Saturday, May 3, 2014

Super Special Project with Rhino

*****UPDATE: Audio has been redone thanks to my little brother and his recording equipment. Enjoy the new version! :-) ************

I've been teasing over the last few days about a project I'm working on concerning Rhino, Grace, and the rest of the gang from WHO WILL DANCE WITH ME? Finally, I'm ready to share.

Back when I first decided to self-publish my book, my husband had talked me into going that route by coming up with a fantastic idea: making the book into a video to share online.

A couple weeks after the book came out, I made an effort to turn it into a video. Sadly, my video making skills and available tools for creating anything remotely worth watching were nonexistent. I shelved the project and hadn't thought much about it since.

That changed this week. I managed to figure out most of what the heck I was doing and can now share the whole gang with everyone. The only issue I had was with the microphone. Sorry, still don't have professional sound equipment, but I'm hoping at some point in the future to redo the voice over to get rid of the background noise. Other than the poor microphone quality, I'm very happy with the end product.

I'd love to hear what you all think! Especially those of you who haven't had the chance to read the book yet.

In celebration, I'm giving you all a bonus Fun Fact: 

My son's name is Wesley Thomas. Since Rhino is based on him, my daughter thought for the longest time that whenever I 'yelled' at her brother, I was saying 'Wesley Rhinoceros' instead. The fact came to light when she was about two and we asked them what their middle names were. She pointed at Wes and stated his was 'Rhinoceros.' That's why the dedication is written the way it is.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Time for Some Fun Facts with Rhino

Good morning, lovelies! With my week-long trek around Massachusetts (and a quick trip up to Maine) behind me, I wanted to give a quick THANK YOU! to everyone who came out and to all the wonderful libraries and businesses that hosted me. I had a great time.

During the week as I talked to people about WHO WILL DANCE WITH ME?, I realized a lot of the same comments and questions come up at each event. My current favorite, even though it makes me cringe a bit, is 'When is the next book coming out?' (All of you writers out there and anyone who's followed me for any length of time will understand the cringing part of this.) The answer to that question is: I don't know, although I hope soon.

For the rest of the questions, I thought I'd put together a Fun Facts sheet about my first book. It covers questions asked as well as some other little fun tidbits about the book. Ready? Here we go.

10 Fun Facts About WHO WILL DANCE WITH ME?

  1. This book was inspired by my son. When he was three, his dance teacher asked them all what they were going to be for Halloween that year. All the girls (ie - the rest of the class) all were going as princesses. When it was my son's turn, he proudly told them all he was going as a rhino, which drew some laughs. I went home, told my husband about the incident, and the next thing I knew the first draft was written.
  2. I still have the rhino mask that started it all. I should start bringing it with me to my events.
  3. Both my children appear in different ways in the book. My son appears not only as Rhino, but his name (Wesley) was inspiration for the town name - Wesalopolous, a nickname he had as a baby. My daughter, Bridget, appears as the second princess with her constant companion, Bunny.
  4. In the first draft, there were eleven princesses and their names all started with different letters of the alphabet (Abigail, Bridget, Cindy, etc.). I cut it down to seven princesses and changed all the names to start with 'B', with the exception of Grace.
  5. I met Linda, my illustrator, when we were both performers at a Renaissance faire. She is a professional children's book illustrator and gave me several of her books when she learned I was expecting my first child. A few years later when I picked up my own pen again, she was the first person I thought of for illustrations. She very quickly agreed to help me out when I asked her.
  6. Which brings me to the bubbles throughout the book. If you look at all the pages, and even on my bookmarks and marketing items, there are bubbles everywhere. This was Linda's idea. If you go to the last page, you'll understand why. (Not giving spoilers away here. ;-) )
  7. Linda also made sure a variety of princesses were represented in her illustrations. The only ones I gave input on were Bridget (because she was based on my daughter) and Grace's final appearance (again, spoilers. You'll have to read the book to find out why.)
  8. Rhino's first sketch had him in a t-shirt and tye-dyed vest. After some back and forth, we decided Rhino needed to be more formal. The colorful, playful tye-dye was regulated to his tuxedo vest and toned down a smidge.
  9. The book took roughly three years from first draft to publication. 
  10. This book is self-published. (This has been the biggest surprise for most people.) I wanted to make sure my children were able to enjoy it before they outgrew the picture book age, so the decision came to publish it myself. I'm glad I did since Wesley is already past the stage, even though he'll humor me by listening to all my stories anyway. ;-)
There you have it, ten fun facts about my book. Have a question or comment I didn't address? Ask me in the comments! I'm always happy to chat.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Week of Author Events

I started my week-long schedule of author events today with Page Chiropractic in Webster, MA. They had a great Kid's Fun Day with all different activities and entertainers. Awesome crowd for the day, keeping us all hopping and having a good time.

I'd like to give a quick shout-out to two of the awesome entertainers I shared a corner space with. First up is Flippo the Clown. I think I've run into him at other events in the Webster/Dudley area, and his interaction with the kids is fantastic. Watching him making balloon animals, teaching the kids to juggle, and performing magic tricks made the whole day fly by.

My second shout-out is to Gecko Gigglez. Unfortunately I didn't grab a business card like I meant to (I know, it was bad of me) and I can't find her information online. She's just starting out, but her face painting is phenomenal. I'm hoping pictures get posted from today so I can share them. I'm also hoping her online presence starts up and I can link her here so you can all enjoy her fantastic work.

From here on out, it's just me for the week. Doing my readings and making animal masks. Tomorrow I conquer Mendon, MA. Or, you know, just go read and chat with some really great kids.

A huge thank you to Page Chiropractic for the amazing event they hosted. I was very happy to be a part of it.

Friday, April 4, 2014

What to do Over April Vacation

I know this isn't news to some of you, but for everyone else, I'm doing a mini-book tour over April vacation. As always you can find where I'll be on my Appearance page, but for this I'll share here as well.

If you're looking for something to do with the kids and live in close proximity to one of these places, come down and visit! I'll be making animal masks with the kids in addition to reading my book. I'd love to see lots of smiling faces.

TUESDAY, APRIL 22nd, 11 am - 2 pm Page Chiropractic Kid's Day
27 East Main Street, Webster, MA
Different activities will be set up promoting health and wellness for children.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23rd, 10:30 am Taft Public Library
18 Main Street, Mendon, MA
Story time and Craft

THURSDAY, APRIL 24th, 12 pm Lunenburg Public Library
1023 Massachusetts Avenue, Lunenburg, MA
Brown Bag Story Time - Bring a lunch along to eat during the reading

FRIDAY, APRIL 25th, 10:30 am Patten Free Library
33 Summer Street, Bath, ME
Story time and Craft

11 am Levi Heywood Memorial Library
55 West Lynde Street, Gardner, MA
2 pm Belding Memorial Library
244 Main Street, Ashfield, MA
Both of these are Story time and Craft

There you have it, my little whirlwind tour. I'm a bit exhausted just looking at it, but I'm extremely excited. It looks to be a fun week.