Monday, April 14, 2014


Welcome to my contribution to

The talented Clara Bowman-Jahn tagged me to join this intriguing Blog Tour on WRITING PROCESSES. Each week, authors post answers to four Writing Process Questions on their blogs. Then they tag friends to play along the following week. You can read Clara’s terrific post, and learn what she's working on, right here. You can also see what’s going on with Clara and her books on Facebook - right here.

Bellow, find my answers (after much head scratching) to the four set questions. At the bottom of the page you'll find the names of  talented writers who’ll carry the “Writing Answers Torch” for next week - Monday the 21st of April.

What am I working on?
Aha, I am getting ready to self publish a picture book that is near and dear to my heart. “Dreamtime Man” was first written many years ago – just scribbled down, and then put aside when more pressing works grabbed my attention.  I would bring it out every so often and rework the rhyme, tweak the meter, and reinvent a verse or two – a rhyming story.  I never forgot it - but life got in the way. This is a tale of bad deeds and tribal suffering:  of how the aboriginal people of Australia were treated when the white man arrived– and after! For this story, near enough was not good enough. I wanted it perfect . . . and perfect takes longer than I imagined. Finally, I was ready  for an illustrator.   
I found
Ioana Zdralea on Linkedin.  After reading Dreamtime Man, and a few words from me, she GOT it – the outback colors, the “feel,” and a wonderful sense of what my verses needed to tell about.  I am eager to see her sketches for verse #2.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I grew up Down Under, in the state of Queensland.  They used to grow a lot of bananas there when I was young, so I was called a Banana-lander.  Aussies have a barefaced independence, a way of thumbing their noses at anything that smells of “set in stone” rules. I think my writing voice shows this.  I also like to mix humor and dire trouble in my young teen books.  Life is full of awful situations that are made bearable by the ability to laugh at yourself.  If kids learn this early, it will make life for them easier to handle.  And even though I now live in the US with my family, my Aussie upbringing still holds sway.  You know the old saying, “You can take the sheila outa OZ, but you can’t take the Aussie outa the Sheila!”

Why do I write what I do?

 I write what comes to me in the middle of the night, when my head hits the pillow and I should be snoring.  I guess if erotic ideas chased me into the bathroom at night, begging to be jotted down, I would write best selling erotica and make a bundle!!  BUMMER!  Unfortunately, my brain seems to generate pictures of Aussie adventures, and assorted animals that beg to be written about .  And I can’t imagine Thelma Hill (from The Revenge of Thelma Hill ) doing anything even faintly “naughty.”  She is modeled after my mother for goodness sake!  She does sport the see through filmy gowns, but rattling bones and a musty basement are not conducive to anything vaguely erotic – unless you are REALLY kinky! 

So, I’m stuck writing about ghosts, families separated by an ocean,
Aussie adventures, and picture books with assorted critters, dyslexic boys, rattlesnakes, and grizzly bears.  And as always, the big bucks will pour down onto those who dream up exotic doings.  Sigh. . .

 How does my writing process work?

 Next morning I bring all those nighttime notes to my writing den and see what has real possibilities.  Or, if there’s an idea that beefs up a plot or character I am working on, I slip it into place with a sigh of relief.  Some books almost write themselves.  Others have characters it is hard to pin down, or plots that are always wandering away on their own.  Guess they caught the Aussie independence virus from me.  I have to admit that Down Under Calling was a book that wrote itself.  It poured from me like a river in flood.  The characters are all fictional, but the tales and remembrances that Grandma Rose wrote about to her grandson, Andy, all came from my childhood or my dear mother. It was as if Mom were looking over my shoulder.  A joy to write - and I do hope readers love it as much as I loved writing it.

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WHO'S UP NEXT MONDAY! – April 21st 2014.

AGY WILSON - writer/Illustrator
NOTE:  Agy did the cover art on two of my young teen books.  I named her "Awesome Agy" for a good reason!
Agy loves her family, art, environment, history, calligraphy and all things language. It's only natural for her to throw it into a huge pot and cook up her books. When she is not playing with kids or pets, Agy is usually immersing myself in her work. She is currently working on a coloring book suitable for all ages, and a few more projects - picture books, and beginning readers/chapter books, are included.

*Duke Day for Annie:  available on Amazon, Kindle and hardcopy. 2014
*Nana's Gift: available on Amazon, Kindle and hardcopy. 2012.
*Room Wars: available on Amazon Kindle.  Short story. 2011 
Facebook Fanpage:
Duke Day for Annie:
Website and blog :

Donna Shepherd's children's books, Topsy Turvy Land, No More Gunk! & OUCH! Sunburn!, Chizzy's Topsy Tale, Dotty's Topsy Tale, Poodle and Doodle, Sully's Topsy Tale, Bradybug, and Where is Salami? feature short, playful rhymes and humorous illustrations. Be sure to look for the items hidden in each picture by the imaginative artists.

Her newest book for children, Ava's Secret Tea Party, is her first 'girly' book with an old-fashioned fairy tale, hidden teacups and cookies, and recipes and crafts. Available in both paperback and hardcover. Donna is founder of Greater Harvest Workshops and Middletown Area Christian Writers, and in demand as a Bible teacher, conference speaker, and singer with over thirty years of experience.  For writing tips, useful links, and updates about Donna's books, visit her Fan Page:

Jennifer is a children’s author, mother of three, and a teacher who lives and writes in Pennsylvania. She is the author of three children’s books: A Star in the Night, Teresa’s Shadow, and Angel Donor through Guardian Angel Publishing. She also has written several children’s stories, poems and articles, and started her own Catholic e-zine titled My Light Magazine.


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