Meet The Author Monday – Wanda Luthman

‘My Gentle Readers, we are joined today by children’s author, Wanda Luthman. In the usual style, my comments/questions will be in BLUE and Wanda will be in GREEN.

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Thank you for joining us today, Wanda. I always like to ask my guests what brought them into the literary world. What were your early reading experiences like? Favorite books?
I love spiritual books, Sci fi books, and a fun rom com! I have always loved reading and writing. I wrote many books as a kid and in college, I studied literature. I always wanted to publish a book but never really knew what it would be until one morning a story came to me that I had to write down. That began my publishing career. I’ve never been happier!

I think that feeling of “having to” write is what separates real writers from those who casually say, “I want to write a book someday”. What genre gets you excited to read these days?
Spiritual books. I honestly can’t read enough about the journey inward and upward!

How would you describe your path from reading to writing?
I would say I was a writer before I was a real reader. I was painfully shy as a kid and writing was how I communicated. I enjoyed telling fantasy stories. What actually opened the door to me to write to publish was some kind support from a friend. She promised to help me. Since I didn’t know anything about publishing, her support gave me the feeling that together we would figure it out.

Sounds like a great friend. Hold onto her for sure. So your chosen genre is children’s books. Tell us about your journey to publication.
I tried to get professionally published. I even had a positive response but once I did a re-write, I never heard back from him.
So I pursued self-publishing and I’ve never looked back. I love being an indie author!

Being an Indie Author certainly has its perks. The full creative control is a great feeling. When you aren’t writing, how do you spend your time?
I am a High School Guidance Counselor. For hobbies, I enjoy cycling and baking!Ha! Good combo, right?
I am married 23 years now and my daughter is away at college.

Cycling and baking seem to be a good yin/yang combination. What would you say your goal as a writer is? What do you hope to accomplish with your creative work?
I hope to inspire youth through magical adventure stories to be the best they can be!

A wonderful goal to pursue, and right in line with your chosen career path. You are definitely a double whammy. Thank you again for stopping by Wanda.

If anyone would like to find out more about Wanda and her work, you can find her at the below links.

Website
Twitter
Instagram

If you would like to be a guest on Meet The Author Mondays, just Click Here to find all the details and submit your information.

 

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Meet The Author Monday – Randi Lynn Mrvos

My Gentle Readers, I have an author dedicated to children to introduce you to today. Randi Lynn Mrvos produces an online children’s magazine called, Kid’s Imagination Train. She released her first children’s picture book August 23rd, 2017. As usual, my comments/questions will be in BLUE and Randi Lynn’s will be in GREEN.

Finalized Cover

It’s so nice to have you here today, Randi. It’s not often I get to talk to children’s book writers, and your magazine looks amazing. Let’s begin at the beginning, as they say. What dropped you into the literary world? Were you an avid reader from a young age or was it later in life?
I was a voracious reader when I was young.  During the summers, my brothers and I had “reading wars” to see which one of us could read the most books.  Back then, my favorite books were by Charles Dickens and Jules Verne.  On the other hand, I gave up reading books for fun after graduating as a medical technologist because I got burned out on studying.  However, a few years later that changed when I witnessed a blind man crossing a busy New York City street.  That’s when it dawned on me that I could open a book and read it; whereas, he would never see the words on a page. 

Very inspiring, and very true. So you started with two of the greats, what draws you in these days now that you have returned to world of reading?
Pulitzer Prize winning novels and children’s picture books are my favorite kinds of books as well as the hilarious books by Sempé-Goscinny.

Have to keep an eye on what’s out there if you are going to write for children. When did you start considering the path of being a writer?
The seed for writing was planted when I took a creative writing class in the tenth grade.  Believe it or not, I still have my writing journal complete with stories that were inspired by magazine pictures.  

I remember doing some of those exercises as well. Seems to be a standard fit for high school english, especially for creative writing portions of the year. Where did you go from these early years of magazine inspiration?
In the early days of my career, I wrote technical articles for medical technology journals, testing passages for elementary-age children for Pearson Digital Learning, and science articles for children.  After widely publishing nonfiction, I pursued my dream of writing fiction for kids.

How did this dream of writing fiction for kids lead you to where you are now?
Every single picture book that I wrote was rejected.  Since I was dying to see my work in print, I found it was easier to get magazine articles published because nonfiction was less subjective than fiction.  As my credits grew, I focused on developing the craft of writing fiction for kids by taking writing classes, attending writing workshops and conferences, and joining a professional writer’s organization.  Though this helped me to grow as a writer, I still couldn’t find a publisher for my stories.  I desperately wanted to get out of this rut, so I hired editorial consultant Mary Kole.  We worked on my favorite manuscript, and several months later, I sent it to five publishers.  Not long after, the creative director for Saturn’s Moon Press sent me a contract for Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell.

That’s wonderful that you found a home for one of your stories. All the effort and work you put in has paid off it seems. When you aren’t writing for children, how do you like to spend your time?
Marketing my first picture book takes up beaucoup de time as well as being the editor of Kid’s Imagination e-zine.  I enjoy traveling, taking ballet and learning how to parlez-vous French. 

I’ll leave the French to you. I took German in school and can’t really speak a lick of it anymore. I understand that you have a little story to share with us?
Last fall, my husband and I decided to celebrate our birthdays in New Orleans.  When we arrived in the Big Easy, we biked through NOLA, listened to jazz, and chowed down Cajun food.  Often, our footsteps led us through Jackson Square.  There, we found people playing music, drawing portraits, taking carriage rides, and having their fortunes read.  I was itching to meet a fortune-teller.  I selected a psychic, who she invited me to sit at her table.  She told me to choose a jeweled stone and three cards, and make three wishes.  One of my wishes was to get a book published.  After she studied the cards and the stone, she told me good things were going to happen.

The next evening, I scrolled through my emails.  I discovered an email from a publisher.  It was from the creative director of a Cactus Moon Publications.  She wrote that she liked my book!  Sometimes, wishes really do come true.

Amazing and congratulations on your successes. Thank you again for stopping by. If anyone would like to get more information about Randi Lynn Mrvos and her work for children, you can find her at the below links.

Website
Facebook Page
Twitter @RandiLynnMrvos
Pinterest
Kid’s Imagination Train.

If any of you would like to be featured on Meet the Author Monday, you can get more information by clicking HERE.

Baseball has begun…

So this week, baseball season started for my son. He is 10 and considered one of the “older kids” on his 10U team. We took him to some lessons earlier in the year to get ready for this season. His swing is greatly improved and he is actually catching and throwing better than I have ever seen him. I am so proud of him. Last night at practice (the second practice of the season), the coach had him working on his pitching. He could use some work there. Pitching wasn’t something we had been terribly concerned with. The only sad thing is that we have just eight kids on the team. So if someone fails to show up to a game it is an automatic forfeit. I think the games that I am off of my day job for I am going to offer to drive any kids that need rides. We cannot afford to have a season like last year where kids weren’t showing up because the parents didn’t feel like driving to some of the games.

I don’t understand why you would sign your kid up for something and then not follow through with it. The lessons we are teaching our children when we do those things are not good. This is a world where if you don’t put forth 110% effort, you are likely to be left behind. I worry about the kids whose parents let them skip out on practices or games just because they “Don’t feel like it”.

I am unable to attend the Monday practices because of my day job. I intend to be at every practice or game that I can attend. Last night I was able to work on batting stance and swinging with almost all of the kids from the team. We then worked on catching both pop fly balls and grounders. Having watched some of these kids play on T-Ball the previous years, or even on the 10U team last year has been a pleasure. Some of them have greatly improved from last year. I am looking forward to this season.

To go with this have came a great article my wife found.

http://momastery.com/blog/2014/03/10/how-to-watch-your-kids-game-without-being-a-jerk/

And a picture from one of the other sports moms that I really like.

Childsuccess

I just want to state that I in no way own the link or the image. If I can find whomever I should credit for the image, I will certainly update this post with that information.