Sunday, June 08, 2008

Author Donna Braymer - THE ADVENTURES OF ROWDY RACOON - Free Book

Now that school's out, parents will want their kids to read a lot. Here's a fun book for summer.

Welcome, Donna. What has drawn you to writing for children?

I want children to be able to read good books for fun, and books that will teach them something positive in the process. Rowdy Raccoon is such a fun character, yet children learn things from his mistakes.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

I am actually known for doing crazy things…such as wearing blue socks with black pants, or one blue shoe and one black shoe. (That’s why I had to write the chapter about Rowdy learning to laugh at himself!)

Driving up to Pikes Peak by myself was probably not very smart. I’ve also gotten to some unique places and called my family. For example, the Empire State Building in New York City.

While in NYC, I walked to the base of the Statue of Liberty and placed my hand there and thanked God for the opportunity to be there and see that wonderful sight in person.

One time I wanted our family to go on a picnic. My husband and sons were not impressed with the idea…but I packed the lunch and they had to come if they wanted to eat. Well, we drove and drove and ended up sitting in our mini van and having a picnic at a construction site where a tall bridge was building built. The construction crew wasn’t working on the weekend, so it was safe as long as we stayed in the van. Now that the bridge is complete, we love to drive across it, and remember our picnic.

Sounds like fun. When did you first discover that you were a writer or illustrator?

I’m definitely not an illustrator. But I do love to write. As an adult I took a writing class at our Junior College. The professor told me I should continue to write. When I sold some magazine articles, I was very excited. I also work for our newspaper and to write on deadline is fun and great practice.

Deadlines keep me going. I love them, too. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

My favorite book as a child was The Secret Garden. I love the idea of a quiet, secret place to run to, for the enjoyment of reading or writing. Plus Nancy Drew books!!!

I love to read good mysteries like Terry Blackstock and Mary Higgins Clark. I think I learned more from Gilbert Morris’s historical fiction than I did in history classes! I also love Janet Oke and tons of authors from Steeple Hills press and HeartSong Presents.

Then you've probably read some of my books. What other books have you written, whether published or not?

I self-published two, The Adventures of Rascal Raccoon and The Raccoon Gang many years ago. I’ve also had some short stories published in other books.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

I must take time to focus on the main reason I am here on this earth. It’s my job to share what the Lord has done for me. I’m still here, because I haven’t finished the job He has given me to do. Whether it is to encourage a child to trust in the Lord, or encourage a parent to set boundaries for their children…whatever God has for me to do. I read my Bible every morning and realize my blessings come from Him and there are probably some things I should be learning during the hard times. When it is a crazy time, or nutty deadline…and I feel stressed, I try to stop, take a deep breath and most important…PRAY!! :-)

How do you work together as a team?

It’s just like working at the newspaper. I may have written a wonderful article, and taken a great picture. But if the advertising people didn’t sell the space, the press people print it, and the carriers deliver it…no one would read my article. It takes all of us to make a successful paper.

In the publishing world, it takes an editor with faith in you, and a team of their own to make a successful product. If the team is successful, so are the individuals.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of, besides family?

I am very proud of this book. God gave me the idea many years ago. When I would get discouraged and think it wasn’t going anywhere, God would send me a reminder that He was still in control and to trust Him.

Yes, God's timing isn't often our timing, but it's always right. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

I probably have so much fun writing about Rowdy Raccoon, because I am a mischievous person at heart. I love to have fun, and sure don’t act my age at times. I can be in an adult situation, and the thoughts will run through my head…if Rowdy were here, he would do…… and then I have to grin to myself. Yup…That’s exactly what Rowdy would do…and get into trouble.

What is your favorite food?

I love Mexican food…Cheese enchiladas, salsa and chips to be exact!!!

I'm getting hungry. Is it hard to break into the children’s market?

In some ways I think yes yes yes. But I also believe all the years I spent trying to get the book published, it wasn’t God’s timing. When the time was right, things fell into place. In the mean time, I was hired by the newspaper and kept writing and writing! (And get paid for it!)

What advice would you give to an author wanting to do that?

Keep writing and getting better and better at what you love to do. Also keep reading.

What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
The Adventures of Rowdy Raccoon features a group of animals that live in the Harrison Hollow State Park. Rowdy is the main character, and Savannah Squirrel is his best friend. Savannah tries to keep him out of trouble, but somehow Rowdy still finds trouble to get into, and character-building lessons to learn. Rowdy has to learn things like respect, honesty, learning to work, learning to laugh at yourself, giving etc. All are character traits we want to pass on to our children. Sometimes adults, parents and grandparents get so busy…we have to make sure we stop and teach character on purpose.

The newspaper has partnered with Rowdy and we go into classrooms and service clubs all the time. I have a stuffed raccoon I take and for young children, I read the story and share the pictures with them. For older students, I have props that go with the characters and as I read/tell the story they act it out. The kids love to be actors and learn some character-building traits while have a great time. I’ve even had adults act out the story and that is funny all by itself. So the newspaper promotes literacy and building character in young readers. I put a page together each week that is just for kids, plus my other assignments. The Newspapers in Education program takes newspapers into classrooms for free one time a week. So I write a column about character, and feature lots of interesting activities for teachers and students to use the newspaper for fun and learning!

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Rowdy’s web page is www.RowdyRaccoon.com. It is kid friendly and has puzzles children can do with Rowdy. Plus there is a section of discussion questions for parents or grandparents. After they have read the book, they can talk about the choices Rowdy made, whether they were good or bad. What could he have done different? And what lessons did Rowdy learn? Rowdy loves to interact with children and will write them back, if they email him.

The book has a beautiful, colorful cover and pages children can color on the inside. There is also a full-length CD with a wonderful young lady narrating the story and a Rowdy theme song. So if children are not able to read yet, they can listen to the story and look at the pictures as they go.

The Adventures of Rowdy Raccoon is available at your favorite book stores or you can order from me by e-mailing DCBraymer@aol.com or calling toll free-1-888-55-Rowdy.

Thank you, Donna, for spending this time with us.

Readers, especially parents or grandparents, check out the Rowdy web site. But before you go, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book

28 comments:

windycindy said...

Happy Sunday! What a fantastic interview. I like her perspective on life! She seems very talented! I adore children's books, but I also have a young niece and nephew(they are brother and sister), whom I would love to win this book for! I like the idea of the CD and coloring pages with the book. The values taught are wonderful, too! On top of all of this, her site helps one to discuss the book with children. Please enter me in your delightful drawing. Many thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Anonymous said...

Great inteview Lena.

Donna this sounds like a delightful book, to share with a child.

I would love to be entered in the drawing,

Mary Ann H.

Lynette Eason said...

Hey, I love the inteview. You've got some wonderful marketing ideas! I'd love to win a copy of Rowdy, he sounds a lot like my 7 year old! :) Congratulations on your success.

God Bless!

Donna C. Braymer said...

Happy Sunday to you guys too! Thanks for the comments about the interview.

Rowdy is a fun character and we have a good time. Another plus about the book is the CD. Not only is it great for non-readers, but it's great to take in the car!!! I remember the days of having something 'worthwhile' yet 'fun' for our boys to listen to in the car. In fact, I still listen to books when I'm in the car, and I have missed a few turns before! HA

It's nice to meet you guys!
Donna Braymer

Donna C. Braymer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessie said...

Loved the interview!! Love how this woman let's God work through her.
Would love to win her book for my grandkids.
Jessie - Cleburne, Tx.

stampedwithgrace said...

this sounds like a book my kids would really like! some are just getting into reading, but they all enjoy listening to stories on CD and coloring! what a great idea :)

Rowdy Raccoon said...

Thank you! Sable Creek Press did an excellent job on the project! I am very blessed to work with them!

Jill said...

That was a great interview. I would love to win a copy for my 9 year old to read to my 14 month old. What a great idea for teaching core values!

Many Blessings,
Jill

j3fortner at joimail dot com

Abi said...

Wonderful interview. You did a great job Donna and Lena. I'd love to win one of Rowdy's adventure books.

Pamela J said...

I don't see many children's books, maybe I'm going to the wrong places for them but I am delighted to see this one. I'm watching for books that would be good for my grandchildren and we are planning on seeing them sometime soon, the date has not yet been set. This sounds like a great, fun, lesson-filled book. Please enter me.
Pam
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

Pamela J said...

I forgot to mention the CD that comes with the book. I have three grandchildren in the same house: one who can read very well, one who can't read yet and one who just started walking. What a great combination, book along with the CD, for all these ages. Thanks.
Pam
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

Pat said...

It's wonderful to hear how Donna has allowed God
to take Rowdy from an idea to reality...all in His time.
What an encouragement for the rest of us.

Mrs. Sidney said...

Sounds like a book I would buy for my son. Right now he loves Hermie but this would be a great addition to our collection.

Mrs. Sidney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Donna, I loved the interview; I had to laugh when I read the 'picnic' story. What a memory for your family!

Keep those Rowdy stories coming!

Bettye L.

dolls123 said...

I've done the 2 colored socks thing but never the one blue shoe and one black shoe

dolls123[at]gmail[dot]com

Mama Zen said...

This book sounds wonderful!

Cindrella said...

congrats on writing a great book
Its a good interview and your ideas are interesting...

sandra jensen said...

Oh, I need a good book to read - this sound like it! I haven't been to the library in weeks and I'm haveing withdrawl! thanks for the chance!

sajdakota@yahoo.com

sandy

Jennifer Bogart said...

We are all bibliophiles, my children included! We'd love to win :). Thanks!

Donna Braymer/Rowdy Raccoon said...

I appreciate all of the nice comments. I wish you could all win. So if you don't, The Adventures of Rowdy Raccoon, is available at your favorite bookstore or online at Target.com and Amazon.com.

I am very proud of the great job Sable Creek Press has done with the book. The coloring activities, and the CD are very nice bonuses that you usually don't get with a children's book. God definately blessed me with a great editor and publisher. Thank you again for reading the interview! Blessings-
Donna

bigguysmama said...

I'd love a chance to win this for my 5 yr old son. Enjoyed your interview with Donna, too!

In Him,
Mimi

mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

Carolynn W. said...

Great interview! I would love this book for my younger siblings and students. It's hard to find books that are fun and teach values and lessons to young readers. This one sounds great!

Anonymous said...

My grandangel is only 5 months old and I love reading to her. This books sounds like one I'd enjoy sharing with her! It's especially appealing to me because of the values it teaches.

Karen in Tx
Sassyscrapper@gmail.com

Donna Braymer/Rowdy Raccoon said...

Grandangel...what a precious term!

Kristinia said...

This is a great review! My boys would love this book! I like the idea of the coloring pages, my boys are very artistic!

ChristyJan said...

I enjoyed reading this interview.
This sounds like a wonderful book ~ I'd love to win a copy ro read to my 3 little granddaughters.