I usually avoid having my picture taken but the last couple months I’ve grinned and said ‘cheese.’
This is me at the Rose Blenn Literary Festival. Neil wasn’t out yet, but my critique partners talked me into going. They said it was good practice for the future. They were right!
You can’t see Debbie and Rick, but Donna’s behind me, to the left of the Story Catcher Publishing sign. She’s been my self-publishing guru. I couldn’t have made this journey without her advice!
This is me at the Marvelous Midwest SCBWI conference. I’m with my friend and conference roommate, Aileen. Without her, Neil might never have been published.
In November I was ready to quit. Then I went to the Helen Hunt Circle to talk about being a writer. I told them about losing my 3rd illustrator. Those ladies wouldn’t let me give up. Before I left, they gave me three names.
I also decided to reach out to Aileen. She had an illustrator she thought would be great, It was Cole Roberts, and that’s how I met my illustrator.
These pictures came from that same SCBWI conference in early May. I took my proof of Neil so I could get pictures with a few writing friends, BUT I couldn’t share them.
Why not? Purdue has a trademark on Neil’s name and his image. I found out in early April that I had to get permission from Purdue to use them in my book. Without that permission, I couldn’t sell my book, and I couldn’t share these pictures with you.
BUT I saved them, and now I CAN share them. The first friend is Jarm. She’s in my debut group, On the Scene in 2019. Her debut book, THE HEART CHANGER, was for sale at the conference bookstore. She didn’t have a copy so she used her tablet. I think it’s a great photo!
The second friend is Shirin. I met her last year in The Children’s Book Academy class, the 12 x 12 writing group, and my Writing Magic critique group. I hadn’t met either Jarm or Sharin in person before, but it was great to meet both of them!
Donna, Charlotte, Carolyn K, Carolyn C, Alex, Mira, Callie, Melissa, Candice, Candace, Sandra, Theresa, Nancy, Patricia, Karen, and Shirin. They are my writing community, and my book is better because they commented on what to keep, what to change, and what to delete.
It meant the world that two of my school friends made time to see me and my book. I’ve known Laura and Fran since I moved into Elida Elementary back in 1999. Fran is in the first picture. She was the school secretary, and she took great care of me and my students. Thanks, Fran!
The second is one of my 2nd grade teaching friends, Laura. I remember the 1st time I met her . . . she smacked me/my arm. I was so shocked! Normally that’s not how you make friends, but with Laura it was like becoming an honorary sister.
I owe another friend an apology. Becky came down to Wapak, and I forgot to get a picture. I’m so sorry! Becky taught me how to be a teacher back in 1983 when I was brand-new. She was one of my mentors, and I’m grateful for everything she taught me. Thanks, Becky!
Here are a few more shots from this month’s Meet the Author/book signings. Thanks to my hosts at the Wapakoneta library, Riverside Art Center, and Casa Chic. They welcomed me in and made each event special.They made sure I left with photo memories that included a smile. I am grateful to them for the opportunity to share NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM.
An Interview with Susan Edwards Richmond
Meet Susan Edwards Richmond! She was a California girl till age 4 when she moved to upstate New York. That’s where she discovered woodlands, mountains, and rivers. It awakened a lifelong love of nature. Susan grew up to become a teacher and curriculum director. Now she has the perfect job – working in a wildlife sanctuary in a nature-based preschool. For her debut picture book Susan took her love of nature and translated it into a book about her annual adventure, The Christmas Bird Count with the Audubon Society.
Now Susan and her husband live west of Boston, Massachusetts. They have 2 adult daughters. Susan is a published poet and member of an SCBWI critique group that she adores. There’s nothing like having someone you trust tell you what they love, but I think it’s more important to have someone tactfully tell you what isn’t working or doesn’t make sense.
I love Susan’s cover! I can’t wait to follow Ava when she gets to be a citizen scientist for the annual Christmas Bird Count. She has a huge job, using her eyes, ears, and binoculars to identify, count, and tally each bird she sees along the way. I can’t wait to see what Ava spots. Go, Ava, go!
Susan’s Interview Link:
An Interview with Jennifer Buchet
Meet Jennifer Buchet before she breezes by! She is one busy lady! She’s an award-winning author, major foodie, and a pre-kindergarten teacher. She also coaches softball and manages book fairs. When work is done, Jennifer hunts down the most elusive creature of all, ‘spare time.’ That’s when she can enjoy reading a good book, making a magical meal, or crushing her family at Catan. I had to Google it! If you’re curious like me, click on this link. Catan sounds like fun!
Jennifer has been writing since her days reporting for her 4th grade newspaper and her anxt-filled childhood diaries. She moved onto a career writing advertising copy and blogs, but her heart remained in children’s lit. She’s been a feature contributor to Cricket Magazine since 2011, and she’s written over 50 articles and interviews for AppleSeeds and Faces Magazines.
She’s also an active member of many writing communities including SCBWI and 12x12. I met Jennifer a year ago through Mira Reisburg’s Children’s Book Academy and then through 12x12. The writing world really is a small world after all!
This is her temporary cover until the real one’s finished. Hint- there are snakes and a Medusa from Greek Mythology in this story. I’m dying to read it!
Little Medusa comes from a long line of snake-loving, serpentine-wearing Gorgons. When she gets her first snake, she discovers having it slither and slide through her hair isn’t as great as she thought. PLUS, does she really want to turn her friends to stone using her scary new forever-friend? How will Little Medusa please her family, her best-pet snake, but most of all herself?
Read Jennifer’s interview to find out where she came up with this stone-cold idea! Link: http://onthescenein19.weebly.com/blog/an-interview-with-author-jennifer-buchett
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
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!
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
An Interview with Sarah Glenn Fortson
Meet Sarah Glenn Fortson! I think she had the best writing start ever! Her teacher, Sister Mary Angeline, pulled her aside, shook her finger in her face and said, “Sarah Glenn Fortson, if you don’t do something with your writing it will be a sin.” Wow! That is a HUGE compliment from an English teacher. Sarah took her advice and went into journalism for her undergraduate major.
Sarah went on to get 2 degrees in education, and she also went to work. She’s been a teacher, a consultant, a coordinator, an administrator, but she never lost sight of her writing or Sister Mary Angeline’s advice.
Sarah also has a life beyond education and writing. She lives in two cities, Chicago and Atlanta, so she’s always traveling, either between them or to someplace special. Her favorite thing about traveling is finding unusual stories along the way, but I don’t think Sarah ever leaves stories completely behind. Even when she’s escaping into hiking and painting, she’s still listening to stories on Audible. She’s my kind of person!
This is Sarah’s temporary cover. The real one is in the works. Sarah’s not worried because her book releases this October.
Sarah’s story is SO cute! With her ten-gallon hat and two-quart diaper, Cowgirl A.K. has no time for the potty. REALLY! She’s got horses to harness, fences to varnish, and spurs that tarnish. I can’t WAIT to see how A.K is convinced to go potty, but I’ll bet it’s a rootin’, tootin’ story!
Sarah Glenn Fortson's Interview Link:
An Interview with Kat Harrison
Meet Kat Harrison! She’s from Michigan, that state up north if you’re an OSU Buckeye like me. She’s a member of SCBWI, and loves hanging out with her two favorite guys. One’s human, and one’s a canine, and that sounds about right to me!
Kat’s favorite things are headbands, warm mugs, and Shel Silverstein’s poetry. Kat started her writing career as a magazine editor. Her work has appeared in lifestyle publications like Real Simple and New York Family, and on digital outlets like Yahoo and MSN. She frequently contributes to The Mighty, an online health community. They named her one of 2018’s top chronic illness advocates.
All of this, plus 14 surgeries, daily migraines, and a disability named oscillopsia have given Kat the most inspiring path to publication. She’s the perfect person to write about hospitals for children, and that’s the subject of her debut book.
This is Kat’s cover! Sunday is scared about her first surgery. The doctor will operate to repair a hole in her eardrum. Her stomach’s twisted like a triple-knotted shoelace. She tries to relax with the help of her parents, a stuffed octopus, and the hospital staff, but Sunday learns pre-surgery that she had the secret power to face it all along. I’m dying to read and find out what it is!
If you know someone aged 4 – 8 who’s facing their first surgery, this is the book for them and their family!
Kat’s Interview Link: http://onthescenein19.weebly.com/blog/an-interview-with-kat-harrison
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!