Interview with author Michaela Lincoln

Q1.  Hello, can you please introduce yourself? Readers would love to know more about you.

My name is Michaela Lincoln. I am an Australian living  in Canada. I am a high school teacher by training and I am a mother to 22 year old triplets, two boys and a girl. I am the author of Three Times the Fun. I  have an online business in the health and wellness industry. I also have a blog with a feature called Mothers With Many where I feature different mothers as I believe mothers should be celebrated.

Q2.  Is there lots to do before you dive in and start writing a book?

Of course you need to have a story line. People think that writing a children’s book is easy but it actually is a long process and takes time.The words have to flow and the placement of the illustrations and writing also has be to thoughtfully done to ensure a fluidity in the way the book reads and looks. And of course the language has to be child friendly.

Q3. What were the key challenges you faced while writing ‘Three Times The Fun’ book?

Fortunately, there were no major challenges. I did write the book when my kids were four years old and then put it away as I did not get anywhere and really had very little time to pursue. Last year, I found a wonderful local publishing house who worked with a talented illustrator and we worked together to make sure that the characters in my book came to life and that each colour and drawing were exactly as I had imagined.

Q4. What’s your favourite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

That is abit of a tricky question for me seeing as I grew up in Australia and that is considered my first home and now I live in Canada my second home. So in Australia I love the beaches there and as a family growing up we would drive 24 hours , stay overnight and spend two weeks each summer at a beautiful area on the coast. I have great memories there. There is another special place for me in Australia to visit (apart from where my family and friends are) is Uluru.(Ayers Rock) It is located in central Australia in the Northern Territory. It is a massive sandstone, sacred to the indigenous Australians . Such a special and magical place. I took my kids there about 5 years ago and they loved it. In Canada, there are still many places that I would like to visit. I do really like P.E.I as It reminds me of Australia.

Q5. Tell us about the process of coming up with the book cover and the title ‘Three Times The Fun’?

When I was pregnant, adults had a hard time wrapping their head around the concept of me carrying triplets so I knew that children would have an even harder time understanding. There were no books on this subject ; of what it means to be a triplet through the eyes of triplets, so I knew that this would be a great place to start as I have the knowledge and experience. The title was changed a couple of times until I came up with this. It is simple, catchy and the three obviously represents triplets and it really is three times the fun but also three times the work.

Q6. Please share your experience as a mother of triplets?

We went from two of us with a dog to five of us and a dog so that became our new normal.You do feel like an octopus as you do so much all the time but the key is that you have to be organised when you have three little ones and so we got ourselves on a routine . My mother came to stay for the first three months which was a huge help then we were fortunate to have a nanny to help  until the kids were just under two and a half then it was all me. My kids were always on a routine and I kept to it 99% of the time as it just made life so much easier.The kids had a built in playgroup which was wonderful. Birthdays always meant three cakes that I made, but it has been a wonderful blessing watching them all grow up together and develop their own personalities , likes and dislikes.  They are very close siblings.

Q7. What does success means to you?

Watching my kids turn into incredible adults I feel like we have been successful in raising them right. I have hopefully set a good example to my kids and showed them that you never quit or never give up when something is difficult. Always help others and treat others with respect. Success is not always measured in dollars and cents but in how we are as an individual.

Q8. When writing a book how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

It is my first book so it was a big learning experience for me. I know that this subject is not very common so I feel that it was fresh for the readers and hopefully educational as well. I hope to write more books in the future.

Q9. What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

I love Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourites.There are so many wonderful books I have read over the years. I also really loved The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer.  I love reading books where you are totally transported to another era , another time and you can see yourself there. I also do not like to finish good books so I have to read them slower J My father was a terrific writer and used to tell my kids stories and we made him write them all down and I hope to make that into a book one day. So I learnt a lot from him.

Q10. Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers?

 Ha ha, secrets…. Not really for this book. The only one I can think of is that the names of the characters are my kids middle names and the favourite colours I use were their favourite colours but I kind of  forced them upon them when they were little as we colour coded everything so we knew whose was whose.

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Three Times the Fun

Brave the Beaver has the Worry Warts by Misty Black

Book: Brave the Beaver has the Worry Warts

Author: Misty Black

Illustrated By: Ana Rankovic

Rating: 5/5

Brave the Beaver has the Worry Warts is a children’s book for kids of age group 3-7 years by author Misty Black.

Anxiety is quite common these days and many of us suffer from it. This is a story of Brave the Beaver. He moved to a new lodge with his family leaving behind his old friends and school.

He was scared to go to new school. It was his anxiety. He was worried about many things. What if the teacher asks a question to him for which he doesn’t know the answer? What if he has to sit alone at the lunch table? To calm himself, Brave chants:

Worries, worries, go away!

I wonʼt listen if you stay.

Breathe in courage.Breathe out fear.

Worries, youʼre not welcome here!

When he reached his classroom, he saw so many students in the class and he got worried. Read the story to know yourself will Brave the Beaver get successful in making friends at new school or will his anxiety not let him to be brave?

This book is nicely written and the illustrations are so nice. I recommend this book to all kids. They will overcome their fear about new school, new classmates after reading this. I enjoyed reading this book.

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Brave the Beaver has the Worry Warts

Interview with author Caroline Madden

1. Please introduce yourself so that the readers will get to know you better.

Hi, my name is Caroline Madden. I am a film critic who has written for IndieWire, Reverse Shot, and Screen Queens. I work at Passion River Films and Video Librarian. I am also the Managing Editor of BOSS: The Biannual Online-Journal of Springsteen Studies. Before I became a writer, I studied acting at Shenandoah Conservatory. After doing an internship in educational theatre, I decided to get my Masters in Cinema Studies at Savannah College of Art and Design where I set my sights on being a writer and working in the film industry. I was born and raised in New Jersey (just like Bruce!) where I currently live with my fiancé and puppy. Bruce Springsteen has been a big part of my life ever since I was 10 years old!

2. How do you come up with the title and cover of your book “Springsteen as Soundtrack”?

It just came to me suddenly one day. I felt it simply encapsulated exactly the kind of questions I wanted to ask my readers: What does it mean when Springsteen’s music functions as a soundtrack? How does it change the visuals or narrative of a film? How does his music illuminate the story we see on screen?  I did not design the cover of my book, which is taken from a scene in Philadelphia with Tom Hanks that I discuss. I love the bold orange color, it really stands out on a bookshelf.

3. Do you write while listening to music? If so, what music inspired or accompanied this book?

Of course I would have to listen and analyze Bruce’s songs as part of my research, but while I was doing actual writing I listened to film scores from Interstellar, Atonement, The Lord of the Rings, and more. The pure instrumentals help me concentrate and stop my mind from wandering, which is sometimes hard to do when writing in silence or listening to music with lyrics. While doing some of the more tedious legwork such as citations or the bibliography, I listened to my usual playlist of Bruce Springsteen, classic rock, and Broadway musicals.

4. What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your book?

I learned a lot about Bruce’s early musical career from the early 1970s. Many of the songs I listened to I had never heard before, and I was amazed to see they had particular themes that still endured in his music today.

5. How long did it take you to write your book?

It took me about two years to write. I did research for a few months and the rest of the time was writing and editing. However, my research was constantly evolving because at the time, Springsteen on Broadway was just premiering. That production would go on to shape my interpretation of Springsteen’s canon and legacy.

6. Did you enjoy writing the book? Readers would love to know more about your writing journey.

Writing my book was one of the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever done. It was often difficult to balance a professional and social life while writing. At the time, I was completing internships and working in New York City. A lot of times I had to sacrifice socializing or attending events because I had to stay home, write, and meet my deadline.

7. Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?

I’m currently in the research phase for my second book which surveys the representation of virginity in the American teen film from the 1980s to the present. The coming-of-age film is quite possibly my favorite genre, and I’ve always been fascinated by the period of adolescence. I’m very excited to be synthesizing research on sex education, feminism, and youth development which have always been interests of mine. My book will reveal how films are moving towards more positive representations of teenage and female sexuality.

8. Any favorite writers that inspired you to write?

A few years ago, I was selected to be a part of the Critics Academy at Film at Lincoln center. I got to work with some phenomenal film critics such as Michael Koresky and Devika Girish who made me think about writing and cinema in a completely new way. My professors at SCAD, Drs. Tracy Cox-Stanton and Chad Newsom inspired me daily and helped me hone my skills. Without them I would not have written my book!

9. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I have a very specific way of writing. Since I am a morning person, I tend to do my best writing then. I can usually only write for a few hours a day before running out of steam. I either have to wait until the next day or the late evening to return to what I’m working on with fresh eyes. I first begin with an extremely rudimentary outline and brain dump. If you saw what my very first draft looked like, you would think a little kid wrote it. Like an abstract painting, it’s very rudimentary and doesn’t even make much sense. Then, like a sculptor, I slowly chisel away to form something more coherent with each draft. My favorite part is editing, because the bulk of what I want to say is already there, I just need to figure out how I can say it better.

10. Lastly, do you want to give any advice to someone wanting to write and publish a book?

My advice would be to really know  what sets your book apart from everyone else, because that is what publishers are going to be looking for the most, aside from the quality of the content. Why does your book need to be on bookshelves? In the case of academia, what are you discovering that is new? Fortunately for me, it was simple—there was no major book about Bruce Springsteen and film available.

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Springsteen as Soundtrack: The Sound of the Boss in Film and Television

Suzy, the dressmaker by Kira Parris Moore

Book: Suzy, the dressmaker

Author: Kira Parris Moore

Illustrated By: Federica Fabbian

Rating: 4.5/5

Suzy, the dressmaker is a children’s book for kids of age 4-10 years written by the author Kira Parris Moore. This is the story of Suzy who is a dressmaker. Suzy is good at designing dresses. But she has to struggle with anxiety.

Due to this anxiety, she worries too much. She couldn’t sleep at night and she kept on thinking about things that can’t turn right. But Suzy decided to overcome it. Read the story of Suzy and learn how she overcame anxiety.

This is a well written book with bright and colorful illustrations. Federica Fabbian as an illustrator has done wonderful job.

After reading this book I realized that many times, I suffer from anxiety too. I worry too much for things that doesn’t matter much. This book will help readers to learn how to manage anxiety. Positive imagery exercise was really helpful.

The cover page of the book is nice. The title is simple and apt. This story book teaches kids how to cope up with anxiety. I recommend this book to kids. They will love the story.

About the Author:

Kira Parris-Moore is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist residing in Durham, NC. She is a wife and mother of two young boys, ages 8 and 4. Her passion is mental health and helping children who have developmental and behavioral health challenges, which she has done over a 15 year career. She hopes that with her knowledge of mental health and gift of writing, that she can have a positive impact on families struggling with these challenges.

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Suzy, the Dressmaker (The Heroes We Know Book 2)

Lalibella the Ladybug: Paints her World by Kia Janeen Smith

Book: Lalibella the Ladybug: Paints her World

Author: Kia Janeen Smith

Illustrated By: Dodot Asmoro

Rating: 5/5

This is the fantasy story of a little ladybug Lalibella. She was the wish of her parents that was granted by the Great Lady Dragonfly Kibra.

When Kibra handed Lalibella to Mr and Mrs Rose(couple who lived in village beneath Mystical Mountain), she informed them that they will see Lalibella’s true colors in due time. Lalibella was a special and unique ladybug with a purple shell. Read this amazing story to know yourself why Lalibella shell color was different and what does it mean.

Dodot Asmoro as an illustrator has done a wonderful job. I loved the Illustrations. The plot of the story is unique and intriguing. The language of the book is simple so kids can understand it easily. This is a perfect story book that should be there in children’s bookshelf. Must read!!

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Lalibella the Ladybug: Paints her World

Forever Eve by JB Lexington

Book: Forever Eve

Author: JB Lexington

Format: Kindle

Rating: 4.5/5

Forever Eve by the author JB Lexington is a romance novel. The main character of the story is Izabel. Her dreams for marriage are quite similar to dreams of any other girl. She married her boyfriend Bo but her marriage didn’t turned out to be a happy one. The therapy sessions helped her a lot. Read the story to know how Izabel deal with her bad marriage. 

Izabel’s character is my favorite. Her friend Natalie Spencer’s character is also amazing. Their true friendship reminded me of my best friend. The story is intriguing and I couldn’t put this book down without finishing it. A bad marriage is definitely much stressful.

It was a short and quick read. I enjoyed reading it but some sections when Izabel was being abused were heart breaking for me. This is a great debut work by the author and I recommend this to my fellow readers.

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Forever Eve

The Light Within You by Gemma Smith

Book: The Light Within You

Author: Gemma Smith

Format: Kindle

Rating: 4.5/5

The Light Within You by the author Gemma Smith is a self help book that will motivate the readers so they can be the best version of themselves.

According to this book, it tells us that we have a light inside us. This light can transform our life if we use it properly. Book is a collection of different chapters that will motivate us to work to get whatever we deserve. This book tells us that we shouldn’t worry about things like failure, stucking somewhere as all these make us to learn something so we can reach our destiny.

I really loved this quote by the author:-Each of us has a story to tell and the world deserves to hear it. Become the author of your own life.

We should gain clarity on what we want. It is not that difficult. Various quotes in the book are so inspiring. I will act upon below line for sure: You may have created your own limitations but now it is about time you created your own possibilities.

The book is inspiring and well written. I recommend this to all those who like to grow and achieve their goals in life.

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The Light Within You: Discover the power you’ve always had

Book Review: Afros, Braids, & Curls: ABCs for Curly Girls

Book: Afros, Braids, & Curls: ABCs for Curly Girls

Author: Daniela J. Lopez

Illustrated By: Christen A. Whyte

Format: Ebook

My Rating: 4.5/5

Recently, I read this book and got to know about the ABCs of hair. I was so astonished to read it. I have never thought that related to our hair, entire A-Z can be defined. I learnt ABCs of hair from this children’s book. 

This is the first book written by the author and I would say that the content of this book is unique. I suggest girls to go ahead with this book and they will enjoy it. 

This book is basically based on the hair styles of black girls that have curly hair, kinks, braids, afros, etc. I agree when author say: U is for Unique as no two heads are quite the same. This is a unique book. It was a quick read for me and I was enthralled to read it. 

Pick this book and check out different hair styles and textures that author has in store for us. Looking forward to read more work from the author.

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Afros, Braids, & Curls: ABCs for Curly Girls

Book Review: It’s In You: A book for big dreamers

Book: It’s in You

Author: Sharifa Anozie

Illustrated By: Claudio Espinosa

Format: Kindle

Rating: 5/5

I love to read books based on dreams as they motivate me. It’s in You is a book for dreamers. It is a fantasy story. 

The main characters of the story is a helpful girl Ella and a caterpillar Patch. One day Ella asked Patch what did he want to be when he grow up? To this, Patch replied that he want to fly so high that he can touch the sky. Ella started thinking of all possible ways to help Patch whereas others doubted him. 

I learnt a message from this book to be with those who help us to achieve our dreams. If someone doubt us, then let them do. I really liked Ella’s character as there are very few people who actually help us. 

This story is written and narrated well. Illustrator Claudio Espinosa has done a fantastic job with eye catchy illustrations. This book stands out overall and doesn’t deserve less than five stars. This is one of the best children’s book that I have read till now.

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It’s In You

Awaken The Three by D.L. Jennings

Book: Awaken The Three

Author: D.L. Jennings

Format: Kindle

Pages: 546

Rating: 4.5/5

Awaken The Three is an epic story and it is the sequel of ‘Gift of the Shaper’. It is Book 2 in the HIGHGLADE Series.

The story features Aldis Tennech of Khala Val’ur. Aldis Tennech was once the general of all the armies of Gal’dorok. He is the “Dagger of Derenar and the Caller of Gwarái”. He is a man that always has a plan. He finds himself in exile. His hope of reclaiming glory is in the hands of self-proclaimed emperor and unearthly powers.

It is a story of war, chaos, drama, suspense, thrill, etc. The twists and turns in the story makes it more interesting. The glossary given at the end of the book was really helpful. The story however felt a little stretched. The map given at the beginning will give you the idea of the places that are there in the story.

I recommend fantasy lovers to pick this pick. It will amaze you undoubtedly.

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Awaken the Three: Book Two of the HIGHGLADE Series