WHEN DID YOU FIRST KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A WRITER AND WHY?
Ever since I was a child I’ve had a love for books and all of the creative arts. I became serious about my writing in my 30’s when I decided to go to college for journalism and English literature, then branching off into children’s literature. My heart and soul is now in writing children’s literature where my creativity and skills are strongest. In writing for children, I believe it’s important to write about characters with good values, who have a sense of humor, and a love of adventure. I also strive to inspire young readers to use their imagination.
AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU ASPIRE TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
As early as age eight, I was making up, and starring in, plays for the neighborhood kids to watch. I knew I wanted to do something in the creative arts. I thought being a cartoon character or a mime would be a cool job.
HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR YOUR AWARD WINNING TITLE?
Sir Princess Petra’s Talent is book two in The Pen Pieyu Adventures and continues the adventures of Sir Princess Petra (book one), an unconventional princess knight, and her dragon friend, Snarls. The title “Sir Princess Petra” came to me when I was writing book one. I was gazing into the forest and imagining characters in the tree barks when I imagined a tomboy-type princess holding a sword. The subtitle, The Pen Pieyu Adventures, came to me in a dream.
The newest book in the Pen Pieyu Adventuers, Sir Princess Petra’s Mission, was released December, 2015
TELL US SOMETHING FUN ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A WRITER
At an award ceremony where I was to receive a medal for Sir Princess Petra’s Talent, my sister was in charge of taking the pictures with my phone camera. She accidentally switched the phone to selfie mode (she didn’t know the camera could do that and didn’t know how to correct it), so all the pictures of me receiving my award are of my sister with different surprised faces.
WHICH AUTHOR HAS MOST GREATLY INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING STYLE?C.S. Lewis. He created incredible adventures while maintaining good moral values for children.
WHAT BOOK HAS HAD THE GREATEST IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE?
Black Beauty. It was the first book I ever read by myself.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ACCOMPLISHMENT?
The first two books in this series have won six international awards, and one prestigious provincial award. I consider them all great accomplishments.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF BECOMING PUBLISHED AND ANY TIPS YOU MIGHT OFFER FOR OTHER ASPIRING AUTHORS?
Before my first book received a traditional book contract, even though I had done my best writing and extensively researched the publishers before sending out my submissions, the book was rejected 27 times by different publishers over a period of nine years. My advice to aspiring authors is to perfect your writing, research what publishers are looking for before submitting, and be very, very patient.
CAN YOU OFFER ANY ADVICE FOR WRITERS ON HOW BEST TO PROMOTE THEIR BOOK?
I think having an author website is very important, and also getting legitimate reviews for the book.
DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW BOOKS IN THE WORKS?: Grammar for Kids and Dragons, forthcoming, Fall, 2016. This is a grammar book with a sense of humor, with all the grammar lessons being provided by my characters from The Pen Pieyu Adventures series (they are a zany bunch). The book will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all major online seller sites.
LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org