Thursday, March 31, 2011

Become a Fan of literacy Specialist Carol Boles

Welcome to day six of Carol Boles’ 6-day NWFCC March Specialist Showcase tour.

I hope to become a resource to parents and teachers across the country, and around the world, by providing research based strategies to teach reading. Followers can contact e-mail me at or visit my Facebook page at!/profile.php?id=100000546799934

Thank you for following Ms. Boles on her NWFCC Specialist Showcase tour. Leave a comment and your name will automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix - at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Become a Fan of Home School Specialist Amy O'Quinn

Welcome to day six of Amy O’Quinn’s 6-day NWFCC March Specialist Showcase tour.

Because I am still relatively new to using social networking to build business contacts and establish a platform for my writing, I am continually learning how to put these building blocks in place. I am always open to helpful suggestions and ideas from other writers.

However, in addition to my website at, I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter:



I enjoy making new friends, and corresponding with others who have similar interests—whether it be writing or homeschooling—or both. I am also happy to answer questions about home education as time permits. When you send a ‘friend’ request on Facebook, please include a little note telling me you found me via the NWFCC Virtual Blog Tour.

Thank you for following Ms. O'Quinn on her NWFCC Specialist Showcase tour. Leave a comment and your name will automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix - at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Become a Fan of ESL Specialist Dorit Sasson

Welcome to day six of Dorit Sasson’s 6-day NWFCC March Specialist Showcase tour.

As a teachers’ diversity coach, my dream is create a more global presence as I aim to reach and support more and more teachers around the globe.

Being that I already had a Facebook account, I decided to create a separate Facebook Fan Page for the Teachers’ Diversity Coach.

Besides showcasing the top leading figures in education and diversity and their books, the Teacher Diversity Coach is out to help provide new and veteran teachers with coaching programs, workshops and in-service, articles, tips, and other resources they need to make the most of their teaching career so they can take their teaching to the next level.

Fans can get the latest updates and information on how to take their teaching careers to the next level. Even if one isn’t a teacher, there are plenty of parenting articles on how to support ESL support or work with children’s trade books, now that I have joined The National Writing for Children’s Center.

Becoming a Facebook Fan is FREE as well as the immense amount of articles and tips that are offered at the Teachers' Diversity Coach. When one visits the site at, they can access a wealth of up-to-date information on teaching English language learners and managing diverse classrooms and current showcased authors and education experts are remarkable.

The wealth of information available is crucial for empowering diverse learners in today's classrooms and helping teachers become more confident. The Teachers' Diversity Coach strives to facilitate the task of empowering diverse learners of all classrooms easier for all teachers.

About Teachers' Diversity Coach

Teachers can become a Facebook fan at!/pages/Dorit-Sasson-Teachers-Diversity-Coach/159290157438348. For more information on the Teachers' Diversity Coach and to read more about the Teachers' Diversity Coach, teachers can visit:

Thank you for following Ms. Sasson on her NWFCC Specialist Showcase tour. Leave a comment and your name will automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix - at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Book Review: Monkey Made Dream

My apologies for having posted the review of this great book several days later than I promised. Suffice to say it was my error and life got in the way. This book is a darling story and is worth the time and attention to read it over and over with your child.

Monkey Made Dream

Authors: Tom Listul and Heather Listul Hewitt

Published by: Trafford Publishing -

ISBN 978-1-4269-4986-9

Illustrations by: Jenna Hildahl

This story stretches the imagination of the reader when a little girl wakes up to find a monkey in the place of her brother...and no one seems to notice but her.

Dressing for school, brushing his teeth, and having breakfast the monkey goes along with the morning routine. What will his sister do?

This book is whimsical and fun, a story that will be enjoyed over and over by children and adults. It puts into words the fun ideas that come in our dreams and that appear so real. The story is timeless and can be read aloud at bedtime or in a classroom group. New readers will find success with the large print, easy language, and illustrations that enhance the storyline if they choose to read it alone.

Books open up the world to young children, and this book opens up a keen imagination and dreams.
I loved this story and I know you will too.

Become a Fan of Children's Author Suzanne Lieurance

Welcome to Day 6 of my virtual tour for my book The Locket: Surviving the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. I hope you will become a fan of this book and all my books. I love to write both fiction and nonfiction for children and teens and I'm currently working on my 24th book. Here's a short description of The Locket, plus the trailer for the book, just in case you haven't been following my tour or you've never heard of the book.

About the Book: The Locket: Surviving the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Grade 5–7—Galena, an eleven-year-old Russian-Jewish immigrant, lives in New York City with her family and works at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory with her older sister Anya. The factory pays low wages and has terrible working conditions, making Anya yearn to join a union. Soon a horrible fire guts the factory leaving Galena with painful, horrific memories. Follow author Suzanne Lieurance in this dramatic historical fiction novel, as she describes how Galena uses the support of friends, family, and Jewish traditions to inspire her to fight for workers rights.

To learn more about me and my books, please visit my author website at If you'd like to have me visit your school or speak to your homeschooling group, or present at a writer's conference, you can see the various presentations I offer. You'll also find that I offer free 15-minute introductory author visits via Skype.

Besides writing for children, I'm also a fulltime freelance writer and the Working Writer's Coach (which means I help other writers turn their love of writing into a career). You can find out more about my coaching, plus read articles about writing and the business of freelance writing, at

Every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday afternoon I host Book Bites for Kids, a talk show about children's books on BlogRalkRadio. To become a fan of my show, just go to You can even put a player that will play the replays of my shows directly on your website, so I hope you'll listen to the show.

Here are some of the social marketing sites where you can follow me:




Thank you for following Ms. Lieurance on her NWFCC Specialist Showcase tour. Leave a comment and your name will automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix - at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Become a Fan of Children's Author- Sherrie Madia- Day 6 of Her Author Tour

Welcome to day six of Sherrie Madia’s 6-day NWFCC March Author Showcase tour.

I have had the opportunity to travel outside of the U.S. to places as far away as Seoul, Korea, and Madrid, Spain. But I can’t travel all the time or my pets and my children would miss me too much. Or maybe it’s the other way around.

People from across the globe can find my work by visiting which includes a link to some fun bumblebee crafts to make. For more on my books, please also visit or

Follow Sherrie on Twitter: @SherrieMadia

Facebook fan page:!/pages/Sherrie-A-Madia-PhD/109953385720761

Thank you for following Ms. Madia on her NWFCC Author Showcase tour. Leave a comment and your name will automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix - at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 6 for Author M. E. Finke- Become a Fan

Welcome to day six of M.E. Finke’s 6-day NWFCC March Author Showcase tour.

I am hooked into the most used and popular Social Media outlets and I hope the word about my kid friendly books spreads far and wide – especially about Taconi and Claude. If my book has kid appeal and is well written, it will rise to the top – like cream. Or so I hope. So far it has been very well received. My fingers are crossed.

Visit M.E. Finke at:

*Horatio Humble Beats the Big D - dyslexia

*Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind – big change

*Rattlesnake jam - (for boys)

"Wild & Wonderful" - fun and educational eBooks



Taconi & Claude: Double Trouble Book Trailer:

Thank you for following Ms. Finke on her NWFCC Author Showcase tour. Leave a comment and your name will automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix - at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.

Friday, March 18, 2011

That Mama is a Grouch- Book Review

That Mama is a Grouch  
Author: sherry Ellis

ISBN 978-1-4505-3565-6

Publisher: Create Space 2010

Picture Book

That Mama is a Grouch is a story with rhythm and rhyme from the child's point of view... and everything the child does seems to make Mama mad. It is realistic about what it feels like to be a  child who gets yelled at for some of the things they do. This story makes  it easy for adults and children to relate to common activities that take place in a home and that really do cause the adults to be mad.

The great thing about this story is the way Mama admits that she may be a grouch and apologizes, then has a conversation with the child. It demonstrates a great role model for parents to follow when they want to listen to their child's opinion but also need to discipline some of the actions the child does in a loving and parenting way.

Examples of some of the actions the character does that makes Mama unhappy are coloring on the walls, not picking up the toys, and waking the baby. Mama later explains why these things make her grouchy and gives actions the character can do to make the home peaceful and fun again and why this makes the character a better person.

Sherry Ellis has done a great job with the flow of words and telling the story with rhythm. The illustrations add fun to the book and make it a story to be read again and again.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

SFC Blog: Families Matter: Interview with Children's Author Sherry Ellis

Look for a great book review tomorrow.

SFC Blog: Families Matter: Interview with Children's Author Sherry Ellis: "I want to thank you for being my guest here on the blog here at Stories for Children Magazine. What inspired you to write? I pretty..."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Writing Process for Author Sherry Ellis- A Personal Interview

What is the most difficult part of writing?

Finishing. This is especially true of longer manuscripts. I’m pretty good about finishing short picture books, but I’m easily distracted when it comes to chapter books. I’ll write, and maybe I’ll almost finish, then I’ll have another idea pop into my head and I’ll start working on that. It’s like a dog being distracted by a squirrel. I really need to work on focusing on one thing at a time!

Do you find it hard to balance your personal writing time with your other job(s)?

I find it extremely challenging to balance writing with my job. I am a professional musician who plays and teaches violin, viola, and piano. I teach after school, and somewhere in there, I have to practice. Between the kids and my work, I have very little time to write. I try to squeeze it in whenever I have an opportunity.

Do you have any other works in progress? Can you share a little about them?

I am working on a series of books for middle-grade readers called The Adventures of Bubba and Squirt. I recently completed the first draft of the first book, Big Hole to China. These are books in which the main characters travel via magic, to another country. They have an adventure while learning a little about the language, culture, and history of the people who live there.

Tell us about your writing space?

This may sound funny, but most of the time, my writing space is my bedroom floor. It’s a place I can go and not be bothered by kids or animals. Usually I sit down with a pencil and notebook. If I’m doing research for a project, I may have books scattered around me. This is where I do most of my creating. Later, I go to the computer to type the manuscript. That workspace is a desk that’s usually covered with my husband’s motorcycle catalogues.

The world of children’s book publishing is extremely competitive, with many authors hesitating between trying their luck with a traditional publisher or self publishing. What advice would you offer writers who are oscillating between these two publishing venues?

As someone who did self-publish, I can tell you that it is challenging to be the only one responsible for marketing your work. It can be expensive and time-consuming. On the positive side, it is nice to see your work in print, and it is a great learning experience.

I think my advice would be to pursue the traditional avenue first. Send the query letters. Get the rejection letters. If after several years you have not been accepted, then consider self-publishing.

Do you do first drafts on a computer or by hand?

All of my first drafts are done by hand. I use a notebook and pencil. I can’t tell you how many times I have to sharpen a pencil when I’m working on a project. I go through a fair amount of erasers too!

How do you see the future of book publishing, both traditional, electronic, and print on demand?

I think that with the closing of so many bookstores, we will continue to see a squeeze in the publishing industry. I believe most sales will be done through Amazon. This will probably mean an increase in self-published print-on-demand books, as well as an increase in e-books.

What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?

I start with an idea. Then I play around with it in my head. If it seems like something that will work for a story, then I get out some paper and start jotting down my ideas. For picture books, I like to scribble illustrations to get a visual idea of where the story might go. If I’m doing a longer project, then I’ll start writing an outline.

What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?

I use both first person and third person voicing. That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN and That Mama is a Grouch, are both told in a first person point of view. The Bubba and Squirt series is told in a third person point of view. I guess it just depends on the story.

What well known writers do you admire most?

My favorite writers are Jane Yolen and JK Rowling. I remember reading books by Jane Yolen when I was a kid. It’s neat to see a children’s author still going strong even after forty years! JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series is just amazing. Every time I read her books, I discover something new.

Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?

I do participate in competitions. My book, That Mama is a Grouch, was honored as a finalist in the Parenting category of the 2010 USA Book News Awards.

What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?

In general, at the beginning of a year, I come up with a list of things I want to accomplish. I try to break things up by month so that my goals are realistic. If I have deadlines to meet, I try to figure out how much time I will need to complete each step of the project. I schedule my activity accordingly. I find things are easier if I break things into simple steps rather than try to tackle the whole thing.

What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?

Silence. My house is typically pretty noisy. The kids make a lot of noise. The pets make a lot of noise. I can barely hear myself think. So at night, when all the creatures are asleep, I close my bedroom door and write. Silence is golden!

What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?

Figure out why you haven’t shown anyone. If they need revision, revise. If they are perfectly fine, then submit them. If they are absolutely terrible, then throw them in the garbage.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

 My advice to aspiring authors would be to read. Read as much as you can so that you get a good sense of what readers like, and what publishers want to see.

I thank you for taking the time to share with me and my readers about being an author.

Friday, March 11, 2011

For those of you who do not follow Stories for Children Magazine's blog at you may have missed this great interview with children's authors Heather Hewitt and Tom Listul. Here is the interview we did for that blog. They are inspiring authors and the book is delightful. Look here for a book review on the 22nd of the month. In the mean time follow them on tour by checking out the blog for Stories for Children Magazine.

Welcome Heather and Tom.

1. Tell us a little bit about your background and how you became a children's book author.

Tom: I grew up in Southwest MN. Although I am a farmer by trade, my background is a musical background. I have been playing guitar and singing and writing songs all of my life. Our book Monkey Made Dream came from a song Heather and I wrote together.

Heather: I have a wonderful memory of writing Monkey Made Dream with my dad when I was 8 years old. He surprised me on Christmas this year with a finished copy of the book!

2. Tell us about your current book. Give a short summary, tell us about your publisher, and also how you got the idea for this book.

Tom: Our book Monkey Made Dream comes from an idea that Heather and I thought up one day when Heather was young. We wrote this song called Monkey Made Dream. This last year, I decided to turn this little song into a children’s book and give it to Heather as a gift. So, I found someone to do the illustrations and started a new process for me. I published it myself through Trafford Publishing. They helped me walk through the steps on publishing our own book.

3. What is a typical writing day like for you?

Tom: There is really no typical writing day. Sometimes an idea will come to me and I will write it down on paper or on the laptop. I might not look at it for a while. Other times I will just write in the mornings. Other times I will write late at night.

4. What do you enjoy most about writing for children?

Tom: Your imagination can just go in so many directions. Anywhere you want to take your story you can.

Heather: I enjoy seeing how children’s faces light up, and their reactions to fun stories.

5. What is the most difficult part of writing for children?

Keeping your imagination and ideas coming.

6. Tell us about the marketing process for authors. What do you do to market and sell your books?

We are new authors, so this is a new experience for us. We are learning as we go along. So, we are using Facebook and the internet and a book signing day in our local area to start with. We will also place our book in some local markets. We will try to get as many reviews written as we can and follow that with postings in the media.

7. Do you make school visits? If so, please describe a typical school presentation.

Tom: I have made school visits. I bring my guitar and we have fun singing songs together.

Heather: I work for a school district as a speech language pathologist, so I enjoy reading and sharing a love of books and writing with my students every day. I have not shown my students the final copy of Monkey Made Dream, but I am excited to see their reactions.

8. Do you have a website? If so, please give the URL. If not, where can listeners go online to learn more about your book(s) and to order?

We do not have a web site as of yet, but are looking into it. You can order our book online from many sites. Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Book World and Trafford Publishing. Type in the title our book Monkey Made Dream, and you will be directed to the web page.

9. What are you working on right now?

Tom: Promoting Monkey Made Dream. I also have some songs that I have written and they are being pitched to artists and record companies. Also, looking at some new ideas for another children’s book.

10. What is your best tip for aspiring children's book authors?

Just keep writing. Be a kid yourself when you write. Read children’s books and discover what works for you.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Professional Writer's Connection: SpongeBob, Why Didn't You Just Write Your Essay?

A great post on procrastination and the writing journey.

The Professional Writer's Connection: SpongeBob, Why Didn't You Just Write Your Essay?: "One of my favorite SpongeBob Squarepants episodes was on Nickelodeon this morning. Appropriately titled, 'Procrastination,' the viewer find..."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Day in the Life of This Writer

My days are busy. I know all writers feel the same way and especially those writers who work a full time job on top of writing... then add parenting, catering, cleaning, along with being a functional part of an extended family and you get the picture. Days are busy. Days run together. And your writing can get put on the back burner.

I am working hard to keep my writing at the forefront of who I am everyday. I have simplified my time to shop less, socialize less, and clean less.  I work hard at making everything that I do at the computer to be something that can help me achieve my goal... to be a full time freelance writer with publishing credits to my name.

So here is how I try to make my day function for me...

Breakfast Food...for hubby, me, cats, dogs, horses, alpacas. teeth, dishes, start a load of laundry, pick up and straighten, make bed.
Write.. 9am to 11am at the computer
Lunch, put clothes in the dryer, tidy up a bit more, read some emails,
Write..12 noon to 2pm on the days I have to get ready for work
           12 noon to 3:30 on the days that I am off.
Food...for dinner, again the dogs, cats, alpacas, and horses.
Write again if I don't have to leave for work or if I don't have anything else on the agenda.

I try to do this at least 4 days a week. Most days I am successful and then there are the days that life gets in the way. On the days that I cannot stick to this schedule, I have my notebook with me and I am capturing new ideas or working on old ones. And I make lists... character names, titles, grocery lists, to do lists, all kinds of lists to help me keep working towards my goals.

For example, Saturday we went to a girls basketball game to watch our grandaughter play. She is eight. And I took notes. Character names, actions, behaviors of the girls and of the spectators... it was a productive day. And the best part was her surprise that we made the game.. we live 88 miles away so we don't always make it to her activities especially at 9 in the morning. The look on her face was priceless. Our grandsons ran up to us like they hadn't seen us in months ( it has only been a little over a week since we saw them.) It warmed my heart. And it confirmed my goal of wanting to be a published childrens author. Children are a blessing and boy do they tell  a story.

So now you know how my writing days go. How do you spend your writing day?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Busy Times: Article Challenge

It has been a busy month so far. I am getting ready for the launch of my prayer book for adults titled The Cancer Prayer Book. It is being published by Dreamwords Publishing company. Very exciting for me and for the publishing owner.
There is also another prayer book in the series being released at the same time by author Lynne Jordan titled The Depression Prayer Book.  Both books can be preordered from the website. Our book launch is scheduled for April 16th here in Indiana and then who knows.

I am also a member of Children's Writers' Coaching Club and another group of Working Writers all coached by Suzanne Lieurance. Here we have been challenged to write an article per day for every day in March. Woo hoo. That will get your creative juices working. I am submitting my articles to to build up my article base and to help get links back to my sites. I have a new author website that I really am trying to get more traffic to. Wow, what a busy month. It is all to build up my writing skills and hopefully my writing income.

What are you doing to build up your skills and your income from writing? Let me know what tips you follow to make your writing time productive. We can share tips and learn from each other. Happy writing and if you lack inspiration, join the CWCC or the Working Writers Group for a good kick in the pants.

Keep writing.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...