When I was asked to join the tour by Carmela Dutra a.k.a Lorenzo the Bear I paused, because as much as I love to write this was taking me out of my comfort zone and one step further into this wiring thing and into the lime light. I want to say thank you to Carmela for asking and for the little push.
Carmela Dutra is very passionate about children’s literacy, which is the main reason she wrote this series for her niece and nephew. With no intention of it ever going public, she wanted to create something fun and special for them to read.
In addition to writing and illustrating, Carmela Dutra is also a professional photographer. Working with children is her passion! Whether she captures their whimsical nature with her camera, or with her stories, she hopes to encourage children to find their own passion for reading and writing.
“Literature has the ability to open up a whole new world to children, but we need to have a share in helping them to find that door and open it with them. Let’s set the example and help to foster this love of reading in our little ones. ” ~ Carmela Dutra
So here we go hmm all about me!
1. What am I working on?
That’s a very good question, what am I working on? Hmm a number of things and nothing at all. I have several projects going at the same time. Being visual I always get pictures and have to decide if I want to do a book.
Presently, I am getting Mookie’s Excellent Adventure “Awakening”
the first book in the series ready for publication. He has been on the back burner for quite a while and I am hoping to have him published by the end of the month.
Mookie ” boisterous, fearless, always ready” has an unusual “Awakening” and journey to the sea because he starts in the daytime and turtles just don’t do that! He meets some interesting characters on the beach and in the ocean and is ‘awakening ‘ to the world around him.
B. Mookie – Coloring Book
I have also just
completed the coloring book entitled “Mookie”
as well! Really excited about that.
This book has hours of fun with a delightful turtle and the friends and ocean he is discovering!
C. Simon & Phil
Meet Simon and Phil my trees who are having a conversation about what they have seen and heard over the years. They are two very distinct personalities. Simon, is grumpy and complains a lot about the inconsiderate humans and other happenings that he is a witness to everyday and Phil, well he is grateful for the time he has had and is excited about all the things he can be to help out if they ever cut him down. They invite you to JOIN THE CONVERSATION!
D. Anya’s Stories Books 3 – “Jelly Bean and Poppit”
In this story Anya shares about her wish for a puppy but her parents are teaching the lesson of Responsibility. The challenge- She has six months of taking care of a small pet before she can get a puppy. Anya is not very pleased with this but along with her brother Peter they select 2 small pets. She learns that Responsibility is a really big deal for a little kid!
E. Anya’s stories Book 4 – “What Should I do?”
Six months have passed and its time for a new puppy. Is Anya excited or is she apprehensive? In this story, that teaches the lesson of Decision Making she shares the past six months and the adventures of taking care of pets and she wonders if a puppy will be the same amount of work. So she has a decision to make and you will be surprised.
F. Anya’s Stories Book 5 – “Climbing High”
Anya loves to climb trees and her mother warns her not to go to high but she forgets and gets lost in the clouds at the top of her favorite tree. Anya is not Listening! She shares her experience with this valuable lesson with all those that will listen.
G. Anya’s Stories Valuable Lessons Coloring and Activity
This book encompasses all 5 books in the series and is filled with coloring pages, puzzles and trivia for hours of fun!
H. Anya Goes Exploring Book 2 “People In Uniform” will be coming along shortly. This is also a coloring and activity book. Anya invites you along as she explores all the things she is learning at school and church. I don’t have a cover image for that one as yet but its on the way!
I. My life story
Apparently, I have lived a very interesting life according to those around me who know a little bit about it. So when thinking about my life the central theme has been Motion/movement. I have lived and moved to various places at various times. \What is amazing about that is how I have gone, most times, without money or support or not even knowing the destination. I have always felt a prompting and have gone on faith. So I started to write it down and out popped the title. ” A Life in Motion” My story so far lol! There is a whole lot more to this story of adventure, terror, faith and liberation!
Here is a view of the a cover idea I am working with. Very Liberating isn’t it?
J. Book Fair
I am also working on going to the Toronto International Book Fair in Toronto by Inspire.ca
K. Marketing and Promotion
This is very overwhelming most days. Just too much to remember to do especially when you just want to do your books.
L. Other Stuff
Oh yeah building my blog page and trying to keep up with all of this social media stuff!
This is not the end I have so much more that I am doing but its scary to see it all written down!
2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
My first reaction to this is I have no clue but recently I was told that my books deal with the moral character/consciousness, I think. When I wrote the first story I had no clue it would turn into this. Children are our bedrock and there are basic lessons that we all should know and practice. The valuable lessons taught in the Anya’s series are: Love, Independence, responsibility, decision making, listening. These stories are told by Anya to you the reader. Also being from the Bahamas I choose to share a little bit of my culture in each book. Mookie, on the other hand is different type of story. He is on an adventure of discovery and ultimately learns the lesson that just because they look like you doesn’t mean they are family. Finally I would say over all that my stories are a part of my experiences I guess and they all teach some kind of lesson that we need for life living. I want to share my life with others and who better than with children they are the legacy that we leave behind.
3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I have always been an avid reader and there is nothing like a good story. I get lost in them and I can remember the characters. For me a story helps better than a text book that is full of facts. Experiencing how a character overcomes a certain challenge in their lives always helps me if I am in a similar situation or someone else who I can relate the story to.
When I wrote Anya\’s Stories first book “Treasure the Memories” ( which is a mixture of my niece and I both loosing our mothers and grandmothers) I had no thought of having a series. I was encouraged by a young boy whose father died suddenly of a heart attack who loved the story. I thought well maybe if this helps him there are others who would benefit from the message and lessons taught in the series. So I pressed forward, otherwise I dont know where i would be today. Needless to say that caused an avalanche and the more I write the more story ideas keep coming.
I can say now that I am compelled to do it. I love the process of writing, then drawing and watching how the book takes shape into the final product. I find it all fascinating and I am just compelled to do it! I just love to tell stories and I find I enjoy doing it. I might add that I had no clue that I would be doing any writing at this stage in my life so this all came as a big fat surprise to me
4. How does my writing/creating process work?
In the case of Anya I just wrote the stories (well first I had a dream about the character and she was talking to God) I got up and wrote the first story. In the beginning, I had 6 stories and I just streamlined it to the 5 books. After a bad experience with an illustrator and having no budget I took on the task of doing the drawings myself and that took a while. I am no illustrator so I did my best to do simple drawings that tell the story. Then the whole process of editing and layout begins. I hate doing layout by the way. I find it tedious, frustrating and very annoying, especially for an amateur like me. Often times I want to throw the whole thing in the garbage. But I love to see the proofs in print, that is the moment that fills my heart with great joy to see that I have actually finished a project.
I have always had an affinity with turtles and one day I said maybe I should do a book about a turtle and that is where Mookie came from. He just popped right out and I wrote the story. There was a time of trying to decide what kind of story he was going to be, a chapter book, picture book or what. I had no clue. He has since turned into a series. I have used watercolors to do his illustrations. Stretching my wings a bit there. Like I said Amateur here!
Sometimes I would get a picture first and the words come after and the process begins. The process can be long and arduous but it is truly a labor of love. I have no set time to write or draw I just make sure that I have a note book to write down ideas as they come.
Well that’s me for now, hope it wasn’t too much reading. You can find me at any of these places. So come on over and like all of my pages and leave a comment, we will like yours back.
Coming up next!
So where do we go from here? Well let me introduce you to some other fabulous authors that are coming up next
Rhonda Paglia, also known as Grammy Pags, is a retired elementary teacher and very busy grandmother from Hermitage, Pennsylvania. She loves writing stories for her five grandchildren and now she’s happy to share them with other kids. The Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission came to Rhonda during her prayers for the children and teachers of the Sandy Hook tragedy. She donates all the profits from the this book to the “Angels in Charge” Scholarship Award. The award goes to kids from Newtown who are planning a career in education. Doonsey’s Beach Adventure was a fun little story about a sweet crab who loves to explore. The story was inspired by a trip to Kure Beach, NC. Three Little Gnomes and a Boy Named Orion was originally written for her grandson, Orion, in 2009. Grammy Pags, updated the story after spending a lot of time in her gardens and noticing that there are secret things going on out there when she’s not looking! Duke ‘n’ Matt, Rescue Road Warriors is her first non-fiction, true-life story. “There are over 900 Rescue Road Warriors!” says Grammy Pags. “Duke and Matt are a team, and part of this amazing group, who have rescued over 8,000 dogs and other pets.”
Mike is a single dad and attended Emerson College’s graduate writing program in Boston where he eventually met Todd who runs a charity to help orphaned children in Central Africa and volunteers as a first responder to global disasters. A self-taught artist, Todd never had the opportunity to illustrate until, one day, his dream intersected with Mike’s. Mike needed illustrations; Todd needed text. Together, they are Ewe Guys.