Friday, August 11, 2017

Interview with children's author Pattie McCann Tracy

My special guest today is author Pattie McCann Tracy. We’re chatting about her fun new children’s picture book, Pono Finds His Flippers.

Pattie McCann Tracy grew up in Simi Valley, CA and found her own flippers when she was 3-years old in a neighbor’s backyard. She began teaching swimming at age 18 and put herself through the University of Hawaii by teaching lessons. She lives in Thousand Oaks, CA with her wonderful husband Jon (a former student) and their two special need pups, Rafa and Lulu.

Welcome, Pattie. Please tell us about your current release.
In a tropical paradise far, far away, a delightful little boy named Pono enjoys every sun-filled day with his best friend, Lani, a Hawaiian monk seal. While they share a true friendship of aloha – one of love, fun and adventure – they can only explore together on land. Not having flippers of his own, Pono longs to join Lani each time she heads off to sea. Learning of her son’s unhappiness, Pono’s mother helps him find his own flippers by teaching him to swim in the island’s blue waters. With his best friend Lani cheering by his side, triumphantly Pono learns to swim, and their lives are forever changed. Now the world is their oyster, and their adventures as wide as the ocean is deep.

What inspired you to write this book?
The concept for the book was created because as a former swim instructor, I understand all too well how drowning is a preventable tragedy. It saddens me greatly that it’s the leading cause of accidental injury and death in children under the age of five and the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 14.

I’ve seen the fear children can have prior to or during their swim lessons; making it more difficult and certainly less fun for them to learn. I’ve seen parents stop lessons because of this fear. It is my hope that Pono and Lani will encourage and inspire children so they build up courage and look forward to learning to swim.

In my opinion swimming is not only a gift that all children deserve but also builds confidence and opens up an incredible world to explore – two extremely important aspects in every child’s life. Just like swimming can be enjoyed year-round, Pono Finds His Flippers serve as a year-round educational instrument that parents and children can share together; thereby helping to prevent unnecessary drowning.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Pono’s next story will be about him and Lani adopting a dog from the local shelter, what it takes to care for a dog, how to choose one that is right for his lifestyle, etc.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
While I was in college at the University of Hawaii I took a number of writing courses, but it was not until I saw Pono Finds His Flippers laid out with the illustrations that I thought – “wow, I’m a writing of a children’s picture book.”

Do you write 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 am not a full-time writer. I have been an advertising and marketing professional for almost 30 years and I love to be around creative people. I generally carve out time after dinner to sit, be thoughtful and write.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’d say my most interesting writing quirk is I write in third person to get my ideas down, then go back to edit with a better idea of who my characters really are and enhance their personalities.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was very little I wanted to be a flight attendant. I thought the fact they got to fly all around the world was the most glamorous thing ever

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I love to swim, to feel the water splash on my face and to either float, surf or just do strokes – I love to be in the water.


Thanks for joining me today, Pattie! Happy writing.

No comments: