Kid Lit Reviews welcomes debut children’s author Tesha Vann. Ms. Vann has recently published her first children’s book, did I just say this? Well, she did. It is titled Kensie Cooks: The Pickiest of Pickies, and is the first in a series. The book will be reviewed HERE! tonight after midnight. Well, let’s get started, shall we?
Tesha Vann, author
Tesha, how does it feel to have a book with your name on it? Is this your first?
Yes, this is my first book. Seeing my name and the Illustrator’s name (Anne Attinger) felt incredible. Just holding my story, in a book form made my heart smile.
How long did Kensie Cooks take to complete from idea to publication?
2 years. I wrote the book then started collaborating with an Illustrator. From there I decided to do a significant re-write (thankfully) and then took 9 months to query publishers. After almost 1.5 years of trying various things, the Illustrator and I decided to make our dreams come true and publish it…ourselves.
Why do you write children’s lit?
Being the youngest of 5 children most of my siblings were either grown or off doing ‘older kid’ things on our ranch. So I lived in my imagination. As we age many of us cannot live in that world of make-believe. Now that I have my own daughter who has a rich imagination it just feels natural trying to create these stories for us to live in, together.
Please describe your writing space.
Simple. My kitchen island, bar stool and my computer. I’ll also use my phone to jot down ideas if my computer is out of arms reach.
If you could go anywhere, where would that be and why?
I’d go back in time and enjoy a day with my brother, who died 17 years ago. He was such a funny and open minded guy. We used to create the most unusual stories together. If I had a better memory they would have made great children’s stories – actually he would have been a great kid lit author.
How do you get in the correct frame of mind to write? Any rituals, superstitions, or things you must have or do before you can write?
Having done a significant amount of business writing I know that sometimes you just have to write regardless of the sun, mood, stars or personal ritual. One thing that does help me write children’s stories is to close my eyes (read that suggestion somewhere on-line). It helps me in the showing vs telling challenge.
Where did you learn to write, who taught you, name of school, program, mentor, self-taught?
Various teachers who saw something in my writing. I also had a manager who would tell me several times,…”Just tell them what you’re going to tell them”. Helps keep my writing concise. I also had award winning Author Margo Sorenson mentor me. Having a professional like her who believes in me– helps me believe in myself.
With Kensie Cooks becoming a series, is there anything you would like kids who read these books to take away from the experience or learn?
That cooking is fun for the whole family. Some of my best memories are either watching my mom cook or helping her cook and then – best of all – enjoying those meals as a family. My childhood memories would be humdrum had my mom not created the opportunity for all us kids to sit around the table and laugh with one another. Today, watching my daughter help me cook and show off her hard culinary work melts my heart. We also eat together as a family and its invaluable time together.
Let’s play Fast Five . I’ll name five things and you say the first thing that comes to mind.
1. editing: Prickly But Necessary
2. publishers: Unresponsive
3. a blank page: An Opportunity
4. Amazon: Powerful
5. Year 2013: Lucky & Electrifying
10. What is next? Is another Kensie Cooks due to be released soon? Working on a different book or series? Tours, blog hops?
Book 2 of the Kensie Cooks series is set to be released in March, 2013. Book three will follow. There are two other books that are calling (screaming) my name. The rough drafts are there but life’s obligations and giving Kensie Cooks my attention will force those out a year or two.
Anything else you would like to add or say to your readers?
First of all I’d like to say thank you to Sue for giving me this opportunity. What a wonderful site for kid lit.
I’d also like to add that these past two years have taught me to ‘go for it’. If you don’t put yourself (or your writing) out there then you’ll never see where it goes. I encourage anyone with a story, who is open to constructive criticism and willing to pursue his/her writing dreams to really do it. Because it’s worth it
Thank you, Tesha for joining us today. It was a pleasure.If you would like to read more about Ms. Vann’s debut book, Kensie Cooks: The Pickiest of Pickies, you can read a review HERE! tomorrow. (after midnight tonight). Ready to buy Tesha Vann’s first children’s book? You can do so HERE! at Amazon.com.