4RV author, Holly Jahangiri, recently interviewed Vivian Zabel. They chatted about the company and the exciting PUSH It Forward Contest that Staples is running in support of small business.

You can read Holly’s interview below, or on her blog at this link.

Interview with Vivian Zabel by Holly Jahangiri. (reprinted with kind permission)

I recently chatted with my friend Vivian Zabel, founder of 4RV Publishing, the company that published my first two children’s books, Trockle and A Puppy, Not a Guppy.

“Tell me a little bit about 4RV Publishing,” I asked.

“4RV Publishing came into being when as an author I realized that writing had few choices: a major publisher through an agent, subsidy publishing, self-publishing, or vanity presses. I wanted the opportunity for good writers to be able to have quality books published, traditionally. Authors also deserved to have a personal connection to the company that adopted their ‘babies.’” Vivian smiled, knowing that’s the number one reason I chose 4RV Publishing for Trockle, a story which I had written for my son and one that I did not want to sell all rights to or lose all creative say over.

“How many books do you publish each year?”

“How many we publish each year depends on several conditions: staff availability, funding needed, and what submissions are worth producing. In the less than six years we’ve been in existence, we have published a total of 101 books, some of which are no longer under contract (we put a limit on the number of years we have publication rights). We have 26 more titles to prepare and publish this year. We’ve had to close submissions for children’s picture books until 2015, except for authors under contract or invited to submit, because our illustrators can only do so many books during a year.”

Staples is celebrating small businesses in May and they are awarding digital marketing prize packages each worth $50,000 to three small businesses as part of the Staples PUSH It Forward Contest. 4RV Publishing has entered this contest, and you can help! By voting every day for your favorite small business, you increase your odds of being randomly selected to win a $1,500 Staples Voter Prize Package.

Voting ends May 31.

Link to vote for 4RV Publishing: http://tinyurl.com/a7hrdmv

“What awards has 4RV Publishing or its books won?”

“We have received a number of awards and honors the past few years,” said Vivian. Asking her to talk about the accolades earned by books her company has published seems to give her almost as much pleasure as asking her to talk about her grandchildren’s accomplishments. “The most recent were two books which received the Children’s Classical Literature Choice Award: Life on Hold by Beverly Stowe McClure – a book is now in the running for another CCL award – and Walking Through Walls by Karen Cioffi, illustrated by Aidana WillowRaven, which won a CCL silver medal also. Viji Chary’s Porcupine Seeds, illustrated by Bridget McKenna, received the Mom’s Choice Award for Excellence.

“The 2009 Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction went to Kirk Bjornsgarrd for Confessions of a Former Rock Queen.

“We had a number of books place in the Homeland New Day book competition: your book, Trockle, illustrated by Jordan Vinyard, took 1st in Children’s Books, and A Puppy, not a Guppy, illustrated by Ryan Shaw, received 2nd in Tween books. Another author’s books took 1st in Novel and in Young Adult. One book received 2nd place at the North Texas Book Festival. Aldric & Anneliese, by Harry E. Gilleland, received honors from the Military Writers organization. Time Pullers, by Horton Deakins, placed in the top five for the USA Book Awards for Science Fiction. We have books entered in other competitions that haven’t released the winners list yet.”

“‘Another author’s books’? Don’t you remember the titles and who wrote them?” I pressed. I know Vivian doesn’t forget the names of the authors who’ve written award-winning books published by 4RV Publishing. It turns out, they were hers.

“Sure, I remember the titles: 1st in Novel was Midnight Hours by…me. 1st in Young Adult was Prairie Dog Cowboy by…me; 2nd at North Texas was Base Stealers Club by…me.”

I laughed. Vivian is a retired teacher, a mom, and a grandmother. She’s proud of her own books, but would rather shine the spotlight on others’ accomplishments. As the owner of 4RV Publishing, those are the kudos she’d rather promote. Next, I asked the million-dollar question: “Do you charge authors anything to publish their books?”

Vivian shook her head. “No, we do not charge authors anything to publish their books, or for any of the services needed to prepare their books once under contract.”

“I hear things are kind of rough in the publishing industry, these days – even some of the big publishing houses are opening subsidy imprints.”

“One reason publishers get in financial difficulties is the return policy. If a bookstore orders many more copies than they know they will sell, they can return left over copies years and years later and have their money returned. Publishers have to pay that money back, either through Ingram or their own distribution system. 4RV finally did away with returns after being hit with a huge bill for books returned that we could find no record of being bought, much less when they were bought. Major publishers pay millions every year for returned books. Of course that hurts. People aren’t buying books as much as they once did, and it has nothing to do with eBooks being available. It’s the economy. So many Big Guys are opening subsidy imprints. They need the income.”

“So why don’t you do the same?”

“Yes, we need the income, too, but we want the best books possible to be under our imprint. Once we accept payment for doing our job, putting out quality books, we lose at least some control over what is published under our name. We want the authors who deserve to be published to have their books in print and then in electronic format without a black mark against their names, which, no matter what some people say, still exists for self-published books. We try to give our authors the best chance to be successful we can.”

“Is it true that even the editors and illustrators work for royalties? So if books don’t sell well, they don’t get paid, either?”

“True and true. However, the owner of the company doesn’t even take royalties, nor does the head of the editorial department. We believe in the company enough that we leave what earnings we have in 4RV. What staff we have are dedicated to our cause. Of course we lose people quite often. They use 4RV to build a good resume and go on to bigger and better things. I can’t blame them, just ask they leave nicely without putting the company in a bind with unfinished projects. However, some stay even when they get positions elsewhere and do a few projects a year.”

“You’re an author, too – does owning the publishing house mean automatic acceptance and fast-track to print for your books?”

“Excuse me as I laugh. All submissions are sent to acquisition editors anonymously, no identification anywhere on the manuscript. One of my submissions was rejected — yep, rejected with malice. The head of the editorial department asked if the manuscript should be sent to a different acquisition editor, and I said, “No, she had valid reasons, and when I have time, I’ll revise and resubmit.” I’ve never had time. In fact, since 4RV was created, I have had only five books published by the company, and they were back when we had few submissions. I will have the first book come out later this summer, the first since early 2010, and it was in the works for three years.”

“So, 4RV is entered into the Staples PUSH It Forward Contest – what would you do with the prize money if you win?” Personally, I can’t think of many businesses that are more deserving of this “push” from Staples.

Vivian has big ideas on a shoestring budget. $50,000 lets her dream bigger – and lesser-known authors stand to benefit, too. “We need to upgrade all our technology and use digital accounting and record keeping. We would be able to create more eBooks. We need to hire people trained in digital marketing and promote our books even more effectively. The prize money from Staples would give us the “push” we need to compete in today’s publishing world.”

Help 4RV Publishing Win Staples’ PUSH It Forward Contest

You can help a deserving small business win $50,000 – and maybe win $1500 for yourself, while you’re at it! Voting is easy:

  1. Go to http://tinyurl.com/a7hrdmv – this is Staples’ Facebook page already set up for you to vote for 4RV Publishing. If you have not already “Liked” Staples’ page on Facebook, that’s the first step; please click the Like button:

4rv-staples-1-300x169

  1. Next, you’ll be taken to this page, where you can Vote for 4RV Publishing – just click Vote now > :4rv-staples-2-300x169You will be asked to give Staples’ app some permissions (Might as well – you can always revoke them later, but they ask only for access to your public profile data – something everyone can see, already – and to your friends’ list, presumably so that you can share this with them and promote the contest via Facebook. I have plenty of friends participating and have not seen any of them “spamming” me in the name of Staples, so I feel pretty confident in granting the requested permissions.)

4rv-staples-3-300x169

  1. Last, but not least, when you vote, you’ll have a chance to enter to win $1500 for yourself – how cool is that? Just for helping a small business achieve more. We could all use this kind of “push,” right?

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Want Some Good Books?

Shop direct from the 4RV Publishing book store from the comfort of  home at http://4rvpublishingcatalog.com (many of these titles can also be found on Amazon and BN.com, as well, though I prefer to shop direct when possible).

Submissions guidelines can be found at http://www.4rvpublishing.com/manuscript-art-submissions.php

Questions?

I’ll bet Vivian Zabel pops over here from time to time, and would be happy to answer them! You might also enjoy reading her blogs: 4RV Reading, Writing, & Art News or Brain Cells & Bubble Wrap.

 

 

Boo’s Bad Day A Children’s Book by Penny Lockwood

Boos Bad Day - cover resizedBOO’S BAD DAY
By: Penny Lockwood
Picture book for children aged 18 months to 6 years
Published by 4RV Publishing
ISBN# 13: 978-0-9852661-5-8

Buy from 4RV $8.99 includes s/h

Look inside at Amazon $7.32 prime

Melanie, thanks for hosting me. At the end of the tour, I will pick out one commenter’s name and send an autographed copy of Boo’s Bad Day to a United States address only. If the name I pick is someone who lives outside the U.S., I will send a PDF copy of the book. So remember, readers, be sure to leave contact information when you comment!

If your readers missed yesterday’s post, they can catch up at http://renajones.blogspot.com/. Tomorrow, I’ll be visiting with http://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com/.

Boo’s Bad Day is the first picture book I’ve ever written. I’ve read plenty of them to my children and now my grandchildren, but I never seriously considered writing one, mostly because I had heard how difficult they are to write.

Generally, I tend to write for older teens and adults in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and romance, although I do have two middle grade novels under contract with 4RV Publishing: Ghost for Rent and Ghost for Lunch.

I’ve read quite a few articles and books about writing for children. In fact, when I first got serious about publishing my stories, I took a class through the Institute of Children’s Literature and focused on writing for younger children. Unfortunately, I found it difficult to find markets for those stories and soon learned I had a better chance of getting published when I aimed at an older age group.

Still, writing for young children intrigued me. After all, I was a mother and loved watching my children learn to read and enjoyed reading to them. Over the years, while I continued to have success writing for older children, I harbored a desire to write for young children.

When a call came out from a small publisher for volunteers to read submissions, I applied and became an acquisitions intern. One of my primary duties was reading and deciding on picture books for publication. I quickly learned what made a good story and what didn’t as well as the things a picture book publisher looks for.

Writing a picture book isn’t as easy as people might think. While it’s not as long as a novel, it takes a lot of work. The writer needs to use language that’s easily understood by a child. Words that make sounds like crunch, blare, pop, etc. are interesting to kids. They like to hear them said out loud. In addition, the writer needs to be sure there is a plot, even though the book is only 32 pages and less than a thousand words. The main character must also overcome obstacles in that short space.

The other difficult thing is for the writer not to add to much description to the story. The illustrator must be able to create her own images and not try to paint the picture the writer has spelled out.

After learning about writing picture books, I realized I was ready to create one of my own. My grandchildren were the right age to enjoy picture books. It seemed like time to try writing one of my own. Using my newly acquired skills, I worked on creating Boo’s Bad Day. I decided to write about Boo because we had a cat, also named Boo, who was stranded outdoors in a huge fir tree during an ice storm for several days. My 21-month-old grandson loves kitties, and I thought he would like to hear Boo’s story. Boo’s Bad Day is based loosely on our own Boo’s adventure. I get a kick out of having him ask for “the kitty” book.

I would have to say I wrote Boo’s Bad Day for my own grandchildren, but it’s a thrill for me to know that other little people are enjoying it as well.

Author-Photo-Pen-smiling-copy.jpgAbout the author:Penny Lockwood has published more than 100 articles, 75 stories, a chapbook, and her stories have been included in two anthologies. She writes for both adults and children. Her fiction has appeared in numerous genre and children’s publications, and non fiction work has appeared in a variety of writing, parenting, and young adult print magazines and on line publications. She edits for MuseItUp Publishing.

She has recently released Boo’s Bad Day with 4RV Publishing and has three other children’s books under contract with them: Ghost for Rent, Ghost for Lunch, and Many Colored Coats. She has three romances published by MuseItUp Publishing: Love Delivery, Lady in Waiting, and Mirror, Mirror. Her short story collection, A Past and A Future, is available through Sam’s Dot Publishing and Smashwords.

You can follow Penny at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/penny.ehrenkranz
Twitter: @PennyEhrenkranz
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/pennyehrenkranz
Website: http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.yolasite.com
Blog: http://pennylockwoodehrenkanz.blogspot.com

 

Preditors & Editors 2012 Readers’ Poll Results

The annual Preditors & Editors Readers Poll, sponsored by Critters Workshop has drawn to a close. The results have been tallied and in the end, 4RV Publishing (with nominations in Children’s Books, Young Adult Books, Artwork from Books, Book Covers, Publisher, Author, Artist and Bookstore) finished with seven in the top ten.

Children’s Books (2 4RV nominations) took 8th place with First Flag of New Hampshire written by Stephanie Burkhart and illustrated by Ginger Nielson.

A-Shadow-in-the-Past-by-Melanie-Robertson-King
My novel’s cover created by Aidana WillowRaven

Young Adult Books (2 4RV nominations) took 3rd place with with my novel A Shadow in the Past.

Artwork from Books (2 4RV nominations) had two results tied for 6th place. Ginger Nielson who wrote and illustrated Willow, an Elephant’s Tale and my talented artist Aidana WillowRaven for her cover design for A Shadow in the Past.

Artist saw Aidana WillowRaven earn a 9th place finish in addition to her tie with Ginger in the Artwork category.

Author saw 4RV Publishing President, Vivian Zabel place 6th.

Bookstore 4RV Bookstore placed 3rd in the bookstore category.

Congratulations to everyone who placed!

 

Today is the 200th anniversary of Grimm’s Fairy Tales

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Remember those fantastic stories we grew up with? Listening to our parents read them to us and then when we were old enough to read, reading them ourselves?

Snow White

Hansel and Gretel

Rapunzel

Cinderella

Rumplestiltskin

Snow White and Rose Red

There were many others but these were among my favourites as a child. What were yours?

 

 

A Christmas Kindness Book Blast

Celtic Connexions is thrilled to host fellow 4RV author, Cheryl Malandrinos (writing as C. C. Gevry) to celebrate her A Christmas Kindness Book Blast.

Christmas-Kindness-book-blastA Christmas Kindness by C. C. Gevry

cover wrap.inddEight-year-old Robert is eager to share his wish list with Santa at the mall on Christmas Eve. When he meets Glenn, who has only one request for Santa, Robert is confused over what he should do. Can he cast aside what he wants and ask Santa to bring his new friend a special gift?

Inspiration Behind A Christmas Kindness

How is it that children have the ability to reach out and help others in ways adults don’t always think to do?

One year, our oldest daughter–then only eight–went door-to-door in our neighborhood collecting money for Toys for Tots. Coordinated by the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve, this program collects new, unwrapped toys each year and distributes them as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in our communities. This summer, my girls ran a lemonade stand so they could bring money to a local animal shelter.

Why don’t I think of doing such things? I guess it’s easier to write a check and send it in the mail. But what effort is involved in that? My children make it personal, and much more meaningful, by giving something of themselves.

With A Christmas Kindness, I hope to capture the generosity of a child’s heart–the way they look at the world as a place of endless opportunities to make a difference.

May you be blessed this holiday season.

Cheryl MalandrinosCheryl Malandrinos, writing as C. C. Gevry, is a children’s author and editor. She is a member of SCBWI. A Christmas Kindness is her first book with 4RV Publishing. Visit her online at http://ccgevry.com.

Pump Up Your Book and C. C. Gevry are teaming up to give you a chance to win some fabulous prizes!

$25 AMAZON GIFT CARD

1 COPY OF A CHRISTMAS KINDNESS

1 COPY OF LITTLE SHEPHERD

ENTER TO WIN!

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. If your blog isn’t set up to accept the form, then after they visit your blog, they are directed to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries.

This promotion will run from December 17th – December 21st. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email, and announced on December 24th.

Each blogger who participates is eligible to enter and win.

Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour.

What a great way to not only win these fabulous prizes, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!

A Christmas Kindness Book Blast Schedule

Monday, December 17

Carpinello’s Writing Pages
Celtic Connexions
WV Stitcher
Seasons of Opportunities
The Busy Mom’s Daily
The Book Connection
The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection
George Beddingfield
Margay Leah Justice
The Story of a Writer
Janet K. Brown
Bluebell Books
Paperback Writer
Hollywood Daze
Writing Daze
Maureen’s Musings
Coffee & A Keyboard

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If the form doesn’t work, you can enter at: http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2012/12/13/pump-up-your-book-presents-a-christmas-kindness-book-blast-25-amazon-gc-free-books/