Author: mandyleigh4 (page 1 of 2)

Author Spotlight

Let’s get to know more about our newly published children’s author, Debbie Sullivan. She is the author of How Santa Celebrates Christmas: A Story About the Meaning and Magic of Christmas .  Click on the link and it will take you to this beautiful heartwarming book for you to  purchase your very own copy to add to your holiday tradition!!! Check out these amazing reviews.

So, here we go…about Debbie:

*Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I live in a small town in upstate NY, not far from where I grew up. I live with my 12 year-old son, my husband of 14 years, and our little cavapoo dog.

*When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing back in high school, creative writing was my favorite class. When I am writing, I feel free – like I am able to express the real me. Writing is not my “day job”, but I hope some day that it will be!

* If you could tell your younger writing self something, what would it be?

I would tell my younger self to spend more time doing things that make you happy. Live in the moment instead of always looking to the future. Show the people in your life how much you love them every single day.

*What advice do you have for others who would like to get started on their writing journey and tips on getting published?

The best advice I would give a new author, is to not be afraid to take that first leap. Start with one idea, and then build from there. It is a process that can take time. Create an outline of the story and fill in the details as you go.

*What’s the first book that you read that had you in tears?

The first book that was so moving it made me cry, was the Velveteen Rabbit. To this day, it is still one of my favorites. No matter how many times I read it, I am always sad for the boy who lost his stuffed friend, but happy for the Velveteen rabbit who finally becomes real.

*Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good and bad reviews?

As a new author I have been reading my reviews. It’s so hard to hear someone else’s opinion of a story that comes from your heart. In the end, we have to remember that God made everyone different, and it is OK if everyone who reads your book does not fall in love with it.

*Who would you like to most thank in your writing career?

I would like to thank my son, Danny for giving me the encouragement I needed to share my manuscript with publishers. It was Danny’s faith in my writing ability that made me believe my dream of publishing a children’s book could become a reality.

*If you had a super power, what would it be?

If I could have a super-power, I would want the ability to make everyone around me happy. I want to be able to take away any fears, doubts, or pain they may be suffering (both mentally and physically).

* What is your best accomplishment?

My best accomplishment is my son, Danny. He is my heart and my world.

*What’s your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is people who are unkind and treat others with disrespect. This especially upsets me when I see coaches and teachers treat children in this manner. Coaches and teachers have a responsibility to guide children in a positive manner – to provide them constructive criticism, while also praising their accomplishments. It is their job to build children up, not crush their spirit.

*As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

As a child, I wanted to be a nun. I am not sure when that changed exactly, but I always tell my husband that he is the love of my live, and if God forbid, something were to happen to him, I would join the convent!

*What is your favorite book and why?

My favorite book of all time is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I have read it many times over the years. Each time I read it, I get lost in the story and reinvested in the complex characters. I love how it chronicles the ups and downs of a family that most people could relate to.

*How are you handling the pandemic?

The height of the pandemic was a gift to my family. I loved being able to slow down and spend time together. Each weekend we would find a new place to go for a walk or a hike. We watched movies together. We were able to take time to just enjoy each other’s company.

I love getting to know more about our authors and I know you do as well.  You can stay connected by following Debbie on her social media account to keep up with the latest and greatest of what’s happening in her world Debbie Sullivan – Author Page.  Also, keep up with what all we have going on on our FB page and stay in the know.

~Author Spotlight~

Let’s get to know more about Rachelle Layne, the beautiful -hearted author of My ABC Bible Book and Curly the Cow. Click on the links and it will take you to them and you can get your very own copies!!!

So, here we go…about Rachelle:

*Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I go by the pen name, Rachelle Layne, but my real name is Rachel Lynn. I guess I opted for a pen name simply for the fun of it. I am a farmer’s wife, but I hate the outdoors because I am allergic to everything in nature! A cow licked me once, and I broke out in hives. I have two daughters, Kaylee and Cassie, and one fur baby, Zumi. In addition to being a wife and a mother, I am an English Language Arts teacher. Writing and decorating cakes are hobbies of mine, which I hope both will become more than a hobby down the road. Even though I write books for children with themes of kindness and Christianity, which are themes I value, I love Sci-Fi! I can get lost in several post-apocalyptic series.

*When and why did you begin writing?

My very first poem was written when I was in fourth grade about a teddy bear. I just wrote for the fun of it, but that changed when I was in high school. My friends and I  participated in a secret Santa gift exchange. We set a limit of ten dollars and drew names. When the gift exchange day came, I was very disappointed to have received a used gift. I went home and complained about it to my mom, who then explained to me that she had to be the giver of used gifts when she was a kid. She had been invited to a birthday party and had no money to buy a gift for her friend, so she gave a half-full bottle of perfume. She was so embarrassed she couldn’t even put her name on it. When the gift was opened, it was made fun of. My mom felt so small and humiliated. After hearing that story, I felt horrible for being so ungrateful. I went to my room, grabbed a notebook and a pencil, and I wrote my very first book, “Anna’s Special Gift.” It was always on my bucket list to get it published and dedicated to my mom, and twenty years later, I was able to do it. Since then, my main goal in writing has been to teach lessons about kindness and share my Christian faith. I believe that when God gives you a gift, it needs to be used in a way to glorify Him and make the world a better place for others.

* How do you deal with lingering thoughts of self-doubt or fear?

I used to be afraid of putting my writing out there because I didn’t want to experience rejection. Upon realizing that rejection was better than not trying at all, I gave myself a chance. My writing has been rejected, and that is okay. It has also been loved and received great reviews. I understand I can’t be everyone’s “cup of tea.” I try to trust God and His plan. In His time and in His way, things always seem to come together. If something doesn’t work out, it just means that it hasn’t worked out yet. With humbleness and faith, I have learned that it is okay to give myself a chance, enjoy success when it comes, and get back up and brush the dust off when I have stumbled.

* If you could tell your younger writing self something, what would it be?

READ!!!! The more you read, the better you write. The more you read, the more you are inspired.

*What advice do you have for others who would like to get started on their writing journey and tips on getting published?

Don’t pay a dime to have your book published. I made that mistake and will never recoup the investment I made. If you have to pay thousands of dollars to publish your book, they won’t have your back. They have already made their money and their support stops there. Use social media to engage with other authors to find support and publishers who accept manuscripts.

*What’s the first book that you read that had you in tears?

I am a very deep feeler, so almost every book brings me to tears! Commercials bring me to tears! Songs bring me to tears! With that being said, one book that brings me to tears every time I read it without fail is “Thank You, Mr. Falker,” by Patricia Polacco. As a teacher, this book means so much to me. It reminds me of the teacher I want to be for my students. Now that I have a daughter with a learning difference, I connect to the book even more. My daughter has dealt with classmates calling her stupid and dumb just like the main character, Tricia. I have read this picture boook to my daughter because it is so inspiring to see in the end that Tricia IS Patricia Polacco. Even people with learning differences can do amazing things, like write and illustrate books. They are gifted and intelligent. I am very thankful for good teachers who help students to realize their potential and don’t tolerate bullying, and I strive to be that teacher for my students. My daughter has even said that her second-grade teacher is her “Mr. Falker.”

 *Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good and bad reviews?

I do read my book reviews and I have submitted my writing to Readers’ Favorites, in which both books, “Anna’s Special Gift” and “Curly the Cow,” both received five-star reviews. I haven’t received a lot of reviews yet, but the ones I have received have been positive. I do have myself prepared for negative reviews remembering that I can’t be everyone’s “cup of tea.” I know a negative review will sting, but I also try to think of negative feedback as an opportunity to grow. 

*Who would you like to most thank in your writing career?

My husband has been instrumental in supporting what I loosely call my writing career. He believes in my potential to become a successful author, but at the same time, he is supportive and uplifting in my moments of what feels like failure. He always reminds me that success doesn’t happen overnight.

*Do you have any quirky writing habits? If so what are they?

I do not have any quirky writing habits that I am aware of.

*Do you believe in writer’s block? How do you handle it?

I don’t believe in writer’s block. I believe in being inspired.

*If you had a superpower, what would it be?

If I had a superpower, I would want super speed so I could get everything I need to get done in a day. As a mom, wife, teacher, and writer, there simply isn’t enough time in a day!

* What is your best accomplishment?

My biggest accomplishment is my children. I am far from the perfect mom and my children are far from perfect, but they have changed me. They have made me stronger as I have had to advocate for them, and I hate confrontation. I have found strength in being a voice for my children. Being an introvert, they have also pushed me out of my comfort zone. I didn’t know it until after I became a mom, but you have to get to know the parents of your children’s friends. This means stepping out of my introverted world, which has been an adjustment I have had to make. They have also made me less self-centered as everything I do now revolves around them. They are my biggest accomplishment because they have reshaped me, and I try to be the best I can be so that I can shape them.

*What’s your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is know-it-alls. It drives me CRAZY! The smartest people are the ones who realize that there is a lot more to learn and that their way isn’t always the right way for everyone or every situation.

*Do you have a favorite color? How does it compare to your personality?

My favorite color is hot pink. It compares to my personality because I am warm and nurturing. It is also bold, which I have become when it has been necessary.

*As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

The answer to this question is quite funny. I either wanted to be a rockstar or a nun.

*What is your favorite book and why? Which of the books that you’ve had published is your favorite and why?

One of my favorite books is Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikelson. I love reading this one to my students because it has such a powerful theme of forgiveness and how choosing your attitude can change your entire outlook on life. It also shows the reader that no matter how much you have messed things up, you always have the chance to do and be better.

The book that I have published that is my favorite is “Anna’s Special Gift.” I love it so much because it is just one of many lessons my mother has taught me that has helped me to become the empathetic person I am today.

*How are you handling the pandemic?

I am pretty much a homebody, so when my state was shut down last spring, my life didn’t change at all. The hardest thing at that time was teaching virtually and keeping my daughters on track with their school work and learning. It was HARD teaching 100 kiddos online and supporting my own at home. If I never have to do that again, I will be so happy! We were lucky when we started school in August because we got to go back in person. We did have a period when we had students placed in quarantine and students still coming to school, so teaching in person and virtually proved to be challenging, but knowing it was short-term made it easier. Overall, it has been a great school year, and I am so thankful we got to be at school. I love my fifth-graders and I would have hated to miss out on these awesome kids.

I love getting to know more about our authors and I know you do as well.  You can stay connected by following Rachelle on her social media account to keep up with the latest and greatest of what’s happening in her world Books By Rachelle Layne.  Also, keep up with what all we have going on on our FB page and stay in the know.

~Author Spotlight~

Let’s meet and get to know more about  Author DJ Matthews.  The Little Pink Dentist is her very first published book and a very wonderful chapter book at that.  

About the book:  Moon Yellowfoot is seven-years-old and she is Cherokee, just like her friend Lilly. Lilly’s dad is a dentist. He visited their school for career day and gave them all toothpaste, a toothbrush and dental floss. Moon stays with her Gram after school. Her Gram has an attic with a chest full of fun toys and dress up clothes where Moon plays. She finds a magical necklace in a little box inside the chest. Moon wonders what it’s like to be a real dentist. She discovers as she holds on to her necklace and makes a wish, that she is transported through time. She opens her eyes and sees a set of teeth. She is a real dentist and her first patient is waiting. Come with Moon on her wonderous adventure and discover what a dentist does and still be home in time for dinner.

Now let’s get to know the author, herself:

*Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I grew up in in rural North Alabama. I have four kids, two natural and two step children. When I’m not writing I enjoying reading, traveling, and crafts. I always have a book with me. Either on my phone, tablet or an actual page turner. I don’t have a specific genre I enjoy reading but I do lean toward mystery and suspense as my go-to genre but I read pretty much everything.

*When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing around age eleven. My mother showed me a poem that my great-grandmother wrote and I thought hmm I bet I can write one. I knew I wanted to be a writer when I entered a poetry contest and won honorable mention at the age of twelve but it would take nearly twenty-five years before I actually published anything.

* How do you deal with lingering thoughts of self-doubt or fear?

Boy that’s a tuff one. I lean on my family a lot.

When I feel my world sliding down that negative spiral, I try to do some sort of self-care like buy ice cream or go shopping for something that is just for me. A new book usually.

* If you could tell your younger writing self something, what would it be?

To never give up on your dream! You have something to offer that others want and need.
*What advice do you have for others who would like to get started on their writing journey and tips on getting published?

Write, write, write and read. The only way to get better is to practice and that comes from seeing well-crafted works as well as writing. Even if everything you write sounds dumb or bad you are still practicing. We had to practice walking before we could walk and not fall.

*What’s the first book that you read that had you in tears?

Morris Has a Cold by Bernard Wiseman. Though the tears were from laughter not sadness. I do remember the first movies that made me cry; Bambi and King Kong.

*Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good and bad reviews?

I try not to read the reviews but sometimes I can’t help it. I remind myself that bad comments are someone’s opinion and they are entitled to their opinion. I am not a fan of Country music but I know a lot of people who love it. If I could write a book that everyone loved, I’d be infamous. That’s why we have so many genres out there. I also try to take the negative criticism and glean something useful about it to improve my work.

*Who would you like to most thank in your writing career?

My husband, my family and my best friend. They have been instrumental in sharing my work with the world.

*Do you have any quirky writing habits? If so what are they?

I twirl my hair when I’m thinking.  This happens a lot as I’m always thinking of new stories. I also tent to wake up at strange times to write. Sometimes super early or in the middle of the night.

*Do you believe in writer’s block? How do you handle it?

Absolutely! I usually walk away and do some sort of craft, go to the library or clean. Some writers swear by pushing through and just writing through it but I’ve found that doesn’t work for me.

*If you had a super power, what would it be?

To control time and speed typing so I could write more books!

* What is your best accomplishment?

My kids.

*What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When a book has a lot of bad language in place of good descriptive words. I simply won’t read it no matter how interested I am in the book.

*Do you have a favorite color? How does it compare to your personality?

Purple. It’s a combination color just like me. I’m a lot of different things. Serious, quirky, bubbly, shy, happy, and sad.

*As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer, well a runway model first, then a writer. At five foot, I’m a bit short for the runway 😉

*What is your favorite book and why? Which of your books that you’ve had published is your favorite and why?

Boris has a cold is my favorite book. It’s the first book I remember reading by myself as a child. I have dyslexia and reading did not come easy. My favorite book I’ve published is the first ‘Little Pink’ book in the series because it represents my family. Some of the stories come from my boys and the series itself was inspired by my daughter and husband.

*How are you handling the pandemic?

I’ve done a lot of writing, reading, watching television and redecorating. I moved into a new house a few months before the lockdown so I’ve had plenty of things inside the house to keep me busy. When I feel stressed, I try to exercise or take a walk if it’s nice outside.

I really enjoyed getting to know more about DJ and I know you all did too.   Grab a copy of her book for your little ones or yourself. Follow her on her social media account to keep up with the latest and greatest of what’s happening in her  world. Author DJ Matthews.  Also, keep up with what all we have going on on our FB page and stay in the know.

~Author Spotlight~

Let’s get to know more about one of our very own superheroes. Our multi-talented Author, Jennifer Lee Corley.

*Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am a mom, a wife, an elementary school teacher, and a newly published author. I love dancing, musicals, reading, writing, vacations (who doesn’t?!), and spending time with my family.

*When and why did you begin writing?

I always enjoyed writing, even as a child. One Christmas, my parents copied and bound a book I wrote so I could give it to my aunts and uncles as gifts! I have fun creating stories, rhymes, and poems. I write to express all my thoughts and feelings. Writing is magical; it can transport one to another place, time, express emotions, bring memories to life, and provoke critical thinking. Words are powerful.

* How do you deal with lingering thoughts of self-doubt or fear?

I lean on my family and lifelong friends for encouragement and support. Some fears are tough to face, but with loving family and friends, any fear or bout of self-doubt are eased. The weight of tough feelings is best carried by a close-knit support system; the load can be shared and easier to bear.

* If you could tell your younger writing self something, what would it be?

I would tell my younger self to not worry about sharing my writing with others. Words are meant to be read!

*What advice do you have for others who would like to get started on their writing journey and tips on getting published?

Write write write! When an idea hits, in the middle of the night, in a dream, or just something in day to day life, jot it down! Write when the mood strikes. Find a publisher that will support your ideas, encourage you, and value your input. Large publishers usually require a literary agent, so research publishers and agents  (there may be a small publisher that’s perfect for you!).

*What’s the first book that you read that had you in tears?

I cannot recall the first book that had me in tears, but  there are many throughout the years that touched my soul. Most recently, some well written dynamic characters that pulled on my heart strings were in Kristin Hannah’s The Four Winds (can I request a sequel with intertwined generations?!), The Great Alone, and American Dirt by Jeanine Cummin.

*Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good and bad reviews?

I do read my book reviews (thanks for writing them!). Luckily, I have not yet come across a bad review, but I am sure it is inevitable. Everyone has their own style, preference, and opinion, so I always keep that in mind.

*Who would you like to most thank in your writing career?

My children. They inspire me every day. I want to show them, as well as all children, that a person can have more than one career path in life. I can be a teacher and an author. Since being published, I know that my boys are watching and learning that they can reach goals and accomplish what their hearts desire, too.

*Do you have any quirky writing habits? If so what are they?

Well, I like to handwrite ideas first in a journal. I read things aloud to myself to hear rhythm and rhyme. I cross words out, and my journals usually look like a big scribbly mess!

*Do you believe in writer’s block? How do you handle it?

I have not had writer’s block (yet!). I write when an idea comes to me, or something inspires me to write. Perhaps, the idea of writer’s block is more  pressure or stress to write a piece on a certain topic with deadlines approaching. If I ever experience it, I imagine I would try to take a break, go somewhere relaxing, or do something I love with someone I love to relieve stress.

*If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I have actually thought about this question a lot. Maybe that’s because we (my husband, sons, and I) are huge Marvel fans. So many superpowers are hurtful, and I definitely do not want to fly (I am scared of heights), or know the future. The superpower I would want to have is the ability to make others feel empathy. Think about it- two opposing forces, each have to feel the other’s pain or joy (physical or emotional). What could be more powerful than feeling what another person is experiencing? That superpower would make people walk in each other’s shoes, so to speak.

* What is your best accomplishment?

Without a doubt, mommin’. Being my sons’ mother is the best thing that I have ever accomplished. They continually amaze me with their hearts of gold, intriguing minds, silliness, and innate goodness.

*What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When adults use “baby talk” voices to each other.

*Do you have a favorite color? How does it compare to your personality?

My favorite color is turquoise. The color of the stone or the color of the sea and sky. I think the color is calming, peaceful, natural, and I suppose those attributes mirror my personality. I like things to be peaceful and calm; I do not like confrontation. I love the beach and tranquility of the calm sea, which provokes relaxation and a laidback go-with-the-flow mentality.

*As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Well, exactly where I am in life:  a teacher, writer, mom, and wife. I am very grateful to be able to live out my childhood dreams. For a brief moment, I wanted to be a dancer as well.

*What is your favorite book and why? Which of your books that you’ve had published is your favorite and why?

I cannot pick just one favorite book of all time. I do have a favorite genre, which is historical fiction. I love stories that interweave history with multigenerational families (found in works by authors Isabel Allende and Chanel Cleeton), and characters created so well, they could very well be real people.

Well, so far, I only have one book published (Do Superheroes Brush Their Teeth?), so I guess that is my favorite because it opened the doors to more possibilities for me as an author, gave me confidence that I can be published, and most importantly, was inspired by a conversation with my sons.  Stay tuned for my second one later on this year! 😉

*How are you handling the pandemic?

Well, this past year has certainly been mountains and valleys. The start of the pandemic brought me closer with some amazing lifelong friends (we supported each other through the new stresses and anxieties that arose), challenged me as an educator to make connections with students and their families virtually while still keeping the rigor of academics, and provided the opportunity for me to submit a work to be published. My family lost our matriarch last April, like so many others worldwide, and that was challenging during a pandemic.  At the moment, I feel hopeful and optimistic that we are on the downslide.

I really enjoyed getting to know more about Jennifer  and I know you all did too.  Grab a copy of her book for your little ones or yourself. Follow her on her social media account to keep up with the latest and greatest of what’s happening in her  world Author Jennifer Lee Corley.   Also, keep up with what all we have going on on our FB page and stay in the know.

~Author Spotlight~

~Author Spotlight~

Let’s get to know a little more about the wonderful, huge-hearted and talented Author, Tracy Kushwaha.

*Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I adore children. I have one of my own and believe it or not I am a very shy person.

*When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing as a child. It is just something I really enjoy.

* How do you deal with lingering thoughts of self-doubt or fear?
I don’t. I try to ignore them.

* If you could tell your younger writing self something, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to take a chance. It’s not easy but it will be worth it in the end.

*What advice do you have for others who would like to get started on their writing journey and tips on getting published?

Read read, and read some more. Also if you have an idea write it down! Don’t worry about getting it perfect the first time. Just write while the ideas are flowing. You can always go back and make changes later.

*What’s the first book that you read that had you in tears?
The little Match Girl still makes me cry today.

*Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good and bad reviews?

Yes, I don’t like bad reviews. But everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It doesn’t matter how epic your book, is somebody isn’t gonna like it. Kinda like Chinese food, we all know it’s awesome; yet some of us snub our noses at it.

*Who would you like to most thank in your writing career?

My Mom and my daughter, they are always there to support me in everything I do.

*Do you have any quirky writing habits? If so what are they?

I love to get a fancy cup. Like a wine glass and fill it with cold coke after that I settle down in a quiet spot.

*Do you believe in writer’s block?

How do you handle it? Just gotta write something, anything! A wise person once said. The water doesn’t run unless you first turn on the tap.

*If you had a super power, what would it be?

I’d wanna fly. Which is crazy because I’m terrified of heights.

* What is your best accomplishment?

I am not the best at many things. But I am a very good Mother. So I would say being a good mom is my best accomplishment.

*What’s your biggest pet peeve?

People blowing the horn at me at a stop sign. They can clearly see the huge 18 wheeler coming at me. But they want me to get hit so they can get there coffee faster. Ummm no I chose life, thank you.

*Do you have a favorite color? How does it compare to your personality?

My favorite color is pink. I guess you could say it’s compares to my personality because like me it’s cheerful.

*As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer although I imagined a limo and a in ground swimming pool. Not a kitty pool.  Writers aren’t as rich as most folks think. That being said I do not regret being a writer. The joy my books bring to children makes it worth the hard work.

*What is your favorite book and why? Which of your book that you’ve had published is your favorite and why?

A Nose for Teddy because it was written for my little girl.

*How are you handling the pandemic?

Ugh I feel like it’s 1997 again. I’ve worked for Mrs. wheeler down the street got $20 in my pocket and no where to go. I am just so over it. But praying and staying home as much as possible

*Where can we stay connected with you? What are your social media links?

I am on Facebook quite a bit.

I really enjoyed getting to know more about Tracy and I know you all did too.  Grab a copy of her books for your little ones or yourself.

Also, keep up with what all we have going on on our FB page and stay in the know.  

~Author Spotlight ~

Let’s get to know a little more about the wonderful, huge-hearted and talented Author and Illustrator, Lindsay DeRollo.  Which, by the way, is “officially” not only a children’s author, but an author of the Young Adult genre as well,  with her newest release, “Prima Ballerina : A Short Story.”

*Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am a children’s book author and illustrator in Central New York. I have written/illustrated a ballet book series titled “Sugarplum Stars” (and have some other stories coming out soon!). I have also written short stories (fiction) and poetry.

*When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing stories and poems for fun since I was about ten years old, and this was when I first knew that I would become an author someday. I wanted to write books that I would enjoy reading just as much as the books I loved to read. I wanted other readers to get excited to enter a new world of imagination and discovery the way that I did, and to be able to relate to the characters.

*How do you deal with lingering thoughts of self-doubt or fear?

I remind myself that just because I have a different writing/illustration style than other [more popular] authors does not necessarily mean that I am not just as talented. It is important to have your own unique style and way of getting across your messages in your stories. I also take comfort in having great editors and book reviewers/supporters to help me improve my work and give me valuable feedback. I take pride in the good reviews and awards I have received and never take anything for granted, especially the chance that I got to publish my books (for free) and join a good publishing company 😉

*If you could tell your younger writing self something, what would it be?

That it will take a lot of time, learning, critiques and patience (and purchasing books can be costly after a while) to build yourself up as an author. It can get frustrating at times, which is inevitable. It will not happen overnight, and it may take a long time to find a publisher (or to self-publish) for your work. But it will be worth it to share your stories with others and to know that they enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them. Also don’t ever forget why you began writing in the first place. For me it is about fulfillment and the joy of expressing myself and creating characters that other people (including myself) can relate to. Don’t ever give up!

* What advice do you have for others who would like to get started on their writing journey and tips on getting published?

Read as many books as possible in the writing genre/format that you wish to create. Research as much as you can about writing (there is a ton of free information at your local libraries and online) and take a writing class to learn and get feedback on your work. Reach out to as many writers as you can and build new relationships. It is critical to find other people who can offer you advice, feedback and support for your work. In my case I began by self-publishing through Amazon (it’s pretty simple to do and it does not cost anything other than if you purchase your own books). Later on, through a writing friend I met on Facebook, I found a great publishing company and here I am today.

*What’s the first book that you read that had you in tears?

This is a tough question because I have read too many books to count throughout the years. The first thing that comes to mind are some memoirs and novels (mostly written for young adults) that were about mental health issues that I have struggled with. It was a relief to learn that I was not alone.

* Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good and bad reviews?

Absolutely! Reading book reviews are critical for every author in my opinion. It is so important to get feedback on what people like and don’t like about your stories. It is such a great feeling to get good book reviews. But remember that we all get bad reviews from time to time (especially if you’re just starting out) and it’s just a part of the learning process. I try not to take it personally. Even best-selling authors get some bad reviews; you can’t please everyone.

* Who would you like to most thank in your writing career?

All of my family members, friends and mentors who have supported and helped me with my books. And especially the fantastic publishing company I am in now 😉

*Do you have any quirky writing habits? If so what are they?

I think all writers have some quirky writing habits; it’s what makes us stand out from others. Everyone writes stories with characters that have their own fun (and quirky) personalities. Without these types of different (and relatable) characters the stories wouldn’t be very interesting to read.

*Do you believe in writer’s block? How do you handle it?

Absolutely- we all experience it sometimes. Sometimes it can be helpful to just take a break and not to force it. Inspiration often comes when you least expect it.

* If you had a super power, what would it be?

How about having an endless supply of money?? (Haha)

* What is your best accomplishment?

Making the number one new best-sellers list (for children’s dance books) for all three of my books on Amazon. I still can’t believe it!

* What’s your biggest pet peeve?

People who bash others for their personal opinions on certain matters. If you can’t agree on something, let it be and “agree to disagree”.

* Do you have a favorite color? How does it compare to your personality?

Pink. I guess you could say that my personality is very creative and colorful (underneath the shyness), and I love fashion and all things cute.

* As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An artist and a writer (ta-da!). Perhaps a fashion designer as well and an art therapist.

*What is your favorite book and why? Which of your books that you’ve had published is your favorite and why?

I don’t have a favorite book as I have read too many books that I loved. Some of my favorite authors include Sarah Dessen, Jodi Picoult, Gillian Flynn and S.J. Watson. I love psychological suspense novels as well as realistic YA novels that I can relate to (from my past experiences).

My favorite book that I wrote is probably “If the Slipper Fits…” I think that my stories and illustrations have improved with every new book I created. I also like the theme of learning not to compare yourself to others. It’s what makes you unique and how you feel about yourself that truly counts.

* How are you handling the pandemic?

I am handling it pretty well, but I do get frustrated sometimes (as we all do). I have to remind myself to be grateful that I am healthy (as well as my family members and friends) and in a comfortable situation financially, and will always have a good support system.

*Where can we stay connected with you? What are your social media links?

I am always very active on social media.

Here are the links to them, as well as my email address:

*Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lindsay-DeRollo/e/B06XT54229 

*LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lindsay-derollo/
*Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lindsayderolloauthor/
*Twitter: https://twitter.com/faery86
*Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shimmeringhope86/
*Email me: authorlindsayderollo@gmail.com

I really enjoyed getting to know more about Lindsay and I know you all did too.  Grab a copy of her books for your little ones or yourself. Follow her on her social media accounts to keep up with the latest and greatest of what’s happening in Lindsay’s world.  She’s always staying busy creating new works, whether it’s illustrations or writing new books that puts smiles on little one’s and bigger people’s faces.  Also, keep up with what all we have going on on our FB page and stay in the know.  

Motivational Monday!!!

Ready or not, it’s here again…Monday.  Make the most of it.  Mindset IS everything!!! Let’s put smiles on some faces. Happy Monday everyone 🙂

Spotlight Saturday

Let’s get to know about our author who has a passion for sea turtles and marine life. She has taken us on adventures with Toby, a very fun-loving and courageous sea turtle.

*Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Quiet introvert but will voice my opinion when necessary.  Good listener and organizer.  Loyal to family & friends.

*When and why did you begin writing?

Loved going to the library as a child.  Hans Christian Anderson books inspired me and I started writing short stories and poetry.

*How do you deal with lingering thoughts of self-doubt or fear?

Talk with someone who knows me inside and out.

*If you could tell your younger writing self-something, what would it be?

Keep a diary of all your thoughts.

*What advice do you have for others who would like to get started on their writing journey and tips on getting published.

Believe in yourself.  Polish your work the best you can.

*What’s the first book that you read that had you in tears?

To Kill a Mockingbird.

*Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good and bad reviews?

Yes, I read my reviews and learn more from the bad reviews than the good ones.

*Who would you like to most thank in your writing career?

Family and friends or someone who has inspired me.       

*Do you have any quirky writing habits? If so what are they?

Quirky writing habits… too many glue words.

*Do you believe in writer’s block? How do you handle it?

Writers block had visited me many times.  Often I quit writing that particular piece and give it a rest while I venture on to something else.  When I go back and reread the story I know if I should just save it or jump right back in.

*If you had a super power, what would it be?

Superpower… Mindfulness, I hate it when my thoughts scatter.

*What is your best accomplishment?

Being a Mother and raising 4 children who make me proud.      

*What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Like to have all my ducks in a row.

*Do you have a favorite color? How does it compare to your personality?

Sapphire blue… I love all the colors of blue, especially sapphire.  It is a symbol of power and strength, but also of kindness and wise judgment.

*As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to grow up and become a teacher but got married at 17.  Later I would teach Veterans about the benefits of exercising in The Move Class.

*What is your favorite book and why? Which of your book that you’ve had published is your favorite and why?

My Favorite book was A Patch of Blue.   To be kind and to be a good friend ranks high on my list.

*Where can we stay connected with you? What are your social media links?

I am on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter but am still navigating the ins and outs of social media.

*How are you handling the pandemic?

I am trying to keep busy during the pandemic.  Working on another book.  Miss my volunteer work at the library. 

***I really enjoyed getting to know more about our author and know you all did to.  Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and you can see more updates on her and her books on our Facebook page as well.  Get your copies and enjoy going on adventures with Toby as well. 

Goodbye January, Hello February

Goodbye January…Hello February….
❤❤❤
 
 

#goodbyejanuary #hellofebruary #love #twogirlsandareadingcorner

Don’t forget to enter our contest~Click the link for details —>>> Valentine’s Coloring Contest.   

Valentine’s Coloring Contest

Valentine’s Day is coming up and you know what that means… delicious candy!  Two books in our Two Girls and a Reading Corner family revolve around some of these sweet treats.

One book is “Chrissy’s Candy Shop” written by Melanie Lopata and illustrated by Denny Poliquit. The second book is “If the Green Grass was Jello” co-authored by Brynlea Hope & Alexandra Grace, illustrated by Brynlea Hope. For a summary/blurb of these books please visit our website: twogirlsandareadingcorner.com/shop (linked to #Amazon & #Barnesandnoble).

By choosing to enter this coloring contest you can win a signed copy of either of the two books mentioned above. The deadline to enter is Feb. 14, 2020. There will be two winners chosen on Feb. 21, 2020.

Submission Process: 

All entries must be submitted by Feb. 14, 2020.

  1. Choose the artwork on the cover of either book to draw. You can either draw the cover on “If The Green Grass Was Jello”, or use the downloadable coloring sheet for “Chrissy’s Candy Shop” linked below to color. You can also draw the cover of “Chrissy’s Candy Shop” if you choose.

  2. Download the coloring sheet for “Chrissy’s Candy Shop” and color to your heart’s content. Or grab some paper and get to drawing the covers of either book. 🙂 

  3. Snap a pic or scan in your artwork.

  4. Email your creation to twogirlsandareadingcorner@gmail.com with the subject line VALENTINE’S COLORING CONTEST. Or, send it to our mailing address PO Box 2404, Madison, Al. 35758. 

  5. Finally, sip coffee, snuggle with your littles, eat candy, and relax. The two winners will be announced on Feb. 21, 2020.

“Chrissy’s Candy Shop” –Please use the image above as your coloring sheet template.

Good luck everyone!

-Sadie K.

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