Tuesday, August 23, 2016




 AUTHOR INTERVIEWS

Today, I'm happy to introduce Deb Gardner Allard.  She is the first of my Author Interviews:



Welcome, Deb. Please tell about your background?



I’m a retired registered nurse who also has a B.S. degree in psychology. In addition to a wonderful hubby and three grown, married children, I have eight fantastic grandchildren. Our family has a great sense of humor. We find the funny in everyday things. Family get-togethers are pretty much laugh-until-you-cry or your-abdominal-muscles-can’t-take-anymore events.



How did you decide to become a children's writer and what steps did you take to make that happen?



I decided to write for children when I was in first grade. As soon as I could print words, I wrote wild tales. The children in my elementary school classes looked forward to my silly stories. I won a Daughter’s of the American Revolution medal in fifth grade for a true story about covered wagons, including the details of their trip to California. I did a lot of research. The judges were probably flabbergasted that a child tackled Donner’s Pass! And I was passionate about it. I loved doing research from the moment I learned the concept. Being an avid reader, my mother enrolled me in a book club, and I chose books every couple of weeks, in addition to going to the local library every Saturday. In the last few years, I studied with The Institute of Children’s Literature, and I belong to The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Word Weavers International.



Please tell us about your latest book.



Baby Poopsie Loves Ears is a funny tale about a baby who discovers his mommy and daddy’s ears and won’t let go. He ends up being twirled around the room while hanging ten on Daddy’s ears. It’s a true story about one of my grandsons who was obsessed with ears when he was a baby. His mommy always called him her little Poopsie. I couldn’t help but write a story about it. The fabulous illustrator, Jack Foster, not only brought Poopsie to life, he totally captured the comedy. I still laugh when I read the book to my grandchildren—and they laugh, too! The pictures are just way too precious. 




It sounds like a cute and fun book. Here are some comments from your reviews: 

“…an adorable story; the author’s prose is smooth and flowing…--Dot Schwemmer.

.”…adorable prose…”  --Lainie B.

“…such a fun story! The illustrations by Jack Foster are giggle-inducing—such kooky, colorful characters…” –Regan W.H. Macaulay.

“…cute book!...”—Janet Ann Collins.

“…great blend of story-telling and silliness…” Karin Beery



How long did it take you to write Baby Poopsie Loves Ears?



It took over 18 months of writing eight hours a day for five  to six days a week. I always knew the story, but getting the rhyme down and adding in alliteration, consonance, and assonance took tons of rewrites and patience. I wanted it to read fast and funny, not like a typical story. I think those techniques added to the humor.



What is a typical writing day like for you?



For nine years I rose about seven a.m. and set about writing while still in my pajamas. I stopped at lunch to make myself presentable, then went back to writing until Hubby came home for dinner, unless I attended a writing group, had lunch with hubby or friends, or babysat grandchildren. But I have to admit, our lovable poodle, Lovey, pestered me the entire day. He likes to play squirrel—where he drops his stuffed squirrel in my lap, and I have to throw it about a hundred times a day. And he loves to go potty every hour. After my husband retired, this past April, I’ve been more lax with my hours, trying to squeeze writing time between adventures with hubby.



What is the most difficult part of writing for children?



Keeping a story tight—finding just the right words to paint a mental picture. The best stories are ones where you can close your eyes and picture what is happening while someone else reads. But of course, illustrations take the story to a whole new level. They enhance the humor or whatever the story aims to convey. I have the highest respect and regard for illustrators. They make a story fantabulous!



What do you enjoy most about writing for children?



Seeing children’s smiles and hearing their giggles when I read my stories. My very favorite moment is having them ask me to read it again. That tickles my heart.



Do you have a website? If so, please give the URL.



My website is Enjoying Kids with Deb Gardner Allard. www.debgardnerallard.com


Tell us about your author marketing process. What do you do to market and sell your books?



I plug my book on numerous Facebook sites for books. I have also carried it to several book stores and had it placed. I recently did a fun author event at a bookstore. The kids and I sang interactive songs like The Hokey Pokey, If You’re Happy and You Know it, and Head Shoulder’s Knees and Toes. Then we did a game of trying to make Poopsie’s face by putting the nose, ears, mouth, eyes, twirly sprout of hair on top of his head, etc. (felt pieces). After all of those things, I read my story with embellishment and then we had a snack while coloring a picture of the cover of my book. The children seemed to enjoy themselves, and so did their parents.


Some good marketing ideas. Have you written any other books?



I have a middle grade children’s book for ages 8-11 called Izzy and the Real Truth About Moose Boy. It’s pretty funny. 

 What are you working on right now?



Now I’m finishing up a young adult Christian suspense book Before the Apocalypse. It’s more serious, although humor did seep in—I can’t help myself. The Left Behind Series tackled life after the Rapture, but my book is about what happens before it. A non-Christian senior in high school has prophetic dreams. He sets out on a journey to understand them. Meanwhile, his Christian rival joins a scary new religion and the paths of the two boys steamroll into the unexpected. Definitely not a book for young children, but ages 14-19 will enjoy it. It will be available in a couple of weeks.



And last, what is your best tip for aspiring children's book authors?



READ, READ, READ because good writers are readers. And study the craft of writing to fine tune your work. Take your time and make it great.

Thank you so much, Deb, for sharing information about your books and writing. 

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Tags:
Baby Poopsie loves ears, Izzy and the Real Truth about Moose Boy, Deb Gardner Allard, Jack Foster, funny, silly, fun, amusing, children's books, teasing, bullying, pranks, Christian Author.