Hazel Intermews “Super Happy Party Bears” Author Marcie Colleen!

Standard

Hello, Everypawdy!

Hope you are having a great week! I met Marcie at her talk on how to write chapter books. Marcie wrote a bunch of chapter books about bears who are super happy and love to party!

Super Happy Party Bears Books.jpg

I am super happy to share our intermew!

Hazel Intermews Marcie Colleen!

Hazel: Hi Marcie! Thanks so much for being here! What advice do you have for bright young kitties interested in a writing career?

Marcie: “If you can dream it, you can be it.” Read a lot. Write a lot. Take classes. Attend book events and conferences when you can. And never give up on your dream. It will be hard work. It might take a while. But any dream of yours is truly worth it.

Hazel: Do you have any kitties or sock monkeys in your life?

Marcie: I do not have any kitties, but I do have a sock monkey. His name is Bloois. He is quite mischievous and therefore inspires lots of my stories.

Hazel: What’s your favorite sock monkey story?

Marcie: Bloois loves ceiling fans. He calls them “whirl-a-birds.” And although he is often content sitting on the bed, watching the “whirl-a-bird” spin around and around, one time he decided he wanted to ride it.

He climbed up (sock monkeys are very good at climbing) and hung from one of the fan’s blades. He then signaled one of his other stuffy buddies (Bloois is not an only child) to flick the switch. The fan started up and Bloois flew around and around, holding on tight to the blade of the “whirl-a-bird.” Until…he couldn’t hold on any longer and was flung off like a torpedo.

Luckily a vase of flowers broke his fall. But as he laid there, sopping wet and covered in petals, he was grinning from ear to ear.

Hazel Reading Super Happy Party Bears.jpg

Hazel: What do the Super Happy Party Bears do when they aren’t partying?

Marcie: One might say, they are always partying. They have breakfast parties and lunch parties and snack-time parties and dinner parties. And doughnut preparation parties and “get ready for bed” parties and slumber parties. Every second of the day is reason to party, according to the Super Happy Party Bears. In fact, they even have “party planning” parties to make sure that each party goes off without a hitch!

Hazel: How did you learn to write for kids?

Marcie: Honestly, I read a lot of kids books. I think the best way to learn about writing a certain kind of book is to read widely in that format or genre. When I wanted to learn how to write picture books, I spent years reading every picture book that I could get my hands on. And I did the same to learn how to write chapter books. Read, read, read!

Super Happy Party Bears Excerpt

Hazel: What do you think a character needs in order to resonate with young readers?

Marcie: I try and write characters that are relatable and child-like so that my young readers can see themselves in my characters—even a grumpy porcupine mayor. I mean, who isn’t a little cranky and prickly once in a while? Add a few dashes of humor, a dollop or two of heart, and a whole lot of wacky adventures and readers will be turning pages well into the night (by flashlight, of course) to find out what the character will do next.

Hazel: Why do you think characters are so important to get right in chapter books?

Marcie: Chapter books are often a reader’s first step into independent reading. Therefore, characters in chapter books are like reading ambassadors. They welcome kids into their world to make them laugh, expand their horizons, and take them on exciting adventures. The more engaging a character, the more willing a reader will be to join them on the journey through a book, which leads to another book, and another book, building lifelong readers page by page.

Hazel: What’s the most efficient way you’ve found to take a chapter book from concept to completion?

Marcie: I imagine that the story I am telling is an episode of a cartoon. I outline the story from start to finish, placing chapter breaks where the commercial breaks would be. And then when I write, I visualize the cartoon playing out in my mind. It helps to keep the writing action and dialogue focused, and not rely too much on voiceover-like narration.

Hazel: Wow, what a pawtastic intermew! Thanks again, Marcie!

Super Happy Party Bears Partying

You can find the first “Super Happy Party Bears” book here, and pre-order her debut picture book, “Love, Triangle,” here.

Thanks for reading!!

Hazel

About Marcie Colleen

In previous chapters Marcie Colleen has been a teacher, an actress, and a nanny, but now she spends her days writing children’s books! She is the author of THE SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS chapter book series with Macmillan/Imprint, as well as LOVE, TRIANGLE, her picture book debut, illustrated by Bob Shea, which will be released October 3, 2017 with Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins. She lives with her husband and their mischievous sock monkey in San Diego, California. Visit her at www.thisismarciecolleen.com or on Twitter: @MarcieColleen1.

Advertisements

Hazel’s Book Club: “The True Tails of Baker and Taylor” by Jan Louch, with Lisa Rogak

Standard

 

Books and cats: that’s a winning combination!

What a sweet joy it is to curl up with a snuggly kitty (or if you are a kitty, like me, to curl up with a warm hooman) and read, connecting with thoughtful writers across space and time from the comfort of your favorite reading spot.

icanhascheezburger.com

If you love books, kitties, or both (and especially together), you will adore The True Tails of Baker and Taylor, the now-retired Jan Louch’s memoir about her life as an assistant librarian in a library with the famous eponymous kitty cats.

Photo Courtesy of Me

In 1983, at the new Douglas County Library in Minden, Nevada, Jan and a co-worker solved the facility’s rodent problem by hiring a pair of Scottish Folds, named for each of the names in the book distribution company, Baker & Taylor.

The cats not only ate lots of nummy mice, but they were also kitties! Visitors loved coming to pet the kitties and watch them do funny cat things, like catching Taylor in his Buddha pose, presumably meditating.

When the cats were photographed as the literal poster children for Baker & Taylor, the library turned into a popular tourist destination, and the Folds became pre-internet feline superstars!

nbcnews.com

A lovely tail in a cozy setting, the book also captures the fascinating ability of cats to facilitate hooman communities, a phenomenon not originated, but certainly amplified by 21st century technology such as blogging about your cat or blogging about being a cat.

The story represents a nostalgic slice of offline life. However, even though the internet has considerably changed the way communities form around information and cat appreciation, readers can still recognize the innovation of combining the two in a physical space in an era before they could be combined digitally.

Such spaces can and do still exist today, combining not only books and cats, but cats and other things cat fanciers might like. Cat Cafes, for example, are starting to pop up all over the world. They’re a great way to provide cats a home while also offering an opportunity for hoomans to prepare for the financial and emotional commitment of finding a cat to adopt you.

amazon.com

So enjoy this book as you would enjoy listening to anyone talk about cats, but I’d also encourage you to think about the timeless power of cats as a CATalyst (pun intended) for inter-specific community.

 

Caturday Intermew with Homer the Freelance Cat!

Standard

Happy Caturday!

I am so purry to share an intermew today with my new friend Homer! Isn’t he a cutie?? You can follow his pawtastic freelance resources at The Freelancer Society’s website.

Homer

Hazel: Meows, Homer! Thanks for stopping by! How did you meet your human?

Homer: I met my human a few years ago in Lethbridge – that’s in Canada. I had been wandering around getting in fights and going hungry, so a nice lady brought me to my person so she could take care of me. At first she said she would help me get back on my feet and then find me a new home, but eventually I charmed her into letting me stay full time!

Hazel: Oh, that’s so cute! What advice do you have for any bright young kittens considering freelance work?

Homer: For kittens looking to get into the freelance writing business, I say this: don’t lose sight of your goals. If you want to be a feature writer but all you can find right now is work doing website copy, then do the work you have but don’t forget what you really want! Keep trying and it will happen.

Hazel: What kind of writing do you do, and how did you get started?

Homer: I do lots of different types of writing, from magazine articles to short stories to brochures. I got started a few years ago when I knew I just couldn’t deal with getting up early every morning and working for someone else, doing something boring. I answered a few Craigslist ads, posted a few of my own, and was into sales and technical writing in a few months.

Hazel: What’s your favorite freelance work?

Homer: My favorite freelance work is writing about food. I used to be kind of a chubby guy because of my keen interest in gravy, but these days I’ve slimmed down and learned to enjoy my lunch, dinner, breakfast and snacks without overeating. Still, when I delve into a juicy article about food history, I start to salivate…

Hazel: Ooh, I like food 😮 What are you currently working on?

Homer: I am currently working on a few things, but my special project is a short fiction series for Kindle – I’d give you links but it’s just a little bit too naughty 😉

Hazel: What is your most favorite thing you’ve written?

Homer: Most of my favourite pieces are somewhat controversial – I’m not the kind of cat to shy away from topics that people don’t agree on. One that sticks out to me is “Vaccinate Not Exterminate: UK Badger Cull Protest.” The story involved animal welfare, of which, of course, I am a huge advocate, and it was a story that affected a lot of my friends in the UK who were out on the streets and in the fields protecting badgers against the cull. I think they appreciated being given a voice!

Hazel: Good for you! If you could say only one thing to a new or existing follower, what would you like them to know?

Homer: To my followers: This industry takes a lot of courage, but we aren’t all born with it. If you are a scared and sensitive furrball like I used to be, then “fake it ’til you make it.” Pretend you are strong, and that criticism doesn’t hurt, and eventually it will be true!

Hazel: “Eventually it will be true,” I like that! Thanks, Homer! What a great intermew.

Homer 2

And thank YOU reader for reading!

A cordial purr,

Hazel

August Intermew Blitz with Oscar!

Standard

Day 15 of my August Intermew Blitz! Meet Oscar!

Advice?

Take lots of nice pictures for your audience to enjoy and try to be cheerful and uplifting.

Inspiration?

My brother Ben, he was so sweet natured and laid back, and I aim to be like him.

Entertainment?

I have come to enjoy watching Downton Abbey because my Mum loves it and I watch it with her.

Politics?

I think humans could learn a great deal from us cats with regard to dignity and common sense. We take time to consider the situation and only act when we have decided it’s appropriate. We never act hastily.

Dream Date?

I would love to have dinner with my namesake, Oscar Wilde, he was a talented and clever man who used humorous words to express how he felt about the world. We would eat chicken in a restaurant in Monmartre in Paris.

Mistakes?

Aaah one big mistake I have made is going outdoors when it’s wet because then one gets muddy paws and they are not really welcome on my Mum’s lace tablecloth!

Conclusion?

I think you would enjoy following me, because I can be witty and cheerful and it might lift your mood on a dreary day.

Thanks, Oscar!

August Intermew Blitz with Garfield and Leo Kitty Cats!

Standard

Day 11 of my August Intermew Blitz! Meet Garfield and Leo Kitty Cats!

Advice?

The advice we would give is to get your name out there, ask some of the pages you like to give your page a share, but always share their page in return. Also, give people a reason to want to like your page. On our page we like to post nice things, and we like to keep it a nice page to visit. We don’t like posting about abuse or horrible things happening to pets—the news and internet is full of it, so on our page we like it to be a place where people can come over to see nice things and read nice stories.

Inspiration?

Our biggest inspiration has been our sisfur Winnie aka Snookes. She has overcome so much, mams recused her from being stuck in a hole in the heart of a bad winter. Mams brought her in and Winnie would not leave the bedroom to come out to any other room. She was a very frightened kitty. It took her months before she trusted mams, and it was only after mams got our borfur Thor that Winnie seen that there was nothing to be afraid of and that the puppies or mams would not hurt her. It did take her over 2 years to leave the bedroom but now she is very brave and she rules the house and is not afraid of anything.

Entertainment?

Our favorite TV show is Tom and Jerry, Sylvester and Tweety and Bugs Bunny. Our favorite film Astrocats. The favorite thing we like to read is a poem that mams reads to us on a dark windy night—it is called the Highway Man.

Politics?

We love that felines have more power, we think it will shape the world in great ways. There will be more kitty cats making the world decisions. Furry boys and flying boys will line buffets once felines have total control. The world will be a better place.

Dream Date?

We would love to have dinner with Bast the cat god in ancient Egypt. The things we would eat would be chicken fish and scrambled eggs—all of our favorite things.

Mistakes?

The biggest mistake that me Gars has made is running out the back yard without mams. I then ran up the big tree after a flying boy. When I looked I was up very high and I was on my own. I was so scared so I called and called for mams to save me. Of course she came out, but she could not reach because I was too far up the big tree. She had to tell me each branch to climb onto so I could get close enough to jump into her arms. I have not ran out again on my own now. I just stay in the kitty enclosure when I am out. The biggest mistake me Leo has made is jumping from the kitchen counter onto the swing bin lid after a fly. I did not know that if I jumped onto it that the lid would open, and I would fall in. I was then stuck in the bin in the dark with no way to get out, thankfully mams heard me calling her and took the lid off and got me out but I know not to do that again.

Conclusion?

Thank mew so much for being our furriends. We love mew all and loving having mew here.

Thanks, Kitties!

Caturday Intermew with Thoreen the Ragdoll Cat!

Standard

Happy Caturday!

Here’s the first intermew of my August Intermew Blitz! Meet Thoreen the Ragdoll Cat!

Advice?

Post lots of cute pictures every day.

Inspiration?

Felix the cat ~ he always has a bag of tricks.

Entertainment?

Book: Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul

Play: Cats

Movie: Puss in Boots

TV: Any cat commercial

Politics?

We have always had the power from the Egyptian days, man just did not want to see it. We shape the world as a big ball of yarn.

Dream Date?

Johnny Depp…oops mama told me to say that my choice would be Morris the Cat. I would eat chicken at chicken a fil.

Mistakes?

Playing with mommy hamsters learned that not everything that moves is a toy…hamsters were not harmed.

Conclusion?

Be nice to all friends, they are important and we are all one. Thank you.

Thanks, Thoreen!

Caturday Intermew with Pooter!

Standard

Happy Caturday!!

Here’s an intermew from our friend Pooter!

Enjoy!

Hazel: Hi Pooter! Thanks so much for being here. Any advice for the social media cat?

Pooter: Just be yourself – people adore kittens. Make furriends wif other kitties and always share der pages too.

Hazel: Who has been your biggest inspiration and why?

Pooter: I am a huge fan of Jonesy Alien Slayer. Her story and what she has done is just simply pawesome. It is amazing what kitties can do – wif a little help from hoomans

Hazel: What do you like to read or watch?

Pooter: Cats & Dogs and Garfield are 2 of my favowite movies. And of course Cats is only de best musical eber!! *sings very off key Memmmmmmoryyyyyyyyy

Hazel: Haha beautiful! How do you feel about the rise of feline power, and how do you see that power shaping the world in the future?

Pooter: Kitties have always been in charge – we just let de hoomans tink dey are from time to time. I see more tweats for all kitties in de future.

Hazel: Who would you love to have dinner with? What would you eat and where?

Pooter: I would luvs to have dinners wif Miss Kitty Face. We would haves toona on de beach at sunsets wif catnip martinis.

Hazel: What are some mistakes you’ve made and what did they teach you?

Pooter: Mistakes? What are dose? Sometimes I eat Gilligan’s food but Mommy says I’m being a piglet – I can’t helps it if my bowl was empty first.

Hazel: Aww, poor Gilligan! Haha, thanks Pooter! It was great meeting mew! Any concluding thoughts?

Pooter: I am very humbled by all of de love dey has shown me and my family.

Hazel: Aww, we love you too! Thanks, Pooter!

And thank YOU reader for reading!

Headbonks,

Hazel