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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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To Purchase

Emma and the Lost Unicorn ~ Kids’ Book

     A new edition of Emma and the Lost Unicorn has been released.  Full color illustrations in watercolor by artist, H. J. Stine. 

Emma, an earthling girl visits her friends in the forest all the time. She delights in the antics of Stare, the rhetorical owl and Cheets, the mischievous elf.  One day she is 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.

 

To Purchase, click here

 

Other books in the Series of The Fabled Forest

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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To Purchase

 

 

 

Guest Blog ~~ Write from the Heart! Joseph Drumheller

joe-headshot How to Land a Multi-Book Children’s Publishing Deal?  Write From the Heart!

About a year ago, I was paddling down a familiar stretch of whitewater when I found a tangled up crawdad in a fishing line.  After about five minutes of meticulous unwinding, I launched the little fellow back into the wild. My wife Tamara and my paddling buddy Tom, both thought that would make a great children’s story.  The next morning, I wrote my first children’s book, Jason and the Crawdad King, on the back of a few napkins while sipping tea in a coffee shop.

nearing-the-crawdad

Not far from where I found the Crawdad King

It was the first time in my life it felt like all the pieces were falling into place.  The premise of the story came out of doing something I love.  The suggestion for the story came from people I love.  Plus, the story imbues a sense of wisdom from my personal experience and philosophy˗˗something else I love.  And the whole package is directed toward the people that everyone loves—their children. From the time I found the helpless little crawdad, to the moment I’m typing this out on my laptop, it’s been one endless magic carpet ride.  I think in spiritual circles they call it divine Flow.

The day I finished writing the story, Tamara’s daughter Chantelle came to visit.  It was the first time I met her.  It just so happens, besides being a professional ballerina in San Francisco, she’s also a brain child from Columbia University.  In the two days she visited, she edited my book.  Flow on, man.

Next I met my illustrator, Lili Avakem.  Major Flow there. Lili and I met via the modus operandi of the 21st century…the internet.  I was hoping to find an illustrator who was exceptionally talented, in love with illustrating, relatively unknown (like me), and hadn’t reached their full potential yet (hopefully like me too!).  In short, I was hoping for an enormous stroke of good luck.

I held a contest on Freelancer.com, searching for samples from illustrators.  Lili beat out 25 other entries. However, to win the contract to illustrate the entire book, I asked Lili and another artist from Thailand to submit one more illustration.  I took one glance at Lili’s second submission and my jaw dropped to the floor in utter disbelief.  I realized the enormous stroke of good luck I was hoping for had actually arrived. As I sit and write this, I still haven’t met Lili face-to-face.  It’s like she’s some angelic creator of magic, hanging out in cyber space.

jason-3Shall we Flow a little further?  After Lili and I finished the manuscript, I sent out queries to about 120 literary agents and publishers.  After about a month, as rejection notices started to pile up, I was contacted out of the blue by Golden Bell Entertainment in New York.  I never submitted anything to them.  They contacted me based on an illustration of Lili’s I posted on Facebook.  Go figure!

I recently landed a children’s picture book publishing deal, for nine books, with Golden Bell Entertainment in New York.  “Wow!”  You might be thinking.  “How did you pull that off?”

I’ll lay it to you straight.  It happened on accident. I’m was born a creative free spirit.  It took me a long time to figure out what that was, let alone accept it.  I was also born with powerful spiritual inclinations and an incredibly strong connection to nature.  I’ve  always seen things from a philosophical point of view, as I’ve wandered deep into the wilderness. That framework led me to a Master’s degree in Geology and a patchwork career as an exploration geologist.  With a helicopter pilot as my chauffeur, I’ve prospected the Alaskan Arctic, the Yukon Rocky Mountains, and the Barren Lands of the Arctic Ocean.  I also hung my hat for a spell in northern Sweden.

arctic-tundra

Artic Tundra…that little speck is me

And what was the result of those fascinating explorations?  It deepened my connection to this planet we call Earth. So here I sit, a published author with the sky as our limit.  And how did it all happen?  By being myself and doing what I love, with people I love, to the core of my being. If you’re looking for success as an author, I’d suggest you start there.  The rest will take care of itself.  Your only job is to enjoy the journey.

Bio

Joseph Drumheller is a three-time award winning author with works in non-fiction, fiction and now children’s books.  He has a deep love for nature and adventure, which fueled his previous career as an exploration geologist. He lives with his twin flame and extraordinary performing arts spouse, Tamara. They live in the great Pacific Northwest. www.josephdrumheller.com

Did you see the Interview with Joseph?  Click here

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DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   September’s author will be Joseph Drumheller and October: Author, Lisa Jackson.  November’s author will be best selling author, Grace Burrowes                          Check out Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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Conclusion: Interview with Author, Joseph Drumheller

jason-3

Illustrations by Lili Avakem

The conclusion of this delightful interview with author, Joseph Drumheller.

Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?

JD. Characters. They tend to tell me what to write.  After I found the crawdad that inspired, Jason and the Crawdad King, I spent the next morning sipping tea listening to Jason dictate.  As he spoke, I wrote the story down on the back of some napkins.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

JD. Absolutely. One day I began writing at 10 a.m. I vaguely remember getting up to grab a bite to eat or to go to the bathroom.  The next time I looked at a clock it was 3 a.m.!

Q. Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment?

JD. I have two. (1)  My wife Tamara.  She’s the focus of out next work, Aura the Angel, The Ballerina’s Beacon. She was a child prodigy ballerina whojoseph-and-tamara-1 spent 30+ years working in Off-Broadway productions in the San Francisco area.  She is the epitome of love incarnate.  (2) Lili Avakem.  She’s my award-winning illustrator—born, raised and educated in Tehran, Iran and now living in LA.  It seems everything we touch turns into magic.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

JD. I haven’t yet. If you love what you do, you’ll never work a (serious) day in your life.

Q. What makes a writer great?

JD. Heart, soul and passion. You can’t ‘try’ to be a writer. You either have it you or you don’t.  And if you do have it in you, it still takes a lot of time and energy to sculpt your craft.   But it it’s what you’re born to do, you’ll love it.  Also, don’t worry about spelling.  They have editors for that.

Q. and the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

location-of-jason-and-the-crawdad-king-1JD. For me, it’s called a magic carpet ride. I wander around in nature (places I love) then go home or out for tea and write about it.  I was born to be a free spirit.  Writing is the only thing that has completely fit my lifelong tendency to be there proverbial round peg that doesn’t fit into any the square holes out there.

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?

JD. When it come to writing, my life experiences are the whole ball of wax. Almost everything I write about is based on what I’ve seen and done.  That’s why it’s so easy to write.

Q. Have you? Or do you want to write in another genre`?

JD.   I have three published books in the genres of non-fiction, fiction and now children’s books.  I also have eight more children’s books to come, with Golden Bell Entertainment out of New York.

The Subconscious, the Divine and Me (2012, Pine Wood Press) – An introduction to spirituality.  Non-fiction.

The Unity Oracle (2015, Self-published) – An award-winning spiritual adventure novel.  Fiction.

Jason and the Crawdad King (2016, Golden Bell Entertainment) – A picture book, featuring award-winning illustrator Lili Avakem.  Children’s Book.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

Don’t force your writing and don’t stop. If you love it, it will show. I would like to thank Golden Bell’s Polar Press

Visit Joseph’s website www.CrawdadKing.com  and Joseph’s page on  facebook

Did you miss Part I of this Interview? Click here

Release date of Crawdad King  Winter, 2017.

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DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   September’s author will be Joseph Drumheller and October: Author, Lisa Jackson. November’s author will be best selling author, Grace Burrowes                          Check out Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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Interview with Children’s Book author, Joseph Drumheller

jason-1

Illustrations by Lili Avakem

We are all so looking forward to this delightful children’s book by Joseph Drumheller. Joseph, in your own words, describe yourself. TS

JD. I’m a creative free spirit with a spiritual bent and a strong connection to nature.  Cathartic mystical experiences and/or memorable happenings in the great outdoors are the underlying influences to almost everything I write.  Yet, as I mature, the most powerful force I’ve experienced is love, especially from my wife Tamara.  Without her consistent love, belief, and support, I’d be nowhere.

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing? (shed, room, closet, barn….) Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space.

JD. I spend a lot of time outside. When I walk, kayak, or cycle, the channels open up and the creative juices start to flow.  Most of my books have been written entirely in my head.  Typing them out in a coffee shop or in my office is the part that requires discipline.

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

JD. No, not when I sit down and type. Walking, kayaking or cycling in nature does the trick for me.joseph-at-work

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

JD. I’ve been lucky enough to have seen some of the most remote and glorious parts of the planet via helicopter, working as an exploration geologist. Some of those places include the northern arctic of Alaska, the continental divide in the Yukon, the Barren Lands near the Arctic Ocean, and northern Sweden.

Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?

JD. No. I tend to be more of a morning person but when inspiration hits, it’s time to write.

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

JD. If writing doesn’t flow from the core of your being, take up tennis. With that said, I’ve never had a problem with procrastination.  I was born two weeks early and always seem to get things done ahead of time.  That creates its own set of challenges, like when I’m working with procrastinators!

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

JD. I write almost exclusively from personal experience.  The closer my characters are to home, the easy they are to write about.  I found a crawdad tangled up in a fishing line while whitewater kayaking.  That inspired Jason and the Crawdad King.  Aura the Angle, The Ballerina’s Beacon is a story about my wife Tamara who was a child prodigy ballerina.  My award-winning novel, The Unity Oracle,  is essentially glossed over non-fiction, detailing mystical experiences I’ve had.

jason2Q. What first inspired you to write your stories?

JD. Divorce. In the early days of a separation that led to divorce in 2009, I went on a solo self-directed retreat in a log cabin, along a mountain river. I spent four days writing.  I’ve never stopped……

Join us for the conclusion of this fascinating Interview ~~ Saturday, September 17th

Release date of Jason and the Crawdad King  Winter, 2017.

Visit Joseph’s website www.CrawdadKing.com  and Joseph’s page on  facebook
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DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   September’s author will be Joseph Drumheller and October: Author, Lisa Jackson.  November’s author will be best selling author, Grace Burrowes                          Check out Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

 

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 »

FREE Audio Book: “Bertie the Bookworm and the Bully Boys”

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

A story book with full color illustrations

FREE!!  Have you got a child, grandchild or great grandchild under the age of ten??  FREE audio-book of “Bertie the Bookworm and the Bully Boys”  (Five lucky winners and One per family)

And I would like to share this with you…..first come, first serve.  Sign up for my blog and leave a comment on my site Code: ‘Bookworm’. and I will send you the code and the instructions on how to get your copy.

Listen to Sample of the book by clicking here

Bertie, the bookworm is the fabled forest’s elder and teacher. Every week he has a spelling and reading circle where everyone is welcomed. Slam, the badger and his gang of bully boys are forever teasing, disrupting, and bullying Bertie and the group of faeries and woodland creatures.
more »

Letters to Stanley, the Stalwart Dragon

Catie708979_n

Catie on the right

fairy tales, fables, elves, fairies, running away, audio booksRecently The Eastford Elementary School in Eastford, CT began rehearsals for my children’ play, Stanley, the Stalwart Dragon, directed by Catie Protonson.  The kids have really been working hard and I have enjoyed every minute of watching them through FB.

I suggested to the young actors that they write each other a letter, in character.  Here are some of the letters….and photos from rehearsals. 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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