This week, we are joined by Sue Hollowell, who is here to talk about her book, Ollie and Caroline – Trombone Twosome.
Welcome, Sue! Can you tell us a little about you, please?
- I’ve been married to my sweetheart for 31 years and we’ve raised two incredible daughters. An empty nester with a lot of mom left over. I’ve been a technology project manager in the Information Technology industry for 36 years. I love to organize things. I’m now also applying it to my author business to plan my production and marketing. We’ve been without a dog in our life the last year and I can’t wait to move so we can adopt again. Trouble is I’m going to want to bring home every single one. Why not?
Kai: I can relate. We have three dogs *blushes* Tell us about your book.
- Ollie and Caroline – Trombone Twosome, is the first in a coming of age series. Two main characters, opposites of each other, meet and become friends, helping each other navigate the challenges of sixth grade and life.
- Book one deals primarily with bullying and being assertive to stand up for yourself, others and what’s right.
Kai: What inspired you to write this book?
- I actually began writing an adult mystery and the two main characters for the middle grade story, Ollie and Caroline, appeared in my head, with names and backstories. I continued writing my mystery but those two kids remained on my mind. So, I honored that presence and began telling their story.
- I want my children’s books to be encouraging to kids. To acknowledge the challenges they have as real but give them hope knowing they aren’t alone, and it can be ok.
Kai: I had a similar situation. I sat down to write what is now The Lumpy Duckling, but King of Bad came out instead. Characters can be very pushy!
Okay, now for some fun. I want our readers to get to know the lady behind the book a little better. Please share your top three answers to the following:
Top 3 character traits you like to add to all or most of your characters
- A relatable flaw; health issue, family issue, some struggle
- A strength; whether they use it or not; such as assertiveness, responsibility
- Incorporate a local item in the setting
Top 3 things you do to bust through writer’s block
- Use the pomodoro method – write 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break.
- Prepare the day before by writing a paragraph as a starting point in the scene
- Have a thorough outline
Top 3 pieces of advice for new writers
- Making it the best you can and move on to the next one
- Invest in professional editing and covers
- Surround yourself in the community
Top 3 personal mantras or inspiration phrases
- Why not me?
- To be successful, consistently raise the bar until it’s no longer surprising when you do (Beyonce)
- The separation is in the preparation (Russell Wilson)
Top 3 things you learned about the business after becoming a writer
- It’s all within reach, no matter your goals
- Everyone struggles with imposter syndrome. Everyone.
- There’s no one path to success.
Kai: And finally, where can readers connect with you?
Kai: Thank you for joining us today, Sue, and for sharing your book with us.