First, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Julie for hosting me on her blog! Thank you so much, Julie! I’m so happy to be here!
Now, to introduce myself...my name is Shelly Faith Nicholson, and I am the author of two books Jake the Snake and the Stupid Time-Out Chair and A Stinky Surprise for Jake the Snake. I am also a freelance writer for children’s magazines and have 17 short stories and articles published. A Stinky Surprise for Jake the Snake is the second book in my “Jake the Snake” series. It is a fun early chapter book targeted to children ages 5-8. Although there are a couple of events from my first book that are referred to in my second book, the reader does not necessarily need to read the first book to enjoy the second. Does that make sense? Lol. I do, however, hope young readers will enjoy A Stinky Surprise for Jake the Snake so much they will want to read the first book about the “Stupid Time-Out Chair.”
In my writing, it is my intention to get young readers interested in reading through realistic characters and humor. My seven-year-old son, Jacob (who was inspiration for my Jake the Snake books) just finished first grade; and like most boys, reading is not his favorite pastime. He’d rather be playing a video game or riding his BMX bike. Sound familiar? There are a few books out there that tend to keep his attention. He laughs when he reads Junie B. Jones. He’s also recently discovered and enjoys the Cam Jansen series. His exact quote about the Jake the Snake books is “They’re awesome!” I realize this is mostly because they are a little bit about him, but I also think he enjoys them because they are laugh-out-loud funny. Even my thirteen-year-old son (who’s at that age where everything is “uncool”) chuckled during proofreading sessions. I hope that your child will find my books just as much fun!
People often ask me how I became interested in writing for children. I have four children, so I like making up stories for them; but I also believe the “writing gene” is something some people are born with. I have always enjoyed writing. Whenever an idea pops into my head, I have to quit everything I’m doing and write it down. (These are the days you don’t want to visit me, because my house will be a disaster!) I love writing in a humorous voice. I love writing about realistic situations. I do have a couple of fantasy stories published in children’s magazines; but realistic fiction, I believe, is what I write best.
If you are an aspiring author, my advice is the three “P’s”
- Patience: there are definitely and undeniably going to be a lot of rejections!
- Positivism: keep a positive attitude. Keep each rejection letter you receive in a special file.
- Perseverance: keep writing and keep submitting!
Once you do get accepted, keep marketing! Join writing groups (I am a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators), open a blog, do a lot of social networking, invest in a website, do appearances and book signings! It all helps, little by little.
Thanks again Shelly! Please be sure to stop by tomorrow and see my review of A Stinky Surprise for Jake the Snake!!