Now, let's learn a little about this author.
Gloria, please, tell us a little about yourself.
As I think about my books, I realize that they all have elements of adventure or mystery, and they often include wild creatures. I grew up in the Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific Northwest, and it was there I learned a love for wilderness and the ocean. Over the years, my experiences gained from raising three children, teaching school, and editing have made useful contributions to my work.
After writing twelve children’s books, I transitioned from traditional publishing to Indie publishing, and I have found it a happy but challenging experience. I take frequent research trips to explore New Jersey’s beautiful Pine Barrens—my latest setting inspiration—and have found it a wonderful location for my series about a brave little treefrog: Tales of Friendship Bog.
What is the title of your book? What is it about?
My most recent book is Catch a Robber, Book 4 in the Tales of Friendship Bog series. In this story, Pibbin, a tiny but courageous treefrog, takes two friends with him to track down the sneaky lizard-robber who has disappeared into Shadow Swamp. http://www.amazon.com/Catch-Robber-Tale-Friendship-Tales-ebook/dp/B00FIBM1CQ/
What inspired you to write this book?
One spring, I heard the Pine Barrens Treefrogs singing, wonk-wonk-wonk, and I held one of the little creatures in my hand. I asked myself, “Could anything so tiny also be brave? What adventures might he have?”
The idea grew. I would write about the adventures of Pibbin, a Pine Barrens Treefrog, beautifully colored in green, lavender, orange, and white. He would live in a bog I’d visited, near the near the ruins of a town named Friendship. Although no bigger than my thumb, he would be brave, a frog who dared anything on behalf of his friends.
Drawing on my experience as a teacher, I wrote about Pibbin’s adventures with simple words and sentences so that children who were beginning to read could enjoy them. I called the series Tales of Friendship Bog.
You write for children. Is it easy?
Writing for children is often considered a good place for the novice writer to start, but in reality, the genre is both difficult and demanding. It is difficult because of limitations on vocabulary, sentence structure, and concept, and the need for good presentation (sufficient white space and illustrations). Entire books have been written on each of these subjects. It is demanding because of the dual audiences involved. Children want a story that is exciting or compelling or fun, as well as easy to read. Parents and educators want the story to have intrinsic value. Many adults will use the story as a springboard for discussion and teaching about traits such as generosity, friendship, or compassion.
Stories for children abound that are shallow or silly or muddled, but the best children’s book writers will have a vision for excellence—and follow it.
(As a children's author myself, I can totally relate to this!)
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for about thirty-five years. I wrote my first story for my youngest son, and my eldest son illustrated it. The result was less than professional, but it was a start.
Where do you market your books?
I market my Indie-published books exclusively on Amazon, for the time being. Amazon does an excellent job of printing and digitizing my books, and I have so many more books to write that I don’t want to spend precious minutes on other marketing venues.
Do you have other books?
I have several other books for children, from ages 5 to 12 and up; the best place to see them is on my website: http://gloriarepp.com/
What is your hope for your book?
My hope for the Tales series is twofold. First, I would like children, especially reluctant readers, to simply enjoy a good story. Second, I would like the children to absorb a little about the concept of how a good friend might act.
What is a little known fact about you that you can share?
My family knows this, but not many others: I am a morning person. I like to get up early to write or to read, and I even sing before breakfast. In fact, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.
(Ugh! A morning person! I cannot relate with you on that!)
Besides writing, what are some of your other hobbies or interests?
I like to read—endlessly, omnivorously, every chance I get—it’s almost a character flaw. I have to be stern with myself or we’d have dry cereal every night for supper, except that I like to cook too, and my family enjoys that. I also like the outdoors and such activities as hiking, canoeing, and kayaking.
(I enjoy reading, kayaking, and canoeing as well.)
Do you illustrate your own books?
I do not. If I could, I would—believe me—because I usually have a vision for what each scene should look like, and my artist, who is superb, may look at it a different way. Then I usually take a deep breath and rewrite the story to fit his art.
Do you make your own covers?
For the Tales series, I use an illustration that the artist gives me and design my own covers. For my novels, I hire a professional to design the covers.
What are you working on now?
I have the illustrations for Tale #5 waiting for me to incorporate into the story. I need to do that as soon as I get past the holidays. My hope is to write the rough drafts for Tales #6 and #7 (the last one) this spring.
Do you write in any other genres?
I write Christian novels as well. The Forever Stone is first in The Dumont Chronicles. It is the story of a young widow who, desperate to escape the memories of her abusive husband, joins her aunt’s house-restoration project in the Pine Barrens. She is determined to take a stand for independence, but two men have different plans for her—and so does God. http://www.amazon.com/The-Forever-Stone-Gloria-Repp-ebook/dp/B00AKZO1HI/
I have just released the next in the series: Deep Focus, which centers on an adventurous photographer, another of the Dumont women. http://www.amazon.com/Deep-Focus-The-Dumont-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00H8CKKYE/
What other genre(s) would you like to write some day?
I’d like to write historical fiction, beginning with stories of the Dumont women in Colonial days.
*Clarinda Cloud's Feelings Blog
*DUO Education Learning Blog
Here are your questions:
1. Please explore the site. What would you like to see offered for readers or authors on this site?
2. What kinds of books and on what topics would you like to see more of for children? Why?
A winner will be chosen from the people who answered at least two questions at the end of the month or beginning of next year. If nobody answers at least two questions, I will donate a book to someone or some place. If you win but would prefer a book to be given elsewhere, please let me know. (U.S. addresses only at this time, please.) Thank you. Good luck!
*Also.... My ebooks are free today (12/18/13) on Kindle. You can click on the titles to take you directly to their listings on Amazon.com. It is a great time to get your copy of "Johnny's Adventure Makes Reading Fun" and "Clarinda Cloud." And... maybe you could even write a review. I would love to hear what you think of the books. Thank you!