Friday, May 2, 2014

Interview Friday with Lisa S. Roberts, author of a 29-book adventure for children


Lisa S. Roberts, author of a 29-book adventure for children, middle school age. 

Back to the Basics with Aydan & Addy – “Leadership with Abraham Lincoln” (Tate Publishing) kicks off this series, which is both historical and magical, with leadership mentor, President Abraham Lincoln.
The series features best friends, Aydan and Addy, being led by a different Spiritual Mentor in each magical adventure.
Tremendous research has gone into each book, with Roberts studying the actual lives and historical legacy of the “spirit mentors” in each book.
“There are so many challenges we face in America today, and life in general,” the author says. “I thought for a long time about the importance of getting back to basics and teaching some fundamental values to children through a series of fun and adventurous stories.”
The character Aydan is modeled after Roberts’ own young grandson and Addy is named for the granddaughter of a family friend.

VS: I want to thank you for being my guest here on The Writing Mama today Lisa.
How long have you been writing?   

Lisa: I have been writing as long as I can remember.  As a student, I won writing contests for the “Voice of Democracy” sponsored by the state Veteran’s Society, local poetry contests etc… In my professional life, I wrote business manuals and instructional marketing pieces as well.  My sisters and I were a singing group, Emerald Eyes, since childhood and I wrote songs as well.  I have always enjoyed reading and writing.  Short stories are my favorite to read.


VS: What inspired you to write your book (if this is a personal story about you, please share about the decision to open up about your life)? 

Lisa: I am a Mother, Grandmother, Educator, and concerned American Citizen.  Along with many other Americans I have become increasingly worried about the moral compass, work ethics and values of our youth.  This has concerned me deeply for quite some time.  Take a look at our headlines, talk to others who work with children and you will hear a similar mantra, they too are concerned about where America’s youth is heading.  I have dreamt of this book series for a couple of years now.  I have had conversations with Abe Lincoln in these dreams and many of the other characters within the stories.  I consider this series a book a mission.  A mission that could give our young children their own voice and discussion forum on how they can get America’s fundamental and founding values back on track and intact through the inspiration of two eleven year old children from Brenham, Texas!

VS: What is a typical writing day like for you?     

Lisa: Due to owning and managing a small home care and concierge business, caring for a very small farm and caring for my mother who is terminally ill, I write late into the evening hours or in the early morning hours.  This allows me quiet time to think, create and research the characters that live among the pages of the book series. 

VS: Is your family supportive of your writing?   

Lisa: Yes, my family is very supportive of my writing.  The book series is based on many factual stories of my childhood growing up in Brenham, Texas.  My family likes to see their names within the pages as well.  They too are behind a push of bringing back family values etc…

VS: If this isn’t your first publication, what was the first thing you ever had published? 

Lisa: Yes, this is my first publication.  So very exciting!

VS: Can you share with us a little about your current book(s)? 

Lisa: In the “Back to the Basics with Aydan & Addy” series of books, God is deeply concerned about the moral compass of today’s youth, He uses historical figures, called Spirit Mentors, to assist and teach Aydan and Addy the fundamentals and basics of what America was built upon such as; having a good moral character, strong work ethics, close, loving and supportive family units, kindness, self-sufficiency, patriotism, respect of others and oneself, forgiveness and allegiances to God, fellow man, community and country, just to name a few.  The Spirit Mentors descend upon the two “chosen” eleven year old best friends from the small town of Brenham, Texas.  They are to guide them through a maze of current moral dilemmas plaguing America in the year 2014.  With the help of the Spirit Mentors, a supernatural moral compass, a Blue Heeler dog called “Leopard Girl”, a blessed garden hoe and a little red robin; Aydan and Addy travel across America by way of an old steam engine train.  They travel to fifty-five American cities where they will sponsor town hall meetings that will bring forth great discussions and planning on what each individual can do to bring into fruition the positive changes needed to get back to the basics of America’s founding values. The best friends change the course of history for the United States of America. They were warriors in many ways. Perhaps you too can be a warrior in your own life—in your day. Allow me to start at the very beginning—this is their story, your story, America’s story…  All Aboard!

VS: What did you find to be the most challenging part of writing your book(s)?   

Lisa: Being a Mom, a Teacher and a Grandmother, I have a tendency to become a bit too “preachy”, a bit didactic.  I have to be careful to let the characters say what I want to say or convey through their actions in the story and not by always “telling”.  I try to do more “showing” of a story line. 

VS: What part of your book do you feel really stands out to you personally?

Lisa: Personally I feel young readers can become better stewards and citizens of/in their own lives and of America’s future by building today with yesterday’s essentials and also borrowing from yesterday to improve upon today.  Hopefully this series of books will speak to their adventurous minds and hearts and they will use the basic and natural essentials and wise practices of yesteryear and intertwine them productively with today’s lifestyles.  With all of this in mind, I believe the book series will inspire children to have these tough conversations with one another about the important subject matters discussed in each book and will move them into action to really make a difference daily in matters such as; having a good moral character and fiber, close, loving and supportive family units, strong work ethics, self-reliance and self-sufficiency, respect for others and oneself, fairness, justice, kindness, forgiveness, patriotism, and allegiances to God, fellowman, community and country, just to name a few.  Aydan and Addy, the main characters in the book series, will take the young readers on adventures all throughout America via an old steam engine.  Through these adventures they will learn more about themselves, others and their beloved America. 

VS: What character is most like you?   

Lisa: Both of the children, Aydan and Addy, are most like me.  I remember being 11 and 12 quite vividly and the things they say and think are very much like how I was at those ages. 

VS: What event do you feel was the turning point to your story?    

Lisa: Even though this book series is fictional, it is based on true life events.  A turning point was seeing the lack of respect for self and for others, waning patriotism in our school systems, declining personal and family values and morals, and good work ethics among our youth.  My concern for the above subjects mentioned, catapulted me into writing this book series. 

VS: Do you have any other works in progress? Can you share a little about them? 

Lisa: Yes, this first book, “Back to the Basics with Aydan and Addy / Leadership with Abraham Lincoln”, is part of a 26 – book series.  I hope to have the second book out this summer of 2014, “Back to the Basics with Aydan and Addy / Discover your Inner Pioneer and Adventurer with Lewis and Clark along with Sacagawea.  Other books will include; “Back to the Basics with Aydan and Addy / Patriotism with President, George Washington”, “Back to the Basics with Aydan and Addy/Equal Rights with Martin Luther King”, “Back to the Basics with Aydan and Addy/Allegiance with Dwight D. Eisenhower”, “Back to the Basics with Aydan and Addy/Animal Care with James Herriot”, just to name a few. 

VS: What tips can you give writing parents with children at home to help them see publication? 

Lisa: Never give up!  There will be days when you cannot write a single word due to time constraints or writer’s block.  Never give up!  On harried days such as these, carry a little writing notebook wherever you go and jot down story ideas that come to mind and refer to them later.  Get plenty of rest, when you canJ, eat properly and plan on burning the midnight oil at least one night per week. Your publication will come to fruition.  Never ever give up!!!! 

VS: What do you think are the basic ingredients of a good book? 

Lisa: 
a.        Showing not telling
b.      Involving all of the senses throughout the book
c.       Being honest, and being vulnerable.
d.      Don’t rush an important and pivotal scene
e.       Have interesting and believable characters that people can relate to


VS: What do you feel as parents we need to do to help our children see success?

Lisa:  
a.        Listen, listen and listen some more
b.      Promote your child’s dreams and aspirations and not your/our own
c.       Be the role model of the kind/type of person you want your child to become
d.      Love them, love them and love them some more
e.       Keep balance in their lives with school, extra-curricular activities, nutrition and exercise
f.       Show them how being compassionate and helping others not only helps others, but themselves and the world as well. 
g.      Make time for your children and play!




VS: Where can the readers of The Writing Mama find out more about and your writing?

Lisa: Order the series’ first book, “Back to the Basics with Aydan and Addy/Leadership with Abraham Lincoln”, online today at https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781630638412".  Books will be available in book stores near you and on www.Amazon.com, www.barnesandnobles.com, and aydanandaddy.com on March 4, 2014.
If you are interested in selling the “Back to the Basics with Aydan and Addy”, book series in your retail establishment; please contact Tate Publishing’s Sales Manager, Candace Carter at (405)310-1379.
VS: Any other links or info you'd like to share?

Visit Aydan and Addy at:   http://www.aydanandaddy.com
Write to Aydan and Addy at:   Aydan and Addy / P.O. Box 485 / Liberty Hill, Texas 78642
Email Aydan and Addy at:  aydanandaddy@gmail.com
Facebook with Aydan and Addy at:  www.facebook.com/AydanandAddy

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