Author Interview: Michelle Worthington

My Brother Tom1) Please provide a short excerpt of what your children’s book is about.
This picture book is Tom’s story through the eyes of his big brother and was written to help brothers and sisters of the 20,000 premature babies born in Australia every year understand what is happening and encourage open and age appropriate discussion between family members. Proceeds of the sale of this book are donated to The Life’s Little Treasures Foundation.

2) What inspired you to write this book?
I am the mother of 3 boys, all born prematurely. My youngest son, Tom, was born by emergency caesarean at 28 weeks with a birth weight of 1350g. He developed respiratory distress syndrome soon after birth and was ventilated. Subsequently, he developed bilateral pneumothoraces and a broncho-pleural fistula with total of 4 intercostal catheters inserted.  He also suffered a mild pulmonary haemorrhage. Tom was extremely unwell, fragile and distressed and stayed in hospital for 58 days. Tom is our little miracle.

3) Why did you pick this genre? How did you become a children’s book author?
Tom is one of many little babies who are born early in Australia every year. Older brothers and sisters of sick babies can be scared and confused, especially if parents find it hard to explain to them what is happening in an age appropriate way. This picture book is designed to be a tool to help parents and caregivers of older siblings talk about what is happening, know that their little brother or sister is in the safest and best place for them at that time and have hope that everything is going to be alright. I started writing children’s books because I believe in the power of words. My stories are empowering for kids and give hope and courage to be anything you want to be, as long as you believe in yourself.

4) How do the illustrations complement your book? What was important to you as an author?
Ann-Marie Finn did an amazing job on the illustrations for Tom’s book, considering how difficult the subject matter is to portray in a child friendly and colourful way. Her insight and compassion into the story are evident in the time and talent she shows throughout the creation process of working with an author on a book that is very special to them. It was important to me that Ann-Marie felt as much ownership of the picture book as I do.

5) As a child, what books and/or authors influenced you the most and why?
Most of the stories I read when I was little were fantasy stories about escaping up faraway trees, living on a prairie or having a best friend named Diana. I used books to escape. The authors that influenced me then are not the same ones that influence me now as a picture book writer instead of a chapter book or novel writer. I love to learn more about writers who were the pioneers of picture books to see how they overcame obstacles, such as Beatrix Potter and Dr Seuss.

6) What is the most fulfilling thing about being an author and why do you believe picture books can change the world?
Sharing your stories with children all around the world is an amazing privilege. With modern technology making international connections a daily occurrence, I can skype with kids at an international school in Beijing, then read stories to a group of kindy kids 5 minutes from home. Picture books can change the world because there are no rules or restrictions on what you can write about. Anything is possible.

7) What do you hope children will take away with them after reading your book?
I hope children stay children for just a little bit longer after reading my books, and not be in such a hurry to grow up. It takes courage to be yourself and I hope they get confidence from my stories.

8) Tell us about your blog and what do you write about?
On my blog, I share insights into how I became a published author, current trends and changes in publishing and literacy and tips on marketing your books via social media. I love connecting with my readers and hope they find some inspiration in my blogs. More than anything, I want my blog to be useful.

9) What are you working on now?
My boys said to me I write too many books for girls. I told them before I was a Mum, I used to be a girl, So now, I am working on stories that help boys break gender stereotypes and give them confidence to follow their talents, no matter what they are. I always have some idea for a story spinning around my head, so I hope to share may more books with you in the future.

Michelle Worthington

THANK YOU FOR LETTING US GETTING TO KNOW YOU!
Should you wish to know more about Michelle Worthington and would like to purchase her book, here are all her pertinent details.

Website: Michelle Worthington
Where to purchase her book: Michelle Worthington and Dragontales
Michelle’s social media connections:

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Press: SameSame.com.au

SameSameWishful Wedding is featured on SameSame.com.au!  Matt Akersten writes “Girl imagines her dads marrying in ‘Wishful Wedding’ book”.

“A new children’s picture book called Wishful Wedding by Melbourne writer A.S. Chung and illustrator Paula Bossio delves into the topic of marriage equality for same gender families. Told through the eyes of a small child from a same-sex family, the book is aimed for children aged between 3 and 6.”

About Samesame.com.au
SameSame.com.au is Australia’s #1 gay and lesbian lifestyle website.

Same Same is the focal point for gay Australia online, using the latest technology to connect the community with each other in a positive and refreshing way. Same Same shapes and leads gay Australia by reflecting the views and attitudes of the scene in represents.

Same Same’s content is driven by an army of passionate contributors who keep the site humming. As well as contributed content, Same Same is home to user generated content through lively forums, social networking tools and member profile pages.

We believe that the Australian gay and lesbian community is one of the most vibrant in the world and we want the online world to reflect this.

 

 

How To Turn Your Book Marketing Into A Book

Susan DayGuest Posting by Susan Day.
Susan Day is a children’s author of over 20 print and eBooks. She has been working her social media presence for over five years and feels her head is just bursting with tips and advice. To alleviate this condition she has decided to blog a non-fiction book one post at a time entitled How to Publish a Children’s Book at Little or No Cost.

HOW TO TURN YOUR BOOK MARKETING INTO A BOOK
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
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Bookstore

Book by Ian Muttoo

A few weeks ago I was hit with a revelation that really blew my mind. The idea to write a non-fiction book about what I have learnt in the publishing industry had been ticking over in my brain for some time. However, I didn’t want to spend hours and hours writing, creating and publishing another self-help book that would languish at the bottom of an Amazon’s list.

Then one day, I came across an article by Nina Amir titled How to Blog a Book. This was the answer I was looking for. Blogging a book, one post at a time, would help me not only get my book completed but it would open up many other opportunities.

So, I sat down one Sunday and, following Nina’s advice, I created a Tab le of Contents which I use as a guide so I know what to write next. Under that, I started writing my book. Then I set up a website and a sign up from for newsletters. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, it is.

I post short pieces that will go into my books as chapters. If the information is too long I simply break it up. I also post other things that are related to my topic but might not make it into my book. I plan to invite other authors and guests, as well.

I have to say I have found the whole process very rewarding and lots of fun. I don’t feel like I’m stuck writing something that might not go anywhere. Already, there are a lot of people signed up to my RSS feed and my newsletter.

There are a few do’s and don’ts which you can find in Nina’s book. However, I can’t see why you couldn’t blog a book on any subject, even a fiction title. I’m sure you’ll find the whole experience just as rewarding as I have and who knows, perhaps you’ll build a significant fan base before your book is even published. I know I have.

Catch up with my journey at: www.howtopublishachildrensbookatnocost.com

Illustrator Interview: Stephan Lomp

Stephan LompPROFESSIONAL BIO:
Stephan was born in Düsseldorf, Germany, where he studied visual communications at the University of Applied Sciences. Stephan has been drawing for print and web agencies, publishing houses and event marketing companies since 1996 and is very fond of the diversity of his profession. Stephan published his first children’s book in 2011 which became the starting point for his new found passion, to write and draw his own stories.

1) How did you become an illustrator of children’s books after having a professional career drawing for print and web agencies, publishing houses and event marketing companies?
Wimmelbücher are picture books with crowded scenes and are very popular in Germany. I was very fascinated with them at a very young age and the images of artists like Ali Mitgutsch are branded in my mind. Comparable to these books outside of Germany are probably only the Where is Waldo? books. I saw that a befriended illustrator published a wimmelbuch at a brand new publisher which was specialized on these books. So I wrote a quick email to the publisher and got a chance to do a 4 spread book. It became a success and 2 other books followed. These books gained the attention of a UK Agent and after signing up with them I got the chance to do 3 more books for the UK market. The books took over my work time until I basically do only books now.

2) Describe your illustration style and creative process. What makes your illustrations unique and different?
It’s hard to describe what you do subconsciously. I would say it’s colorful, bright, joyful and a bit edgy. The form of the characters are stylized and abstracted. I try to mix my influences of 50s and 60s flat shape illustrations with my personal twist.

3) Has technology changed your trade and the way you work?
My pencil drawing are very different to my digital art. I could not do my digital style analogously. My work is much more clean and crisper, which I try to break up again and make it look more handmade lately.

4) Who are your biggest influences in your artistic career and why?
This changes through the years. It used to be Comic Books from Europe as well as the US, artists like Möbius and Frank Miller, then Chris Ware and now it’s old school children’s books from Alain Gree as well as contemporary artists like Marc Boutavant.

5) When did you realise you could make a living from your talent?
This was always my intention to live from my talent, so I took every job I could find, even during my studies. And that includes everything in Graphic Design,  Webdesign and Programming.

6) When collaborating with an author or a client, how do you ensure you are able to translate their words into art and convey the message they are trying to portray?
It is key to talk to the client via telephone or in person. Only that way you can fully understand what they want. A lot of things can be misunderstood if you only communicate via email.

7) Tell us about the proudest piece of work you have done.
There is one image of a walking tree and a small boy walking through a dark forest. The illustration was done pretty quickly and without much thinking, but the reaction was huge, because everybody can see a story in there. I am currently working on it and hopefully this will be a book one day.

8) What advice do you have for aspiring illustrators when first dealing with a publishing house?
If they have a script for you ask yourself if you really like it and if you really want to tell the story through pictures. If you have your own story, they will try to tweak it here and there. This can be a good thing and it can improve your work. But always ask yourself, is it still fun to draw and is it still your story at heart. Lastly take a close look at the contract. Do you get enough out of this? And do not work without getting royalties, because that’s your real payment in the long term.

9) Please provide a short brief of each of the pictures you have submitted
Follow That Car – the mouse following the gorilla on a big red background is a eye-catching image I am really proud of.

Follow That Car

Find The Frog – the park scene is a lot more colorful than my work before.

Find The Frog

Mamasaurus – this image was done just as a quick scribble and gained enough attention from a publisher so that I did a whole picture book around it.

Mamasaurus

Should you wish to know more about Stephan, here are his pertinent details.

Website: Stephan Lomp
Stephan’s social media connections:

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30 Facebook Groups Every Author Needs…..And It’s Free!

A.S. Chung B&WPosted by A.S. Chung.
Award-wining author of children’s picture books A Brand New Day: about divorce and Wishful Wedding: about LGBT equality and same gender families. Creator of Pigeonhole Books and blogs about self-publishing, writing, online book marketing, peer bloggers and illustrators.

30 FACEBOOK GROUPS EVERY AUTHOR NEEDS…..AND IT’S FREE!
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
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Photo Montage

Facebook Groups continue to evolve over time to support writers and authors in a myriad of ways. I have collated a list of Facebook Groups to help indie authors in all facets of the self-publishing journey. If you are searching for the following, you have come to the right place:

  • Support for self-publishing authors.
  • Book marketing ideas.
  • A space to promote your book/s.
  • Author support through discussions and forums.
  • Improve your writing and manuscript assistance.
  • Lover of books in general.

1. Amazon Book Club
Download free e-books, join our book loving platform, or read our daily reviews. If you are a published author, go ahead and announce yourself and your book(s) on this site. Readers, please go ahead and leave your reviews and recommendations.
28,237 members.

2. Aspiring Authors
If your dream is to become a published storyteller (novelist, screenwriter, poet, short story writer etc.), you’ve come to the right place! What we’re all about: books, novels, stories, writing, writers, plays, screenplays, short stories, plot, creative, creativity, fiction, interactive story.
26,996 members.

3. Authors
Anything about writing.
Stories, experiences, advice and tips.
Any new books, promotions or book cover designs.
27,769 members

4. Authors 99¢ e-Books Promotion
This is a group for .99 e-books only. Please promote your books here if they are .99 cents or free!
9,259 members.

5. Authors and Book Lovers Discussion Group
This is a discussion group for authors and book lovers to chat about their favourite books. All Authors are welcome to promote here!
21,778 members.

6. Authors, Agents, and Aspiring Writers
We welcome authors at every stage of their career. Here are the rules for this group: This group is for all things WRITING! You are free to promo new releases, your books, your writing blogs, your thoughts on writing and always ask for help from others to improve your craft. If you have information that you think will be beneficial to writers, please share.
18,750 members.

7. Authors, Bloggers, Writers, Readers and Books
Geared to Christian content. Space for authors, bloggers, writers, readers and books to post information about their blogs, books, reviews and their websites, etc. A group for sharing our interests and activities regarding our page title. – we encourage those of any faith or beliefs to join in the sharing. Only God knows where our seeds might be planted.
13,898 members.

8. Author Meeting Place
A place to meet and greet other authors. You might be able to share marketing ideas and/or events in your area if you meet someone close to you. Authors unite!
4,715 members.

9. Authors Promoting Authors
Authors Promoting Authors community group. This group serves as a forum for discussion, promotion and sharing
16,956 members.

10. Books, Books and more Books!!!
Where authors and readers can post to help promote their books and giveaways.
32,618 members.

11. Book Promotion
The goal of this page is to help you the author to accomplish your goals. It is similar to our mission at Best Seller Publishing – “To make our clients best-selling authors and launch them to a life of independence, generous income, and meaningful impact.” So from time to time we will be offering FREE training in the form of videos, webinars and recordings. They will be specifically focused on helping you become a best selling author and monetize your books.
25,808 members.

12. Book Review & Promotion
Writer · Books · Publishing
29,839 members.

13. Children’s Authors and Illustrators on Facebook
A group for authors and illustrators of children’s books, from picture books to YA, in all genres, plus aspiring writers and all readers who love children’s literature.
5,542 members.

14. Free ebooks for Kindle, Nook, and More
Welcome readers and authors! This page is for listing free ebooks only. Authors, join this group to post notice of ebooks that you are giving away freely to everyone. This is a great way to promote “free ebook” days in Kindle’s KDP Select program, but please list your book only when it’s free to all Amazon customers.
2,540 members.

15. Free Kindle and Nook eBooks For Readers
This is a group for readers to come and find free Ebooks. Anyone can join and post links to the free Ebooks they have found; we especially love when authors join this group and post links to their free Ebooks! There are no limits for genres or where an Ebook can be read. Most of the Ebooks posted are available on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Nobles’ Nook, Smashwords or even a plain PDF file.
33,013 members.

16. Free Today on Amazon
This group is for free books only!
18,578 members.

17. Free Today on Kindle & Beyond
Authors: Announce your free books here.
Readers: Learn which books are free today.
14,821 members.

18. Go Indie
All things book-related are welcome, including articles from author blogs and websites, announcements for free and discounted books, book discussions and more. Posts related to services being offered to authors are welcome as well, provided the owner/poster contact the admin beforehand.
5,756 members.

19. Indie Author Book Promotion Page
Welcome to the open group for Indie Author book promotions.
26,545 members.

20. Indie Authors International
READERS and WRITERS from EVERYWHERE, across borders, without barriers. EVERYONE WELCOME.
12,058 members.

21. KIDLIT411
A Facebook group of children’s writers and illustrators run by the founders of the website http://www.Kidlit411.com. Share your information and kid lit news and join a fun community.
2,037 members.

22. Kindle Authors Helping Authors
Welcome to a FB group that actually helps authors. Please take the time to visit other author’s pages and like them on Amazon FB and outside web blogs and websites. We also love receiving tips on what has helped authors sell books, receive helpful reviews or set up their platforms.
4,043 members.

23. Marketing for Authors
Written the book? Now what? Now it’s the hard part, now you have to market it….
This group is for fellow authors to swap marketing ideas with other authors and ask questions.
11,782 members.

24. Passion for Books
Everything related to books. Authors of books are welcome to post photos of your books. You can also post your videos. And talk about your books.
31,165 members.

25. Ready To Read
Open group to promote your new release. It is acceptable to promote a ready to read book, for blog posts that are about a ready to read book, and events for ready to read books.
13,369 members.

26. Review Seekers
This is where authors and publishers meet readers and users who write and post reviews of books and apps on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and blogs. Members are invited to request a review if they indicate they will provide free copy to reviewer
12,037 members.

27. The Literary Lounge Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Illustrators
Calling all authors … is there a book in you? This is the place to be if you want to learn about writing, creating, strategizing, developing, publishing and selling your book. If you want to create a book that has pizzazz, punch and panache…
15,154 members.

28. We Love Books
Save money and time by buying on line. If you love books, please feel free to tell us about your book that you wrote, a recent one that you read or something you would like to recommend.
3,655 members.

29. Writers and Readers Unite
Invite all of your friends to a place for authors and readers to come together. Authors may post about their new books and readers may post review or comments Poems and personal blogs post are welcome
25,398 members.

30. Writer’s Group
This group is for writers and those interested in the craft of writing, to mingle, meet, inform, learn and cooperate (https://www.facebook.com/groups/memberswritersgroup). Writers of all skill levels and experience are encouraged to help each other through problem spots in their writing, bounce ideas off other members, and talk about the latest news affecting the industry/craft; exchange leads to discovery. Readers and fans are also welcome to participate. Anyone may submit passages of written work for group critiques. Surveys, both by post and software application, as well as thought experiments are also welcome.
30,892 members.

Author Interview: Kirstin Lenane

Charlie and the CreatureCHARLIE AND THE CREATURE BY KIRSTIN LENANE

1) Please provide a short excerpt of what your children’s book is about
Charlie is a mouse who lives in a small town and works at the local diner.  One day, a creature comes in for a cup of coffee.  Needless to say, the regular customers aren’t quite sure what to make of him.  But Charlie, being the service professional that he is, tries to make the creature feel at home.  The creature explains that he is on his way to see the world and can’t stay long.  This comment sets Charlie’s imagination spinning and inspires him to seek out an adventure of his own.

2) What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired by the day-to-day life in a small-town diner and the pleasure that comes from being part of such a community.  To the diner patrons, Charlie is more than just a waiter.  He is someone they count on seeing and speaking to every day.

When the creature enters the diner, he throws off the town’s homeostasis:  “They weren’t used to outsiders in town.  No one ever did much coming or going.”  Rather than shutting the creature out, I decided to have Charlie (and the other diner regulars) make the more interesting choice to invite the creature into their lives, to experience the initial discomfort of the unknown, and then to reap the benefits of being open to new people and new ideas.

3) How did you come up with the title or series of your book?
The title comes from the encounter between the two main characters, Charlie and the creature.  This encounter sets the story in motion.

4) Why did you pick this genre?
I used to write short stories for adult readers, but found that I had a lot more fun when I started adding pictures.  Combining drawings with writing seems to place me in a more natural place as a writer.  The drawings help the writing flow and vice versa.

At this time, I’m a little less clear about how to market an illustrated picture book for “all ages,” so I’ve been trying to write more for children, where there is a clear market.  I have a two-year-old son and I work as a counselor at two elementary schools, so this helps me get out of my adult head and into the world of children, but this is not always easy.  I think I am still learning who my audience is and how to write for them.

5) How do the illustrations complement your book? What was important to you as an author?
When I am creating a story, I begin by drawing pictures.  Because I am not a professionally trained illustrator by any means, the drawings often come out looking a little funny.  For example, a hat on a mouse’s head might end up looking more like a pancake.  Why is there a pancake on his head?  And so it begins….

If I had my way, I would draw with pencils and markers, and create books using paper, cardboard and glue.  However, in today’s “modern age,” I’ve also enjoyed the capacity to reach readers by creating books that can be digital.

6) As a child, what books and/or authors influenced you the most and why?
As a child, I enjoyed books that didn’t treat me like a child, but as a person.  Some of my favorites included, the Frog and Toad books, The Velveteen Rabbit, the Frances books, George and Martha, books by William Steig and Tomi Ungerer.

7) What is the most fulfilling thing about being an author?
By putting my human questions into the world of a mouse who lives in a made-up place in the world of a book, I am able to grapple with some serious, difficult things, in a manner that feels less heavy, but is liberating at the same time.

Being an author helps me to take life less seriously, and more seriously at the same time.  It’s a way of creating meaning.

8) What do you hope children will take away with them after reading your book?
Fear can make us very resistant to trying new things or considering new ideas, especially if we seemed to be doing just fine before these new ideas walked into our lives.  One of the messages of this book is that it is much more fulfilling to keep learning and to keep growing than it is to try to keep everything the same.

9) Who is/are your favourite author/s as an adult and why?
My favourite book is To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.  There is beauty and joy in her characters, but there is also this sense that everyone is alone, as she moves through a scene and through each character’s private thoughts.  She captures people’s moments of connection to each other, as well as their inability to truly connect and relate.

10) What are you working on now?
I am writing a children’s book about a character who is obsessed with time and keeping lists.  Fortunately, there are three pesky rabbits who live outside and teach him a thing or two about stopping to enjoy the moment.

THKirstin LenaneANK YOU FOR LETTING US GETTING TO KNOW YOU!
Should you wish to know more about Kirstin Lenane and would like to purchase her book, here are all her pertinent details.

Website: Kirstin Lenane
Where to purchase her book: Amazon
Kirstin’s social media connections:

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Press: A.S. Chung on The Huffington Post

A.S. Chung’s blog post entitled: 50 Things I’m Grateful For Since My Divorce is featured on The Huffington Post today!

Huffington Post A.S. Chung

 

 

 

 

 

Illustrator Interview: Paul Kidby

Paul KidbyPROFESISONAL BIO:
Self taught artist Paul Kidby was born in West London in 1964.  He left school at 17 and worked as a commercial artist before becoming a freelance illustrator in 1986. He is best known for being the ‘artist of choice’ for the award winning writer Sir Terry Pratchett, and has designed the ‘Discworld’ book jackets since 2002 and has illustrated many ‘Discworld’ publications including ‘The Art of Discworld’ and best-selling ‘The Last Hero’.

Paul has also increasingly built himself a reputation as a sculptor and his limited edition bronzes are collected worldwide. Kidby original artwork and bronzes have been exhibited in London, Paris and widely around the U.K. Today Paul balances his output between Pratchett and his own projects and lives and works in the New Forest with his wife Vanessa.

1) How did you become an illustrator of children’s books or similar works?
I became an illustrator of books by working at various jobs in the commercial creative industry that gradually edged me another step on the ladder closer to my goal. My journey began at the age of 17 and included making false teeth, painting roller blinds, designing rice pudding and lightbulb packaging, creating greetings card designs and finally over 200 magazine covers – which paid the bills but was not  exactly creatively satisfying.  My life changed in 1994 when author Terry Pratchett was doing a book signing in the city of Bath, I queued for a few hours to meet him and handed him an envelope of my Discworld character designs.  Terry phoned me when he had completed his signing tour to say he liked my drawings and that we might work together.

2) Describe your illustration style and creative process. What makes your illustrations unique and different?
My style is traditional. I use old techniques and processes and don’t create my work digitally.  I use hard leaded pencils on smooth white paper or board and for colour I work in oils or acrylics, which I build up in thin layers.  I enjoy working tonally and my style is rather meticulous and detailed. I am inspired by The Golden Age of illustration when beautiful books were adorned by the works of Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac and their skilled contemporaries.

3) Has technology changed your trade and the way you work?
It has not changed the way I create my work but I scan my work and send digital files these days rather than sending the original artwork to the publishers.  Social networking has also changed my working habits, I now feel part of an online community rather than an isolated artist!

4) As a self-taught artist, when did you realise you could make a living from your talent?
I have always made a living from my talent since the age of 17, through hard work,  determination and my choice to initially settle for lower paid creative work rather than higher paid uncreative work.  I was, and still am, lucky to have a supportive family.

5) When collaborating with an author or a client, how do you ensure you are able to translate their words into art and convey the message they are trying to portray?
One of the best parts of illustration is the design process where the text is interpreted into line; I find this the most fun and also the most challenging aspect of the work.  I read the text carefully, make notes and, as a starting point, I often think of an actor who might play the character. Good communication with the client is important at this stage too, for example I originally drew the Discworld character Ponder Stibbons to look like John Lennon but when Terry saw my sketch he told me he imagined him to look more like Bill Gates, so I redesigned him accordingly!

6) Tell us about your collaboration with the late Terry Pratchett and what opportunities did you gain from such a partnership?
The chance to visualise the Discworld was a life changing opportunity for me.  In the early years I would meet Terry often to discuss ideas and show him my sketches.  We shared a fascination for history, folklore and a slightly off the wall sense of humour which enabled us to connect our mediums in a happy union.  The chance to illustrate the book jackets and internals for so many of his books was an amazing privilege for me and I will always be grateful to him for allowing me to wander his world with my sketchbook.

7) Who or what continues to inspire your work from painting to sculpturing?
I am inspired by the natural world: the flora and fauna of the landscape around me and the folklore of The British Isles. I enjoy and take inspiration from attending galleries and exhibitions of all sorts of art. I have a large collection of art and reference books and I enjoy watching  films to see how others have created characters, costumes and environments for the big screen.

8) What advice do you have for aspiring illustrators when first dealing with a publishing house?
My advice is to maintain good polite communication and be punctual with schedules and deadlines. It’s also important to remember you are working as part of a team, therefore you must expect your work to be critiqued, changes requested and digital alterations with colour tones etc made by the design team, it’s part of the process and not a reason to take umbrage!

9) Please provide a short brief of each of the pictures you have submitted
Colour artwork for the book jacket of The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett.

The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett

Colour artwork for the book jacket of Diary of a Mad Brownie by Bruce Coville.

Diary of a Mad Brownie by Bruce Coville

Discworld Massif, a large scale painting featuring over 70 favourite characters from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld

Auld Goggie, a character from The Charmed Realm book by Paul & Vanessa Kidby.

The Charmed Realm book by Paul & Vanessa Kidby

Should you wish to know more about Paul, here are his pertinent details.

Website: Paul Kidby
Paul’s social media connections:

   Linked In Icon

How Authors Are Under Utilising LinkedIn

A.S. Chung B&WPosted by A.S. Chung.
Award-wining author of children’s picture books A Brand New Day: about divorce and Wishful Wedding: about LGBT equality and same gender families. Creator of Pigeonhole Books and blogs about self-publishing, writing, online book marketing, peer bloggers and illustrators.

HOW AUTHORS ARE UNDER UTILISING LINKEDIN
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP 
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How much of LinkedIn do you actually use?

Browse through the “Interest” tab and what do you see? How many of those functions do you utilise to your advantage either for informational purposes or as a marketing tool to promote your books? Let’s explore some of these offerings.

COMPANY PAGES
A Company Page allows you to learn more about a specific company you may interested in. By following a business of interest to you, you can:

  • Learn more about the company, such as a publishing corporation, as you browse through their overview and any other information they may provide.
  • Get the latest updates and developments about a particular business and any news regarding an industry of interest such as publishing or writing.
  • Learn more about specific aspects of their business should they utilise the Showcase Pages e.g. information for illustrators, picture books, submission etc.
  • Enables you to find specific employees within the company you may wish to connect with that could possibly help you as an indie author ie editors, copywriters etc.
  • View available careers within the company that may be of interest to you if you think it may assist you with your writing career.
    Create your own Company Page should it fit the criteria.

LinkedIn Company Page

GROUPS
LinkedIn Groups are a fantastic way to get connected with like-minded professionals. There are many writers, children’s books, author and self-publishing groups that may of relevance to you. All groups are now private and you must be a member to participate in them. They are of great benefit because:

  • You can engage in professional discussion about any topic relevant to that group. E.G. What are some of the best book marketing tips for a first time self-publishing author?
  • You may start a discussion topic should you wish to find out more information.
  • Engaging regularly in conversation enables others within the same industry to get to know you and is a great networking medium.
  • Groups is not a place for self-promotion and is therefore moderated regularly which gives you a genuine platform for open discussions.
  • A good place to learn about the writing industry and anything associated with it to help you as a self-publishing author.

LinkedIn Groups

PULSE
LinkedIn’s Pulse app is a professional news app that is tailored specifically to you to bring you breaking industry news and posts published by your network or by any of your connections.

  • It is a fantastic way to get a snapshot about fellow authors, news about publishing companies or industry stories which may be relevant to you, on one medium, whilst you’re on the run.
  • You can publish a post to add you’re your connections’ feed so they may keep up to date of your breaking stories or posts.
  • An excellent tool for you to promote your work through innovative writing

LinkedIn Pulse

SLIDESHARE
SlideShare is a digital platform that joined the LinkedIn family in 2012. It started out as a means for people to upload their PowerPoint or video presentations and share with the world. This has now evolved into a content marketing medium for any type of digital content.

  • A great medium to find well-presented digital content that may be useful to you from top experts.
  • As an author you can upload your own digital content as another form of marketing to appeal to your LinkedIn followers and draw more attention to your book/s.
  • SlideShare comes with its own analytical tools so another way to monitor its worth and if it helps with you your digital marketing activities.
  • All users are able to share the digital content enabling further exposure

LinkedIn SlideShare

ONLINE LEARNING
Want to learn a new skill? Join LinkedIn’s online learning platform that gives you access to a myriad of courses from design to marketing to the web.

  • As most self-published authors would have probably learnt by now, writing the book was the easy part! Marketing the book brings about a whole new learning curve. This online learning platform would be a very useful tool.
  • You may search your online learning by author, which enables you to follow a writer you may resonate with on specific topics.
  • Documentaries by subject are also available for further learning.
  • You can save you courses and documentaries on a playlist so that you can refer to them at any given time.

LinkedIn Online Learning

If you haven’t already done so, explore these functions. You may very well find new ways of marketing your book/s!

Author Interview: Toni Brisland

DemiChat and the City of GoldDEMICHAT AND THE CITY OF GOLD BY TONI BRISLAND

1) Please provide a short excerpt of what your children’s book is about.
Famous archaeologists, the Jaspers, DemiChat and Lord Flannery Beagle’s owners, after their amazing discoveries in Egypt (Book 2 in the Series, DemiChat and the Lost Mummy) are invited on an international Academic Tour to lecture about their findings.

While in Peru they meet Carlos who persuades them to visit Machu Picchu and trek into the Amazon Jungle to search for the Incan City of Gold – he leads them into danger!. The city, under the protection of a native tribe and a wily jaguar, evades them until Amazonian Warriors show them a hidden passage through a volcano.

2) What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired to write the series by my love of Sherlock Holmes, my Himalayan cat, Jade, and my niece’s beagle, Shiloh. I love animals and thought it would be fun to write a spoof about a cat-and-dog team playing the immortal Sherlock and Doctor Watson.

I commenced the series with the intention of a trilogy: the first set in Europe, the second in Egypt and actually had 2 plans for the third book. With the help of Teacher-Librarian friends we surveyed children who had read the first two books and asked them if they preferred a sequel set in the Amazon Jungle or New York. The resounding reply was in favour of the Amazon and Incans and Warriors – hence, DemiChat and the City of Gold was written.

3) How do the illustrations complement your book? What was important to you as an author?
My digital illustrator is Cheryl De Los Reyes Cruz, an American digital artist who understands the importance of colour and dash and action for an ebook for the age group. I think Cheryl has done an amazing job and extends the story through her brilliant work.

4) As a child, what books and/or authors influenced you the most and why?
Fantasy authors, Ursula Kroeber Le Guin, particularly the first four Earthsea books and J.R.R.Tolkien. Why? Their books made my imagination soar and gave me hope that in the constant struggle between good and evil that good will win out.

5) What is the most fulfilling thing about being an author?
Being totally absorbed in my passion for writing and knowing that my readers are transported to places and meet characters that they may not experience otherwise as they see the world of my books from my unique perspective.

6) What’s the greatest compliment you ever received from a reader?
From a father of a reader … “your DemiChat book was the first book my 10-year old son ever finished”.

7) What do you hope children will take away with them after reading your book?
A love of animals, of adventure, a belief that anything is possible and that you can create your own destiny.

8) Who is/are your favourite author/s as an adult and why?
My favourite authors are adult authors: Joseph Conrad, D.H. Lawrence, Hermann Hesse, Kathryn Heyman, Richard Flanagan. Why? Apart from being wonderful storytellers, their imagery is rich and detailed, they are structural experts and they force me to think about the bigger issues in life.

9) How would you define ‘success’ as a writer?
Writing a piece of work that is the best a writer can do (no matter how many edits need to be done and how long it takes to write it), says everything you want to say and is written as if it is the last thing you might write.

10) What are you working on now?
I’m writing a novel for adults.

THToni BrislandANK YOU FOR LETTING US GETTING TO KNOW YOU!
Should you wish to know more about Toni Brisland and would like to purchase her book, here are all her pertinent details.

Website: Toni Brisland
Where to purchase her book: Amazon, Dragon Pencil & Toni Brisland
Toni’s social media connections:

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