October 31, 2012

Three Times A Charm with K. Michael Crawford

Three Times a Charm is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the publishing industry.

Happy Halloween, everyone! This week writer and illustrator, K. Michael Crawford joins us. Michael, thank you so much for coming! I love hosting illustrators. Can you tell us about you?

Once Upon a Magical Life
Once upon a time… How fun those words are to me, because with those four words anything and everything is possible. Those four words, even though they are used less today, still hold true with today’s stories and books. One moment you’re just your average Joe eating your oatmeal and the next, the whole world is there to explore just by opening a book. What adventures a child can have just by going on one magical journey through someone else’s words.

Once upon a time… I pretty much have and had a normal life. Well, maybe not. I don’t know too many people who got to be in a Walt Disney parade and hold a human brain. No, not at the same time, that would be a Tim Burton film. My life includes a cast of characters of family, Pirates, friends, cows, dragons, dogs, rabbits, and fairies who I grew up with on a daily basis. Yes, in my world fairies and dragons do exist. I am the first one to clap my hands to bring Tinkerbell back to life.

Once upon a time… What made my life not so normal was that fact that I had no problem using my imagination. One minute, I could be a pirate looting for treasure and the next, a rock star. Never mind the fact, I couldn’t sing worth a hoot and a holler. I would grab that make-believe microphone and belt out the song as if there was no tomorrow. Never mind the fact, the real music was blaring in the background and would cover up any sour note coming out of my mouth.

Once upon a time… So with that kind of passion and imagination it only seemed right that I went in the business of Children’s Book Writing and Illustrating. It’s the one job that let’s me use all my quirky talents (silliness, finding the humor in everything, being weird) and retain my ability to stay five years old forever. Besides, the only other great job for me would be to rule England and Queen Elizabeth already said “No.” Believe me, I asked. But you never know and I haven’t given up that dream just yet.

Once upon a time… Everyday, I grab a hold of my imagination and pencil to see what adventures I will have in my whimsical world. There is no telling where I will go, because with imagination everything is possible.

Once upon a time, there was a writer and an illustrator who wished for a magical life of writing and illustrating children’s books and got to live Happily Ever Art.

The End!

Tell us about your most recent projects.

In 2006, I noticed that children were not using their imaginations, so I created The Mystery of Journeys Crowne in the Bazel Lark Series, where the reader has to use their imagination, learn to figure out clues and make choices in order to know what to draw on the page.  There is also a mystery the reader has to figure out in each book that hopefully they will give them a little piece of the magic I am trying to create with my work.

Since the creation of The Mystery of Journeys Crowne book, five books have followed with more to come, in the pursuit of getting kids to use their imagination. In Batty Malgoony’s Mystic Carnivale, the reader must draw in all the carnivale characters. The Island of Zadu is the second book in the Bazel Lark Series where again the reader has to answer clues to know what to draw on the page. In Professor Horton Hogwash’s Museum of Ridiculous, the reader has to draw in the museum collection, or not, after all it is the Museum of Riduculous. They can draw in anything they want as long as the reader is using their imagination. One Whimsical Zoofari is a clue/activity coloring book for 4 to 7 year olds. In 2013, the third book in the Bazel Lark Series will be hitting the market and How to create your own Comic Book (Includes a workbook and videos that show step-by-step how to create your own comic book).

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

  • Top 3 tools of the trade you couldn’t live without.
 I couldn’t live with out my imagination or drawing. When I can’t use my imagination and draw every day, I have been told that I get a little cranky to put it mildly. My imagination tool is so important to who I am and how I see the world that not to use it as much as I can seems silly to me and makes me a little grumpy if I can’t use it.

The computer has been a great asset to my job and has made my job easier to get my art and books out to the world. Believe me when I say that the computer can also be a hindrance, since there are monsters in my computer that do everything in their power to mess up what I have created or produced, which helps me to keep in mind that it is only a tool and monsters only live under my bed. Some days it’s a great tool, some days not so much.

The last tool I can’t give up or I will be arrested for drawing on everything and anything is my sketchbook and pencil. (If you ever hear that I was arrested for graffiti, please bring me paper and pencil to the jail.) For me the two go together and I feel like I have magical pencils. The most amazing things come out of it when I put the pencil to paper. I have come to realize that anytime someone puts pencil to paper the most amazing things are created. Countries are formed, works of art are developed, ideas come to life and inventions become real. There are not too many other tools in this world that can claim the fame of these two small objects.

  • Top 3 personal and/or professional goals.

It’s not so much a career or work for me, because when you are an artist there is no separation between the two, personal and business life. I go on a trip and the first thing I do is to think how I can incorporated what I just saw into my work. So all my goals benefit both. I have had these goals for a long time and still working on making them happen.
  1. One of my characters in the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade and I am sitting in the seat section waving as my quirky character floats by.
  2. Create as many magical books as I can. (I am pretty much making that goal happen.)
  3. Develop the Start Trek beam me up system so that I can travel as much as I want and get there in the blink of an eye. No more sticking me in a tin can with a bunch of other people I don’t know for hours on end. “Oh look, after seventeen hours in the air and they finally turned off the seatbelt sign!”

  • Top 3 professions you wanted to be when you grew up.

You might think I am kidding about this, but I am not. The three top professions I wanted to be and do when I was growing up were more about being certain people and the magic they created with their work.

I wanted to be Leonard de Vinci, because of all the cool stuff he invented in his lifetime. It’s just amazing at all the things he created just by looking at something and seeing all the possibilities of the object. Where it could go and what could be made out of it. In my spare time, I am always creating and building usual things. I have always had this need to challenge myself to see what I was capable of creating, so when I am not creating books, I build all kinds of things. I have a studio filled with strange creations; turtle checkers, gourd birds, and pandas floating in 3-D boats. I would have love to have had Leonard for dinner, so we could chat about his work.

The next person was Walt Disney and all the magic things he created for the world. He was one of the people in my world who taught me to see the magic and learn how to create it. I always wonder if you could learn how to create magical things or were you just born with it. I am still learning how to create magic in my work. I do have days where no matter what I do, the work need to be put to rest in the trash.

Last, but not least, I wanted to be the next Dr. Seuss. I use to walk around my house at the age of twelve and say I am going to be the next Dr. Seuss. The quirky characters and the silly words he made up. I thought that it would be so cool to live in a house with a mouse eating green eggs and ham with Sam I am. Life doesn’t get any better than that. I got so close to meeting the great and wonderful wizard, Dr. Seuss, through his best and long time pal, Maurice Noble, but it wasn’t meant to be. Every quirky and silly character I create is a tribute to Dr. Seuss and his silliness.

Where can our readers learn more about your writing and your art?

My website: www.happilyeverart.com,

Thanks, Michael, for talking with us on Three Times A Charm. It has been so much fun getting to know you better.

I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have a book, a blog or a business related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.

October 17, 2012

Three Times A Charm with Lisa Ard

Three Times a Charm is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the publishing industry.

This week author, Lisa Ard, is visiting with us. I met Lisa through LinkedIn. Lisa, can you tell us a little about yourself? 

Writing is an adventure for me. It's been a long and winding journey to authoring children's books. Here's some of that journey's highlights:
  • I grew up in Wenatchee, Washington. Better look it up on the map, because it's the Apple Capital of the World!
  • As a kid I played lots of sports, enjoyed art and photography, read lots of books (still do) and dreamed of traveling the world. 
  • I left home to study at the University of Washington where I earned my B.A. in German. (And yes, my dad asked me "what are you going to do with a degree in German?")
  • After a couple years living and working in Seattle, I went back to school. Now, you may be asking why I signed up for MORE school. Actually I've always thought school was pretty fun. I found a really cool school that let me work overseas. I got my Masters in International Business from the University of South Carolina and worked in Germany.
  • For the next 15 years, I worked in Finance and Quality departments for some really big companies. In other words, I went to lots of meetings, talked on the phone, traveled all over the country and sat in a cubicle for a lot of that time.
  • Then I fell in love, got married and had two wonderful kids. We now live happily ever after in Portland, Oregon.
We only live a few hours from each other! We’ll have to have coffee sometime J

Tell us about your work.

I have two new books out this fall. The first is Saving Halloween, a middle-grade novel for ages 9-12, that’s a spellbinding tale of outcasts who find acceptance, a girl who discovers the true meaning of family, and characters who are not always what they seem. Here’s a synopsis:
When book-smart Anne Parson meets Halloween Spavento, she sees exactly what she wants to see -- a friend. Halloween waves away trouble, magically silences school bullies and offers Anne unfailing friendship. But, when the Spavento family's enchanting exploits are exposed, will Anne face her fears and save Halloween?

The second book: Dream Team, Dream Seekers Book Two, continues the adventures of Patrick and his family of dream seekers. For Patrick, being twelve years old can be challenging. Add to that the unusual ability to experience dreams as reality and you begin to understand Patrick's need for a little self-control. When Patrick's voice begins to change, he declares disaster! But one magnificent dream will introduce Patrick to some real-life heroes, who faced far greater adversity. Patrick discovers that his troubles are minor league in comparison. Will Patrick find the courage to face his fears?
Read an excerpt from both of these books on www.authorlisaard.com

They both sound great, but I especially love that you have a Halloween book! Perfect timing, no?

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

  • Top 3 books you’ve read in the past year.

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous, by Georgia Bragg
I saw this pass over the holds desk at the library and had to read it. It’s hilarious but not for the faint of heart!

Millicent Min, Girl Genius, by Lisa Yee
Funny, sweet, poignant – all these describe this book. I picked it up looking for a comparable book dealing with overscheduled kids.

Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow
Wow – big brother in today’s world. Read it.

  • Top 3 snacks to munch on while working.

    • Green apples and cheddar cheese
    • Chocolate and banana smoothie
    • Big pot of tea

  • Top 3 professions you wanted to be when you grew up.

    • Author
    • Linguist
    • Astronaut – until I discovered my susceptibility to motion sickness

  • Top 3 authors.
    • J.K. Rowling
    • Roald Dahl
    • No one else comes close

Ugh! I get motion sickness too. You’re top 3 books sound great (I’ve read Millicent Min – great one!) Lisa, where can our tech-savvy readers go to keep up with you and your work?

Thanks, Lisa, for joining us on this week’s Strands of Thought. Best of luck with your writing.


I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have something related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.

October 10, 2012

Three Times A Charm with Marilee Brothers

Three Times a Charm is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the publishing industry.

This week you get to meet an author I met in person at the Northwest Author Fair. Young adult author, Marilee Brothers visits this week to talk about her books.

Thank you, Marilee, for agreeing to be a part of my weekly feature, “Three Times a Charm.” 

You’re welcome. Thank you for inviting me.

Tell us a little about yourself.

A former teacher, coach and school counselor, I live in central Washington State and write full time. My books include Castle Ladyslipper, a medieval romance, The Rock and Roll Queen of Bedlam, winner of the 2010 Booksellers Best award for romantic suspense, Moonstone, Moon Rise, Moon Spun, Shadow Moon and the soon to be released, Midnight Moon, the last in my young adult paranormal Unbidden Magic series. I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Impressive line up! Tell us about your Unbidden Magic series.

For those of you who enjoy a young adult “clean read,” the Unbidden Magic series is for you. No fur. No fangs. Just good clean fun. The protagonist is Allie Emerson, fifteen in the first book, Moonstone and seventeen in the final book. She lives with her single mom in a 24 foot travel trailer in fictional town of Peacock Flats, Washington state. At the beginning of Moonstone, Allie falls off a ladder, develops telekenetic power and acquires a spirit guide and magical moonstone pendant. One reviewer said, “Cross Twilight with a Stephanie Plum book and you’ll get Moonstone. It’s supernatural and smart, funny and affecting. I didn’t want to put the book down.”

That sounds like a series I’d love! I’m definitely adding it to my to-read list. Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

  • Top 3 books you’ve read in the past year.

After watching The Game of Thrones on HBO, I’ve become totally obsessed with the books by George R.R. Martin. I raced through Song of Fire and Ice, A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords. I’m currently reading book 4, A Feast for Crows. The books are quite violent and graphic, not my usual fare, but I simply can’t stop reading them. Since each book is 800-900 pages long, I figure it’s a lifetime commitment – LOL! I’ve also read everything written by James Lee Burke and Lee Child.

  • Top 3 tools of the trade you couldn’t live without.

My MacBook Pro with its built-in Oxford American Writers’ Thesaurus, Google and the ever reliable pen and paper.

  • Top 3 skills to hone for people just starting in your business.

1. Don’t be afraid to write a crappy first draft. Nobody gets it right the first time. You can’t edit an empty page, so let it flow and fix it later.

2. Don’t let the fear of rejection paralyze you. One of my favorite writers, James Lee Burke had three published books, but then collected 111 rejections on his fourth book, The Lost Get-Back Boogie, before it was picked up by a university press and eventually nominated for a Pulitzer.

3. Seek feedback on your writing. None of us can be objective about our own work. The internet has created a giant global network of writers. Seek out a critique group or beta reader, kiss your baby and send it out for a thorough examination. Oh, yeah, try not to be defensive if somebody tells you your baby is ugly. Pretty it up and send it out again.

  • Top 3 personal and/or professional goals.

Just one. I want to write a YA book with a male protagonist. It might just happen this year since I owe one more book to my publisher.

This year! You must write fast. Where can our tech-savvy readers find more about you and your books?

Visit my website at http://www.marileebrothers.com, my blog at http://bookblatherblog.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @marileeb and Facebook, www.facebook.com/marilee.author.

Thanks, Marilee, for talking with us on Three Times A Charm. It has been so much fun getting to know you better. Many successes for you and your books!


I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have something related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.

October 8, 2012

In A Blink of an Eye - Sad Simplicity

While I was driving this morning a snippet of a conversation replayed in my mind.

Me to kids: “You don’t have school on Friday. Well, she doesn’t.” I nod to daughter.
Son (freshman in high school): “Whhaat?”
Daughter (eighth grade): “Ha ha ha.”
Me to son: “Don’t worry, there will be days you have off and she’s in school.”

This isn’t the first time I’ve had to keep track of multiple school schedules, events, concerts, etc. As a matter of fact, I’ve had kids in multiple schools for at least a decade! But it hit me this morning, after chuckling about the exchange, that this is the last year I will have to keep track of multiple school schedules. Tears sprang forward when the truth struck.

Next year my youngest will enter high school. She will graduate only one year after her brother and then my husband and I will be finished with the school aged years of parenting. I know I’m not done yet, but already it’s significantly easier than it has been in the past. Heck, one school year all four of my kids were in a different school. A logistical nightmare when the school bell rang at the end of the day. Now we are left with only two kids in public school, they have the same start time and end time and most of the days off are the same.

Fifteen years ago my husband and I took our oldest to her first day of Kindergarten. She was only four, yet she strolled in like she owned the place. When we asked if she wanted us to stay for a while she said, “No. Bye!” Just a blink of an eye and I’m ¾ of the way through the twenty years of the public education of my children. I’m teary over the fact that next year I won’t have to think any harder than one school schedule.

We have so little time with our kids. Take full advantage of having them around. Read to them, with them and in front of them. Read in the living room, cuddled on their bed, lying under the clouds in the park. Tell stories, listen to stories and share stories. Those precious moments of magic and escape are so limited.

Just a blink of an eye and I’m facing the final stretch. I’ll never get it back again. I’m so thankful to have lots of wonderful memories to hark back on; telling progressive stories around the crackling fire in the family room where the boys inevitably ended them with “and everybody died. The End”, lying on the bed next to my daughter reading Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? and her giggles at all the funny noises, my youngest being struck by the villain’s downfall in a particular story so much that she was inspired to act it out again and again. These are memories that they probably wouldn’t recall, but each one knits together in my head to create a sort of memory shawl that I can wrap around me and keep me warm and happy when I need it most.

Just a blink of an eye and my life is one step closer to a sad sort of simplicity.

Before you blink, jot those favorite moments down. Capture them somehow. Sooner than you’d think, you’ll be forced to page through your Jot Journal, because the kids will be grown and gone. I’m not there yet, but the pace at which it’s approaching blows me away and I’m jotting like crazy.

October 5, 2012

QR Codes – Where Have You Been All My Life?

I attended a local writers guild meeting last week. Author, Paty Jager gave a great talk on promotion. Some things I knew and already do, some things I knew and choose not to do, but there was one thing I never even thought to do. I’m still scratching my head and wondering, “Why didn’t I know about this sooner? How did I miss this information before?”

QR Codes are two dimensional barcodes that act like hyperlinks when scanned with the proper app on a cell phone. The code can take your browser directly to a website, a social media page, a google map. You can use it for many different reasons.  But for this blog post purposes, I’m going to focus on writing.

When my third middle grade novel was published, I had new bookmarks printed that included the cover of each book and a blurb. Across the bottom of the bookmark is my website. Then I learned about QR codes. DOH! I created a code to take people directly to the middle grade page on my website, which offers downloads and the buy links for my middle grade books. I printed the code on some labels and I added it to the bookmarks so that when I hand them out in classrooms or paper the town with them, people can scan the code and jump directly to the information that will let them learn more about all of my middle grade books, plus buy them.  As I send one of my books for review, not only do I tuck a bookmark inside, I add the code to the end of that book. That way, after they enjoy that book, they can learn how to get their hands on my other books quickly.

Next year when my young adult novel is released, I can have a separate code that takes readers directly to the young adult page on my website. I plan to design a double-sided bookmark, middle grade on one side, young adult on the other. I can add a code for my website to my business cards. 

The goal is, whenever you are out in public, you should be able to hand something to people that they can scan and learn more about you/your work on their phones.

I’m really excited about this. I want to add QR codes to everything! I want a t-shirt so that people can scan me as I walk past. I’m guessing that my QR code crush will wear off eventually, but for now the possibilities seem so limitless.

I’m using the QR code generator: http://www.quikqr.com/?p=qr-code-home I downloaded a barcode/QR code scanner app for Android onto my phone. Both the scanner and the generator are free.

It’s simple, even for tech-ignorant users. Copy the url for the site you want to create a QR code for. I’ve decided I want to create one for my facebook fan page so EVERYBODY can like me. https://www.facebook.com/KaiStrandAuthor. Paste the url into the QR code generator site and click on the ‘generate code’ button and voila:

Go ahead, get your smart phone, I'll wait... Now scan the code.  While you're there, be sure to like me. Then scan the code on the cover of my Facebook page. SO cool! Why did I not know about this before? Please let me know if this is your introduction to how you can incorporate QR codes in your writing so that I can feel better about not using them sooner.

Happy weekend!

October 3, 2012

Three Times A Charm with Illustrator, Ilene Richard

Three Times a Charm is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the publishing industry.

This week illustrator, Ilene Richard joins us. Ilene, thank you so much for coming! I love hosting illustrators.

Hi Kai,

Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to share my work with you and your readers. 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I received my B.F.A. in illustration, graphic design and jewelry design, from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. After graduating, I decided to pursue a career in jewelry design, and was fortunate to have exhibited in galleries all over the country including many one-woman shows in and around Boston and New York.  After investing fifteen years in the jewelry business, I still held a passion for children’s book illustration, and was motivated to find a way to fulfill my dream of having my work published. I attended the DeCordova Museum School, and the Museum school in Boston to learn and figure-out what it would take to make things happen.

Since concentrating on children’s book publishing, I have had the privilege of working with and been published by: Random House, Grossett & Dunlap, Kar-Ben, Spider Magazine, Harcourt, Houghton Mifflin, Scholastic, and Leapfrog to name just a few.

I love working in the children’s book industry, but since things have slowed down a tad, I have been extremely busy expanding my portfolio with a collection of acrylic paintings.  My work ranges from colorful and expressive figurative works to animal portraits. My award-winning paintings have been exhibited in various galleries and many juried shows from coast to coast.

I live in Andover, Massachusetts with my husband Larry along with our Corgi named ‘Bessie’ and a Boston Terrier named ‘Lucy’.  I also have two great kids who have both graduated from college and are out and about doing their own thing.

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

Top 3 skills to hone for people just starting out in my business

Number 1

I think the most important skill that a future illustrator needs to work on, is to know how to draw well.  I feel that it is essential to be able to create characters and be able to put them in any type of scene doing anything. Once you figure that out, then you have to be able to draw page after page of the same character along with maybe many other characters within thirty-two pages plus cover, that is fun, exciting and can move the story along with ease.  There is no easy way to make this happen, it is a lot of hard work and dedication. So keep drawing!

Number 2

The second skill would be to have a sense of humor when you are working in this field. You have to be able to be able to put yourself into the mind of a five year old, and become part of that world again. It is important to take the adult out of the picture…so to speak. Not always so easy to do, so I suggest spending a lot of time in the children’s book section at your local library and check out as many books as you can while sitting in those tiny little seats.  Most of all, have fun!

Number 3

The third skill would be, to learn how to cope with rejection. Not everyone is going to like what you are doing, so receiving a rejection becomes a part of the life of an artist.   Rejections can either force you to give up, or you can fight through it and figure out what you need to do to improve. I know that I would not be where I am today as an artist if it weren’t for the rejections and my will to continue to improve and demonstrate to everyone that I am really good at what I do, and can do.

Top 3 tools of the trade

1) My computer/ Wacom.

 I cannot believe that I used to do my work without these tools. I used to have to send my finished work to the publishers through the mail, which would take one to two days for shipping. That also meant that I had one to two days less time to finish the work. Boy… I am so glad that has changed!

2) Good paint and brushes.

I strongly encourage any artist to use quality paint and brushes. It makes a world of difference with the finished work. I suggest to not buy cheap materials, it will show.

3) Other talented artists

 Not sure if I would consider this a tool, but I have always had artists friends that I respect, to help me out with a problem or concern I may have with a piece that I am working on.  I have belonged to critique groups for many years, and I also have a studio in a large community of artists.  There are times when I need another artist’s perspective to help me move forward.
Top three professions growing-up

1) Artist for Disney

2) Artist/ Horse Owner

3) Artist

I guess I always knew that being an artist is what I always wanted to be and knew I would be… when I grew-up.

Where can our readers learn more about you and your art?


Thanks, Ilene, for talking with us on Three Times A Charm. It has been so much fun getting to know you better.

I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have a book, a blog or a business related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

This is Week #16 of The Next Big Thing Blog Hop.

I want to thank C. Lee McKenzie for inviting me to participate. When you are finished reading, be sure to 'hop' over the her site and see her post from last week. (The inspiration behind her book is awesome!)

For those of you unfamiliar with a blog hop, you get to follow links to other blogs to learn (in this case) about other books, published or works-in-progress. It's like mining diamonds!

Now, my turn to tell you about MY next big thing:

What is the working title of your book?

Published in August, my book’s title is Save the Lemmings

Where did the idea come from for the book?

It formed while I slept. I didn’t dream about it, but I woke before the sun one morning with a fully formed idea. I wasn’t even at home! I was sleeping on the couch of a hotel suite I was sharing with my sisters. I quietly slid my laptop out of my bag and powered it up to capture the idea.

What genre does your book fall under?

Older middle grade or young-young adult contemporary fiction.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

First, can I just say, this would make a GREAT Disney movie! So finding the ideal cast was really fun. Here's who I'd hire: 

Natalie - Prissy, smart inventor. Always spouting inspirational sayings. Played by Elle Fanning

Tameeka - the no nonsense, takes no crap, techno geek. Played by Cymphonique Miller

Sandra - the grumpy mathlete. Played by Hailee Steinfeld

Jayne - the (not so) fashionista with psoriasis. Played by Abigail Breslin -  She would ROCK this part!

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When her Texty-Talky invention makes Natalie an overnight sensation, the media digs until they find a way to smear her goody-goody image.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Save the Lemmings was published by Featherweight Press – a publisher of children’s and young adult books.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I have no idea!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I wish I could think of one. Even an Amazon search under media, volunteering and lemmings didn’t come up with anything that seemed similar. I'd love to hear if readers were reminded of books they've read.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Events such as Princess Diana’s death, the constant Twitter rumors of dead celebrities – who are still very much alive, sensational reporting of couples like Ashton & Demi or Angela & Brad. Just how the media exposes things and the public eats it up.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

There really are lemmings in the book, but they don’t necessarily need saving. The idea that lemmings blindly follow each other over cliffs is exaggerated. A huge movie company even made a documentary about it back in the 50’s, fueling the idea of the lemmings’ thoughtless suicides – even though it wasn’t true! Isn’t it interesting how we believed the documentary because it came from a reputable company? Kind of like a lemming blindly follows…oh wait…they actually don’t, but we’ve been led to believe it so now lemmings represent the thoughtless following of a person or ideas. What a conundrum!

Oh, and lemmings are cute! 

Now I get to tag next week’s authors. Be sure to visit their posts next week to hear about their next big thing.

Shel Delisle

October 1, 2012

World of Ink Book Tour Schedule

I'm excited to announce that my World of Ink virtual book tour starts today! I hope you'll tour along with me over the next two months as either me or my books visit several different blogs around the internet. My tour stops are listed below. If you find a review or a particular guest post or interview that you really enjoy, feel free to share the link with your friends and family members. I also invite you to join in on any conversations by commenting. And please try your luck in the giveaways. You can click on the tour banner to visit my tour page on the World of Ink site. Below is where you will find me over the next couple of months. See you around the internet!

World of Ink Tour Schedule for Kai Strand (October/November 2012)

October 1st
World of Ink Network – Spotlight
October 5th
Bless Their Hearts Mom – Interview

October 8th
Writing to the Hearts of Children—Spotlight

October 9th
The Phantom Paragrapher – Book Review: Save the Lemmings

October 11th
Virginia Jennings Reviews—Spotlight

October 12th
Families Matter—Book Review: The Wishing Well

October 14th
Utah Children's Writer Blog
Guest Post: Tips to Writing a Book Series

October 15th
Home School Blogger—Book Review: The Wishing Well http://homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolbookreview/

October 17th
BlogCritics—Moms (or dads) Prefer Author Spotlight

October 18th
Bless Their Hearts Mom – Book Review: The Wishing Well
October 19th
The Writing Mama – Interview

October 22nd
BTR’s World of Ink Network: Stories for Children Show
Live Radio Interview at 2pm EST at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork
You can also listen on demand after the show airs!

October 23rd
It’s About Time Mamaw – Book Review: The Wishing Well

October 24th
Roth’s Inspiring Books & Products – Book Review: The Wishing Well

October 26th
Families Matter Blog—Book Review: Save the Lemmings

October 27-28th
ACS Reviewers Haven—Book Review (all)

October 29th
BlogCritics—Book Review: The Wishing Well

October 31st
Stories for Children Magazine FG Interview

November 1st
Tidbits From A Mom – Book Review: The Wishing Well

November 2nd
American Chronicle Spotlight

November 5th
Writing to the Hearts of Children—Interview  

Home School Blogger—Book Review: Save the Lemmings

November 7th
It’s About Time Mamaw – Book Review: Save the Lemmings

November 8th
Virginia Jennings Reviews
Guest Post: How to Reach Middle Grade/YA Readers

November 9th
The Phantom Paragrapher – Book Review: Save the Lemmings

November 12th
Families Matter Blog—Interview

Children’s Writer’s World
Guest Post: Finding Inspiration to Write Children’s/YA Books http://www.childrenswritersworld.blogspot.com/

November 14th
Roth’s Inspiring Books & Products – Book Review: Save the Lemmings

November 15th
MayraSecretBookcase - Spotlight

The Crypto-Capers Review

Stories for Unknown Authors
Airs Live at 1pm EST
Listen later on demand

November 19th
Families Matter Blog
Guest Post: How to Get Children Into Reading

November 20th
Virginia Jennings Reviews—Interview

November 21st
The New Book Review – The Wishing Well

November 26th
BlogCritics—Book Review: Save the Lemmings

November 27th
Brand Buzz Network—Book Review: The Wishing Well

November 28th
Roth’s Inspiring Books & Products – Interview

Writers and Authors
Guest Post: Writing Fables or Using Folklore for Story Ideas http://writersandauthors.blogspot.com

November 30th
MomnBaby Network—Book Spotlight