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Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Great News and Guest Author Sandro Isaack

Okay, most of you already know this, but for anyone who hasn't read about it on Facebook or any of the groups that I belong to, I have great news. Last week I talked about pitching my YA novel, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor at the Muse Online Writers Conference. Well, I found out last week that it was accepted for publication!!!!Yes!!!!!! My book is being published by MuseItUp Publishing and it will be out in September, 2011 as an e-book.:)

I'm very excited and so happy to be part of MuseItUp Publishing. My imprint will be MuseItYoung, since my novel is for ages 10-14. Being with this publisher is like joining a large family and I feel so welcome!!! In fact, one of the authors has interviewed me on her blog Sameena's Sphere's Blog

Being with MuseItUp is like opening a door onto a scene where this family is sitting around a table and everyone is talking at once!! But you are so frustrated because everyone has so much to say!!! I am hoping to learn more about each author by the time my book is published.:) It's a whole new world and I am loving it.:)

So now that I'm going to be published my husband decided it was finally time to read my book. Now anyone who knows me knows that nothing I do is ever easy. Printing the entire manuscript wasn't easy either. At first we tried to print it at home, but our printer couldn't take it and had a paper jam after about thirty pages. So I went to the computer room they have here in my apartment building and wouldn't you know it, they didn't have the printer there anymore! It was out for repair. So my daughters and I decided to go to Kinko's to get it printed there from the computer. I had put it in a website for safekeeping and we tried to print it from there. But it didn't work. It wouldn't print. So we tried again and again and it wouldn't print. So then we were told we could email it to Kinko's from their computer and we did that. But when it was printed it had a weird gray column taking up about half of the paper and the font was too small. Thank goodness one of the Kinko's employees knew how to fix that and we were able to print all 217 pages.:) Phew!!! Now at least the whole manuscript is in print form and also saved on the Apple site.

Guest Author Sandro Isaack

1. In your bio it says you are a native of Brazil. Where in Brazil did you live?

I grew up in Rio de Janeiro. I lived there most of my life, but from the ages of 18 to 20, I lived between Rio and Sao Paulo.

2. What made you decide to leave Brazil and come to the United States?

I was awarded a scholarship to get my BFA in Texas. After that I was accepted at the Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard, where I got my MFA before moving to NYC to act.

3. Your bio says you moved to New York and became an actor. What kinds of jobs did you get while you were an actor?

I did mostly theater, and voice overs. I got a couple of small parts on TV and film, and in theater I got meatier parts doing Shakespeare, and a few new plays.

4. Please describe why you decided to quit acting.

I didn't decide to quit. In 2008 I was suddenly mute for nearly 11 months due to my vocal cords being paralyzed. After my silent period was gone and I could finally talk, I then had to do vocal therapy for a few months. I'm all healthy now, and believe me, I can talk - a lot.

5. Why did you decide to start writing?

As I couldn't speak, I started writing and drawing to tell stories to my goddaughter, nieces and nephew. That's when I realized that being a story teller was what I'd always wanted to be. Especially telling stories to kids - there was something about telling stories to the ones who don't set limits for their imaginations. If they don't like the story, the honest criticism is loud and immediate. However, if they like it, it's a never ending joy.

6. Would you please tell our listeners your writing process?

I'm very new at this, and still discovering my process, but I'd have to say that, if I do have a little bit of a process, it's based on images. I draw these characters, and then they tell me their stories. The stories happen as a sequence of scenes that I need to be able to see, and together they need to tell a story. It's hard though, when I see a scene that I really like, but it disrupts the flow of the story. Well, I keep them in a box with all the other scenes and characters I couldn't use anyway.

7. What made you decide to write Stork, M.I.A.?

I had just seen a Pixar movie called "Partly Cloudy", which tells the story of where the storks get the babies from. I love Pixar, and with this movie it was no different....but I got a little frustrated, and couldn't understand why it was so hard for so many adults, to honestly tell kids, where babies come from. That's when it occurred to me that I could use that character with a different purpose, to make peace with the stork.

It doesn't matter where you're from, who your parents are or aren't, if you have parents or not, what color you are... whatever the case, we all have a stork, and that makes us equal. I think it's necessary to provide kids with as much as we can to help them feel that they belong.

8. Your book is an unusual PB for ages 3-6. Would you please give a brief synopsis of your story?

STORK M.I.A. is the first volume of a planned self-published children's book series (Dad Dad Mom Mom). The book follows the story of Dad and Dad, who were tired of waiting for the Stork, and decided to find her and ask for a baby. They search for the Stork around the world, with the help of Mom and Mom, turning this story into an adventure, rather than a didactic book for children of same gender couples.

There's a large number of children reading mostly books from "borrowed" universes. Dad Dad Mom Mom intends to create a universe for these children - their own universe in which the main characters happen to be same gender couples and their kids.

Dad Dad Mom Mom has no political agenda. It was created for the children and to ease communication between same-gender couples and their children. Also a good tool to help heterosexual parents educate their children about a current matter.

Although I say the book is for 3-6 year olds, it is a book for everybody. I've seen people of all ages giggle while reading it.

9. Would you please describe the path to publication for Stork M.I.A.?

When my voice came back, and my health got better, I realized that I had a book that was ready and needed to be seen by many families. But I knew how I wanted the book to be, and due to the subject matter I was afraid that, if I went to a publishing house, I'd have to edit the story or illustrations for commercial purposes. I don't mind editing if it is to tell a better story, but not to make it more commercial - at least not with this book. I did some research on self-publishing, and then started to do it through

10. While I was reading your book I noticed you used Dad and Dad and Mom and Mom to describe the couples. What made you decide to leave out heterosexual couples?

I didn't really leave the heterosexual couples out. They appear a couple of times, but they are not main characters. I didn't decide to do it that way, but I started telling the story from the point of view of the "outsiders", and as this was the first book, I wanted to introduce the main characters of the series.

11. What have you decided to do to market this book? Do you have any book signings planned?

My marketing experience was one of discovery. I had never done anything like this before, and thought that the hard work would be the creation and production phases, but I was wrong. Being a first time self-published author/illustrator, also means no previous public history (credibility). Therefore, making media coverage tougher, and more expensive. As I didn't have much funding, I had to rely on free media, and on being creative. There were a lot of things I wish I knew before the book release, but the most important would have been to start promoting at least six months prior to release date. It was surprising how long it can take to have your e-mails answered, and how quickly news become old.

I did, however, send some hundreds of e-mails to the basic magazines and newspapers that talk about books and children, to schools, but I also did some research on how to reach the LGBT community, specially same gender couples with kids.

I looked for events and conventions to show the book and talk to people, and I always walk with postcards of the book, and a couple of copies in my bag. I think it's important to be creative, and never be afraid to promote a product you believe in. I talk to everybody about the book.

Luckily these days we have Facebook, Twitter, and the opportunity of having websites and blogs.

I'm reading and signing at the Family Matters Workshop, in Philly on October 16th. The info is at
(Sorry Philly residents that you didn't know about this in time.)

12. Do you have any WIPs on which you are working? Are there any other books that are scheduled for publication?

I'm currently working on the second book of the series, and on other two series - one about a little vegetarian vampire girl, called: Lugosi Elementary School for Not So Scary Monsters, and another about a Brazilian mango who travels the world in search of new adventures and the perfect dessert, called The Worldly Adventures of Emilia Manga.

13. Please give our listeners the links where they can find your book and more information about you., and they can also join the Dad Dad Mom Mom on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Thank you for being a guest author, Sandro, and I am looking forward to your being my guest on our November show, which will be moved to Tuesday this month due to it being Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November. I will be hosting Sandro Isaack and Donald Hagelberg, who is a multi-published poet, on Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages. I will give the exact date when it is certain. Be sure to tune in on Blog Talk Radio to hear the show. You can also hear it in the archives if you miss it live.:)

Also I am giving away a free copy of Stork,MIA to the lucky winner of the drawing. All you need to do is leave a comment or question here and you will be in it. The book is bright and colorful and fun for ages 3-6.

Until the next time, thank you to my new follower and thank you to all the people who continue to read my meanderings.:) Check out the new links to Blogs I Follow. They are my fellow Muse authors.:) Also, I am going to post my latest poems probably tomorrow.


  1. "Great post, very useful for a beginner like me"

  2. hi Barbara, and Sandro
    Great interview and lots of information Sandro. Hope all goes well with the book. Sounds like it has a place in our society now.
    I love the idea of a mango going on an adventure.
    Barbara, the dramas of printing out a novel are just about endless. I have had so many disasters. And the cost isn't negligable either.
    Great post. Thanks for sharing.
    Your radio show is terrific too!

  3. Jo,
    Very glad that this post could help you. I'll check out your blog too.

  4. Thank you, Barbara, for introducing us to Sandro! What a wonderful bounce-back from losing his voice. I had a similar experience years ago and thought all I could do was sing. That's when I caught my writing bug.

    Sandro's Dad and Dad and Mom and Mom is a valuable lesson for parents. I'm an LGBT ally for most of my life, and our daughter is lesbian, as are her legally married aunts in Sacramento.

    I think when you grow up as I did, as my daughter did, knowing gender identity doesn't define who you are as a person (writer, poet, singer, accountant, whatever); it's simply part of who you are. But society makes that tough.

    Thanks. I'm glad I have another tool to educate parents in our churches about what love really is - unconditional.

    Amy Barlow Liberatore

  5. Amy,
    Thank you for your comment and I agree that the idea of showing a non-traditional family group helps to make it seem more normal. It's wonderful that this option is now available for parents who would like to explain this idea to their young children.

    As for Sandro, I am thrilled to be sharing this beautiful picture book and I hope that one of the people who commented here will win it.:)

  6. Great blog! I'm your new follower from YALitChat.
    I hope you'll follow back.
    Mayra's Secret Bookcase

  7. Mayra,
    Thank you for visiting and so glad you enjoyed my blog!
    I'm happy you decided to follow me and going over to check out your blog:) Also you now have a chance to win a free copy of Sandro's book!

  8. What a delightful premise. Sandro has a real winner, I'm sure. Best of luck.

  9. Dear Barbara

    As usual a wonderful interview.
    Kudos to Sandro on a wonderful title .. Stork MIA and a series geared to a target audience of "little people" who may not always see their families reflected in a way that is not didactic. CONGRATULATIONS SANDRO... BTW the illustrations are delightful. Going to make it my business to get a copy of this book as soon as possible!

  10. Wow, it must have been scary for you to be mute for almost a year, Sandro. But look at the good that came from that experience - now you're an author! I love blessings in disguise. All best to you with your book.

  11. Thank you all so much for the nice comments. It makes me happy to see that this community is so warm and welcoming.
    Sandro Isaack

  12. Thank you, Sandro, for your beautiful book and your interview.:) Tonight is the last moment that anyone can comment and I will do the drawing for your book then. Good luck to all of you who have commented.


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