My 4 year old nephew Henry was making such a ruckus. His shoulders were heaving as his little body shook all over. One could see a stream of tears running down his face. His baby blue eyes were red where he had rubbed them with his small little hands. That sound he kept making sounded like someone had run over his favorite dog on the highway in front of him. He didn’t stop when I offered my silk handkerchief as he blew his nose and returned it to me. The loud pitiful wails that came out of his mouth were heart wrenching .When I asked what was wrong, he stuttered and tried but no distinguishable words escaped his mouth. I didn’t think it was possible for a small child to shed so many crocodile tears. It turned out his sister had gone for a bike ride and declined his request to tag along. I didn’t sense an end to his crying or pain in sight . He wiped his face on the sleeve of his white stained t-shirt. One could hear him make quick baby sniffles. The kid was stuck with me, we were the only ones in the house. Coming up with an idea I approached my sad little nephew. “How about some vanilla ice cream?” I suggested. Henry’s eyes lighted up like fourth of july fireworks. “With sparkles? he asked eagerly. I nodded as he ran to give me a big hug. He then proclaimed that I was the bestest aunt in the whole wide world. All was forgotten, well for the moment anyway.
The line I had to describe was the sounds of Henry crying.
I have been a bird owner since 1998. In that time, I have raised, bred, and cared for my birds with love and affection. So when I decided to write a children’s book based on my parrot Jasper, I add some of my experience to the story. When it came time for me to start looking for people to critique it, I thought of my friend Nita in New Hampshire. She and I had met on a bird forum years ago and had struck up a friendship. Nita has been a bird breeder for well over 30 years so it only made sense for her to read my MS.
I had taken some liberties when it came to a bird hatching and I knew she would zero in on that part- she did. She laughed and said you really took some liberties with your writing. I laughed back and then told her I had kept it short due to length and not wanting to lose my targeted audience which are kids.
I mentioned to her how I had just finished reading a book where one of main characters had a cockatiel. According to this book this bird could sing over 40 songs and not just sing the tunes but the actually words. I have raised cockatiels since 1998 and to date not one has sung the words to any song. I might be able to buy the 40 songs but that was it. She giggled at this information and decided I did not go outside the box too much. Thinking back, I have decided to edit and put in a short paragraph to make the hatching more realistic.
As writers we take liberties though we try to keep it within reason. While I enjoyed the book with the singing cockatiel, it was in the back of my subconscious. Every time I read about that character I felt a little dread for I knew it would be repeated again about this amazing bird.
So, this reminded me to know my target audience. One needs to do constant research time and time again. You never know who will pick up your book. These are the people who will buy your book and will decide whether they want to recommend it to others.
I have been an active member of PaperBack Swap for a few years now. The concept is simple, members exchange books among themselves. Once you’re a member you create a list of books that you are willing to swap with others. When someone picks a book on your list, it is shipped at your cost and vice versa .
It is simple, easy and cost-effective. Cost effective since we can use the media rate at the post office. The most I have spent on mailing a book has been slightly under 3 bucks.
PaperBack Swap is also a great networking site to gather opinions of other novels, and share opinions or reviews.
Check the site and my list of books out. Maybe you will see something you like. Just click on the icon above.