Saturday, May 18, 2013

World of Writing, interview

-- Note -- 

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--  World of Writing Interview -- 

Penny Lockwood joins us today for a World of Writing Q&A interview and is here to speak about her experiences as a children’s author and her latest release – Boo’s Bad Day, a picture book for children. Penny has actually been writing since 1993 and tends to favor fiction ranging from sci-fi, fantasy, and romance for adults to children’s picture books and middle grade novels.  She has also done some non-fiction freelance work on the topics of:
Find Penny via:


Q: What age group did you write for? 

A: Over the years, I’ve written for a variety of ages from toddlers to adults.  Boo’s Bad Day is aimed at ages eighteen months to seven years.  It can be read to a toddler or preschooler by a parent or grandparent, or a child who is reading capable could read it to him or herself.

Q: Why did you write for this particular age group? 

A: Boo was written with my grandchildren in mind.  I’ve often written stories, which would be enjoyed by my children at a particular stage of their lives.  My grandchildren are ages twenty months and five years.  I am around the twenty-month-old regularly and see what he enjoys, what makes him laugh, and what he is curious about. With this in mind, it was easy to write a story to which he could relate.

Q: Did you find it difficult to choose the right language, images and writing style for reaching this age group? 

A: Since I read a lot of books for children of this age group now, I was able to study how other successful writers approached this issue.  With a picture book, the author is limited in the number of words and pages, plus it’s important not to use too many descriptive words.  The illustrator needs to be able to add his or her own interpretation to what the author has written.  I was very pleased to see the final galley proofs and what delightful pictures Deborah Johnson created.  Boo is exactly as I pictured him as I wrote the story.

Q: How do you plan to promote this book? 

A: I have already created Twitter posts, which feed to my Facebook and LinkedIn pages.  I have approached a number of bloggers, like yourself, who feature authors, particularly children’s authors, and I have a wonderful line up of tour stops to promote the release of Boo’s Bad Day with reviews, guest posts, and interviews.  I will approach the local libraries and ask to do a reading during their children’s programs and donate a book to each of the two closest libraries. I will send media releases to area newspapers. I also plan to contact the local grade schools to suggest an author appearance to talk about writing and Boo. Finally, it’s been suggested that I create a fan page for Boo on Facebook, so I plan to look into that.

Q: Is there anything in your book that is based on a real life experience? 

A: Yes. Many years ago, we had a black cat named Boo, who was a wonderful, loving cat.  As a teenager, he was lost outside during an ice storm. He somehow knew how to climb a tree but didn’t know how to get down. We called and called and finally heard him meowing.  He was over fifty feet up in a fir tree.  My husband put the longest ladder we had against the side of the tree but couldn’t reach him. We could hear Boo’s cries getting weaker and weaker.  The following day, a friend who was taller than my husband came and was able to reach Boo by standing on the top rung and stretching his arm.  Poor little kitty was so cold and scared.  Once we got him inside, he curled in front of our wood stove and didn’t move for two days.  

Q: Why did you feel this book needed to be written? 

A: Boo’s story stayed with me over the years.  My grandson loves cats, and I felt a story about Boo would be perfect.  It shows children they need to watch out for their pets, some adventures can be a little scary when you’re by yourself, and, to quote Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, “there’s no place like home.”

Q: What’s the best advice you were given about writing? 

A: The best advice I’ve been given about writing is to have faith in yourself. As a young writer, decades ago, I submitted my stories to magazines.  Not knowing what I know now, I submitted to the “big” names, and of course, I was rejected. After a few rejections, I was discouraged and put off writing for over twenty years.  While doing some volunteer work, I became involved in grant writing. When I learned I could get paid for this, I decided maybe I should give my fiction another try.  At this point, there was a lot of support available for new writers in the form of classes, forums, online groups, critique groups, and conferences.  I educated myself, started writing, and submitted my work to small genre magazines, and was rewarded with acceptances.  I slowly built my way up to better paying publications and ultimately had my first book published.  If I hadn’t given up, sought out help, and continued to submit my work, I know I would have had a lot more published works to my name. It often comes down to being in the right place at the right time with the right story.  

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  1. Good morning, Lillian. Thank you for offering me the opportunity to appear on your blog to talk about Boo's Bad Day.

  2. I had to leave a comment, can't stand to see blank comment spaces. *grin*

    Boo's Bad Day is an enjoyable book for kids of all ages, even those who are nearly 70.

    1. Hi Vivian, you've done a great job of visiting almost all of my blog hosts. Thanks for accepting Boo for your house.

  3. Hi Lillian, I thought I commented earlier, but I don't see it. Thank you for hosting me today. I appreciate your support.

  4. Congratulations to Susan York Meyers! She's the winner of an autographed copy of Boo's Bad Day.


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