Thursday, October 28, 2010

Author of Muskrat Spring

FINDING YOUR LITERARY POT OF GOLD: Every writer has a rainbow.
Sue Frye’s ‘MUSKRAT SPRING’ published in Bumple Magazine’s 2010’s April issue takes the reader on a frolicking adventure of discovery and fun with a curious muskrat who encounters several wild creatures while searching for spring. Sue is a children’s author, poet & storyteller from North Carolina, Ohio and now West Virginia.
As a West Virginia gal, Sue takes full advantage of her golden opportunity of inspiration amid the exuberant green mountains, deep musky hollows and sometimes muddy rivers that creep along the Guyandot’s smooth, clay banks.

1. How and when did you become a published author?
Finding a publisher and becoming an author took several years of writing and a lot of reading. After many years of disappointments, I met my publisher, Dindy Robinson at a conference. She fell in love with one of my first picture books “Bad Dragonflies” and a few days later, she sent me a contract. I signed with Swimming Kangaroo Books that same week which began a new friendship and the long and very satisfying process of publication.

2. Is it true all of your royalties form “Bad Dragonflies” has been donated by you to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital?
Absolutely. Children are our future. They are the innocent ones -- God love them. It grieves me to see them suffer. St. Jude’s is doing a fabulous job of caring for the children.
I don’t get one penny from my royalties and I’m glad because that means that every time someone buys one of my “Bad Dragonflies” books, the children at St. Jude’s makes the profits. I hope St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital makes a billion dollars. If one child benefits, it will have been worth the effort.

3. What was your most rewarding part of being published?
I feel blessed by all of my friends and acquaintances during my journey to become an author. The whole publishing process was a learning experience. I was thrilled when Swimming Kangaroo Books hired a professional illustrator, Berin Uriegus to do the illustrations and book cover. I consider my publisher, Dindy Robinson a dear friend. She kept me fully informed every step of the way. I was asked for my opinion concerning each and every illustration, I thought that was especially nice of them and very professional.

4. What was the toughest part of writing, Muskrat Spring?
I enjoy writing about animals but I had a hard time deciding which animal to use as my main character in Muskrat Spring. I thought for a long time before deciding which animal would be the most interesting to a child.
Lots of animals roam the mountains of West Virginia. There are large animals like bears and deer. There are cute, quirky animals too. I love the quirky ones and I felt that children would also like to read about them. A few that I considered were opossums, ferrets, ground hogs and muskrats. I chose the latter because -- the muskrat is less written about and there are more plot options available. And also, Muskrats are strange, funny creatures and . . . I like that in my victims. Grin.
5. Can you tell us a little about the steps you took in writing Muskrat Spring?
In the first draft of Muskrat Spring, the main character was a rabbit. After many hours of research and many rewrites, I decided on a muskrat so I tossed the rabbit and did another rewrite. In adding a different animal, I had to change several details so that my story would flow smoothly and the pacing wouldn’t be off. Pacing and flow work hand in hand with the plot. I wanted my picture book to be adventurous and fast paced so I keep my sentences short.

I wanted my story to be interesting so I visualized what a muskrat might eat, besides the usually weeds and twigs. I invented a few morsels that sounded delicious. By adding my personal touch, my story became unique to me. I revised my story for the last time. I then ran the spell checker and the grammar checker and did some necessary cutting which brought the word count down and is always nice for a picture book or short story.
I could finally breathe. I revise my babies several times before I actually kick them out of the nest. Letting go -- isn’t easy.

6. You wrote Muskrat Spring, what next?
Thanks for asking me this question. My works in progress include:
PICTURE BOOKS: The Adventures of Hare’cules, Parrots of the Carribean, Green Explosion, Clickity-Clackity Shoes, A Great Big Horrible Pumpkin.
KINGDOM OF THE ORBS: City of the Mountains -- MG Fantasy complete at 39k.
Thirteen-year-old Olivia sees monsters. In a struggle to learn why, she finds herself in the dark underworld of Trodor. She can’t return home until she restores light to the kingdom by replacing a stolen orb. She sets out in full armor to replace the Crystal Orb of Light but how can she survive when hungry trolls and man-eating horgs lurk everywhere, and . . .

the entire kingdom is shrouded in darkness.
PATH OF THE GOLDEN STAIRS -- YA Fantasy complete at 62k.
When fifteen-year-old Eli finds himself in Yetasia, he is forced to hid from giant Sasquatch that roam freely and giant moles that devour the flesh of whomever they see. Eli can’t go home until he stops the pupit king and restores the kingdom but first he must rescue his comrades who are prisoners of the worst sasquatch of all, Muskhoofe. How will he find his friends inside the fortress of Mount Kahu . . . when it’s being guarded by Muskhoofe and his army?
THE WEEPING -- is a YA Paranormal.
When the new tenants of a haunted mansion are awakened by sobbing, they assume it’s only a ghost, but when the entity zeros in on their baby, they bolt to rid the house of an ancient curse . . . until they discover the entity is demonic -- now how will anyone escape?
SEASONS OF THE FAERY -- a poetry collection.
Trailer for BAD DRAGONFLIES Swimming Kangaroo Books:
DRAGON SOUP: Stories for Children Magazine . If you're interested, you can read it for free at:
MUSKRAT SPRING: Bumples Magazine April 15th 2010.

AN EYEBALL IN MY GARDEN AND OTHER SPIN-TINGLING POEMS is due to be published by Marshall Cavendish on July 15th 2010.
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