In my last post, I mentioned that I would be having a FIRST on this blog and here it is. My interview with children's author Jenny Loveless. Jenny has received a 5 Star Review from professional review site Reader's Favorite...so I'm keeping good company! I've reviewed her most recent book, Holly Horse and the Great Quest. I also gave it a 5 Star Review with a great message well-written for kids. Jenny and I share a similar background working with kids...must be why we clicked.
Jenny, tell us a little about yourself…where you’re from, family, background…
Hi Su, thank you so much for having me. I’ll start off by saying I was adopted when I was three years old, to a family in California with 7 other children. The woman who adopted me started off as my day care provider and I went on to stay with her and her family.
Today I am a stay at home mom of three beautiful daughters. We still live in California with my husband, our cat, our dog, and our fish named Rocky. After taking a break from child care for the past 4 years, I have recently taken on a couple kids again in my home. We have a very full house.
Picking a Genre
What made you decide to write children’s books?
It actually all just fell into my lap. I have always been good at writing, but I never thought about ever seriously writing a book. One day I was with my husband at an ATM machine and he was talking about all the money going out and not enough coming in. I thought to myself, everyone thinks the grass is greener on the other side. All of a sudden, a storyline just fell from the sky. It just so happened to be a storyline fit for kids. I told my husband I was going to write a book and never looked back. Since then, I have written several children’s stories and have found that I am actually pretty good at it.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Is it a particular challenge to find an artist?
It was in the beginning because I had no idea what I was doing or where I could find good resources. My first two books were pretty expensive to have illustrated. For Holly Horse, I went with an art major in college, Nia Onit. I am very happy with how each of my books has come out, but luckily I have found a really great place to find affordable illustrators. My next books will be much more inexpensive and surprisingly easier to have illustrated.
Holly Horse is the story I mentioned earlier. Holly is a young horse who hears a rumor. She hears that the grass is greener on the other side and she is determined to find it. On her quest for this delectable treat, Holly meets the very helpful Gary Goat, Ollie, the very witty rhyming owl, and the 72 year old, Mr. Tim Tortoise. Each new friend Holly meets has a special way in helping Holly realize just how much she loves her own home.
Kudos! Not Just a Granola Bar
I noticed you’ve received a 5-Star review from Reader’s Favorite! Congratulations! Has that helped you any way you’ve noticed?
I had my books reviewed shortly after they were published on Amazon so I’m really not sure if it has helped. I imagine it has. I think having the 5 star reviews help as long as someone reads the description. The hard part is getting people to read that description. It’s a catch 22. I need customer reviews to get more people to read the description and check out my book, but I need people to buy my book before I can get the customer reviews. It’s a slow process, but time helps immensely.
(Doing a giveaway on Goodreads is a great way to garner reviews, and you can use Rafflecopter on your blog or website for giveaways. There are also some book review sites, some featured right here on Dream Weaver blog, that sponsor giveaways.)
What the Future Holds
Any new kid’s books in the offing?
I have a few more books written and edited. Within the next week or two I will be starting on the illustrations to my third book, Tommy and the Magic Trick. This title is subject to change. I am very excited about it. I am also planning on beginning a series with my book Ducky Duck Doesn’t want to be a Duck.
Flash to the Past
When I was a kid, my favorite book of all time was The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. (OMG! This is one of my all-time favorite books!! Check out this vid!) Which reminds me, did you know that Shel Silverstein wrote A Boy Named Sue, by Johnny Cash? Very interesting. As for my favorite kinds of books, I am 36, so I don’t remember a whole lot of them. But when I was a preteen I loved The Babysitters Club series. Go figure.
But Always Live for Today
Any you can suggest now?
Pete the Cat books are super cute children’s books. These books have a lot of educational value which is taught in a fun and groovy way. If you are looking for a good rhyming book for children 2-4, I would recommend Frisby, by Anne Cowell. These books are about a dog named Frisby. The rhymes flow nicely and the illustrations are beautiful.
Any specific tidbits of advice you would share with other writer’s in general?
It’s not easy becoming a new author, and at times it will make you feel that the competition is too hard to compete with. Get very involved in social media. That competition needs to become your best allies. There is an entire community of new and indie authors out there and most of them are more than willing to help. Ask for the help. Ask them to write a review. Ask them to tweet about your book. Ask them to post it on their Facebook sites and ask for advice. The worst they could say is no, but many will say yes. The best way to do this is to help them in some way first. Retweet for other authors and connect with them via twitter, Facebook groups, Goodreads and anywhere else you can think of. Books get the best publicity by word of mouth. The most people who are talking about books are the people writing them.
Any websites you would share with other writers?
I have found a book on Kindle called Author Publicity Pack. Buy it. This book has tons of paid and free advertising websites and Facebook sites. Use as many of these sites you can WITHOUT overwhelming yourself. If you don’t have a Kindle, I highly suggest you download the free Kindle app on your PC or ipad and buy it that way. This is a must have book for new authors. I think it’s a must have for any author.
Where can readers find you and your book?
Holly Horse and the Great Quest
Amazon: http://amzn.to/14GrS1X USA
Ducky Duck Doesn’t Want to be a Duck
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1bdcbk1 USA
Other: Jenny’s books will be available on other sites in the next couple months. Keep a look out for Ducky Duck Doesn’t Want to be a Duck and Holly Horse and the Great Quest. Ducky Duck Doesn’t Want to be a Duck will also be available in print on Amazon in early September.
Jenny, thank you so much for sharing a little about yourself and your books. It has been my pleasure getting to know you and I truly do love getting to support other indie authors.
If you're an author please feel free to contact me for your own interview. This blog currently receives 800 to 1000 views per month and has a world-wide reach!
Thank you everyone for stopping by.
And as always...
Dare to Dream!
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