Tag Archives: Fun in the Sun

Interview With Children’s, Y.A.’s, & Adults Author Rhonda Patton

ImageHappy Thursday everybody, you know I always do a weekly review of a children’s book I like, well I came upon Rhonda Patton on a book group’s page I belong to and decided to give her a try. I am glad I did, I liked her message she had for kids and I wanted to get to know more about her. So after contacting her and her graciously accepting an interview, I got down to trying to figure out what you all would want to know about her. So without further ado, Ladies and Gents: Rhonda Patton.

Rhonda Patton is the author of various books for readers of all ages. She writes for children, teens, and adults. Her titles include: Ted and Raymond Adventures 1-5 (ages 3-8), Ted and Raymond Learning Adventures 1 &2, Raymond goes to the Dentist, Ted and Raymond’s Sea Adventure, African Safari with Ted and Raymond, Ted and Raymond’s Christmas Tree, Harold Freddie and Milo, Searching for the Unknown (paranormal teen and up), and Spirits of ChesterVille General Store (paranormal teen and up) out this winter.  This interview was done over through Facebook.

 

First off thank you for doing this interview, I am so excited to share you with everybody. Please tell us about yourself?

A Shreveport residence, a mother, a wife, and a daughter. I have a wonderful husband who is the illustrator of the Ted and Raymond Series as well as my co-writer in Searching for the Unknown and Spirits of ChesterVille General Store. I started my love for writing at an early age of 13. I love to write even if it didn’t make sense. I started my writing in serious love poems and different things young crushes, boys, things of that matter. Then in 2000 I wrote my first Ted and Raymond book that turned into series years later, “The Croak 500”. I didn’t know that I would have a series until two years ago. My husband was laid off from his job and we needed extra money. As I researched for my husband to do voiceover work I came across some awesome people and then asked my husband about my book. With NO animation or characters my husband made the book come alive. Then I was inspired to do more and more stories. And well…. Here I am. Inspiring kids to be better!

You are a well-rounded author with a mix of adult and children books under your belt. Do you find it hard to switch between the two?

Yes I do.  The children’s books are for children ages 3-8 and my paranormal books are for teen to adult.  The audience is hard for both.  You want to have a good story for the child. You also want the story to be good for the adult.  I make it my story.  I am the audience, I have to like the story and know where it is going.


Since we are talking about your children’s books, let’s talk about your Ted and Raymond Adventure Series, I found it sweet as well as cute, but the big high five came after my children laughed while reading it. Can you give your readers hint as to what it’s about?

Ted and Raymond characters came from my first book “The Croak 500”. I call them my series books because I have 3 different stories in one book.  They are very short stories with great information that kids will relate to in life. The Croak 500 is about two frog friends who compete in a race, one wants to beat his friend, the other wants to just have fun. Neither win, but both try very hard.  I want this message to be for kids, you do not always have to be first to win.  Trying your hardest means you are already a winner.   In this book you can also find learning about patience and last fulfilling your dreams. 

Inspiration I find is very fluid and I take it from different parts in my life. Where does your inspiration come from?

A lot of my writing comes from my life, different things. I didn’t always win. I am fulfilling a dream.  We have a garden; in one of the series we have Ted and Raymond’s Garden. In this book it teaches Raymond not to give up on all of his hard work. In another series Ted has a kitchen fire. My husband and I had a kitchen fire in 2008; we want to teach the kids not to get distracted while cooking.  Do not leave the room while something is on the stove.

Are you’re a character or a plot writer? And why?

Character.  I love showing the kids how the character feels when Ted or Raymond experiences something sad, happy, or even tired. Expressing how the character feels in a children’s book lets the child experience where the emotion is supposed to be, and how they can express at the same time in their life.

As a writer myself I have favorite author’s I follow and who inspire me to write. Do you take inspiration from other authors? Who?

There is really no answer for a favorite.  I have many author friends who inspire me to do my work better as well.  So many writers are not out there to just help themselves, they have been in the same position I have been in.  They have a dream like me, to make it big.  To BE that writer everyone loves and wants to hear from. So to answer to whom, I would say all.  Doesn’t matter the Genre, we all are trying to be the best we can be.  I do not see a competition in any specific genre out there; we are all unique and have different gifts. Every book has a story, every page is different.

When I was reading your Ted and Raymond Adventure Series one of my favorite parts is when Ted tells Raymond “You have to take your time and enjoy things you love to do. “ I think this message can work for adults as well as children. What are your messages and how do you come by them?

I write from experience.  How can someone write about a dog if they haven’t ever had one? I love writing about my own personal experiences.  Kids see Ted and Raymond as the Character, I see myself. I love to write, it isn’t my job it is my experience.

When writing I usually have an idea of whom my audience will be and what age level. Who is your audience?

My audience is directed for children ages 3-8.  I also have many adults that tell me this can be messages for adults as well. It is a tough world, I just want the generation of kids to see a positive one.  A caring world without blood, super heroes, and make believe.

I enjoyed your book and plan to read more of yours to my children; do you have any books in the makings?

I have many books in mind all the time.  What can I do to make a better one?  What would kids relate to? I just published one Harold Freddie and Milo. Publication date? June 8 What are you goals for your future writing career? To inspire kids to be better, that is my goal.

Being a writer can be daunting lots of times. Do you have any advice for beginners?

I wasn’t established overnight. I didn’t have fame and fortune overnight.  So establish yourself through blogging, Facebook and MANY social Medias out there BEFORE your book comes out.  That way this is interesting to your customers.  Over three years of research and a few #1 free seller books, I believe the information I carry with me has helped.  If you have questions about anything, get into groups on Facebook or other social media with other writers who have more experience and know the tricks and secrets of writing, publishing, and social media tips.  I will tell you it is A LOT of work. A LOT of persevering, but if you enjoy writing, put your best foot forward.  Keep going.  If you do not have a #1 seller it isn’t you, get your audience to write reviews.  Tell your friends and family to share by word of mouth.  There is a lot of advice I can give.  I have had days that brought me down, but then I would ask myself what can I do better? 

How can my readers reach you?

Many social media forms

Websites:

http://www.thecroak500.com

https://www.twitter.com/frecles24

Author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rhonda-Patton/249595248511397?ref=hl

Good reads page: http://www.goodreads.com/RhondaPatton

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rhonda-Patton/e/B008QX4XO2/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1367002532&sr=8-2

Google +: https://plus.google.com/108470054136550755283?hl=en#108470054136550755283/posts/p/pub

Word press: http://rhondapattonauthor.wordpress.com/

 Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/rhondapatton37/

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Zookeeper

ImageWell today was the day when it was just too hot to do anything but stay home. Thankfully I had frozen fruit left over from drinks from memorial day. As an activity I put it in the children’s pool and let my children watch it melt, They watched, munched on the fruit, and then made their own cocktail soup of frozen fruit, dirt, hose water, and juice. Then they decided to wrestle in it. After a hose down
(never let your children wrestel in fruit, strawberries are a nightmare to get out of your baby’s hair)they crashed for a nap.  Sometimes you don’t ask and thank god for small blessings.  Happy Summer everybody, may we all survive having the kiddies at home and the heat.

Yosemite Road trip

Yosemite was the second stop for our road trip. After leaving San Diego early in the morning we were off.  I had my GPS, printed off directs from google maps, and in the end I trusted the maps app on the phone. It took on some back roads to get there. I made the mistake of picking a nice look gas station to stop at but which was dump inside. Their bathroom was horrible, like those bathrooms you upchuck in after one too many beers  out with your sorority sisters in the wrong part of town. Ok when it is just you and other adults, not so great when you have kids. Also a big pet peeve was that they had no area for me to clean my car’s window. Think about the fact that I had just driven through the farming belt of California. My car was the bug terminator, yuck.  After this our next stop was a hole in the wall family pizza place, they had the best pizza ever. I wish I remembered their name but it is one of the small stops heading into Yosemite on CA-41. Sorry I don’t have any more to message on it. The town we decided to stay at was Mariposa CA at their Best Western. After all the logistics we were off to Yosemite again. Going in you are overwelmed with just how beautiful it is. I would adivice you to stop at many of that stop you can and to stay longer than a just a day. This place should be visited for at least a week to really enjoy it. My children loved running in the fields, hiking waterfalls, getting lost on trails, and trying to pick up the wildlife. While driving to another stop we passed a coyoty, but it may have been a wolf. While we were in our car taking pictures of it, it just stood there licking it’s chops debating if it wanted to jump in our car. A few yards ahead we passed some hikers and all I could think was “there’s lunch.” I know this is not true but my dark humor got a kick out of that. My favorite fall was Bridalveil Fall, my daughter loved the lower valley and their bridge. My son on the other hand decided he did not want to hike and was the party pooper of the trip. We did not let it stop us from having fun and he just had to hoof it with us. This was a family trip by the way and we all participate. I have to say some of these hikes kicked my butt and I just have to blame it on the elivation. I can not accept it that I am that out of shape. My only regret about this visit is that we did not schedual enough time and that I did not take some adult time out to really challenge myself on some the waterfall hikes they have.
Yosemite is a must to visit if you are in California, make sure you rent your hotel and any tours before hand and if you stay in Mariposa eat at the Happy Burger Diner. This reminded me of the mom and pop stops I went to as a child, I had their stuffed baked potato and chocolate shake. It was divine and the perfect end to the day. I am planning a adult trip there soon.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/valleyhikes.htm

http://www.yosemitepark.com/bus-tours.aspx

http://happyburgerdiner.com/

Roadtrip- Day one San Diego Zoo

ImageTo recharge my own batteries I decided to pack up the kids and go on a 18 day road trip through California and Oregon.  Our first stop was San Diego , specifically, San Diego Zoo.  Wow, it was beautiful. Living in Phoenix we have some great zoos and wild life exhibits but I was not prepared for how beautiful this was.  One of my favorite parts about the zoo is that there are times you forget that you in the city.  They also had great environmental actions taking place, which is near to my heart, and I learned how to grow a garden on a limited amount of water. My son’s favorite exhibits were all the bird ones as well as the hippo exhibit.  A side note to this is irony; I am leery of birds after being attacked by a rooster as a child. For birds to be one of my son’s favorite animals shows me that god has a great sense of humor and is determined for me to overcome this hesitation to embrace all his creatures. It is a work in progress.

For my one year old daughter it was the Polar Bear and the Panda exhibit.  She of course wanted to touch and hold everything and after a debate I gave in and got her the stuffed panda in their gift shop to heal her broken heart about not being able to hold the panda cub:  Xiao Liwu.

My own favorite exhibit was of course the Panda exhibit, after waiting in a long line in which we got to see some red pandas lounging in the trees, takins munching, and Mang Mountain pit vipers eying us trespassers, we arrived. Xiao Liwu and his mamma were playing and with my own kiddies pressed to the glass we got to enjoy the show. There is something so endearing and beautiful about watching these majestic animals interact.  The ending of the exhibit showed Xiao Liwu’s father lounging in his own area.

This was a great place to visit; we spent our day walking about viewing the beautiful animals, exhibits, shows, and plant life.   My 1 and 5 year old were still going strong at 5:30, wanting to go again on the Skyfari Aerial Tram. Sadly, mommy was ready to drop and they had to head back to the hotel to put her to bed.

If you are in the San Diego area go check out the San Diego Zoo, it is worth the visit and you will be impressed. Buy your tickets online through as it is cheaper from their website and makes your visit less of a hassle.  I will post a few pictures here but most will be on my twitter and facebook accounts.

http://twitter.com/KateriWang

https://www.facebook.com/childrensbookkateriwang

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