It’s another Author Interview Thursday and it’s a pleasure to introduce a dear friend of mine who is building up his catalog of published books at an alarming pace. I have been privileged to read several of his books and one thing I can confidently say about them is that they always contain a lesson that parents/adults will derive pleasure in sharing with their loved ones. He writes under the pen name Caryn Whitfield and if you peruse the Amazon Children’s Kindle Store regularly, I can almost guarantee you have consciously or unconsciously stumbled across one of his books. Please join me in welcoming Caryn Whitfield.
Tell us about your latest book and what format is it available in?
My book “Little Shy Cindy Believes in Magical Snowflakes” is truly something special. You can find it on the Amazon Kindle Store right now, and shortly it will be available in paperback. I’ve had quite a few people tell me their children like to “have it in their hands.” They love the story and the images inside and compliment about what a beautiful cover the book displays. So I’m going to deliver.
What can a reader expect when they pick up a Caryn Whitfield book?
It’s all about entering a world of imagination where anything is possible. It’s also about believing in yourself and the power of being positive. With each of my books, the intention is for you to learn an important life lesson that will help your little ones, or you, make better decisions that are beneficial to raising your children. They are simple to understand with fantastic images that are captivating and inviting. I want my readers to want more! It’s all about entertaining children and having a lesson taught to their children which parents appreciate.
What do you love best about being a children’s book author?
The chance to be a kid again! My imagination never “grew up.” This makes writing children’s stories perfect for me. I love it! I totally enjoy entertaining children and seeing them come away from each book happy, and with a special thought in their young minds that they learned something new.
Where do you usually write your books?
I write from the thoughts in my head and from my past experiences as a child. I have story after story filed away and something I see, hear, or do, usually triggers these memories. I’ve always got a pad of paper and a pen around, or my computer too. So I let my finger’s fly! I always think about what kids like and what lesson a parent would like to teach them.
What is the process from when you get an idea for a book to the point it gets published?
It takes a little bit of time, but it’s really quite simple. I just come upon an idea, and make sure I write it down. Then I start thinking about the characters and the message I want to make. It’s important my reader’s learn something positive from every story I write. Brainstorm and I will then outline the story I have in my head. I just write it. Then I go back through it to make any changes. Next, I’ll add the images and go back through the book proofing it a few times. Another set of eyes will have a look through it, proof it and give me feedback. Then so long as I am happy it’s sent for publication! If I am satisfied, then my readers will be satisfied too!
Do you believe in writer’s block and what do you do to overcome it?
Actually I’m happy to report I’ve never had writer’s block, creating children’s stories. If one idea doesn’t flow naturally, I don’t force it. It must make sense and I will just move to another idea and create a story for it. As I mentioned before, I have endless stories in my head, and whichever one will push to the front when I’m ready to write, gets written. There are many different happenings in daily life that stimulate ideas too.
What has been your most successful marketing method for promoting your books?
So far, reviews and word of mouth. As a fairly new writer to the scene I’ve discovered how invaluable it is to get the word out through Facebook groups and any other online groups. People are more interesting in purchasing my books when they see people have already reviewed it. I am very fortunate to have so many great people supporting me here. I always try and do the same in return.
What were some of your favorite books as a child?
Actually Dr. Seuss comes to mind. I used to read “Green Eggs and Ham” over and over while I was waiting for my sister to finish her piano lesson. I bet I can still recite the book word for word today! Another book I always remember was “The Red Balloon.” It was a children’s classic in school. Of course I loved the fairy tales too. Cinderella, Snow White and the Three Dwarfs, and Alice in Wonderland. There are just so many to mention. Great memories that inspired me to follow my dreams and become a writer. You are only a child once, but writing children’s books is a second close to being a child again.
Do you have any children and do they inspire your work as a children’s book author?
Oh yes, I have too many to count! Each and every day they give me a few more ideas for stories. They are also very helpful in reviewing and developing ideas. They love that I write children’s books and their eyes light up any time I read them one, and I love including them in the process. Sometimes the best way to come up with a new idea is to ask the kids! Who knows better than kids about what they enjoy, right?
What mistake(s) have you made while publishing your books that you would advise other authors against?
How do you deal with bad reviews?
You have to have tough skin when it comes to getting a bad review. I personally do not address a bad review. I just try and make the next book that much better.
Toy Story or Shrek?
Toy Story. I love to see toys come to life as in my book, “Toys Foil Pindrop Toy Store Burglary”
What can we expect from Caryn Whitfield in 2013?
More and more children’s books in with various stories with lessons to be learned for children.
Any advice for authors out there who are either just starting out or getting frustrated with the publishing industry?
Perseverance and follow your dreams. Never quit because that next move is the one that propels your success!
Thanks for ending on that very positive note! I like what you said there about never giving up and that inherent within every next move (if we are willing to take it), is the potential for a leap into our destiny. I have to admit that my best Caryn Whitfield book is Mikey the Backpack Monster. You can discover Caryn Whitfield’s full catalog of books on the Amazon Store by clicking the link below.