2. How long have you been writing for children?
My first children’s book was released in 2007. Before that, I authored seven cookbooks. I do love children’s books more because no one ever asked me to read one of my cookbooks to them.
About once each week I visit my local bookstore or library, purchase a very large cup of coffee and read the new books on the shelf. In addition, I read upper elementary chapter books with my grandchildren. I just finished reading the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer at the urging of one granddaughters. I am now reading The Secret of Bailey’s Chase by Marlis Day with another of my grandchildren. In addition, I still manage to find time to read “grown up” books. I just finished a wonderful book – The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker.
First, be sure you know the reading level of your target audience and know the age of the children you are writing for. This may sound too obvious, however I have met several authors who, when asked what the age level is for their book, don’t have an answer. Second, find a group of children in your targeted age group and create your own focus group. Third, read the book to them and listen to what they have to say. This may be painful, however it is crucial. Finally, make the book the very best you can and don’t let it go out into the world until it is ready.
My favorite resource is other writers. I am finding that following their blogs is a great way for me to keep up with other writers’ thoughts and insights. These blogs offer a wonderful resource for information and advice. I have been contacted by other children’s writers through my blog, as well as through Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter. This has given me the opportunity to interact with them and share ideas. I am always eager and willing to share my thoughts and resources.
I do have a blog – http://bobbiehinman.blogspot.com – and a website – http://bestfairybooks.com. In addition, I exhibit my books at major book fairs and have been a guest presenter at many of these events. I also attend fairy festivals, art fairs and toy fairs. I host fairy events at bookstores and have even hosted a Fairy Ball for children. In each city that I visit, I try to schedule several school and library visits. At these events I give away postcards, bookmarks and information about my presentations. I use my colorful postcards as business cards and hand them out freely wherever I go.
If YOU would like to be featured here and answer my seven questions, drop me a line.