1) With a background in business, sports, entrepreneurship, web design, coaching, and writing, how did you transition into children’s literacy?
I have always been involved in some form of teaching. Whether in business, sports, or education, the objective was the same; “What is the best way I can educate someone, so they will enjoy the experience and retain more of what I am trying to teach them?” In my life’s travels, I have also taught in the public school arena, quickly finding out a terrible truth about our educational system. We have yet to advance our teaching techniques to best serve our children. We are still teaching the same way we did hundreds of years ago. That realization prompted me to write The Voyagers Series. It inspired me to bring together all of the techniques I had learned in order to teach companies like IBM, GM and The Wall Street Journal.
2) Tell us about The Voyagers Series. What inspired it?
I have often been asked what inspired me to write The Voyagers Series. Never will I deviate from what I believe has led me to do all the things I have accomplished in my life. I take no credit in it and reserve that for God.
3) What resources can readers expect to find on your website? http://www.thevoyagers.net
The website is designed to support each book by housing the games and other elements that relate to each chapter. The website also offers a teacher’s and parent’s “Guide” for each book that helps support the reading experience for the child. The books are designed for teachers and parents to actively be involved with the reader. This supportive role helps the child in the reading and retention process. Additionally, the website is designed to offer supportive links for education relevant to children
4) Who are the team members behind The Voyagers Series? How did you come together for this project?
I have been blessed to have so many incredible people join, support, and contribute to this project. The Board of Advisors encompasses people from Harvard, MIT, and USF. I extend my thanks to Donna Massa-Chappee, who donated the illustrations; Barbra Sealund, who donated the games; Peter Alcivar, who helped in the web design; Ginno Legaspi, who produced the sound-track. This has been a team project, and without the support of those who have donated their time and expertise, this project would not have been possible. We all believe that this project can make a significant impact in helping children read better and retain more, which is the foundation of any education.
5) Tell us about your journey to publication. How did you choose your publisher?
The journey to publishing is not yet complete. Currently, the books are self-published. The goal is to find an appropriate international publisher whose expertise will enable us market the series.
6) How do you promote your work? What methods have worked best for you?
I had thought that the hard part was the creation of this very complex project. But, the hard part, as always, is the marketing of it. We are concentrating on establishing awareness in the private, home and charter school arenas. These marketing efforts include contacting politicians, school administrators, state and federal officials, TV talk show hosts, and more. It really is a function of getting someone to “see” what we are doing. Experience has proved that once they understand, they immediately become involved. After all, it’s all about helping our children, who are the future.
7) Who are your favorite authors and literary genres?
My favorite authors are everyone else but me. There is so much talent out there. This project is designed to help children find the power and fun of reading, so they will experience the creative works of art found in the written page. Personally, I like to “float” when I read. To me it’s a vacation, and the more I read, the more I find myself in the universe of education, knowledge, and understanding. It is a path of constant exploration.
8) What are your upcoming plans for 2012?
2012 is an important milestone for me. My goal is to create national if not international awareness of the series, to possibly find a publisher that sees and understands our goals, and to write many more titles that eventually bring readers closer to current realities, in order to better see the state of global affairs. Young as they are, our children deserve to know what our nations have done and where we are headed. They need to understand the reality of our world, so they may help make a positive difference in the future. The story lines of The Voyagers Series are fictional, but the information given is entirely factual.
9) What is your definition of success as an author?
Some authors count their own personal success as merely having written something. Some write with the sole intention of financial benefit. However, if an author writes with purity, in the hopes that the target market can benefit from his or her inspiration, then never ever give up. Therefore, write to inspire, write to educate, write to entertain…just write, write, write
10) What advice would you offer to aspiring authors?
How can I give advice to those who are so much more creative than I am? All I can say is, please never give up. Be vigilant, strive for perfection, and continue to use the creative juices that feed your soul.
He is a web designer working primarily with CSS, XHTML and HTML coding. Among his other achievements, Rhame is the inventor of the first coin-operated, instant, color "Bumper Sticker Machine".
Rhame has three children, played college tennis and is a professional tennis instructor. He has a 12 handicap in golf and is an avid surfer.
My priorities in life are in this order: 1) God, 2) Wife & Family, 3) Business, 4) Fun
May you never 3-putt in life,
Will D. Rhame
Read his complete bio here: http://www.thevoyagers.net/boa/willdrhame.pdf