Interview With Author Lori Rotter and New Release

By way of introduction, here is Lori Rotter’s bio:

Lori is an award-winning toy designer and debut picture book author. Her large extended family keeps her laughing and inspires her story and toy ideas.

Like in her toys, Lori enjoys sparking the imagination and adding small details for kids to discover. Lori lives in Bedford, New York with her husband Steve, lots of fish, and two silly French bulldogs.

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

Thank you for having me.

When did the writing bug ensnare you?

I’ve always wanted to write children’s stories. Even as a young kid, I was making up stories.

Ideas are constantly swirling in my head, but a busy job always made it challenging to sit down and write. During Covid, I found the time and energy to start putting these thoughts on paper.

Is writing your full-time profession?

No, it is not. I am a design professional and work in the toy industry. I design and develop toys (mostly in the preschool and girls toys areas).

The toys in the photograph below were designed and developed with one of my toy company clients, Sunny Days Entertainment.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing toy copy for several years as part of my job. I started writing children’s stories about 3 years ago.

How many published books have you written?

Best Dinosaur Ever is my debut children’s book.

Which genre do you write?

Children’s stories / Picture books

What do you find most challenging writing for these genre?

As a new writer, there are lots of creative challenges! The word count for a children’s book makes it challenging to tell a concise story that has a conflict and resolution in a relatively short number of words.

I also love rhyming stories since kids mimic and repeat key phrases. Writing in prose is hard enough, but telling a successful story in rhyme, in the correct meter, and within the appropriate word count can range from frustration to sheer joy when it all comes together. 

What are you working on now?

A story about a little frog who is overly self-conscious about the ‘unfrog-like’ sounds he makes.

Where do you find inspiration for your characters?

Kids in my family. I also love to humanize animals and use them as characters in stories.

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

I was brave to leave my comfort zone and explore creative writing while finding the resources to support my efforts to publish a book. Hearing how the final story resonates with kids and adults is wonderful.

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

Never give up and have faith. Keep writing, rewriting, and rewriting.

Find mentors who are authors, editors, and illustrators who can help guide you in your writing journey. It has been surprising (and rewarding) to meet people who continue to help and advise me in this adventure.

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

I’m an identical twin with a younger sister and brother (born five years later on our birthday!)

I am also blessed to have stepchildren who have children, making me a grandma of 7 grandkids (they call me Lola, and there is lots of inspiration for storytelling!).

I love to sing (mostly in the car) and to bake (much to the chagrin of my husband Steve and his healthy diet!)

What message are you sharing in your books?

Belief in yourself and positivity.

What are your favorite children’s/young adult books?

Chronicles of Narnia (especially The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), Harry Potter, and Jan Brett books for her storytelling and beautiful illustrations.

If you could create an author’s group with writers from any time period, who would you invite?

I’ve always loved art history, particularly the artists from the Renaissance period. It would be amazing to talk with author friends of Leonardo Da Vinci’s or Michelangelo’s!

Who has influenced your writing the most?

I like the work of Sheree Fitch, Julia Donaldson, Anna Dewdney.

When you’re not writing where can we find you?

With my extended family or catching up with friends.  I love to be outdoors with our two French bulldogs or baking in the kitchen.

A movie producer wants to turn your book into a movie, and you get to make a cameo. What would you do in the movie?

I would like to be helping Milo with his top secret dinosaur costume.

An elf named 12-25 approaches you. He’s sneezing, wheezing, coughing and there’s a strange tattoo of a snoring dog on his cheek. What do you do?

First, offer him tissues or maybe a hot chocolate. Ask him if I can give him a more elf-like nickname like “Twinkle,” “Jolly,” or “Wink” (vs. 12-25, which is “Christmas”).

As for his cheek tattoo, I would assume he must have a favorite French bulldog companion who snores a lot (which I’m familiar with because of my French bulldogs).

What are your most effective marketing strategies?

I’m still learning as a new author. It’s the next endeavor!

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc.?

I have a website that is coming soon: (it highlights my book as well as some of my toy projects).

Where can we find your books?

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, Ingram Spark

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

Available on Amazon

Nothing is impossible with a goal and lots of practice!

Meet Milo, a little boy with a big imagination and a bigger love of dinosaurs. While flipping through his books one night, Milo asks Dad, ‘If I were a dino, what kind would I be?’

Dad explains that little boys can’t be dinosaurs, but Milo is unconvinced. If he physically can’t measure up to a ‘real’ dinosaur, then maybe Milo would be his own kind of dinosaur.

Milo pointed to dinos with very large claws,
With razor-sharp teeth inside mighty big jaws.
He wiggled his tooth and looked down at his nose,
“My teeth are not sharp … and for claws, I have toes.”

This funny, read-aloud book will have kids practicing with Milo on his quest to find his best dino-self. With humor and determination, Milo will prove his family wrong and discover that the best dinosaur will never be extinct!

Magic Beans Book Store Owner Leat Regwan

Magic Beans Book Store is the 3rd stop on my Independent Book Store tour. In an effort to bring awareness of how vital these places are, I’m interviewing the great folks who manage them.

Leat Regwan, the owner of Magic Beans Book Store, is a passionate giver. As a mother she understands how important reading to young children is. She believes this so strongly she uses her platform MagicBeans Bookstore to help underprivileged kids get their own books.

Leat’s online bookstore reviews and promotes self-published children’s books. She believes Indepenent Authors’ books have value and deserve as much recognition as those published by the traditional publishing houses.

Thanks, Leat!

Now that I’ve introduced you to Leat, let’s get to know her a littler better.

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

Thank you for having me.

What motivated you to open an Independent Book Store?

My husband is an optometrist by day and children’s author any other time,  and when he self-published his first two books I saw that it was another full-time job just to market and promote the books he worked so hard to publish. 

I knew he wasn’t the only one going through this so I wanted to help Indie authors and have a place where self-published books had a home and were supported and promoted, that’s where my motivation started from.  

Can you tell us a little about the MagicBeans Store?

Sure. MagicBeans spelled one word is an online children’s bookstore that supports the Indie author and Illustrator. We showcase self-published books only and most importantly we have a huge mission to promote literacy in under-served communities.

We do this by providing new books (most signed by the author asan extra perk) to children who don’t have any books at home, for some these books are the very first ones they have ever owned.

What’s involved with running an independent book store?

There’s lots involved especially when mostly everything falls on me. We are constantly looking for good books to put on our bookstore, always finding new ways to promote our site to increase traffic/visitors.

Since we are an online store, there is much maintenance with database work such as uploading books and reviewing books, we run contests every month and do lots of promotional events like our recent Mom’s Choice Award webinar, podcasts, etc.

Is competition with online retailers difficult?

I believe we are the only online Indie Children’s bookstore, especially one with a mission. Most of our books are linked to Amazon so we are not in direct competition with Amazon or Barnes & Noble, we are simply another platform for the reader to search for books, especially when they are looking for diverse unique books that are not your typical cookie cutter “traditionally publishedbooks.

MagicBeans is a place where you can be sure to find a unique and diverse book. You will support Indie authors and artists while taking part in a great cause. The reader can also buy a book and have it shipped to our address to be donated. People love to buy something if they know it is also making a difference.

What makes your store unique?

I believe we are unique because we focus on Independence and self-published books as well as providing authors another platform to market their books. In addition, we are also making a difference in under-served children, even if it is one book at a time.

What are your biggest sellers?

I believe the best sellers are those books that talk about tough issues and also books that have a positive message.

Do you have promotions throughout the year?

Yes, we do have promotions for our authors during different times of the year like 50% off membership rates.  

Do you have author book events?

We do a “Book of the Month” contest every month for our members, the winner gets lots of perks such as a newsletter emailed to lots of readers featuring their book, a home page spread on our bookstore, a YouTube interview, stickers and lots of cool things to promote their book.

We will do more on-site book events in the future for sure.

What advice would you give to independent authors just starting out?

I would tell them that if they are passionate about writing and about children, then to keep going and never give up. I would also tell them not to just do it for money or to say that they have a “published book” out in the world. You really have to do this because you love it.

And one more thing if you are going to self publish abook then really invest in a good illustrator because people and children are visual and if the illustrations are not great, then chances are your book won’t sell the way you want it to.

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

Yes, I want to let all readers, parents, teachers and educators to know that they can go to MagicBeans Bookstore and find books about bullying, self esteem, diversity, anxiety, death and so many important topics that children are dealing with in today’s world.  

When they buy a book through our website instead of going directly to Amazon, they are supporting Independence and they are also helping us to promote literacy in underprivileged communities. 

The more authors we have on our bookstore and the more readers that support their books, the more books we can donate to children. It all goes hand in hand.   

What are some of your favorite books/authors?

One of my all time favorite children’s books is “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein and my husband’s first children’s book called “The Adventures of Pugley Bear, Home Sweet Home” by Sol Regwan… Okay fine I am a bit biased. Lol. 

I also just finished “Girl Stop Apologizing” by Rachel Hollis and really enjoyed it! I am also a huge Dr. Seuss fan and love all things Dr. Seuss, and lastly I love all the authors and books that are in our bookstore, I just adore them!

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?

Yes, our website is and you can currently find us on Facebook, Instagram and newly to Pinterest. We also have a YouTube channel called “Solster Nation” where our books are reviewed in a fun and entertaining way for children.

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

Interview With Illustrator Sachin Modgekar

Sachin Modgekar is a son carrying on the family tradition of drawing. Inspired and taught by his father, Sachin has sketched out his own career in the world of children‘s books as an accomplished illustrator.

A multi-award winner, Sachin’s pictures have been featured in over 50 children’s books and satire cartoon catalogues all over the world.

Sachin lives in Vasai with his wife and two children.

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

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

Thank you for having me.

What inspired you to be an illustrator?

My father blessed me with this skill. He is a drawing teacher and has a book published Figure Drawing Made Easy And Memory Drawing. He is 80 and still working on a new book. He is my power generator.

Is illustrating your full-time profession?

Yes. I am working in an ad agency and also doing publishing work.

How long have you been illustrating?

Since 1997 I have worked on various children’s books on local, national and international levels.

Photo courtesy of: Sachin Modgekar

Have you won any awards?

I won the Silver Prize Certificate in China for The Thematic Cartoon Contest held for the Beijing Olympics.

I also won second prize for a National Level Cartoon Contest.

Besides that I take part in various satire cartoon contests all over the world where my art gets published in exhibitions and catalogues.

What types of media do you use to illustrate?

Pencil, brush & ink, watercolor, oil pastels, digital work with Wacom bamboo. I use all these mediums according to a client’s requirements.

How many books have you illustrated?

I have illustrated over 50 books.

Which genres do you illustrate?

Any. One should mold according to subjects. I am flexible for work on any illustrative project.

What do you find most challenging about illustrating?

Choosing color schemes according to subjects is the most difficult task to achieve.

What are you working on now?

I am working on two different projects for children books.

Where do you find inspiration for your characters?

Anywhere. Illustrators should keep looking for different styles and characters from any available sources. People around us, children, animals, things, and nature are your teacher when you see through an “illustrator’s point of view”.

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

When an illustrator has freedom to explore his own views in drawing, that’s a rewarding part but still yet to come. So far I worked with children’s award-winning author Mary Ann Vitale which is memorable.

What advice would you give to illustrators just starting out?

They should look at the world with a beautiful illustrative angle and should be ready to tackle new ideas, styles, techniques also at a workplace they should be ready to make good harmony with an author’s ideas.

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

I am a family man. Living in a joint family with father, wife, two children, my brother and his family in a small town in Vasai near Mumbai. I also do color Sand Art and Caricatures.

What message are you sharing in your books?

“Global brotherhood” is a word I read from a book on the 12th century saint “Saint Dnyaneshwar”. Today we are the luckiest generation because we are practically living this ideal with the internet.

So let’s make this world a beautiful place to live with the help of the powers we have with us.

Who are your favorite illustrators?

R. K. Laxman, Mario Miranda, Dough Sneed, Dedini, Siddhant Jumde, Mukesh Singh, Saumein Patel, and Uderzo

What are your favorite movies, TV shows?

Black Cat White Cat, Children of Heaven, Yesterday, Hotel Rawanda, Chocolate Factory, The Grinch, Horton Hears a Who, are my favorite movies and Pingu, Small Wonders, are my favorite TV shows.

When you’re not illustrating where can we find you?

Chilling out with family.

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?

Where can we find your books/artwork?

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