Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Like Silverstein & Dahl? Then You'll LOVE Rolli!

In a literary world full of zombies and vampires (which of course is a lot of fun), sometimes we want to read a classic, whether it's a traditional fairy tale like Cinderella or a fantasy like James and the Giant Peach. Many people wish there were more authors out there who told stories in these whimsical, creative ways--well there is. And his name is Rolli.

DR. FRANKLIN'S STATICY CAT AND OTHER UNBELIEVABLE TALES is a collection of high-energy, fun short stories for kids published by Knowonder. There's a cat that helps invent static electricity and another that helps invent perfume. There's a tiger with an elevator in its stomach, and an elephant that sucks up the world. Below is a short conversation with the author.

When did you discover you had a “sense of fiction?”

Hmm. I remember crossing out paragraphs and sometimes pages of books and rewriting them, dissatisfied, when I was very young. It was probably somewhere around that time.

Your writing style reminds me of Shel Silverstein. What are some of your favorite children’s authors/books? What types of books do you like to read as an adult?

Well, I like Lewis Carroll, Roald Dahl, L. Frank Baum, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Hans Christian Andersen, all the old fairy tale stuff. I still read those, you know. On the adult side of the coin, Ray Bradbury, Agatha Christie, T.S. Eliot, Dickens, Shakespeare, Hawthorne, Poe. It’s a crowded coin.

What inspired some of these stories, such as “Dr. Franklin’s Staticy Cat” and “Jemma’s Castle”?

It’s a good question, only – I can never remember! I write lots of things. My habit is to drink lots of coffee and write as much as possible. I don’t generally remember where an idea came from. Plus, I’m absent-minded.

How would you describe your writing process? What must you always have while writing?

Well, I drink coffee and write. Therefore, I MUST ALWAYS HAVE COFFEE. That’s really it. Oh – and a soft, velvet cushion.

Do you have a favorite story from this collection? If so, why?

I like “Handsome and Pretzel” because people keep telling me it’s the funniest, and a writer does like to be complimented from time to time. It’s a welcome change, believe me.

Please provide a favorite excerpt from your book.

You can read an excerpt from “Handsome and Pretzel” here.

Where can readers find you and your book?

You can find Dr. Franklin’s Staticy Cat at,,, Barnes & Noble and Chapters/Indigo locations. If it’s an autographed copy you’re after, you’ll have to visit the Rolli Shop.

And me? Well, you can find me wherever coffee is brewing.

Rolli is a writer, illustrator and cartoonist hailing from Canada. He's the author of God's Autobio (short stories), Plum Stuff (poems/drawings), Dr. Franklin's Staticy Cat (children's stories) and four forthcoming titles for adults and children. Visit his website - - and follow his epic tweets @rolliwrites.
Thank, Rolli! I encourage everyone to check out DR. FRANKLIN'S STATICY CAT. I guarantee you'll find a new favorite story and that you will LAUGH!
--KSR Writer

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Tips for Authors in the New Year

Happy New Year! Is it just me, or does each year seem to go by quicker than the last? It can make you feel like you didn't get everything accomplished you wanted to. I bet you got more done than you think. But the cold long month of January is a great time to make a plan for trying new things in the upcoming year. And there's no shortage of social media sites, events, and marketing tools out there. Most authors are just trying to find time to keep up with their writing. But, exploring one or two new options is always a good idea.

Here are a few things you might try in 2014 to help your writing career. Even if they don't  produce huge results, each little step you take adds up in the long run.

  • if you have a blog and are on Twitter, then give Triberr a try. It's a great way to instantly tweet about your tribe member's blogs and they in turn tweet about yours. Your exposure will increase exponentially.
  • a free site where authors can submit their books and readers "compete" to get free copies of them by sharing about your book.
  • A site with more than 2 million subscribers that allows readers to receive daily book deals. If you have a published ebook with good reviews, check this out.
  • Author Co-op: Partner with a few other authors in your area to create an author marketing co-op. There are more opportunities than one author can attend by themselves in a year, but if you and a few others divide them up and each take one another's books and market them together, you can increase your exposure (and it will give you more time to write!)
  • Be a mentor: If you've published a book, you have valuable insight into the process that many other writers are looking for. Let your local librarians, teachers, and independent book store owners know you are available to  help other authors. It's also a great way to speak to book clubs that often meet at those venues.
  • Be a teacher: There are a lot of people out there who want to write, either professionally or just for fun. Either way, you can help hone their skills. Offer a writing course at your local library or school for adults (or for kids if you want). It'd be a great way to get your name out in the community.
Please share any ideas you have that authors can do in 2014. Happy New Year and Happy Writing!

--KSR Writer