A Free Book, A Contest, an Interview, & More

Jon Bard, Managing Editor at Children’s Book Insider, is offering a FREE e-book on writing for children. “Getting Started Writing Children’s Picture Books” is free at 

Children’s Writer magazine is sponsoring a contest for a fictional story or nonfiction article related to a holiday or season for children age 4. 125-words is the limit. They’d like to see less well-known holidays featured. And keep in mind that the story should appeal to the adults who will be reading it to the children as well. “Winners will be selected on age-appropriateness, use of language, clarity, originality, and the overall quality of writing.” Oct. 31 is the deadline. Visit Children’s Writer for more details.
Jessica Kennedy, the Differently-Abled Writer, has just posted a new interview with me. Visit her blog and take a peek.
And Just One More Book is starting its 3rd year highlighting children’s books. They provide a free online podcast celebrating children’s literature–without any advertisements! It’s a fun site to visit, and you can call in and be part of the show (1-206-350-6487.) What’s a favorite kid’s book you’d like to share?

Interview with Kevin Collier–Illustrator & Author

Today I welcome Kevin Collier–illustrator and author–to my blog. He is the probably the most productive person I know. He seems to create new books and illustrations with almost every breath. Be sure to visit his web pages to find out more about him and to see more of his amazing art work.

Since you are both an illustrator and author of numerous books for children (from preK to YA), my first question is which came first for you—illustrating or writing?

Illustrating. I started drawing my own pictures when I was 4 or 5. I didn’t really learn to write creatively until a few years later.

And is one easier for you than the other?

Drawing is easy but time consuming. Writing is time consuming and difficult. Writing is harder. It’s easier to move a pen and get the drawing you want than choose the right words for a critical moment in a story.

How has your career as an illustrator evolved?

I started drawing children’s books in 2005 when I stumbled into the business. I have gone from doing a hand full of illustrated books to dozens of new titles a year, now.

Your career as a writer?

My agent has many manuscripts my wife and I have written, and on average I have a couple written works published per year. It’s been good and rewarding.

Tell us about your most recent release. What was your inspiration for it?

Well, an upcoming release will be Professor Horace, Cryptozoologist. I got the idea from watching all of those mythical and legendary creature shows on National Geographic and The History channels. The book is fun, where an old professor goes in search of the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot and a Ropen. He finds them, but also uncovers the reason they all have yet to be discovered—they simply do not wish to be found. Thus, he makes them a promise—he shall not tell a soul of their meeting. But, when Horace returns home, he’s now the subject of curiosity… did he meet these creatures or not?

Tell us about your other children’s books.

GAP (Guardian Angel Publishing) recently published Dreamchaser, written by my wife Kristen and me. It was about an urban youth pondering trading in his education for a career in the NBA. My wife is writing a book titled The Jumbo Shrimp of Dire Straits, which I am illustrating. GAP will be publishing that, too. It’s about a Captain and his crew who take the old shrimp boat out into hazardous seas in search of an enormous Jumbo Shrimp. I am still writing a sequel to Esther’s Channel for Baker Trittin Press, and have illustrated books coming out from Sable Creek Press, Little Light Press, and Start Again Ministries. There are many vanity press titles I have illustrated for new authors, too, coming from Xlibris and Lifevest Publishing.

Where do you find your inspiration and new ideas?

I remain curious, always. That helps. You begin to imagine quite a bit. Even Jumbo Shrimp the size of a ship.

Describe your working environment.

I write at my home computer, or longhand at times and type it in later. I draw using a cheap clipboard, flair pens, and sit or lay on the living room floor when I illustrate. I scan all my art into my work computer, and color and finish it there.

Where can readers learn more about you and your works? And where are your books available?

My website, home page, etc. There’s tons of news about what’s coming, and links to every title for purchase.

What are you working on now?

Another illustration job for a sequel to Donna Shepherd’s Topsy Turvy Land book. It will be the third Topsy title I have illustrated, the first published by Hidden Picture Book Publishing, the second coming soon from LWP Inc. I am also starting illustrations for Donna on a manuscript she’s written titled Bradybug.

I know you are a master of promotion. Can you share a few of your secrets with us?

Use the internet. Put up fun, active, book and theme pages that promote your titles. Just get out there and shake the trees, fruit will fall.

What advice would you offer aspiring writers and illustrators?

If you have talent, the only way you will fail is to quit or give up. For every one book published, there’s a thousand that never were because a writer or illustrator threw in the towel. Don’t give up on your dream

Awesome Interview

I had a great time today with Suzanne Lieurance at BOOK BITES FOR KIDS on BlogTalkRadio. Truly, the 30 minutes flew by, but I was discussing a subject I knew well and had great interest in–ME!

So if you missed the opportunity to hear it broadcast live, never fear. Click on the link below, and you can hear the archived interview.

I would rate this as a 3Brownie interview–at least that’s how many brownies I ate before the interview. No power drinks or coffee for me. This children’s author runs on Triple-Chunk Fudge Brownies. 🙂

Hope you enjoy the interview….

and don’t forget about the CONTEST. Go to the FOR KIDS section of my website and look under PUZZLES for the SOLVE A MYSTERY…or just click https://www.cynthiareeg.com/kids/mystery_questions.html

February 29 is the deadline for submitting your answers!

Upcoming Interview

I’m very excited to announce that I will be on Suzanne Lieurance’s Book Bites for Kids this Friday (Feb. 22 at 2 pm CST.)

Here’s the link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bookbitesforkids and here’s the phone # if you’d like to call and make a comment or ask a question: 1-646-716-9239. (Just please don’t make it too hard of a question though. 🙂

But if you can’t listen in on Friday afternoon, don’t worry. You can always come back at your convenience to hear the recorded interview.

Now I’m off to practice on my enunciation…