Tuesday, April 28, 2009
N.A. Sharpe was born in Wilmington, Delaware and attended the University of Delaware studying Psychology and Elementary Education. She is a single mom and currently lives in central Florida with her teen-aged son and dogs, Scooter (a Yorkie), NaNu-NaNu (a Morkie) and Gryffindor (a Husky).
Throughout her high school and college years, she volunteered in the elementary school system, and, after receiving her degree, she taught autistic and schizophrenic children in a private school in Pennsylvania before moving on to an administrative career.
Thank you so much for being with us today, Nancy.
B: When did you decide you wanted to be a writer, or have you always wanted to write?
NA: I’ve always enjoyed writing. I remember writing “books” as a child – you know the kind – with the brightly colored construction paper covers… Creative writing classes were always my favorite, right through high school, but in college I became a bit more pragmatic, and followed a different path. Happily, I am now finding myself gravitating back to writing. I love totally immersing myself in a story.
B: You have a book out, The Destineers’ Journal of Fantasy Nations, that is a “field guide” for the YA fantasy novel series you’re working on. Tell us about your book and also what was your inspiration for writing this fantasy series?
NA: The Destineers’ Journal of Fantasy Nations is, indeed, a field guide to the world of fantasy. It is an encyclopedic-like handbook of many of the fantasy creatures that exist in the realm of the Netherscape. It is told from the view-point of 15-year old Kylie O’Connor, one of the protagonists of our forthcoming novel. Her entries are based on facts she has learned in class. (I probably should mention that her teacher is a renowned expert in the field…and a goblin that lives in the realm of the Netherscape.) Kylie also bases her entries on personal experiences and encounters that she and the other Destineers have had with these beings in their visits to the fantasy realm. Some of these visits are under the guidance of Wiliam Derrnz (headmaster and professor of the interactive history class), others happen when they are called to fulfill the prophecy and save the realm from annihilation.
Inspiration for the fantasy series? I have had the great privilege of working on this project with my son, Bobby, and we’re both huge fantasy [genre] fans. We started developing this story and its characters and it really took on a life of its own. It’s been a lot of fun!
B: Your first picture book, If Wishes Were Fishes, is forthcoming in 2010. Where did you get the idea for this story?
NA: There is a children’s book that I always enjoyed called Olaf Reads. It is the story of a very precocious child who states “I can read – they just can’t spell” as he mails his mother’s letter in a basket marked “litter”. It seems to me there are many such opportunities for misunderstandings for children in the world we live in. In If Wishes Were Fishes, JT Trumanowski is a lovable 6-year old boy that adores his grandparents and when he gets invited to spend the weekend with them, he tries very hard to “behave and do exactly what they say”. This sounds like a great plan, but it actually leads to a whole lot of funny misadventures and trouble. JT takes what his grandparents say very literally and learns that people don’t always say what they mean…clearly.
B: Do you find it quite different writing a picture book as opposed to a young adult novel?
NA: I think it is very different, yes. I try to see the story through the eyes of the age group I’m writing for. Young children tend to see and understand things very differently than the older groups. Young children tend to take things quite literally and it’s exciting when you see and hear that understanding actually click in when they “get” what you are trying to say – the English language is so complicated: when to follow which rules, then there are slang phrases and idioms that totally throw the rules out the window and words take on an entirely different meaning.
B: What is a typical writing day like for you? Are you a morning person, evening, or anytime works for you writer?
NA: I do most of my more creative writing at night and edits, marketing, updating the websites and blogs during the day.
B: Tell us about your forthcoming projects.
NA: The priority right now is completing The Destineers and the Legend of the Netherscape and [hopefully] getting it picked up by a publishing house. Bobby and I have three books plotted out so far for the Destineers filled with adventure, mystery, and wonderfully exotic settings. There are also two additional Journals we have talked about publishing – one filled with legends and the true stories behind them, the other about the adventures the Destineers have in their classes like Interactive History where they can travel via the incarnation chamber to any time in any of the Realms’ histories. And, as we learn in the first book, there are countless realms out there – you just have to know how to find them.
B: Now for some fun stuff: If you could live in any other time period, when would you choose and why?
NA: (**Huge grin**) The days of Camelot and King Arthur and his knights of the round table. I love the time period and the fictional realm embodies that era.
B: What kind of music do you listen to? Your favorite movies? TV shows? Authors?
NA: I have pretty eclectic tastes in music – classic rock and oldies at the foundation, layered with contemporary. I enjoy classical music sometimes, especially for writing certain scenes. Movies: I am a fantasy buff – from the Wizard of Oz to Harry Potter, Timeline, Dragonheart, Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and Neverending Story. I also like just about anything from Hitchcock, Spielberg, or Ron Howard. Authors – wow, this is a long list but some of my favorites are: JK Rowling, Stephen King, Michael Crichton, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Jim Butcher, Dean Koontz, Sue Grafton, Christopher Paolini, TA Barron, classics like Charles Dickens…that list really goes on and on.
B: Where can your fans learn more about you? Web site? Blogs?
NA: My personal website is http://NASharpe.com For the Destineers we have the site http://Destineers.com and a forum where you can interact with the characters, or just hang out and have fun (there are book blurbs about new books coming out, book reviews, a virtual game room…all kinds of things) at http://Cybrarie.com I’m also on MySpace, Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter and I’ve recently started a new blog called Ask the Cybrarian: Book Reviews
B: Do you have any words of advice for aspiring writers?
NA: Enjoy what you are writing. When you are enjoying the story, you bring your reader with you to experience and enjoy the story too. I’ve had several young people ask me if I think they are too young to write. The answer is absolutely not – whatever your passion, sports, music, acting, writing…I think you should follow that passion wherever it leads you.
Thank you, Nancy, for giving us a glimpse into your very busy life.
Thank you, Beverly! I really appreciate the opportunity to do this!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
For immediate release
Jo Linsdell - Founder and Organizer
Email: promoday @ ymail . com
PROMO Day makes its return in 2009 and promises to be the best yet. Mark your calendars for Saturday 9th May 2009.
An all day, online, international event for peoople in the writing industry packed full of tips and advice along with a variety of opportunities for writers, publishers, editors. etc. to promote their work and services. Readers are also welcome to drop in and get to know the authors better in the online chatroom, view the video trailers or read the sample chapters on site.
Founder and Organizer of the event, Jo Linsdell, had this to say: "PROMO DAY came about because I was looking for opportunities to promote my books using the Internet at little or no cost. After attending the Muse Online Writers Conference back in 2006, I searched the Internet for similar events aimed at what to do after you've written the book and found none. I decided to fill the void and so PROMO DAY was born. PROMO DAY is a great opportunity to network with other members of the industry, take part in online workshops and promote and best of all it's FREE".
About the Organizer
Born in Gillingham, Kent (UK) in September 1980. Married name Joanne Denise Feliciani. She uses her maiden name, Linsdell, as her pen name. Having passed 10 GCSE's, she went on to study Business Studies, History and Art A-Levels at Yateley 6th Form. She left England and moved to Rome, Italy in June 2001, where she now lives with her Italian husband. She gave birth too their first son in December 2007.
To learn more and to see a list of the workshops taking place, please visit the above sites.
Hope to see you there.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
From the time he’s four years old, Buddy Roberts wants to be a cowboy, with a rope and a horse. He gets little support from his family, however. His mother favors Buddy’s older brother, Jake, and blames Buddy for all the bad things in her life. Poor Buddy wonders what he’s done wrong to make her always mad at him. His father is no help, so Buddy pretty much is left to fend for himself. With his dog, Patch, Buddy tends to the cows and calves, hoping to make his mother love him.
Buddy’s neighbors, Caleb Hyman and his two sons and daughter, are more family than Buddy’s real family is. Caleb teaches Buddy how to rope and tells him when he can rope a prairie dog Caleb will hire him to work on his ranch. Buddy practices and practices and discovers it’s not easy to rope those little critters. When two of Jake’s friends see Buddy attempting to rope the prairie dogs, they tease him and call him “Prairie Dog Cowboy.”
The setting for V. Gilbert Zabel’s book is Oklahoma, between the years 1899 and 1912. Her husband’s tales of working on his family farm when he was a boy sparked the idea for this book. Ms. Zabel weaves bits of the state’s history into her story, such as Oklahoma becoming a state on November 16, 1907. Many young readers who care little about history will be surprised how much they learn without even realizing they’re learning it. The author has a talent for speaking to her readers and putting them in the middle of the story, as if they’re actually riding the range or breaking horses with Buddy and his friends.
Ms. Zabel has written a tender story about a spunky young man who grows up when times were tough and a man had to work hard if he wanted to succeed. The book ends with a delightful twist. Oh, no! I’m not telling. You’ll have to read the story to find out. This book should appeal to young readers of all ages, especially those who have dreams of their own. Which is most of us, right?
Thursday, April 9, 2009
The winner may choose one of any of the four Meghan Rose titles!
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Anyway, Thursday evening, my sister and I drove to Bowie, TX, where the Montague County Historical Society had a program about this time period in our history. From 1854 to 1929, these trains ran, bringing homeless orphans and half-orphans from New York to western states. Novelist and Humanities Scholar Allison Moore and singer/songwriter Phil Lancaster put on a marvelous performance for around fifty people who attended. Through music they wrote, audio-visual photographs and interviews with surviving orphan train riders, and a recitation from Alison's forthcoming historical novel about the Orphan Trains the speakers brought these children's stories to life.
Then my sister and I said a few words about our mother's journey from Brooklyn to Texas in 1922. We also met our "cousin" descendants for the family that were Mom's and her younger sister's foster parents. They were the friendliest bunch of people I've ever met and just treated us as if we were blood kin. One of the gentlemen is a veteran of WWII and is quite active in the Iowa Jima's Surivors of Texas Association. He's 92, I believe, and the cutest little man.
There are many good books written about the orphan trains. If you haven't read any, why not? I think you'll enjoy them. I'm working on one, loosely based on my mother's life, adding a lot of stuff because I know so little about her early life. As is true with many of the children, she seldom talked about her family in New York.
If you think you have an Orphan Train Rider in your background, contact me. I'd love to hear from you.
Happy reading and writing.