The Authors' Words: An Interview with Author: Amberly Kristen Clowe

The Authors' Words: 
Amberly Kristen Clowe has been writing stories since she was a little girl. She studied childrens literature in college and graduated with a degree in early childhood education. After college, Amberly taught second grade for several years. Her students inspired her to revisit her passion for writing children’s literature. She credits them as the inspiration for her first picture book, Katie Ling Fashion Queen, which was published in 2011 with Aware Now Publishing. I Really Love You, Ava is Amberlys second picture book. Her son, George, inspired this story about love and family.  In 2014, Kristen published 

Axel & Theo - My Dog is the Emperor of a Faraway Galaxy. Today, caring for her son, George, and daughter, Emma, along with tackling her many writing projects, keep Amberly very busy. Teeny Sweeney and the Mustache Cash is Amberly Kristen Clowe's first chapter book in the brand new Teeny Sweeney series and will be released March 2018. 



Thank you, Kristen for coming on my blog. It’s so good to talk with you again. 

When did you realize you were a storyteller?
I remember the exact moment.  I was in third grade in Mrs. Stalling's class. We were taking the writing portion of the TAAS test. I know, I'm dating myself! That's okay. I turned mine in and she began to read it to herself. She laughed so hard. The other kids giggled and glanced in my direction as I made my way back to my seat. It felt so awesome to inspire such a happy, unexpected moment for her. 

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Your new book in the Teeny Sweeney series is a chapter book, Teeny Sweeney and the Mustache Cash published by Little Lamb Books.What is it about and who is the main character?
We are officially welcoming third-grader Teeny Sweeney to the world. In this book, her class is assigned to create a business plan. Teeny is one of those super spunky, fun, dramatic characters. She completely runs with this idea of hers. Teeny becomes quite the little entrepreneur. Unfortunately, her business takes a turn for the worse. Teeny learns a few lessons during this process, as well as grows closer in her relationship with God. 
What drew you to write for children?
Children fascinate me. I love to watch a child fall in love with a new concept. They bring these amazing, fresh perspectives to the table. Writing for kids just makes sense for me. 

How long does it usually take you to write one of your stories from your first idea 
to finished the book?
Wow. Great question. Teeny Sweeney and the Mustache Cash took me two weeks to write from idea to final page. However, the editing of that book--the back and forth between myself, editor, and publisher--that took about a year. The book debuts in April. So from the idea to the published book? That took about a year and a half. 

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Was there any particular book or author who influenced you?
 I am a huge fan of Beverly Cleary and John R. Erickson. I am enthralled with the intricate, hilarious worlds they create. 

Do you have any plans to branch out into other genres?
I plan to continue the Teeny Sweeney series as long as Little Lamb Books will have me. They already have the second book, and I'll begin the third soon. I do enjoy writing and reading picture books, and I have also been quietly working (in my spare time, ha!) on a YA manuscript for over a year. So, who knows!!  
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would ask myself what I'm interested in. I wish I would have taken more initiative as a younger person to embrace what I enjoyed, instead of getting bogged down by what I didn't. I think I could have done both. Also, I should have listened a lot less to the naysayers--the people who, honestly, didn't think I could do much. As an adult, I realize all things are truly possible with God. 

What have kids told you about your books?
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Kids like all that is funny. I've had young people tell me they like the humor in my stories. That is seriously the best compliment. 

What will parents like most about your new book?
Let me tell you, parents and teachers are going to LOVE the extras at the back of the book. There are around ten activities for kids to do that tie into the story, from word searches to games to crafts. As a teacher and parent, I am absolutely thrilled at the level of quality of these engaging activities. 

What is your next project?
Yay! I'm super excited about the second Teeny Sweeney book. I can't reveal too much, but I can say that Teeny Sweeney is smack-dab in the middle of a mystery! 

Thank you so much for having me, J.D.!

Teeny Sweeney and the Mustache Cash is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Target, and other major book distributors. 

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Her site:
http://amberlykristenclowe.com/ Visit her website and subscribe to her newsletter or follow her updates on Facebook or Twitter.

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