January 19, 2011
Author Interview & Giveaway - The Great Snowball Escapade by J.D. Holiday
How long have you been writing and what inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve been writing for 28 years, since 1983. My father wrote every weekend for as long as I can remember though I never thought of writing myself while he was alive. My spelling and grammar problems held me back. I didn’t think I could write because of it, but early one, when I was in the sixth grade, I did write one story on a rainy day and loved it.
In 1983 I started writing when a friend asked me to read a few pages from a historical romance she was writing. I told her what I thought about it and she asked me to help her write the book. We did finish it and sent it to an agent who was kind and sent the manuscript back with a detailed account of what was wrong with it. My friend went on to other things while I found that I loved writing and did not want to stop.
Why did you choose to write for specific genre?
I think I never grew up and my childhood was full of fun and adventure which gives me plenty of situations to put characters in.
Describe your current book in five words or less.
I would say that five words that describe The Great Snowball Escapade are: childhood, adventure, friendships, understanding and fun.
How did the idea for The Great Snowball Escapade come to you?
As a child, every winter day that snow was on the ground I would spend time on the hill in front of the high school near where I lived sledding. This story was inspired by my love of it.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part about writing for me is the editing. Grammar is not my strong point. I have to rely on others to edit for me.
What's the easiest?
The easiest part of writing for me is coming up with my stories and characters. I find that while working out the details of my plot, I also begin to develop my characters. Usually by the time I have the story outlined I also have my characters in place.
What's next for you?
I have two books I’m working on at the moment. One is a picture book I am now doing the drawings for and then I’ll paint them. It is a story about a boy who wants a puppy but gets a dog that is older. It's what they do together that makes them pals. The other book is a young adult novel titled, ‘Christmas in the City.’ This story about two girls, one with a family and one without and both searching for what is important to them.
Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?
Yes. Besides the two books I mentioned, I have about four other picture book manuscript already written that I have to do the illustrations for, and a second young adult novel that needs to be written.
What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?
It’s exciting and thrilling. I love when children tell me they like my stories.
What was your road to publications like?
It wasn’t easy. For many years I submitted my manuscripts to the big publishers getting many rejection letters. Though during all that time I had some short stories and a Chapbook published, some editors were interested in my children’s stories, and I even had an agent for a time, but none of my children’s books made it into print.
In 2002 I decided to try one of those print services, which for me, was a disaster. I had my publicity plan ready to go but the print service had made a mess of my book and the galley was not ready for printing. I tried working with them to fix it, but the next galley had the same problems and the deal collapsed.
At that point, POD publishing, or Print On Demand had come along and was affordable to get books into print. That was when I decided I could do the job better myself and I started my own publishing company, Book Garden Publishing, LLC.
Sue, I want to thank you for having me on your blog. This has be fun!
SUMMARY: In the story, Wilhemena Brooks’ cousin, Bud Dunphry come to live with her family. Wil, as she likes to be called, finds her pink pencil sharpener is missing after Christmas. Wil knows Bud has it! Who else would have taken it?
Bud doesn’t like girls! In fact, Bud doesn’t like anybody. Wil tries to ignore him but he pulls her friends hair, taken over games, and when Bud is in trouble he making his “you’re going to got it” face at her.
After a snowstorm closes school, Wil and her friends go sled riding. Bud shows up and starts a snowball fight which lands Wil in her room for the rest of the day for fighting.
When her pencil sharpener is found, right where she left it, Wil decides she has to try harder to understand her cousin and stay out of trouble. Her mother told her to be nice to Bud and to treat him like she would like to be treated. If Wil treats Bud nicely does that change anything for her?