Janet Sumner Johnson
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Connie Arnold

Blog Tour Kick-off: Olive and the Great Flood

Feb

16, 2015 |

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Today I’m thrilled to kick-off Connie Arnold’s blog tour for the release of her latest book: OLIVE AND THE GREAT FLOOD.

This is a Noah and the Ark story told from the point of view of the dove:

Olive is a gentle friendly dove who wants to help her friends Noah, his family and the other animals with her on the ark. She tries to soothe them during the rain and has an important assignment, to discover when it’s safe to venture from the ark after the flood.

With fun rhyming verses and bold artwork, kids are sure to love Olive. I appreciated her up-beat outlook (despite the hardships of the ark), and her spirit of serving others. It’s not just about enduring the hard stuff, but enduring it well. (Definitely something I strive to do).

Connie agreed to answer a few questions here today. Those who comment will be entered into drawings for two prizes, a signed copy of Connie’s first children’s book, ANIMAL SOUND MIX-UP, and a gold dove windchime. Just saying, but the windchime is beautiful! Visit her blog for the details.

And here we go!

Me: Congratulations on the publication of Olive and
the Great Flood! So what inspired you to tell this story from the perspective
of the dove?

Connie: I have read this story many times before,
heard it as a small child and was always fascinated about all those animals
going onto the ark and surviving the flood. Children always seem to enjoy
animals and stories about animals. I see things a little differently now that I
have grandchildren and have started writing for young children. It just struck
me how important the dove flying out to bring back the olive leaf was to the
story, and she suddenly had a personality and a mission!

Me: The dove is essential, for sure! And I love the character you created in
Olive. Your readers can see Olive’s efforts to help others and that she takes pride
in the important job she is given. Have you ever had an Olive in your
life—someone who influenced you by their service and good attitude? Can you
tell us about him/her? How did he/she influence you?

Connie: A teacher I had who was always
cheerful and seemed to really care about each student influenced me in a
positive way. As a shy, quiet child it was hard to express myself to others,
and she encouraged me in gentle ways much as Olive gently soothes the animals
on the ark.

Me: And now look . . . you are sharing your voice with countless others! My High School English teacher was like that for me. She probably has no idea the impact she made. Hmmm . . . must amend that. Anyway, so now that you have the opportunity to influence others, what do you hope your readers will take
away from Olive and the Great Flood?

Connie: I hope a sense that even the small
things you do during your life can make a big impact on others. Doing your best
and helping others can give your life greater meaning and joy. Also, remember
the promise of the rainbow and God’s love!

Me: I completely agree! The small things really add up. We shouldn’t be afraid to do what we can because we think it’s too small, or wouldn’t have a big enough impact. 

So as I writer, I also wanted to talk a
little about you and your writing process. It’s such a personal thing for each
of us. What inspires you in your writing? Or put another way, how do you
develop your ideas?

Connie: My grandchildren and other children
inspire my writing for the young ones. Once an idea is born, it grows and
blooms into a story or dies a natural death. I think you and other writers can
relate to that. When it grows and develops it is worth all the efforts of
changing, redoing, editing, cutting and writing again that make it be worth
reading and enjoying.

Me: I can definitely relate. Many, many ideas never make it past the idea stage. But the ones that do are without a doubt a labor of love. Even so, I still struggle sometimes getting the story into readable shape. How about you? What has been your biggest struggle as an
author?

Connie: My health and energy level have caused a
struggle at times. I have lupus and some other issues that leave me very
painful and drained at times. It is hard to focus and be productive at those
times. I find the promotion of my books much harder than the writing
actually. 

Me: My aunt has lupus, so I’ve seen how draining that can be. It just makes me all the more amazed at your accomplishments and determination. And I can definitely see that about promotion. I feel I’ve got a steep learning curve ahead of me where promotion is concerned. So with all you are doing, what legacy do you hope to leave as an author?

Connie: Since I feel that my writing ability and
being a published author are because of God’s help and blessings, I hope to
leave inspiration, joy and a blessing to those who read what I have written.

Me: What a great legacy. If we could all just leave the world with a little more inspiration and joy, this world would be a better place. Okay, and now a fun question or two: If you could get any book signed by the author
(alive or dead), what would it be?

Connie: Can I say the Bible? It is one book,
but think of all those authors. Wouldn’t that be fantastic!

Me: It would be! A worthy choice, for sure! Actually, given the topic of your book, I had a feeling you’d say that. 😉 And of course, because this is me, you
knew I had to ask this . . . what would Olive’s personalized license plate be?
😀 

Connie: COO2U 

Haha! I love it! Thanks so much for letting me be part of your tour. 🙂 And to the rest of ya’ll, don’t forget to comment for a chance to win the aforementioned prizes!

Have a great week!

Links for OLIVE AND THE GREAT FLOOD:

Amazon

Guardian Angel Publishing

Connie’s blog for tour schedule and prizes

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Guest Blogging

Nov

14, 2013 |

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Psst, I’m not really here because I’m hard at work for NaNoWriMo (totally rocking it, btw), BUT I had agreed to do a guest post over at Ink and Angst forever ago, so I’m over there talking about 10,000 hours.

Also, if you haven’t commented on the Blog Tour post for Connie Arnold’s Count 1, 2, 3 With Me, go and do it to be entered into a drawing for three great prizes! 🙂

Hope ya’ll are having a great November!

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Blog Tour: Count 1, 2, 3 With Me

Nov

11, 2013 |

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So yes, I’m really still on break, hard at work on NaNoWriMo (so far so good!), but I had the opportunity to be part of Connie Arnold’s Blog Tour for the release of her latest picture book, Count 1,2,3 With Me. This tour is Also for her new inspiration book, Peaceful Moments of Love and Light. Connie is such a sweet, kind, and supportive author, so I was thrilled to be asked and couldn’t turn it down.

I had the chance to read Connie’s book, which counts from one to ten, painting scenes from the life of a child. It has a fun rhyming text, with bright, vivid images which can easily be counted by children learning to count. As a parent, I love that the text is short, without feeling skimpy. Counting the objects together would easily add length if you were looking to spend more time on a book, but I love finding quick, fun reads that I can read to my kids at night (especially when it is past bedtime–more than likely mine!).  

You can purchase this book from Connie’s website,
from Amazon, or from 4RV Publishing. These links will take you directly to her book.

Also, Readers can comment on this post, or on the posts of other stops in the blog tour, to receive entries in a drawing for three prizes: 

  1. A set of three candle holders.
  2. A signed copy of Connie’s first book.
  3. A framed sunset print with one of Connie’s inspirational verses.
Details about the blog tour, prizes and schedule are on Connie’s blog.

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Query and Thanks

Oct

22, 2010 |

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I’m getting ready to query. I’ve been polishing my letter, and after some fairly major changes (thanks to an amazing critique by Carrie Harris), I was wanting some feedback.

Disgruntled Bear happened to be offering query critiques last week, and I snuck mine in just in time. I wanted to thank her for all the time she’s generously giving to do this. VERY nice of her! If you’re curious or feeling generous with your time, I’d love to hear what you think. My critiqued query is here. 🙂

Also, I recently won an Animal Encyclopedia from Connie Arnold

She has a new book coming out called Animal Sound Mix-up. I wanted to thank her for the beautiful book I received in the mail yesterday. Can’t wait to read it with my kids. 🙂

Hope you all have a great weekend!

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