It’s Author Interview Thursday! Woohoo. I don’t know about you but sometimes I read a book and I wish I could meet the author to find out the story behind the story. A couple of months ago, I read a book titled ‘The Day No One Played Together‘ and I could see myself and my children in that story. It was easy to see that the story was borne out of a real life experience which I believe most readers would relate to. I tracked down the author on GoodReads and sent an email request for an interview a couple of months ago. No response… until just a few weeks ago. I now understand why there was such a delay. It’s because she was about to or had just had her baby boy. Anyway, she was very apologetic and graciously entertained my questions. She’s the recipient of the Mom’s Choice Award and reading her books will leave you in no doubt that she’s a worthy winner. Without further ado, please join me in welcoming Donalisa Helsley.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you ended up being a children’s book author?
I have been writing stories since I was in 1st grade. One day I taught my girls a lesson about compromise and they liked it so much I decided to make it a book. I named the book, “The Day No One Played Together: A Story About Compromise.”
What can a reader expect when they pick up a Donalisa Helsley book?
My books are written to teach a life lesson and help brainstorm creative solutions to their problems in a fun way. So far I have written about compromise, anxiety, ADHD and unconditional love.
I believe a great children’s book inspires imagination, teaches positive values and/or social skills.
You’re the recipient of the ‘Mom’s Choice Award.’ Can you tell us how that came about and your reaction when you knew you had won?
I entered my book in to be evaluated and I won the silver award. I was very happy, excited and humbled. It was validation that someone besides my family and friends thought my book was worth reading!
How do you handle bad reviews?
I read them. I use them to better myself and keep going. I also remind myself that not everyone will enjoy my work and that is OK. I write for those that do.
What has been your most successful marketing method for promoting your books?
I don’t really market my books. I wish I had time. I mention my books on my FaceBook page and Twitter.
What were some of your favourite books as a child?
Chronicles of Narnia, Little House on the Prairie, Nancy Drew, The Story of Ferdinand, Dr Seuss, etc…
Always do your research.
How do you reward yourself on completing a book or achieving a specific publishing goal?
I just stare at it and read it over and over. It is a pretty awesome feeling every time I get that first book off the printing press.
Toy Story or Shrek?
That is soooo hard. I will go with Shrek because it is fun and silly like me.
Check for festivals or special events, visit our museums, or state parks.
What advice do you have for parents in dealing with their children when they throw a tantrum in public?
First, plan ahead: naps before hand, snacks, pack things to keep them entertained, set expectations before you leave home. Don’t worry about what other people are thinking. Most importantly, don’t give in! Unfortunately, depending on the age of your child tantrums on some level are part of development. There is no magic cure for temper tantrums. Your child will learn by your consistent behavior.
What do your daughters think of Mommy the writer?
My youngest thinks I am a famous writer, it is so cute. My eldest is proud of me and posts my book covers on her Instagram. My 3 month old son thinks Mommy is all around great.
What can we expect from Donalisa Helsley in the next 12 months?
Hopefully more books!!! In a few months Ally & the Angry Dragon will be published.
Visit my website: http://www.wildaboutreading.net
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DonalisaHelsley
Connect with me on FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/wildaboutreading
Read my blog: http://donalisahelsley.blogspot.com/
Watch My Book Trailers: http://www.youtube.com/user/WildAboutReading/videos
Any advice for authors out there who are either just starting out or getting frustrated with the publishing industry?
1. Read, Read, Read. How can you be a writer if you don’t even read? 2. Surround yourself with positive people and people who believe in you and your dreams. 3. Never stop believing in magic, the impossible and the unbelievable. Some of the greatest books I have ever read were written by people who remembered what it was like to be a child and to dream. 4. If you are a children’s book writer, I believe that there is a part of us that never grows up. Tap into that!
That was such a wonderful place to end the interview Donalisa! There are so many nuggets of wisdom you’ve shared with us today. I’m particularly encouraged by your comment on how you handle bad reviews: the acceptance that one’s books are not meant for everyone. Sometimes, I read a bad review and I almost want to erupt like a belching volcano. However, when I feel like such in future, I’ll remember your comment 🙂 You can grab a copy of one of Donalisa’s books by clicking the link below
Below is a book trailer for The Worry Glasses: Overcoming Anxiety. Enjoy and share this interview by clicking one of the social buttons.