Saturday, 18 April 2015

My Process of Writing A Children's Book

My process of writing a children's book.

DMR Pic 2 By Diane Mae Robinson

As a children’s chapter book author, the first and most important aspect of my writing process involves finding my “child voice”. “Child Voice” is a term in children’s literature that interprets into the author being able to get inside the heads of their children characters; think and act as those children characters would think and act and, thus, be able to write about them with ease.
Through all my years of studying children’s literature and children’s behavior, a major lesson I have learned is that to write for children the writer must have a certain level of immaturity along with the ability to remember the art of play. In my case, this is very doable, and when my friends call me immature, I take that as a compliment that I am on the right creative track.
Sketch King and Queen
King and Queen
When I am in the first stages of planning a new children’s book, I do a lot of note keeping, character building, and mapping out the fantasy world that the characters will be having their adventures in. Once I know my character’s world and know each character as much as I would know a good friend, then the plot creating process begins.
The creating of their story starts out as a movie playing in my head. This movie plays a scene, re-winds, re-plays the scene somewhat differently, builds the next scene only to re-wind, re-build, and re-plays that scene. As day and months go by, the movie keeps building, re-playing, strengthening the plot; it’s just about like the characters take over the making of the movie to get their story told.
Sketch King and Petra
King and Petra
Then one day, the movie in my head is complete and that’s when I get down to the business of writing. When I’m in the writing phase, I write with a frenzied passion for days, weeks on end, often writing non-stop for 12 hours at a time until the book is written.
Once the story is written in the first draft, I leave it alone for a few weeks to give the characters some time to settle into the story.
Then it’s on to editing. Editing phase will last another several weeks where I edit in two or three hour intervals every few days.
When I feel the book is at least 90% well written and well edited, the manuscript is submitted to my publisher. I am published with a traditional publisher, so the book will be scrutinized by their editor and the editor and I will work through several more stages of editing before the book goes on to production.

Friday, 27 March 2015

3rd Book In Award-Winning Adventure Series On The Way

Sir Princess Petra's Mission - The Pen Pieyu Adventures, book 3, forthcoming in the fall of 2015

Synopsis: Sir Princess Petra has already attained her Knighthood  in the Kingdom of Pen Pieyu and her non-princess-like Talent Certificate from Talent School, neither of which pleases her father, the king.
The king writes up more silly rules in the royal rule book to deter Sir Princess Petra from her knightly ways and useless talent , and turn her into a real princess once and for all.

Will the king finally succeed with this newly written, ridiculous  mission for Petra?

Diane M. Robinson has created a heroine unlike any other in children’s literature. Sir Princess Petra sets a fine example for young readers, and for young girls, as the Princess teaches them what’s really important, like friends, being true, brave, honest, and always having faith in your Dragon! Ms. Robinson sets the bar by writing a truly charming and imaginative adventure series and I heartily recommend it.
Jeanne E. Rogers, Author of the award winning middle grade fantasy, The Sword of Demelza.

Book Awards for Sir Princess Petra and Sir Princess Petra's Talent:

2013 Finalist, 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading contest:
2013  Honorable Mention, Readers’ Favorite International Book Award:
2014 Bronze Medal, Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards:

For reviews of books one and two, in the award-winning children's book series, dragon books for children:

Sunday, 15 March 2015

"Seal of Approval" From Children's Literary Classics

Sir Princess Petra's Talent Honored With "Seal of Approval" from Children's Literary Classics, and has qualified for the 2015 Children's Literary Classics Book Awards.


Literary Classics is an organization dedicated to promoting excellence in literature. Through our AWARDS, BOOK REVIEWS, and SEAL OF APPROVAL PROGRAM, we help you sort through the many books in circulation today. It is our goal to help you select the finest books available. Additionally, our programs offer opportunities for publishers, authors and illustrators to receive recognition for providing excellence in literature.

Children’s Literary Classics, 5 stars

When Petra, a precocious young princess, earns her knighthood, her father the king is not at all pleased.  In order to prepare his daughter to one day become a suitable queen, he insists she attend talent school where she will learn to behave like a proper princess.
Armed with her quick wit, and a fierce determination, Princess Petra sets off to earn a talent.  As she journeys to talent school, traveling with her trusty dragon, Snarls, she acquires new friends along the way.  Together, Princess Petra's motley entourage makes enlightening discoveries and encounters merry adventures throughout their expedition.
Princess stereotypes are gloriously debunked in this book about a royal who dares to be herself. Princess Petra will charm and inspire youngsters as she fearlessly outwits those who would thwart her progress in achieving her own goals, all the while helping others realize their own dreams.  Author Diane Mae Robinson's second book in the Pen Pieyu Adventures is a delightful read and one that is sure to engage and enthrall young readers.  Sir Princess Petra's Talent is recommended for home and school libraries and has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

For more reviews on my dragon books for children, visit my author's website:

Illustration by Samantha Kickingbird

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Book Review: The Legend of Wally Gonkers

Author: R. R. Howroar
Illustrator: Tiffany England
Kindle edition
File Size: 14991 KB
  • Print Length: 26 pages
  • Publisher: Zanzabar Valley Publishing (February 11, 2015)
  • ASIN: B00TJ64S0Y

Book Synopsis: One of the hardest things about life is the discouragement we feel when we fail. This can be especially true when we fail to reach our goals or dreams. This fantastical account follows one fellow's life-long journey of achieving his dream of winning a sport that he invented. It shows that we should never give up, even when we face the challenges of advancing years. Above all else, we must never lose sight of the importance of pursuits that others or we ourselves might consider silly. A zany lesson for children and adults alike.

About the story: Wally the Gonk invents a sport using gold plated helmets to bounce golden goo balls into hoops on top of lemon meringue mountains in the Valley of Konk. If a Gonk can bonk off 300 goo piles in a row, he will win the prize to sit next to the king and drink the ruby tears of a dragon that will ensure living a long, healthy life. Each year Wally was the star Gonker and got the farthest of all the players, but he never made it to goo pile 300. When Wally gets older, he gives up the sport until the king persuade him to try one more time.

What I thought: This is a wonderful zany and absolutely fun story written in witty rhyme. The Legend of Wally Gonkers is an original and very creative story. Wally shows the reader how to never give up on achieving your dream no matter what your age is, how you need to use your head as well as your body to achieve excellence in a sport, and how, sometimes, you may need a little bit of help from your friends. This is a great first book for author, R. R. Howroar.

   The illustrations are superb and capture the story's essence to a tee.

   The only criticism I had with the book was that I thought the type setting of the text was rather small and hard to read for a children's book, but that may only be in the kindle edition.


About the author: R.R. Howroar was born and still resides in the Midwest. He has been writing all of his life and finally decided to pursue it as a career of writing Children's stories. What prompted him to make this bold move? R.R. says "After many years of putting it off, last year I finally sat down and put my thoughts onto paper, or pad in this case, the result was quite satisfying. As Wayne Gretsky once said, " you miss 100% of the shots you don't take." "So just writing the book and taking the shot has proven to be a great victory for me. Achieving this has given me all of the confidence in the world to reach out for something I feel I've been destined to do all along." Feel free to contact R.R. and view more of his work at:

Visit my author's website at: 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Petra Wins The Day!

Review of Sir Princess Petra Talent’s by Diane Mae Robinson

This time we are very glad to speak about a children’s book. This work is suitable for children aged 7-12 years. That is a fairy tale enriched with magical words. Its title is Sir Princess Petra’s Talent’s and its author is Diane Mae Robinson, an established and rewarded writer of Children’s books and a writing instructor at the Creative Writing Institute.
The book we are reviewing is the second episode of The Pen Pieyu Adventures, a series set in the reign inhabited by the little, brave Princess Petra, her parents, namely the king and his queen and a royal council that supervises Petra’s friends while they try to follow the rules established by the royal book to became royal knights.
The book opens with the synopsis of the first episode, where the little, nine years Petra gets the title of royal knight to have hushed the howling dragon Snarls. The latter becomes a friend of Petra, but in the book two, the parents of Petra expect their beloved princess to behave as a true Princess and not only as a royal knight. The king, hence, orders Petra to attend the Talent School to gain a talent certificate. If she refuses this proposal, she will be turned into a frog!
Naturally, Petra accepts to attend the School. In this new experience, the Princess is accompanied by her friends Snarls and Prince Duce Crablips of the Kingdom of Crablips. But which will be the talent that Petra will choose at the Talent School? The answer is in the book that we want to define a graceful masterpiece of the children’s literature.
Many readers or aspiring authors believe that writing a children’s book is easier that writing a fiction for young adults. Indeed, in order to fit style of writing for little readers, a writer must have high skills in creative writing. Thanks to her excellent writing skills, Diane Mae Robinson has been capable to create a perfect story for children.
Sir Princess Petra Talent’s is well written and created by using the proper words, sentences and adjectives, the sequences of words build a sort of poetry and this style makes the story more and more poetic and enchanting. This style emerges during each chapter of the book. Moreover, this work contains a high educational purpose because it  teaches children to develop their talent and abilities and overcome the several obstacles imposed by life.
This tale teaches, above all,  to face problems in a fun way. The adventures of Petra and her friends are, indeed, recounted with a humoristic tone and with words capable to lighten every difficult.
But not only, Sir Princess Petra’s Talent is also a book about the most important ethical values in life, namely sense of friendship, respect for other people and for nature, for the sky and the going of the seasons. This book is also enriched with drawings describing the story written by Diane Mae Robinson.
The writing of the author seems to paint and shape the same pictures of this fairy tale. To tell the truth, we have read this book with the mood of a child and we have remained happily charmed. We are sure readers will have the same opinion and much more!
One more thing: Sir Princess Petra Talent’s by Diane Mae Robinson is available onAmazon.
For more information of my dragon books for children, visit: There's a Kid's Page and a free pdf coloring book download.
Book three, Sir Princess Petra's Mission, forethcoming 2015.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

10 Resolutions for a Saner Internet—and Life, by Jane Friedman

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10 Resolutions for a Saner Internet—and Life

By Jane Friedman on Jan 19, 2015 05:00 am
saner internet life
For me, the hardest thing about being online is remaining focused on creative endeavors important to me. The multiplicity of voices—and the community that you care about—can make you forget your center. You get sucked into other agendas that could be worthy, but are never what you intended to get mixed up in. Sometimes, it’s hard not to play. You love the networks you’re a part of. You want to connect and contribute. You want to pay it forward.
But then it becomes hard to extricate yourself. You react and sometimes let it dictate your schedule. More and more often, you look up and realize that nothing you’ve been doing for the past few hours (or days or weeks!) much related to the underlying purpose you have for your own creative work.
There is so much to do, so much to participate in, so much to respond to—so many opportunities. It is a double-edged sword. Who doesn’t want more opportunities? But when the online community starts writing your to-do list, what happens to your own vision?
I’m not necessarily better at dealing with this than anyone else. I have periods of discipline, and then I don’t. I often gain back my discipline when I have moments away—to allow my own perspective to return. Some of the things I try to do:
  • Focus on reading or creative work first thing in the morning, for 3-6 hour stretches.
  • Stay off email for 8-12 hour periods—sometimes 24 hours.
  • Stay offline after dinner.
Sometimes I feel guilty about these things. What if students, colleagues, or clients need a response quickly? Is it OK to disappear for a full business day? I try to tell myself: Yes. And to also set others’ expectations so I don’t feel guilty.
All of this is a long prelude to 10 resolutions put forth by L.L. Barkat at Tweetspeak Poetry, as part of a movement called “Citizens for a Saner Internet—and Life.” Consider me one such citizen; want to join me?

10 Resolutions from Citizens for a Saner Internet—and Life

  1. Consider sharing three beautiful posts for every negative post we feel we must share.
  2. Share angry posts only if they significantly contribute to an important conversation.
  3. Understand anger as important, a red flag type emotion, that loses its strength if all we ever do is feel angry.
  4. Write headlines that are intelligent, witty, or intriguing without exhausting our readers by frequently playing the “outrage card” to get click-throughs.
  5. If we feel we want to listen to an angry Internet conversation for what it may be able to teach us about a subject, we resolve to do so silently for a “waiting period,” in a stance of learning rather than one of defense and counterattack.
  6. We will not link to attack journalism from our websites, so as not to give more power to the writer or website of said journalism. Related, we will not link to or re-share iterative journalism, which is a sloppy form of journalism designed to deliver a “scoop” that may have no foundation yet in truth.
  7. Consider ways to move beyond the “page view model” of Internet sustainability (which is one reason attack or sensationalist journalism is often pursued by individuals and websites, because it can result in high page views, which can translate into staying financially sustainable).
  8. Get offline for periods of rest—optimally, one offline day a week and getting offline by a certain cutoff time in the evenings—and use this time to cultivate face-to-face relationships, read, exercise, or otherwise interact with the world around us.
  9. If we are unsure about our own angry or sensationalistic post on a subject, we will first pass the post by trusted friends who come from different viewpoints, in a more private setting, before deciding whether to hit the publish button.
  10. If we have been online for hours and are finally simply “surfing” because we feel lonely or unfocused, we will get offline and spend time with people face-to-face, read, exercise, play, or delve deeply into a new interest area—one that will seriously challenge us and open up new avenues for our learning and our lives.
Sometimes, anger isn’t as much the issue (for me) as feeling buffeted by the concerns, egos, and ambitions that can be baked into social media interaction—where our moods and attitudes can be influenced who’s following, liking, responding, or connecting … or by who’s getting recognition or not … or by who’s agreeing or participating or not. Getting stuck in that thought pattern is a sure sign you’ve lost focus and probably control over what you’re trying to accomplish.
All that aside: I tend to have a bigger problem dealing with email distractions than social media distractions. Social media is easy to compartmentalize when needed; I’m still working on that with email.
As Laura says at her original post, feel free to take the 10 resolutions above and publish them on your blog. The resolutions are a community thing, and they belong to you if you want them to.
For more thoughtful reading on this topic:
The post 10 Resolutions for a Saner Internet—and Life appeared first on Jane Friedman and was written by Jane Friedman.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Third-Person Viewpoint In Writing

In writing for young and middle grade children, and when writing in the third-person narrative, the writing is either in the third-person limited viewpoint (everything is seen, heard, etc., through the main character) or third-person omniscient viewpoint (the narrator sees and knows all). 

There are, although, three types of third-person writing that is used in writing for young adults and adults.

Third-person voice

The third-person narrative voices are narrative voice techniques employed solely under the category of the third-person view. Here's an explanation of three different types of third-person voices.

Third-person, subjective

Third-person subjective is when the narrator conveys the thoughts, feelings, opinions, etc. of one or more characters. If it is just one character, it can be termed third-person limited, in which the reader is "limited" to the thoughts of some particular character as in the first-person mode, except still giving personal descriptions using "he", "she", "it", and "they", but not "I." Third-person limited is almost always the main character.. Certain third-person omniscient modes are also classifiable as "third person, subjective" modes that switch between the thoughts, feelings, etc. of all the characters.
 At its narrowest and most subjective scope, the story reads as though the viewpoint character were narrating it; dramatically this is very similar to the first person, in that it allows in-depth revelation of the protagonist's personality, but it uses third-person grammar. Some writers will shift perspective from one viewpoint character to another.

Third-person, objective

The third-person objective employs a narrator who tells a story without describing any character's thoughts, opinions, or feelings; instead it gives an objective, unbiased point of view. Often the narrator is self-dehumanized in order to make the narrative more neutral; this type of narrative mode, outside of fiction, is often employed by newspaper articles, biographical documents, and scientific journals. This point of view can be described as a "fly on the wall" or "camera lens" approach that can only record the observable actions, but does not interpret these actions or relay what thoughts are going through the minds of the characters.
The third-person objective is preferred in most pieces that are deliberately trying to take a neutral or unbiased view, like in many newspaper articles. It is also called the third-person dramatic, because the narrator (like the audience of a drama) is neutral and ineffective toward the progression of the plot — merely an non-involved onlooker. 

Third-person, omniscient

Historically, the third-person omniscient perspective has been the most commonly used; it is seen in countless classic novels. A story in this narrative mode is presented by a narrator with an overarching point of view, seeing and knowing everything that happens within the world of the story, including what each of the characters is thinking and feeling. It sometimes even takes a subjective approach. One advantage of omniscience is that this mode enhances the sense of objective reliability or truthfulness of the plot. The third-person omniscient narrator is the least capable of being unreliable—although the omniscient narrator can have its own personality, offering judgments and opinions on the behavior of the characters.
In addition to reinforcing the sense of the narrator as reliable (and thus of the story as true), the main advantage of this mode is that it is eminently suited to telling huge, sweeping, epic stories, and/or complicated stories involving numerous characters. The disadvantage of this mode is that it can create more distance between the audience and the story, and that—when used in conjunction with a sweeping, epic "cast of thousands" story—characterization is more limited, which can reduce the reader's identification with or attachment to the characters.

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