16 October 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Picture Book Author Interview #23: Susie E. Caron

Today, we are happy to interview Susie E. Caron, author of “Twee” and “I am Twee” as part of her virtual book tour.

Tell us a little about you…

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Thank you Hazel Nutt for inviting me to share. It is my pleasure to be here.
First I love to laugh! I also love to work with children and adults in ways that help them to connect within and with each other, and to have more fun! This desire grew out of a multi-career life and many changes. After college, I taught elementary school and adult education. While my children were growing up, I wanted to be at home, so I opened and operated a horseback riding school. When our kids entered college, my husband and I moved a few times as we followed his career. We settled in northeastern Vermont and my opportunity for fulfilling an earlier dream became possible: I enrolled in a nearby graduate school for masters in clinical psychology. After licensing, I continued to work with children and their parents in private practice in northeastern Vermont.

Tell us about your latest picture book, what formats is it available in and where can it be bought?

My picture book – I Am Twee’- is the second book in my “Between You and Me” series. This is the continuing story of a little pine tree named Twee’, who discovers something new about herself in each book. These new realizations also change her feelings and impact how she relates to others. My books are available in quality paper back and through Kindle on Amazon and wherever fine books are sold.

What makes your picture book “special” or “sizzle”?

First, I’d say the illustrations by Joe Eckstein really bring my adorable little pine tree to life. Twee’ is a character whose thoughts and feelings are at the forefront of the story. Her eyes, mouth, arm branches and skirts express her feelings. Kids identify immediately with her, because they feel what she feels. The wonderful thing is that the adults who read aloud to children, also identify with Twee’, because the problem/solution posed is common to all people.

What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?

Prior to writing my first book, I had no previous marketing experience. However, before I published Twee’, I discovered that the responsibility for marketing was my own. So I signed up with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I also joined online writers’ groups and as I continued to learn, I developed my author platform website and Twee’s Facebook fan page. After Twee’ came out, I visited several local libraries to read and sign books with children and their adults. Some of the local shops and book stores in Vermont also carry Twee’ and my second book I Am Twee’.

Where and how do you get your ideas?

My books come from years of experience as a teacher, psychologist, wife, and mother. Over time I noticed that children experience feelings about many things, but they lack enough ‘world view’ to be able to express those feelings in ways that make sense to themselves and to their adults. I wanted to write stories that help illustrate some of the issues they encounter and to give them a way to talk about their feelings with their caregivers, teachers and counselors. In the process of reading aloud to children, my books also allow adults to get in touch with their thoughts and feelings. This helps adults to understand and to connect better with their children.

Do you ever get writers block and what do you do to overcome it?

Yes, I do struggle with writer’s block, especially with my blogs. Sometimes I need to take a break from everything associated with writing, internet and social media marketing. Then, after a day or two, I refresh my mind about my “purpose” and that seems to help me.

What advice do you have for other writers?

That depends on the question, I suppose. However, if I am asked “What might an aspiring author of children’s books do?” Then I’d recommend the author take opportunity to read aloud to children. Read books already in print and read something from your own work. Read to individual children and read to groups at libraries and schools. It is only by reading aloud to children that an author can watch, listen and begin to understand what works for children.

What were some of your favorite books as a kid?

There were so many I loved. As a young child my mother read poems from A Child’s Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson and The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper. Later I read the Nancy Drew mysteries, the Hardy Boys and The Boxcar Children. As a teen I devoured novels by Pearl S. Buck, John Steinbeck, Viktor E. Frankl, and others. As I moved into college, I read everything I could get my hands on about children, child development and psychology.

Tell us something funny that has happened to you recently…

Ok; This is a little embarrassing. One morning over coffee, I chatted excitedly with my husband about my book ideas. When I paused, he looked at me seriously, and asked, “You just talk all the time, don’t you?” Without even thinking, I replied, “Well, yes! That’s because the words in my head get so loud that if I didn’t speak, my head would explode.” We both laughed at that. I feel like that about writing. I want to share and I want to touch hearts in ways that are personally meaningful.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

I would love people to visit and engage with me on any of my sites below.
Thank you for inviting me here today.
Find Out More – About Me and My Books here:
www.SusieCaronOnAmazon.com

Read my blog:
www.susiecaron.com/blog

Join my character, Twee’ on her Fan Page, go to: www.facebook.com/T.Twees.

Follow me on Twitter:
www.twitter.com/codabookspub

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