1. Did a particular child in your personal life(ves) inspire the creation of Precious Poohlicious? 1. Yes the first book and the series were inspired by my surprise son I had very late in my life. He stopped growing near the end of my pregnancy and the doctors did not think he would survive the birth. After the birth I had a post surgical infection the doctors were not sure I would survive. In a space of complete gratitude for both of us surviving came the first book. He continues to inspire me everyday.
2. How did the 2 of you decide to collaborate in the production of this series? 2. I wrote the first book in 2013 and did not do anything initially with it because I was not sure where to find a publisher and how to go about the process. Thornton Cline and I were introduced from a mutual friend. Thornton read my manuscript, fell in love with it and asked if he could write 10 original songs for it. My daughters recorded the sweet songs in Thornton’s studio. We connected creatively so well and decided to write the next two books together. We have a middle grade reader coming out in the next several months. During the pandemic we wrote an adult motivational book that will come out later this year.
3. Do you have a preference for writing for children or adults? 3. I love writing empowering books for kids. I could write children’s books everyday. I am so inspired by children and the way they see the world so I write from the child’s point of view. I am an advocate for special needs and disabilities and am working on an eight-book-series that will include children of varying challenges and needs. These books will feature The 8 Keys of Excellence, mindfulness, emotional self-regulation, and social skills. Having said this I am moving to include adult books in my library. I am writing a book about being an empath in this world today. After that is done I will write a YA book based on true life events.
4. The other books in the Poohlicious Series are Poohlicious Look At Me and Poohlicious Oh The Wonder Of Me. Can we expect many more Poohlicious books in the future? 4. My intention was to write this book series along the life of my son as he grew. He has grown faster than the books have come out but I will include a few more in the series. I have other children’s books written that are not in the series waiting to be illustrated that will publish in the near future. These were inspired by him as well. As long as the inspiration is there I will write.
Whose idea was it to compose this anthology? Lezli Robyn came up with the idea for a Mother’s Day anthology. I suggested we write about four friends and connect the stories. Anna J. Stewart created the location and town name – Sea Glass Bay, located on the northern California coast. Cari Lynn Webb came up with the idea for a market set in the historic district of town. Kayla very good-naturedly went along with the idea.
Can you describe the collaboration process? We each created a hero and heroine and then brainstormed ways to figure out how they might be linked in a small town. We also didn’t want to step on anyone’s timeline toes, so we decided to write in one week increments leading up to Mother’s Day. We emailed each other back and forth with details and questions. Cari created a retirement community and I jumped on the chance to add that community to my hero’s mother’s backstory. I created a bar my hero runs and one of Anna’s characters made a visit. It’s important to connect the stories on as many levels as possible for reader enjoyment.
What are some of the pros and cons of working with other authors? The con is that it’s more work. It’s critical to read each other’s work to ensure places and town atmosphere are represented consistently. That goes for characters, too. Every author has their own voice. I tend to write take-charge heroes that another author might find too bossy (i.e., a jerk). In that example, you need to work together. I’d soften my hero’s edges and have another author tone down his “jerk-ness.” The pro is that each author brings an added dimension of richness that can be exciting to work with.
What can we expect from you in the future? My latest release is Dream a Little Dream from Forever Romance. It’s about a bull-riding champion trying to reunite with his high school sweetheart. My next release is Caught by the Cowboy Dad from Harlequin Heartwarming (June). It’s about a silver fox hero (single dad age 38) who’s long-distance ex-girlfriend winds up pregnant and his coming to terms with being a dad of a college student and a baby.
Wearing her newly-crafted bra hat, Willie presided over a small gathering of bookworms this month. Despite having only 3 participants this month, our little discussion group has some great recommendations for your reading pleasure!
Siberia’s story is traditionally one of exiles, penal colonies and unmarked graves. Yet there is another tale to tell. Dotted throughout this remote land are pianos—grand instruments created during the boom years of the nineteenth century, as well as humble, Soviet-made uprights that found their way into equally modest homes. They tell the story of how, ever since entering Russian culture under the westernizing influence of Catherine the Great, piano music has run through the country like blood. How these pianos traveled into this snow-bound wilderness in the first place is testament to noble acts of fortitude by governors, adventurers and exiles. Siberian pianos have accomplished extraordinary feats, from the instrument that Maria Volkonsky, wife of an exiled Decembrist revolutionary, used to spread music east of the Urals, to those that brought reprieve to the Soviet Gulag. That these instruments might still exist in such a hostile landscape is remarkable. That they are still capable of making music in far-flung villages is nothing less than a miracle.The Lost Pianos of Siberia is largely a story of music in this fascinating place, fol-lowing Roberts on a three-year adventure as she tracks a number of different instruments to find one whose history is definitively Siberian. Her journey reveals a desolate land inhabited by wild tigers and deeply shaped by its dark history, yet one that is also profoundly beautiful—and peppered with pianos.
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