An Interview with Tina Shepherdson
Meet Tina Shepherdson! She’s from Upstate New York, and I’ve known her electronically for a year or two through Children’s Book Academy and 12 x 12. Both are great places to connect with other writers.
Tina has been sharing books with kids forever! She started as a teenager. She wrote her own books, tied them together with string, then read them to the kids she babysat. Tina still reads to kids as a 6th grade teacher. She’s been teaching for 30 years and has won awards for her work. When Tina’s not teaching or writing, she’s walking her akitas with her family, spending time at camp, eating chocolate, and enjoying winter snowstorms. Life sounds perfect!
This is an early thumbnail/character sketch for Tina’s debut book, WALKOUT. It’s based on a true story, and it’s democracy in action. Maddie wants to organize an anti-school-violence walkout like kids in other states. She perseveres even when the principal announces their school won’t participate, and her BFF Stella is afraid to join her. Read to find out if Maddie helps Stella find the courage to walkout. This is the perfect story for today’s schools, and Tina’s the perfect writer to tell it.
Tina’s Interview Link: http://onthescenein19.weebly.com/blog/an-interview-with-author-tina-m-shepardson
Look what came in the mail! My first box of paperback books. The writing and publishing end are finished. Now it’s time for sales!
Before ordering, I checked with my friends at Casa Chic, Riverside Arts, and the Armstrong Museum for numbers. Then I guessed what I needed for upcoming events. I got my total and placed my order.
I opened my box. I was so excited I found 2 different ways to count to 44! Two groups of 22, or four groups of 10 with 4 left-over.
I separated them for distribution. The first 3 piles are for Riverside, the museum, and Casa Chic. 4 go to a friend, and another 4 to Purdue. The rest are for those upcoming events.
could choose, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’d write Neil’s story!
This is me, still at Riverside. Della asked me to sign the books, and she got the great idea to take a picture of that moment. Of course we embellished it a little. The 4 ladies in the picture didn’t buy my book, but they were good sports and posed for the photo. Thanks, ladies!
What surprised me the most is how I started shaking when I started writing. Who knew happy nerves could make you shake!
Della took pity on me. She wrote an inscription about dreams in each book. Best of all she put a different one in each book, then I signed it. Thanks, Della for the help, and the idea!
I wanted a picture of me dropping off books at Casa Chic, and this is it! We had a great background, all things Wapakoneta. I’ve shopped at Casa for years. When I want something interesting or unique, it’s my go-to place. Landa is one of the owners, and she’s been a church friend for years. She followed my writing dream from the start, and she always believed in it. I’m thrilled to sell Neil’s story at Casa Chic!
Landa didn’t hand me a check. She does her business differently than Riverside. She waits for the entire shipment to sell, then she pays for the whole order. Different strokes for different folks! I’m grateful to Riverside and Casa Chic for offering Neil to their customers.
If you need Neil or Wapakoneta souvenirs, go to Riverside or Casa Chic. They have treasures for sale, things that you’ll want to buy and take home! Happy treasure hunting!
I started a business that produces a new product to sell, what am I?
A Manager Bureaucrat Entrepreneur Salesman Inventor
Tomorrow . . . The paperbacks are here!
An Interview with Stacey Corrigan
Meet Stacey Corrigan! She’s pure Michigan! She grew up in Elkton, went to Michigan State for her bachelor’s degree, and to Saginaw Valley State for her masters. Now she lives in Elkton with her husband, two boys, and a Beagle. When she’s not home, she’s teaching second-grade.
I’m pure Ohio, but I’m happy to meet a second-grade colleague from up north. I can even say, except for one Saturday during football season, “Go Spartans!”
This is Stacey’s cover. Meet the Pencil Eater! He’s on the scene and hunting for some tasty treats. He tries his local elementary school, but he only runs into more problems. Poor Pencil Eater! I hope he finally gets his snack!
Would you believe this story came from Stacey’s second grade classroom? Read her interview to find out where she got her debut idea!
Stacey’s Interview Link: http://onthescenein19.weebly.com/blog/an-interview-with-author-stacey-corrigan
Did you know books have birthdays just like people do? Neil was supposed to have his book birthday, or his book launch on May 1st. Then I pushed it back to May 7th. That’s my birthday, but that didn’t work out either so I set it up for today, May 17th. This time IT WORKED!
This is the full cover PDF for my hardback book. I have another one for the paperback. I took a picture of it because I couldn’t upload a PDF into Weebly or Word. Cole did both covers. Do you see sets of lines around it. These are Cole’s guide lines for Ingram. They help them print the cover. I didn’t know about any of this till I decided to self-publish this book, and Cole showed me how all this worked, BEAUTIFULLY! I’m a fan of his work!
This is the back cover. I wanted you to be able to read it. The top lines in black are a summary of the story.
In aqua there’s a quote from Mr. Robert G. Bryant, PhD, Eagle Scout, NASA Senior Research Engineer, and in the Space Hall of Fame. WOW!
I asked Rob to do a quote for my book because I know him. How? I’m a 2nd grade teacher, remember? His son is marrying my daughter. I asked him, but with the condition he didn’t have to do it, especially if he didn’t like the book.
I was so relieved that he did! My guess is that his favorite part is the back matter. That’s where I have directions for making your own wind tunnel. REALLY!
The last quote in aqua is from Patricia A Johnson. She wasn’t a rocket scientist, but, she was my middle school English teacher. Would you believe when she read it, she found 3 mistakes? I corrected 2. I didn’t on the 3rd because it made me add words that didn’t move the story, so I kept it as is.
This is Amazon’s link for the paperback book. I couldn’t believe when I went in today and found it. Wow! What a feeling! Amazon has it in both hardback and paperback form. It says it ships in a few days. Why? My printer is IngramSparks, and they print on demand.
Here’s the link for Barnes and Noble. They have the hardback and paperback books too.
Both Amazon and Barnes will have an eBook available soon. It’s cheaper if you want to wait. Ingram is adding in a Trademark to the copyright page. That’s the reason I had to hold off on Neil’s book birthday since May 1st. The Foundation at Purdue was given Trademark authority in 2015 by Neil Armstrong’s family, and yesterday I got my permission agreement. HOORAY! I put in the change for the copyright on the paper and hardback copies. They came through last night so I put them into sell. Now the only other thing missing is my bio information. That will be one of my next projects!
If you would like an autographed plate, just email me, and I’ll be glad to snail mail it to you. If you live near Wapak, you can get a copy from me directly, autographed of course! They’ll also be on sale locally at Casa Chic and at Riverside Art Center. I can work with them to get you an autographed copy. I am SO thrilled to celebrate Neil Armstrong’s Wind Tunnel Dream’s book birthday with all of you!
An Interview with Annette Schottenfeld
Meet Annette Schottenfeld! She’s On the Scene with a book . . . and a couple recipes! Annette isn’t just an expert baker, she’s a registered dietician! She writes for kids, and she also writes about food, nutrition, and fitness. She’s known for her secret recipe for Uglie Muffin. I don’t care if it’s ugly, as long as it’s YUMMY! Check out her interview, and her recipe for Rock ‘n Geode Cookies too!
When she’s not cooking or writing about food, Annette is into hip-hop dance and environmental issues. That’s how she found her first book idea, from an actual event that happened in Africa. Annette isn’t from Africa. She lives in New York with her husband, two kids, and dog Rupert. He thinks he’s a little rhino, sometimes, and he was glad to help her write her debut book.
This is Annette’s cover, for now! I can’t wait to see the real one! I’m imagining it from her book description – Obi is a little rhino, and drought-stricken Zimbabwe is just too hot for him. He tries to beat the heat with a mud bath, but he gets his snout stuck in one mess after another. You’ll have to read the book sometime later in 2019 to find out if Obi finally beats the heat.
Not only is Obi’s Mud Bath based on a real story, it has STEM connections and will be giving back to communities who have water issues like Obi’s home in Zimbabwe.
Annette’s Interview Link: http://onthescenein19.weebly.com/blog/an-interview-with-author-annette-schottenfeld
Need a few great books? These are free if you enter the Springtime Surprise Book Giveaway and WIN! You can enter each day for 10 more days to get them – FREE! But you MUST enter to win. Click on this link! Cross your fingers! I hope the odds are ever in your favor!
What five-finger exercise is a piece of music written for the purpose of practicing on what instrument?
Sax Trombone Violin Piano
The Answer: The Piano
I didn’t know Chopin’s etudes are also designed to train the fingers. Etude opus 10 is his best set of exercises, according to my source. They also suggested that Fur Elise by Beethoven may have been written to promote piano dexterity. I played it, loved it, but never guessed it was about fingering, not Elise. Would you believe science has studied piano exercises? George A. Kochevitsky wrote a book about it, and it even includes his thoughts about Chopin and his etudes.
I started lessons in 3rd grade with Mrs. Cliffwell. I took lessons for 2 years until she retired. I don’t remember my 2nd teacher. I think it’s because I developed some bad habits like the girl in the picture. Her hands are flat, and her arms are slumped down.
Mrs. Frazier whipped me back into shape. She taught me to hold my fingers like claws, using my hand and arm like 1 long lever to control those fingers. You can’t play fast or complicated pieces with slumping hands. I blossomed under her teaching. I did district solo contests where judges rated my performances. I always got 1’s or 2’s. I also accompanied the middle school choir. That led to playing for a few vocal contest soloists. I loved Mrs. Frazier! Then she retired too!
Did you guess which 2 instruments I played in concert and in marching band? I played the clarinet and the alto saxophone. They’re the 2 instruments to the left of the trombone.
I started playing the clarinet in 4th grade, a year after I started piano lessons. A lot of kids struggled to learn their instrument and the notes. I had it easy. I only had to learn the clarinet.
It made clarinet easy and helped me to win 1st chair when we started competing for seats. I still remember my band teacher from elementary school. Mr. Trunk directed our first concert with all the instruments put together. It was a horrible version of something like MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB.
In middle school my band teacher was Miss Souder. She scared the bejesus out of me till the candy run-in. You fund band by doing things like selling candy bars. My dad wouldn’t let me sell so I had to go in and tell Miss Souder. OH MY! She was furious, and I burst into tears. She reined in her temper, and she soon became one of my all-time favorite teachers.
Miss Souder gave private lessons, and she was strict, but she always pushed you to do your best. She pushed me to go to district solo contests. I was first-chair through middle school because of piano training, my drive, and Miss Souder’s lessons. She pushed me to do an all-district band. I wasn’t first chair, but I was still in the first section.
Each spring Miss Souder gave away scholarships for Ball State’s music summer camp to one 8th grader, one 9th. I won in 9th grade, and it gave me a musical peek outside Northwest Ohio. I discovered I was good, but everyone else was better. I wasn’t 1st chair or even 1st section. I was third. It was a humbling experience, but I learned a lot, and I was determined to get better.
This is me in marching band. I picked up the alto saxophone because clarinets weren’t brass instruments. Mr. Trunk from elementary school was my band teacher again, and he wanted an all brass band like the Ohio State Marching Band. I played saxophone during marching season, from June till November. Then I switched back to clarinet for concert band.
In high school I found my last piano teacher, Mrs. Skinner, but I called her Anita. She played violin and piano. She was younger than all my other teachers. She had two little kids, and I wanted to be like her.
I kept doing contest with piano and clarinet, but never with saxophone, and I continued to do well with 1’s and 2’s, till my senior year. That’s when I met a boy.
Everything changed after that, I spent less time with my music and more time with the boy. That year I went to a piano solo contest. For the first time I wasn’t ready. I had to memorize the piece, and I didn’t spend enough time on it. I fell apart and forgot where I was. Somehow, I managed to finish.
The judge was a music professor from Bowling Green University. He gave me a 3, my worst score ever, but he gave me the kindest comment. He told me I had potential, but I needed to invest the time, 1-2 hours per instrument, per day.
I thought about what he said, and I left music behind. I didn’t want to invest the time to become a musician or a music teacher. After high school I quit the piano and clarinet, but I never stopped loving music. It’s the gift that keeps giving whenever I turn on the radio.
I became an elementary teacher and taught 2nd grade. One of the gifts I gave my students was the gift of music. I never played for them, but I was known for occasionally singing and dancing around the room, with whatever song crossed my mind. Tonight, in the words of Kiki Dee, I still have the music in me. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLQRW7J_D0U
My birthday was yesterday, May 7th, but this is me and my birthday suit on May 3rd. My mother gave me shopping money as a birthday present . . . she does know me well! There’s nothing better than shopping, the hunt for a deal, for something that makes me feel 40, no LOL! I shopped till I had $12 left, just enough money to buy a book at the Marvelous Midwest SCBWI conference.
I took the first picture on Friday. I can’t do selfies so I took a picture using the mirror. Did you notice there’s no smile? I have to concentrate so hard that there’s no room for my brain to smile, really! The other 3 pictures were taken by friends. I can smile when someone else takes the picture.
So what did I buy with my mother’s gift money? I went to Casa Chic, one of my favorite Wapak stores. There was a poncho I looked at two weeks ago, but I couldn’t spend the money for it. Now thanks to my mom, I did! I love it! I feel like I’m wearing a Tiffany lamp, poncho-style.
My book is a library book, and it’s my mentor text for the middle grade manuscript I’ve worked on for 8 years. Thanks to ESCAPE FROM BAXTER’S BARN, I wrote the first chapter well enough that my Writing Magic Critique Group told me I’d finally achieved middle grade quality. YES!
Now I’m buying the book so I can mark it up to help me write the rest of my manuscript. I hope with the help of this great mentor text, that my story will finally be good enough to tempt an agent or editor, but first, I have lots of hard work to do.
This is the rest of my birthday suit. The jewelry and dress are more treasures from Casa Chic. I’ve been looking for a necklace that reminds me of the earth. This one swirled with blue and aqua, plus two sets of earrings matched it. I bought them all!
And the dress, WOW! I loved it at first sight. Then I put it on. I felt cute! Like I was young again, and that’s a great thing! Plus look at the sleeves and that 60’s pattern. I couldn’t resist!
These pictures were from the Marvelous Midwest SCBWI conference. It was carnival night, and Merrill Rainey drew caricatures. He’s a talented illustrator who donated his services FREE for the carnival. I think he got me, but I had to edit the text . . . Merrill wrote, “It’s THE POOP DECK! NOT! I have a dock at the lake, and the ducks think it’s their personal poop deck. Merrill remembered that part, but forgot the ‘NOT!’ Don’t worry! I added it later, in RED!
An Interview with Vanessa Keel
Meet Vanessa Keel! She left a successful career in Advertising with clients like Walt Disney to stay home with a new baby boy. He is such a cutie! Now she also has time to write children’s stories. In October she’ll publish her first book thanks to SCBWI and the Children’s Book Academy. Congratulations, Vanessa!
When Vanessa’s not writing, she’s a busy mom and dog-lover. It’s no wonder her first book is about raising awareness for service dogs, especially for Merlin’s Kids. That’s an incredible group that rescues shelter dogs and prepares them for a forever home with a special-needs child. What a great group, and what a great story to tell!
This is Vanessa’s cover! Boomer is a service dog without a home or a job. When an unexpected guest disrupts the Pupperdine Academy graduation, Boomer decides to go on a quest to find a family of his own. He runs into a few obstacles, but a furry feline changes his life forever, and Boomer finds his special home, his special job. Vanessa says we’ll never guess what it is . . . that we’ll have to wait to read about it when Boomer makes his October debut. I can’t wait!
Vanessa’s Interview Link: http://onthescenein19.weebly.com/blog/an-interview-with-author-vanessa-keel
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!