Mama Diaries

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Something Different

The other day, as I was roaming around the blogosphere, I landed at Susan-Swiderski's blog. She was answering a bunch of different questions that had to to with writing. I thought I'd take the time to answer them on my blog, so y'all might know a little more about me as a writer.

So here we go:

1. What are you working on right now? I'm revising book two of my Bubba and Squirt Series. (Book 1:  Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China is being published by Dancing Lemur Press and will be released September 4, 2018.) There's no guarantee that I'll get a book 2 deal. It all depends on how book 1 does. But I want to be ready, just in case. (Book 2 is Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Treasure.)

2. How is it different from others in the genre? I think the closest comparison is the Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne. That's for a slightly younger crowd. This one is a step up, and it takes place in the present - not the past as many of the Magic Tree House books do. My emphasis is on learning the language, history, and culture of the country Bubba and Squirt visits.

3. What experiences have influenced you? I've done a lot of travelling. One of the things I most enjoy is learning about the country I've visited. Writing these Bubba and Squirt books is a way to bring that experience to kids and teach them about other people and cultures.

4. Why do I write what I do? It's fun.

5. How does your writing process work? I'm a plotter. I write outlines and figure out the general path of the story. Sometimes I'll come up with subplots as I go, and then I weave them into the story. And sometimes things end up going a little differently than planned. But I still know what the problem is, and how it's going to be solved. If I don't create an outline, I get hopelessly lost and don't finish the project.

6. What is the hardest part about writing? Revising. It takes forever! I can stare at a sentence twenty minutes and rewrite it fifty times and still not be happy with it. Getting the right words with the right flow can be challenging.

7. What would you like to try as a writer that you haven't tried yet? Maybe writing horror stories. That's way outside of what I write. But I did an anthology contest that explored a darker side of writing, and I actually enjoyed it.

8. Who are the authors I admire? Rick Riordan, Kate DiCamillo, John Green

9. What scares you? As an author, I'd say putting my work out there, and having the majority of  people not like it. It hasn't happened yet, and I hope it never does. But when you put something out for the public to scrutinize, you're opening yourself up to criticism. That's scary.


Schultz says falling satellite debris  is scary. He wore this tin foil hat for protection when the Chinese satellite fell down on Sunday. Fortunately, it didn't land anywhere near us. Schultz was relieved!

If you're a writer, what's the scariest thing for you?

In case you haven't had enough interview-reading material, you can go here  and read my interview with The Children's Book Reviewer. I'm talking about my newest book, Don't Feed the Elephant. 

40 comments:

  1. And no alien could scan his brain.
    Hope the first book does well and there is a second one!

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    1. Yes. He was concerned about the aliens, too. Or rather my husband was concerned. :)

      Thanks for the well-wishes on the book!

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  2. Best answer ever "It's fun." I couldn't agree more:)

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    1. It has to be fun. Otherwise why would we go through all the work of writing and marketing our books?

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  3. Schultz wasn't informed it was supposed to land somewhere here in Europe?

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    1. The landing spot kept changing, so we weren't sure where it was going to land.

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  4. Good answers to some very good questions Sherry.
    I write about what is happening in my life however dull it may be.

    Yvonne.

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    1. I think it's great that you keep writing and producing poetry!

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  5. Hi, Sherry!

    I must be your brother from another mother, and you must be my sister from another mister, because most of my answers would match yours. I need to stay organized or I feel lost. I love to plot, plan, draft outlines and chart a course, even if it requires a change of course somewhere along the line. Like you I find revisions and rewrites the toughest part of the process.

    What amazes me about you is that you exhibit left brain behavior in your planning and organizational skills and right brain brilliance with your musical ability. No one should be as talented as you. There must be a law against it! :)

    At first I thought Schultz was wearing a dunce cap. I'm happy to know your pooch didn't get beaned by the falling satellite.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend Sherry!

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    1. Thanks, Shady! What's that saying? Great minds think alike? Must be something to it. Hope you enjoy your week, too!

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  6. Great answers to those questions! Hopefully, most writers would agree with your response, "It's fun."

    That picture of Schultz is adorable. It reminds me of our older son when Skylab was coming down in the seventies. He wore a football helmet.

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    1. That's funny! Good thing your boy and my dog didn't have to actually test the durability of their helmets!

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  7. "It's fun." LOL!!!! Best answer ever!

    So you want to try horror, eh? I love the genre. Actually, I need to get away from it. My next goal is to get a comedy complete. I have a couple in the works, but it's such a task to get anything finished, eh?

    Huge congrats on your upcoming release!

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    1. Thanks, Crystal! Comedy is different for you. I'd love to read what you come up with. And yes, when you have kids, it's tough to get anything done!

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  8. Fun it is indeed.

    Revising can sure be a pain in the arse. Hopefully the first book does grand and you get up to double digits in the series.

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    1. That would be cool. Guess we'll have to take it one step at a time and see what happens.

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  9. Good luck with what I hope will be an ongoing series for your Bubba and Squirt stories. I too love traveling and enjoy learning as much as I can about places that I visit.

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    1. I think travelling is really the best education.

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  10. Good luck with book 1. Hopefully you'll get the deal for a book 2.

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  11. Schultz, I can't believe your people put a tin foil hat on you. Franklin and Penelope said to tell you that no dog should have to tolerate such a thing.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Haha! My husband was trying to protect Schultz. He couldn't let any aliens suck up his brain waves.

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  12. Loved learning more about your writing. Wish we could change writing jobs because I love revising. The blank page--where I am now--is a scary, scary place some days.

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    1. Haha! Maybe we can do some team work. I'll deal with the blank page. You can revise it all. ;)

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  13. Oh, what a fun post! Your Bubba and Squirt series sounds great; love all the things kids can learn from it! And horror's my absolute favorite genre, so I'm beyond intrigued that you might want to explore it someday...

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    1. Must be a hidden darkness inside of me that wants to come out. :) We'll see if I ever get a horror story out there.

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  14. poor Schultz looks embarrassed. he'll never forgive you for this!!

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    1. I think he was more annoyed than anything. But he was obedient and sat for five seconds while my husband took the picture.

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  15. Your Bubba and the Squirt series sound engrossing! I need to get them in print for my nephew.

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  16. Congrats on the book deal! Hopefully it will succeed so you can get book two out there.

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    1. Keeping my fingers crossed (when I'm not writing). We'll see what happens.

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  17. Congratulations on the book deal! So exciting!

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    1. Thank you! I'm really excited about it!

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  18. Great answers!!! A horror story would be different for you! Schultz is so cute!!! Big Hugs!

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    1. Horror is definitely outside of what I normally do. It might be kind of fun to explore it.

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  19. What fun questions and answers. I agree that putting my work out there can be scary. It is wonderful hearing great things- but it can be tough to hear bad things about our writing. Putting my writing out there makes me feel exposed for sure. :) Wishing you all the best with the second book in the series.
    ~Jess

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    1. Yes. Nobody likes to read the negative things, and unfortunately for a lot of us, it's the negative things that stay with us. We can have 10 great things said, but when 1 person says one bad thing, it ruins our day and makes us question our abilities as writers. You really need tough skin in this business!

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  20. Sherry, that was a great idea . . . sharing about your writing again. My biggest fear about publishing is exactly the same as yours.
    I enjoyed learning more about the "Bubba" series too.

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    1. I think it's a fear a lot of writers have. You open yourself up for criticism when you put yourself "out there." The hope is that there are more positive things said than negative.

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