I have a lovely interview for you today. It’s my pleasure to introduce a lovely children’s book author called David Chuka. You should read this and then go check out his web-site links below.
First of all, please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I live in London with my wife and two children who are usually the first ones to hear my funny stories and serve as the inspiration for some of them. I grew up in Nigeria but have lived in London since I was a teenager. I’ve written 10 children’s books with more in the pipeline. Growing up, I always kept changing my mind about what I wanted to do when I grew up. One of my chosen professions was to be a wrestler in the WWE. I’m glad that didn’t work out.
At what moment did you stop and think, I am going to write a children’s book?
I think the turning point was when my daughter was getting to the age where she was getting fascinated with books. There was only one book on my tablet that she could read as a beginner reader. I watched her read this book with such pride day after day and wished I could write something for her. That and a mix of different things led to my first book ‘If You See a Doctor.’
Choose two of your favourite books that you have written, how did they come about?
That is kind of an unfair question Heather. 🙂 I don’t think any parent likes sharing who their favourite child is 🙂 I think all my books all have a unique back story to them. Billy and the Monster who Ate All the Easter Eggs is the third book in the Billy and Monster series. The Billy and Monster series is a collection of funny books for kids. As Easter approached last year, I thought about what situation we could put Billy in. I thought about the common denominators around Easter like chocolate, family, over-indulgence etc. It then hit me that I could tell a funny story about Billy and Monster at Easter and weave in a lesson on moderation. The idea for I Love Baby Animals came about while I was washing plates on a Saturday morning.
Here is David reading the book to some school children, awesome!
You have published a book called, I Love Baby Animals, do you have any pets and what are they like?
At the moment, I don’t have any pets although I had a Cocker Spaniel called Lancelot when I was younger.
I really like your book illustrations, who illustrates your books for you?
Thank you. It means a lot to know that you love the illustrations in my books. My illustrator is Aubrey Gonzaga and she’s from the Philippines. She’s worked with me on 7 of my books.
What is that process like, I.e. working with an illustrator?
I think it’s very important that a children’s book author has a strong vision of how they want their story illustrated. Sometimes, as I’m writing a story, I can see the illustrations in my head. As Aubrey has worked with me on several books, the process has gotten easier. Basically, I write detailed descriptions of what I want for each image. I sometimes send her links to images that convey what I’m hoping to achieve. She might as this point come back to me with a few questions before beginning to draw sketches. Once I’ve seen the sketches and approved them (after requesting amendments if necessary), she goes ahead to add colour. Once this stage is completed, with a few tweaks here and there, we’re good to move on to the next stage in publishing the book.
My own personal writing inspirations are Lemony Snicket, Suzanne Collins and Roald Dahl, who are your writing inspirations?
It’s interesting you mentioned Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl as I only recently finished reading books of theirs. I read Lemony’s ‘All the Wrong Questions’ and Dahl’s ‘The Twits.’ My writing inspirations vary from season to season but I love books by Stephen King, John Grisham and Myles Munroe.
The Twits is my favourite Roald Dahl book ever. =)
What are some of your favourite children’s books, the ones you have read over and over?
Hmmm… very interesting question. I’m racking my brain to think of one now but I’ve read ‘My Dad is a Superhero’ by Lily Lexington on multiple occasions to my children at bedtime.
Have you ever considered writing for older children, teen fiction for example?
I have actually. I have a few ideas for writing Middle Grade Literature and I’m hopeful, I’ll get one published within the next 12 months. My inspirations in this category are Jeff Kinney who writes The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and Jim Smith who writes the Barry Loser books.
I look forward to reading that book when you have finished it. I love The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books – I am reading ‘Hard Luck’ at this moment =)
I noticed your blog has lots of interesting author interviews, how did you first start interviewing authors?
Thanks for taking the time to check out some of my interviews. I have a special feature on my blog called Author Interview Thursday and it originally started out as a way for me to meet fellow children’s book authors and discover the challenges, breakthroughs and background of the featured author. It’s blossomed into something really special and I’m glad to say its been a way for me to make new friends, provide a platform for other authors to shine and learn something new in the process.
Do you have any new books in the pipeline? Tell us more..
The next book which I’m going to get published is the 5th book in the Billy and Monster series titled ‘Billy and Monster Meet the President’ The story takes place in the run-up to July 4th which is the American Independence Day. Billy loves July the 4th as he gets to do fun things on that day. While at the fun fair, he meets a stranger dressed in a bunny rabbit costume. This stranger leaves a suitcase by the bench Billy is sitting on. Billy goes after the stranger to give him his suitcase but Mr Bunny Rabbit runs away frantically from Billy who turns around to discover that the secret service men in black suits and black glasses are coming after him. There is an almighty mix up that leaves Billy frustrated and his Dad mad at the way the secret service guys have treated his son. While at a party that night, a surprise guest knocks at the door to give Billy something. You’ll have to wait till June when the book will be published to see what happens. I’ll be working with my illustrator over the next few weeks to ensure we have the book ready for Summer.
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
I love meeting readers of my books and would love readers of this blog to connect with at the following links
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Author.David.Chuka
Twitter – https://twitter.com/DavidChuka
Blog – http://davidchuka.com/
Amazon Page – http://www.amazon.com/David-Chuka/e/B00AV6UT9U
Thank you David, what a lovely interview!
It’s been an absolute pleasure being on your blog today Heather.
Thanks for the opportunity to share with your readers.
“here is a first for me — an author of children’s books who is also a child! I’m looking forward to watching this very mature and well-spoken young person grow as a writer and a person, and I also congratulate her parents for getting her such an early start in this tough business. Bravo. Now — let’s meet the charming HEATHER ELLIS.“
If you want to see the full interview, click this link below.
A few months ago a very kind lady called Jacqueline Smith from America found me on WordPress. She helped me lots, to review my books and we became friends! She is also an author (but not of the same type of books as me). I was really interested in her books and how she writes and I came up with a list of questions which turned into an interview.
Well, here it is. It’s a very interesting read for everyone. =)
Check out her books and BLOG, the links are below!
First of all I can ask who are your writing inspirations?
One of my earliest writing inspirations was JK Rowling. Shortly after the fifth Harry Potter book came out, I realized that I needed more Harry in my life, so I started making up my own stories (Yes, I wrote fanfiction…). Other inspirations include John Green and Meg Cabot.
At what point did you stop and think about really writing a book?
Spring break of my third year in college. I had a terrible upper respiratory infection and spent the entire week coughing and reading books on the couch. I’m not sure if it was the fever or the decongestants, but halfway through True Believer by Nicholas Sparks, I thought to myself, “Hey. I could do this.” And from that point on, I decided I was going to write books!
My books are a bit different to the types of books you do, for younger readers but I have to ask if it is different… I wondered how long does it take for you to write a book?
It really depends. Cemetery Tours and its sequel, both around 75,000 words, took about 5 months each to write. I have another manuscript for a short non-fiction book, however, that I finished in about a week. Then again, I’m still working on the first manuscript I ever started, back in 2010. For some reason, I just haven’t found the right formula for that one. But I think I’m getting closer!
What are your favourite and most difficult parts of writing your own book?
I love character development and I really love dialogue! I like to think I’m a witty person, so writing smart, snarky characters with attitude is a lot of fun for me. The most difficult parts are action scenes. They’re fun, but they are tricky! I’m also really bad at coming up with good names!
What was the biggest thing you learned from your experience of writing your own book?
I learned to stop and breathe. There is a lot to process when writing and publishing a book, and it is a lot of hard work, but in the end, it is worth it. It’s very scary and can be intimidating, and I really admire everyone who believes in their work and loves it enough to go through this process, because it is a big job. I’ve also learned pretty much everything there is to know about the publishing process, which is really cool!
I spend quite a lot of time thinking about my characters and their names and personalities. Can you see any of your family and friends in any of your book characters?
Yes, absolutely. I especially see my mother in Michael’s mom. She sees the goodness and beauty in everyone and everything, and in turn, everyone knows and loves her. I think it was one of the rarest and yet most profound and wonderful gifts.
Who designed your book covers?
My good friend and professional photographer/graphic designer, Benjamin Durham.
I’ve seen some of your paintings on your blog, they are pretty awesome – Have you ever thought about designing your own book covers?
Thank you! As much as I love to paint, I am a terrible graphic artist! I actually tried to design quite a few ideas for the cover, but Ben took one look at them and said, “Why don’t we start from scratch?”
What advice would you give to authors starting out writing their own books?
Don’t let anyone discourage you. Believe in yourself and in your ideas, because they are worth the world. Don’t stress over the details, especially in the first draft. You’ll have plenty of time to rework them during the editing process. Most importantly, if you get stuck, keep writing! I’ve met so many writers who succumb to writer’s block because they think that because they get it, they’re not meant to write. NOT TRUE! All writers hit bumps along the road. No one can just sit down and write out an entire book in one sitting. The only way to get through it is to keep writing!
You mentioned you are working on a new book, how is that going?
Excellent! This is a whole new book, not related to Cemetery Tours (though I’m sure I will go back to it one day). I’m really excited to be working on something new.
When will we be able to buy it?
The sequel to Cemetery Tours will be out sometime this summer! As for the new one, I’ve only just started, so it will at least be another six to eight months. I’m really excited about the sequel and I can’t wait until I can talk more about it!
Link to Jacqueline Smith’s book Cemetery Tours:
Link to Jacqueline Smith’s BLOG:
Hi everyone three posts in one week!
I just wanted to say to everyone, to check out my guest blog post on http://kid-lit-reviews.com !
They have been really encouraging for me and my books – the link is below =)
Today Kid Lit Reviews is extremely happy to showcase a new author. Heather Ellis released her debut children’s, The Sugary-Sherburts, in 2013. Her second book, The Sugary-Sherburts and The Stone Witch, released this past January 7, 2014. Both books will be reviewed here this Saturday, March 22, 2014.
There is one amazing catch . . . Heather is a ten-years-old. She will tell us what it was like to work with an illustrator, whom she calls Dad.
What is it Like Working with My Dad as an Illustrator on My Books?
What is it Like Working with My Dad as an Illustrator on My Books?
Yippee! It’s my 100th post!
Well, I noticed today that this is my 100th WordPress post.
This means I will probably have a new WordPress award?
Do you check out what awards you have on your WordPress blog (or is it just me)?
I’ve been blogging on WordPress since May 2013, when I published my first book on Amazon.
I started recording stuff on my WordPress blog like:
- What films I watched / liked.
- What books I was reading.
- What books I was writing.
- Writing tips.
- What I was cooking.
Plus other random stuff of course!
I’d like to thank each person for taking the time to drop by and visit my blog, with a big special thank you to the 80 people who follow me. It’s a big achievement for me and I hope you all continue to enjoy reading my blog posts.
This post is not going to be very long actually.
It’s a picture of me in the newspaper last week, promoting my book called The Sugary-Sherburts and The Stone Witch!
I don’t really like having my photo taken.
Have you ever heard of International Book Giving Day?
International Book Giving Day’s effort is encouraging people worldwide to give a book to a child on February 14th (Today!)
They invite individuals to:
1) give a book to a friend or family member.
2) leave a book in a waiting room for children to read.
3) donate a gently used book to a local library, hospital or shelter or to an organization that distributes used books to children in need internationally.
I heard about International Book Giving Day via Emma at http://www.mybookcorner.com.au (who is one of the volunteers helping to organise it).
So this is my children’s book that I wrote last year called The Sugary-Sherburts and The Stone Witch.
As part of International Book Giving Day I donated a copy book to some children’s hospitals in England.
I have posted copies to the following children’s hospitals in England:
Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Hospital.
Leeds Hospital Children’s Ward.
The Evelina Children’s Hospital Wards.
Here are the books in their envelopes about to go to the post office for posting.
I really hope that my books make the time go a bit easier, and a lot quicker for the poorly children on the wards of these hospitals.
Are you taking part in International Book Giving Day today?
Last night, I got an early birthday present as well. =) I found out that I was nominated for The Liebster Award! Thank you so much to the wonderful Jackie Smith for nominating me!
Here’s a link to her blog: http://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com
The rules for Liebster Award are as follows:
•Each nominee must link back the person who nominated them.
•Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator.
•Nominate 10 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers.
•Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
•Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them
My answers to the ten questions I was asked are…
1) What is your favorite book? Last year I would have said The Twits by Roald Dahl, but today I say The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins!
2) If you could do anything in the world, what would you do? I would really like to publish another book or raise money for my local Hospice.
3) If you had one superpower, what would it be? I would love to be invisible, that would be pretty cool!
4) If you could visit a fictional world (i.e. Narnia, Middle Earth, Hogwarts, etc…) for a day, where would you go? It’s probably not safe but I would love to visit the fictional world of The Hunger Games!
5) Where is your favorite place in the world? I love Ölüdeniz in Turkey, it is pretty and hot weather!
6) If you could meet three people from any time in history, who would they be? I wouldn’t really want to meet anyone from history really, other than my nanny who died last year. I would like to meet her again =)
7) Why did you start keeping your blog? I don’t know really, because I like writing and journalism and wanted to learn more.
8) What do you hope to accomplish in 2014? I hope to do well in my school exams in 2014 =)
9) What is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day? Annoy my mum and dad!
10) If you could be any Disney Character, who would you be? I like the princess from Aladin!
I nominate the following bloggers for this award…
PAULSON LOVES BOOKS
My ten questions are…
1) What is your favourite book of all time?
2) Have you ever met anyone famous?
3) Do you like sports, what is your favourite?
4) What is your favourite, juice, tea or coffee?
5) Where is your favourite place in the world?
6) What was the last movie you watched?
7) Do you have any new years resolutions?
8) Have you stuck to your new years resolution?
9) What is your favourite music band?
10) Do you plan an instrument?