Category Archives: A blog about the topics of writing

Children’s books deserve the same criteria as other genres.

Writing for children I been told by some authors is easy peasy. I know I have brought up this topic a few times on this site. But I feel it bears repeating.

Today a fellow author and friend came to me in a frenzy. She was asked to conduct a writer’s conference. Her, being shy, asked me what should she talk about. She asked me specifically since my books are for children primarily and they will have a section on that.

My first answer was dialogue. You can’t dumb it down or go over their head. That is a sure fire way for them to drop your book and find another. Adults are more forgiving. We will give an author at least a chapter, maybe more, before we ditch it. Kids? Good luck with that.

But also they should comes with a great hook and an interesting plot. But you know what? You also need to do character development, setting, pace and everything else. This applies to all age and genres.

Why should kids not get the same criteria as adults do? Because their kids? Give me a break. They are readers. We want them to continue to be readers.

Majority of authors are readers. Yes, I have met some authors who don’t read. I had a, “What the hell?”, moment. But most authors are. We started young and grew into avid and compulsive readers. Why did we continue? Because we came across books and authors who knew how to write for our age group.

That has not changed. Kids deserves the same steps and levels that a book for other ages go through.

If you are still saying, “Come on now, Sharon, their kids.” Well I say, “Don’t your kids or grandchildren who read deserve that?’

If you short change them because of their age you are doing them a huge disservice. But not only that. If that is your attitude you might want to try a new genre.

My most recent interview: By the lovely Cheryl Holloway

 

 

I was interviewed last Friday by the lovely author and blogger Cheryl Holloway. As with other interviews when they occur I place the link to as many social platforms possible.

It was fun to do. Some of the questions I had to pause and think on how to answer them. That’s a good thing. A new way to learn about my brand and myself and share with others is always a good thing.

What was cool is how she incorporate all the volumes of the series so far as part of the post,

So, I will leave some of the questions and answers from the interview but the rest you can find at the link to Cheryl’s site.

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CH: Can you tell us about The Rainforest Adventures (Books 1-3) with Jasper the parrot, who is not the ordinary bird?

SCW: Gladly. The Jasper, Amazon Parrot series is based on my rescued bird, Jasper. It starts off with his birth and the make up of his family. Throughout the series you see Jasper and his brother interact with different species, encounter dangers and learn how to work together to get things done and to keep them safe. But you also learn about family values and what it means to care for each other and those around them.

In each volume in this series, one will find a new animal introduced to the boys. One also learns about the Amazon rainforest and the features that makes it amazing.

I am trying to place in this series, the dangers that this region is dealing with. So far, I have included the logging issue and have touched briefly on the poaching situation. I will expand on this later in another volume.

CH: Where did you get the premise for this book?

SCW: My first lesson was write on what you know. Thinking and thinking on what I did know, it hit me. To that point, I had been rescuing and adopting birds since 1998. As for Jasper, we rescued and adopted him at the age of five in 1999. I continued this trend for a nice while. So, I knew about the birds in my home.

Jasper, being as colorful as he was, was a topic I could work on. With him being an exotic pet and birds of his type being in the Amazon rainforest, I thought it be a wonderful educational tool for the children.

CH: Did you have to do a lot of special research to write this book?

SCW: With the mannerisms of parrots, I was good. But when it came to placing him in the Amazon rainforest, I had to do a lot of research. I had to make sure I had the right animals in that setting. I learned about their mannerisms, the flowers, the colors and the atmosphere that all makes up this amazing environment. I wanted it as accurate as possible. In fact, I was obsessive about it. Each fact I learned I made sure that I triple checked it.

I have notebooks just for my research of this series. I know this will grow as the series grows. I listened to videos to try to make as accurate, as possible, the sounds I was describing. I watched, oh my gosh, so many documentaries from National Geographic and BBC. I was hoping to learn more, regardless how small, that I could incorporate into the books or confirm a fact.

My reason was simple: children are going to be reading these books. I want them to be factual. Just because they are children, doesn’t mean they deserve any less. Yes, it can be fun and entertaining. But it can also be educational.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

SCW: Jasper will always be my favorite character. I mean, I live with my main character. His personality, I just incorporate into the book. By just watching and interacting with him, his character development was being played out before me. Plus, that is my boy. Having a rescued animal is special. Having a rescued parrot to me is beyond special. It was my favorite for I was showing to the world our bird. People have told me that birds can’t really be pets. I always answer, ‘You are right. Birds are better.’ I just get giggly and happy, when I write about him, because I get to share with the world how amazing birds can be. It is truly not work, as the words write themselves when I talk about him in the volumes. It is a topic and subject I love and adore.

It really isn’t work, it is more love when I write about him in any of my books.

The rest of the interview can be found here:

http://www.cherylholloway.net/blog/2020/01/24/guest-author-sharon-c-williams/

 

 

Amazon reviews: Easy come easy go

 

I heard through the writer’s grapevine that Amazon would be gathering reviews from all their sites and put them in one place. This means the reviews that are on Amazon.uk or Amazon.ca, Canada and England, would be compiled on the site for the US.

Yay! This was the initial reaction from all of us. Majority of us, upon hearing this news, went to the site to see if it had occurred yet. We would continue to do so just waiting to see the number of reviews go up.

I saw an increase. Than I saw a decrease. I saw an increase and than it went back down.

Too good to be true was my first thought. Some authors it has remained, some authors has seen reviews return to the original number and unfortunately for some odd reason some saw their numbers go down. For me the numbers went back to the original numbers.

So, what gives? The people I have discussed this with are at a lost as well. I think I did find the answer though.

Amazon.

A wonderful site where you can buy just about anything. A site that happily takes your money, you can stream movies and shows and a place that keeps increasing it’s annual fee to Amazon Prime.

But when it comes to authors, those who are not in the top tier, forget about it. Small business people fall on the wrong side.

But alas I keep writing. For me to do otherwise is inconceivable.