Wednesday, July 13, 2011

World of Writing


 -- Chatter --

Well, this time of the month is a bit of a crunch in that I'll spend the next 3 days buried in the office doing the behind the scenes preparations for the upcoming Conscious Discussions Talk Radio show episodes airing in August. The Brummet's Muse newsletter is also due to go out on the 15th, so the office work will be heavy for a few days, and I beg the patience of all the people emailing, etc - we'll be back to normal after the 15th :) 

Towards the end of next month we'll have some changes both to our website and the newsletter will also undergo some changes, so watch for those announcements. We'll also have another contest coming up on this blog in August... Lots of informative guests coming on the blog... So much, really, is going on this Summer and into Fall - which is pretty exciting for us since we've been planning and working on this for so long - and of course we'll let you know about each of these as they come about.

 -- World of Writing --

I often do World of Writing Q&A's here on this blog, which can be found by scrolling through the blog archives. Today's interview is with Lisa Sidwell:

Lisa Sidwell tells me that she wrote her first book – Drops of Rosie - when she was 9-years-old, which was discovered by her children who then encouraged her to have it published.  Her second book will be out very soon, and is titled: Drops of Copper. Interestingly enough, Lisa is also a member of the Missouri Association of School Librarians. She is here today to talk about her passion for the world of writing. Lisa can be found at: www.pagesofwonder.com

Q: What is your idea of happiness?

I'm 35 and have been married to my wonderful husband for 15 years. I have a 13 yr old daughter and a 9 yr old son. I am a very devoted mother and wife and love spending time with my family and friends. I love writing, working with scrapbooks, gardening and nature. I love watching my plants and garden grow. Loving our animals is fun; we have a family dog, genie pig and bird. We had 13 chickens but gave them to our neighbor when we moved last summer. We miss them so much we are going to get some more next spring. I really love all history and I believe everything has a story to tell. All these items contribute to my everyday happiness!

Q: Are you doing what you really want to do in life? 

I started writing when I was eight and finished my first book when I was almost 10. Last summer I made a scrapbook of elementary pics for my daughter graduating from 6th grade and enclosed my first book. I thought she would love it since she loves to read. I wrote stories till I was in high school then journaled and when I had kids I started scrapbooking. I never told anyone that I wrote, not even my parents. They read my first book at my daughter’s graduation party. My parents, grandparents and even my husband cried because they loved it so much.

My kids asked me why I didn't fulfill my dream as a writer and the only thing I could say was that "Life" happened way too fast for me. Not wanting to let my kids down, I have now brought my childhood dreams to life. I think I'm doing what I was truly born to do!

Q: In your career as a writer - what do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses? 

My main goal was to keep books in children's hands and to keep their minds rolling with the drops of notes section in the back of each of my books. I started contacting libraries and schools wanting to speak about reading and writing. I choose to do all of this on my own, without an agent because I love a good challenge. So getting into schools to speak is hard do to all the safety measures schools have to take now days for our kids to be safe. Getting them to believe in what I had to say was difficult, but once I started speaking the rest was history. I admire all the kids I've talked to, boy do they ask some awesome questions. Many have made me laugh and some have brought tears to my eyes. I've always been able to connect with kids very easily.

Q: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?  

I never new writer's block was for real until it happened to me! I tend to just step away from it all for a couple of days and just enjoy what the world has to offer. I find myself catching up on family functions, school projects and deep cleaning my house… I may even just take a nap. I suppose having writer's block is great from time to time. (She laughs)

Q: What are some of the tools you use for marketing?

I have my email address and Face Book page listed in the back of all my books. I never want any kid to feel like they have no one to talk too and all of my signings and events are posted as well. Being an only child was difficult at times and having two working parents. I hope to inspire teachers to add my book lessons in their teaching plans, it is a good school reading project. I sponsor a lot of events, volunteer for various functions of need in my area, and I speak to a lot of kids in their school. 

Q: How have your books gotten published? 

I spent a couple hours rewriting Drops of Rosie and sent out my manuscript via mail and email to more than 50 publishers. The response was overwhelming but awesome. Just to get feedback rather good or bad was very rewarding. I had narrowed my options down to about 10 publishers and I made a list of my goals and what I wanted to achieve. I turned down plenty of great contracts and deals, and mind you they were not from self-publishers. I really enjoyed the whole process. I choose a small publisher (Mirror Publishing) who was willing to stand by my work. 

Q: What has been the most surprising thing you learned from creating your books?

How well I speak in front of people, especially kids. I love it and can never sleep the night before because I'm so excited. It is the same with any signing event or function. I just love promoting my book and meeting all the people and kids!

Q: Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer? 

Never give up and always believe in yourself!  As a child I never thought know one would ever love what I had to say, boy was I wrong. I have had twice as many doors close on me than open. But I'm thankful and appreciate the ones that open and I never give up on the ones that have locked their doors. I know once they see what I have to offer to the world the will kindly open them up once more to my smiling face. So many kids and adults just give up. The reward you get when you keep moving forward is priceless and know one can ever take the inspiration and glory away from you.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio program, newsletter, blog, and more at: www.brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, or visiting the Brummet's Store - every sale raises funds for charity as well!

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