Tuesday, April 26, 2016

What Fueled my Desire to Write?

Every writer’s story will be different. Perhaps the desire to write comes from the love of words. Or a chance to push one’s creativity. Perhaps it’s from the need to express a thought or idea. Or the wish to share knowledge. It could even be the pursuit of wealth.

For me, writing had always been enjoyable, as had creating art. Perhaps it was because my voice seemed to get lost in the chaos of a large family. I was not the loudest. Nor was I the most competitive. I enjoyed my thoughts and ideas whether anyone else heard them or not. So I wrote. And I drew. 

Several years ago, as a way to heal after a difficult, personal experience, I decided to write a middle grade chapter book.

The concept of Tiggle Trouble, had bubbled inside me for years. Teaching the value of a dollar to my children hadn’t been easy while a single parent with little backup in this topic. So I created a story to help adults inform youth about financial responsibility. If they would read this story along with the child, the story could be their backup.

Tiggle Trouble is out there. Now for the test. If only one child relates to Monster Muckabee and starts thinking twice before spending, I’ll have accomplished my goal. Here’s to Monster Muckabee and the value of a tiggle!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Get a Gift that Makes "Cents"

Do you have a third or fourth grader on your gift list? Are you still deciding what to give them? How about Tiggle Trouble? It’s a quirky chapter book about the tough choices that Monster Muckabee must make about spending — and not break the bank! 

After you and your young reader both read the book, you’ll be able to have conversations about:
  • How there are rules in business (just ask Mr. Hurley); 
  • That there are unscrupulous sales folks out there (Miff proves it); 
  • How saving money can make money (like at the Tiggle Tree); and
  • That being smart about money makes life better (Mrs. Noosharoo knows).

But that’s not all. Muckabee also experiences temper tantrums, peer pressure, fear and frustration. How does Muckabee handle them?

Let Tiggle Trouble help your young one put spending in perspective for years to come. It’s a gift that lasts, and a gift that makes cents. Find it for $6.95 at The Bookworm in Omaha, Hudson Booksellers at Eppley Airport, amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

All the best to you this Holiday Season!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

I’m Back!

I love summer. But because of distractions during that season (mostly enjoying the sun), my efforts as an author slowed down.

However, on August 31st I wrapped up the month on a high note; I gave a talk about Tiggle Trouble to Omaha North Rotary at Eppley Airfield. It went well, and I was happy to get my groove back.

Having honed my public speaking skills while in Toastmasters in Omaha, NE, and in Eureka and Fortuna, CA, I knew the craft. But wrapping a seven year journey into a 15-minute package was challenging.

Those years were not uninterrupted. Life had its twists and turns, including several moves, career changes and the passing of my parents. Plus, writing a first book can be daunting. But I persisted.

A good book seems effortless. Easy. Natural. But for a first time author, there are surprises around every bend — unwritten rules, flow formulas, editing standards. The list goes on.

And then there’s marketing. When one loves writing, switching to marketing isn’t easy. It requires not only a passion for your work, but a desire to connect with the public. Giving talks and presentations is part of it.

I’d like to thank Jim Ross of Hudson Booksellers for inviting me to speak to the Omaha North Rotary where “putting it out there” all came back to me.

Monday, July 20, 2015

So You Have a Kindle?

Did you get a Kindle to read one book after another without going to a bookstore? Or you plan to read a lot while you’re on vacation and want to pack light? Or you just like saving money whenever you can?

What about your kids? Do they read books on Kindle? If they’re voracious readers, their bookshelves may have run out of space for more books. And going to the library isn’t always convenient.

Though there’s nothing like turning the crisp paper pages of a traditional book, electronic books do have their place. 

Look for the Kindle version of Tiggle Trouble at amazon.com or CreateSpace.com. (B&N ebooks are for Nook instead of Kindle.) Muckabee can't wait to take you on an adventure!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Smiling Bookworm Faces

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! to friends, neighbors and book enthusiasts who came to my book signing at The Bookworm on June 20. Your smiling faces, kind words and gracious support meant a lot to me, as well as to the other authors who had the privilege to meet you.

What I learned during this first signing was to:
  • Bring more books than you think you’ll need. Thankfully, I had extras in my car when those in the store sold out. 
  • Allow time to design bookmarks to give away. In haste, I printed mine with blank backs where I could’ve added something useful…or clever!
  • Think about how you’ll sign your books beforehand. The distraction of the event may make it harder for the right words to come.
  • Add value to your books by sticking “Signed by the Author” labels on the cover. Another author at the signing did that; I wish I had.
  • Send a thank you to your hosts for organizing, advertising and providing a place for the signing. Without them, it would never have happened.
  • Ask someone to take photos for your blog, Website or posterity. Thankfully, a special someone (you know who you are) thought to do so. My smile, below, says it all.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Thank You to The Bookworm!

Kudos to all independent bookstores, such as The Bookworm here in Omaha. Their promotion of local authors and illustrators is a gift to readers and writers alike.

This Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m., I’ll be at The Bookworm at 90th and Center with other local writers of children’s books. We’ll share with you our journeys into authordom and sign the books we’ve written. I hope to see you there!

The desk in the photo below is where I prepared books for book signing, designed a bookmark for attendees and got business cards ready. And in nearby files, new stories patiently await completion. This is the life of a writer.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Visit with Me about Muckabee

In Tiggle Trouble, Muckabee Muckspew decides to use his birthday tiggles to become scary and popular. When he finally thinks he has it all, life takes a turn; he experiences fear, loss, frustration, anger and disappointment. Now what?

As humans, we also think that we know what will make us happy. But, as with this young monster, we sometimes learn that we’re way off track. 

Come to my book signing! 
At The Bookworm in Omaha
On Saturday,  June 20
From 10:00 to 11:00 

I hope to see you there!