Cecilia’s Tale

Hi everyone. A lot seems to be happening at once of late. I have another new release. Cecilia’s Tale started it’s life as a little story on a blog, Cici’s Place, I ran many years ago. The story was inspired by my real-life kitty, Cecilia T. Cat (or Cici for short) who found me and adopted me while I was living in Israel.

Cecilia’s Tale is now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. It includes illustrations from a wonderful local artist and friend, Victoria Szulc.

PaperbackCoverCiciTale

 

Say Hello to Henry Herz

HerzHenry3-72

Today of Paws4Thought we welcome picture book author Henry Herz. Henry earned an engineering BS from Cornell University, an engineering MS from George Washington University, and a political science MA from Georgetown University – none of which help him write picture books. Aided by his two sons, Henry authored the picture books MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES and WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY. He’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. Henry hosts a blog on KidLit, fantasy, and science fiction at http://www.henryherz.com.

When did you first start writing, Henry?

I self-published my first children’s book in 2011, and have been writing ever since.

What was your favorite book as a child?

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak. “We’ll eat you up, we love you so!” (Love that one too – it was a staple in my house when my kids were small. DMK)

Tell us a bit about your new release, When You Give an Imp a Penny.

Before you lend an imp a penny, there’s something you should know—such a simple act of generosity could set off a side-splitting chain of events! A colorful picture book full of mythology, mischief, and magic, WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY shows us just what happens when an accident-prone—but well-intentioned—imp comes along asking for favors! The same writer/illustrator duo that brought you MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES brings to life a comedy of fabled proportions.

From tracking mud on the floor to setting the broom on fire, this clumsy little imp causes accidents wherever he goes, but he’s determined make things right again. The only thing it will cost his host is a little patience—and maybe a bit of time cleaning up some messes! It won’t be long before this troublemaker has won over the entire family (except for the cat) with his irrepressible charm.

What attracts you to writing for children?

Fantasy is my favorite genre, so I like the idea of hooking kids on fantasy, the way I got hooked by WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE and LORD OF THE RINGS. I feel like my picture books can serve as a the gateway as kids mature to the fabulous fantasy novels written by Tolkien, Lewis, Riordan, Zelazny, Hearne, Sanderson, Martin, Pratchett, Hobb, Stiefvater, Caine, Novik, and many others.

So what’s next? What are you currently working on?

After WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY, I have three more picture books scheduled for publication. LITTLE RED CUTTLEFISH (Pelican, 2016) is an aquatic retelling of LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD, but with a sassy cephalopod protagonist. MABEL & THE QUEEN OF DREAMS (Schiffer, 2016) is a bedtime picture book inspired by Mercutio’s soliloquy in Romeo and Juliet. Little Mabel was an expert at not going to sleep. But Mom had the Queen of Dreams in her quiver of bedtime tales. The Queen paints children’s dreams, so she only visits when their eyes are closed. DINOSAUR PIRATES (Sterling, 2017) is a comical mashup of two kid favorites. A T-rex with a piratey patois!? Cap’n Rex leads his dinosaur pirates in search of booty. As they encounter obstacles in their quest, the apex predator “encourages” his crew to think outside the box. When the treasure is found, Cap’n Rex wants to keep it for himself, but the clever crew turns the tables on him.

I’m always writing and submitting new picture books. I have high hopes for NEVER FEED A YETI SPAGHETTI and for a story with a dung beetle protagonist. (That sounds like a whole heap of fun! DMK)

What do you like to do to relax?

What does “relax” mean? Seriously, I like hanging out with friends and reading… fantasy! For turning off the brain, nothing works better than watching TV. Working in the yard is also very relaxing and gratifying.

I’m thrilled to be moderating a children’s literature panel at WonderCon in Los Angeles on March 26. The panelists will be award-winning authors and illustrators Bruce Hale (CLARK THE SHARK), Jon Klassen (THIS IS NOT MY HAT), Laura Numeroff (IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE), and Dan Santat (THE ADVENTURES OF BEEKLE: THE UNIMAGINARY FRIEND), and Antoinette Portis (WAIT).

If you could choose a superpower what would you choose?

Mystique from X-Men can mimic the apperance, voice, and abilities of humans and animals. So, that’s like multiple superpowers (flying, sonar, breathing underwater, night vision, camouflage, regrow severed limbs, etc.) for the price of one!

Ninjas or Pirates?

That is not a black and white choice. What about Ninja Pirates!? Ooh, that’s a good picture book idea…

How can readers and parents connect with you?

Blog: http://www.henryherz.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/henry.herz/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nimpentoad

imp

Pick up your copy today!

Meet Maggie Larche

Maggie Larche Bio Pic Lower Res

Today on Paws 4 Thought we welcome children’s author Maggie Larche.

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Maggie.

I’m a former economist turned stay-at-home mom and children’s author. I’m originally from Pensacola, Florida, though I’ve lived in the Midwest as well as the Gulf Coast.

  1. When did you first start writing?

All writers start out as readers, and my love of books was handed down to me by my parents as a small child. I remember being only seven years old, falling asleep at night as my dad read the Lord of the Rings trilogy out loud to my sisters and me.

I wrote plenty of stories as a kid (though most of them were awful), but I don’t think I took writing seriously until I started learning the mechanics of academic writing. Something about the structure of having to prove your argument really appealed to me.

When I was in graduate school for economics, I decided to take a crack at writing my own children’s novel. Striker Jones, my awesome kid detective, was born on those cold Chicago nights, as I typed away at my laptop in my one-room apartment.

  1. What were your favorite books as a child?

This is a tough one to narrow down! Some of the top contenders are From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg, Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare, and the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. When I got a little older, I fell in love with the works of Jane Austen.

I was already a teen when the Harry Potter books hit their stride, but I’d have to say that these ended up having the greatest impact on my writing. (Mine too – DMK)

  1. What inspires you to write?

Like many avid readers, I remember the joy I’d feel as a kid when I found a good book. I would spend all day on the couch or in my room, devouring the story.

I want to recreate that joy for kids today. I try to write stories that are entertaining and that speak to the desires of kids – for adventure in their lives, for strong friendship, and for ways to grow and prove themselves.

  1. Tell us a little bit about your latest release.

I’ve recently launched two new books!

The_Mardi_Gras_Chase low res

The first is The Mardi Gras Chase, Book 1 of the True Girls series. It follows Melanie, a twelve-year-old girl who’s tired of both her little sister and yet another Mardi Gras in her hometown of Mobile, Alabama. When Melanie discovers a code hidden within the Mardi Gras floats of a parade, she discovers the adventure and excitement that she was lacking. She even learns to appreciate that little sister of hers, as well.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000448_00018]

My second new release is Charlie Bingham Gets Clocked, also the first in a series. These are funny, fast-paced chapter books that follow the antics of Charlie and his friends. Charlie might be a little featherbrained – and he is certainly talented at getting into scrapes – but he and his friends always manage to muddle through somehow.

  1. What are you currently working on?

I’m starting the second book in the True Girls series. No title yet, but it’s about a girl who starts her own dance school after her dad gets laid off from work. I’ve also got a new Halloween Charlie Bingham in the works.

  1. What do you like to do to relax?

No surprise here – read a book! I also love a good beach day in the summer and a crisp hike in the fall.

  1. If you had a super power what would it be?

Teleportation! Flying sounds exciting, but nothing would be so efficient as teleporting. Think how easy travel would be.

  1. If you could hang out for a day with a fictional character who would you choose?

Another tough one to narrow down. It’s a tie between Elizabeth Bennet, Hercule Poirot, and Bertie Wooster. I like to think that we’d all sit down for a game of Spades. (Love this – DMK)

  1. How can readers connect with you?

Please join my mailing list at www.maggiemlarche.com! As a bonus, you will receive a free download of my second Charlie Bingham book, Charlie Bingham Gets Serious.

Fiction Friday – Esmeralda Grunch and the Red Tulip

Today’s fiction Friday is a little story I wrote for a contest a few months back. I recently wrote a sequel with a Chanukah theme that appears in a charity anthology, Winter Wishes.

Red-Tulip

Esmeralda Grunch opened her eyes and stretched. She reached up and tugged apart the crimson petals above her head and gazed out at the sunrise.
“Ouch,” screeched the Tulip, “what did you have to do that for? I’ll open up in a little if you just wait for the sun to come out.”
But Esmerelda couldn’t wait. She pushed her way up through the deep red petals and out into the cool morning air. She breathed deeply and let the first rays of the sun touch her tiny gossamer wings. She flew down to the pond, where she gazed at her reflection, satisfied. She was a very fetching flower sprite even if she said so herself, with deep red hair that matched her tulip and a scarlet dress that sparkled in the early morning rays.
The Tulip rearranged its petals and settled down for the day, grumbling to itself. It knew it was supposed to be an honor to be chosen by a flower sprite, but still she could be a bit more grateful; after all the Tulip was unique – she was the only red Tulip in the flower patch.
She gazed haughtily at the other flowers. Such vulgar shades. Only she was the purest red. Her bulb had been a ruby set in the soil, a promise of a fragrant future. Yes, the garden was truly hers, despite what Esmeralda believed.
But still as the day progressed the Tulip became restless. Where was the sprite? She would need to close her petals soon and rest for the night. There in the distance, a fluttering of wings, and Esmeralda landed with the plop in the middle of the Tulip.
“Where have you been?” scolded the Tulip, but Esmeralda didn’t answer. She was already fast asleep. The Tulip sighed as she enfolded Esmeralda in her petals and joined her in peaceful slumber.
WinterWishes