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 son and two dogs, Scooter (a Yorkie) and NaNu (a Morkie).
Throughout high school and college, she volunteered in the elementary school system, and, after receiving her degree, taught autistic and schizophrenic children in a private school in Pennsylvania for five years before moving on to an administrative career.
She has always had a deep rooted love of storytelling and children's literature. This is her first picture book. She has one fantasy book published and is currently writing a Young Adult fantasy adventure series in collaboration with her son.
Hi Beverly and everyone. Thank you so much for hosting me today – I am so excited to be here!
Thank you for stopping by, Nancy.
Beverly: What was your inspiration for writing your picture book, If Wishes were Fishes?
Nancy: If Wishes Were Fishes was such a fun book to write – I love watching people’s reactions as they are reading it. There are so many phrases that we take for granted in everyday speech that mean something totally different than the literal meaning of the individual words. Young children often take things very literally and these types of phrases can be very confusing. I was in a food court at the mall one day and noticed this young boy at the table finishing his lunch. His grandpa told him to “shake a leg” and I saw the look of confusion on the young face and could “see the wheels turning”, so to speak, as he was trying to figure out “what in the world….? “
Beverly: How does writing for younger readers differ for you from writing for young adults?
Nancy: Most of my writing for young adults has been in the genre of fantasy where I work with complex worldbuilding and epic fantasy. My imagination runs free and I try to pull the readers into my imagination and my worlds. When writing Wishes I tried to keep it simpler and more direct.
Beverly: What was your favorite book as a child? Has it or other books you read influenced you as a writer?
Nancy: Oh wow, I had a bunch! I loved the Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan, I was also a huge fan of the Nancy Drew mysteries. I was always on the lookout for new books to read.
Beverly: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Nancy: As a child I wanted to own my own Hallmark store so I could read cards and stock the shelves with knick-knacks and gifts I liked. J
Beverly: If you could live in any time period or any world (real or fantasy) what would it be?
Nancy: Oh that’s easy – in the time of Camelot. I would definitely be Merlin’s apprentice!
Beverly: If we looked in your closet, what would we find? (I know, I’m nosy, but we want to see the real Nancy.)
Nancy: Oh wow…an embarrassingly overly stuffed closet. I am a bit of a clothes horse and have a lot of clothes. Surprisingly though, I tend to wear the same favorite outfits over and over but can’t seem to let go of the things I don’t wear as often. You never know when you might need it…
Beverly: Where is your ideal vacation spot? Why?
Nancy: Of places I have actually been I would say my favorite is the Bahamas – the water is such a gorgeous shade of blue and my imagination always goes to thoughts of the lost continent of Atlantis when I am there. It’s great for relaxing and regenerating the imagination. Someday I hope to visit Australia and I definitely want to visit Ireland.
Beverly: What is your favorite movie? TV show? Music?
Nancy: I don’t have a single favorite in any of these categories. Movies I like include the Harry Potter series, Narnia movies, Lord of the Rings, the Librarian series, National Treasure, classics like Funny Girl, Sleepless in Seattle, old black and white movies, Mary Poppins has always been one of my favorite children’s movies – the list goes on and on. TV shows – House, Monk, Lie to Me, Eureka, Legend of the Seeker, Merlin, Eureka to name a few. Music depends on my mood and what I am doing. I have a pretty diverse collection on my ipod, lol.
Beverly: Tell us about your next projects. What can we expect from you in the future?
Nancy: I have a Young Adult work in progress called The Destineers and the Legend of the Netherscape (and there are two additional destineers stories as well) and a book of fairy tales for younger readers.
Beverly: Where can your fans learn more about you? Website? Blogs?
Nancy: My writers website is http://nasharpe.com/ I also have a blog called Realms of Thought at http://nasharpe.blogspot.com/. Mildred Prendergild, the Cybrarian at the Greenbrier Academy (from my Destineers series) has a book review blog called the Cybrarian’s Book Reviews located at http://cybrarianbookreviews.blogspot.com/
And, of course, there’s the Cybrarie at http://cybrarie.com/
Thank you for sharing your life with us, Nancy.
Thank you for inviting me here today, it’s been lots of fun!
***Now let's take a look at If Wishe Were Fishes.
Author: NA Sharpe
Author web site: http://nasharpe.com
Illustrator: Ginger Nielson
Illustrator web site: http://gingernielson.com)
Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Genre: Picture book
Release date: May 10, 2010
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JT Trumanowski is a six-year old with a BIG problem…his grandparents! How do you survive a whole weekend alone with them when you do exactly what they say and still end up in so much trouble?!
JT adores his grandparents and is thrilled to be invited to spend the weekend with them. He tries hard to follow their requests to a “T” with one disastrously humorous result after another. “Why can’t they just say what they mean?” he wonders. Talk about a failure to communicate! Join JT as he discovers people may mean what they say, they just don’t always say what they mean…clearly.
N. A. Sharpe’s picture book, If Wishes Were Fishes, is a hilarious story about how what we say can be interpreted in many different ways, especially by a child. Jedediah Tobias Trumanowski has a problem. His teacher wants him to spell his whole name, and he’s only six. He doesn’t understand why. He also has trouble understanding his grandparents who tell him to do the weirdest things. For example, at breakfast one morning he’s trying to say a certain word, and his grandma tells him to “spit it out, boy.” When he does, she giggles and explains that “spit it out” means to “say what you’re trying to say.” J. T. wonders why she doesn’t just say it. So J. T.’s very confusing day begins.
What does Grandpa mean when he tells J. T. he’s going to take “forty winks” then they’ll get their “ducks in a row” and go to the baseball game. Being a good boy, J. T. tries to line the ducks up in a row while Grandpa is napping. Right quick, he discovers that ducks do not like to line up in a row. In fact, they refuse to. Does Grandpa know? Come along with J. T. in a romp through Grandma’s and Grandpa’s idioms that will have you rocking with laughter.
Ginger Nielson’s illustrations add the perfect touch to the story. Her characters, J. T. especially, picture a loving family learning to communicate with each other. Young readers who, like J. T., are probably not familiar with the expressions will laugh as Ms. Nielson’s drawings show our hero attempting some of the things his grandparents tell him to do, and the results. Readers also will scratch their heads along with J. T. and say, “Huh?” They’ll giggle with satisfaction when the sayings are explained.
I recommend If Wishes Were Fishes for children 4 - 8 and for parents and grandparents to read with their little ones. Someone once said, “Laughter is good for the soul.” There’s plenty of laughter here. And parents, watch out. Your children may come up with some idioms of their own.