Nancy's Books

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Author Interview: Ann Harth, part I/Contest

Today, I’m thrilled to have children’s book author, Ann Harth, visit this blog and provide her insight into writing a contract-grabbing manuscript. Ann lives in Australia but has contracts with U.S. publishers.

NKA: Ann, for your middle-grade novel, The Art of Magic, how did you get the idea to write the story?

AH: When my children were young we spent a couple of months in Hobart, Tasmania in Australia. Hobart was a penal colony in the 1800s and was built largely with convict labor. The streets are still lined with 19th century homes and, if you can erase the cars from the driveways, a walk down the street in Hobart feels like a stroll through the last century. While wandering the streets one day, I met an elderly woman who took me on a walk I’ll never forget. She pointed out houses and was able to give me the details of the people and families who lived in each over a hundred years before. I was completely charmed and a small thrill of mystery crept up my spine as I wondered how she knew about these people in such detail.

Her stories, and the feel of Hobart, never left me. An idea about a young boy who meets an aging, eccentric artist formed and grew. The Art of Magic was born.

NKA: I love the story behind the story, and I’m looking forward to reading your book. Not only are you taking us back in time but to a region of the world most of us only dream of seeing. Plus, the cover is beautiful. The house seems to be in motion as if my magic.

Where can readers purchase your latest book?

AH: The Art of Magic will be available later this year from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, FictionWise, SmashWords and Solstice Publishing.

NKA: I’m always fascinated with how authors create and develop ideas for books. We’d love for you to share some tips for writing children’s books.

AH: Read. One of the most critical tips I could give a children’s writer is to read. This is a popular suggestion given by writers, but it’s offered for a reason. Reading is imperative. Read in the genre you want to write, but don’t stop there. Explore different kinds of writing for different ages. You never know when an idea will strike. Pay attention to what works and what doesn’t and try to figure out why. Soak up different styles and get a feeling for the current trends. When you find a book you love, check out the author’s website and delve even more deeply into the creation of the book and its creator. Immerse yourself in the world of children’s books.

Think like a child. There are plenty of ways to get into the mind of a child – watch them, play with them, let go of grown-up confines and recall your own childhood. Try to remember what it was like when each and every inanimate object had a face and feelings or when 30 minutes until dinner seemed a lifetime. Children live in the moment. Try it. It will open the door to a world filled with possibilities.

NKA: Great tips, Ann. Thanks. Next week, part II of Ann’s interview will reveal more writing tips.

Contest for adult writers:
Would you like to share your travel experiences from a fantastic (or not so fantastic) trip or vacation you are currently on or took in the past? Do you live in a popular (or not so popular) travel destination and would like to share what makes your town or city special with other travelers? Contest Winners will be selected in 3 categories. At the end of the contest, CruiseTrust staff will determine the winners of the CruiseTrust Vacations' Traveling for Fun, Adventure and Relaxation Blogs Contest. Contest is open to any individual age 18 or older as of March 2, 2012 who is a legal resident of the United States or over the age of majority and a legal resident of Canada.

First Place Winner in the category "Best Travel Blog" - $500.
First Place Winner in the category "My Favorite Trip or Vacation" - $250.
First Place Winner in the category "My Hometown / Destination
Business is a Great Travel Destination Because..." will receive $250.
Deadline August 31, 2012.
Details at

Check out more contests on my blog:

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