Hello and welcome to the first Author Showcase! I will be featuring different authors & genres each month. I interview each author, and showcase their featured work.
WHY? Simply because I enjoy supporting other Indie Authors every chance I get.
This Month, “Children’s Books” are being featured.
Please welcome Gracie Bradford Author of “June The Prune & Lady Bird.” (Cancer Stinks Kids and Pets cracking the POWER code).
Meet Gracie Bradford
My business logo is “I AM….”. So, who is Gracie?
The best parts of me are that I am dynamic, an inspirer, a motivator, a risk taker, an explorer, a magnet to children, and a bookworm.
I am a retired senior healthcare executive who travels the world, a grandmother of an amazing 19-year old college student who lives with me, a grandmother to the awesome beagle, Lady Bird, an award-winning author, a lover of flowers, and a professional volunteer with causes related to childhood illness.
I am almost a vegan but still eats fish and eggs.
FEATURED BOOK: “JUNE THE PRUNE & LADY BIRD.” (Cancer Stinks.)
What motivated you to write books for children? I started my career working with the kids who had juvenile diabetes and other young children who were undergoing renal dialysis treatments. During that part of my professional life, I went camping with these kids during the summer. The resilient and positive attitudes of these kids were beyond amazing.
After hearing so many stories from my sisters, who are classroom teachers, about bullying and how kids treat other children who have life challenges, it motivated me to tell the stories through books. I chose to write about children with special needs telling the story from the child’s perspective so that parents, teachers, and classmates could have a better understanding of how one feels. Children tend to open to a grandmother figure before they talk with their parents or teachers or friends if they have any. Being from a family of nine and a village of more, I learned early to adore children and their antics.
Most children’s books are written to impart life’s lessons to children. Was this your goal?
Yes and No. My goal was to impart life lessons more to teachers, parents, and grandparents. Children can teach us life lessons just as we can teach them.
What life lessons does your book contain?
My book contains a multitude of life lessons.
I chose to approach those experiences using the concept that kids use coded power gestures and language that adults could learn to interpret and embrace in their lives. At the end of each chapter are quotes relating back to the content of that section. For example, in Chapter 6 entitled “Truth Collides with Reality,” I relate THE POWER OF BODY LANGUAGE. The power quote is “A dog can express more with his tail in minutes than his owner can express with his tongue in hours.”
It is my hope that the reader will discover and relate life lessons about the dynamics of family relationships, the power of a child’s love, the power of pets’ presence in the healing process, the wisdom of older adults, and the power of positive thinking during a medical crisis.
What was for you the most challenging part of writing for children?
Brain cancer is such a serious topic and perhaps a little frightening for middle school children to read. The most difficult part of writing for children is making sure the content is appropriate to the grade level and age. The common question when writing a children book is “how do I write to capture and hold the attention of middle school children?”
Even though most authorities suggest including pictures in children books, I debated about adding pictures to my chapter book but decided to write the message instead. In hindsight, I probably should have included some of the photography.
All authors are aware of the need for reviews, yet I imagine an author of books written for children would face an even more challenging time, simply because these are children. Have you found it challenging?
I believe reviews are critical for any genre. If the story and book cover grab the reader’s attention, reviews should not be a challenge. As authors and as a reviewer, we should continuously promote the need for parents to get feedback from the child and write the review quoting the child. Unless the child is part of a book review club, it is the parent who selects the book for the middle school child, often time reads the book to the child, and recommends the book to other parents for reading.
It also depends upon the goal set for the type of audience you want to review your books and whether you are a novice or an established, recognized author. My goal is to get feedback from professions mentioned in the book (i.e. nurses, therapists, veterinarians, physicians, dietitians, etc.), other writers/authors, parents, book lovers, middle school readers, special education teachers, pet lovers, librarians, and grandparents.
Are you currently working on anything new?
I am currently working on the third fiction book of the Lady Bird series. Now, I am facing a writer’s block but continue to conduct my research while the block decides to move, or my procrastination floats away into the bright blue sky.
I am also toying with the idea of writing a picture book about autism. I have identified the characters but is pondering on the title.
My next middle school chapter book will tackle the all-important subject of Autism. June, the 12-year-old brain cancer survivor, Alex, Lady Bird, and the new pet uncovers the secrets of autism and the mysterious magic of understanding dog language.
The First Page
“June, a ten-year-old brain cancer survivor, frequently sits on the back screened patio with her dog, Lady Bird, an aging beagle now suffering from arthritis and hearing loss. After recovering from her coma, June discovers that she could understand and interpret dog language. While listening to a conversation between Lady Bird and the new puppy, June noticed a rhythm, a bright light and a defined wagging of Lady Bird’s tail realizing that it had meaning that June understood. June’s heart began to race at a speed she had never known before. What was happening?
Alex, her 12-year brother, is aware of June’s secret and promised that he would not tell anyone. Alex instantly bonded with the new puppy. He identified with the unusual behaviors of the puppy since Alex has some of the same traits himself. The King Terrier, exhibits very profound human characteristics of autism. What will Lady Bird, Alex, and June do to help the new puppy adjust to the happy and noisy environment in which they live every day? “
The story will have the reader laughing, crying, and cheerleading the characters. Expected to be released before the end of 2017.
Currently Featured is “June The Prune & Lady Bird” (Cancer Stinks)
Featured Book .
Love, hate, humor, and determination bundled in one package to make this book one to add to your reading list. June is a 10-year-old feisty girl who goes on vacation with her 12-year-old, brother and grandmother to Europe and has the time of her life. Six months after their return from vacation, a mysterious “THING” referred to as “Noma” attacks June spiraling her life out of control. June tells the story of being in a crazy and scary environment revealing unexpected powers that help in coping with loneliness. June finds imaginary friends during the darkest days. Lady Bird, the dog, ole folks, Alex and G-Mom play a pivotal role during the journey through a tunnel of darkness called brain cancer.
Favorite Amazon review.
Ms. Bradford writes with sensitivity and skill, May 29, 2017
This review is from: June the Prune and Lady Bird: Cancer Stinks! Kids and Pets Cracking the Power Code (Kindle Edition)
I’m actually giving this book Four and a half stars. I’d give it five except for a few editing snafus. However, the story is extremely well-written and can be read in one sitting because it is so engaging. June is a precocious 10 year-old who has some awesome responsibilities in her young life and guess what? Life throws her even more. Enter G-Mom, June’s 80 years-young grandmother. G-Mom is the awesome, undaunted, diplomatic, loving grandmother we all want. When G-Mom is not there to fight for June and her older brother, Alex, their trusted canine friend, Lady Bird can handle things. This book is a must read for any age, but kids who are going through any kind of trial, especially medical, can read this to know they are not alone. There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Ms. Bradford writes with sensitivity and skill. This series is a hit!
An Extraordinary Human Interest Story, February 13, 2017
This review is from: June the Prune and Lady Bird: Cancer Stinks! Kids and Pets Cracking the Power Code (Volume 2) (Paperback)
Gracie Bradford tells a quietly powerful story of a set of family relationships from the perspective of a ten-year-old girl. Some of the relationships border on dysfunctionality, such as the relationship between the mother and her two children, while the relationship between the two children and the grandmother are as solid as one can find in human relationships. The two strongest relationships in the story are the relationship between the 10-year old girl and her grandmother and the relationship between the girl and her dog. The author does an amazing job in developing the character of the 10-year old protagonist. She goes from a smart child, clever beyond her years, who manages to carve out a normal life for herself and her 12-year old brother in a home environment led by their neurotic mother, who lacks self-esteem and a sense of purpose in life, to a frightened little girl who has to come to terms with the fact that she has brain cancer. Because this book taps into so many aspects of the human experience, it will have broad appeal to the reading public. I highly recommend this book to middle-school teachers who are looking for engaging books for their students to read, parents and grandparents who have sick children in their lives, as well as anyone who just likes a good story. Huey L. Perry, Ph.D.
Purchase this book on Amazon.com
Gracie Bradford on TWITTER
Thank you for joining me here and meeting my featured author today.
My featured Genre for JULY will be, Mystery/Thriller/Suspense. Are you interested in being featured here in July? Send me an email at Email link
Please include links to the book you would like featured. I will respond with the details of your author interview and other requirements. Each Showcase will run for one month. Beginning the 12th of each month.
My Next Guest for JUNE will be ‘Children’s Book’ author Maretha Botha.