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, and

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 or (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!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

My First Book Signing!

Come to The Bookworm on June 20 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. while I sign copies of Tiggle Trouble during “meet the author” day. It’s located at 2501 South 90th Street in Omaha. I’ll give you a bookmark that’s illustrated and signed by me, just for coming!

In Tiggle Trouble, Monster Muckabee learns about spending (along with peer pressure, attitude-adjustment and problem-solving). Could what Muckabee learns be an early foundation of what’s in the Warren Buffet books at The Bookworm? 

My own financial advisor was so delighted with the spending message in Tiggle Trouble, that she ordered several copies for gifts. Come to The Bookworm where you can do the same, or order online at Your support is appreciated very much!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What’s in a Name?

When I began my book writing journey, a friend asked what name I would use as an author. Hmm… This was a good question.

Would I use my birth name? My nickname? My maiden name? My married name? Or something all new, such as Harry Houndstooth or Misty Meadows?

After some thought, I decided that my name as an author should meet these objectives: 
  1. It should reflect my creative side. Lolly, my nickname since age eighteen, is perfect. I feel creative when I hear it. My given name, Lois, works better for the more serious side of life.
  2. It should honor my parents. They gave me what it took to write my book and cheered me on as I did so. Sadly, neither lived to see it published. I use their last name, Anderson.
  3. It should honor my own family. After all, my children were my inspiration while I wrote my book, and my husband stood fast as I finished it. So I use my last name, Thomas.
So there you have it—the making of a name. I remain ever so humbly yours, Lolly Anderson Thomas.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Happy Muckabee Birthday!

Tiggle Trouble is a story about Muckabee’s twelfth birthday. On that day, the young monster goes through Snortburg and (quite by chance) ends up at the Tiggle Tree. But that’s only the beginning. No one could have guessed whom Muckabee would meet and what would happen next.

If you ever met Muckabee, he would want you to hear his tale. But Rotalot Island is far away, and since there’s no way for humans to get there, you’ll have to read about it in Tiggle Trouble, A Monster’s Birthday Adventure. Google it on for the paperback or the kindle version and enjoy one young monster’s quite interesting birthday.

Today I celebrate my own birthday (no gifts, please), which makes me think of Muckabee. I doubt if I’ll be having squid birthday cake, and I don’t think my family knows the words to The Monster Birthday Song, but I look forward to it anyway!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Monstrously Cool Birthday Gift!

Last week, I visited my friend Judy on her birthday. Since copies of my recently published book Tiggle Trouble, A Monster’s Birthday Adventure would arrive at my home soon, I told her that I was giving her a copy for her birthday; it would just be a few days late.

Judy was thrilled. Not only would she get one of the first copies available, but the book was about a birthday for her birthday. 

I thought, “What an appropriate birthday gift. Kids often get money for their birthdays, just as Monster Muckabee did. So this book is perfect for the middle-grader, whether alone or with a monetary gift!” 

In Tiggle Trouble, we follow Muckabee around Snortburg while he makes decisions about how to spend his tiggles and how to spend his time. Though set in a fantasy world, the basic premise of the story applies to the real world. It was written for 10 to 12-year-olds, depending on reading levels.

So the next time you need a gift for a young person about to have a birthday, go to or and order Tiggle Trouble, A Monster’s Birthday Adventure. May it plant ideas that grow strong!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Finding Monster Muckabee

Finding Monster Muckabee was the title of a speech I gave for my Fortuna, CA, Toastmasters Club in 2008. At that time, I had not yet completed Tiggle Trouble, and it was far from being published. However, my main character, Monster Muckabee, was alive and well.

Before Muckabee, I had written for assignments, career and personal projects. I had never written about an imaginary creature in an imaginary place. I could only guess how much fun it would be. And fun it was.

In developing Muckabee, my creativity had no bounds. At any time of the day or night I might think of some small detail to add to Muckabee’s character or world. I kept notepads in my car, in my purse and on my nightstand to record any idea that might come to mind.

Since I had recently moved to Eureka, CA, and wasn’t well connected, Muckabee became my constant companion. He tagged along with me everywhere. Those in my writing group watched him mature from a vague idea to a real being, and even helped him along the way.

It was a bittersweet moment when I sent Muckabee off to publication. I remind myself that he and I haven’t parted ways; Muckabee has already been nudging me to take him on another adventure!

A Monster Has Been Unleashed

Today I’m pleased to announce that Tiggle Trouble, A Monster’s Birthday Adventure is now available on This middle grade chapter book is my first and features Monster Muckabee who learns everything the hard way.

I would like to thank all of you who encouraged me along the way. You helped make this book possible. Also, getting Tiggle Trouble published could have been a daunting task if it weren’t for with their guide to publishing, menu of services and ready-at-the-stern support team.

From the back cover:

“On his twelfth birthday, strong-willed Monster Muckabee gets one hundred tiggles from his grandmonsters. Despite his parents’ warnings, he stomps away with his cranky badger Snit to spend them all on things to make him scary and popular.

Along the way, Muckabee meets some rather unusual monsters, is caught in a terrible storm that destroys everything he has, and then sees his day unfold in a most surprising way.

Come along with Muckabee to find out if this will be his best birthday ever…or the worst!”

P.S. This post was to appear on March 29, but I neglected to click "Publish." In time I'll be much better at blogging!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Is the Small Stuff that Small?

Thomas Edison said of genius, “What it boils down to is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” That quote can also apply to getting a first book published. For me, developing a storyline and its characters is great fun. But it’s just part of the process. 

Editing, illustrating, formatting, designing, developing marketing plans and numerous administrative details can be a long road. (Did I say "editing?") Though less fun than creating a story, these tasks aren’t so small. How well they’re done affects the outcome. 

No matter what you’re doing, don’t assume the small stuff doesn't make a difference. The impact it has may be bigger than you think!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Four Degrees of Separation?

In 2008, I moved to Eureka, CA to write stories for children. I’d always lived in the Midwest, and now (for many reasons) was the perfect time to experience a whole new life on the Redwood Coast. The only people I knew in the Eureka area were my daughter and a few of her friends. Determined to find my own circle, I went to a local Unity Church service. I immediately met the lovely Joanna, who invited me to a Course in Miracles on Wednesday morning. I went.

At the Course in Miracles, I met local newspaper columnist Nancy. When I told her that I’d moved there to write, she suggested I start a writers group and volunteered to contact novelist Janine in Trinidad to see if she’d be interested. Janine told me over the phone that, though she didn’t write for children, she knew someone who did. It was her friend, Dar.

After introducing ourselves on the phone, Dar and I decided to meet for lunch at the Oriental Buffet. We hit it off immediately. Not only was Dar interested in creating a writers group for those writing for children, but she grew up in Omaha! She was also very intelligent, filled with optimism and motivation, and had the most wonderful laugh I’d ever heard.

Dar contacted Fry, who was creative and clever and interested in writing as well. The three of us decided to meet on a weekly basis. Memories of our meetings in coffee shops and at kitchen tables will always be very precious to me. They gave breath to the life I chose to live far from my family and Midwestern friends. I will be always be grateful to those who pointed the way. Never underestimate the power of connecting.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Hello and Welcome!

Thank you so much for visiting! This is a time of firsts for me since this is my first post on my first blog.

Also, I'm about to publish my first book, Tiggle Trouble, A Monster's Birthday Adventure. This middle-grade chapter book features Monster Muckabee who learns everything the hard way.

I'll tell you more about Muckabee soon. Meanwhile, have a great day and visit me again!