Character Blog Hop with A.S. Chung: by Carmela Dutra

Pigeonhole Books was invited to participate in a Character Blog Hop by Carmela Dutra of A Blog For Your Thoughts. The main character of A Brand New Day was featured and is a great way for everyone to get to know her.  Carmela is a children’s picture book author of Lorenzo The Bear. The original posting may be found here.

What is the name of your character?
My character is nameless and will continue to be so for the rest of the Banana Split Story series. For the purpose of the storyline, I felt that naming the character was unnecessary as he/she was to represent all young children around the ages of 3-6 years who hail from a divorced family.

Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
This character is based on my daughter, who was 5 years old at the time of writing. I wrote this story for her. I wanted to show her that despite the fact that her father and I were no longer together, it does not mean that we love her any less or that life would be any more difficult or less happy. I wanted to show her some of the special things that could come out of a separated family and how love could conquer anything!

When and where does the story take place?
The story is timeless and knows no boundaries. Divorce is a prevalent life challenge experienced in all walks of life.

What is the personal goal of the character?
The personal goal of this character is to represent all the young children in society today who have to live in a family with divorced parents. The character shows love, resilience and a positive outlook on life.

What are the problems your character faces?
As A Brand New Day is about divorce and that alone is the major problem at hand. Instead on dwelling on the issue however, the character chooses to see the brighter side of life and understands that it is possible to live a full and happy life, despite her parents being separated.

Interview with A.S. Chung: by Valerie Harmon

I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Valerie Harmon, author of the WantstoBe series and creator of Children’s Illustrated Picture e-Book Reviews.  The original posting may be found here.

VH: How do you decide what to write about?
ASC: My writing stems from what I staunchly believe in and from personal experiences. I am all about preaching positive messages and the importance of love and family.

VH: How did you find your illustrator?
ASC: An advertisement in the paper, looking for an illustrator! By gosh we found a gem! Not only is she talented, she has an uncanny knack of interpreting my words beautifully.

VH: Did you create your own publishing company, how and why?
ASC: Yes I did! Pigeonhole Books is a project very close to my heart. Dealing with important subjects such as divorce as well as same-sex, blended and multiracial families, I really wanted to have complete control of the book.

As for how, a lot of research and finding the medium that would suit me from a creative and financial point of view. Print on Demand distribution was perfect for me.

VH: What are your favorite books (children’s books and otherwise)?
ASC: I grew up reading Enid Blyton. Despite all the revelations about her writing styles in present day, I saw none of her racism and sexism when I was reading them. She always managed to immerse me into a world of pure imagination. It is no wonder that I then progressed onto Roald Dahl. I love that I am now reading these books to my daughter, allowing me to re-live my childhood!

As an adult, my all-time favourite genre is fantasy. Books that allow me to escape out of the real world as I immerse myself into a makeshift bubble of silence! David Eddings was my first true love, with Raymond E. Feist not very far behind.

I read all the classics too. I have a bookshelf about to burst at the seams filled with books of all kinds of genres. I can sometimes have four books on the go, depending on my mood!

VH: What advice do you have for people who want to write children’s books?
ASC: Just do it! The writing part is easy. If you had the inclination to do in the first place, you have already formulated a manuscript in your head. The hard part is getting it out there, the dos and don’ts and the right and wrong way to go about it. But in the end, just give it a go. If anything, allow it to satisfy your inner desire to put words on paper. It’s incredibly exciting!

VH: What’s your favorite part of being a writer?
ASC: My favourite part is seeing my message being interpreted by readers exactly as I had intended. My book is only 800 words. I had to find a way to express my message succinctly.