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Jackpot!! My Children’s Play Produced in Ontario, Canada

Euphoria!!  My full length children’s play, The Exciting Exploits of an Effervescent Elf is being produced in Ontario, Canada! 

In this stand alone sequel to “Emma and the Lost Unicorn”, Emma is held captive in Patsy, the Banana Spider’s web.  No one can see her except the irrepressible elf, Cheets.  Everyone in the forest has been searching for Emma to no avail and given his reputation, no one believes Cheets when he claims to have found her. Cheets can see Emma but not hear her through Patsy’s web.  Emma must “act out” vital news concerning the enchanted forest.   Hazard, the Lord of the Underworld is selling the forest to developers.  Emma must not stand in his way!    This fable tells of greed, ecology, friendship, enduring love and justice. 

Most of the characters from “Emma and the Lost Unicorn” [Published by Samuel French] return to this new fable.  New characters include: Thomas, the sea turtle, pedantic but loveable.  Laughter erupts when the audience realizes that he speaks only in nautical expressions and sayings.  Patsy, the spider represents greed.  Rose, Emma’s mother emphasizes maternal devotion and the ability to believe when the magical creatures of the forest reveal themselves to her.  Hazard, Lord of the Underworld reunites with a lost love.  Roles for every child who auditions! fairy tales, children's plays, scripts for kids,riddles for children,unicorns

Returning characters:        
Emma, the earthling girl
                                                Cheets, the elf
                                               Stare, the rhetorical owl
                                                Donald, Emma’s faerie best friend
                                               Cleo, Queen of the Faeries
                                               Handmaidens of the Queen
                                               Assorted faeries and woodland creatures

New characters:                  Patsy, the spider
                                    Hazard, Lord of the underworld
                                    Thomas, the sea faring turtle
 Rose, Emma’s mother

To Purchase                                   

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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   December:  Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick)  January: Molly Gloss.  February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning and April: Poet, Joe Albanese
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New Children’s Play Released!

Children’s Play  (#5 in the Fabled Forest Series) has been released!  Children’s story book by the same name.

The story is in play form. A one hour children’s play, by the same title, offers a part for every child who auditions. 

New characters are introduce: Barcode and Fiona the two cats. Reginald the Raccoon and his merry band of baby raccoons. And lots of others.

Synopsis: Cheets is looking for an adventure!  The elf had heard about ‘town’. Emma and her mother went all the time but no one from the fabled forest had been there. Cheets was certain it was a magical place and he decided that he must head for Troublesville. He stows away in the car one day and finds himself in busy, noisy streets all alone. He begins his adventure by befriending two cats who live in a house with two humans. Then because of his obsession with carrots, he is captured in a trap and that’s when his adventure no longer is any fun.  6f. 15m. (many roles non-gender)

Recurring characters from the series return to help find Cheets. Don’t miss Cheets’ escapade and daring rescue!  Full color illustrations by Jefferson O’Neal.

 

To preview or Purchase, click here

Story book

Emma and the Lost Unicorn, The Exciting Exploits of an effervescent Elf, and Stanley, the Stalwart Dragon: Go to Samuel French, Inc.

Bertie, the Bookworm and the Bully Boys: Go to: Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MY features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months? March: Mystery (and Western) writer, Larry D. Sweazy.  April: World Traveler, Tal Gur. June: mystery author, Manning Wolfe.
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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New Release of Book #5, Cheets Heads for Troublesville

NOW Available!   Book #5 in the Fabled Forest series.  CHEETS HEADS for TROUBLEsville

Cheets is looking for an adventure!  The elf had heard about ‘town’. Emma and her mother went all the time but no one from the fabled forest had been there. Cheets was certain it was a magical place and he decided that he must head for troublesville. He stows away in the car one day and finds himself in busy, noisy streets all alone. He begins his adventure by befriending two cats who live in a house with two humans. Then because of his obsession with carrots, he is captured in a trap and that’s when his adventure no longer is any fun.

 

 

 

Don’t miss Cheets’ escapade and ultimate rescue!

 

Beautiful full color illustrations by Jefferson O’Neal.Click here to Purchase
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MY features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months? March: Mystery (and Western) writer, Larry D. Sweazy.  April: World Traveler, Tal Gur. June: mystery author, Manning Wolfe.
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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Thanks! 

To Purchase

 

 

 

 

Emma and the Lost Unicorn, A Children’s Book

Announcing the second edition of this popular children’s chapter book, Emma & the Lost Unicorn

Book 1 of the Fabled Forest Series: Emma, an earthling girl visits her friends in the forest with great regularity. She delights in the antics of Stare, the rhetorical owl and Cheets, the mischievous elf.  One day she’s introduced to Rainey, the unicorn,  a prince who’s been banished, for centuries, by the warlord, Hazard.   He can never return home unless Emma solves more riddles than Hazard’s Lieutenant, Kodak. The fable ends with a surprise twist which will delight readers young and old.  While written for children, this fairy tale is sophisticated enough to appeal to adults as well.

Queens, warlords, faeries, elves, unicorns, handmaidens, scary henchmen and one small mortal girl child in an enchanted forest.  This fable offers many subtle lessons.

 

Available in illustrated paperback, audio-books and e-books at all book stores. 

fairy tales, fables, elves, fairies, running away, audio books

greed, ecology, elves, warlords, love, friendship

fairies, books for children, literacy, reading, bullying, bullies, elves,

Book 4 in the series/Beautiful illustrations

 

Your Child’s Next Book!

Thomas the sea turtle isn't certain he approves of BertieExcerpt from “Bertie, the Bookworm and the Bully Boys  (c)  A very large, beautiful sea turtle came down the path.  He wore a bright red kerchief tied at his neck and a captain’s cap on his head.

“A-hoy there, mates. ‘ Tis a fair wind at my back that blew me to my home port.”
Donald and Emma rushed forward and hugged Thomas almost knocking him over.
“Steady as she goes, mates. You’re about to knock me off me’ pins.” Thomas laughed.
“Oh, Thomas, we are so happy that you are home.” Emma cried.
“How was your voyage?” Donald asked.
“Rough seas around Cape Horn but that’s the way the ’horn’ is.  We came back with a hold full of spices and teas from the Orient. I have to tell you that I miss the constellations in the southern hemisphere. But, all in all it’s good to be at anchor and  to see my friends again.”
“We could have a reading circle about the stars in other hemispheres.” Bertie said.
“Oh!  Excuse me, Bertie, for not including you.  Do you know our friend, Thomas the sea turtle?”
“I can’t say as I’ve had the pleasure, Emma.”
“Thomas, this is our dear friend and teacher, Bertie, the bookworm.” Donald said.
“Well, blow us over and wet me sails.”
Thomas looked Bertie over. “You’re an old one, ain’t ya?”  Thomas declared.
“I’ve lived some years, it’s true,” Bertie replied.
“Thomas! I know you didn’t mean that as rudely as it sounded.
Bertie is a respected elder of the forest. He teaches all of us how to read and spell better.
He introduces us to many new words. It’s very exciting.” Emma scolded.
“No harm done, Emma. I know that Mr. Thomas didn’t mean anything by that. It’s true, I am old.”
“It’s Captain Thomas, if you don’t mind.” Thomas told him.
“Sorry, of course, Captain Thomas.” Bertie smiled.
Thomas turned to Emma. “So, Emma, what brings you so far? You’ve set your sails a far league from your home port.”
“Slam and his gang took Bertie’s eye glasses more »

Have you worked with an illustrator yet? Here are 12 Tips

Working successfully with an illustrator   I have used several artists, depending upon the project.  I have had wonderful response from my illustrators (free-lance) and as a team we get the job done!
David White has done several covers for me, most prominent and recent the newest in the World of Murder series.

The illustrator for my children’s books is brilliant in a different way.  He reads the story as I write it with clear instructions (from me) on where I want the illustrations placed in my story book.  Then he creates all these different perspectives that I would never have dreamed about.  They are truly wonderful.

So I thought I would share these tips, with you, about working with another artist.  Hopefully they are helpful as you work with your ‘image-maker’.

Tip #1:  Be patient.

Tip #2: They are artists, much like you, so they are sensitive about their art.

Tip #3:  Don’t push them; they have a time-table that might not be yours.  I do state my time-table in the beginning of a project and get some assurance that they will try to meet it.

Tip #4: Be patient.

Tip #5: Be certain that you give them at least two credits in your publication, book or script. I routinely credit them on the back (exterior) cover and on one of the first pages in the book.

Tip #6:  Pay them the most that you can budget.  Remember the old adage: ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.

Tip #7:  Because I am on a budget; I state my rates (per size of image) right up front.  Be honest.

Tip #8: Be patient.

Tip #9:  Don’t be afraid to use students at an art school.  I have used them (or graduates) from the Savannah College of Art and Design.  They are fresh, have the newest technology, and are the most excited by the project.  Do I occasionally meet a ‘prima dona’?  Who, without any work history, without any credits of any kind, without any life experience, behaves as if they work for a big city design firm, expecting top dollar and……. are confused when you don’t see it that way. (sigh) Yes,  I have!

Tip #10: Try to be as clear as you can on what you want in the image.  Don’t be afraid to tweak the work as you and your illustrator work together.  My illustrators appreciate the second set of eyes.Journal for Creative Writers

Tip #11: Pay the illustrator promptly.  As I have my illustrator working as I write; when I receive final images I pay him as we go along.  I don’t make them wait until the project is finished to be paid.

Tip #12: Be patient.
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DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!
E. Van Johnson will be our January author!

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My Narrator got Trapped in a Hotel Closet….

kids books, audio books, fairy talesThe weirdest, best, weirdest, most awesome, weirdest, and most fun thing is happening right now, and Cheets and my kids book, The Exciting Exploits of an Effervescent Elf are indirectly involved.  My wonderful narrator for the audio books got trapped in the closet at a hotel while narrating the EEElf?

It was a crazy hilarious saga, and because she was in the middle of narrating, and she had a sound recording of the whole ordeal. A few months ago, Carin pitched the story of her “trapped in the closet” saga to the NPR radio show This American Life, and they LOVED it! They were going to use it as a segment on one of their shows a few weeks ago, but Ira Glass (CEO) decided he wanted to do something totally different… by turning the story of me trapped in the closet into a mini opera.  more »

How Did I get Started Writing children’s books?

children's books, audio books, the fabled forest, elves, fairies       I stumbled upon these wonderful images and said to myself, “that’s Cheets if he were a girl.” Things like this inspire me to keep writing.

For me there’s a story here in this little faerie’s pensive look.

Is she looking back to see if Rainey, the lost unicorn (Emma and the Lost Unicorn)  is still following her?  Or has she heard a noise and isn’t quite certain what it is?  Or did she stop and turn to better listen to Donald, another faerie.  (The Exciting Exploits of an Effervescent Elf)

…or has she just left the reading circle that Bertie, the bookworm holds every week in the forest clearing.  Anything is possible.

 

 

This could be my character, Donald, the faerie.

donald

(Stanley, the Stalwart Dragon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

fairies, elves, fabled forest, children's books, audio books

….or this could be Cheet’s brother.

(Bertie, the bookworm and the Bully Boys)

 

 

 

 

How did I get started writing children’s books?  Back in 2004, I was sound asleep at 3AM, when Cheets, my elf, had his very big feet in the middle of my back and was yelling in my ear.  “You must write about meyou must do it NOW!”  By the time I got up, got a cup of tea made and stumbled to my computer most of the characters already had names and Cheets was directing the show!  Prince Rainier had been bewitched into a unicorn and dropped into the Fabled Forest.  Emma discovered him and, befriending the shy creature, vowed to lift the curse and return him to his home.

My children’s books are fables and all carry a lesson about loyalty, good works, greed, friendship, ecology, running away and literacy. I’m not on a soapbox; it just happened to work out that way.

Leave yourself open! (opps! Am I repeating myself again?) You never know where your writing will take you.  I was the most unlikely writer to end up writing children’s books as part of my repartee. For the most part, my ‘black’ Irish heart writes drama, serious gut wrenching stuff and it never crossed my mind to write for children.  LUCKY ME!   Cheets was insistent and would not be turned away.

These images, courtesy of Chopoli.blogspot.com © are whimsical, enchanting, and inspiring.
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DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS. INTERVIEWS with other best-selling AUTHORS!      A SERIES, “The Writer’s Corner”

I have had a wonderful response from other authors and will feature an interview once a month . These authors have already responded and you can read their interviews by clicking on their name: Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNeal,  Karen Robards, Mark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Elizabeth Gilbert, Raymond Benson, Amber Winckler, Heidi Jon Schmidt, Robert McCammon, Sue Grafton, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, Raymond Benson and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!  July features Rhys Bowen.  Sue Grafton is August’s author with a bonus talk with Cathy Lamb later in the month. and September will feature Tasha Alexander. Jeffrey Deaver is November’s author and  slick mystery writer, Andrew Grant will join us this winter. Loretta Chase will be featured later this year. Raymond Benson is my January author. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Have You ‘Heard’ the News??

“Stanley, the Stalwart Dragon” is available in an audio book at:

www.audible.com   
www.itunes.com
www.amazon.com

Stanley, a very young dragon, has run away from home. He feels that he is a failure. As dragons go, he probably is. He’s dragons, ,elves, fairies, fairy tales, running awaykind, soft spoken, a good friend and can’t for the life of him, breathe FIRE! The story is full of wonderful characters. A lady bug, named Persnickety is Stanley’s best friend and side kick. Emma, a young girl who lives on a farm and plays in the forest, with her friends. The loveable villain is a raven named City Slick, the Third. Thomas, the pedantic, sea turtle, and Cheets, the elf, are just a few of Stanley’s new friends.

One dark night Slick lures Stanley away from the forest and sells him to the circus. He is left chained, alone in a tent, until he breathes fire. The Queen of the Faeries gives Donald and Emma a quest; to find Stanley and rescue him.

While this is an adventure story full of laughter, it teaches children that no matter what, it is never a good idea to run away from home and is frequently very dangerous. The fable addresses bigotry, greed, loyalty and kindness to others. Ages: 2–10
Click here for a sample:  Stanley.Five Minutes.RetailSample

 

 

 

 

A writer’s gratitude

books, authors, book stores, women writers,Last Saturday was my book signing at the iconic book store, E. Shaver’s Book Sellers. (shaversbooks.com) What a special day!  The staff at Shaver’s made me feel so welcome.  They had a nice spot all set up where the first thing the customer saw when they walked in was my table displaying my books.

The store is a collection of cozy little rooms filled to the rafters with BOOKS!  Old, original hardwood floors that creak when stepped upon.  And outside the occasional clip-clop of horses’ hooves as carriages drove by the front door. I wouldn’t have been half surprised if Charles Dickens and his good friend, Edgar Allan Poe had walked in.

Both  my illustrators stopped by to show support. Lori Smaltz, the photographer, was there with her gorgeous coffee table book of celebrated cemeteries of Savannah (Bone Garden Enchantment).  She has done most of my photo-collage covers for my books.   Jefferson O’Neal, a wonderful artist and the illustrator for all of my children’s books, stayed and signed kiddie books with me.

During the three hour event we enjoyed meeting new people; tourists dropping in, regular customers that shop at Shavers all the time, and a few of my personal friends.  I met a lady from Sri Lanka, in remission with stage four cancer.  What a beautiful spirit she had…her outlook was so loving and positive.  Then there was Celia (a realtor with Sotheby’s) who marched in, came straight to my table and ‘browsed’ my books.  She quickly picked out two; one for her granddaughter, Mimi, and my novel for herself.  The staff told me later that she supports whatever is going on at Shaver’s and is very generous.  What a nice lady!   My hair stylist came by with her son, Cameron, (a sweetie) and they bought all of my children’s books.  Thanks! Andrea!

And then there were the four-legged shoppers!  E. Shaver’s is pet friendly and in they paraded, knowing they would be welcomed. A beautiful springer spaniel with the sweetest face.  An Airedale with a harness that said, ‘service dog’.  But you could hardly take him seriously with his one cocked up ear; making him look like he was always asking you a question.  It was a hoot!  And then little ‘Evie’, a mutt with chihuahua, wire-haired terrier and probably six other ingredients; Evie is a bounding, jumping, bundle of pure joy!

The funny, human observation that I made was that some customers would NOT look at me.  As if they thought,  “Oh no. If I look at her, I’ll have to buy something!”  Very funny,  but that’s just me and my weird sense of humor.  I was just so grateful to the owner and staff at Shaver’s Booksellers.  They have taken me in, supported my work and are willing to share their limited shelf space with my books!  I am blowing them kisses!blowing kisses, grateful, women writers, book stores