Saturday, June 9, 2012

World of Writing - interview

-- World of Writing --

Rochelle Campbell (author of Leaping Out on Faith, blogger and short story artist) and her son, Teraab (now 12 years old), join us today for another World of Writing Interview on our blog to explain the experience they had in co – writing The Magic Seeds (written for readers ranging from 7-9 years). Rochelle tells us: “We worked on this book for about a year before we had it published.  The story is about a little boy named Johnny who does a good deed for an elderly woman in the park.  The kindly old woman offers him a reward for his good deed but there's a bit of surprise.”  I loved what she had to say about how this book project affected her son “…My son was reluctant reader and because of this book his enthusiasm for reading increased tremendously.”
Check out Rochelle’s blog - The Notebook Blogairy - @:

Q: What have you learned about working with your co-writer, who happens to be your mother?

Teraab: I learned never to give up no matter what happens because sometimes if things don't come easily, I just gave up and quit.  But she taught me how not to give up on everything, give it a chance and they'll get better.  And then, if they don't get better then when you're sure, then you can try something else.
Rochelle: I've learned to have way more patience!  There were things that are just par for the course for an adult, but a child just does not understand.

Q: What were some of the challenges you faced in writing your book?

Teraab: I hated the waiting to see what the publishers would say about my book.  And I didn't like the anxiety of waiting for the sketches to come back from Mary Fragapane, our illustrator.  When Mary told me that she would have the sketches in two weeks, I said, "Two weeks!  I can't wait that long!"  But I had to.  Sometimes kids would question me as to why I did it this way and not that way and I had to tell them I wanted it that way and you just get over them questioning you.

Q: What is your proudest writer moment?

Teraab: I have actually two moments.  My first one was in March 2010 at Citibank where they were doing a Kid's Day.  Like a week or two earlier, we went into the bank -- we're normal customers there -- and we had a conversation with a banker and they suggested we come and show the book off.  So there at the actual event I got to read my book in front of a whole lot of people and they all liked it and commented and bought books on the spot!  My second one was at a nonprofit benefit event where the CEO of the nonprofit told everyone about my book and a few people bought it and they were very satisfied and one man said he read it to his daughter every night.  And it's just nice to be able to say that you're an author at such a young age.

Q: What are some of your favorite writers’ resources?

Rochelle: Well, for writing resources I tend to enjoy participating in online writing communities such as Book Blogs and Zoetrope: All Story.  Being a single mother with two boys who both have busy school and extracurricular activities, it's a bit hard for me to get out to local writing groups.

Q: Tell us about your journey to publication… (How long have you been writing? Why did you decide to pursue writing?)

Teraab: The game of What If… got us started! (...he laughs)

Rochelle: Yes!  That was the start for him.  For me, I wanted to interest him in writing.  He was a very physically active child (he was 7 at the time; he's now 12) and did not care to read.  He was a reluctant reader.  Imagine my "horror" that my son didn't like to read! So, I began to think of ways that may interest him in the topic.  When his 2nd grade teacher took a vending machine gemstone from him and hesitantly gave it back many weeks later.  While traveling home after school each day we would ask each other, What if the gemstone was real?  What then?  And then?  Over the course of several weeks, and over a dozen bus rides, we had the first draft of The Magic Seeds.  After that, we sent queries to children's publishers and no one was interested because it was a picture book for older children; it didn't fit the traditional parameters.  So, after over 14 months of searching, we decided to self-publish which included finding our own illustrator.  Looking back, it was a blast!  The journey to publication was a very positive and powerful experience for both of us.  Needless to say, Teraab really likes to read now!

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