I had the opportunity to cyber-interview new children’s author and proud grandmother of three, Tina Perry the other day about her writing experiences. This is what Tina had to say:
Jewel: Thank you so much Tina for agreeing to converse with me about your writing experiences. Let’s begin by finding out how you got started in writing?
Tina: I can remember an assignment my 6th grade teacher gave. She wanted us to write a story about what we would have seen if we were at Plymouth Rock when the Pilgrims landed there. The voice of my story was from the perspective of one of the Indians. The first word of my story was “Ugh!” My teacher loved it and she said to keep writing.
Jewel: Now you have your first children’s book published and is called, Where do stars come from, Nana? Congratulations! What a wonderful accomplishment. Now tell me, do you juggle your writing with a job and if so, how do you balance your writing time?
Tina: Yes I work full time. Finding time to write can be difficult. Writing is such a very important part of who I am that I make time. I may only get 45 minutes at lunch or 30 minutes in the evening, I have to use whatever amount of time I can wisely.
Jewel: What is your favorite tool to write with?
Tina: I typically use a laptop. But I have a notebook in my purse that I can jot down ideas and transfer them to an “idea” folder on my computer.
Jewel: What inspires you or motivates you?
Tina: My inspiration comes from God. My motivation comes from my husband. We’ve been married for 28 years and I still want him to be proud of me. What’s so ironic about that is, if I never write another book he couldn’t be more proud.
Jewel: Becoming a published writer brings with it experiences along the way. What advice do you have for new writers?
Tina: Write. Write. Write. Each writer has to find his or her own writing style. It may take years of practice writing to find yours. So start now.
Jewel: Where does your writing ideas come from?
Tina: In my first book, Where do stars come from, Nana? the idea sprung from a conversation I had with my Grandson. Want to know a secret? Keep the greeting cards you receive. Study the pictures on the cards. All kinds of ideas can arise from one card.
Jewel: Greeting cards that is a fantastic idea for getting those creative juices flowing. Thank you for telling us one of your writing secrets.
My second grade granddaughter loved your book because it sparked her interest in how the star questions were answered that she had thought about as well. Her favorite part was when Hunter discovered shining stars in an amazing place, but to find out where readers will have to read the book.
Do you have a favorite children’s story?
Tina: It would have to be Good Night Moon written by Margaret Wise Brown. I love the way it reads like a lullaby.
Jewel: My grandchildren and I love that book too. Do you write other things besides children’s themes?
Tina: Yes I’ve written for church newsletters. I also have a couple of poems published.
Jewel: What do you do when you are not writing?
Tina: I love to quilt. My husband and I have 3 grandchildren; we try to stay active in their lives. But one thing that touches my heart is the love we receive from the residents of the assisted living home my husband I minister at each month.
Jewel: Many assisted living residents are grandparents. Do you have any grandparent advice on helping children through grief?
Tina: Just be there. There may be times when a child feels they can’t talk to their parents because the parents are grieving. As a grandparent you play an enormous roll in your grandchild’s life.
Jewel: Absolutely great advice Tina. Grandparents can help their grandchildren or someone else’s children through loss just by being available to listen to the child’s concerns. Do you have another book in your future plans?
Tina: I am working on a sequel to my first book. Cooking with Nana will have kid friendly recipes. This project has been fun because my grandson and I have tried all the recipes.
Jewel: That is great Tina. I look forward to seeing your next children’s book out. Thank you so much for chatting with me and I wish you great success in your writing endeavors.
Tina Perry’s new children’s book, Where do stars come from, Nana? is available through most major bookstores and her publisher, Tate Publishing & Enterprises; LLC. Reviews about Where do stars come from, Nana? can be found on Amazon.com.
Posted by Jewel Sample, award-winning author of Flying Hugs and Kisses (2006) also translated: Besos y abrazos al aire (2006, Spanish edition) and Flying Hugs and Kisses Activity Book (2007)
Wednesday, November 28, 2007