by Cheryl C. Malandrinos
My first children’s book, Little Shepherd, came out in August. While this story didn’t come from personal experience, it is based on something I know about—the Christmas story.
We are told to write what we know, which I’ve done a lot of over the years. I’ve written stories about grieving teenage girls who lost their mothers to cancer. That happened to me when I was 14. As a kid I wrote a Scooby-Doo type mystery. I’ve loved mysteries my entire life. Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Murder at the Pentagon, the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, and more. I’ve read them and keep reading them. Scooby-Doo was a never missed cartoon on Saturday mornings while growing up, and thanks to the Cartoon Network I can still watch those meddling kids and their dog uncover clues and solve crimes.
But one thing I believe we all know more about than anything else is our family. We can tell you what we don’t like about each person; share all the annoying things they did to us over the years; talk about how years later we’ve reconciled our differences—or not.
My family has changed a lot in the years since my mother’s death. There have been marriages and divorces, births and deaths, and arguments and reconciliations. There are certainly some wild stories in there. When I talk to my friends about things my family did (sometimes I even get brave enough to share things I’ve done) the reaction is usually the same, “You should write a book about all this.”
The first manuscript I completed after embarking on my writing career was a story of three adult sisters who grew up in a dysfunctional household run by their ex-Marine father and neurotic mother. The sisters had remained rivals throughout the years. When the youngest sister is diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the sisters struggle to push aside their differences and work toward becoming supporters of each other, and hopefully friends.
I co-authored this story with my middle sister. It’s close in many ways to the relationship I’ve had with my two older sisters; though there’s a heavy amount of fiction mixed in to make it an engaging read—and to make sure we’re all still speaking with each other if it ever gets published.
The Sisterhood, as we titled it, is a story that is close to my heart. I hope that we get a chance to polish it and submit it to an agent one day.
I hadn’t planned on starting out as a writer for children, but again, I write what I know. As a life-long lover of books and the mother of three, I know a bit about children’s stories.
What do you know about that you could turn into a story?
Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A regular contributor for Writer2Writer, her articles focus on increasing productivity through time management and organization. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.
Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters. She also has a son who is married.
Giveaway #1 is for those readers who comment on Cheryl’s blog stops during the tour. One comment per person, per blog, through the length of the tour. Giveaway #2 is for those who purchase a copy of Little Shepherd between its release date of August 21, 2010 and the end of the virtual book tour on December 17, 2010. Proof of purchase must be submitted to Cheryl via email at cg20pm00(at)gmail(dot)com. Please substitute the appropriate symbols for the (at) and (dot). Those are zeroes in the address, not Os. If you prefer to mail or fax a copy of your proof of purchase, please contact Cheryl via email for that information.
Additional rules and guidelines can be found at the end of this post.
GIVEAWAY #1 (for people who comment during the VBT)
An autographed copy of Little Shepherd
Angel figurine printed with the Serenity Prayer
A Little Shepherd sticky note pad
Little Drummer Boy 2010 Hallmark Keepsake Ornament
Gift of Peace 2003 Hallmark Keepsake Ornament
Retail value of Giveaway #1 is $65 (rounded to nearest dollar)
GIVEAWAY #2 (for those who purchase a copy of Little Shepherd between August 21, 2010 and December 17, 2010)
A ”Sparkling Angel” scented jar candle from Yankee Candle
An angel gold and silver lid topper for the candle
An angel tea light holder from Yankee Candle
A Little Shepherd sticky note pad
A Jim Shore Nativity Star hanging ornament
A Jim Shore Holy Family hanging ornament
A $25 Amazon.com gift card
Retail Value of Giveaway #2 is $97 (rounded to the nearest dollar)
Here are the rules and guidelines for these giveaways:
1) For Giveaway #1 you must leave a comment on the hosting blog with a working email address for the author to contact you if you win.
2) For Giveaway #1 only the first comment with your working email address is used to determine eligibility (one comment, per blog).
3) You are eligible to win Giveaway #2 if you purchase a copy of Little Shepherd between August 21, 2010 and December 17, 2010 and provide the author with proof of purchase via email, mail, or fax prior to December 19, 2010. Little Shepherd is available at the Guardian Angel Publishing website, Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com, and at indiebound.org.
4) All giveaway winners will be selected using Random.org.
5) Prizes will be shipped via USPS with appropriate insurance. The author cannot guarantee receipt before December 25, 2010.
6) Author, blog hosts, and Pump Up Your Book are not responsible for lost or damaged goods.
7) The same person cannot win both giveaways.
Although it is not a requirement for eligibility, Cheryl asks that you consider following the blogs who host her during her tour and also the Little Shepherd blog.
Good luck to all who enter!