Thursday, April 14, 2011

Interview with children's author Barbara Carducci

I'd like to welcome author Barbara Simpson Carducci to Reviews and Interviews today to talk about the writing life and her newest release Storee Wryter Gets a Dog.

Bobbi is a former senior staff writer for a Washington, D.C. area newspaper and currently writes a monthly book review column for About Families Publications. Her short stories appear in the Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort anthologies. She is currently refining her first novel-length book, a creative nonfiction work based on her seven years as an in-home caregiver for a critically ill family member.

Please tell us about your current release.
Storee Wryter is a young girl with a big imagination and a love of writing. Every day brings a new adventure and a new story to tell. Storee Wryter Gets a Dog, the first in a planned book series designed to encourage young writers, follows Storee and her cat, Critique, as they raise a puppy to become a trained therapy dog. The book takes the young reader through Storee's challenge of raising a puppy and training it to help others. Later, Storee visits a classroom of special needs children, and learns how she can reach out to other students with the help of her capable canine. It's an experience that inspires Storee to write -- and will spark the imaginations of students in grades 3 through 5. Two writing prompts and space to write are included in the back of the book.

What inspired you to write this book?
Storee is me at that age, and I wanted to let kids know that it’s possible to be a writer no matter how old you are. I also wanted to provide them with a story that is interesting and fun. I believe Critique will appeal to them as much as Addie.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on another Storee Wryter book. This one is a mystery involving a missing ring, a secret message, and the new kid at school.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I started writing when I was eight. It happened quite by accident. It rained all morning and my best friend’s mother had had about enough of two giggling girls chatting away in her home. She handed each of us a pencil and paper and ordered us to sit down and write a story. Later, after the sun had come out and she shooed us outdoors, she read them. She told me mine was very good and that I should continue writing. So I did.

Do you write full-time? Full time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I write throughout the day. In addition to writing, I am the Executive Director of the Young Voices Foundation, a 501 c 3 nonprofit established to mentor young writers. I write a daily blog and I write a monthly book review column for About Families Publications.

I teach writing workshops for adults and children and I am a judge for the Benjamin Franklin Awards and the Moms Choice Awards. Both are nationally recognized book awards. I love to spend time with other writers and lead a local writers group where my goal is to help other writers meet their personal writing goals. I am on the Board of Directors or Pennwriters, Inc. a national writers group with over 400 members.

When I’m not doing any of that I’m reading. I have to. If I go too long without a book I get twitchy from brain hunger.

What's fun for you?
Good food, good wine, good friends. My husband is a drummer so I’m a band groupie. (Never a roadie, always a groupie is my motto) I also love walking on my treadmill. I can’t run anymore since I popped a disk in my back a few years ago, but I can walk for hours given the chance.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
When stuck, I head for either a hot shower or my hot tub. There is something about hot water on my head that stimulates my brain. I picture synapses lighting up and ideas coming to life.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A brain surgeon. Really. I loved doctor shows on TV and decided I would be the best of the best and work on the most important part of the body. Unfortunately that’s hard to do when you become pregnant and marry at 17. So, my story took a vastly different turn. I don’t regret a thing. Look where I ended up.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
My target market for Storee Wryter and her friends, in addition to young readers 8-10 years old, is teachers. Please tell them about Storee Wryter and her cat, Critique. The ebook, at $4.99, is very affordable and easy to download for use in the classroom when teaching kids about the fun one can have with creative writing.

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