Ellwyn’s Blog

Interview With Author Matt Brunnabend


Matt Brunnabend is a man who writes his dreams into reality. He works a regular 9 to 5 job but longs for the day when he can write full time. He and his Cockatoo live in a house that Matt is painstakingly remodeling into the ideal home.

Matt loves science fiction, Stephen King novels, spending time with family and friends, and honing his craft.

Now that I’ve introduced you to Matt let’s get to know him a little better.

Hello, Matt, and welcome. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.

What inspired you to be a writer?

In my last job, I did a fair bit of flying. When I would fly, I would take a Stephen King book with me. I loved to read his compilations of short stories.

One day, sitting on the tarmac in a plane while a storm passed by, I finished reading one of his stories and thought to myself, “Hey, I think I can do this.”

Now, the definition of a professional, is someone who makes it look easy. But that’s what inspired me to try and I must say, I love the art of writing.   It’s fun to play God, therapeutic to touch on subjects and topics that trouble me, and in the process entertain and excite others.

Is writing your full-time profession?

Not yet. But I fantasize about bouncing out of bed at 6 a.m. and hopping on the computer so I can write. I have no shortage of ideas for novels just the painful reality that I never have enough time to dedicate to my art.

Have you won any awards?

No, and here’s why. Fear. I have written five novels, but published one. After I wrote my very first novel I thought, “If I only have one chance of making it as a writer, I want that first novel to be a huge hit”.

My first novel, Life’s Dream is a fun story but I wasn’t feeling that it would that big hit. That’s when I came upon the idea of The Amant Chronicles.   It’s a four part sci-fi adventure series with romance and mystery. It’s my baby.

So I focused on writing that first volume, but after I wrote it, I was nervous about getting it published. It’s all me in those pages and I wasn’t ready to stand tall against any potential criticism.

It took me finishing five novels ( Life’s Dream, Amant Chronicles Volumes 1-3, and Bright Future ) to find the courage to push ahead and publish that first novel. So there hasn’t been enough time yet to garner any praise or awards, but there’s always tomorrow.

How long have you been writing?

It’s been about five years now. I know I can write more novels, but like any art form, they take time and that’s the most precious of commodities.

Balancing a regular 9 to 5 job, spending time with friends, remodeling my house by myself, working out in the gym, and spending time with my very needy Cockatoo, leaves only a scant bit of time to write…

How many books have you written?

Five so far, ( Bright Future, Life’s Dream, The Amant Chronicles Volumes 1, 2, and 3.) Trying to finish the final volume of the Amant Chronicles.

Which genre do you write for?

Yes. Ha!   Well, my love is for Science Fiction, but I don’t hold strictly to it. I love Sci Fi, because I’m a Star Trek, Star Wars, and many others fan..

I enjoy astronomy and the thought that there is so much more out there. It fires the creativity in me and it also works well with my lazy side that doesn’t enjoy research.

Fiction allows me to just ‘create’ what I need. I also enjoy an adventure with some romance sprinkled in. What’s life without some romance?

What do you find most challenging writing for this genre?

Oddly enough, I don’t really have much of a challenge.   Instead of writer’s block, I have the opposite.

I have two other novels in my head right now that I’d love to be writing. And I know that once I start one of those two, another idea will sprout and grow, tormenting me while I write. That’s actually what happened while I was writing my first novel, Life’s Dream.

Just three chapters in, I had the idea for The Amant Chronicles and I would have spurts of ideas on scenes, dialog, and growing plot line every day. It got to the point where it was nagging me to drop everything and write it.

I’m one chapter shy of finishing Life’s Dream because I had to get the first volume of The Amant Chronicles down on paper.

What are you working on now?

I am currently 8 chapters into the fourth and final volume of The Amant Chronicles.

I put out a poll on the internet, asking reader’s that if they were looking at a four part series, would they buy the first volume and wait for the next three or wait until all four volumes were out so they could buy and binge read. Binge reading won by a landslide. So I’m busy trying to finish the fourth volume.

Release of Volume 2 should be by the end of November with publication of the 3rd volume soon after.

What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?

Speaking to a fan who read and loved my novel. She got everything I wrote, from the subtle humor to the romantic aspects and the building mystery. It was so enjoyable seeing my work appreciated so much.

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

One, ask as many questions as you can. In publishing my first novel, it was an extremely costly and aggravating experience.

The vanity publisher I used made mistakes at every single point along the way. Even when it was all done and I received my first copy of my novel, it was actually someone else’s novel with my cover on it. I was floored.

I wish I had asked other authors more questions.   It was only through book events, where I had plenty of time to converse with fellow authors that I learned about the process of self-publishing, which is both a huge money saver and allows complete control of your novel.

Second, don’t listen to anyone but you when it comes to your writing. Write what you want, what makes you feel good, what gives you therapy. No matter the topic, fans will find you and success will follow.

Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?

Hmm, not really. If there’s anything they’re curious about, I’d say just ask. One of my favorite comedians goes by the nickname, Fluffy. I’m sure you know his name.

He gave a closing statement to the crowd at one of his concerts.

He said, “You folks make me. You enjoy my craft and pay me for the privilege of doing comedy. So don’t feel shy about asking for an autograph, or just saying hi.”

Granted, I don’t have that fame or success, but I’m always open to talk with anyone who has questions about me or my work.

What message are you sharing in your books?

One aspect I love about every volume of The Amant Chronicles, is that each volume is two stories. Of course, one is about the continuing adventure and mystery of Amant’s life.

But the reader is treated to a second storyline about another person in Amant’s lineage. So I can and do, have two themes in each novel. I speak out against racism, I reinforce the importance of duty and honor. I also champion the challenge of the fights in life.

What are your favorite books?

I never used to think about that. But when I reflect on the books I’ve read, I can say that I truly enjoyed Fahrenheit 451, The Stand, and several of Stephen King’s short stories.

What are your favorite movies, TV shows?

My top 3 all time movies: Field of Dreams, Shawshank Redemption, The Unforgiven.

TV shows.. hmm… I guess the newest Star Trek, Rick and Morty, and The Venture Brothers.

When you aren’t writing where can we find you?

Some place in my house, remodeling. I’m hoping to have the house done in the next year. I am a firm believer in making a house a home.

So I take a few years to redo every room and add my touch in one way or another.. My current house, well, it’s been a huge project, including removing load-bearing walls and remodeling the entire kitchen.

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?

Absolutely. www.mjbrun.com
MJ Brunnabend on Facebook and Instagram.
I will be putting more time and effort into my website, and upcoming novel releases so please stop by.

Where can we find your books?

You can find them on Amanzon, Barnes and Noble and other booksellers.
But I highly suggest buying your soft-copy from my website, www.mjbrun.com, since you’ll save $5.00 off the price, get a free short story, and have it personalized for you and the author’s signature.

Thank you, Matt, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success in the future and lots of luck!

Interview With Author Thomas Minder

Thomas Minder is a genuine guy. He’s witty, smart, and insightful. If you ask for his opinion he’ll tell you the truth in a way that is helpful not hurtful. He enjoys a good joke, a good cup of coffee, and good Russian novel.

Currently, he lives with his wife, Paula, in New Jersey.

Now that I’ve introduced you to Tom let’s get to know him a little better.

Hello, Tom, and welcome. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.

What inspired you to be a writer?

The works of Graham Greene, and Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment impressed me. I liked the approach and message of both writers and decided I wanted to develop a story along those lines.

This idea rattled in my brain for at least twenty years. I’d muse on it while mowing the lawn, taking long walks, and in down time. After a year of claiming to family and friends, I would retire and finally write my novel, I gave it a go.

I outlined The Long Harbor Testament in the fall of 2011.

Is writing your full-time profession?

Yes. Now that I’m retired I spend 20-25 hours a week on writing or related activities such as promotion, book signings, etc.

Have you won any awards?

The South Jersey Writers’ Group awarded me Writer of The Year in 2017.

This meetup group is an assembly of writers in various stages of their journey. There’s a lot of collaboration and mentoring among the members, and it was an honor to receive the award.

Congratulations!

How long have you been writing?

I started my first novel in the fall of 2011.

 

How many books have you written?

I just finished my third novel, The House Always Wins, which is the sequel to The Long Harbor Testament.

In between these two books, I wrote a series of short stories published in online journals. I put the best of these into my anthology called Chronicles of Sam.

Which genres do you write?

Mystery, humor, suspense. Is fast food a genre?

What are you working on now?

I’m in the early stages of planning the third novel in the Long Harbor trilogy. I know who I want to have as the protagonists, just not sure about the plot points yet.

What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?

Conducting book signing at various Barnes and Nobles in the tristate area. I’m normally low key, but enjoy engaging with booksellers and customers about my books.

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

Follow your idea throughout the process and don’t be swayed by the preferences of others. Only you can tell the story that interests you enough to bring it to life.

Photo courtesy of: Thomas MInder

Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?

I live in South Jersey and am influenced by the characters and situations I encounter, whether at a diner, casino, deep in the Pines, or pouring dark-roasted Columbian at the local Wawa.

What message are you sharing in your books?

That people face personal and moral challenges which influence their actions. There are a lot of grey areas, which make it difficult sometimes to tell the good guys from the bad.

What are your favorite books?

Anything by Terry Pratchett, Graham Greene, Tim Dorsey, or Douglas Adams. Throw in Crime and Punishment and the other novels of the Russian greats, and you have stories that draw you in by the characters as well as the plots.

What are your favorite movies, TV shows?

For movies: Casablanca, The Third Man, Young Frankenstein, and Halloween. Different conflicts, but still delving into personal motivation.


For TV: I love It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. If I was just a foot shorter, I could be the next Danny DeVito.


I also like British comedy and mysteries. Basil Fawlty is a personal hero. Vera, a PBS show about a British investigator who has a unique way of delving into crime, satisfies my need for intricate plot.

When you aren’t writing where can we find you?

Visiting my daughter and family, including our granddaughter Lydia. Also spending too much time at the casinos, convinced that I’m one spin away from untold riches.

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?

My Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads are below:

https://www.facebook.com/tom.minder.author/

https://twitter.com/tom_minder

https://tomminder.weebly.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16026652.Tom_Minder

Where can we find your books?

My books are on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Black Rose Writing

https://www.amazon.com/Tom-Minder/e/B01MZ6T4FN

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-long-harbor-testament-tom-minder/1125252875?ean=9781612968001

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-house-always-wins-tom-minder/1128945696?ean=9781684331222

http://www.blackrosewriting.com/mysterydetective/thehousealwayswins

http://www.blackrosewriting.com/suspensethriller/thelongharbortestament

Thank you, Tom, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success in the future and lots of luck!

Photo courtesy of: Thomas Minder

Interview With Author Anne Miranda

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing multi-award winning author and illustrator, Anne Miranda.

I was particularly delighted when Anne agreed to do an interview with me. Many of her picture books lined the library shelves in my classroom and were a treat to read to my students.

Born in the United States, Anne has spent the last twenty-four years living in Spain and raising her children. She has two grown sons; the youngest one is an illustrator with whom she collaborates. 

An all around creative spirit, Anne has quite an impressive literary resume that includes: Night Songs, To Market, To Market, Beep! Beep!, Glad Monster, Sad Monster! and Who Said Boo? 

Anne’s books have also been recognized for outstanding writing and illustrating, earning her many awards such as, the 1999 Parents’ Choice Gold Award and an Abby Honor.

Now that you’ve been introduced to Anne, let’s get to know more about this enterprising woman.

Hello, Anne and welcome to Angel Kiss Publications. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.

What inspired you to be a writer?

I was raised by my mother and grandmother. When I was little, my grandmother worked at Korner & Wood, an elegant turn-of-the-last century bookstore, in Cleveland, Ohio.  

My mother was a first grade teacher and then went into publishing when I was a teen.  Our house was chock full of books.

I particularly loved picture books and clever rhyming books and songs. I still do.  I basically write books that are a combination of these two genres. 

Is writing your full-time profession?

Yes and no. I work part time, but writing is my only source of income. 

How long have you been writing?

Off and on, since I was in university.

Which genres do you write?

Picture books and educational materials.

Photo courtesy of: Anne Miranda

What do you find most challenging about writing for your genre?

Coming up with an idea.  I detest staring at a blank page.  I prefer having an assignment from a publisher.  With a framework, writing is more like doing a puzzle.  It’s much easier to problem-solve than to invent from scratch.

How many books have you written?

17 trade books. Many little books, stories and other materials for educational publishers.  I have no number to report.

What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?

Once in a blue moon, I hear from a reader.  That’s great.

Photo courtesy of: Anne Miranda

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

Be born into a publishing family, if at all possible. I was lucky. I was drawn into the publishing world by my mother, who was first an editor at J.B Lippencott, then at Scholastic, and finally managing editor and VP at Kirchoff/Wohlberg.

I worked with and for her until she retired at the tender age of 80.  I am still represented by Ron Zollshan at Kirchoff/Wohlberg.

The only other advice I might have is to forge ahead.  These days, it’s possible to self-publish and a beginning writer can get his or her work into the marketplace without having to pass a publisher’s ridged standards. 

If a writer plans to go the traditional trade book route, get a very good rep.  It’s next to impossible these days to get a manuscript read by a major publisher without one.   

Can you tell us a little about Crazy Cow Designs?

I design T-shirts and other print-on-demand items Zazzle as the Crazy Cow. It helps to keep my mind and my hands busy and hones my Photoshop skills. 

Many of the items have illustrations I did for Night Songs and Does a Mouse Have a House?

What inspired you to start The Niceness Network?

I’m from the mid-west and from an era where folks were just plain nice to each other all the time. I think it’s a good habit to choose and to foment.

I started the Niceness Network as a way to celebrate the positive things that are happening in the world, and the good that people do for one another. 

Photo courtesy of: Anne Miranda

Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?

I’m the mother of two fantastic guys, who are now all grown up. They both played basketball and I spent most of the last twenty years taking them to practice and going to games.

I started a barbershop group in Madrid called, The Barbees, many years ago with some friends. The group has grown and has won three gold medals in Spain.

In addition to writing, I also paint, illustrate, do assorted crafts, garden, cook, and I love to dance. I’m very earthy-crunchy.

Can you tell us about any new releases coming out?

My newest book is Tangled, illustrated by Eric Comstock, published by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books. It’s on their Spring 2019 list.

What are you working on now?

My younger son is an illustrator and a great source of ideas for projects.  We are collaborating on a YA fantasy novel of his imagination, and a picture book I wrote that he is illustrating.   

How has living in Spain influenced your writing?

That’s hard to answer.  Living here has taken me far away from my audience and from the writing and publishing community. I work in a vacuum.   

What are your favorite books, movies, TV shows?

My favorite book is Wind in the Willows. I am a massive Harry Potter addict. I’m a fan of fantasy, and sci-fi movies and TV shows: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and so on.

As a mother of sons, I saw all of the super hero movies, a fair amount of Anime, all of the Disney and Pixar movies, and every action movie ever filmed. We consume a huge amount of media at my house.

Where can we learn more about you?

My website is www.annemiranda.com

Instagram is https://www.instagram.com/annemirandabooks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnneMirandaBooks

I have an author’s page on Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Anne-Miranda/e/B000APVXIS/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1537269882&sr=8-2-ent

Thank you, Anne, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you lots of luck in the future and continued success!

Photo courtesy of: Anne Miranda



Interview With Author Lynn Lamb

Lynn Lamb and I took some time this week to discuss her many creative endeavors. She has a degree in film and is the author of ten books that have earned their rightful place on readers’ bookshelves.

Not only is she a chart-topping author, she is also an independent filmmaker, a graphic designer, and a scriptwriter. Her hometown of Monterey, California, has been a great source of inspiration for the characters in her books.

One of her greatest aspirations is to produce the great American documentary.  

Now that I’ve introduced you to Lynn let’s get to know her a little better.

What inspired you to be a writer?

I’ve always been a writer. Even before I could read and write. I have a degree in Film, so telling stories is ingrained in me.

Is writing your full-time profession?

That’s the goal, but I also do graphic design. My business is Book Banners Etc. and you can visit my website here: www.bookbannersetc.com

Photo courtesy of: Lynn Lamb

Have you won any awards?

I’m not really big on entering contests, but I have won awards in the past. Mechaniclism received three 5-Star Book Reviews, and Claudette Melanson’s Book The 12 Terrors of Christmas, featuring my story Bring Me Flesh and Bring Me Wine, has one three awards: Read Free.ly’s 50 Best Indie Books of 2017 (#10), finalist in the Indie Book Awards, and finalist in the Top Shelf Awards.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing novels since 2014, but as far as creating stories, I’ve been a writer all my life.

Which genres do you write?

I’m a genre hopper. I write horror, metaphysical fiction, dystopian, science fiction, dark fantasy, paranormal, and apocalypse.

Photo courtesy of: Lynn Lamb

How many books have you written?

Lullaby of the Dead, Volume One of the Opus of the Dead Series

Dissonance of the Dead, Volume Two of the Opus of the Dead Series

Monte Vista Village, The Survivor Diaries- Book I (Perma-free)

The Beginning at the End of the World, The Survivor Diaries- Book II

Moving Mountains, Survivor Diaries, Book III

Frozen Webs, The Survivor Diaries- Book IV

Wanderers on the Winds, The Survivor Diaries- Book V

The Oxymoron of Still Life (short stories)

Mechaniclism: Apocalyptic~Horror (novella)

Featured in The 12 Terrors of Christmas, by Claudette Melanson

Photo courtesy of: Lynn Lamb

Your work seems to focus on a post-apocolyptic future and to draw inspiration from the darkest elements of humanity. Can you tell us a little about why you write in this style?

My Survivor Diaries Series is post-apocalyptic fiction. I have had a life-long fear and fascination with a nuclear apocalypse.

While I was growing up, there was no such thing as watching television around the dinner table. We spoke of world news and events, and I was introduced to the subjects of nuclear holocaust and the Cold War at a young age.

Looking back, perhaps I was a bit too young. I remember staying up at nights worrying about something happening to my family. After reading Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, by Eleanor Coerr, my fears only worsened.

Writing about nuclear war and survival is a way to help tame those worries and allowed me to play out a scenario where my family and I not only survive but become experts in forging the land independent of society as we know it today.

The main character, Laura Patton, becomes a leader of a group determined to make a new life for themselves, and in that way I am able to feel some control over the prospects of nuclear annihilation.

What are the challenges of writing in this genre?

Sometimes it feels too real.

What message are you sharing in your books?

At the end of the book, I tell my readers the same thing each time: As always, my final note: remember that our earth is our only home, so please live every day dedicated to protecting it and all of our neighbors, both near and far, who dwell here.

Photo courtesy of: Lynn Lamb

What are you working on now?

I just finished writing Dissonance of the Dead, Volume Two of the Opus of the Dead Series. So, next up is editing.

Do you have a new release coming out?

Please see above

What advice would you give to new writers?

Write, write, write, and don’t be pressured to release before you are ready.

Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know? (appearances, signings, giveaways)

Not too much at the moment.

Where can we learn more about you?

Author’s Website: www.lynnlamb.com

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/lynnlamb 

Facebook Page:  www.facebook.com/thesurvivordiariestalkpage

BookBub: www.bookbub.com/authors/lynn-lamb

Twitter:   @DiariesSurvivor  or https://twitter.com/DiariesSurvivor

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/SurvivorDiaries

Instagram: www.instagram.com/lynn_lamb_author

YouTube Subcriptions: www.youtube.com/channel/UC-GUuu0lz1zrk8yGQ5QpbXA

Google+: www.plus.google.com/u/0/+LynnLambAuthor  

Blog: www.lynnlamb.com/blog 

Where can we buy your books?           

          www.amazon.com/author/lynnlamb 

Thank you, Lynn, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success and lots of luck!

Photo courtesy of: Lynn Lamb

Interview With Author/Illustrator Robert Peacock

I had the good fortune to interview Rob Peacock this week to discuss his very busy lifestyle. Mr. Peacock resides on the “other side of the pond” on everyone’s favorite Emerald Isle.

Being an American, I thoroughly enjoyed the description of the landscapes he views everyday: landscapes that have filled up my imagination and sometimes the pages of my stories since I was a child.

When he isn’t busy writing and illustrating books about his favorite canine companion, Cara, Rob spends his time rescuing abused animals, gardening, and as you’ll soon find out a host of many other eco-friendly ventures, to which I applaud and say, “Well done!”

Now that you’ve been introduced to Rob, let’s get to know a little more about this environmentally conscious man.

What inspired you to become a writer?

I spent my childhood immersed in books, since my mother was a librarian and my grandfather was a keen amateur writer.

I adored the stories and poetry I read, particularly favouring the likes of Hilda Boswell compendiums, Eric and Lucy Kincaid, the Steve Jackson ‘Fighting Fantasy’ gaming books, and of course the wealth of traditional fairy tales available.

My mother was a great one for sourcing wonderfully illustrated copies of books, and I enjoyed being transported into alternative worlds through the power of words and illustrations on a daily and nightly basis.

Writing and illustrating really began for me as a means to express my own imagination and preserve my thoughts onto paper. 

And then along came Cara, my black Border Collie/Labrador cross. With her mischievous puppy antics and adorable personality, I saw in her the perfect muse.

From the  first few months when my hens adopted her as one of their own, through our travels around Ireland, to her current role as a Therapy Dog, she never ceases to provide inspiration for my work!

Photo courtesy of: Rob Peacock

Is writing your full-time profession?

Writing is certainly a big part of my life, but not my full-time profession, as I’ve so many irons in other fires.

Life in rural Ireland simply offers too many opportunities to do other things, and I spend my working time between writing, illustrating, rescue and rehabilitation of  seriously neglected and abused animals, ethical dairy farming and milking, cattle-birthing,  Therapy Dog training, landscape gardening and land management.

I’m also a world music percussionist for dancers and run drum circles  and primitive music workshops. And of course, the occasional proof-reading and editing for other authors.  I also grow giant vegetables for displays and seasonal  festivals. Pumpkins are my speciality!

Photo courtesy of: Robert Peacock

How long have you been writing?

Essentially I have been writing most of my life, noting down interesting daily occurrences, or composing poetry and jotting down excerpts from my thoughts, as well as short stories.  It is only in the last two years that I have been writing to earn a crust, however.

Which genres do you write?

I write and illustrate  children’s books, with Cara, my Labrador/Border Collie cross, as my main character.

I also write poetry, each with an open theme, depending on the moment of inspiration.  Usually surrounding my own life experiences. I entered a good few writing contests with those.

What do you find most challenging about writing for your genre?

I find being a writer for children fairly straight forward, in that I am fortunate enough to have Cara as my main inspiration. She in herself appeals to kids and readers of all ages!

I am also from  rural Ireland, and the locality lends itself to the theme, in that it is steeped in Irish folklore. I live on the ancient bogland  between Cill na Sí (Church of the fairies) and Cor na Dabhcha (Round Hill of the Cauldron) where legend has it lies a crock of gold.

Fairy forts are abundant here, and rainbow’s ends are a common sight! I also have a background in Special Needs education, therefore having an understanding of the spectrum literacy needs is very useful.

The real challenge I find is the marketing aspect, and one has to adopt a customer mindset for that. It’s really about building a following amongst a plethora of other children’s authors, building a trust in your work and reputation for a great story and an aesthetically pleasing product.

Photo courtesy of: Robert Peacock

How many books have you written?

I have self-published two books, Cara and the Mystery of the Missing Ball, and Cara and the Cauldron of the Round Hill.

Though I have written many more on a variety of themes, which are currently scribbled into jotter pads for future formatting and illustrating.

Not to mention a good few stories which are still at the development stage, composed on scattered pieces of paper, and stored in the corners of my imagination!

What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?

One of my beta readers is a former student whose parents I keptin  contact with. He is now in his twenties and has Asperger’s Syndrome.

He has given me great feedback on my unedited manuscripts and illustrations, and I present my books in a story-board format which facilitates a comfortably structured read for those on the autistic spectrum.

Not that my books aren’t for all children. I just have faith that my design and writing style accommodates all readers, whatever their level of ability.

I am also proud to be supporting the Summer Stars reading initiative here in Ireland, which encourages children to read as many books as they are able over the summer holidays. This culminates in an award ceremony, where local dignitaries and fellow creatives present young readers with prizes and certificates of achievement.

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?     

I’d say focus on the pleasure of developing your stories and putting them onto paper when you start out. Try not to think of it as a potential business at that stage, as it can take the joy out of it. Writing doesn’t make many of us millionaires, and certainly not over night!

Can you tell us a little about Kids Active Media?

Kids Active Media is an online self-publishing service, essentially based on a directory of authors, illustrators, proof readers, and editors. You can join at varying levels of membership. I opted for the free profile, which includes a header, short bio, profile photo, links to my books, and a contact form.

Photo courtesy of: Robert Peacock

What inspired you to support The Woodland Trust?

Kids Active Media subscriptions include small donations  to the Woodland Trust, which is a UK based conservation charity with a mission to replenish diminishing wildlife habitats with native species of trees.

I myself am very interested in the preservation of nature, and as a wildlife rehabilitator, I am very concerned at the number of dwindling species, and the destruction of their habitats. The Woodland Trust does a great job in trying to prevent this.

Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?

Yes, I am currently promoting the official launch of Cara and the Cauldron of the Round Hill, which will be held at Lanesboro library, Co. Longford, Ireland. I will be reading and signing copies of the book.

The launch is part of Ireland’s Children’s Book month. I will also be displaying one of my home-grown giant pumpkins in the run up to Halloween, featuring seasonally themed children’s  books. I am having a guess the weight competition, and will be awarding prizes to the winners (with the closest guesses) on the night of my launch.

Photo courtesy of: Robert Peacock

Can you tell us about any new releases coming out?

Cara and the Cauldron of the Round Hill is my latest publication, but I am working on new material to be released next year!

Photo courtesy of: Robert Peacock

What are you working on now?

I am working on my third and fourth ‘Cara’ books, which are centred around the themes of Samhajn and Christmas.

I am keen to incorporate more Irish folklore into my work, and am busily developing the stories and working on the eighty illustrations that will accompany each book.

What are your favorite books, movies, TV shows?

I am still a big fan of Hilda Boswell and Eric and Lucy Kincaid. These hark back to my own childhood and were incredibly influential in my creative development.

I’m not a great watcher of movies.. fast cars, guns and karate do nothing for me. I do enjoy history however, and Black 47, the recent movie about the Irish Genocide, looks quite good.

 Not sure how accurate the historical detail will be, but no matter.

TV shows, I enjoy the likes of Father Ted, Black Books, and many of the American comedy series too.

Where can we learn more about you?

I also welcome interest in the things I am doing and enjoy networking. Please feel free to contact me via https://www.kidsactivemedia.com/robertpeacock-author (where you can also find links to purchase my books!) or email me at carathedog@outlook.ie

Thank you, Robert, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success and lots of Irish luck!

Photo courtesy of: Robert Peacock