Friday, September 16, 2011
Guest Interview/Blog - One Wish for Winifred Witch by Cheri Hallwood
Wow, that’s really hard to do! Solution for a witch’s fear.
How did the ideas for your book come to you?
I’ve always had a vivid imagination. I think I feel a lot like “Peter Pan.” I don’t want to forget what it’s like to be a child . . . to imagine, ask what if, and always ask why.
The idea for One Wish for Winifred Witch, comes from remembering my own fear of the dark and then watching my children and grandchildren find ways to overcome this same fear. I decided my character would be a little witch after accompanying two of my granddaughters while they went Trick or Treating a few years ago. You see, while we were going door to door, these three adorable little girls dressed up as “little witches” came running from one of the homes crying and saying how they now wanted to go home because it was getting dark. I thought, “What better way to talk about this fear.” After all, who would ever think a Witch would be afraid of the dark!.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I don’t really think about having a message when I write. However, Winifred is a tale about being afraid of the dark . . . an emotion most of us have felt at some time in our life. I feel it is important to take the time to listen to a child, for whatever reason. After all, they chose you to share their thoughts with. Remember, no wish is too big, no fear is too small.
What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?
The hardest part part of writing for me is knowing when to stop. I tend to ramble on and on and on. That’s when editing comes in! For me, the easiest part of writing is rhyming. I love it . . . to bring a story to life through rhyme is, for me, spiritual.
What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?
Two of my grandchildren have asked me to try my hand at writing my first chapter book. And I am up to the challenge. Tentatively entitled, Frogwilla, (one granddaughter’s e-mail address) this enchanting tale is about a little frog’s road to self-discovery. Along the way, she learns the true meaning of friendship, courage, and acceptance. To be released Holiday 2012.
Why did you choose to write for specific genre?
Literacy is very important to me. Young children are so eager to learn. How much fun it is to listen to a young child as they browse through picture books and make up their own stories. Once a child learns to read, the world awaits them. “Children who are introduced to books at an early age and read to on a regular basis do better in school.” S. Herb--Building Blocks for Literacy
What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?
Unbelievable! Since my readers are so young, it’s mainly the grownups I hear from. I will never forget the time I was at a book signing and a little girl, about 6 years old, jumped up onto my lap and gave me the biggest hug. She told me how much she loved my book, Winter’s First Snowflake, and how she had waited several days to come to the book store and meet me! She then asked me if I would read my story just for her. Needless to say, it was very hard to hold back the tears.
What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
I can’t think of a question I haven’t already been ask, but I can tell you that some of the most interesting questions have come from children. What was your road to publications like?
Since I self-publish, my road to publication is somewhat different than the traditional route. I won’t lie, it is a lot of hard work. But I have discovered that the rewards of working hard at something you are passionate about far outweigh the challenges. Never give up on your dream!!!
Meet Author, Cheri L. Hallwood
Cheri L. Hallwood is an award-winning children’s author and founder of Forever Young Publishers. But first and foremost, she will tell you she is the proud mother of three talented daughters and six very imaginative granddaughters.
Throughout her adult life, Cheri has had many occupations, but has always devoted her spare time to being involved with children . . . from room-mother and teacher’s helper, to Brownie Leader. As a young mother, Cheri had dreamed of someday writing children’s stories. However, life has a way of putting our dreams on hold. It would be her grandchildren that would inspire her to fulfill that dream and rekindle her passion for writing.
In 2005, with the encouragement of family and friends, a lot of research, and a small loan, Cheri would embark upon one of the most amazing journeys in her life . . . the journey into the world of writing and self-publishing. Her first children‘s book, Winter’s First Snowflake, was released in 2006. After Snowflake, took off, she continued to write, and a year later published The Curious Polka~Dot Present. Cheri’s latest book, One Wish for Winifred Witch, is considered by some to be her best work yet. All three books have been awarded the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award and the distinguished Dove Foundation Seal. Cheri’s goal remains the same, to encourage children to get excited about reading by creating books that stimulate their imagination and sense of curiosity about the world around them. Everyone should take a moment and enter the world of a child. Once again, Cheri’s grandchildren inspire her writing by asking her to try something new . . . write her first chapter book. Tentatively entitled, Frogwilla, this enchanting tale is about a little frog‘s road to self-discovery. Follow along, as she learns the true meaning of friendship, courage, and acceptance.
When not writing or publishing, Cheri enjoys baking, sewing and decorating. But her greatest pleasure is spending time with her grandchildren. A long-time resident of Niles, Michigan, Cheri and her husband, Ray, take great pleasure in being involved in their community.
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