NEW!! AVAILABLE NOW!!

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The Complete Adventures of SHELBY F. SQUIRREL and Friends is now available in a BLACK & WHITE version of the paperback. Please go to http://createspace.com/5648006 to buy now for $9.99 USD.  The book is 150 pages, 24 stories of wonderful, packed with fun adventures for your children. Approved by kids, parents AND teachers, it is the kind of book that can be read over and over again, with its gentle life lessons, humour, nature, forest, farm, and the environment. Check flutesandflyingsquirrels.com for more details. Also available in full colour, and as eBook on amazon.com and kobobooks.com

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Two Days of FLUTE Duets & Trios!!

Just turned back the clock and played a whole bunch of Kuhlau, Doppler, and Bach with my long-time friend for the last two days. Very rejuvenating for both of us, just a special joy to still be able to recreate these masterpieces with our flutes. Even did a Telemann on piccolos, just for the heck of it. Can you believe her cat came into the room and laid at our feet during the piccolo playing? Then she stayed until we were done for the day. We took that as a favourable review.

I have been hooked on flute duets all my life, first discovering the joy of the sound and challenge with my teacher, Keith Girard, in Toronto, a 25-year-member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Helen and I met in the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in 1961, and later were both in the Niagara Symphony. For several years we got together every week for lunch and flute duets.

There have been a few others over the years, but Helen and I have the longest partnership by far. THANKS, DEAR FRIEND, for sharing your love and great talent! 

JOIN US! SHARON TREGENZA Interview with Eleanor Lawrie

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SHARON TREGENZA, author of children’s Middle-Grade books, graciously accepted my wish to interview her about her writing experiences. http://sharontregenza.com

I hope you enjoy our conversation, which crossed the Atlantic Ocean!

First of all, I want to congratulate you on the awards you have won! I especially love the idea that the HEART of HAWICK winner is chosen by having children vote!

SHARON: Thank you Eleanor.

Would you please outline how long the creation, writing and publishing process was for each of your books (at least roughly)?

SHARON: It varies. My first published book took probably 6 months to a year and the second about six months. The third is with my agent at the moment and that one took ages. It started out as the dissertation for my MA but as a result of rewrites has mutated so often it’s pretty much unrecognisable. It’s taken two years to complete but there may well be more alterations down the line when it’s placed with a publisher.

Do you spend much time researching the material you use, for example, the location in Shetland?

SHARON: I love research. I spend far too much time on it. In my defence, research has often thrown up interesting or unusual facts that have gone on to enhance my story.

The rest of us out here hoping one day to be published successfully would appreciate knowing what your approach was once your books were ready. Did you consider publishing as an Indie Author? Did you submit to publishers on your own? If not why not?

SHARON: My first published book was as a result of winning a book writing competition (this is a good way to get that first contract.) The second I sent directly to a publisher. I now have an agent so it’s her job to do the legwork now.

How much exposure were the books given before submitting to the Lindsay Literary Agency (or to publishers), for example, reading in schools, libraries, online promo, ads or other means. Did you do this on your own?

SHARON: For my first book TARANTULA TIDE I did do school visits and talks and workshops. With the second THE SHIVER STONE – I’m hoping that my online presence and social media will help promote it – time will tell.

Do you attempt to make aspects of your stories reflect facts of real life, nature, history, etc? Perhaps just parts of them?

SHARON: I like to write mystery with a touch of magic so although the stories are usually grounded in reality there is often a “magical” element.

How do you decide on a specific length for your books, or a specific format?

SHARON: The format is personal choice but there are professional guidelines for different genres. Would be happy to send these to any of your followers if they’d like to email me.

For me personally, asking you how the illustrations were arrived at is an important question. I would like to know how much input you, as the author, had in the process.

SHARON: I can’t help you much here, Eleanor, as I write for Middle Grade which isn’t usually illustrated. I do know from writer friends though that publishers choose the illustrators themselves.

I appreciate the intelligent adult way you write. Is this something you do purposely because of a belief in what children should or could be reading?

SHARON: I feel strongly that it is up to authors not to “write down” to their readers. Children are curious and if there’s something they don’t understand they will make the effort to investigate. I write for 8-12-year-olds and at that age I loved learning new things through reading.

I love the comments you make on the FAQ page of your website, http://sharontregenza.com, about what it’s like to write for children. Did you make that choice consciously, or was it somehow by osmosis?

SHARON: A little of both: I was writing for children’s magazine for more than twelve years. It seemed a natural progression to up my game to books.

Are you willing to tell me what your next project(s) might be?

SHARON: More than willing – I’d be happy to. My third book THE JEWELLED JAGUAR is doing the rounds of publishers and I’m presently working on yet another Middle Grade mystery. THE BLACK PEACOCK is set in the small historic market town where I live in Wiltshire, England. It involves illegal song-bird trapping, a mythical peacock and great danger for a lonely twelve-year-old boy called Cody Wing.

Thanks so much for doing this!!

SHARON: My pleasure, Eleanor, thank you for asking me.

Find THE SHIVER STONE at Amazon.uk and at Amazon.com

(July 21, 2015)

COMING SOON! You’re invited:

Sharon TregenzaSHIVER STONE COVER

This lady with the lovely smile is SHARON TREGENZA, author of books for children, including THE SHIVER STONE and TARANTULA TIDE, winner of the Kelpies Prize and The HEART of HAWICK Children’s Book AWARD, 2010.

Sharon has agreed to allow me to ‘interview’ her and place the result here on my blog/website.

Please visit Sharon’s website http://sharontregenza.com/books/

Then plan to come back here to view our conversation. SOON!

Having a little fun today!

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BEING A MOTHER HEN for a friend, and trying to ‘fix’ computer snags!

The funny part is:  I am no expert!!  But we’ve had some laughs, and maybe got something done!!

FOUR STAR REVIEW

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Red City Review gave SHELBY FOUR STARS in its review of the first story, SHELBY’S FLYING LESSON. Please see the Praise for Shelby page on this website.

I’m celebrating, can you tell? It’s pretty exciting, after all!! 

Here’s the link to Red City: http://redcityreview.com/reviews/shelbys-flying-lesson-by-eleanor-lawrie/

A Beautiful Friday Morning

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Isn’t this just the sweetest animal photograph? Of course, since we are budgie owners we love it to pieces.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if PEOPLE COULD GET ALONG THIS WELL?

Let’s all use this as an example at least for today! Have a Friday to remember, everyone.

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