Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Interview with Children's Author Alicia Lloyd



Please share your bio with us and anything else you would like readers to know.
This book is a friendly way for children to ease their bedtime fears. All children at one point in their lives hear unfamiliar and scary noises while trying to drift off into sleep. As soon as they get scared, they start thinking of all these scary things that can happen. The main message is just to remember that noises can just be familiar noises, like in this case, your mom going to bed. Being afraid of monsters is common however, I am hoping my book sends the message to never be afraid of them.

My idea was unique and unexpected. I was sleeping at a new place one night and at the age of 22, still afraid of monsters. I heard all of these weird and unfamiliar noises around the house. I was texting my boyfriend, Chris, saying, “I don’t like this! I’m hearing too many noises, I can’t fall asleep.” He then texted me back asking if I ever did fall back asleep. My response was, “eventually, when the monsters were quiet.” Right there I thought, “That would be an awesome title for a children’s book!” The next weekend at 3am I suddenly woke up, went to my phone, opened notepad, and wrote the last two lines and the first three of my book. The next day Chris and I were driving and he was singing Selena Gomez’s song, “Come Get It,” extremely loud and obnoxious. (I find it funny with him being 6’5 singing this song.) Somehow, I finished my book right next to him in the car. 


Tell us briefly about your recently published book and what you feel is the most important topic/sub-message you share.
This book is a friendly way for children to ease their bedtime fears. All children at one point in their lives hear unfamiliar and scary noises while trying to drift off into sleep. As soon as they get scared, they start thinking of all these scary things that can happen. The main message is just to remember that noises can just be familiar noises, like in this case, your mom going to bed. Being afraid of monsters is common however, I am hoping my book sends the message to never be afraid of them.

Like all authors, you have had your fair share of rejection letters. You obviously did not let the letters deter you. How did you keep your determination without getting discouraged?
Fortunately, I never received a rejection letter with my first book, “When the Monsters are Quiet.” I honestly thought, “Nothing is going to come out of this” when I first submitted my manuscript. This book took less than a day to write and it was completely random. I thought the process would be so much harder and that it was way out of my reach. I am so blessed with my first experience of being an author.


Please describe to us your relationship between you and your editor. What makes an author/editor relationship a success?
Lisa Umina is a phenomenal publisher. Lisa Umina is the CEO of Halo Publishing. Since I am 22 years old, I don’t know anyone who has ever published a book before. Lisa was extremely helpful. She knew I was nervous and she made me feel comfortable asking questions to seek how the process works. The process was easier than I originally imagined and I got to be 100% involved with my book. She told me, “I am in the passenger seat and you are the driver,” this made me feel comfortable with what I was about to get into. I thought this process would be stressful and out of my reach but Lisa proved me wrong. She is awesome to work with!
 
When they write your obituary, what do you hope they will say about your books and writing? What do you hope they will say about you?
I hope they will say something along the lines of how I made a difference in the lives of children. That has always been my goal- to make a difference in the life of a child. I now have two careers: writing and being a teacher. I hope to find success in both careers and make a difference somehow. I want children to get my messages that I am writing about and hopefully abide by them or always remember them. 


Is there anything you'd go back and do differently now that you have been published, in regards to your writing career? 
Nothing at all! Thankfully, I’ve had an amazing experience.
  

Do you do first drafts on a computer or by hand?
My first draft was on the “notepad” application in my iPhone.


Have you received any awards?
My awards right now are seeing children’s faces “light up” when they see the monster or hearing the stories of how they would defeat their monster/ who their monster is. Children being able to relate to my book and love reading it as a bedtime story is definitely the best award I could receive in this career.
 
Do you have any book signings, tours or special events planned to promote your book that readers might be interested in attending? If so, when and where?
I had a few in the beginning of the month of December of 2013. I held my first library signing and had the amazing opportunity to talk to a room full of teachers. My next signings are in the process. 2014 will be a busy year but I am ready and excited! Another exciting part is I keep finding articles written about me and my book. Usually, they talk about the ideas and my age of 22 years old publishing a book. I knew an article would be written but had no idea it was slither onto other websites and newspapers.




The World of Ink Network will be touring author Alicia Lloyd’s monster picture book, When the Monsters are Quiet January 2014.

1st grade reading level children's book. Phonemic awareness and reading comprehension strategies are in the back of the book so parents can get their kiddos star readers!

Title of Book: When the Monsters are Quiet  
Author: Alicia Lloyd                    
Publisher: Halo Publishing, Int.
ISBN Number: ISBN 13: 978-1-61244-219-8
Genre: Children
Publication Date: January 2014
Page count: 25
Price: $11.95


Synopsis of book: This friendly book is a fun way children can start to become proficient readers by reading about one of their biggest worries- bedtime! This book is a reminder to never be afraid of your monsters and has helpful hints for parents to help their children by exploring with early reading strategies at home.  

Places available for sale: Halo, Amazon, Barnes & Noble
 

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