Hi everyone, Today we're welcoming wonderful children's author, Cindy Shirley. It's a pleasure to chat with her today. We'll get on with the interview.
When did you realize you wanted to write children’s books?
I first began thinking about writing a children's book after our granddaughter was born. She is now four years old and she is the main character in my Christmas book, Doodle and the Magic Christmas Float. My husband and I have designed Christmas floats for the past three years to promote my business. Our family enjoys this tradition every year!
Wait until she's a little older so she understands more about what happened. You already have much to celebrate together.
How do you get the ideas for your books?Two years ago, our float won the best holiday float out of 83 participants. After the parade, we came home and had to take all of the decorations and lights off of the trailer. It almost made me cry LOL. I told my husband this poor little guy was the star in the Christmas parade and now will sit in the backyard all alone. The trailer actually belongs to a friend of ours and he leaves it out in the weather all year long until we borrow it again. So, that started the whole idea of writing a children's book. Doodle and the Magic Christmas Float was created.
The other books that I have written or actually based on my family. The characters are illustrated from their photos.
Tell us about each of the books you’ve written?
My personal childhood experiences of being bullied in school for having red hair and freckles, was the basis for Diesel the Body Guard: No Bullies Allowed!. The boy in the story really did call me those names and was very mean to me until I took a stand and fought back. Let's just say a handful of rocks makes a big difference when you deal with a bully. LOL. But the bullying ended as a result of me standing up to him.
Diesel is a real rooster and belongs to my sister. He is very protective and made a perfect body guard in the story. I mixed my story with a little bit of fiction and Diesel the Body Guard: No Bullies Allowed! was created.
Also, both of my books in the new series of The Fabulous Life of Minnie The Sassy Chick, are also based on a real chicken that belongs to my sister and my nieces. Minnie is their pet and actually takes a bath and has her feathers blown dry. It is hilarious! You can also find videos of Minnie on YouTube. When my sister shared one of these silly videos, my mind took off and the new series was created. I also own a business called Let's Pretend Spa Parties. We do in home spa parties for girls age 4 to 16. You will see elements of these sweet and sassy parties in the new Minnie book.
Your books are all amazing. You should be proud of all your talent.
Do your books share messages?
The story lines in each one of my books are filled with wonderful lessons for elementary school aged children. I try to include messages about friendship, compassion, responsibility, and respect for others.
You have lots to share with children.
You have lots to share with children.
Are you working on any projects now?
My new book, Go-Cart Gertie is about a young girl who wants to race go- carts. When her older brother makes the statement, "you're a girl and girls can't race!" The challenge is on! It’s about not backing down from a challenge and also about equal rights for girls. This story is hilarious when the girls versus the boys in the Gilbert family. This includes her grandmother who plays a very important part of encouraging Gertie to prove the boys wrong.
Hopefully this book will be released in April. It's different than my other books and I'm excited to see how well it's received.
Best wishes on your new venture.
What else would you like to share?
All four of my books have received five- star reviews from Readers Favorites and readers in general. So I guess I'm on the right track. Lol.
My very first book that I self- published was Diesel the Body Guard. It won a silver medal in the 2017 Readers Favorite International Book Competition, and was the Gold certificate winner in the Human Relations Indie Book Awards. It also earned an Honorable Mention in the 2017 ATAI Awards. I am so proud of this wonderful book and hope it helps kids learn how to deal with bullying in school.
Who is your favorite children’s author?
My favorite children's author is Beatrix Potter. I have a huge collection of Peter Rabbit memorabilia. I have collected these items for years. I think her characters are adorable and the illustrations are beautiful. She's definitely my favorite children's author.
Thank you again for spending time with me today, Cindy.
My pleasure, Deanie
Copyright 2018: Deanie Humphrys-Dunne