Monday, 10 November 2014

Kid Literature

Read a little about how we started the kid Lit group.

 Excerpt taking from interviews and conversations- from Nelson Suite at Inkspokes  as well as publishing companys. Promoting Children’s Literacy and Kid Literature Authors: This is Karen's conversation about her writing and her collaborative work at Kid Literature Authors.

Karen Emma Hall is an illustrator, author and promoter of children’s literature. Also the author of the children’s book Hello Teeny Pheeny, a charming story that takes place in a magical village of owls (in which we see some of Karen’s owl illustrations – cozy, enchanting, full of character). Which gets its debut very soon in print after a successful start in ebook form last year. It was not out long before it was accepted by publishing company, so you may not have even read it or seen all of the illustrations in it, designed and copyrighted also to Karen Emma Hall.

As many children’s book authors also know, Karen is the founder of the Kid Literature Authors group, a group of children’s authors (and others passionate about children’s literature) who promote children’s literacy and kidlit authors on the group’s website and on its Facebook page. Karen’s a bit of a dynamo. She has made connections with countless children’s authors and illustrators and has built a vibrant following for the group’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. Kid literature has taken off and has now platforms on pinterest, instagram, google+ and goodreads.

We've come to learn that writers often requires a community (e.g., from collaborating with other authors to working with beta readers, editors and illustrators). The same might also be said for book marketing or promotion. It often works better when you are not doing it all alone. It might also be more fun.

  • So what is it that makes this book compelling, special or unique?

Teeny Pheeny was born one day quite by accident, after my visiting a beautiful rescue owl called Phoenix. My children gave my storybook owl the name Teeny Pheeny, naming him after this amazing creature we helped rescue. It is a name (and an owl) that children will love and want to know more about. The day Teeny Pheeny was born I knew he was going to be rather special.

•  What is the author’s back story? What makes you uniquely qualified to tell your story?

I developed a love for reading and writing very early on in childhood. I received so much enjoyment out of my treasured picture books, and I just loved visiting whatever magical land they took me to. I would become completely absorbed. I fell in love with books and, you could say, fell right into them, much like Alice did when she fell down the rabbit hole. It was always a magical place. It still is.

Creativity and reading have always been my main passion, even today. It is a therapy like no other. After leaving university with a BA in Art, I worked with children for many years, from being a qualified N.N.E.B nursery nurse to a teachers assistant. I have always enjoyed reading aloud to children of all ages. I find enjoyment and satisfaction in helping children and people with disabilities with reading and writing.

During my time as a classroom assistant, I also saw first-hand how a great story combined with captivating pictures can ensnare the attention of a child. I read from countless books to a cross-legged audience and learned which characters engaged their imaginations and which types of adventures captivated their attention. I have four beautiful girls who inspire me, and my first book, Hello Teeny Pheeny, is dedicated to them. I also have two amazingly humorous cats, who fascinate me with their antics and so I had to write about them as well.

                                                           Karen Emma Hall

  • How did you start Kid Literature start and what inspired you to create it?                                                                                                                                                                                         My first magic book about a special owl called Teeny Pheeny actually inspired me so much I was propelled into the media stratosphere! I only started working on Teeny Pheeny in August last year (2013) and started to talk about the book on Twitter. I already had an account but had never used it. I had to start learning how to tweet, but I got the hang of it pretty quick. That is where I go to relax and chill.

I don’t see social media as a chore; I enjoy collaborating with like-minded people on there. After working out how to use Twitter, I came across authors like myself struggling to make way in the world of self-publishing and promotion. The authors needed to get their books to children and also were driven with a passion for making children’s literature popular. I set up a Facebook page some weeks ago and opened the doors to these authors. I let these authors and other inspirational people take the reins in serving as administrators of this Facebook page. It was named Kid Literature Authors.

  •  How did you find the other members of the Kid Literature Authors team? Can you tell us how you started?

 We are the musketeers in children’s literature. What drew us together was a unique passion for being positive and a deep need to be heard. What people have to realise is that we help each other, selflessly, put others before ourselves. We help others and you find they will help you in return. We are motivated by our common interests: children and reading. We soon became aware this is what sustained us. We wanted our books in the hands of those that mattered. In children’s hands. Ironically I was so involved in promoting the KL and other authors I had little time for promoting my Teeny Pheeny book and even less for writing. But the KL took off immediately and it still takes me by surprise how quickly it gained popularity.

  •  How do you collaborate on the KL Facebook page on a day-to-day basis? Do you discuss promotional ideas together and what you would like to see on the page on some regular basis or is each administrator given wide lee-way in choosing what to post onto the page? What sort of posts do you focus on?

 There’s definitely plenty of leeway for the administrators to introduce the things they like – the KL is meant to be full of personality, a place that welcomes ideas and sharing. There are, of course specific aims behind the group, and the posts are guided by this. We want to promote reading, whether it’s children on there own or with their parents, and we want to introduce not only new books, but also ideas for ways to encourage and maintain a love of books. Our administrators are chosen as people who are not solely interested in promoting their own work. They are people who look to the bigger cause and who are passionate about all forms of children’s literature.

  •  Do you find that you and your team share similar tastes in children’s books? Are there differences or character traits among you that make the collaboration particularly interesting and fun?

There’s a general love for all children’s books on our administrative team. We are from across the globe but come together for the KL. Of course there are some particular likes for each of our administrators. One of our administrators, Steve Conoboy, is interested in young adult literature, as that’s the field he writes in. Carmela Dutra is a wonderful inspiration and has a plethora of ideas for children’s literature. She has her own lovely animal story book called Lorenzo the Bear. Myself, I love how illustrations can make a book work from a child’s point of view. I write for children of all ages and enjoy making quotes and sharing them.

Another administrator, Sue Navas, creates a magical world with her series of books from Agnil's Worlds. Cat Michaels and Corrina Holyoake, are amazing contributors, very supportive, and more recently Hilary Hawkes from Strawberry Jam books has been such a great help, and I hope myself and Kid Literature give as much back as they have put in. Hilary has not long been with us and we are enjoy what they bring to the KL. We also have many contributors and friends enjoying the journey of the Kid literature community. Jill Cofsky, Geena Bean, Cathy Murphy, Olga D' Agostino, Jamie Stevens, Naomi Burman-Shine, Hedgerow Capers, and many more contributors and friends who have come aboard the Kid Literature train.

Search ResultsIt’s a definite advantage that everyone has an eye for something different. It means we can bring a wide range of great books to light on our website and on the Facebook page.

  •  What about your new  Hello Teeny Pheeny book, how did that start out? What project or projects are you spending the most time on at this point?

Teeny Pheeny was born one day quite by accident, after my visiting a beautiful rescue owl called Phoenix. My children gave my storybook owl the name Teeny Pheeny, naming him after this amazing creature we helped rescue. It is a name (and an owl) that children will love and want to know more about. The day Teeny Pheeny was born I knew he was going to be rather special.

From the perspective of my own writing, there’s another Teeny Pheeny book almost complete with brand new illustrations, in fact the first series is penned and edited. Then there is as a collaboration on a book for middle grade readers, called Cory in Cold Cliff Castle. It’s a wild adventure with gruesome characters that will hopefully attract boys to reading. Very fun, Scooby Doo meets Hammer Horror. What is more thrilling for me is that artist Eric Heyman is illustrating some drawings for Cory in Cold Cliff Castle. The illustrations are so good they are spooky-rific! Check the progress on Twitter and the website and I will be excited to share this from my new author page.

Follow us on our journey. It is so new and yet has gained so much ground. I still don’t know quite how it has, but it has. Since updating our website we have introduced a page for the Kid Literature friends, fun boards to check out. Author and Artist spotlights. As well there is now promotion packages and kid spot, video books for children to relax and just click a button to watch on our website, and also the giveaway and competition page.
Since starting the Kid literature community I have been in touch with Cassandra Clare, Derek Landy, Stephen King and Owen King,  Richard and Judy, and Sheila Jeffries, and many more lovely well known authors since starting out.  Waterstones have asked me if I would like to join their children's writers group, which will be fun and I must try and make time to get to once a fortnight.

I believe in magic and I do my best to trap it in a book. As Roald Dahl once said “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it".

More information on Karen Emma Hall and the Kid Literature Authors group may be found on the KL website and Facebook page. Karen has wrote past blogs on children and books, growing up with books, and marketing and social media platform advice.

You may also connect with Karen via Twitter or her Facebook author page. details at the top of each of these blog pages.