Our interview today is with Author Rhonda Patton. Thank you, Rhonda for being here and for agreeing to do this interview.
Question: What do you think prepared you or qualifies you to write in your chosen genre?
Answer: I believe having children of my own helps me tell neat stories for them. I use stuff that is about my own life that reflects in our books.
Question: Tell us a little about your real (Non-writing) life, family, job, and church life. Does it give you inspiration for your writing? Does it get in the way of your writing, or are there times when you get help, from people or circumstances?
Answer: I am a mother of a teenaged girl and 4-year-old boy. My husband is the illustrator for my children’s books. I also have suffered with depression and through the depression. I learned a lot about how God let me get through it with HIM. There is a lot of distraction that gets in the way of writing. I am also getting my associates degree in Graphic Arts, so I have school, kids, husband, and chores that life throws at me. There is not enough time in the day.
Question: Tell us about things you enjoy and what you do for fun or personal satisfaction?
Answer: I love camping and anything outdoor. I love nature and finding out I love to start my own gardening. I feel like my life is full of life when I plant and keep my planting alive.
Question: Tell us about working with any people who help you create your books. Do you use Beta readers? Hire an editor or proofreader? How do you get your covers?
Answer: I cannot name just one person that is helping me. I am on a journey and have met many new and awesome faces. God has showed me who to come in contact with. So many great and friendly people out there. I do not hire an editor, I trade out with another author who helps me and I help promote her. My covers I make my own, but I have also used for one of my books “Spirits of Chesterville” cover design by http://www.ebookcoversgalore.com very reliable, affordable, talented, company.
Question: Since you have several books out, tell us what you think works for promotion. What are your thoughts on e-books versus print books and different ways to let people know about you and your books?
Answer: Wow, promotion. I know a lot of authors who really do not like to promote themselves because knowing they do not like to “sell themselves”. But, who knows you better about what you are trying to do but you. I say promote as much information on several different websites. I used to promote with the words “buy my book” and that did not work. You really do need to research how to sell and promote books. It is very time consuming, but you are your best seller. E-book versus print, I love e-books the hassle of not having every single book I order. But I also love getting a real live paperback or hardbound book. They are more costly but I love getting my own copy of the book, it is exciting…
Question: Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.
Answer: My newest book is for children. It is called “Grayson the BULLY Frog with Ted and Raymond”. This book was encouraged by the feelings of my daughter and being bullied at school. My husband and I related with my daughter because we were bullied as kids as well. In this book we have two friends, who are frogs, and Grayson bullied one of the friends, Ted. Ted in the story kids can relate to his feelings. Just by looking at the expressions on Ted’s face the children can understand how Ted feels. Raymond, his best friend, did not help Ted out with his other friend Grayson, the bully. Ted gets really upset at Raymond and his mom gets concerned about Ted. Ted’s mom invites Raymond over to see if he could cheer Ted up, but little did she know he was upset about Raymond.
Question: What is the message of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)
Answer: I love teaching kids about respect for others, not everybody are winners, you can fulfill your dreams, hard work pays off and much more.
Question: Share something that makes you laugh, with just plain humor, or happiness, or because it is so stupid.
Answer: I love laughing. My husband Chester McDaniel loves to make me laugh. He has many talented voices he can portray and it is hilarious when things go wrong he tries to make it funny by talking with his voices. We love enjoying the moments and we try to make them as funny as we can get them.
Question: What is your next project? Tell us so we can it wait for it to come out!
Answer: My next project for children is “The Croak 500” It is a continuous story about the original version with more detailed things. We have the same frog friends Ted and Raymond who enter a car race. We have awesome talent from Chester McDaniel for the illustrations. This book is about teaching the kids about winning or losing.
Question: Are their characters/stories/scenes/etc. based on anything in real life?
Answer: Yes, our characters are based on our life. Everything that has happened in our life is in the books. We have not taken a trip to Africa, but the book was inspired by an African lady who lives in Kenya and thought it would be a great learning experience for kids and myself.
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