Welcome! Sherry, I’m so happy that you are joining this event “The Seven Weeks to Christmas Author Interviews & Giveaways.” I know you are an inspiration to me personally, and I’m very proud to have you visiting as my guest today. I want to thank you for your generous offer to give away a copy of your book to two lucky commenters of this post. I know these will make great Christmas gifts to our winners! With that said, let’s get on with the interview.
Bio: Sherry Ellis is the award-winning author of That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN and that Mama is a Grouch. She is also a professional musician who plays and teaches violin, viola, and piano. She resides in Loveland, Ohio, with her husband and two children.
Tell us a little about your background and how you became a children’s book author. I pretty much stumbled into the world of writing. I am a professional musician, so prior to writing my first book, my time was divided into taking care of my two children, and playing and teaching the violin, viola, and piano. My career as an author began seven years ago in a rocking chair. It was about three o’clock in the morning, and my five-month-old son had awakened. It was probably the seventh time that night. He was a terrible sleeper (actually both kids were), so this was pretty typical. As I sat in my sleep-deprived state, a poem started going through my head. It was the beginning of That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN. Every time my son woke up, I added to it. By the end of the week, the entire story was composed in my head. I shared it with my three-year-old daughter, who thought it was great. It was she who suggested it should be a book. The rest is history.
That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN about? It’s a story about a little girl who’s having trouble getting used to the sleepless nights due to her new baby brother. She can’t figure out why he keeps waking up so much. Mama explains a few things, and assures her it won’t last forever. It’s a good book to share with the big brothers and sisters of a new baby.
How do you come up with ideas for stories? Life gives me a lot of ideas! Something my kids do might spark the creative juices in my head. I jot down ideas in a notebook. If I come up with something I think would be a good story, I create an outline of how I’d like the story to progress. When the outline and characters look good, I begin writing.
How long does it take for you to write a book? Years! Actually, I can whip out a first draft for a picture book in about two weeks. It takes about four months for a chapter book. The thing that takes so much time is the revision process. I must’ve revised my current project almost one hundred times! I’ve been working on it for three years. I think it’s finally ready for submission!
What is your current project? It’s a chapter book series for kids. The first book is Bubba and Squirt’s Big Hole to China. The premise of the series is that Bubba and Squirt travel through a vortex that leads to another country. They have an adventure while learning about the language, history, and culture of that country.
Tell us about the marketing process for authors. What do you do to market and sell your books? Marketing is a big part of being a successful author. It’s all about getting the word out. You won’t sell books if nobody knows about them. I do a lot of networking through sites like JacketFlap, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as through blogging. I have also done radio interviews and book signings. One fun event I do is a Pajama Party Story time at bookstores and libraries. Kids are invited to dress in their pajamas and bring their favorite teddy bears for an evening of music, games, and stories. I show up in my pajamas and Winnie the Pooh slippers, and we all have a good time.
What is your best tip for aspiring children’s book authors? Read! Read as many children’s books as you can so that you get a good sense of what kids like, and what publishers want to see.
Thank you so much for having me as a guest!
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