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I Believe In The Power Of Words

Tuula Pere Author Interview

The Fox’s City is the delightful tale of one fox’s plan to outwit a city and have his way. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The adventures of Francis the Fox reflect social and political setups in many countries as well as in international contexts – unfortunately. Stories start to live in my head when I read or hear something absurd, annoying, or unreasonable in the news or public discussion.

My background as a Ph.D. in Law is sometimes reflected in my fox stories, where the appropriateness and legality are constantly tested, and the boundaries are sometimes crossed. Social justice and the rights of individuals are valuable to me, and I want to speak for them. As my tool to influence, I have chosen the one I feel most comfortable with, the use of words.

I believe in the power of words. I want to write about social and political problems in a way that works for children. I think children’s books can prepare them to meet certain realities they encounter in the world – at least as they grow up.

When reading “The Fox’s City” with adult eyes, we find some severe themes between the lines. It talks about the pursuit of power by any means, societal manipulation, and limitations on freedom of speech. Telling about the activities and wrongdoings of this power-hungry fox makes children think about justice and the effects and consequences of different actions. Nothing wrong with opening one’s eyes already at an early age!

All of your books are so artful and creative. What is your writing process like?

Thank you! Hearing this makes an author happy! As I write books, I try to give my best. I genuinely value children as a target group. I try to reach a level that is more than pure entertainment – though I understand it’s needed, too. I have been fortunate to find skilled and ambitious illustrators for my books. They add their spices to the stories and interpret them in a visually exciting way. I find this co-operation very stimulating.

In my stories, I want to combine child-like and free imagination and creativity with the knowledge and experience of life I have gathered. There is so much to remember and share!

Sometimes it feels like having an endless story library or warehouse in my head. I can adventure there alone and taste the content, or I can pick something out and write a story for others if I feel like that. I can honestly say that writing is like breathing for me—an equally important and equally natural way to live.

I write when I am happy, excited, sad, or irritable — whenever there is a lively movement in my mind and thoughts need to be expressed in words to others. But I also write when there is peace of mind and a calm feeling prevails. Emotional states affect what kind of things I want to write about and how I do it.

Often the stories are almost ready-made packages in my head. I can take them out whenever I need to. The stimulus can come from inside or outside of me. When writing starts, it’s a go! I enjoy the flow of the story, and I can’t stop in the middle. The time for a more detailed examination and corrections will come later. Before that, the intense feeling must calm down.

What do you find to be the hardest part of writing?

As a continuation of the previous answer, I could say that the most challenging stages in my work are placed on both sides of the actual writing stage.

Before the story gets on paper, the biggest dilemma is the overwhelming amount of ideas. I’m so excited about so many writing possibilities all the time that it’s hard to choose which one to tackle first. I would like to accomplice so much simultaneously that it exceeds the strength of one person. I have to limit and control my enthusiasm!

The congestion of ideas I described above is a positive dilemma that I actually enjoy. More problematic is the phase after creative writing, where you have to delve into grinding, editing, and proofreading the text. It would be wonderful if I could leave that later stage more in the hands of others, and I could just grab another inspiring story and write a new book about it.

Will readers be able to see Francis the Fox in any of your future books?

I have already published two books about this fox villain, “The Fox’s City” and “The Fox’s Palace,” and the following three books are in the process already.

Francis the Fox has become such a “friend” to me that I must continue with him! I completed the Finnish version of the third book in the series yesterday, and the next two are waiting for my “summer vacation.” The following subjects are also captured from the society and politics around, and the storylines are ready in my head for writing out.

Writing about society and politics in a child-appropriate way will be much fun again! I believe a suitable amount of satire also works in children’s books! Especially if the protagonist is a villain like my Francis the Fox. I have to admit, writing about villains and various bad guys is sometimes fun. I can bring up contradictions and create moral tests for the readers. But goodness and honesty always win at the end of my stories.

Interestingly, some of my readers have wished Francis the Fox “tougher penalties” in the end. In real life, it might have happened. But a fairy tale is a fairy tale, and Francis continues his journey into new attempts and mistakes. Just wait for the following three books to come! Very current subjects!

I think children need clever books about society, too. After all, we have to try to understand this strange world starting from our childhood.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

Francis the Fox has great plans for the future. Leaving his den behind, he marches to the city in his shiny boots to meet the mayor, William the Wolf.
When the old wolf mayor goes on a fishing trip on a deserted island, Francis talks him into letting Francis serve as substitute mayor. But Francis’s greed for power and actions quickly make city residents uneasy. There’s something suspicious going on in the library attic, and the city’s carrier pigeons have disappeared mysteriously.
Will Francis ruin the upcoming soccer match with a rival team? And will it be a friendly match as always before?

Wandering In A Darkening Forest

Tuula Pere Author Interview

The Tree House Night is a beautiful picture book with an inspirational message about friendship and supporting those you care for. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

As a child, I was eager to climb trees and build huts. “The Tree House Night” has undoubtedly been inspired by my own experiences sitting on the branches of trees by the house or further afield in the forests of Eastern Finland.

Admittedly, wandering in a darkening forest or climbing higher and higher in a tree sometimes felt too exciting – but survival boosted self-confidence. It was physically challenging, but the most important thing was the close connection with nature.

Most of my childhood adventures I did alone. It seemed most natural because I could make all the decisions when hiking alone. I wouldn’t be my current self without these adventures in nature. The hideaways in the middle of the forest, or high up in a tree, made me realize that I am enough and able to survive alone.

Now, as an adult, I realize what risks my childhood outings involved. Fortunately, nothing happened, and I could also gather authentic experiences for my children’s books! My books don’t recommend just one model for the families, but somewhat alternative ideas, because each family is different.

The individuals are of a great variety when it comes to skills, needs, and interests. Some children need a lot of encouragement. Some need to be protected from their wildest ideas! It’s not easy being a wise parent to support your child in the best possible way.

Childhood adventures have made me the person I am. The same curious child looks at me from the mirror, still ready to try something new and challenging!

What were some driving ideals behind your character’s in this story?

Friendships are essential for children. Experimenting together and sharing ideas and plans with peers is inspiring. Friends can also get support and security from each other as they try their limits.

For this book, I wanted to choose two children of different natures who also have much in common. The other one has more courage and optimism in her adventurous plans. She gets even her more cautious friend to participate in building her dream, a tree house.

It also brings the friends in the book to the limit where their perceptions of appropriate and permissible differ. Due to disagreement, only the braver child stays in the tree house for the night. She stubbornly wants to prove that she is independent and capable of surviving the night alone.

The children in the book are different but still need each other. Despite their controversy, they work together as a team. The friend keeping guard from her bedroom window adds a sense of security for the other child staying outside in the tree house. Testing their friendship in a conflict teaches the two an important lesson and reveals something essential about being a true friend.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The child must be able to make friends with different children. If they have been practicing cooperation since childhood, it helps them for a lifetime. In the end, real-life communities have a place for very different individuals. At least they should have. I like to emphasize how much various personalities, opinions, and skills enrich our lives.

I don’t think only similar kids play best with each other. The differences can also complement each other.

The enthusiastic and brave ones draw the more precautious ones into exciting activities. But a more careful and considerate person can prevent worse damage from occurring when a friend has too much momentum.

It is helpful for strong-willed and creative children to learn to accept that not everyone is enthusiastic about the same things. We have to respect the limits set by another person. For the stronger, louder, and faster persons, it is easy to – accidentally or on purpose – step on the toes of others and block their opinions.

Those who feel somehow superior should realize their individual weaknesses and the fact that they need the help of others, too. There is no weakness or shame in needing other people.

“The Tree House Night” belongs to the I DID IT series. A central theme in all these books is children’s enthusiasm and desire to implement their ideas even when others are not encouraging them. Sometimes children act on the gray zone of what is allowed and forbidden and test their limits. – Why not try to climb a little higher this time! The view might be fantastic.

What can readers expect in book three of the I DID IT series?

In the first book of the series, a child secretly grew her own sunflowers – from seedlings to heights. She even helped them survive the storm at night. The heroic act of this second book is building a treehouse and spending the night up there, against even the opinion of the closest friend.

The next book, “A Special Sweater,” talks about the protagonist who shows creativity and determination in knitting a woolen sweater. He’s not bothered too much, though his mother gives nothing but yarn leftovers. No one thinks he’s getting anything done, as this is his first large knitting – but he struggles to the end. Even the somewhat weird-looking result makes others suspect whether it’s suitable for school. Of course, it is!

So, my readers can expect some fun surprises again in the company of their active peers. And their parents get something to think about in their role as encouragers and supporters.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

Emma and Oliver are good friends. A nice big backyard connects their homes. They love to play all kinds of games together among the bushes and trees.
It will be fun for the friends to build a tree house from some old boards and ropes. But how safe is it to sleep there at night—especially without permission to do so?

Honeycake: A Helping Hand – Book Trailer

Multi-Award Winning and Amazon best-selling Author Medea Kalantar Introduced readers to her new book series Honeycake. Inspired to write these books when she learned she would become a grandmother, Kalantar’s stories are based on her own family, whose members come from many ethnic backgrounds. This unique mix is a perfect recipe—just like the spices in a honey cake. That is why she calls her grandchildren her little Honeycakes.

In the sixth installment of the delightful Honeycake book series, Nala’s uncles, Victor and George, take her to a fundraiser where she meets Alexis, a girl with an artificial arm. Through her interactions, Nala learns that you are never too young to lend “a helping hand,” that it’s okay to be different, and that being different doesn’t stop you from doing great things in life.

All proceeds from each book sold in Honeycake: A Helping Hand will be going to The War Amps CHAMP Program as Medea Kalantar’s charity of choice.

The delightful Honeycake book series is endorsed by Unstoppable Tracy Schmitt.

With all the negativity in the world, Medea Kalantar’s series is a much-needed glimmer of hope and positivity. The Honeycake Book Series teaches valuable life lessons, giving children the tools to overcome obstacles in their everyday lives.

The Honeycake books teach children about diversity, acceptance, kindness, mindfulness, trust, and gratitude. This series will enlighten, empower, educate, and entertain children and their families for generations to come.

In Honeycake – A Helping Hand Nala learns that being different doesn’t stop you from doing great things. Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and anywhere ebooks are sold.

Buy Now From Amazon

That Playful Little Ghost

Isabel Ricardo Author Interview

The Ghost of the Torn Underpants follows a ghost that is given a unique name and is teased for it, he learns to accept his different name with the help of a new friend. What was the inspiration for your story?

The inspiration was really my children. I used to try to spook them by going into their room with a sheet covering me, waving my arms and yelling that I was The Ghost of the Torn Underpants. Of course they would always burst out laughing. At a certain point, young children accompanying their older siblings to signings of my THE ADVENTURER’S series asked me to write something for them too, and so I indulged them. I reminisced in that game I used to play with my children and one summer I decided to write the story of that playful little Ghost who was marginalized by others due to his crazy name, and was deeply saddened by this. And it has been a great success!

The art in this book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Pedro Pires?

After writing this book I searched for an illustrator whose work I admired a lot, Pedro Pires. In this case I sent him the book and left it to his creativity. I had no idea what would come out of his hands. When we hear about ghosts, we always have this common image in our minds, but the illustrator’s vision was very original and innovative, with a ghost with red hair so long that it even wrapped around the lamps. I was surprised by the final product, but I enjoyed the uniqueness. And it was a good choice indeed, because kids love him and they really like his different and strange look.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The main theme is the acceptance of difference and diversity. This book has a pedagogic component to it. I wanted to demonstrate to all children, through a fun way, that we are all different, but at the same time, all the same. We all have hearts and feelings that must be respected and we must not treat differently those who are different from us. This way, children learn to accept and respect difference with ease. During the course of this story, we also discover the value of friendship.

This is a Portuguese children’s literature bestseller, with successive editions, very dear to children of all ages, as well as Educators, Parents and Teachers.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am currently writing my next historical novel, in Portuguese, which always takes longer as it requires very deep and comprehensive research. Later this year, Underline Publishing will release “The Enchanted Forest”, as well as “The Forgotten Treasure”, the second volume of The Port of the Grail trilogy, in succession of The Quest for the Lost Map. There will also be a new adventure: “The Adventurers in Underground River”.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

The Ghost of the Torn Underpants is a very entertaining book about a playful ghost, who tore his underpants, becoming forever called: The Ghost of the Torn Underpants. Aimed at children from 3 to 10 years old, this story amuses and, at the same time, teaches kids that we are all different, but all the same. This title has the collaboration of Isabel Ricardo, a renowned Portuguese author of many successful children’s and youth collections, and the talented illustrator Pedro Pires. Let’s have fun together!

The Path To A Friend’s Heart

Tuula Pere Author Interview

Colin the Crab Finds a Treasure follows a crab who meets a hurt pearl oyster and while helping her heal realizes the value of friendship. What was the inspiration for your story?

After I had written the first book – The Caring Crab – in this series, I couldn’t just leave the characters. They had grown so strong in my mind that they continued their lives almost independently.

I am happy to pass on my real-life experiences through the life circle of Colin the Crab. The diverse character gallery offers a fruitful ground to explore very human relationships, weaknesses, and strengths.

I have chosen two main themes for this book: different perceptions of essential things in life and trust as a prerequisite for friendship.

I found it essential to show that Colin the Crab lived a rich life, although it was seemingly modest. Children get to compare the choices various characters value in life. I hope they realize the importance of friendship by the end of the story, too!

I also wanted to show that it is better to be genuinely yourself than pretend to be something else. When Colin gets lost on this path, the consequences are harmful. Fortunately, Colin learns from his mistakes. Boasting is pointless, and not everyone needs to build muscle at the gym. The path to a friend’s heart goes along other routes.

If you were to write a spin-off about a side character, which would you pick?

Funny coincidence that you ask this! I recently started to consider writing separate books or series about Colin the Crab’s friends.

There are many delicious characters in the series about whom I could easily write separate books or an entire spin-off series. I could look at the world through the eyes of Eddie the Eel, Stella the Starfish, or Ms. Monkfish, for example. Also, the fast-paced life of Norma the Newt’s family with many lively children would be a perfect setting for new adventures. Each spin-off would indeed become interesting in different ways.

With Eddie, who is a technology freak, we would undoubtedly embark on the wildest adventures. He is so passionate about acquiring the fastest, most comprehensive, and most expensive technology and solving everyday problems with them.

The sophisticated and vain Stella would undoubtedly spend most of her efforts to fulfill her desires. That kind of character simply believes herself to be the center of the world. Successes and failures with this delusion would give rise to many juicy conflicts.

There would undoubtedly be many interesting things to tell about old Ms. Monkfish’s past and memories. Her adaptation to modern life and various friends also offers exciting opportunities for stories. And needless to say, Norma the Newt’s bunch of children – with its hustle and bustle – is certainly enough to fill many books.

Thinking about this answer inspires me to consider these spin-off stories seriously. Thanks for that, and let’s get back to it later.

What are your favorite blogs or websites for writers?

I don’t know if I dare to admit that I hardly follow any authors’ blogs or web pages. I am writing all the time myself and work with my own publishing company, so I don’t have too much time and energy for that.

There are some literary communities to which I belong. e.g., The Association of Finnish Nonfiction Writers and Finnish Youth Writers Association. I follow their communication and activities – and participate occasionally. I used to belong to IBBY Finland as a board member and have been the chairman of the board for the Topelius Society of Finland, which recently organized a national poem competition for young writers.

I know this isn’t exactly an answer to your question, but I rather write and act myself instead of reading how others do that. Besides, I have this hybrid role of being a publisher as well. In that respect, as a writer, I am perhaps in a different situation than the others.

I personally have direct contacts with all my target groups – including international publishers, illustrators, and translators. Hopefully, I’ll find more new ways to be in contact with as many readers internationally as possible. Enough goals for a small author/publisher and enough reasons to develop my blogs and websites!

What books did you grow up reading?

I grew up with a library of books, not my own, but the village library across the road. I moved between the shelves there from one age group and theme to another.

I went to the library every evening it was open and borrowed loads of books. I quickly moved from fairy tales and picture books to international favorites in children’s literature. My favorites were all the adventures like The Famous Five and Five Find-Outers by Enid Blyton and many more. Naturally, the romantic books about Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery had to be read later. I also read all the possible Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan books to keep the balance.

The most important books of my childhood and youth also included various non-fiction books. I was a big consumer of them. As schoolbooks sparked my interest in some topics, I got excited to learn more details from the library’s book collections.

In my childhood in the 1960s and 1970s, it was impossible to use the Internet to search for information, but a library was a good source. Of course, the amount of information available has multiplied, but it is essential that the data is structured and there is peace in absorbing it. Books are a great tool in that sense. That’s the reason why I would love to retain something of that explorer vibe that I enjoyed in my childhood library.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

Colin the Crab has many special friends at his home in the river bay. It’s hard to imagine anyone more beautiful than Sally the Starfish or more successful than Eddie the Eel. Ms. Catfish’s antiques are very impressive, and the big newt family is always busy and full of energy.
Just as Colin starts to wonder if his own life is a bit too ordinary, a tidal wave tosses Priscilla the Pearl Oyster into his backyard. Colin’s new friend has something very valuable—something that many others want, including the deceitful Larry the Lobster.

Remember How We Felt When We Were Little

Tuula Pere Author Interview

Do You See Me at Home follows a small child that struggles with big feelings and needs the adults in their life to comfort and reassure them things will be ok. What was the inspiration for your story?

This book is one of three belonging to “Do You See Me? Series.” I wrote the books because I believe my experiences as a mother of three can be helpful for young families.

I have always been sensitive to observing everyday situations between young children and their parents. I often notice that adults somehow look past the children even when a little attention is needed.

It is often a matter of small things that grow into big problems unless they are dealt with compassion right away. In many situations, we can choose to behave kindly and smoothly to make everyone do better. I don’t mean that we should accept all requests or whims of the child. On the contrary, we must help children find their place and limits safely and learn to trust that they receive support when needed.

I want to remind the reading adults that you have to listen to your child, even in the middle of a rush. Creating a sense of security is one of the most important things. It is also easier for the child to face strange and scary things in such an atmosphere.

Children must make their voices heard, even when they cannot express themselves adequately. An observant adult can sense what is going on, even without words. We have to empathize and remember how we felt when we were little.

How do you use social media as an author?

I admit that I am a beginner as a social media user. Our publishing company, Wickwick, has a lot of online activity in marketing and sales. For my part, I connect with all my stakeholders by participating in producing the publishing company’s material.

In addition, I have both the Tuula Pere Author and the personal Tuula Pere Facebook pages. My friends and readers there include very different people interested in children’s literature — readers, writers, illustrators, publishers, and many of my dear old supporters. I also use LinkedIn to talk about books and writing internationally. I try to find a suitable way to meet people on each channel. They are different depending on the media and have different expectations.

I’m also quite active in the Publishers without Borders group, an engaging Facebook community born during the pandemic. It’s incredible how fast such networks can spread! There are about 4,500 people from the book industry in this community, and I have already met some at the international book fairs and publishing fellowship programs.

And I recommend my Warm Values Blog to you! I write there on a more general level on topics that I consider essential and exciting – such as Author’s Voice, Parenthood, Society, and Inspiration. My purpose is to get my readers to ponder various societal themes with an empathetic approach. I may reflect on recent events around us, or go back in history, describe observations from my travels, and thoughts behind my books.

In Warm Values Blog, I sometimes open my personal experiences of family life, being a mother and child, or layered memories of my family’s many generations. – My modest and ordinary grandparents would have been amazed reading about how much they have influenced my thinking and writing!

If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?

When I answer questions like this, I often choose some past writer. My companion would now be Mika Waltari (1908¬–1979), a versatile Finnish writer who was a professional writer for almost every kind of literary assignment. In addition to the smooth pen, he had a broad knowledge base and studies that gave depth to his social reflections.

He was so productive and successful that many people in the book industry and literature field envied him. He seemed to be capable of writing anything and adapting his gifts to very different uses and audiences. He wrote great historical novels, film scripts, crime novels, plays, essays, poems, and rhymed texts for newspaper comics. And was well-paid, too!

I chose to spend my imaginary day with Waltari, as I am a great admirer of his most famous novel worldwide, The Egyptian. But as a writer of many travel stories, he would undoubtedly be an expert as a traveling companion, preferably on a train.

I traveled alone by train around Europe for a month at a young age. I made a lot of observations about different regions, people and their habits and languages, and history, too. There was a lot for a young traveler to ponder and melt together. Young Waltari did the same thing and wrote a novel about that. No doubt, we would have a lot to discuss about our findings on the way – at least for one day together!

Have you ever traveled as research for your book?

I enjoy traveling a lot because it helps me understand life more broadly. The goal of my travels is simply to see and experience, perhaps learn something new and connect it to my previous experiences and knowledge. All this belongs to refining one’s personality.

As I walk around and explore things and meet people, I get new ideas, and old ones develop further. Everything gathers deep in my mind, where it matures – hopefully even into a story worth telling others. I guess I don’t travel to collect material but gain life experience and clarify and refresh my thinking.

In my children’s books, the stories travel around the world. In this way, I want to connect children across all borders – visible or invisible. The ingredients in these stories come from somewhere deeper than my travels. They come from the journeys my brain and heart have made.

But who knows if the more concrete “mental souvenirs” from my journeys could later be used in books for adults? The caches of my memory are already quite packed at this age.

So far, I’ve not written much for adults – mainly non-fiction. But I have published one collection of my short stories for adults in Finnish. And in some of them, I have put a few extraordinary situations and events from my travels abroad.

Maybe it’s soon time to start writing about this lifelong journey for adults. But it takes a new kind of courage!

Author Links: Facebook | Website

What should you do when your playing time is cut short or news reports are scary? What if no one has time to listen to you when you come home?
Many ordinary situations can be difficult for young people, and that’s when you need a grown-up’s support. With a warm heart and playful mind, families can fin

Flower Sketches

Gloria D. Gonsalves Author Interview

Alphabet of Flowers is a fun children’s book that teaches young readers about different flowers. What was the inspiration for the idea behind this book?

I love flowers, especially wild ones. I began drawing using wax crayons with our toddler about a year ago. As a painting medium, crayons are readily available and not messy for quick sketching and painting. Sometimes, we draw together, or I do it alone as a relaxing activity during the short breaks between motherhood responsibilities. I shared the flower sketches on my Instagram stories. A Tanzanian author and literacy specialist advised me to write an alphabet book. So, I wrote this book with a Tanzanian child in mind. I was already working on a bilingual book project on a similar topic. It seemed fitting to branch off from that original project and complete the suggested small one first.

My favourite picture from the book is the Poppy. Do you have a favourite flower from this book?

I love all of them and intended to avoid the popular flowers appearing in the A-to-Z lists of flowers. However, letters such as the X were challenging as there is not much variety of commonly known flowers. As I was writing with a Tanzanian child in mind, I focused on what is possibly available in their tropical environments like the African violet, bougainvillea, or okra flowers. Nevertheless, the African violet would be close to my heart because it originates from the Usambaras where I grew up. Unfortunately, found only in East Africa, the African violet is in danger because of its habitat shrinking.

What do you find that children most love about flowers?

From the observation I made with my son, it’s the different colours and shapes. They are also available to touch and smell, which is great for their sensory development. Flowers can also be used as a painting colour. On touching, one has to be well informed to know which are poisonous in case of ingestion.

Do you have plans to write more educational books on flowers or other things in nature?

This book was a smaller version of another bilingual children’s project that I am working on.

Most of my children’s stories use nature as the story background. For example, the Lamellia series as fables also offer a lesson and curiosity on mycology.

Author Links: Facebook | GoodReads | Website | Instagram

Can you learn to read and identify flowers?

Auntie Glo invites you to have fun with this book. You can learn to read or enjoy looking at the pictures, and you can also learn to draw a flower yourself using wax crayons, just as she did.

Lessons I had to learn the hard way!

Cameron Stelzer Author Interview

SOS Champion Captain follows the school’s most competitive student as she has to learn how to work in a group and the value of teamwork. What was the inspiration for your story?

I remember being in the final year of elementary school. Just like Nora I was fortunate to be elected school captain. During rehearsals for our end of year play I ran out of patience with some of the students who weren’t taking their parts seriously. My frustration didn’t help the situation. In fact, the students became less willing to cooperate. The lessons Nora learns in SOS Champion Captain were the lessons I had to learn the hard way! I hoped the story would help the perfectionists and high achievers and who struggle to work with others. Kindness and humility can go a long way when it comes to being a great captain.

Nora wants to win every completion but struggles with working with others. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Nora Nibblesworth shares many character traits with my eldest daughter, including her competitive streak and the desire to be in control. Yes, she inherited this from me! Nora has previously starred in my Scallywags series, but this was the first time I wrote her at the main character in a story. I thought it was good for readers to see some of the character flaws that come with such a driven individual. My daughter even suggested some of Nora’s lines. Nora’s teammates were partly inspired by my other daughters (who love hots chips) and are a little more relaxed when it comes to completing projects.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Teamwork, diversity, and the respect of classmates’ opinions were central to this story. Nora learns the hard way that she can’t always have her way, and that to succeed she needs to rely on her friends.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

After completing the ten books in the SOS series I am working on several adventure novels in my Pie Rats series. The first will be called Traitor’s Tail. The release date will be late 2023.

Author Links: GoodReads | Instagram | Facebook | Website

When Nora Nibblesworth sees the poster for the model ship competition, she knows she can win first prize. But when it becomes a group project, everything starts going wrong! Can Nora get along with her teammates or will their entry end up as one big mess?
Welcome to the School of Scallywags, a boarding school for young pirates. At SOS, students live at school during the term and go home for the holidays. Each night is one big sleepover with their friends! Each new day is an adventure waiting to happen.
The students at SOS don’t always get things right. But with a little encouragement from their friends and teachers, they learn that even the biggest disasters can be turned around.
Each story in the SOS series focuses on a different student and explores the personal and social challenges they face. Themes for Champion Captain include demonstrating unity through tolerance and acceptance.
SOS stories are designed for developing readers in lower to middle primary school. Books in the series include both male and female protagonists. Each book has seven or eight short chapters with illustrations on every page. Readers can move up to the award-winning Scallywags series which feature the same characters in extended adventures.
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