Book Release and Blog Hop: The Wait is Almost over for My PB, Oliver's Hunger Dragon

My first picture book, Oliver's Hunger Dragon, is scheduled for release this week. Thank you to all who both helped fund and support this book through Fundly.

For those of you who do not know about this book, it is a story about a boy named Oliver. Oliver discovers he has a hunger dragon that rumbles and grumbles and mkes him too tired to play. Poor Oliver thinks he is the only one with a hunger dragon in his belly, but is he?

If you follow this blog, you know how hunger ravages one in five kids in America. That number makes me angry. Kids deserve food, shelter, and love. But, when I went to find books for kids and about hungry kids, the selection was dismal. That is when Oliver's Hunger Dragon began its journey from an idea, to the text, to revision, to more revision, to submission to both agents and publishers, to numerous rejections, to a decision to self-publish, to Fundly, to friends and supporters, to a final revision, to Halo Publishing, to the amazing illustrator, Amy Rottinger, to NOW! 

How is it going to help hungry kids? First, it provides a voice for kids who are too embarrassed by their hunger to share it with anyone. Second, it will explain hunger to kids not facing their own hunger dragons. Third, it shows how we all can help end hunger, one hunger dragon at a time. And finally, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the Clark County WA Food Bank, Feeding America, and the Portland Police Bureau's Sunshine Division to help them continue feeding hungry kids. There is a short video on YouTube, so check it out, and help me spread the word. Oliver's Hunger Dragon is scheduled for release this week as both an ebook and a print book. It will be available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble first, but by the end of the month at more than 40 retailers.

Now for the Blog Hop. The wonderful children's book author of The Pea in the Peanut Butter and Kailee Finds Magic in Words, Allyn Stotz ( tagged me in a blog hop. Thank you Allyn! The tag requires me to answer four questions, so here they are:

1. What are you currently working on? I just finished the final revision of a YA adventure novel set in 1883, am revising my second PB to get it ready to submit and writing a 3rd on kids whose parents are incarcerated, am halfway through a new YA novel thanks to Camp NanoWrimo, and outlining several magazine queries.Busy, busy, busy. 

2. How does your work differ from others of its genre? I'm not really sure how to answer this question. I want kids to read what entertains them, but I also want what I write to become the voice of those children who are afraid to use theirs. Oliver is such a book. I don't want to stick with only one genre. I enjoy writing too much. Plus, I love to read, and it never matters which genre it is as long as it is a good story.

3. Why do I write what I write? I love kids and kid lit. Plus it helps to have almost seven grandchildren at various stages of reading development. I want to write what they want to read. That will make my heart happy.

4. How does my individual writing process work? Like most writers, I keep a notebook of ideas, phrases, thoughts, and things that sparked my interest. I love research, so I usually research every avenue of the idea I decide to use way before I write my first word. I am not a sit down and write 10,000 words. I can't do it. My mind needs to work through a scene or a subplot before I can write it. I find it easy to write non-fiction, and have to work much harder at fiction, so I can spend hours on a scene one day and delete it the next. I am a revision addict.  

In order to keep this going, I am tagging two other writers to keep this going. Katie Clark at who has a fantastic new YA series coming out this fall, and Joy Moore, author of Wiggle, Wiggle, Scratch, Scratch, Itch, Itch, Itch, at

Look Katie and Joy up. They are outstanding authors, and it is a great opportunity to meet them up close and personal.  

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