Today’s Guest–Cecil Paplinskie

Stopping by today is author & illustrator, Cecil Paplinskie, who illustrated my story “BF’s & Butterflies,” in the current edition of STORIES FOR CHILDREN MAGAZINE.

Welcome, Cecil. It sounds like you’ve moved around some in your lifetime. Could you give us a quick overview of your life and how your travels have impacted your art & writing?

I was born in the Philippines. When I was little all I wanted to do was draw. I got a scholarship and at age 19, graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts majoring in Advertising. I was lucky; my first job was as an artist for an export company. I would design a theme, angel cows for example. I would then illustrate 20-30 poses of the angel cow doing different things. Then out of these drawings I would do the prototype by sculpting the design. It was fun. The company would join international gift shows, and they would send the artists to look at trends. I got to travel and work with people from all over.

Then I was offered work in China, decided to give it a try, and was there for two years. When I got back, I wanted to get into graphic designing. Computers were starting to be the thing, and I had a feeling that pretty soon things would be done through computers instead of the traditional hand-drawn art that I was used to. I got a contract to be a graphic designer in Taiwan. Although the job wasn’t quite suited for me, I stayed there for a year.

After that, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. However, I got lucky and was hired to do part-time illustrating for a children’s magazine owned by an American. I loved it, and I wanted to pursue a career in that field. So when the German Institute of Technology offered a workshop for children’s book writing and illustrating, I took it.

However, my new love for children’s book art had to be put on hold due to personal reasons. Eventually, I ended up in Canada where I met my husband and got married. I worked as a graphic designer in Toronto. When my first child was born, my husband and I thought it was best that we raise our kids in the country. I put my illustrating career on hold for the time being and instead funneled my creative talent into handmade crafts which I marketed. About year ago, I decided to return to my art. For an entire year I made sample artworks, compiled my best work and started writing. I created the illustrations and designed a website. Now I’m excited to be promoting myself and my work.

I love the ballet kitty in her tutu on your website. The kitty illustration has the single word “Dream” incorporated into the picture. What are your professional dreams? Are your dreams part of your motivation?

Very much so. I would love to have a published picture book which I wrote and illustrated someday.
What is the most fun part of the creative process?
When everything is done, and I see how good the finished product is. That to me is the most fun part.
What is your typical illustrator’s day like?
I’m a stay at home mom with a two year old and a seven-year-old. My working hours are during the baby’s naptime in the afternoon and from 10-3 during the day. Just like any other job, I work seven hours a day.
Describe your working environment.
Crazy and messy.
From your portfolio, I see that you use a variety of methods for creating your art from computer enhanced images to more formal paintings and also black and white drawings. Do you prefer one over the other? How do you determine what type of artwork you will use for a particular story?
It depends on what the author will ask for. Everyone, it seems, likes how I draw children.
What tips would you offer to others just beginning their career writing and illustrating children’s literature?
I myself am restarting my career. One thing that I am is persistent and hard working. It doesn’t hurt that I love what I’m doing.
What project are you working on now? Or what projects are pending?

I am working with self-published authors, Dionne Winters on her story, Frightful Things and Creepy Ones coming out soon and Zayre Ferrers’ Charlene’s Halloween Party.
I was selected to illustrate one of the stories for Gumboot Books in conjunction with Rotary International and their Literacy Foundation. These are collected stories from authors and illustrators around the world, celebrating different UN holidays.
That project seems a perfect fit for you, Cecil, with your own international background. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I’m sure we’ll see more of your delightful work in the years to come.

To view samples of Cecilia’s work go to her website and to STORIES FOR CHILDREN Magazine, “BF”s & Butterflies.”

Website Additions & a CONTEST

Greetings All!
Please pass the word around that I’ve added the following new treats to my website.
In the WRITINGS section, you’ll find:

BUGGY ALPHABETICS with illustrations by NIKKI SCHAEFER (www. This poem is an ABECEDARIAN–an alphabetical poem which uses the letters from A-Z for the first letter in every line. (

A DAY in TASMANIA with photos–taken from my travel journal over the holidays. (

In the TIPS FOR WRITERS section, you’ll find:
INTERVIEW with NIKKI SCHAEFER–the very talented author/illustrator soon to be joining the GAP team (

More RESOURCES — helpful websites for writers (

In the FOR TEACHERS & PARENTS section, you’ll find:
BOOK SUGGESTIONS for DIVERSITY–a quick list to help celebrate the uniqueness in each child. (

In the FOR KIDS section, you’ll find:
BE A NEWS REPORTER–an easy break-down of the 5 W’s and a link to a Weekly Reader page to start the young news hound on his/her story. (

SOLVE A MYSTERY–be the first to unravel the clues and answer the questions, and you’ll win a prize. (


Today, you’re in for a treat–
an interview with author, Shari Lyle-Soffe. Below you can read some of her insights into writing…and make sure to click on the links to find out more about her lovable racoon brothers, ROOTER & SNUFFLE. They’ve been colorfully brought to life by master illustrator, Kevin Scott Collier.

The MISADVENTURES of Rooter & Snuffle
Author: Shari Lyle-Soffe
Illustrator: Kevin Scott Collier
E-books ISBN-10: 1-933090-43-X ISBN-13: 978-1-933090-43-6Print ISBN-10: 193309088X ISBN-13: 978-1933090887

On the Go with Rooter & Snuffle
Author: Shari Lyle Soffe
Illustrator: Kevin Scott Collier
E-books ISBN 10: 1-933090-51-0 ISBN 13: 978-1-933090-51-1

Tell us about your children’s books.

I have a picture/storybook series with Guardian Angel Publishing. Each book is made up of three separate stories about brother raccoons and their friends on their romps in Cathedral Woods. They deal with the same problems as real children do . The first book, THE MISADVENTURES OF ROOTER AND SNUFFLE, is available in a number of electronic formats and has just been released in paperback. The second book in the series, ON THE GO WITH ROOTER AND SNUFFLE, is available in electronic formats and will be available soon in paperback. The third book in this series, TROUBLE FINDS ROOTER AND SNUFFLE, has not been released yet but will be out this Spring! My books are available at and at online and brick & mortar booksellers.

What do you do for inspiration and unleashing your creativity?

Winter is a struggle because I get inspired when I am out in nature, and as much as I love snow, I don’t like the cold. In warm weather I love to walk or just sit outside. I live in the woods of Southern Oregon with lots of wildlife, trees and fresh air. Occasionally I sit outside and journal. I enjoy doing that but I’m not very good about keeping it up on a regular basis. I have a new laptop, and I am anxious for the weather to warm up so that I can sit out under a tree and write.

Describe your working environment.

I have an office in my home. Unfortunately it is small and I share it with a treadmill. I also share with a cat, Amber. It is pretty cluttered in here and in need of paint, but the walls are covered with my published works to remind me I am a “real” writer. The room is full of files, books, my computer desk, a phone, a small television for when I actually use the treadmill. I am blessed with both a desktop computer and a laptop.

What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

Never, ever give up! Read everything you can find about writing for children. Read every book in your genre that you can beg, borrow or buy. Network with other writers online or in person. If you can afford it, take a writing class. I learned a lot in the beginning in the ICL chatroom, and I was not an ICL student. Write! Write! Write!

Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

Don’t allow the negative opinions of others to hold you back. Don’t be a snob. There are a lot of small publishers that would like to look at your work. Not everyone is published by Random House. Writing for magazines is still writing. Books are not the only writing format. Write what you love. Write what inspires you. Don’t let family and friends tear you down. Don’t quit because of rejections. If you can’t take rejection, you have chosen the wrong field. Share what you have learned with others.

Do you have a website or blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?

Yes, you can learn more about me and my work at . Click on the links in my site directory.

Guardian Angel Book Ranks 3rd at Fictionwise

Congratulations to author Donna J. Shepherd an illustrator Keven Scott Collier for their Guardian Angel Publishing eBook, OUCH! SUNBURN, which is the third most requested eBook right now at Here’s a description of the book from Fictionwise:

Donna J. Shepherd’s snappy rhymes along with the colorful and fun illustrations by Kevin Scott Collier help children see the need to protect their skin in the sun. Sun Safety Tips in the back of the book reinforce the book’s theme. 15 illustrations, 94 words, 27 pages

Here are some links to find out more about the book and its creators:

And coming soon from the dynamic duo is NO MORE GUNK!–a book that makes dental hygiene fun.
Way to go, Donna & Kevin!!!