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Author Interview – Yvonne Prinz

Posted by shelburns on 15th December 2008

                                 I have just finished reading the Clare Series by Yvonne Prinz.  There are 3 books in the series:   Still There, Clare, Not Fair, Clare and Double Dare, Clare.  I will be posting reviews for these books this week, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  For today, I wanted to introduce you to the author, Yvonne Prinz.

 

Thank you so much, Yvonne, for agreeing to this interview.

 

WFAR:  Please tell us a little about yourself.

 

YP:  I was born in Edmonton, Alberta to Dutch Parents. I grew up in Canada but I had a pretty strong wanderlust and I traveled a lot. I waited tables, sold bus advertising, drove a forklift, worked in a record store. I ended up in San Francisco and met my husband. We opened Amoeba Music in Berkeley in 1990 and I started thinking about writing the first Clare book shortly after that.

 

WFAR:  When did you start writing?

 

YP:  As a young girl I was always writing stories. I was awful at Math but I adored anything to do with literature and reading. I devoured my parents books.

 

WFAR:  What have you written besides the Clare Series?

 

YP:  I just finished a movie called “Our Daily Bread”, my first screenplay. I had a blast writing it. A director in Vancouver named Andrew Williamson asked me to write it after he bought the rights to the Clare TV series. I also have two books coming out published by Harper Collins; “The Vinyl Princess” about a sixteen year-old girl who collects vinyl records and works at a record store in Berkeley; and “All You Get Is Me” about a girl who moves with her dad from San Francisco to a bio-dynamic farm. That one is called “All You Get Is Me”. I also have an adult novel making the publisher rounds called “The Girl Stands Alone”. I also write reviews for an online music magazine (caughtinthecarousel.com). That’s my nerdy music side coming out.

WFAR:   How did you come up with the idea for the Clare Series?

 

YP:  Well, I wasn’t thinking about a series at the time. I set out to write a story about a real girl in a real life and I pretty much based Clare on who I was at that age: A quiet, darkly funny, rather unpopular girl with a keen sense of observation, apparently there’s a lot of us out there.

 

WFAR:  I’ve heard that there is talk of a possible television series for the

Clare Series.   Can you tell me about that, your feelings, any details, etc?

 

YP:  This is the second time that the rights have been sold for the Clare Series. Keatley Entertainment in Vancouver now has them and they’re working with the Canadian Family Channel. Scripts are being written for two episodes and if all goes well, a pilot will be shot. I like the people at Keatley and it’s always a thrill to go down a road like this.

 

WFAR:  Clare has an imaginary friend.  Did you have an imaginary friend growing up?  If so, what was he/she like?

 

YP:  I had a few of them. One of them was a tow truck driver and one of them was very similar to Elsa in my books. They’re still around. Like Clare, I have separation issues.

 

WFAR:  What’s next for you as an author?  Are there more Clare stories in the works?

 

YP:  I’m doing a lot of editing right now…blech! I’m also quite involved in the movie as a pretend producer. I recently marched off to New York to ask Ally Sheedy The Breakfast Club) to play the lead and she said YES! As for writing, I have a couple of ideas in the works but I’m not sure if I’ll write a book or a screenplay, maybe both. As for another Clare book? I never say never.

 

WFAR:  What is your favorite piece or book that you have written?

 

YP:  “All You Get Is Me” (Harper Collins, 2011). It’s such a beautiful setting; very bucolic, fields, forests and swimming holes, Plus, my character “Roar’s” (short for Aurora) struggle was a dream to write.

 

WFAR:  What do you like to do when you are not writing?

 

YP:  I totally goof off. I like going to movies, I read books, I wander around.

 

WFAR:  How do you feel about book bloggers reviewing your books?

 

YP:  Thank God for book bloggers. I love them. They’re the new librarians, quietly powerful.

 

WFAR:  What are some of your favorites?  Author, food, color, book, any others…

 

YP:  Authors? For kids, I love Lemony Snicket. I’m drawn to his dark humor. For adult literature I really love Cormac McCarthy. I recently read Edgar Sawtelle and I thought it was brilliant.

I’m a huge eater and I love to cook for friends so my favorite food is anything eaten with good wine and good friends.

I love Blue, as in Blue Skies for Everyone!

WFAR:   Is there anything else that you would like readers to know?

 

YP:  Visit me at my myspace page at www.myspace.com.stillthereclare or facebook at “The Clare Series” or http://www.stillthereclare.com/. Watch for the TV series and learn more about the Vinyl Princess at www.myspace.therealvinylprincess.com

Look for reviews of all three books in the next three days!

 

Posted in Author Interviews | 7 Comments »

You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy? – Review and Interview

Posted by shelburns on 6th November 2008

I am so excited to have my very FIRST author interview at Write for a Reader!  Caroline at Chronicle Books emailed me out of the blue and told me she had this great children’s book that she would like me to review or interview the author on my blog.  Of course I said YES!, I’ll do both.  So, long story short the book arrived and today I have the interview and review for you.

Let me start off by saying thank you to Chronicle Books and Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt for allowing me the opportunity to do this.  Sheri was so sweet to answer all of my questions.  Here is what she had to say about being a writer and her book, You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy?

WFAR:  When did you know that you wanted to be an author?

SBR:  After I’d been writing magazine and newspaper copy for several years.  It suddenly dawned on me one day that books stay around a lot longer than newspaper or magazine content! That’s what I want, I decided: staying power! Too, I wanted to be able to walk into a Barnes & Noble and find my book there. Trust me: that’s a mind-blowing thrill.

WFAR:  What else have you written besides this picture book?

SBR:  Books – Sole author:
Art: Careers for the Twenty-First Century, ISBN 978-1590183946, Lucent Books (11/04) — teen career guide
Law: Careers for the Twenty-First Century, ISBN 978-1590184011, Lucent Books (1/05) — teen career guide
Military: Careers for the Twenty-First Century, ISBN 978-1590183984, Lucent Books (7/05) — teen career guide
Great World War II Projects You Can Build Yourself, ISBN 978-0977129416, Nomad Press (7/06) — children’s activity book (ages 9 and up)
Amazing Maya Inventions You Can Build Yourself, ISBN 978-0977129461, Nomad Press (1/07) — children’s activity book (ages 9 and up)
The Kids’ Guide to Building Cool Stuff, ISBN 978-1429622769, Capstone Press (4/09)
The Kids’ Guide to Classic Games, ISBN 978-1429622738, Capstone Press (4/09)
The Kid’s Guide to Pranks, Tricks and Practical Jokes, ISBN 978-1429622752, Capstone Press (4/09)
Nichelangelo of the Junk Lot (unpublished middle-grade novel)

Books – Contributing writer/editor:
2005 NASCAR Travel Planner, ISBN 978-0762738380, Mobil Travel Guide (12/04) — NASCAR track guide
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Planet Eccentric!, ISBN 978-1893951105, Miles Kelly Publishing (10/05) — zany facts!
Sixty Things To Do When You Turn Sixty, ISBN 978-1569069677, Ronnie Sellers Productions, Inc. (10/06) — compilation of sage essays

 

WFAR:  What was the inspiration for You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy?

SBR:  There was no one inspiration behind Tooth. I simply ran out of time coming up with a manuscript draft for a picture book workshop I was about to attend. So I decided to stay in bed that day, until an idea came to me. For some reason I started thinking about Santa…and the Easter Bunny…and the tooth fairy. I got to wondering why she was always portrayed as a dainty, winged creature. Because in my mind it made a lot more sense for her to be a go-getter treasure hunter. And that’s when I came up with the idea for my book. I thought the other attendees would think my idea totally silly. But they totally “got” her!

 

WFAR:  Was the tooth fairy a big deal in your house growing up?
SBR:  A big deal? I got a quarter for each tooth. HA! But at least she
always showed up. Not bad for a harried household with four kids!

WFAR:  I love how the tooth fairy is an action gal. Where did that idea come from?

SBR:  (See #3)

WFAR:  The illustrations in the book are so good! Did you get to choose your illustrator? If not, how was he chosen to illustrate this book?

SBR:  My editor was kind enough to send over a list of illustrators that Chronicle was already using. She asked me to look at their work and see if I liked any of them. I loved David’s stuff right away, and was thrilled that we were paired up.

WFAR:  You have written a lot for magazines. How did you transition into book writing?

SBRBy seeking out educational publishers. There are a number of educational publishers that churn out lots of titles (especially as part of a series) each year, which are directly marketed to school and
public libraries. There’s a lot of work available in this area, though the pay can be low. And most of the contracts are straight work-for-hire. Work-for-hire arrangements aren’t ideal, as you don’t keep the copyright and receive no royalties. But there is a large stable of writers who happily write exclusively in this arena. Because they write fast and have mastered whatever style requirement the publisher demands, they’re able to make a decent income. I still do work-for-hire book gigs. One reason is because I’ve learned that a royalty-based contract doesn’t guarantee more money on the back end.  A book has to sell really well for a writer to earn more than his/her advance. I’m sad to say I’ve not earned royalties yet off my Maya and World War II activity books. But I’ve gotten a number of checks for Tooth so far. Hopefully my big-attitude fairy will continue to generate sales for years to come!

WFAR:  What is your favorite piece or book that you have written?

SBR:  I’m really proud of everything I’ve written — because I put my heart and soul (and research) into anything I write. But I am most proud of Tooth, because she sprang from my imagination.

WFAR:  What do you like to do when you are not writing?

SBR:  I am currently enrolled full-time in a culinary arts program this semester, learning the ins and outs of baking.  So maybe I’ll write some baking/food-related books in the future. Or maybe a diet book, if my derriere continues to mushroom!

WFAR:  Do you have a favorite author?

SBR:  I like Jerry Spinelli a lot. His writing is wonderful, and he’s also a very nice guy. His wife, Eileen, is also an inspiration.

WFAR:  What do you think about having your book reviewed by book bloggers?

SBR:  Thank the Lord for the Internet!!! I love bloggers. Real people with real opinions. Bloggers are a great asset to writers.

WFAR:  Anything else that you want readers to know?

Please stop by my websites and get to know me better:  www.4kids.Bell-Rehwoldt.com and www.Bell-Rehwoldt.com. And keep me in mind for school visits.
Thanks!

 

 You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy?

Review copy provided by:  publisher, Chronicle Books

Author:  Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt

This is one of the neatest children’s books that I have read in a long time! 

From Book Jacket:  You think it’s easy being the tooth fairy?  Think again – of stormy nights, dangerous pets, pearly whites hidden in pajama pockets or wrapped in dirty tissues, to say nothing of all those thousands of teeth falling out all over the world every single day.  The tooth fairy’s nights are long and hard.  But she’s up for it.  She never misses a tooth.  How does she do it?  For the first time ever, she reveals everything, right here!

My Review:  Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt has written an exceptional book for children!  Being a teacher, I am always looking for great children’s books to share with my students, and I have found one that I’m sure will be read over and over again.  What kid doesn’t love the tooth fairy?  What kid doesn’t wish they knew how the tooth fairy worked her magic?  In You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy, the story is told from the Tooth Fairy’s perspective, and she compares herself to Cinderella and Santa Claus, two other characters that children relate to.  However, she is not like either one of those, she is tough, daring and smart!  She doesn’t need help from reindeer or fairy god-mothers, she does her job alone.  She has even invented items to help her with her job:  a Tooth-o-Finder and Spy-o-Binoculars; what a gal!  I love the way Rehwoldt has created this character to be so over the top that kids will just love her!  I think that girls especially will love this character because it helps them to see that girls can be strong and athletic just like boys.  The Tooth Fairy even teaches the kids about the right and wrong ways to handle their teeth and leave them for her.  I think kids will latch on to that concept and do what she says.   The illustrations add so much to this story.  It is wonderful that David Slonim was paired with Rehwoldt for this because he did an amazing job bringing this story to life!  Thinking from a teacher’s point of view, I can already see this book being used during Dental Health Month, but also to teach character traits.  This is a must see book for adults so that they can share it with the children in their lives.  I think children will want to read this over and over again, especially when they lose a tooth!  Thank you Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt for a great story!

For more on this book and an interview with Sheri and David, click here.  Sheri also has activities and ideas to use with this book on her website.

 

Posted in Author Interviews, Book Reviews | 8 Comments »