Wednesday, February 29, 2012
The Writer's Block Interviews: Donalisa Helsley
1) Tell us how you became an author? Describe your journey.
Since the 1st grade I have written stories. I used to type at the kitchen table on an old typewriter when I was nine years old. I completed my first book when I was 11. It was about 250 typed pages and it was a Christian version of Sweet Valley High I gave it to a friend to read and never got it back! It still frustrates me to this day!
2) Do you prefer any particular literary genre?
I prefer suspense and psychological thrillers, but I read anything that catches my attention. These last 2 months I have been really into Mercedes Lackey’s fantasy books.
3) What is your chosen profession?
I am a mom and wife foremost, but my job description is family and children’s therapist and author.
4) Tell us about The Day No One Played Together. What inspired you to write it?
I promised my oldest daughter, who is multiracial (black, white and chinese), that I would write a story about her when she was three. She wanted to see someone that looked like her in books. So the characters are based on my two daughters, Jadyn (9) and Genesis (4). I am always trying to help them figure out how to work through conflicts on their own. I helped them learn to compromise and they loved doing it so much that I thought that maybe other children would enjoy the lesson also. (The Day No One Played Together Synopsis: Jadyn and Genesis want to play and have fun but neither one wants to play what the other one wants to. What will they do? Will they be able to brainstorm and find a way to play together? Will they play alone? The Day No One Played Together teaches an important lesson in a fun way. Join these sisters in the first of their series. Here is also a book trailer http://youtu.be/36XEnpipJfg .
5) Describe your path to publication.
I am an indie (independent) author. The Day No One Played Together was published by a print on demand publisher. My 2nd book, I Love You Better than Chocolate, was accepted by a more traditional publisher. It will be out by the end of February.
6) What is Wild About Reading?
Wild About Reading is my brand. My website is a place you can go to learn more about me, my mission and also buy my books. It is a work in progress. I want to add links to places you can donate books for children who can’t afford them and also some tips for parents. My Wild About Reading Facebook page is where I share tips, encouragement, book reviews, interviews of other authors, book giveaways and trivia. The goal is to re-ignite a love of reading in parents and encourage it in children. Stop by and visit!
7) How do you promote your work? What methods have worked best for you?
I’m finishing my Masters Degree in Social Work so I have had very little time to promote my work. I’ve had a television interview and wonderful bloggers like you have spread the word for me. Thank you! I blog and use my Facebook page. With this second book the publisher is setting up book signings for me. I hope that when I graduate I can do more promotional things.
8) What advice would you offer to aspiring authors?
I’ve said this before but it is my advice. 1. Read, Read, Read. How can you be a writer if you don’t even read? 2. Find people that you trust to share your thoughts with. 3. Never stop believing in magic, the impossible and the unbelievable. Some of the greatest books I have ever read were written by people who remembered what it was like to be a child and to dream. 4. If you are a children’s book writer I believe that there is a part of us that never grows up. Tap into that!
9) What is your definition of success as an author?
If I can feel proud of what I have put out there and my children love it; I am successful. When I get messages from parents and kids telling me that they love my book or that it was helpful to them, I am happy.
10) What is next for you in 2012?
May 11, 2012, I will graduate with a Masters in Social Work. I will be done with school. NO MORE SCHOOL. I really hope that I will be able to spend more time writing and sending out my work. Spending more time with my family is at the top of the list.
Donalisa is an award winning children's author. Donalisa lives in Oklahoma with her husband, David, her daughters, Jadyn and Genesis. She is Wild About Reading. Donalisa has written many stories since she was a child. She is a social worker and has worked with children for over 12 years. Donalisa is finishing her Masters in Social Work so that she can be a licensed therapist for children and adolescents.
Read my Blog
Visit my Website
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Thank you for interviewing me, Raychelle. Thank you Raychelle’s readers for taking the time to read this. Keep an eye out for I Love You Better than Chocolate Chip Cookies. It's for the little ones!
I Love You Better Than Chocolate Chip Cookies Synopsis:
How much do you love chocolate chip cookies? I love them a lot, but there is something I love even better! I Love You Better Than Chocolate Chip Cookies is an entertaining book that teaches what should really take first place in our hearts.