Interview with Kidlio Mag

October Edition 2023 – A Kid’s Literacy Magazine

Q: First tell us something about yourself?

Well, I shared 10 fun facts about myself in my bio, but there is so much more to share. I have re-invented myself many times. I put myself through college after my 2nd daughter was born and then went into an accounting and tax career. Years later I went to massage school and became a massage therapist which I loved, but when I moved to Maryland accounting came back in to play because it always pays the bills. I worked in that profession until 2015, but I started my own travel agency in 2014 that eventually became my full-time job. I thought I had won the lottery with that career until the pandemic came along. It wasn’t exactly kind to the travel industry. Having to make a living, I once again went back to accounting with the thought that I would do that until travel picked up again. Years later, I am now working full-time in both industries, accounting & travel as well as launching my writing career. Which is the most fun, writing of course, but it also takes money to launch a book and create what I want to create so I am hoping that one day that will be my forever career and I don’t ever have to reinvent myself again.

Q: How and when did your journey start as a writer?

I have always loved to write but the timing to write a book had never presented itself until late in the fall of 2022. Prior to that, I fed my appetite for writing by penning a column in the monthly Agent@Home Magazine, special columns in Vacation Agent Magazine and various other travel related blogs/websites. During the fall of 2022 I decided that was the time to write my first children’s book. I took a mini class in the evenings to learn some of the ins and outs about writing and now 10 months later am launching my first children’s book. I have enjoyed writing my first book and already have my second ready to go to the editor with a launch date of Spring 2024. I have so many funtastic super de duper book ideas and can’t wait to share them all with everyone. I have always been a very creative entrepreneurial person and am happiest writing and creating so this was a natural plan of progression for my career. I have learned a lot through this 10-month journey and am tossing around the idea of creating a marketing & publishing course that will be available online so that others don’t need to spend a fortune to learn what I have learned and they won’t have to make the same mistakes/missteps that I have.

Q: When did you write your first story? Is it published or not?

My first book, Bentley’s Fantabulous Idea, launched on 9/28/23 and is available for purchase on my website, – all copies purchased on my website are special edition copies.

They will all be autographed by me and Bentley and will include special gifts with purchase and will be cheaper than the first edition offered on Amazon and other online outlets. I welcome bulk orders and am happy to discuss discounts that start at 50% on my website list price. Depending on the number of books purchased, discounts can be as high as 70% onthe retail price.

Q: Tell us something more about your books?

When I decided that the time was right for me to dive into my writing career, I knew I wanted my books to be fun, interactive, colorful, and light-hearted. I referenced in another interview that I want my children’s books to be the Hallmark Channel equivalent. Happy characters, lessons disguised as fun light topics and color, color, color. I am obsessed with color. You will be hard pressed to and anything in my closet that isn’t a colorful shade, and I wanted my books and my website to be the exact same way. Colorful and inviting and I think Bentley’s Fantabulous Idea surpasses all my expectations. I submitted my book to many award platforms hoping that at least one would see what I see in my book and love it enough to choose it as an award favorite. To my surprise, it has already one 3 gold awards, 1 runner up, and 1 honorable mention. I’m honored that so many dfferent types of book award outlets see the potential in this book and my writing. My books are also not just for reading, there are activities included. I love to color (yes I still color in children’s coloring books and gift them every Christmas to my daughter’s and now granddaughter and I love when Crayola comes out with a new type of crayon such as glitter crayons) so there will be at least 1 coloring page in every book, and each book will have hidden items to and throughout the pages. Two of the items are very near and dear to me because they are about my late Mammalw. You will have to purchase a book to and out more.

Q: Why do you choose kids as your reader? Is there any specific reason?

I’m easily a kid at heart and I now have a granddaughter that just turned 3 so I wanted books that my entire family could love. I also have the cutest sheepdoodle that makes the absolute best fantabulous main character. My love of color and imagination also played a part in why I wanted to write children’s books. Fun delightful, colorful books and a website that keeps kids engaged creating a fun world for them to enjoy was just a natural topic.

I would love to venture into short chapter books at some point with Bentley’s bestest not-furry human friend Betty and her new bestest human friend, PeteyJack, that will be introduced in book number two. I do have a novel loosely based on my life that I want to write at some point, but to write it you must relive it and I’m not quite there yet.

Q: How did these stories and characters come to your mind?

I had thought about writing a children’s book when my daughter’s, were young and my youngest daughter played with cotton balls and called them puppies, I thought there was a story there, but that was just a thought, I never acted on. I never revisited the idea of writing a children’s book until Bentley came into my life. When I was house training him, we would go outside and there was a big bumble bee that would always come around and one time it even landed on his head. Bentley jumped around and tried to play with it, so I thought “The adventures of Bentley & The Bee” was a great book series. I dabbled a bit, wrote down some ideas, and last fall I knew it was time. I knew I wanted Bentley to be the main character and I had to include Mr. Bee but I also wanted to honor my Mammalw (who passed away during covid) whose name was Betty and knew my relationship with Bentley was a great foundation for a book series so The Adventures of Bentley, Betty, & Mr. Bee was born. The Crew, I chose the animals, wrote up their personalities and then sent the list to my illustrator and contracted her to create them. I wanted to show a lot of diversity within their likes, what they thought they wanted to be and based some of the characters of my family members. For example, my mom collects rabbits, so I knew I needed to include a dolphin. My mom’s name is Delores (Dee for short) so DeeDee was easily the name I chose for the dolphin. I love to bake so knew I wanted someone to be a baker. I pulled a lot from things I love and similarities to family and people I enjoy watching.

Q: Do you want to leave any message for your readers?

Yes, Yes. I hope that you all love reading Bentley’s Fantabulous Idea as much as I enjoyed writing it. It is a very special book with some heartfelt sentimental meaning and I hope that each and every one of you can take a moment and reminisce when you and the cardinal. When you purchase a copy of my book please share your thoughts by leaving a review on Amazon, GoodReads, Booksprout, etc. Those are so important to authors and help us sell our books and put me one step closer to becoming a full-time author.

Make sure you visit my website, to read character bios,  nd additional activities, join Bentley’s Dogtourage, shop super de duper Bentley & The Crew merchandise, and to download the reader’s guide for Bentley’s Fantabulous Idea.

View the Magazine here:

Similar Posts