An Interview with Sarah Hoppe
Meet Sarah Hoppe! She’s from Minnesota, born and bred. Her favorite things are writing weird stories, taking photographs, hiking through the woods, crafting with lots of hot glue, and snuggling on the couch with her family. It sounds like a wonderful life!
Sarah lives in Rochester, Minnesota with her husband, two boys, and two dogs. I’m glad Sarah’s a photographer and a writer! Between her family and her walks, she has lots of material to record and to inspire her.
This is Sarah’s first cover. I love the dog AND the beach! Did you know that dog books are best sellers with Scholastic book clubs? Everybody loves dogs!
In WHO WILL? WILL YOU? Lottie is out beach-combing and finds something unbelievable, a lost puppy. She spends the day looking for a home for him.
Lottie discovers that there are different kinds of pups, and they each have different needs for their just-right homes. Read this book, and you’ll discover some fun animal facts. They make this book pup-tastic!
An Interview with ME!!!
You’ve already met me so instead I’ll introduce the biography I wrote for NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM.
Rinda never planned to write. She was a second-grade teacher who read and told stories, until the night a bat paid her a visit. It inspired her to write. She learned how to edit, thanks to SCBWI, writing classes, and critique partners. Rinda substitute teaches to stay connected to today’s kids. She uses her knowledge and imagination to write stories for them. Her website features a weekly blog and book review for kids. She expanded her career to open a company, Beach Girl Press. Visit Rinda at www.rindabeach.com
Here’s the summary from the back cover.
Most people know that Neil Alden Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon, but very few know how it all started . . . with a dream to build his own wind tunnel.
Read how Neil’s love of planes took him from the Cleveland air races at age two to the Wright Brothers’ wind tunnel at age sixteen. Discover how Neil made his wind tunnel dream come true.
Here are the quotes from the back cover:
A wonderful book for any young person interested in how to think about solving engineering problems using an example of one of America’s most famous astronauts. Additionally, Ms. Rinda Beach gives real examples for those willing to go a step further in conducting their own experiments, just like young Neil Armstrong! That is what sets this book apart, it is not just a young person’s book, but a book for young people.
-Robert G. Bryant -Ph.D Eagle Scout • NASA Senior Research Engineer The Space Foundation’s
Space Technology Hall of Fame 2016 Inductee
What a fun, interesting and informative look at how a young Neil Armstrong’s curiosity led him to outer space. An added bonus is the instructions for making your own wind tunnel!
-Patricia A. Johnson, retired educator
Look what came in the mail today!!!
My first book! I’ve been writing since 2007 so this is a dream come true! I got the paperback copy today, and the hardback is coming tomorrow. It’s even better because I was expecting both of them next week.
Now it’s back to work. On the list, I must approve the paperback and hardback copies, order the eBook, and get my ISBN numbers on Amazon, Good Reads, and Barnes and Noble. Here’s to tomorrow!
When I joined On The Scene in 19, I needed a cover for my book. Cole didn’t have one yet, so I copied this image from Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw. She used it as a place holder for her book, and then she shared it with our group. It was perfect!
Yesterday I revealed my cover, and today it’s time for Neil’s cover story!
This is the cover I didn’t pick. I loved it the minute I saw it, but a friend thought Neil looked too old for my 3rd – 5th grade audience. She suggested looking at covers online. I did, and they all looked younger than mine.
I emailed Cole, and we talked about what to do. We looked at Neil’s face, but we didn’t want to make it rounder and younger. That would mean changing half the illustrations inside the book. That was definitely a no-go!
We looked at Neil’s clothing, and I researched what boys wore in the 1940’s. I remembered Ralphie from the movie, A CHRISTMAS STORY. He wore a sweater so I immediately decided Neil could wear one too.
So how did we help Neil fit in with his audience? I looked at Cole’s illustrations inside the book. Neil and his brother Dean look like the kids at school, full of life!
Cole tried this smile on for size. Neil looks younger without changing all those illustrations. It was a win for Neil and for the book, AND everyone looks younger with a smile, especially Neil Armstrong!
These were Cole’s first and second submissions for the back cover. I changed the title from Headline Copy to Dreams Come True because it’s a better fit for Neil and his wind tunnel dream.
On the first one, there was room for a quote and my biography/picture. I cut them because they’re already inside the book. In its place I thought I had room for 3 quotes from 3 very special people.
This is Cole’s first full cover submission. The color is a little off. That’s because all files go to the printer in PDF form. I couldn’t cut and paste it into this document so I took a picture with my phone. I wish it was perfect like the PDF, but I’m glad I could share it with you.
The biggest change Cole wanted was more white space. I talked to a friend who suggested cutting one of the quotes. I hated to do it, but it was the right thing to do.
This is the second and final cover. I submitted it to the printer using two PDF’s. One for the paperback version. One for the hardback.
The only change, I have two quotes instead of three. I think it looks better with more white space, but I hated cutting my friend’s words.
The good news . . . is that I still used that quote on my application to the printer, IngramSpark. I had to fill in eight screens of questions before they could check my application.
An Interview with Jarm Del Boccio
Meet Jarm Del Boccio! Her name is pronounced Yarm, and her interview is On the Scene, on the blog button. Jarm lives in Chicago with her son, daughter, and husband. I wonder if she’s met Malayna Evans. They both live in the Windy City. If not, I think they should do lunch!
Jarm is a former teacher and librarian who’s traveled all over the world checking off destinations on her bucket list. She’s thankful for all the places she’s seen and the things she’s been able to do. I need to start a bucket list too!
This is Jarm’s cover. It’s gorgeous! She based it off her daughter’s photograph. Wouldn’t you love it if your mom did this?
The hook . . . can an Israelite captive torn away from her home, serve the man who destroyed it? That’s exactly what Miriam is asked to do. She is chosen to serve the wife of Naaman, you know the one from the Old Testament? This is like hearing the story behind the story, of how Miriam faces her captivity and her bitterness. She learns from the Heart Changer that she’s being prepared for a greater mission, one that will change Naaman’s heart and the course of history.
Confession – I’m reading THE HEART CHANGER and living Miriam’s journey with her. I’m on chapter 7, and I’m hooked! I’m also hoping it can help my own heart! I have trouble showing ‘it’ in stories. Here’s hoping THE HEART CHANGER will help my writing heart!
This is the exhibit that started it all. I volunteer at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum. I was thinking about becoming a docent. That didn’t happen, but the experience led to a book idea.
In early 2018 I remembered seeing a remnant of Neil Armstrong’s original wind tunnel. I couldn’t believe he did it for his senior physics project. He was only 16. I don’t think I could have done it at age 18. Neil must have been incredible!
On the far left is what’s left of the wind tunnel . . . the cover to the motor and a piece of track. That’s it!
To the right is his Boy Scout Scarf from middle school. Neil was in a troop in Upper Sandusky. When he moved to Wapak, his whole troop signed it. The wooden square is part of a generator Neil built when he was still in Upper. It’s a different project, but a great story. Maybe someday I’ll write it.
Here’s a close up of the scarf and the generator.
In April of 2018 I started a class with Mira Reisburg and the Children’s Book Academy. In the first webinar Mira asked for two opposite ideas. She said they could lead to a story. I didn’t know it then, but she was right!
I told Mira the first thing that came into my head . . . Neil Armstrong built a wind tunnel in his basement, and his mom didn’t know the details until she came down and saw it in action. Mira liked the idea, and it wouldn’t leave me alone. It grew, and it grew until I knew I had to write the story of Neil Armstrong’s wind tunnel.
In May I started to research my idea with one of the museum volunteers. He asked me about this book. I thought my idea had been taken, and that I needed to let it go.
I talked to a friend who said, maybe, just maybe, my idea was different from this one. I bought the book and discovered it was a biography of Neil Armstrong. My idea was about the wind tunnel only! What a relief!
I went to work researching Neil and his wind tunnel. I checked out books from the library. I googled websites, and I read an interview Neil did for NASA.
I discovered Neil was inspired by the Wright Brothers. Their wind tunnel is to the left, but I never found a picture of Neil’s.
Here are the only three facts I could find: 1. Neil used stovepipe, a motor, a rheostat, and a propeller. He got the stovepipe at the junkyard. 2. Neil blew lots of fuses by adding in the rheostat. 3. When Neil showed his Mom the wind tunnel, he sent her robe flying and broke a basement window.
Photo Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_brothers#/media/File:WB_Wind_Tunnel.jpg
I used those 3 facts to start writing Neil’s story at the beginning of June. I also spent the summer looking for an illustrator and for a way to publish this story. It was a busy summer!
An Interview with Lisa Kalma
Meet Lisa Kalma! Her interview is On the Scene, on the blog button. It’s where you can read about her life down under!
Lisa is Australian, but she’s a lot like me. She’s an author and a primary teacher, but she’s taught preschool to class 6 (6th grade). She loves building kids’ literacy skills with great books. She also reads aloud with lots of personality. Me too!
Lisa lives with her husband, son, and elderly cat in Canberra, Australia. She’s very creative. She’s been writing and drawing stories and poems as long as she can remember. If you see Lisa on holiday, or at the beach, or even the dining room table, you’ll see her and her sketchbook. When she’s not writing or drawing, she’s in her craft room with either polymer clay or a good book. Life down under sounds wonder-ful!
This is Lisa’s cover holder. It looks good, but I bet the real one will look even better! The story sounds good too . . . Something strange is happening at the llama farm. They’re talking, but anything can happen in a story! Lisa wrote about a quirky bunch of llamas who just want to be heard. With its rhyme and repetition, it’s a perfect beginning reader. If you love Dr. Seuss, Mo Willems, or Aaron Blabey, you will love My Llama Drama too! It will be out late April/early May.
March 3-9 Return Borrowed Books Week
Do you have a book that belongs to someone else? This is the week to return it. You have till Saturday. Sorry, the library isn’t fine free, but you’ll feel better because you did the right thing, whether you’re returning it to a friend, the library, or your teacher.
In 2015 one of my former students found a few of my books. She returned them, and I was so happy to get them back. She got a Hershey kiss for each book she returned. It was a sweet deal for both of us.
March 3-9 Read an E-book Week
This is also read an E-book week. You have till Saturday to read one, or a bunch. I love E-books. They’re great for chapter book reading. The best part . . . books that go out of print are reborn. It’s a great thing! I hope you check out a few. And . . . Happy Reading!
An Interview with June McCrary Jacobs
Meet June McCrary Jacobs! Her interview is On the Scene, on the blog button. Read it and discover what she’s already accomplished. She’s amazing!
Here’s a short list of her jobs . . . Babysitter, house cleaner, movie theater usher, pizza maker, insurance secretary, legal secretary, executive secretary, marketing secretary, research and development secretary, library assistant, sewing/quilt designer, columnist, and technical editor, but she always wanted to be a teacher. She did that too, for 21 years. WOW!
June is also published! She won a contest for a holiday story in 2013. She published her first full-length novel in 2015. Her sewing designs are in books and magazines. She has a short story releasing early this year, and now she’s debuting a middle grade novel this spring. Is there anything June can’t do?
RES-Q Tyler Stop is her debut middle grade book. Tyler Stop isn’t a person. It’s a small town in Sonoma County, California, and the year is 1968. Weston Gregg is eleven, and he’s facing some pretty big challenges. There’s racial prejudice going on in town. Weston must face up to an injury he caused, and every day there’s the bully at school. I hope Weston can solve his problems, but if anyone can help him and the town of Tyler Stop, it’s June McCrary Jacobs.
An Interview with Pippa Chorley
Meet Pippa Chorley! Her interview is now On the Scene, on the blog button. Pippa answered 6 questions about her writing life. She started young, as a child.
I think the most interesting thing about Pippa is that she hails from Cheshire, England. Now she lives in Singapore with her husband, 3 young children, and her dog Jasper. He’s her writing buddy. Pippa finds her best ideas when she’s taking Jasper for a walk. Her debut book comes out April 5th. I wonder who found the sheep first, Jasper or Pippa.
This is Pippa’s debut book! I love the cover! Poor Sam, she can’t go to sleep. Her mum suggests counting sheep. Sam tries but gets stuck when Little Shep can’t jump over the fence. Join Sam and her flock in this frolicking rhyming farmyard adventure.
Fun Fact: I met Pippa when I met Susan Jacobs Lipshaw. We were all on Kid Lit 411. I’ve only been outside the US twice, and now I have a writing friend from Singapore. I love her ‘mum’ instead of my ‘mom.’ I’m fascinated with the small things that make us a little different and a lot special.
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!