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Meet the Author of “Stories by Mee” Book Series. Nicky Mee

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Nicky Mee is a Children’s Picture Book author from Sydney, Australia. Nicky Mee has been a primary school teacher for 15 years and have 2 wonderful daughters aged 2 and 4, and an amazing and supportive husband who encouraged her to  turn her stories into books for all children around Australia and other parts of the world to share and relate to. Picture books in “Stories by Mee” series are filled with plenty of Australian themes, touches on themes such as resilience, curiosity, love, family and friendships. 

Did you always wanted to be a children’s book author?

Since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved writing poems and stories and have never stopped writing. I’ve been writing about what I know best, and that is my family. ‘Hooroo, ta-ta, bye-bye’ is told through the perspective of my daughter and how she sees the world. It focuses on her saying goodbye to all the little things in her life and realising that it’s only goodbye for now and not forever.

Who has encouraged you to write your very first book?

I have had a lot of support from my husband, Brad, who has encouraged and motivated me to turn my stories into books for all children around Australia and other parts of the world to share and relate to. I decided to make this into a series (Storiesbemee) as there is only so much you can fit into one book and I am currently working on my 3rd book with Ana from Mosherino, which should be available in the next few months.

What was the biggest challenge you faced along the way?

Due to the lockdowns and Covid restrictions last year, my launch day for my first book had been postponed and I had to rely heavily on social media to promote my book and get it into as many households as possible to use as a reading resource.

What part of writing children stories have you come to appreciate the most?

I have come to appreciate the hard work that goes into creating something that can be physically held in your hands once you have accomplished your goals, and also how other children can relate to the story and rely on it as a bedtime story to bond with their loved ones.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Keep writing and never give up. Take one day at a time and always give out positive vibes to the universe that you will succeed.

What’s on your nightstand? Any books?

When it comes to Children’s Picture Books, my favourite author is Pamela Allen- I read her stories to my girls all the time- Fav- who sank the boat, Mr McGee goes to the zoo/and the big bag of bread/ and the biting flea. Matt Cosgrove- Author and illustrator of variety of books such as Macca the Alpacca, Alpaccas with Marracas.

When did you write your very first children story?

I have always written short stories and many poems since I was little, however, none of them came to life until ‘Hooroo, ta-ta, bye-bye’ which was inspired by my eldest daughter, Courtney.

What do you wish you’d have known starting out as an author?

I have loved the learning journey from where I started to where I am now. From finding an outstanding illustrator (Ana!) and an editor who attends to detail, to self-marketing and visiting Childcare centres to do book reads.

What inspires your work?

My family, especially my daughters, have inspired me to create the amazing books that are now available to everyone. My husband is my rock and has encouraged me to become an author and turn my stories into books.

What sparked the idea for the series “Stories by me”?

I believe that it’s an obvious thing that having an interesting surname of ‘Mee’ would be great to have as a business name for my Children’s book series, ‘Stories By Mee’. I feel that it’s memorable and definitely relates to the stories and my family.

Which five words do you feel best describe Stories by Mee?

  • Relatable
  • Positive
  • Heart-felt
  • Comforting
  • Easy-to-read

Why do you think your books make an excellent addition to a child’s library?

I feel that because these books are so relatable to a child between the ages of 0-8, it would make an excellent addition to their own book collection. Stories By Mee books also have rhyming, repetition and always end on a happy note. They touch on themes such as family, friendship, love, resilience and acceptance, curiosity and fun. Any child and their parents/carer would easily bond together during a reading of these books before bedtime each night.

What has been the best reaction from a reader, so far?

A child loved the book SO much (“Hooroo, ta-ta, bye-bye”) that she dressed up as “Courtney Koala” as her character for Book Week at her primary school and her mum sent me a photo of her with a huge smile on her face! She had her face painted, koala ears and her very own ‘bibi’.

Should we expect to see more stories published in Stories by Mee series? Any projects coming up you would like to share with us?

I am currently working on with Ana on my 3rd book which is going to be titled ‘Yay! Yay! Holiday’ and will be released in the next few months. I also have 3-5 more books up my sleeve which will hopefully begin to be available from 2023.

 

Interview with Lara Bury, Author of “A Walk like No Other”

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Lara Bury is an Aussie author, wife, mother of 5, photographer, soccer lover, goal-keeper and business owner at “Just B You” and “Chicks on the Go”. She wanted to publish her children’s picture books for a long time and finally she started her interesting journey as an author. Her first published book is “A Walk Like No Other”, a book full of colour, rhyme, fun, and crazy things.

What she loves about writing for kids is she can really use her imagination. “It doesn’t have to be real in fact the more unreal and different or crazy the better!”,- says Lara. Curently she is working on a new book called Aussie Animal Adventures and the next story in “A Walk Like No Other” series. 

For those who don’t know you, can you introduce yourself?

My name is Lara Bury, My wife and I have been together for 12 years and married for 1. We have 5 children between us, 4 boys still at home Josh 18, Jackson and Nicholas 16 and Flynn 10 and my daughter Keely 21. We have a Cleaning/lawn mowing/Transport business called Chicks on the Go. I’ve been writing stories for years and have quite a few on my computer. In my spare time I love writing, photography and watching the kids play softball and soccer. I grew up playing soccer and only stopped about 5 years ago.

Did you always wanted to be a children’s book author?

Yes, I’ve always wanted to write a children’s picture book and so excited that I’ve actually done that and can’t wait to publish my next book.

What part of writing children stories have you come to appreciate the most?

I love the fact that children’s stories can be quite imaginative. The more out there the better. There are no limitations.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Be patient, everything comes when it’s meant to be.

What’s on your nightstand? Any books?

Yes, I have a book that I read in the 5th grade and it has stayed with me since then. I’m thinking it must mean something that I still have it on my nightstand. I’d love to turn the book into a movie(write the script) as I think it would be a great kids movie. It’s called Master of the Grove by Victor Kelleher and I also have The Barefoot Investor on my nightstand.

When did you write your very first children story?

I wrote my very first children’s story years ago.

What do you wish you’d have known starting out as an author?

I wish I’d known being an author is all about Marketing and how to market your book. Writing is the easy part. Getting Sales isn’t so easy.

What inspires your work?

Imagination inspires my work. Watching my kids play at a young age inspired me to write.

What sparked the idea for A Walk Like No Other?

The idea of A Walk Like No Other came to me after wondering what fun and crazy things could one girl see on her walk home.

Which five words do you feel best describe A Walk Like no Other?

5 words that best describe A Walk Like No Other are…Fun, Colourful, crazy, adventure, family

Why do you think your books make an excellent addition to a child’s library?

I think the fun, rhyming story line and great illustrations really make this a fabulous book for any child to read or to have read to them.

What has been the best reaction from a reader, so far?

I had a mum and teacher message me saying that the kids really loved the story and grasped the fact that it’s not always about winning that you just have to run your own race. I felt so happy when I heard that.

Should we expect to see more stories published in Saphire and Friends series? Any projects coming up you would like to share with us?

Yes, I’m working on a new book in the same style of A Walk Like No Other but this time Sapphire and her brother Jimmy and his mate Ryder and Miss Claire (Sapphires St Bernard) are out on a treasure hunt! It will be full of fun and adventure, colour and rhyme! I can’t wait to publish this one.

I’m also working on a new book called Aussie Animal Adventures. It’s a fun facts kids book all about Australian Animals and Animals that live here. It’s different in that I’ll be using real photos of the animals and my young son Flynn will be the main character. Joining him will be a cute little illustrated quokka named Quentin.

Check out Lara Bury’s website and books here

Interview with Kellie Carte-Sears, Author of “Moments with Massy” Series

By Interview

YEARS AGO when KELLIE CARTE-SEARS learned her young grandchildren were moving to a different city from where she lived, she decided the best way to assist them with this change was to find a book that would help them embrace their emotions and let them know everything would be okay – a book that would show them moving didn’t have to be so scary but could be fun and adventurous. But she couldn’t find a book that was “real” in a way that her grandchildren would connect. So Kellie went home and wrote her first book “Moving Away Will Be Okay!”. Shortly after, she wrote her second book, “You’re Not Bad, We ALL Get Mad!”.

Newly released in 2020, “Moving Away Will Be Okay!” quickly gained stellar reviews, worldwide sales, and top 10 ranking in the Children’s Christian Emotions and Feelings category while her second publication, “You’re Not Bad, We ALL Get Mad!”, gained the coveted #1 New Release status. The newest book “The Power of a Flower!” , a fun filled entertaining story about determination and teamwork, was published in 2021 September.

For those who don’t know you, can you introduce yourself?

Hello! I am Kellie Carte-Sears, a newly published children’s book author. I have an amazing husband and a daughter who is a grade school teacher. I have three wonderful grandchildren ranging in age from 6-15 years old. They inspired me to write books when I was unable to find a book about moving on the library shelf. While that was many years ago, they are helpful in all aspects of the publishing process today. My fur -child is a 63 pound slobbery bulldog who brings much laughter into our lives. Professionally, I am an entrepreneur; starting, owning and operating multiple businesses over the last 30 years. Recently after selling our businesses, I became semi –retired. With a little more time on my hands, I look forward to writing, substitute teaching, spending more time with family, and traveling.

Did you always wanted to be a children’s book author?

I’ve always enjoyed writing. However, being an author was never on my radar. It wasn’t until I was unable to find a book for my grandchildren, that I decided to write the book myself. At that time, it was specifically for them. After finding my manuscripts 11 years later, tucked away in a file cabinet, I decided that with a little time on my hands, I needed to share the stories with other children and families.

What part of writing children stories have you come to appreciate the most?

I appreciate the reaction from children the most. When a child connects to the story in a positive way and a way that helps them while still being entertained in the process, it results in a memorable experience.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Stop trying to be perfect at everything and enjoy the process.

What’s on your nightstand? Any books?

Since I tend to be a bit of a neat freak, simplicity often rules. I have a lamp and a picture/story that was gifted to me by a dear friend.

When did you write your very first children story?

2009 and published in 2020.

What do you wish you’d have known starting out as an author?

Although it would not have kept me from publishing, I wish I would have known how stressful the entire process was….. again, it’s a self-inflicted perfectionism thing with me.

What inspires your work?

My grandchildren and the desire to help other children while simply bringing smiles to their faces with a bit of fun along the way, inspires me.

What sparked the idea for “Moments with Massy” series?

My oldest granddaughter’s nurturing and caring manner.

Which five words do you feel best describe “Moments with Massy”  series?

Mindful, Insightful, Educational, Relatable, Playful

Why do you think your books make an excellent addition to a child’s library?

The books are timeless and offer social emotional learning in a memorable sometimes silly relatable way.
The positive universal message within each story applies to all children.

What has been the best reaction from a reader, so far?

It’s difficult to choose just one, but if I have to choose, it would be when a young boy with autism read the book live online and said he enjoyed the story. That was priceless.

Should we expect to see more stories published in “Moments with Massy” series? Any projects coming up you would like to share with us?

You can expect more stories in the “Moments with Massy” series in the future.

 Kellie Carte-Sears is offering her books as a way to assist children during life changes and challenges.
Check out her website and “Moments with Massy” book series here