Q&A: What did you base your characters and setting on?
Thank you to Liese from Liese's Blog for hosting this interview on her blog, original post found here.
What inspired you to write Blooming Rose Blasts Off?
When I set out to write summaries for the seven books in our Blooming Rose series, I knew I wanted one to be about working hard, even when you don’t want to. Because even as adults, not many people (or children) get super excited about doing things that are challenging or more time consuming over something they’re more familiar with and know to enjoy. But I wanted this book to say it’s ok to try something new, even if that means putting in more effort, more time and more brain power, because it’s in these moments that we can become the proudest of ourselves.
Why did you include conversation prompts & starters in the book?
I want each of our stories to make meaningful connections with the children that are reading them, and so I added “book ends” at the beginning and end of each story to help parents spark conversations with kids at home like a teacher would in the classroom, to really increase comprehension. Or as my daughter likes to say, to stop & think. At the beginning, I introduce the concept then prompt them to think of a similar scenario they might remember, and at the end we add to that a conversation piece where they get to really share and connect with their own feelings and experiences to that of Rose and friends in the story.
What are your characters and/or setting based off of?
My main characters are based off of my two kids, Avery Rose and Owens Robert, who Avery lovingly nicknamed T-Rex before he was born. And the setting is from our farmhouse in southeast Texas, complete with its own cast of characters including our two horses Boudreaux and Thibodaux, and our first dogs Cali & Sam - and keep a lookout in future titles for our kitty CeeCee, nosey cows + calves, naughty goats, and sweet chickens.
What is your favorite activity from the academic bundle?
I wanted each title to include a Beyond the Text Bundle of academic activities to use in the classroom or as an enrichment at home. But among the exercises of reading comprehension, vocabulary building, writing prompts, STEM project and bookmark craft, I’d have to say my favorite is a combo activity I call, Think Like an Author + Think Like an Illustrator. On the brainstorming and partially illustrated sheets, kids get to write and illustrate the next page of Blooming Rose Blasts Off!
What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
Although publishing my first book was pretty wild, I’d say the most adventurous thing I’ve ever done was taking a trip to the Amazon jungle of Peru for a yoga retreat along the riverbed - it was a glorious trip full of wild monkeys, pink dolphins, loose wildebeests and downward dogs!