Hello readers! It’s starting to finally feel like autumn over here in Arizona. I’ve heard the weather is changing in many areas - whether it be turning into a frosty winter or a nice, hot summer - the weather is definitely changing.
Just in time for this spectacular weather, Renee Sherkness brings you her second book, The Day Mother Nature Decided to Paint Her House. This fascinating tale for young readers features classical characters such as Mother Nature herself, and Father Time. It teaches - in a subtle way – about all of the different seasons while captivating readers with a thought-provoking story.
I pulled Renee Sherkness away from her wonderful writing long enough to ask her a few questions:
Heather: When did you first realize you wanted to start writing for publication?
Renee: First thank you, Heather, for allowing me to be interviewed on your blog. I greatly appreciate all you have done to help make my books come to fruition!
Heather: Thank you for allowing me the honor of helping you with your great books!
Renee: As an educator I always saw a need for children’s stories to be educational, fun and also informative while sparking an interest in our world. My view is that society has put our environment on the back burner for quite a while and wanting to do something to raise awareness to the connection we all share with nature was the main reason I began to write. My grandchildren and my husband were somewhat inspirational in my decision to publish my writings. They enjoyed my writings and encouraged me through the joy I saw in them from reading my stories. This encouraged me to begin the journey of publishing to share my message of connecting ‘with care’ to our world with others.
Heather: It’s amazing how an idea can turn into something great! How do you deal with writer’s block?
Renee: Good question. I’ve learned not to fight the writer’s block I sometimes have but embrace it as a message to slow down, walk away from my writing for a bit and take a break. Unfortunately by doing this I also have had times when I have had to embrace when the inspiration to write as well even at times that were less than convenient.. like 1:00 am in the morning!!
Heather: I can relate to that. When inspiration happens, you’ve gotta embrace it! What do you usually do while writing?
Renee: I try to put myself in my characters shoes. I think about what my characters would say, how I want them to be perceived in my story and I also try to stay focused on my message I am trying to convey. Also sipping coffee and water while writing helps.
Heather: Ah, having a drink sure does refresh the mind! What do you use to write with (i.e. keyboard, pen, pencil)?
Renee: When I first started to write I’d use a pen and notebook. But as I began to write more I opted for a keyboard to write my stories. But I still jot down ideas as they come to me with a pen and notebook I carry all the time - especially on my walks in the park.
Heather: One thing is for sure, you just can’t carry your keyboard around absolutely everywhere. What if they outlawed writing?
Renee: My passion would be stilled and I think I would have to find some other way to get my stories out there.
Heather: What is your favorite character (of your books)?
Renee: That is a hard question because when I am writing a story the character in that story becomes my favorite at that time!
If I had to choose I would say he would be Winston in my next book coming out Winston The Whale And The Blanket Of Darkness. He has an inner strength in him I admire.
Heather: Winston sounds like an epic character! Who is your hero?
Renee: Such a thought provoking question! A tough one to answer.. I think when we are little it is so much easier to name our heroes. I am sure my Grandson would quickly state “Buzz Light year” when asked with no hesitation. Yet as we get older it is a little harder to identify. I think we all have heroism in us and display it when needed. Look at the after math of 911 and the everyday heroes who helped strangers in horrific circumstances. Most of these people would not be identified as heroes in normal circumstances. Yet they were heroes when tested. So who can say who is or isn’t a hero? For me I guess I see heroism happen every day in the young and the old in simple ways. My daughter has come through some daunting challenges as she was growing into womanhood and I’ve watched her maneuver through each obstacle, overcome them and not let them engulf her. I say she has shown heroism in a way to me. My husband has often times been my hero with an encouraging word even when he didn’t even know he was doing it! My parents, my friends all have been heroes at one time or another. But I think I have come to the conclusion that to find a hero in my life I will always need to look “up” to a higher power and hope he allows the hero in all of us to be revealed when called upon.
Heather: Very thought provoking answer! Where did you find the inspiration to write The Day Mother Nature Decided to Paint Her House?
Renee: I have to take an excerpt from my book’s dedication to answer that question:
From The Day Mother Nature Decided to Paint Her House:
During rush hour, I was driving my granddaughter, Kyla, back home from a movie
(Where the Wild Things Are) we had just seen.
As you can imagine, my five-year-old granddaughter was not happy
with the traffic delay we were facing, and neither was I, for that matter.
Since it was fall, I tried passing the time by pointing out the different colors of the leaves.
Then my granddaughter asked me, “Nana, how do the leaves change their colors?”
And that’s how this story came to life!
Therefore I dedicate this story to my granddaughter, Kyla, and my grandson, Chase, for all the questions I have answered and for those they will continue to ask, which constantly remind me how magical life can be.
Heather: It is wonderful what can inspire! Do you have any books in the works?
Renee: Yes I do:
Coming in the spring 2012: Winston The Whale And The Blanket Of Darkness
It tells the tale of Winston, a humpback whale and the perils he must face because of the pollution contaminating his home.
Other stories I hope to publish in the future include: Malachi. The Caterpillar Who Was Always Late about the monarch butterflies and their journey and one little butterfly’s lesson learned from slowing down and enjoying life.
Xzavier and China. A Story Of Care And Cooperation about two very different creatures learning to exist and get along with care and cooperation.
All stories are from the Nurturing Nature Collection: connecting “with care” to our world. These books are a collection of fun, educational and entertaining stories that teach ways to create a healthier “us” and a healthier” world”.
All stories include a summary filled with educational information on the stories topic as well as a glossary and educational resources and web sites to educate and help our environment.
They can be purchased in print and e book on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Borders.com, and apple I pad. Visit web site for more information: http://reneesherkness.webs.com/
Heather: Thank you for allowing me the honor of interviewing you, Renee! I know I look forward to watching your stories come to life and put on bookshelves!
Readers! It’s prime time for holiday shopping (or soon will be… I know I’ve all ready started my Christmas shopping), and if you have a young reader, check out Renee’s website and consider grabbing a copy of her books. They make great gifts!