Friday, September 30, 2011
Award Winning Author Laura Eckroat
It has been my pleasure to read not one but two of Laura Eckroat's children's books. Her book, Life of Bud, is a beautiful tale of the seasons as experienced by a new bud. Her second book, A Simpler Time, is my personal favorite. A Simpler Time took me back to my childhood, a time before computers, cell phones, and video games where kids amused themselves and found joy in the little things. Laura has a simple yet entertaining way of telling a story, so it is no surprise to me that she is an award winning author. If you haven't read her books yet, I suggest you think about doing so because she is definitely an author worth reading. It is with gladness that I share with you some questions Laura has taken the time to answer for me.
1. When did you first decide that you wanted to be an author? What made you want to choose this career path?
I have always wanted to have a book published. When I was little it was my dream to have a book published and soon I will have 3 so that is extremely exciting! At present, it’s not a career for me. I would love for it to be my career … maybe someday!
2. Who are some of the authors that greatly influenced your writing style? What were some of your favorite books as a kid?
No authors have really influenced my style. I feel I have my own style of writing. I like all kinds of books and all kinds of genres. I always finish reading a book … even if I don’t like it. I figure that someone took the time to write it, I can take some time and read it. Ted Kerasote is a great writer and I love his books. As for children’s books that I love …. Hmmmmm – I read at a very young age and read The Little House on the Prairie books – I loved those! I now love books that have beautiful illustrations … Jan Brett and Cynthia Rylant are a few of my favorites. When I was teaching Kindergarten I became a fan of Mo Willems and the PIGEON books … those are awesome.
3. How long did it take you to get your first book published? Were there ever moments when you became discouraged?
It took about 2 years to get my first book published – but it also took 10 years before that for me to finish writing it! I was discouraged at times, but I figured that if it was meant to happen it would.
4. What made you decide to write for Children/YA age groups? Do you still feel connected to your "inner child"?
I love working with children and so writing children’s books that adults can also relate to was a natural for me. Every day I get to be a little silly … so I suppose I am still a child at heart.
5. What are some of your hobbies, other than writing?
I love reading, playing with my dog Muffin (who is the main character in my new book), I love volunteering at the Fort Worth Nature Center, and I guess just hanging out enjoying nature.
6. Do you have any advice for new authors who are just entering the field?
Don’t give up!!! And write down all your ideas … even if you think they are not that good … you may need them someday!
7. Do you hold any other jobs outside of your writing? If so, do you find that this helps your writing or gets in the way?
I’m the Child Care Coordinator for the Northwest YMCA … I work with their Afterschool Program and Summer Day Camp programs. I don’t have a huge amount of time for writing, but I have always kept a journal so when something comes to mind, I make sure it gets into the journal. I am around children a lot, so I feel it helps me with my writing. The kids also think it’s pretty cool that I’m an author!
8. If you could meet one author, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
I got to meet Ted Kerasote, author of Merle’s Door and PUKKA. I loved his writing and on a whim I emailed him and told him about my book, A Simpler Time. The book was still in the writing phase and I asked him if he would read it, and possibly endorse it. He DID! I couldn’t believe it. He also gave me some suggestions to make the book better! I was shocked that someone like him would take the time to actually read my work and give me suggestions! We have kept in contact and when his book PUKKA came out he invited me to come to one of his book events. I was able to go and I had him sign PUKKA for me and I also had him SIGN a copy of my book … A Simpler Time … so the author who endorsed it … signed it! VERY COOL! And, I was able to give him a copy of A Simpler Time. It was a very thrilling moment and I am glad for someone like Ted who gave me a shot and helped me out!
9. Do you have children of your own, and if so what do they think of your author status and book/books?
I have one daughter, Ashley, who is 18. She thinks it’s pretty cool that I’m a published author. She has supported me and has attended several events. My book, A Simpler Time, is actually about Ashley when she was in 2nd grade. I’m so glad that she was at the Massachusetts Reading Association Conference in April of 2010, where I debuted A Simpler Time. The people who attended the Evening With Authors, loved meeting Ashley, the character from the book. I was so glad she was able to share that moment with me. I will always remember looking at her face as I was reading the book! It took all my energy not to cry …. (happy tears!)
10. Do you have any other information you would like to share, such as a website, author page, awards won, etc…?
My book, The Life of Bud, won Best Children’s Book at the North Texas Book Festival, in 2010, and was also featured in Dallas Child Magazine in September, 2010.
My newest book, Went Out To Get a Donut, Came Home With a Muffin, will be released by the end of the year. Muffin and I will be doing lots of fundraising with animal shelters and rescue dog facilities across the country – which is very exciting!
I have presented at the Western Massachusetts Homeschooling Conference, Massachusetts Reading Association Conference, and State of Maryland – International Reading Association Conference.
I have spoken to thousands of children in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Indiana, Alabama, & Texas. I enjoy presenting the writing process to children and if anyone is interested in having me at their child’s school, they can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
At present, my web-site is under construction, but I would love fans to check out my facebook page. Life of Bud.