Double Feature Book Review
DWED Interviews Jacquitta McManus Author of Labyrinth's Door & Talee and the Fallen Object
DWED: First, tell us a little about yourself.
All my life, I’ve gravitated to fantasy stories. Stories I felt I could bea part of and completely immerse myself in … in my imagination.
I’m a little girl from Kentucky and author of two fantasy adventure children’s books, Labyrinth’s
Door – Anyia “Dream of a Warrior” and Talee
and the Fallen Object. I have always been drawn to fantasy stories. It was a way for me to immerse myself into exciting adventures in faraway lands
that I otherwise wouldn’t experience. As I got older I would find that immersing myself into those
fantasy stories was just the beginning of a journey that would lead me to writing my own fantasy adventure children’s books. I am so happy that today I can say I’m working on book 4 and 5.
DWED: Have you always aspired to
be a published author?
No, the desire to write fantasy adventure children’s
stories came from me wanting to have stories to read to my daughter. I wanted to read books to
her that had characters that looked like her and found that I couldn’t find them, not fantasy adventures stories. It was then I started paying
attention to the stories in my head. I had always had them but never thought to do anything with them. They were more like extended daydreams that I would let pass without notice. But now I notice and take notes.
DWED: Would you say the journey was easy or hard? Why?
Both! It’s easy to come up with the story concepts. That’s the fun part. But it’s hard to execute the vision in my head to the level of quality you would like to see it executed. And as a new author with a new
publishing company just building an audience is a full time job in itself.
It’s something I do because I love and enjoy doing. I can’t see myself doing anything else. But it is work, all of it.
DWED: Who would you say inspired you to write?
My daughter, my son and just children who would
like to read books with characters that look like them are a big inspiration, as well as just wanting to publish the stories that are in my head.
DWED: Are you a part of a book club or organization?
No! I’ve researched several and thought about joining some of them but haven’t yet. I am on some of the Ning writing sites and I do meet up with other authors to talk about writing and publishing.
DWED: Let’s delve into your writing.
Can you tell us about your published
My first book Labyrinth’s Door – Anyia “Dream of a Warrior” is about a girl who fights old traditions
to follow her own dream. She’s tough, smart and courageous but has a lot to learn before her dream will become a reality.
My second and third book is Talee and the Fallen Object and Talee and the Fallen Object Coloring Book Adventure. It’s a story of Talee and her
adventure to find an object she sees falling through the air. A great elementary school aged fantasy adventure book and a great coloring book that tells the story through illustrations, with a section for kids to write their own story in the back.
DWED: Did you provide the illustrations in both books?
No, I only helped with Talee and the Fallen Object.
DWED: Tell us how the idea to show readers how to draw the title characters came about.
In college while working on my animation degree I was also working on my art minor degree. And since then I have always had an appreciation for
drawing and learning to draw. So when my
son started drawing and asking for art books I was more than happy to buy them. I would watch how he
would try to draw some of his favorite cartoon characters which gave me the idea of having a how to draw section in Anyia “Dream of a Warrior”
DWED: Do you write only children’s books?
For right now, yes. But I have some adult book
concepts in development,which may or may not be written one day.
DWED: How would you define your writing style? Hummm… Good question. Maybe
that’s a better question to ask readers. Not sure.
DWED: Who is your favorite character in your books and why?
Oh, another good question. In Anyia “Dream of a Warrior” it’s Amoonda. I really like her wisdom and up front personality that is very gentle and caring. In the Talee books I really like Talee. I love her personality and how she talks. She’s fun. My favorite
of all my characters hasn’t been published yet, but
hopefully they will be introduced within the next year.
DWED: What can we look forward to
seeing from you throughout 2013?
I will continue Talee and Anyia on their journey as well as introduce AvaBrooks. Who I think is a fun feisty character that people will love.
DWED: What other avenues are you using
to promote your work and yourself?
To help promote, I’m using all the social media that I can for right now. Last year we launched the Puffy Muffin at a local bakeshop and did several events around that. I also attend several festivals and bookstore events.
DWED: What would you say to all aspiring
authors like yourself?
There is a lot I could say. But the one thing all
authors must remember is that they can’t give up. There will be good days, and there will be some
really low days but they won’t last forever. Just keep
moving. Keep learning and don’t give up.
I keep a blog title Journey of a Storyteller and I’m starting a questions series, where I pose a question
and then answer it. I would love for authors to join in on the discussion, give me their thoughts and feedback. Or send in questions that I can pose for
DWED: Is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like your readers and potential readers to know about both your work and yourself?
Yes, Thank you for asking. One thing I like about storytelling is the worlds I get to create for my characters and one of my favorite worlds so far is Talee’s world, the planet Gala. As the series develops more of the world will be revealed but to give it a boost I started Talee’s World, character blog. It’s a place where readers can get to know Talee and her friends as well as get a better peak at the world she lives in. While there they can also download coloring pages and participate in polls.
I ask that everyone stops by and check it out. Also, Talee loves comments so please feel free to leave her some. And please invite elementary school aged children to check it out. That’s who Talee really is interested in talking to.
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