Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Boobie Babble Author Interview with Shunkedra Zachery







Author Interview #3

Shunkedra has been captivated by romance and storytelling since she was a young girl growing up in East Texas. Devoted to the ART of reading, she became an Elementary Reading Teacher to inspire children to read. Creating stories about love, whether in book format or script has been a lifelong dream of hers. Shunkedra’s first novel “To Love Again?” encompasses love, forgiveness, faith, and family. The important things in life!!!
Shunkedra is a self-taught fiction novelist and screenplay writer from Texas. She graduated with honors from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX and has a BA in Communication with emphasis on Radio/TV. She is also a certified Public School Teacher. She taught in the classroom 4 years before deciding to venture out to pursue her dreams of becoming a writer. She currently resides in Georgia where she spends the majority of her time writing and learning daily about her craft.


Q. AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?

Although I dabbled with the idea of becoming a doctor or lawyer, for as long as I can remember, I dreamed of becoming a writer. In fact, I wanted to write for the Soap Opera General Hospital. Which is kind of peculiar for a young child, but I was so use to my mom watching All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital every day. The characters were a part of my life. However, as I grew older, the realization that people would criticize my work steered me into another direction. Today, I realize the only opinion that matters is mine. If I enjoy my work, then that’s what counts. I am truly my harshest critic.

Q. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING?
My opinion of self-publishing varies, because it has its pros and cons. I will never regret self-publishing my first novel with Xlibris because it went beyond my expectations. For years I had been sitting on my story, unable to decide what to do with it. It wasn’t until I made contact with the company that I actually finished my book. To say the least, they drove me crazy, but I needed that. If I’m not mistaken, it took almost a year for them to finally convince me to submit my material. Every month like clockwork I got a call. Miss Zachery, are you ready to submit. What are you waiting on? If your work is done, why haven’t you submitted it? Finally, I just sent it. And in 2 weeks I had the finished product in my hand, and it felt wonderful.

The biggest fault of most self-publishing companies is they often charge outrageous amounts for their product. If you are a struggling writer, you can’t afford the cost of copy-editing, publicity, and many of the other things needed to make your book a success. And, after you pay all of this money, there is no guarantee that your book will swarm the market. So considering I just wanted to see my book in print, I decided against the extra things. Fortunately for me, the longer I held out, the more free perks they offered.

Q. WHAT KINDS OF BENEFITS COME FROM PARTICIPATING IN GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS?
I believe groups are an excellent motivator. I am a member of the Georgia Writers Association, and I try to attend as many workshops as I can at Kennesaw State University. Because I didn’t technically go to school for writing, I feel the need to learn as much as I can from people who are in the industry. I like to know how they got their start, and what steps they took. No artist path is the same, but it’s always great to have someone to map and model. It’s also great to simply get out and meet other people. US writers have the tendency to find a safe haven and hide away from the world. Being a part of a group, keeps you connected.

Q. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF WITH YOUR WRITING IN FIVE YEARS?
Where do I see myself in five years???Hum… Honestly, I have no clue. I know that writing will always be a part of my life from now on. There was a 10 year span in my life, in which the only writing I did was for class assignments. Now that I have rediscovered my love for words, the sky is the limit. I can say that I would like for my first screenplay “Gone, Not Forgotten” to be put on film. I also have a children’s book that I am working on, and at least complete one screen play a year during that 5 year period. I would also like to be a part of a writing team for a primetime television show. One thing that I have learned in my research is that there are opportunities out there. They may be hard to obtain, but they are out there. As you know, I wanted to write for soap operas when I was a child. There are actually contest with the ABC network that give you the opportunity to do just that. I didn’t know that when I was younger, and I probably would have spent the last 15 years of my life entering those contest and fellowship programs. I may not can say with specifics what will happen in 5 years, but I know that I will spend the next 5 years focusing on getting my work into the hands of people that can help me accomplish those goals.

Q. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GENRE OF WRITING?
I love stories about love. I grew up reading romance novels at an early age, and I was always captivated by how the characters fell in love. What steps, or process, led the characters to discover that their life would be better off having this particular person in it… Authors like Nora Roberts and Julie Garwood were always outlets when I wanted to read a good story about love. As a Christian based writer, I try to forgo the steamy, and focus on the characters relationship. I hope with time and experience, I will become a great story teller like these ladies.


Q. HOW DOES WRITING HELP YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD?
I pray that my writing makes a difference in the lives of my former students. I want these children to realize that it’s okay to want more in life. I want them to dare to dream. I want to generate in others the desire to not give up on something you love. For so long, I had given up on writing. Whether or not my first book sells 1,000,000 copies or 100 copies, I am more proud of myself now than I have ever been.

www.shunkedra.com
www.amazon.com
shunz81@live.com

If you are in the East Texas Area, you can purchase a book at Williams Collision Repair off Hwy 59 in Jefferson, TX. Contact Sherry Williams at 903-665-3542

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Interview with Author Annie Eskeldson

Q.Where are you from?

A. I was born in a small East Texas town called Atlanta. My family relocated to the tiny town of Gray, Texas when I was four years old. Gray is such a small community that it does not even have its own schools or post office for that matter. I commuted a 50 mile round trip each day to attend school in nearby historic Jefferson, Texas.
Jefferson was the riverport to the southwest and today is known of as the bed and breakfast capital of Texas. It is located on Big Cypress Bayou in the Cypress Valley of Northeast Texas. It is the County seat for Marion county. Named for Francis Marion, a Revolutionary War patriot who was known as the "Swamp Fox". Jefferson was named for Thomas Jefferson, and was conceived as a port city by Allen Urquhart and Daniel Alley, who saw its potential as the head of navigation when they prepared a plan for the town site in 1841.
When did you consider yourself a writer?
I have always felt a tug at my heartstring to take pen to paper and write. Even though I have published my first Christian children’s book entitled “Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?” I still do not consider myself a writer, I think my own acceptance of that title will come with time. It all seems very surreal. But I am loving every minute of it!
What is your profession and educational background?
I graduated high school with honors from Jefferson Independent School District in 1999. I am a Baylor University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology. I have 3 years of private Christian high school teaching experience. I have taught grades 7-12 in subjects such as IPC, Anatomy and Physiology honors, earth science, life science and even theatre. I have directed several one-act and full length plays such as The Importance of Being Earnest, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Ugly Duckling, Happily Never After and I Never Saw Another Butterfly.
I am currently a four year old preschool teacher at a local Christian preschool, and a staff writer for poetic monthly magazine.

Q. What is your mission?

A. I am on a one woman mission to spread the message of hope, healing and love offered freely to us by our heavenly father. My first work titled “Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?” is especially near and dear to my heart.
I am an incestual molestation survivor. I survived 11 intermittent years of abuse at the hand of a distant family member. “Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?” is written as a tool for parents of abused or traumatized children to help their children heal and understand that God is by their side.
This however is not my only message. I am currently working on a coordinating series of books all featuring my signature character Aunt Lou. Aunt Lou, as everyone knew her, was a caring, Godly woman who devoted her life to service and the Lord. Louise passed away in September of 2009, she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
The entire series of books will be titled Aunt Lou’s Kitchen and feature titles such as “Tell Me About Easter, Aunt Lou”, “Why Do Our Loved Ones Die, Aunt Lou”, and “Tell Me About Christmas, Aunt Lou”. I aim to help parents integrate God and scriptures into the everyday explanations they give their children.

Q. What inspires you to write?

A. My life experiences and my faith inspire me to write. As soon as I was born, God never left my side. He guided me through economic hardships, sexual abuse by a distant family member, an attempted kidnapping turned carjacking, and years of spiritual warfare.

While I choose to keep the details of my childhood sexual abuse private, I do very openly share my experience with the attempted kidnapping turned carjacking back in 2001.

It was October of the same year of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. I was still dealing emotionally with seeing the images of the attacks, and I was not aware of my PTSD at this time so I didn’t limit my exposure to the trauma.
I was walking to my car through an apartment complex parking lot, headed to school I remember I was going to wear navy blue addidas shorts that day, but I melted the athletic material with the clothes iron (should been a sign). So I changed. I remember that outfit in detail as well--Tommy Hilfiger flare jeans, a grey Baylor tee with a red and blue University logo and tennis shoes. Something told me to ride with my husband that morning, but I ignored the instinct.
As soon as I was outside, I saw him. He was far enough away that I felt safe, but close enough that I wasted no time getting to my car.
I remotely unlocked my driver side door, sat down, put my drink in the cup holder, threw my backpack across to the passenger side, and tried to close the door.
The weirdest sensation...my door wouldn't close. There was resistance. I turned and there he was. A black male about 200lbs and a bit over six foot. He had something sharp in his hand--I assumed it was a pocket knife. He threw open my door, put the object to my neck and said, "Get over". He wanted me to scoot to the passenger side and let him drive away with me.
My first instinct was to obey this large, angry man wielding a sharp object dangerously close to my throat, but then...RAGE!
I WAS NOT going to be victimized AGAIN! This attack took place no less than nine years after my sexual abuse stopped--that meant NOTHING! It was like it had happened yesterday, and I was TICKED!
I put my left hand on the horn of my car--it was early morning, everyone was home asleep and would come out ticked at the noise. I knew help wasn't far away. I leaned through the opening of the door and him and yelled with all my strength for JASON! He started jabbing and slashing at me with what turned out to be a broken glass bottle in a paper bag. I knew he would probably cut me, but not bad enough to kill me.
I looked up the stairs of the complex and there was Jason--tee-shirt, boxers and a very angry look.
I can only imagine what the attack looked like from his vantage point, but from mine I saw hope.
Jason has always brought light, truth and security to my life. The image of him-- and God's protection, gave me the strength and courage to somehow miraculously fight through my attacker and exit the same door he was blocking.
I distinctly remember having one hand gripped tightly to his shirt once. I realized I was now outside the car and he was inside all my anger and pent-up rage overwhelmed me for an instant and I wanted nothing more than to drag him out of the car, take a few shots at him and then let Jason finish him off. But yet again, God intervened and I let him go.
I watched him slam my car door, fumble for the keys and take off. Jason got to the car door about the time he closed and locked it. He beat on the window screaming words that I dare not repeat.
It was at this point that I realized blood was coming from somewhere. I didn’t know where or how bad. I just ran to a wall collapsed to my knees and screamed, "I AM BLEEDING".
Jason instantly left the car to drive away, and came to my rescue.
To this day I am certain that I had an angel in the car with me that day. All that shuffling and fighting and flailing, and I walked away with only a scratch on 3 fingertips, a slash through my shirt and my bra (but not to the skin).

PRAISE GOD FOR HIS PROTECTION!

Q. If someone wants to purchase your book, where would they find it?
A. My books are currently available thought my personal website at

http://auntloubooks.weebly.com

Direct from my publisher
$24.95 hardcover link to purchase: http://www.publishamerica.net/product94578.html
$9.95 Paperback link to purchase: http://www.publishamerica.net/product95017.html
My books are also listed at
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Why-Did-This-Happen-Aunt/dp/145123970X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281538432&sr=8-1

Books a Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Did-This-Happen-Aunt-Lou/Rachel-Stolle/9781451239706

Boobie Babble interview #2 with author DJ Ashton



Author Interview #2



Today we welcome author DJ Ashton. D.J. Ashton was born in Baltimore, Maryland on July 3, 1964, at Union Memorial Hospital.
She holds an Associate in Science degree in the field of Criminal Justice and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida Metropolitan University.


Having attended the Medix School in Towson, Maryland, she has a certificate of completion in Medical Assisting. She graduated earning the Alpha Beta Cappa award. Upon completion of her externship from the program, she was hired on the spot by the Obstetrician/Gynecologist she worked for during that time, and remained with him until a divorce necessitated a move further than she could travel for work.
Ms. Ashton has one son, who has followed in her footsteps and serves his country proudly in the United States Army. She has one daughter currently enrolled in college as a Psychology major and another daughter who recently graduated beauty school. She also has one granddaughter who she proudly calls "Nana's girl".
Infatuated by and intrigued with vampires, Ms. Ashton began researching and writing about them approximately twenty years ago. In the last seven years, she has been actively writing for publication and is currently in search of a literary agent to represent her work. While she dabbles in other genres, her main focus is always Paranormal Romance.
She has been an active member of the Romance Writers of America organization since April 2005.
To her writing credit, she has written several short stories (in various genres), begun an autobiography, and has also begun writing a whimsical memoir, of sorts, based on little things she observes as she haunts coffee shops, family diners, and the local Barnes & Noble. She is an avid "people-watcher" and gets some of her best story ideas and characters from those unsuspecting people she "accidentally" and "non-chalantly" eavesdrops on.
When not engaged in writing, edits, and people-watching, she likes to unwind on the Internet where she meets with friends to chat. She plays World of Warcraft having left EverQuest after years of play. She also enjoys such "offline" PC games as Doom 3, Half Life, and Quake (4).
Other hobbies include cooking, crocheting, and holding the couch in place while she flips through the cable channels, occasionally coming to rest on programs such as Forensic Files, Law & Order (CI and SVU), Ghost Hunters, and True Blood.

http://djashton.webs.com/
http://djashtonimmdes.blogspot.com/

Q. How do your friends and family feel about your writing venture in general? (how have you handled the situation?)



A. In general, they are okay with my writing and they like to read my books, but they feel I need “a real job” until I get famous (Insert laughing here). I simply tell them my writing is a real job and that I am happy doing it and I’ll keep doing it until I don’t want to do it anymore, which I don’t see happening in the near future.




Q. What do you do to unwind and relax?



Sometimes I will just take a nap and other times I will curl up with a good book, or I’ll take a candlelight bubble bath with soft music on in the background.





Q. What is your favorite book?



Hard to say because I like so many but I guess one of my favorites of all time is “Rage of Angels” by Sidney Sheldon. Oh, and “Acheron” by Sherrilyn Kenyon.





Q. What do you want to accomplish with your books?



I want to secure myself in the world of writing. I just want my books on the shelves of the major bookstores so I can leave a sort of legacy for my children and grandchildren.
How long does it take you to write a completed book manuscript?
It depends on what I’m writing and how intense it gets. The first book I ever wrote took 3 years. The one I just had published took almost 2 years. I finished another book in just two months’ time. And the one I’m working on now, I hope to have done in the next 2-3 weeks. I figure if I do a chapter a day, I’ll accomplish that goal.



Q. What successes has your current book done for you?



My book got me published. I wanted to be a successfully published author and I have achieved that. Now I want to go further and be recognized when people see my name on the cover of one of my works.
You can also find this boobie babble blog interview at auntloubooks.weebly.com
Please check out my interview on DJ's blog at http://djashtonimmdes.blogspot.com/





My Interview with DJ Ashton

Tell us about your latest book?


My first Christian Children’s book’s official release date was September 12, 2010. It is titled, “Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?” is written in a very broad manner in order to aid children experiencing any form of crisis in their life. My goal with this book was to help children who have experienced hardships or trauma in their lives to understand that God is by their side. I credit my earliest foundations in Christianity to a wonderful woman named Louise Ritchie. Aunt Lou, as everyone knew her, was a caring, Godly woman who devoted her life to service and the Lord. Louise passed away in September of 2009; she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
“Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?” is the first in a series of stories all to be narrated by this warm and loving character, Aunt Lou. Future titles will include but are not limited to, “Tell Me About Easter, Aunt Lou”, “Why Do Our Loved Ones Die, Aunt Lou?”, and “Tell Me About Christmas, Aunt Lou”.
One of my most recent reviews:
When young children experience trauma, it is very important to acknowledge that trauma and help a child come to a place where they feel safe again. “Why did This Happen to me, Aunt Lou?” is written in a way that opens the door for dialogue and healing to begin, from a Christian faith perspective. Beautifully illustrated, it offers hope and encouragement for children who need a message of unconditional love. This is crucial in helping a child understand that they did not do something “wrong,” but rather, are cherished by God. It is the message that so many children never hear and as a result, grow to be adults with a wide variety of mental health challenges. One thing known today is that we must help children because they cannot help themselves. This book may be one thing that offers a “life ring” to a wounded child.
Nan Holmes, Waco, Texas
Talitha Koum Institute
http://www.talithakoum.org/


2. What is it like being the author of children’s books?


Being a children’s book author is a humbling experience. I wake up each day worrying that it was all just a really pleasant dream. The process did not seem completely real until I received my first shipment of hardcover books. I literally ripped the box open, grabbed a book, and cuddled with it! My husband thought the whole situation was so comical that he actually worried that I might sleep cuddling with my book that night.
I have had 5 of my books to be released in the series written for about three years. But with the passing of my Beloved Louise Ritchie last summer I revisited getting published with a renewed fervor. I am so very blessed that my path crossed with that of Publish America. While many authors grimace at the mention of a print on demand publisher, Publish America was a perfect fit for both me and my books. I give God the glory for my ability to write them, illustrate them, and share these stories that he has lain on my heart.


3. What inspires you to write?


My life experiences and my faith inspire me to write. I born and raised in a little town called Jefferson, in North East Texas. As soon as I was born, God never left my side. He guided me through economic hardships, sexual abuse by a distant family member, an attempted kidnapping turned carjacking, and years of spiritual warfare.
While I choose to keep the details of my childhood sexual abuse private, I do very openly share my experience with the attempted kidnapping turned carjacking back in 2001.


It was October of the same year of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. I was still dealing emotionally with seeing the images of the attacks, and I was not aware of my PTSD at this time so I didn’t limit my exposure to the trauma.
I was walking to my car through an apartment complex parking lot, headed to school I remember I was going to wear navy blue addidas shorts that day, but I melted the athletic material with the clothes iron (should been a sign). So I changed. I remember that outfit in detail as well--Tommy Hilfiger flare jeans, a grey Baylor tee with a red and blue University logo and tennis shoes. Something told me to ride with my husband that morning, but I ignored the instinct.
As soon as I was outside, I saw him. He was far enough away that I felt safe, but close enough that I wasted no time getting to my car.
I remotely unlocked my driver side door, sat down, put my drink in the cup holder, threw my backpack across to the passenger side, and tried to close the door.
The weirdest sensation...my door wouldn't close. There was resistance. I turned and there he was. A black male about 200lbs and a bit over six foot. He had something sharp in his hand--I assumed it was a pocket knife. He threw open my door, put the object to my neck and said, "Get over". He wanted me to scoot to the passenger side and let him drive away with me.
My first instinct was to obey this large, angry man wielding a sharp object dangerously close to my throat, but then...RAGE!
I WAS NOT going to be victimized AGAIN! This attack took place no less than nine years after my sexual abuse stopped--that meant NOTHING! It was like it had happened yesterday, and I was TICKED!
I put my left hand on the horn of my car--it was early morning, everyone was home asleep and would come out ticked at the noise. I knew help wasn't far away. I leaned through the opening of the door and him and yelled with all my strength for JASON! He started jabbing and slashing at me with what turned out to be a broken glass bottle in a paper bag. I knew he would probably cut me, but not bad enough to kill me.
I looked up the stairs of the complex and there was Jason. Tee-shirt, boxers and a very angry look.
I can only imagine what the attack looked like from his vantage point, but from mine I saw hope.
Jason has always brought light, truth and security to my life. The image of him-- and God's protection, gave me the strength and courage to somehow miraculously fight through my attacker and exit the same door he was blocking.
I distinctly remember having one hand gripped tightly to his shirt once. I realized I was now outside the car and he was inside all my anger and pent-up rage overwhelmed me for an instant and I wanted nothing more than to drag him out of the car, take a few shots at him and then let Jason finish him off. But yet again, God intervened and I let him go.
I watched him slam my car door, fumble for the keys and take off. Jason got to the car door about the time he closed and locked it. He beat on the window screaming words that I dare not repeat.
It was at this point that I realized blood was coming from somewhere. I didn’t know where or how bad. I just ran to a wall collapsed to my knees and screamed, "I AM BLEEDING".
Jason instantly left the car to drive away, and came to my rescue.
To this day I am certain that I had an angel in the car with me that day. All that shuffling and fighting and flailing and I walked away with only a scratch on 3 fingertips, a slash through my shirt and my bra (but not to the skin).

PRAISE GOD FOR HIS PROTECTION!

Today I am a 29 year old Baylor University graduate, teacher, poetic monthly staff writer, cake decorator, and stay-at-home mom in Waco, Texas. As I look back at my childhood with great appreciation and respect for the unending love of her Heavenly Father, my relationship with God grows even stronger.


4. If someone wants to purchase your book, where would they find it?


My books are currently available thought my personal website at


http://auntloubooks.weebly.com


Direct from my publisher
$24.95 hardcover link to purchase: http://www.publishamerica.net/product94578.html
$9.95 Paperback link to purchase: http://www.publishamerica.net/product95017.html
My books are also listed at
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Why-Did-This-Happen-Aunt/dp/145123970X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281538432&sr=8-1


Books a Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Did-This-Happen-Aunt-Lou/Rachel-Stolle/9781451239706


Barnes and Nobel: http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.aspx?WRD=rachel+stolle


Buy.com: http://www.buy.com/prod/why-did-this-happen-to-me-aunt-lou/q/loc/106/217000471.html




Borders: http://www.borders.com/online/store/TitleDetail?type=0&catalogId=10001&simple=1&defaultSearchView=List&keyword=why+did+this+happen+to+me+aunt+lou&LogData=%5Bsearch%3A+12%2Cparse%3A+36%5D&searchData=%7BproductId%3Anull%2Csku%3Anull%2Ctype%3A0%2Csort%3Anull%2CcurrPage%3A1%2CresultsPerPage%3A25%2CsimpleSearch%3Atrue%2Cnavigation%3A0%2CmoreValue%3Anull%2CcoverView%3Afalse%2Curl%3Arpp%3D25%26view%3D2%26all_search%3Dwhy%2Bdid%2Bthis%2Bhappen%2Bto%2Bme%2Baunt%2Blou%26type%3D0%26nav%3D0%26simple%3Dtrue%2Cterms%3A%7Ball_search%3Dwhy+did+this+happen+to+me+aunt+lou%7D%7D&storeId=13551&sku=145123970X&ddkey=http:SearchResults


5. Where do you get some of your best ideas for a book?


All of my book ideas are inspired from raising my two young daughters. I am a stay-at-home mom with a 4 year old and a two year old. Their pure and inquisitive spirits manage to ask some very difficult and trying questions that a Christian child should be contemplating. My daughter likes to ask me about death, and why things die, and if she will die. She likes to know why it is raining, why it is windy, and why God gives the plants water and feeds the birds. The sheer innocence of it all has moved me to take all the little one-on-one stories that I tell her and her sister and put them down on paper. I truly hope that one day my books will help Christian parents integrate God and scripture into every aspect of their life and every explanation they give their children on a daily basis. I would love to have my books be just that resource for them.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Boobie Babble Interview #1 with Author Annie Eskeldson

Author Interview #1

Annie Eskeldson Joins us tonight to share with us some wonderful information about her first published and second soon-to-be released childrens books inspired by her experiences with Autistic Daughter, Ashi.

After 50,000 hours of providing therapy for her Autistic daughter, she felt inspired to write Children's Books for families overcoming Autism. She'd like to reach out to that Mom or Dad who is really struggling today and let them know that as an Autist, your child is wonderful, and you are not alone! "Ashi's Gift" is book number one of a three part set. Look for "Ashi - In a Class all by Myself" and "Ashi - Birthdays and Other Dreaded Days" to come out next year.


Annie is a married mom with a degree in Biotechnology and studied Chemistry. Her husband, Bart, and she have two children, daughter, Ashli-Meghan 6, and son, Izaiah, is 11 months. They own their own business in a small city. Her daughter, Ashli-Meghan, whom they call Ashi for short, is Autistic. Annie knew the day she was born that there was something different about her, she didn't know at the time that it was Autism, but she knew something about her was definately not typical. By the age of about 16 months she was diagnosed with Autism. They were lucky we had a pediatrician experienced in this area. They have also been blessed to have always been able to stay home with Ashi. Since Annie had known something was not right in the beginning, she had begun to work with Ashi in special ways and learned to pay very close attention to her behaviors, her characteristics, her mannerisms, and in this way began to learn about her needs and wants and later of course, her gifts. Annie's children's book, Ashi's Gift, is a short narrative of this journey, told through the eyes of Ashi - beginning about the age of 2.


Q. Who inspired you to pursue a career in writing?

A.I have provided about 50,000 hours worth of therapy and homeschooling for our autistic daughter, Ashli-Meghan. We had very bad experiences with nearly every so called "professional" and so called "therapist" in our area. We left those "experts" behind and have happily moved forward without them. My daughter has worked so hard, she has come so far and she is my inspiration for writing. One other inspiration was that we couldn't find hardly any children's books about Autism. Now my book is in our Public Library!


Q. How does writing help you make a difference in the world?

A. My only goal with my writing is that my book will land into the lap of a mother or father who is in desperate need of hope and healing. My books are unique in that they provide an autistic character, Ashi, who an autistic child can relate to. Also, as Ashi reveals the feelings of her Mommy, she provides great comfort to the reader as they read the book to their child. It is to inspire hope, healing, a chance to laugh when they know others are going through the same struggle. It is to give strength to go one more day. Also, very subtle therapy hints can be picked up on.


Q. Can you tell us what editors typically look for in a query letter or project proposal?

A.I am not an editor; however, I received several responses from my query letters I sent to publishers. I think the reason is because it was obvious my writing came from a place that is real, a situation that is tough, and is highly charged with emotion for both the writer and the reader. My story also is not just a story about our experience. It is one that any family with a child on the Autism Spectrum, or PDD spectrum can relate to.


Q.What do you do when you are not writing?

A.I am a homeschooler. My daughter, while autistic, is exceptionally bright. We homeschool because, and this is very important, we do not want her in public school, medicated and in the resource room. My daughter can learn just as any child her own age, and is actually very advanced, but she cannot function in a typical classroom. She completed the 2nd grade at age 6. The very best classroom in the world can be the worst place for an autist. I address these issues in my 2nd book, Ashi- In a Class all by Myself, to be released in the Spring. In addition to homeschooling 6 - 8 hours/day, my husband and I own a donut shop for which I do all the accounting. We also have a baby who is 11 months at this time. And of course, I write.


Q.What gave you the idea for this book?

A. I had considered writing about our challenges with Autism some time ago. As you can see from the above question, I am generally pressed for time. However, one morning when my son was about 4 months old and had gotten me up at 3 am to nurse, I just felt something come over my heart that said, in my mind, "Get that book written!" I began that very morning. Today, it is 7 months later and I have a published book, I have my second book just being finished, and a third is in the wings.


Q. What were some of the challenges you faced in writing your non-fiction books?

A. My biggest challenge and another reason for waiting so long is because I cannot draw. I am extremely analytical and just cannot draw a picture to save my life. After researching, I found that illustrators would do that part for me - duh! But I didn't realize it at the time. Just by chance, my Mom put me in touch with Susan Sader, a young lady who goes to her church. Susan is a fabulous artist gifted in realism. To put the icing on the cake, Susan has 2 autistic brothers. So when I explain to her what I need in my pictures: the facial expressions, the hand movements, the behaviors etc. she completely understands in a way that no other artist would be able to because of her experience with her brothers. To date, she and I have not yet met; but, looking at her drawings and my writing, I don't think anyone would guess that. It is a match made in Heaven. And there is no doubt that it has always been intended for me to go through this struggle in order to turn back and help others.

You can also find this boobie babble blog interview at auntloubooks.weebly.com!

You can find out more about these works and Author Annie Eskeldson at these sites:

www.authorannie.com
www.authorsden.com/anniemeskeldson
www.authornation.com/authorannie

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Birthday cake for Aunt Laura

Cake for retired teacher and devout Christian




New author interview set for September 27th!


After 50,000 hours of providing therapy for her Autistic daughter, she felt inspired to write Children's Books for families overcoming Autism. She'd like to reach out to that Mom or Dad who is really struggling today and let them know that as an Autist, your child is wonderful and you are not alone! "Ashi's Gift" is book number one of a three part set. Look for "Ashi - In a Class all by Myself" and "Ashi - Birthdays and Other Dreaded Days" to come out next year.

In Ashi's Gift Preschool age Autist, Ashi, tells a true, heartwarming story about her Autistic behavior and the often frustrated feelings of her Mommy. Together they discover the true gifts of Autism.


Also available at:


http://www.barnesandnobles.com/, http://www.borders.com/, and http://www.publishamerica.net/product93447.html http://www.authorannie.com/

anne.esk@sbcglobal.net

Friday, September 17, 2010

Book review by Joy-Jordan Lake


Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou is a valuable book. Not only is it charmingly illustrated, but it also gently and clearly helps children confront the incredibly difficult issues of free will and theodicy (why bad things can happen to innocent people) and where God might be in the suffering. These are tough topics even for adults to handle in healthy ways, but in this rare book, the author Rachel Hall Stolle writes with compassion and empathy, leading children to understand that most crucial of points, that when bad things happen in their world, God is with them in their pain.


Dr. Joy Jordan-Lake is a professor and the author of five books, the latest of which is a novel, Blue Hole Back Home.

http://www.joyjordanlake.com/30/

October 4 author interview Exchange with Lillian Brummet


Lillian and her husband are authors of:- Purple Snowflake Marketing - How to Make Your Book Stand Out In A Crowd - Trash Talk - Learn how you can impact the planet -Towards Understanding - a collection of 120 poems on society, the environment & overcoming trauma. Websites: http://www.myspace.com/canadianauthorhttp://www.brummet.ca



Her blog where my interview can be seen at coming October 4th is: Blog: http://www.consciousdiscussions.blogspot.com/





Dave and Lillian Brummet have been writing professionally since 1999 - to date, they have written 3 published books. The main focus of their books, blogs, newsletter and radio program is to inspire hope in individuals, helping them realize the value of their efforts and encouraging them to become more positive, proactive in life.


Websites: http://www.myspace.com/canadianauthorhttp://www.brummet.caMy interview will be showcased on her blog on the same day.Her blog where my interview can be seen at coming October 4th is: Blog: http://www.consciousdiscussions.blogspot.com/

Thursday, September 16, 2010

WONDERFUL New review

"Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?" Inspires and Delights
kayelynnebooth September 16, 2010 at 10:25 pm Categories: Children's Books URL: http://wp.me/pVw40-1m

Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou? ,by Rachel Jeanette Hall Stolle is a beautifully illustrated children’s book, that deals with a difficult question that we all ask at one time or another. Who hasn’t wondered why bad things happen to them? Why some people just seem to be downright mean? Although this book doesn’t provide a clear cut answer to a question that really has no answer, it does discuss how we can turn to God for comfort and strength, through the voice of Aunt Lou, a character based on a special person in Rachel’s life, Louise Ritchie. The book is written in language and manner that is easily understandable by children big and small, and the author’s faith shines through clearly. It is a wonderfully inspiring book that applies to everyone, not just children. It includes helpful Bible verses for reference, and delightful illustrations that were created with the author’s own hand, provide a wonderful lesson in faith.

Author Interview Exchange set for September 26




September 26 Live Date For Author Interview Exchange
D.J. Ashton was born in Baltimore, Maryland on July 3, 1964, at Union Memorial Hospital.
She has lived and traveled all over the United States and currently resides in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
She holds an Associate in Science degree in the field of Criminal Justice and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida Metropolitan University. In her sophomore year there, she was awarded a scholarship on recommendation from her professors.
Having attended the Medix School in Towson, Maryland, she has a certificate of completion in Medical Assisting. She graduated earning the Alpha Beta Cappa award. Upon completion of her externship from the program, she was hired on the spot by the Obstetrician/Gynecologist she worked for during that time, and remained with him until a divorce necessitated a move further than she could travel for work.
Ms. Ashton has one son, who has followed in her footsteps and serves his country proudly in the United States Army. She has one daughter currently enrolled in college as a Psychology major and another daughter who recently graduated beauty school. She also has one granddaughter who she proudly calls "Nana's girl".
Infatuated by and intrigued with vampires, Ms. Ashton began researching and writing about them approximately twenty years ago. In the last seven years, she has been actively writing for publication and is currently in search of a literary agent to represent her work. While she dabbles in other genres, her main focus is always Paranormal Romance.
She has been an active member of the Romance Writers of America organization since April 2005.
To her writing credit, she has written several short stories (in various genres), begun an autobiography, and has also begun writing a whimsical memoir, of sorts, based on little things she observes as she haunts coffee shops, family diners, and the local Barnes & Noble. She is an avid "people-watcher" and gets some of her best story ideas and characters from those unsuspecting people she "accidentally" and "non-chalantly" eavesdrops on.
When not engaged in writing, edits, and people-watching, she likes to unwind on the Internet where she meets with friends to chat. She plays World of Warcraft having left EverQuest after years of play. She also enjoys such "offline" PC games as Doom 3, Half Life, and Quake (4).
Other hobbies include cooking, crocheting, and holding the couch in place while she flips through the cable channels, occasionally coming to rest on programs such as Forensic Files, Law & Order (CI and SVU), Ghost Hunters, and True Blood.

http://djashton.webs.com/
http://djashtonimmdes.blogspot.com/

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New Review by Poetic Monthly Magazine

A beautiful Christian based story broad enough to deal with any crisis a child may endure. Typically, after a crisis we question why did this happen? Aunt Lou is a loving character that explains in depth why sometimes bad things happen to good people, even children. I love the fact that the author took the time to explain 'free will' and how God gives us all the opportunity to choose. Even in our wrong decisions God will forgive us, and He loves and cares for each of us. The author does an excellent job of displaying scriptures to support the story. The illustrations are colorful and include children of all races. I thouroughly enjoyed the book, and would love to see a possible series develop with the character Aunt Lou. Great book, I would highly recommend it.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My two newest cake creations

Thomas the Train Cake Chocolate Face, Chocolate wheels, granola cargo
Bullseye the Horse from Toy Story 3 with Jessie Doll


Saddle made of tootie rolls

Chocolate mane and tail

tootsie roll hooves

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Author Interview Exchange

My first author intreview exchange will go live October 4th. I will be hosting an interview of author Lillian Brummett and she will be reciprocating this interview host on her blog as well.
Lillian and her husband are authors of:
- Purple Snowflake Marketing - How to Make Your Book Stand Out In A Crowd
- Trash Talk - Learn how you can impact the planet
-Towards Understanding - a collection of 120 poems on society, the environment & overcoming trauma.
Websites:
http://www.myspace.com/canadianauthor
http://www.brummet.ca

Her blog where my interview can be seen at coming October 4th is:
Blog: http://www.consciousdiscussions.blogspot.com
Please check it out and contact me if you are also interested in a blog interview exchange.

Friday, September 3, 2010

What a great day of accomplishments

I found my book on Barnes and Nobel
http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.aspx?WRD=rachel+stolle
and...
Books a Million
http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Did-This-Happen-Aunt-Lou/Rachel-Stolle/9781451239706

Plus I had my first blog radio interview on the 1st. It turned out really well--thick accent and all. Go listen to the 18 minute interview:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/poeticmonthly/2010/09/01/poetic-monthly-radio-show--interview-rachel-stolle
be sure to share the interview to all your facebook friends, this will help me promote my book.

I also am now officially a staff writer for Poetic Mnthly magazine--the same establishment that interviewed me on the first. I submitted my first article titled "Success?" just last night. It should come out in the October issue. They also have my bio and website listed on their page of staff writers:
http://www.poetstage.com/staffbio.htm

I got my first royalty statement in the mail yesterday. Very exciting moment for me. It is all finally sinking in and feeling real. What an amazing day.
Thanks to everyone for all their support.