Feature

#MotownWriters Author Feature:Melanie Moreland #Michlit #MotownLit

New York Times bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat, Amber.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys traveling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie delights in a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after.

 

About the book

A tyrant by day, a playboy by night. That is the reputation that precedes Richard VanRyan. He lives life the way he wants, no concern for the opinion of others. He cares for no one, is completely unrepentant, and he has no desire to change his ways.

Katharine Elliott works under Richard as his PA. She despises him and his questionable ethics, but endures all the garbage he sends her way, because she needs the job. Her end goal is far more important than the daily abuse and demands she tolerates from her nasty tyrant of a boss.

Until the day, he asks her for something she never expected. A new role with a personal contract— fiancée instead of PA.

What happens when two people who loathe each other, have to live together and act as though they are madly in love? Sparks. That’s what happens.

Can the power of love really change a person?

Will they survive the contract?

What do you do when the one person you hate the most becomes the one person you can’t live without?

Upcoming Authors Appearances:

Kiss and Tell, Allentown, PA July 29, Books in Vacationland, Portland, Maine Oct 14

Connect With The Author:

Twitter: @MorelandMelanie

Facebook: authormoreland

 

 

 

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#MotownWriters Author Feature: Amy L. Johnson #Michlit #MotownLit

Amy L. Johnson

A Grand Rapids, MI native, Amy L. Johnson is a student of life striving to do the next right (or left) thing depending on what inspires her. Amy’s BFA in Graphic Design favors her being curious, creative, considerate, and clever. She loves a good laugh and generally believes that dogs are better than people. This is her first published book.

 

About the book:

You are about to eavesdrop on a conversation between two brothers from 1942 to 1945. LETTERS Lost Then Found features letters exchanged between 19-year-old Freddie, a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forces who flew over 120 combat missions, and his 30-year-old brother Willie, Circulation Manager of the Michigan-based Saginaw News. The letters reveal the drama of battle, the daily life that goes on for both brothers, and the vital importance of family connections. Includes a “Day in History” section on each page that provides a glimpse of what was happening in World War II at the time each letter was written. Finally, “LETTERS Lost Then Found” hones in on the China Burma India Theatre, often referred to as the war’s “forgotten” theatre, where Freddie served. A ticker tape reminiscent of the Western Union Telegram runs across the bottom of each page that explains why this theatre was such an important part of the larger conflict.

Awards & Honors:

2017 International Book Awards

Finalist HISTORY & MILITARY Category

2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

Winner

BEST OVERALL DESIGN NON-FICTION Category
Finalist
HISTORICAL NON-FICTION Category

2016 Foreword INDIES Book Awards
Finalist War & Military NON-FICTION Category

2014 Publication Design Awards
National AAF Gold Student ADDY Award
District Six AAF Gold Student ADDY Award
West Michigan AAF Student Best of Show Award
West Michigan AAF Gold Student ADDY Award

 

Upcoming Authors Appearances:

Blue Water Author Event
June 24th, 2017
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Blue Water Convention Center
800 Harker Street
Port Huron, MI 48060

Stories Among Us July 1st, 2017 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM The Bookman  715 Washington Ave. Grand Haven, MI 49417

Michigan Authors at the Lakeshore
Friday, July 7 (10-6) to Saturday, July 8 (10-6).
The Frauenthal Center for Performing Arts
425 W Western Ave.
Muskegon, MI 49440

Connect With The Author: letterslostthenfound.com

 

Purchase, LETTERS Lost Then Found 

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#MotownWriters Author Feature: Randy D. Pearson #Michlit #MotownLit

Randy D. Pearson

A life-long resident of the mid-Michigan area, Randy D Pearson has been writing stories ever since he could hold a pencil or type on his Atari computer. He currently has two novels in bookstores – Driving Crazy, a humorous road trip story, and Tell Me a Story, a 30-year collection of his best short stories. In addition, Randy’s writing has appeared in several publications, including The Washington Square Review, Pets Across America, Retrocade Magazine, Small Towns: A Map in Words, Seasons of Life, and Voices from the Ledges. He currently lives in Olivet, Michigan with his wife, step-daughter, and four cats.
 
About the book
Driving Crazy:
Jaymond Naylor thought winning the Crazy Climber auction would be the hard part. Man, was he ever wrong! With his best friend Austin Ridenour by his side, Jay takes to the streets in this wild, hilarious adventure set in the summer of 1999. During their journey from Lansing, Michigan to Weedpatch, California and beyond, they’ll run headlong into adversity, desperation, and their fair share of lunatics. They’ll need every ounce of their luck and ingenuity if they hope to get this classic arcade game, and themselves, home in one piece.
Our heroes would rather spend their time seeing the sights, but they can’t. They’re too busy… Driving Crazy.
 
Tell Me a Story:
One man’s love for his wife shines brightest when he’s telling her stories. Imagination, real life, and creativity whisk her away to distant lands, taking her on one amazing adventure after another. Join them on this journey through tales of humor and intrigue, drama and excitement, one story at a time.
 
Upcoming Authors Appearances:
June 17 – Ann Arbor Book Festival
June 25 – Blue Water Author Event – Port Huron, MI
July 14-17 – Midland River Days Festival
July 16 – Detroit Festival of Books
July 22 – Flint Literary Festival
August 5 – Island Art Fair – Grand Ledge, MI
August 18 – 19 – Ox Roast – DeWitt, MI
Connect With The Author:
Goodreads: Randy D Pearson
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#MotownWriters Author Feature: Laura Antonelli @AntonelliAuthor #Michlit #MotownLit

Laura Antonelli

Laura Antonelli, originally from Algonac, Michigan is an author, mother and a survivor. Excelling in writing at an early age, even though Laura lives with Bi-Polar Disorder which has been a personal struggle since the age of 14. Having endured medical dilemmas requiring five major surgeries in 7 years (during which time she wrote her first book), she still managed to raise her daughter and obtain a college degree. Life has given Laura an untold wealth of unusual experiences upon which she draws in her writing.

 

About the book: 

 The mind processes the highs and the lows of life that pass through our conscious and our unconscious thoughts. 

That process becomes a balancing game canceling out the extreme highs with extreme lows or sometimes by throwing us into a state of denial. When that happens we simply retreat from our reality or make one up. 

Faith was on a high. 
One of the highest- All consuming love. 
She had a vision of how life would be. 
It didn’t happen. 

The Mind in its infinite wisdom will always protect itself first. Faith McKinney and those who dwell within her mind go on a murderous rampage and intrigue in this Erotic-Psychological Thriller trilogy.

Upcoming Authors Appearances:

 Blue Water Author Event J
 800 Harker Port Huron, Michigan 48060
 Blue Water Convention Center
Connect With The Author:
Facebook: Laura Antonelli
Linkedin: antonellilaura

 

 

Fatih (Book 1)

 

Patience Delivered (Book 2)

 

 

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#MotownWriters Author Feature: Melissa Keir #Michlit #MotownLit

Melissa-Keir

Author, Melissa-Keir, doesn’t believe in down time.  She’s always keeping busy.  Melissa is a wife and mother, an elementary school teacher, a book reviewer, owner of a publishing company as well as an author. Her home blends two families and is a lot like the Brady Bunch, without Alice- a large grocery bill, tons of dirty dishes and a mound of laundry. She loves to write stories that feature happy endings and is often seen plotting her next story.

About the book: Broken Vows: book 6 in the Cowboys of Whisper, Colorado series. Also available in the box set: Cowboy Six Pack for a limited time.
Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned…. 
Rick and Julie Tyler are happily married ranchers who raise and train horses. When money becomes tight, Rick becomes a firefighter in order to make ends meet, but he’s forced to move out of state if he wants more money and a chance to become a station chief. 
Distance causes problems for the happy couple and turns their world upside down. When Julie puts her foot down, will Rick decide to make the right choice, or will their vows break?

Upcoming Authors Appearances: Blue Water Event (June 24, 2017), Once Upon a Book (Frankenmuth- August 11,12 2017), Great Lakes Book Bash (Kalamazoo, Oct. 27,28 2017)
More From The Author: www.melissakeir.com
Connect With The Author at: 
Twitter: @melissa_keir
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Writer Spotlight!

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It’s time for another Writer Spotlight on this edition of The Mitten!|
Today I’m happy to welcome one of my friends (and critique partners), Wendy BooydeGraaff. Wendy was born and raised in Canada, on a fruit farm in Southern Ontario (which, she says, is almost a full degree latitude south of Grand Rapids where she lives now). She’s been in Michigan for over twenty years and is still shocked by all the snow.
Wendy writes, “Where I grew up, close to Lake Ontario, the lake effect kept us in a little warm bubble and the other side of the lake (Buffalo) got all the snow. Here in Grand Rapids, lake effect means SNOW, and lots of it. I looked it up because I thought maybe my childhood memory was wrong, but guess what? Grand Rapids receives an average of 20 more inches of snow per year than my hometown.”
Let’s dive right in, Wendy!
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What is Your Michigan Amazon Author Page? Help #MotownWriters build a database #MichLit

We love authors and we want you to share your amazon author page in the comments

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So click this link and add your page to the comments.

Criteria:

  1. Must be a Michigan Author!
  2. Must be to an Amazon Author page and NOT your book page.

Thank you!

CLICK HERE NOW TO ADD YOUR PAGE

http://motownwriters.com/amazonauthorpage

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Writer Spotlight! Meet #MichLit @JaniceBroyles1 @ #motownwriters

Today we’re shining the Writer Spotlight on Michigan author Janice Broyles.|

Janice was born in Royal Oak, raised in Madison Heights and spent her childhood and teen years in the downstate area. Janice married and received her bachelor’s degree and was then offered a teaching position in Gaylord. She was surprised by the snowy, cold winters compared to the southeastern part of the Mitten! After 13 years in Gaylord, Janice got hired by Baker College in Cadillac, so she and her husband decided to make the move, and they’ve been in Cadillac ever since. Janice dreams of moving south someday (trust me Janice, it’s way too hot down there:), because she hasn’t learned to like winter yet. But she still thinks Michigan is beautiful- April through November! So happy to have you here today Janice. Now let’s get started on your writer story. . .

Mitten: When did you start writing for children or otherwise, and how did you know it was something you wanted to do?
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What is Your Michigan Amazon Author Page? Help #MotownWriters build a database #MichLit

We love authors and we want you to share your amazon author page in the comments

amazonauthorpageLogo

So click this link and add your page to the comments.

Criteria:

  1. Must be a Michigan Author!
  2. Must be to an Amazon Author page and NOT your book page.

Thank you!

CLICK HERE NOW TO ADD YOUR PAGE

http://motownwriters.com/amazonauthorpage

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#MotownWriters: The Art of Juggling by #MichLit Author @SylviaJordan

There is a lot of talk these days about work-life balance, and no wonder.  Cultural and technological shifts – not to mention economic need – has us running around like proverbial hamsters on the wheel. 

Humanity seems more stressed than ever before, and the marketplace has responded with a plethora of books, lectures and modalities on how we can balance our obligations with fun in order to maintain our mental, physical and spiritual well-being.

Dr. Sylvia Jordan’s The Art of Juggling: The Successful Women’s Guide to Balancing Life is a refreshing, no-holds-barred take on life balance.  She does not rely on the popular lingo of the day, but uses plain language – and a healthy dose of tough love – to demonstrate how we can lead very full but efficient, purposeful and joyous lives.

What sets Jordan apart from other experts is her willingness to tell the unvarnished the truth – juggling takes mental discipline, not only when our pins are in the air, but when we are choosing those pins. It begins with an honest assessment of our lives as they currently are.

Do we lack the time to go back to school, volunteer at a charity or fulfill some other goal we have? While this many seem to be the case, an examination of our routine will likely reveal that a portion of each day is spent on burdens that are not ours to carry.

Chock full of practical advice and a-ha! moments, The Art of Juggling encourages us to get clear on what matters most. Becoming an expert juggler is not about that “superwoman” label often bandied about, but about understanding that we have the capability and the right to achieve and maintain everything life has to offer.

 

 

What I found most compelling with Jordan’s telling of her own mother’s story. What greater juggling act can there be than raising nine children?

Her book is a must-read!  Get the book on Amazon or at www.SylviaJordan.com

Grab your copy now! 

http://amzn.to/2p0eD7x

Pam Perry, PR Coach
www.pamperrypr.com
Office: (248) 426-2300
Mobile: (248) 690-6810
SOCIAL links on website

http://amzn.to/2p0eD7x

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What is Your Michigan Amazon Author Page? Help #MotownWriters build a database #MichLit

We love authors and we want you to share your amazon author page in the comments

amazonauthorpageLogo

So click this link and add your page to the comments.

Criteria:

  1. Must be a Michigan Author!
  2. Must be to an Amazon Author page and NOT your book page.

Thank you!

CLICK HERE NOW TO ADD YOUR PAGE

http://motownwriters.com/amazonauthorpage

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#MotownWriters Author Feature: L. R. Gordan #Michlit #MotownLit

L.R. Gordan

L.R. Gordan

Where are you from?    

Central Michigan, currently living in Mt. Pleasant.

Tell us your latest news?

Well, I’ve got my novel up on Amazon and my website set up and ready, so that’s the big thing. I was never a huge social media person before, but I’m getting accustomed to using it more.

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve enjoyed writing since childhood, and I wrote a lot of unconnected scenes all through college for my own amusement, thinking that maybe one day I would start connecting them. I can’t really give much better a reason than that I wanted to.


When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I was 5 or 6, I believe I had series of picture books concerning cats. Then I took a rather long hiatus.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I had the very basic idea for the premise for several years, and then one night, in December of 2012, with no motive except boredom and the vague idea of doing a late, unofficial Nanowrimo novel, I sat down and wrote what became the third chapter of The Foreigner.
Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m not sure there is a specific writing style that I aspire to, but I have noticed that I tend towards a certain briskness and that, compared to a lot of what I read, I tend to stay a bit external to the characters (focusing on what they’re physically doing rather than what they’re feeling or thinking, and trying to convey the latter by way of the former).

How did you come up with the title?

I tried to think of something pithier and cleverer for the longest time, and I have a suspicion that one day, when I am very old, the perfect title will finally hit me. Ultimately, The Foreigner was the shortest and simplest way to say what I wanted in the title, so I went with that.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

First, I should clarify that I never write with the intent of lecturing readers about what they should do or changing their behavior in any way. That’s just not the part of writing that interests me. I’m not even judgmental about my characters. I’m telling a story, that’s all. That being said, there can be many layers and themes buried in any given story (don’t think your story has some kind of theme or hidden message? Read back over what you’ve written, you might be surprised). If I had to sum up The Foreigner, I would say that it is ultimately about a young woman who decides she would rather take the chance of becoming a monster than remain a victim. There’s also a running theme dealing with power of words-how words that are only slightly different can change the message’s meaning, and the transformation of the protagonist from a passive reader of narratives to a writer of them.

How much of the book is realistic?

I suppose that depends on just how much we’re willing to stretch the definition of “realism.” I do try to make everything I write “realistic” in the sense of feeling real—the situations may not be real, but they should seem like they would be if they were real.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I think most writers bring something of their own lives into what they write, and I think they really should do this, even if it’s something subtle and not obvious to the reader. Obviously, The Foreigner is far from autobiographical (thank goodness), but there are certainly moments that resonate. For instance, I think that many of us, myself included, can relate to the scenes in the early part of the novel when Adeline is working as a tutor, knowing she can’t survive without her position, at everyone’s mercy and with no safe place to go.

What books have most influenced your life most?

I’m sure I’ll be leaving some out, but Michael Swanwick’s The Iron Dragon’s Daughter, Robert Graves’ I, Claudius, and the novels of Victor Hugo have been huge influences. I should also cite several non-fictional history books, too. History itself can be a great inspiration for writing.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I remember being very influenced and encouraged by Hilary Mantel’s writing advice (She’s the author of A Place of Greater Safety, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies). She was one of the authors who told writers to write the book they want to read.

What book are you reading now?

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt, by Toby Wilkinson.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I’m absolutely certain that there are new authors who will grasp my interest. I can’t wait to find some time to read their work.

What are your current projects?

I’ve got several that I’m toying with at the moment, and whichever one shows the most potential first will likely be the next one anyone sees.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

My editor, Julie Gilbert, has been extremely helpful and supportive ever since she agreed to take a look at my first draft.

Do you see writing as a career?

Given the success of best-selling authors, it’s inarguable that writing can be a career (keeping in mind that these stories are not the norm). I think it helps to treat writing with the same discipline and professionalism you would put into a career, while keeping the realities in mind. Short answer: keep a writing schedule and don’t quit your day job.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Oh, probably. I try not to worry too much about the content of a book after the book is done though. Now is the time to make changes to current projects, not past ones.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I’ve always loved books and stories, and it always seemed natural to make up stories of my own, even if they were just nonsensical things I told myself.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

As soon as I have something I’m sure will be included in my next project, I’ll post an excerpt on my website.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I tend to start out a story idea with scenes and images that are, at first, disconnected with each other. Then my job is to fit as many as these scenes as I can into a coherent narrative, and that, my friends, is the tricky part.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I have several favorite authors, or to put it better, I have several favorite books that are written by different people. If I had to choose one thing they had in common, I would say that nothing is wasted in their books. Even the sections where there is no action or direct forward movement of the plot serve some purpose. The less I want to skip or feel like I could skip, the better. This does not mean that I don’t want any build-up, description, or sub-plots. Quite the opposite actually. I love these elements as long as it feels like the author really cared about them and wanted them in the book.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

No…can I?

Who designed the covers?

My cover was designed by the fine folks at Ebook Launch

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Probably the organization of plot points, which I referred to above, and learning to simply write, trust my instincts, and then write some more rather than forcing the story to go in any one direction at first.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Many things, yes. One is that it really is a lot of work to write a book (which I already knew, but knowing is different than actually experiencing it first hand). Another thing that changed is I read differently now—I’ve started trying to think like the writer even when I read something, and I’m finding the man behind the curtain as fascinating as anything happening in front of it.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I’m going to repeat what I say on my website, and what many other writers have said: For one, keep writing. It’s a bit like that old tabloid newspaper adage, “slander, slander, and something will stick. Keep writing, and you fill find something you can work with. Secondly, write the story you want to read and don’t waste time writing something in which you have no interest.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Yes. I want to thank my readers for their interest in my book. I hope we can continue this relationship in which I make things up and you enjoy reading them.

The Foreigner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More From The Author: http://www. catscoffeeconspiracy.com/

Purchase The Foreigner @: https://www.amazon.com/dp/ B01MG59X3Y

 

 

 

 

 

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Secrets of Artemis: Blog Tour & Review @authorckbrooke

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Secrets of Artemis
(Teen Goddess #1)      secrets-of-artemis
by
C.K. Brooke
Genre: YA Romantic Mythology
Release Date: October 29th 2015
Summary from Goodreads:
Not even the god of gods could command my heart not to love…
In Ancient Greece, the goddess Artemis was venerated as a maiden huntress, swift with her bow
and arrows, and eternally chaste. But could there be more to her story? Perhaps Lady Artemis had envisioned quite a different destiny than the one her father, Zeus, had chosen for her. What if she hadn’t merely pined after the giant huntsman, Orion, but had secretly partaken of a forbidden romance with him? From prolific fantasy writer C.K. Brooke comes an original divine novel,
in which Artemis’s classic myths are retold as never before, in her own voice, as the young goddess sets the record straight and reveals the true account of her immortal life–and love.
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Motown Review
This goddess has a story to tell; and she wants to set the record straight by telling it herself–the other’s, have it all wrong!
When she was far too young to understand, Artemis’s father, Zeus (god of the sky, lightening, thunder, law, order and justice)  bestowed upon her several gifts–along with a curse.
The story started off slow but soon propelled into the island of  Crete intrigue. C.K. Brooke’s storytelling captures those who are the least knowledgeable or interested in Greek Mythology, while also pleasing those who are fans of Greek Mythology.  Artemis has a giant crush–literally. Stop! Wait! This can’t be. What about Artemis’s, chastity? It probably is in the wind with her custom silver arrows as the fearless goddess of the hunt risks everything, going against her father’s wishes and her brother’s advisement; falling in love with her hunting partner and only friend.
I enjoyed reading Secrets of Artemis; I’m anxiously anticipating the titles to follow. The story is well rounded, evoking a range of emotions. My interest never waned, I read the book from cover-to-cover in just a few hours. Not being astute with Greek Mythology, I found the glossary pretty handy; a great addition to the novel. I will definitely place the book on my readers advisory list as I give the Secrets of Artemis (Teen Goddess #1), 4 books out of 5.

About the Author

C.K. Brooke is a 2015 Shelf Unbound Notable Indie author with a five-star rating by Readers’ Favorite. She holds numerous fantasy and romance publications with 48fourteen, Limitless Publishing, and Elphame Press. Her lifelong passion is books – reading, writing, editing, publishing and blogging about them. When not blissing out in literary land, she enjoys info-tainment podcasts, singing, songwriting and playing the piano. She lives in Washington, Michigan with her husband and young son. There’s tons to check out at the new CKBrooke.com, so come and see what she’s up to! Check out her V.I.P. Readers Club (Subscribers get a free eBook!)

C.K. Brooke

C.K. Brooke

 Author Links:

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Buy Links:

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#MotownWriters Author Feature: Jeff Whitcher #Michlit #MotownLit

 

 

Jeff Whitcher

Jeff Whitcher

Where are you from? Troy, MI
Tell us your latest news? This past year I have published four books. Two are books of poetry for children, Today I Wore a Clown to School and I Dreamt I Was a Waffle, and two are picture books, Everything’s Better with Ketchup and Please Keep Your Feet OFF the Book.
When and why did you begin writing? I began writing fiction in the fifth grade, but it took me another 33 years (and five kids of my own) before I decided what I liked best was writing poems and books for children. I began writing because it was one of the few things besides drawing that I thought I was good at. I enjoy entertaining people and making them laugh and writing is a great way to accomplish both.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? In college when my first article was published in the student newspaper. It was a small community college so I had pretty much unlimited artistic freedom as long as I didn’t write something offensive or pornographic. I wrote several record and book reviews of records and books that didn’t actually exist, mostly to amuse myself.
What inspired you to write your first book? I started writing poems to entertain my youngest children because I enjoyed making them laugh and wanted to prove I could write as good as Shel Silverstein, one of my idols. I took as inspiration my experiences as a father and memories of my own childhood. I’m sure one day my kids will look back and insist that none of the mischief attributed to them was accurate.
Do you have a specific writing style? Most everything I write rhymes. I try to be silly and clever without being pretentious. It is also important to me not to insult the intelligence of my readers. They know what’s good and what’s not without having to be told.
How did you come up with the title? The title of my latest book, I Dreamt I Was a Waffle is the title of my favorite poem in the book. The poem itself is told from the perspective of a child who had a dream that he is a waffle in danger of being eaten. Fortunately the poem is not drawn from personal experience. It’s a suspenseful poem but also a good one to read at breakfast time.

How much of the book is realistic? 85% of the poems are based on real experiences that I had growing up or those of my children. Of course, some of the facts are exaggerated for comedic effect. Some are exaggerated to embarrass my children.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? My own primarily as a child and as a man child.
What books have most influenced your life most? Without question, Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic. I loved those books as a child and I still love reading them today, which says a lot about the timeless quality of his work. I also loved Dr. Seuss books and the poetry of A.A Milne.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Shel Silverstein. I learned a great deal about the different forms and shapes a poem can take, the importance of rhythm and cadence and also that we are only limited by our imagination. Some of his poems just defy everything I was taught about writing poetry and I love that.
What book are you reading now? You Never Give Me Your Money by Peter Doggett about the breakup of the Beatles. I like biographies when I’m reading for pleasure.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Hailey Leithauser is new to me, but I think she is beyond brilliant. Her poetry is so lyrical and playful and inventive. I almost gave up writing after reading her because I thought I’ll never write anything half as good as this. I’m sure it is the same reaction most musicians have after hearing the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” for the first time.
What are your current projects? I am currently writing a collection of poems based on emotions. It’s tentatively going to be called Happy (and other feelings).
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. Teachers have been incredibly supportive. I have been invited to speak at schools across the state of Michigan and actually read to several schools in the Chicago area this past winter. Teachers are one of the greatest and most influential endorsements I could ask for since they have important influence with my target demographic.
Do you see writing as a career? I do, even though it is at the moment a side career. I spend a significant amount of time either writing or thinking about ideas for future books or poems. I hope one day to retire and do nothing but write but that seems to be many years in the future.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Always. Sometimes it’s a word here or there, sometimes an entire poem. But I tend to be highly critical of my own work. Eventually I make peace with it.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? My interest in writing was definitely inspired by Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein. I remember reading the poems in “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and thinking, “I can do that!” Of course, it’s not as easy as it looks, but that’s the fun and the challenge of writing.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? I’d be happy to.

Sad

My shirt is striped,

My pants are plaid,

I’m sad.

It said “subtract,”

So why’d I add?

I’m sad.

My best friend since the second grade

Today with some brand new kids played.

I’d ask to join, but I’m afraid.

I’m sad.

I lost the birthday check I had.

I’m sad.

And now my mother’s really mad.

I’m sad.

I got a D + on my test,

I studied hard and tried my best,

But still too many questions guessed,

I’m sad.

I want to sit and cry a spell,

I’m sad.

I wish I had someone to tell,

I’m sad.

Although I may have lost a friend,

And have no birthday funds to spend,

At least the day is near its end.

I’m sad.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Having a really great idea for a poem but being unable to wrestle it into shape. I have an entire folder of half-finished poems that I had to abandon because I just wasn’t satisfied with how it was turning out. Sometimes I have to concede that the idea I had maybe wasn’t so great in the first place and move on to something else.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? My favorite author is A.A Milne. Most readers only know him from his Winnie the Pooh books but he was a gifted poet as well. There is an innocence, beauty and purity to his poetry that I really admire. He can take the most ordinary image (two raindrops sliding down a window pane) and turn it into something magical and extraordinary in just a few lines.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? In the springtime during school reading months I travel a couple times a month to different schools around the state. I also travel to arts and crafts shows to market and sell my books. Anything that will put me in touch with the readers I am trying to reach I am game for.
Who designed the covers? I designed the cover based on artwork from the poem the title of the book is based on. I draw all the illustrations for my books.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? Having the self-confidence to put something out there for other people to read knowing there are invariably going to be people who don’t like it. It can be hard to take criticism and most of the time I’m my harshest critic.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? The learning moments for me come from interacting with my audience and finding out what they like and maybe don’t like. Having the opportunity to read the books to a large group of kids is a great way to learn if the poems are resonating with and entertaining your audience or missing the mark.
Do you have any advice for other writers? Feedback is very important so ask as many people as you know (and trust) to read your work and offer their honest opinions. It takes a thick skin sometimes but there is something to take away from even the harshest critique.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Thank you for taking the time to read my work and I appreciate the opportunity to entertain you!

More About The Author: www.WhatifBalloons.com

Connect With The Author On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeffswhitcher/

Purchase I Dreamt I Was a Wafflehttps://www.amazon.com/Dreamt-Was-Waffle-Drawings-Whitcher/dp/1535182253/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1479145165&sr=8-15&keywords=jeff+s+whitcher waffle-book-cover

 

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