Learn More about Author Tamara Gerlach

A film that brings tears to your eyes . . .
P.S. I Love You

Describe your first kiss.
It was at our ranch. My neighbor’s cousin was visiting from Utah, he was super cute, and a “real” cowboy…so I let him kiss me. At first it was a little weird, but I liked it, so now I try to do it as much as possible.

Your favorite children’s book, and why . . .
There’s a hair in my dirt, by Gary Larson. My kids loved the story, it made us laugh, and we got to talk about nature, and cause and effect.

A cause that’s closest to your heart, and why . . .
I support quite a few, because there are so many people doing such wonderful work in the world, but one is close to my heart, PINCC- Prevention International No Cervical Cancer. Over 300,000 women needlessly die every year because of a lack of education and treatment. I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in December 2009. Fortunately, I got the treatment I needed, and I wish that for all the women of the world.

If you could be a character in any novel, who would you be?
Joy in Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman. She is the essence of ease and flow, carefree and completely dedicated at the same time.

Explain the worst job that you’ve held.
Honestly, I have loved all of the jobs I have ever had. One day, when I was a teen working at Kentucky Fried Chicken, a big box showed up with a chicken suit in it. I was the first to volunteer to put it on and go out on the street to dance, wave at cars, and do one-handed gymnastics moves (I had to hold the head on with the other hand). So, I’ve been a dancing chicken…and I have no complaints.

A quote that motivates you . . .
“You can love other people only to the degree that you’ve come to love and accept yourself”   ~Shakti Gawain

The title of the one song you could take with you to that deserted island . . .
Granny by Dave Matthews
Three Wishes
   1. That all people realize their own magnificence, freedom, and connection to  everyone and everything. Then, take care of each other and ourselves accordingly.
   2. That no one is hungry for food or love.
   3. That we practice Forgiveness, Compassion, and Love to wash away all of the fear and delusion in the world.
Favorite game you played as a child . . .
I loved to go out into the hills with friends, or even by myself, and play “explorer.” We’d pretend that we were lost in the wilderness and had to find a “new world,” build camp, and live off of the land. It has served me well since I travel all over the world and feel comfortable in any environment because I know I can figure it out. On a trip deep into the Amazon, Ron and I stayed with an Achuar tribe and spent our days (and some nights) traipsing through the forest. When it came time to leave, I didn’t want to; I just wanted to keep playing “explorer.”
I still play my favorite game daily by exploring my heart and mind.
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Learn More about Author Sondra Wright

 A film that brings tears to your eyes . . .
The movie “Imitation of Life” always evokes such strong emotions in me. The pain and hostility surrounding Sara Jane’s lifelong identity struggle; the toll it takes on her mother Annie, until she finally dies of a broken heart, and in the end Sara Jane realizing the hurt she had caused the mother who loved her and showing up much too late to ask her forgiveness.
Describe your first kiss…
My first kiss came very much by surprise. I was at my friend Sylvia’s house and her younger brother just swooped in and planted one on me. It was like the 4thof July going off in my head.
Your favorite children’s book, and why . . .
Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. I still pick it up and read it sometimes today. It’s such a soothing and relaxing little story. It’s so beautifully illustrated and I love the way the little bunny acknowledges every item in the room with a good night.
A cause that’s closest to your heart, and why . . .I have an enormous passion for children and the elderly. These are often defenseless populations whose needs are easily overlooked. The Kinship Care Coalition and Advocacy Group of North Carolinais a startup organization that’s very near and dear to me right now. The organization raises awareness for the strikingly large number of grandparents who are raising grandchildren today; to make sure they get the support and services they need.
If you could be a character in any novel, who would you be?
My Shero – – the woman behind the horse — Penny Chenery, Secretariat!!
Explain the worst job that you’ve held.
In my early 20’s I worked for a job listing service. Job seekers paid a fee and in return we gave them a list of employers that they could have probably located on their own for free. I hated it because I felt like we were scamming people! I remember talking with clients and at the same time trying to give them an “eye signal” to take their money and run. It was pretty bad.
A quote that motivates you . . .I heard someone say once, “God is watching…give Him a good show.” And that’s a quote that really moves me to give my best, be my best and do my best at all times – in every situation.
The title of the one song you could take with you to that deserted island . . .
Bustin Loose by Chuck Brown never fails to elevate my mood. It makes me happy, it makes me want to move – it makes me feel like I can conquer the world.
Three Wishes
   1. That everyone would know God’s love
   2. That there was no such thing as a hungry child
   3. That people learn to value and respect each others differences
Favorite game you played as a child . . .
Scrabble! My mom played with me every week. In the beginning she beat me so badly I would cry, but she never cut me any slack and that was a good thing. Playing against such a tough competitor not only forced me to build my spelling and vocabulary skills but really served to develop my critical and strategic thinking skills as well.

Learn More about Cookbook Author Nancy Baggett

Describe your first kiss.

Not the least bit romantic, my first kiss was during a spin-the-bottle game when I was in the fifth grade. Neither I nor my “boyfriend” for the party were really the least bit smitten, but went along with our smooch anyway. I can still recall feeling awkward, and bet my guy does, too.

Your favorite children’s book, and why . . .  

I love The Lorax. The message is so important and eloquently presently, yet so readily grasped by even young children. The illustrations are also enchanting.  

A cause that’s closest to your heart, and why . . .  

Finding a cure for cancer. Too many family members stricken far too young.

If you could be a character in any novel, who would you be?  Nancy Drew.

E
xplain the worst job that you’ve held.  

The most tedious data entry job-literally-ever. Every day, all day I copied random series of numbers from one ledger to anoither. No explanation of why was ever given–I only lasted a week  Had to quit to save my sanity.  

A quote that motivates you . .

.You never know what you can do until you try.

The title of the one song you could take with you to that deserted island .

You Were Always On My Mind

Three Wishes
  1.That my grandchildren grow up to live healthy, happy lives.
  2  That world hunger is eradicated..  

3.That humans can learn to live in peace.

Favorite game you played as a child . . .

My cousin and I climbed trees in the woods and pretended to be bears. (It was more fun than it sounds!)

Nancy Baggett

Learn More about YA Author Jan Blazanin

A film that brings tears to your eyes . . .
ET—Being a sucker for the underdog, I can’t resist his big, sad eyes. Poor guy. I want to cuddle his slimy-looking little extra terrestrial body and make him feel better.

Describe your first kiss.
I was sixteen. His name was Ron, he had dark brown hair and glasses, and he was a grade behind me in school. Shocking! A group of us were driving around town after a football game. Ron and I were in the backseat. I didn’t hear bells or music, but the kiss was thrilling enough to convince me that I liked kissing. I still do.

Your favorite children’s book, and why . . .
THE GIVER—Long before the current wave of dystopian fiction Lois Lowry created a practical, realistic world where horrifying occurrences are commonplace. Her ability to reveal each inhuman event in a matter-of-fact way increased the shock value. And who could not root for Jonas?

A cause that’s closest to your heart, and why . . .
Protecting animals from cruelty and preserving the environment because we must.


If you could be a character in any novel, who would you be?
Scarlett O’Hara in GONE WITH THE WIND, with all her spunk and determination but without that ridiculous infatuation over Ashley Wilkes. I’d take Rhett any day.

Explain the worst job that you’ve held.
My worst job was also my first job—detasseling corn at age fourteen. The day began with climbing into an open truck at 5:00 a.m. and riding into the Iowa countryside where twenty other girls and I were dumped at the edge of a monstrous cornfield.
Our mission: To pull the tassels from the tops of six-foot cornstalks. We wore long-sleeved shirts and long pants to avoid being cut by the corn leaves, and our clothes were soaked with dew within the first 5 minutes. By afternoon, we were drenched with sweat and peeling off whatever we could. All of us were sunburned, stinky, and covered with cuts.
At the time—several decades ago—we were not supposed to talk, sing, or listen to music. We broke all of those rules. The water jug was to be used sparingly. Our bathroom was any finished row. We brought our own lunches and ate sitting on the ground. Some girls quit after the first day. I lasted the whole two weeks, but I never did it again.

A quote that motivates you . . .
Never, never, never quit—Winston Churchill

The title of the one song you could take with you to that deserted island . . .
Rockstar by Nickelback—cleverest lyrics ever!

Three Wishes
  1. That malignancy will die and not kill
  2. That kindness and compassion will wipe out cruelty
  3. That people will respect their connection with all living things

Favorite game you played as a child . . .
This is going to make me sound completely crazy, but I narrated my own life. I turned whichever chore I was doing—cleaning my room, raking leaves, helping to paint the house—into a story. Sometimes I’d been kidnapped and forced into labor, or I was in disguise hiding from evildoers. Whenever I wasn’t reading a book I passed the time by narrating my life in third person to an imaginary audience.

Learn More about Children’s Author Peter Davies

A film that brings tears to your eyes – This has got to be the squirrel in the animation film “Ice Age” his antics as he tries to save his acorn had me laughing so much it brought tears to my eyes. Brilliant!
Describe your first kiss – In a romantic context I don’t remember much about it as I had my eyes closed at the time.
Your favorite children’s book and why – “Mr. Ben” by David McKee I read these stories to my son Richard when he was young and then made up adventures along the same theme that we called “The Magic Cupboard” where Richard was the main character which he thoroughly enjoyed.
A cause that is closest to your heart and why – The prevention of cruelty to animals the reasons why are obvious.
If you could be a character in any novel, who would you be? – Agatha Christie’s “Poirot”, I would have loved to experience the genteel life of the 1920’s traveling on the Orient Express, visiting Europe and Africa when the pace of life was slower and you took time to enjoy the pleasures of exploring places before mass tourism was possible and beautiful remote locations were spoilt by the development of ‘resorts’. Add to that the challenge of solving the many mysteries of murder and you have (for me) the sublime lifestyle.
Explain the worst job that you’ve held – Being a “cold call” salesman. You have to have a particularly resilient personality to be able to walk in unannounced and try to sell someone something they don’t really want when your earnings are dependent on commission from sales. I don’t have that sort of personality and so I wasn’t successful.
A quote that motivates you – “Do or do not, there is no try!” (Yoda)
The title of the one song you could take with you to that deserted island – Anything by Roy Orbison but probably “Pretty Woman”
Three wishes – Health, wealth and happiness takes a lot of beating.
Favorite game played as a child – Hide and Seek I loved the suspense and the challenge of trying to out think the other kids.

Peter Davies

Learn More about Author Annie Fox

A film that brings tears to your eyes . . . Just one?! But I’m so easily moved to tears! OK how about 3: Ghost, Tootsie, Up 

Describe your first kiss
. Two 11 year-olds at the beach. Surprising. Sweet. Fantasy-inducing.

Your favorite children’s book, and why . . . 

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Such pathos, such empathy in just a few words and some simple line drawings. 
A cause that’s closest to your heart, and why . . . Bullying. While kids grow, their sense of self is so vulnerable. When they’re targeted by others (at school or at home) the way they think about themselves is altered in unhealthy ways. They can start to assume there’s something “wrong” with them that makes them “deserving of disrespect.” That will undoubtedly erode their self-confidence and hold them back in life. Kids whose aggression is tolerated are also being changed. They assume that threats, manipulation and violence are acceptable ways to behave. That can set them on a path of regrettable choices. And there’s a third group… the largest one playing a part in the dramas that take place daily in schools around the world: the silent bystanders. The Culture of Cruelty changes them as well and they begin believing that they’re powerless in the face of injustice.  That’s no way to help develop a new generation of leaders.

If you could be a character in any novel, who would you be?
Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden. She brought herself and others out of darkness into the full bloom.

A quote that motivates you . . .
“If you’re not modeling what you teach, you’re teaching something else.” (I don’t know who said it first)

The title of the one song you could take with you to that deserted island . . .
“Defying Gravity”  
 Wishes:
To work together to make our own corner of the planet a safer, saner, cleaner, greener more equitable place for everyone.
 
Favorite game you played as a child . . .  Pretending that my bicycle was a horse and riding really fast

Annie Fox

Learn More about Author Susan Stephenson

A film that brings tears to your eyes: The Blind Side.

Describe your first kiss
: I don’t remember my first kiss, but fortunately I can recall the last one in complete sensory detail – sweet and romantic.

Your favorite children’s book, and why
: My favourite children’s book changes day by day. But an old favourite is Enid Blyton’s The FarawayTree. I love the world that Blyton built and how it feeds our imaginations.

A cause that’s closest to your heart, and why
: Children’s literacy is of huge importance to me. I love to read, write, create and educate myself. I believe many of the world’s ills could be solved by such education, particularly encouraging parents to read to their kids. And the thought of libraries closing due to lack of funding absolutely appals me.

If you could be a character in any novel, who would you be?
I would be Anne in Anne of Green Gables. 

Explain the worst job that you’ve held.
My worst job was being Latrine Officer in a children’s camp. When one of the kids dropped her gold watch into the pit, it was my job to fetch it back for her. I came to fully understand the meaning of trust as I was lowered by my ankles.

A quote that motivates you
:“It is better to create than to be learned, creating is the true essence of life.”  (Barthold Georg Niebuhr)

The title of the one song you could take with you to that deserted island
: “Oh I do like to be beside the seaside” – in the hope that such a positive affirmation will help me withstand the solitude!

Three Wishes

   1. For me: I wish, oh how I wish, that I could draw.
   2. For my family and friends: health and happiness.
   3. For the world: an end to greed.

Favorite game you played as a child:
Imaginative games – roleplaying Robin Hood and building cubbies in the bush so we could spy on the Sheriff.

The Book Chook

Learn More about Author Derek Haines

A film that brings tears to your eyes . . .
The God’s Must Be Crazy for sure. The final scene with the girl, the table and the continually toppling red and white Tupperware had tears rolling from my eyes. They still get damp at the mere thought of the movie.

Describe your first kiss.
Inaccurately aimed at first, then sort of somewhat damp.

Your favorite children’s book, and why . . .

Noddy by Enid Blyton, because it was banned. It probably did unimaginable harm to me in my formative years. 

A cause that’s closest to your heart, and why . . .
Difficult question for a heartless soul like me. But probably oil. I hate it because it doesn’t just run cars, it starts wars. I’d prefer cars to run on milk or grass clippings. 

If you could be a character in any novel, who would you be?
Zaphod Beeblebrox without a doubt. Anyone who signs the destruction order for Earth because he thinks someone just wants his autograph is someone who really has celebrity coolness. His extra head also offers a lot of advantages on lonely evenings alone. 
Explain the worst job that you’ve held.
Easy. Author. All the rest paid a salary and I didn’t get criticised daily.
A quote that motivates you . . .
When one door closes, there always seems to be another ready to slam in your face.

The title of the one song you could take with you to that deserted island . . .
“Honky Tonk Woman” by The Rolling Stones. 

Three Wishes
   1.  A red Ferrari.
   2. World peace.
   3. Three more wishes.
Favorite game you played as a child . . .
Mouse Trap without a doubt. The greatest board game ever invented. I really should buy it again!
 


Learn More about Author Carol Galusha

My first kiss: seventh grade on the back of a school bus - sooo not romantic :(

Favorite children's book: I loved Pokey the Puppy. I always wanted a dog like him.

Favorite character from a novel: Melanie from Gone With the Wind. She was pure goodness!

Quote that motivates me:
Success is the best revenge. (I consider being happy a great success.)

Three wishes:

1) My children to be happy.
2) For my husband and I to retire together and travel.
3) For people to be kind to one another.

The one song I would want on my iPod if on a deserted island:
can't pick one song for my island living. But I would love to listen to the Eagles while I'm sippin' on my fruity drink!

Also, the book I'd take on the island: To Kill A Mockingbird 
 
Favorite game as a child: I loved playing Chinese checkers. My mom taught me. My siblings and I would put on our pajamas and play a few games before we went to bed. That was many, many years ago, and the thought brings tears to my eyes. 
 
Carol Galusha