This time we are sitting down with M. C. Arvanitis, author of The Legend of ELPanda Paws.
Welcome to The Book Rack Ms. Arvanitis. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers. My occupation as a preK and early grades teacher gives me insight into the stories children like. I am also a mother of five beautiful children, now grown, who have blessed me with delightful grandchildren. I have taught in Nebraska, California, Texas, and now I live near the coastal beaches of Oregon. My hobby is managing an online friendship group for men and women over fifty called 'Online Single Seniors Outreach'. I also grow flowers in pots and keep my rose garden growing.
What kinds of books do you write?
I have written many short preschool stories that I used with my preschool students, mostly published in my Preschool Curriculum, 'Building Blocks for Bright Beginnings.' (No longer in print.) Now I write fantasy chapter books and history fiction series for middle grade students.
Where do you find your inspiration?
From watching a child.
I like to find unknown history facts and build into a short story or chapter book.
When or why did you start writing?
I can't remember when I didn't tell stories, but I started putting them to paper when I took a writer's class in high school. Later on when I started my preschool I wrote short stories to go along with my curriculum. Now that I am retired I have the time to expand into writing book length fiction.
Do you read in your free time and if so, what do you like to read?
Oh yes. From the time I learned to read I've had a book in my hands. Now I read on my Kindle, so many choices of authors and books, but mostly fantasy or historical fiction.
What project(s) are you working on now?
I published my first book as an e-book the first of this year, The Legend of ELPanda Paws on Amazon.comThe Legend of ELPanda Paws
It can also be found on Barnes & Noble The Legend of ELPanda Paws for Nook readers
And in Smashwords at: Smashwords edition
I am now preparing my second fantasy book, 'Forbidden Wings’, for e- publishing, hoping to have it on Amazon.com in April.
Do you have any other projects in the works?
Yes I am working on a YA series of four Hank of Twin Rivers books. It is the story of a pioneer boy’s journey from a shy, withdrawn boy to a self-made young man; of his adventures on the Oregon Trail from north Iowa to western Nebraska. It tells of his often-dangerous life on the Midwest plains, and of his coming of age on the Chisholm Trail with the horse wranglers. These three are written and I am now writing about Hank's 'favorite girl' Becca, pioneer girl.
If you could give a new writer any advice, what would it be?
Keep on writing. Every story needs your attention - so rewrite it over and over until you are happy with it. And please, before publishing it give it to a good editor. Also don't let rejections get you down. Some of our best-known authors have been rejected before someone bought their books.
Thank you for speaking with us today. Please feel free to come back and sit down with us again.