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Please tell me a bit about yourself.
My name is Nichole and I am a paramedic and author from Toronto, Ontario. I love animals, reading, and writing. I have been a paramedic for 5 years, and I had my first book published this year! I write for an online publication to raise awareness on first-responder mental health and PTSD. I am currently working on publishing my second children's book.
What inspired the premise of Fluffy the Hairless Cat and the Midnight Mouse Mission? How did this story come to be?
My children's book series, Fluffy the Hairless Cat, was inspired by my beautiful sphynx, Fluffy. He was more than my pet... He was my soulmate. Unfortunately, on December 9th, 2020, at only 3 years old, Fluffy passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly from a cardiac defect called, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). I wrote this book to bring my Fluffy to life, to honour him, and to raise money and awareness for HCM research. This is a cause I now hold close to my heart.
Tell me more about Fluffy.
Fluffy had a human-like personality. He was very clumsy, silly, playful, cuddly, filled with all emotions, and hilarious. He had big blue beautiful eyes. He was my everything. He was so precious to me. My heart and world are shattered by his absence. I miss him more than anything. I was so lucky to have him in my life.
I know this story is quite personal for you—what else about this book makes it important right now?
This story is not only personal to me because of my Fluffy, but because it raises awareness and donations for HCM research. This cause is very important because advancing HCM research can and will save our pets lives.
What do you hope children and parents take away from this story?
This story follows my sphynx, Fluffy, as he goes on a midnight mouse mission to catch the sneaky house mouse, Arnold. This story captures Fluffy's silliness, clumsiness, and determination to go after what he wants. Through action, humour and adventure, Fluffy teaches both children and adults to recognize what you value most in life. We often forget the importance of appreciating what we already have... This is what I hope both children and adults can take away from my book.
What scene from the book is your favourite, and why?
I love the scene where Fluffy gets stuck in the railing of the stairs. The illustrations, by Kristina Dutton, in this scene are funny and adorable. I find this part of the book quite humorous because it is so true. Fluffy would often get his big behind stuck in the railing of our home stairs. He would call out to me with multiple "meows" in the middle of the night for me to come save him. I think he thought he was fit and thin, when really, he ate one too many treats!
Don't stop now! There's more interview to read...
Such a fun counting book!
Kim Ann’s “Ten Little Sandpipers” provides opportunities for kids to learn counting (through the numbered verses, AND by counting crabs!), and fun facts on sandpipers! Nejla Shojaie’s adorable illustrations will charm children and parents alike. And I love the activities included in the back—another counting game, those sandpiper facts I mentioned, and you can download the accompanying song via the QR code. So much fun all bundled into one picture book!
Set your child’s imagination upon the high seas…better known as bathtime!
Your child’s next bathtime imagination adventure will very likely be inspired by this spirited rhyming book! So many different adventurous scenarios and fun animals are included to delight young readers and bedtime listeners who will surely find that baths suddenly become more fun. Don’t miss the activity at the back of the book!
Nicole G. Webster's Fluffy the Hairless Cat and the Midnight Mouse Mission is a truly delightful picture book filled with fun humour!
The game of cat and mouse continues between a Sphynx cat and a mouse named Arnold in a modern setting. Fluffy plots and plans his mission to catch the mouse that keeps stealing the family's cheese, but Arnold is two steps ahead of him, mocking and teasing.
This is a story for kids (and their parents!) who love or have ever loved a pet. The people who feel their pets are an integral part of the family. And I love Fluffy's decision about what's more important right at the end of the story...I'll leave that bit for you to find out for yourself.
The illustrations by Kristina Dutton are beautiful and adorable all at once. I absolutely love her style. The whole book is so well designed.
There's also some information after the story about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which is a deadly but common cardiac defect in the Sphynx and several other cat breeds. Dr. Kate Meurs's HCM Research Laboratory at North Carolina State University is mentioned, and donations are encouraged. A very worthy cause!
Look for my interview with Nicole G. Webster coming September 14th!
I interviewed the creators of the "Ghost Town Killer" podcast series! Let's welcome director Jeremy Lutter and writer/producer Marcy Waughtal...
This is strictly all about Ghost Town Killer...and maybe a little bit about their short film, Giltrude's Dwelling.
Join us again on Halloween for the FULL interview!
Check out Ghost Town Killer at ghosttownkiller.com!
I love to read (and write) children's books about imagination, so I was very pleased to read this adorable picture book by Kristen Hokstad-Myrzyri. Daria Shamolina's colourful and sweet illustrations make it easy for children to see how your imagination can be used to make even the most mundane chore a fun game. Also, not a bad set of strategies for parents to turn dull tasks into something fun for the kids to do! And there are some great comprehension questions for the kids after the story, so there's a nice educational component as well.
Find “Kate the Kitty Beats Boredom”, as well as the other Kate the Kitty books on Amazon:
Thank you, Kathleen, for joining me!
Thank you for inviting me to participate in your children’s author interview series!
To begin with, please tell me a bit about yourself.
Although I have always enjoyed reading and writing, it wasn’t until my early sixties that I published my first children’s book, HIGH IN THE SKY, about a young, energetic child who hops onto a tire swing and flies off on many wild, imaginary adventures. I always dreamed of one day publishing a children’s book that would be available in Toronto Public Library. Well, that was in 2015 and since then, I have self-published three more picture books - FOR NO REASON about positive bullying solutions, THE WISH CARVERS, a whimsical folktale about being grateful, and BATHTIME FUN!, an imaginative, rhyming, tugboat adventure. My first three books have been acquired by libraries across Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and I hope Bathtub Fun! will be available in libraries soon too.
Following high school and college, I worked as a contributing Associate Editor for a Toronto community magazine with a circulation of 35,000. This magazine was available in schools, libraries, hospitals, churches, businesses, and many other local spots. I wrote poetry, feature articles about talented people in my Toronto neighbourhood, and was in charge of the Focus on the Arts pages. During this time, I also wrote a bi-weekly arts column for the Etobicoke Guardian newspaper. I loved knocking on the doors of people I hadn’t met yet and writing articles about their talents, hobbies, interest groups, and events.
At that time, there were no photocopiers, emails, or computers. I typed my stories on an electric typewriter using carbon paper for copies, and drove my articles to the magazine and newspaper offices. Magazine text was printed on large galley sheets and we literally cut and pasted articles, ads, and photos into place on each page before it was sent back to the printer for mass production.
After that, I worked 29 years for the Toronto District School Board, first as a school secretary and finally as a special education teacher’s assistant. I retired in 2017 and since then have had more time to read, travel the world, write and pursue lots of other interests.
One of the activities I currently enjoy is volunteering with IBBY Canada’s Readers and Refugees Program. I read books to children who have just arrived in Canada from other countries who may not speak or read much English yet.
Keep reading! There's more interview!
“Dog Band” has been reviewed by CM: Canadian Review of Materials, and is Highly Recommended (4 stars out of 5)!
“Dog Band” has been reviewed by CM: Canadian Review of Materials, and is Highly Recommended (4 stars out of 5)!
About CM: CM: Canadian Review of Materials is published weekly from September through June and is an all-volunteer online publication that features reviews of books and other materials that are authored, illustrated, and/or published by Canadians and that are produced for/of interest to children and adolescents. CM's reviewers are teachers, teacher-librarians, public librarians, and university professors who have an interest and expertise in materials for juveniles. CM's contents are of great interest to those who are seeking evaluative comments to assist them in making personal or institutional purchases of Canadian books or other materials for juveniles.
Excerpt of the review: “...Dog Band is dense with information about animal names, with pronunciations included, and genres of music, with a description of each type of music and the instruments usually associated with that genre. The text is rich with musical vocabulary, such as, “lick on his guitar”, “ditty on a saxophone”, “key with a trill”, and “bluesy riff on the harmonica.”
Children will enjoy reading Dog Band or having it read to them. The illustrations and the text will encourage many questions from the reader as the topics are dealt with briefly and each topic could be explored much further. This book could be used to introduce music concepts and also for unit of study about animals, including pets.”
Check out the full review and reviewer here: https://www.cmreviews.ca/node/2407
To begin with, please tell me a bit about yourself—your background in writing for children and in other genres and/or other fields.
I am from the Minneapolis area of Minnesota in the United States- born and raised. My husband Will and I live outside of Minneapolis with our 2 kids Cami and Wyatt. I am a teacher and have taught everything from kindergarten-8th grade. I self published my first children's book in 2018. Since then, I have started my own publishing company, Hop Off the Press LLC, and have self published 7 more books in my series Cami Kangaroo and Wyatt Too. I am currently working on a new series called Young Change Makers!
What inspired the premise of your overall Young Change Makers series of books? How did this idea come about? And if you’re able to go into a bit more detail about what each of the books is about, that would be great!
It's been on my heart to do something where I would showcase kids doing amazing things in a series for a while now. Last winter, I had the idea to reach out to actual kids and feature them in a new book. I believe these stories will inspire and bring hope to others. I originally was only going to write one book, but I kept finding kids to feature so it's turned into 7 books, each featuring 12 kids. The kids help animals, people and the environment in different ways.
Where did you find these amazing kids to showcase?
I searched specific Instagram hashtags and created a graphic that said I was looking and posted it on social media.
Why do you feel it’s particularly important right now to feature these children making change?
The world can be a stressful, negative place. With everything that's been going on with COVID and other things on the news, people can get pretty depressed and sad. When I read about these kids I'm featuring, I am filled with hope and joy. I hope they inspire others like they have for me! They give me hope for the future.
Do you hope this inspires other children to strive and dream?
Yes! And not only children. I think they inspire adults too- it's never too late to follow your dreams.
What was the most challenging part of writing/creating this particular story?
All of the moving parts of a nonfiction book! There's me: the author, researcher and publisher. Then there's my illustrator, my formatter, my cover designer, my interior designer, the parents/families, my editors, my printer, my beta readers, my FB group, my launch team, my PR team and MORE! It's crazy!