A few years ago, when my kids were still small, and still needed Mommy to read them stories, I admit that it was hard to find good children's books that held a motivational message while still encouraging their imagination. In fact, I actually started making up stories to tell them instead of relying on someone else to provide them for me. However, I quickly realized that the things I like to tell about aren't, at all, interesting to five-year-olds. I write Christian romance, for crying out loud! So, I had to keep searching for those books that held some appeal for them. After interviewing this next author, I wish her books had been around when my kids were little.
Shannon Mokry is a children's author and I was lucky enough to be able to get to know her through our interview. Keep reading and you'll find out why.
AJ: What’s your name and a little about your background that led you to be a writer?
SM: My name is Shannon L. Mokry. Way back before I had children of my own, I went to college and studied both Early Childhood Development and English Studies. I had some poetry published in high
school and most of a book outlined and written. I definitely had dreams of being published. That was 17 years ago. Then life happened. I became a stay at home mom, then a frequent volunteer at my daughter's school. When my third daughter was born six years ago we started our homeschooling journey. All of these things led me to the path I'm on today.
AJ: How many books have you written? And, in what genre would you classify your works?
SM: I have written seven books, and two supplements. They are all written for children. Four are picture books, I have the first one published and the second one with my illustrator now. I'm hoping to publish one per year. Each of those will have two supplement books. I also have three Middle Grade books written. One is almost ready to publish the other two need more revision and will be out next year.
AJ: Do you work from an outline, or do you prefer to see where the story leads you?
SM: My picture books are actually based on stories I would tell my youngest daughter in middle of the night. My middle grade books start with an outline, it keeps me on track and moving forward. Even with an outline the finished stories are always full of surprises.
AJ: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
SM: I'm a Homeschooling mom, so most of my time is consumed by that. However I still enjoy reading and crafting.
AJ: If you could say one thing to your readers, what would it be?
SM: Enjoy your kids, read aloud to them even when they can read for themselves. To the big kids, Dream Big and enjoy the journey to get there.
AJ: Who, or what, inspires your writing?
SM: Mostly my kids, especially my youngest Charlotte.
AJ: What social media outlets have you used to reach your readers? And, which ones have you found to be the most successful?
SM: I'm on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. So far Facebook has helped me network meet new people and give shout outs to my friends. However, children's books sell best in person.
AJ: Is there anything that you’ve found to be particularly challenging in your writing?
SM: I'm very talkative, and found that my writing style reflected that. I had to learn to show not tell and reduce my word count. That remains a challenge.
AJ: Can you tell us about how you market your works?
SM: Networking has played a big role. Getting into schools is a big opportunity, but hard to do. The key is getting to know people, be friendly and have a great book. As I work towards more networking, I've been selling my books my local farmers market, festivals, and other vendor opportunities. I have lots of future plans and ideas I am being patient and waiting until I have catalog of books to my name before I implement them.
AJ: How can readers discover more about you?
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