-- World of Writing, Interview --
How do you handle a situation when you know someone hasn’t told the truth? What do you do when you see a little girl without a coat in the cold of winter? Where do flowers go when they disappear? What do you do when your feet don’t reach the floor?
Author Mary Adkinson – a.k.a. Gma Mary – has, as a mother of 6, with 17 grandkids and 6 1/2 great-grandkids, a lot of experience in reading to and teaching children. Prior to retirement, Mary worked as a Doctor of Optometry, but upon retirement she felt the time was right to delve into her passion – writing. The Growing Up With Princess Lizzy stories were originally written for one of her granddaughters. The spark for producing those stories in a published book came from her son who felt it was important for Mary to share them with other young people, and, those just young at heart. You can follow Princess Lizzy and her new adventures via: http://GrowingUpWithPrincessLizzy.com
Q: When you started your book, did you plan on writing it as a series, or did it just grow into one?
A: When I started writing these stories for my granddaughter, Lizzy, I quickly came to realize that the subject matter was endless. Every day with a child is a new adventure. The first book contains 12 stories; the second and third books (due out next year) will contain even more.
Q: What age group did you write for? Why did you write for this particular age group? Why did you feel this book needed to be written?
A: The stories are written with the four to eight year old in mind. Children at this age soak up everything around them, good and bad. Princess Lizzy gives them a positive role model to learn things like kindness, friendship, compassion, and respect for parents and teachers. Princess Lizzy’s oldest fan is almost 90 years old, so you just never know!
Q: Did you find it difficult to choose the right language, images and writing style for reaching this age group?
A: The language and speaking style of Princess Lizzy is that of an early grade school child. Much of the book a child will be able to read on her own, but some words will need Mommy’s or Daddy’s assistance. The stories provide opportunities for discussion about topics that cross children’s minds, but they don’t yet fully understand; such as telling the truth or the loss of a pet. The stories and adventures are all written at a young child’s level of understanding. The world would be a better place, if we all could see through the eyes of a child.
The illustrations were created mostly from geometrical shapes; triangles, circles, stars, and squares. This makes it easy for a child to duplicate the characters with some accuracy. There is a FREE coloring book of the characters that can be downloaded from the website, no purchase necessary.
Q: How do you plan to promote this book (or series)?
A: A reading tour is currently being planned at libraries and local bookstores. I can introduce Princess Lizzy to new friends she hasn’t met yet and they can meet her. The website has several stories that rotate from time to time. There is even a video clip of Gma Mary reading one of Princess Lizzy’s adventures for your child to enjoy. The book is currently available at online retailers, such as Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. For retailers, “Growing Up With Princess Lizzy: little life lessons” is available through the major wholesalers and the direct from the publisher. If you want a signed copy, those can be requested directly from the author on the website.
Q: Is there anything in your book that is based on a real life experience?
A: The stories discuss some of the situations that come up in children’s lives. While they can seem very humorous to adults, they are very serious and real to children – some are based on true events. Our granddaughter, Lizzy, actually did lose her pet kitten. It was with great care that I addressed that particular subject, but felt it was necessary since that is a situation that happens and needs to be dealt very kindly and gently.
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