Author Interview - Allyn M. Stotz

Posted on Friday, February 28, 2014 11:53 AM
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Hello Everyone!
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Allyn M. Stotz author of The Pea In Peanut Butter and Kailee Finds Magic IN Words.
Hi Allyn, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I married my high school sweetheart 33 years ago and at present; we are living in Baton Rouge, LA. My husband and I grew up five blocks from each other in the small town of Edgerton, Ohio. Our two dogs and fat cat allow us to live with them so we can spoil them rotten.
 I’ve spent over 30 years working in the administrative and/or human resources field but finally woke up one day to pursue something I might actually enjoy, writing children’s books! And I love it.
What were you like at school?
Am I really supposed to remember that far back? I remember myself being quiet, however those that knew me might think differently! Since I lived in such a small town, being popular was really important to me. I’m not sure how successful I was at that though. I’m certainly glad I finally grew up and have more meaningful priorities now, that’s for sure.
I remember back then, I hated reading but now as an adult, I can’t get enough of it.
Were you good at English?
No! But better at it than some other subjects, like Math. There’s no hope for me in the math department.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I want to get more and more picture books published. My dream is to have a gorgeously illustrated hard-back book published. One day I also hope to venture out into writing a novel for the MG or YA genre.
So, what have you written?
(*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
I’ve written one children’s picture book that is published, The Pea In Peanut Butter, and a sequel coming out in March, Kailee Finds Magic IN Words. I also have contracts for four additional picture books and have had several short stories published in children’s magazines.
Where can we buy or see them? (* include American, European and any other relevant links. Free, free promotions or prices can be included)
My book is available on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com or through many other online retailers. You can view a trailer of my book on my website: www.allynstotz.blogspot.com.
What was the hardest part about writing your book?
The hardest part was actually getting up the courage to submit the story to publishers. Like most authors, I doubted myself and didn’t want to look like a fool! But after doing tons of research on how to become a children’s book writer, what the proper processes were, and enrolling in the Institute of Children’s Literature, I was able to gain the self-confidence to do it.


How did you come up with the title?
It’s funny because I started writing my book The Pea In Peanut Butter, by coming up with the title first. All I knew was I wanted to write a story about a child who loved peanut butter. I played around with titles in my mind and thought the one I came up with sounded funny and intriguing. And I must have succeeded with it because when I participate in book signings, all kinds of people walk by chanting the title of my book out loud. I start a lot of my books with the title first.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I want kids to realize it’s not the color of food that gives it flavor. For instance, lots of kids won’t eat anything green just because it’s green. I want them to understand that it’s the food that has the flavor, not the color. They need to try all colors of foods!
What are you working on at the minute?
I’m always working on my next picture book. At this moment I’m in the middle of polishing up a story about a Hippo who can’t swim. All he does is sink, sink, sink.
What genre are your books?
Children’s picture books.
What draws you to this genre?
I love little kids because they are so innocent, honest, and have wild imaginations. Plus I get to act like a kid while I’m writing my stories!
How much research do you do?
Depends on the story. For the Pea In Peanut Butter, I had to research what vitamins were in certain fruits and vegetables and what the benefits of those vitamins were.
When did you decide to become a writer?
Late in life, which I regret. I’m not like most writers who have dreamt about becoming a writer all their lives. I’ve always loved to write, but never even considered writing an actual book. Until one day, something came over me and I decided it would be fun to try. That was five years ago and I haven’t stopped writing since. I don’t know why I waited so long to discover it!
Why do you write?
Because I love it. The best feeling in the world to me now is when I sit down to start a new story and my brain and fingers work together to type from beginning to end. But I even enjoy the editing process more. It’s amazing to me to realize how changing just one word can alter an entire scene and make the writing more polished.
I also love reading my stories to the children and watching their faces react. And I’m totally in love with attending book signings and seeing the happiness in people’s faces when they receive a book that I wrote myself. Awesome feeling!
Do you write full-time or part-time?
Full-time right now. Thankfully, I have a husband who pays the bills!
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I usually write in the mornings because my brain seems to work best then. I’m not one of those writer’s who can write late into the night. My brain needs to shut down no later than 8:00 pm or it will never shut down and Allyn gets no sleep!
Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
If I’m being honest, I don’t actually write stories every single day. However; every day I do spend time on something that has to do with writing such as researching the internet, commenting on blogs, updating my blog, marketing, critiquing other writers stories, doing book reviews, and administrative work. There are a ton of things involved with being a writer that take away from what we love to do most… actual writing! So in other words, my schedule for writing varies from day to day.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I usually do work from some form of outline. I like to jot down what I want the story to accomplish and how I want it to end. I also work on character names. I can’t seem to write a story without choosing a fitting name for the main character first.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I’ve learned so much about writing a children’s story in the last five years that it’s hard to pin point how I’ve evolved. Every day is a learning experience for me. So creatively, everything is new and wonderful to me!
What is the hardest thing about writing?

For me it’s the constant wondering if my story has been done before? Or is it good enough? It’s a struggle I deal with on almost every story. Sometimes I get stuck in the middle and that’s when the feelings of insecurity hit me hardest. Getting past that is a real accomplishment for me.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Barbra Streisand. I’ve always dreamt of being her. I admire her singing abilities, her humor in her movies, and her honesty. She’s a woman of strength and knows who she is.
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
Blog: www.allynstotz.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AllynStotz.author
Twitter:@AllynStotz
Lnkedin:
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/allyn-stotz/18/85a/967/
Pinterest:
Amazon Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/Allyn-M.-Stotz/e/B0051PYDIO/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0


Loren Mathis

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