Hello and welcome to Author Showcase! I will be featuring different authors & genres each month. I interview each author, and showcase their featured work.
WHY? Simply because I enjoy supporting other Indie Authors every chance I get.
This Month, “Children’s Books” are being featured.
Please welcome my guest, Maretha Botha.
MEET AUTHOR MARETHA BOTHA.
Proud grandmother, happily married for 37 years, retired librarian who writes and illustrates children’s books most suited to readers between 9-13 years; confirmed bookworm, chocoholic and unapologetic coffee drinker, keen gardener and bird watcher, who occasionally walks on the moors, joints permitting.
INTERVIEW WITH MARETHA BOTHA
1. What motivated you to write books for children?
This is a difficult question with no quick answer, but I like to see children happy. When I read to them, their imagination often takes flight. The why’s, how’s and what happens next, make for lively discussions, building more stories. I experienced this with my niece and nephew, and then my own children, as well as at work, having planned reading activities at the school library.
Then too, I carried a lot of stories around in my head, but only after my post as librarian was localised, did I find the time to gather these thoughts together into proper stories.
2. Most children’s books are written to impart life’s lessons to children. Was this your goal?
No, I seldom consider a specific life’s lesson when writing anything for children, but often the character’s choice or actions highlight an important lesson. For example, the working-dog hero in “Flame and Hope” forgets his promise to open the red gate for the goats. He learns a valuable, but painful lesson when a stubborn old goat picks him up with his horns and throws him down on the “WELCOME” rug. Early the next morning, he apologises for barking rudely at an older animal and remembers that, “A PROMISE IS A PROMISE”, no matter what – restoring peace in Fauna Park.
3. What life’s lessons does your work contain?
Apart from the one above, Fauna Park Tales is about living in peace – rescued animals and birds who would not normally be together, live up to their promise to protect helpless or vulnerable ones, often doing so at their own risk. Many of the stories are based on fact – martial eagles’ fledglings removed from their nest, or large birds flying into moving trains at night, how drought effects the lives of everyone living on the savannah – yet both animals, birds and humans learn how to protect the environment, caring for each other – and they always have hope for the next day as their first little motto assures us.
‘HOPE REMAINS ALIVE AND KEEPS OUR FEARS AT BAY.
‘LET’S KEEP OUR HOPE ALIVE FOR MANY A DAY,
‘WHILE IN THE DARKEST NIGHT, OUR HOPE WILL LEAD THE WAY.
4. What was for you the most challenging part of writing for children?
Writing a “true” story within the imaginative world which I created, doing so in language which is clear and understandable, age appropriate, yet enough to still be a challenge – not talking down to them – think of Beatrice Potter describing Squirrel Nutkin as “impertinent”. So, I don’t mind occasionally using words like, ‘Are you a pachyderm?” The word has a nice memorable ring to it as does “conspicuous”, but the challenge is to explain it via the text without changing the story into a grammar lesson.
5. All authors are aware of the need for reviews, yet I imagine an author of books written for children would face an even more challenging time, simply because these are children. Have you found it challenging?
Yes, it has not been easy to persuade adults to write reviews for children’s books. Then too, the way an adult looks at a children’s book might be quite different to how children would view the story. When I review a children’s book, which is more difficult than you might imagine, I always get input from my grandchildren and based on their views, I’ve often changed my review to rather highlight their thoughts and ratings. However, I mention that I read and discussed the story with them.
6. Are you currently working on anything new?
Yes and no. I’m writing the follow-up to book 4 – “Trails and Trials: An African Adventure” which is called, “The Bird Mission”. This will probably tie up everything for the whole of the series, but I might keep the backdoor open and let the villainous poacher, Tall Leader escape . . .
Then too, I’m involved via my blog, researching and writing short stories about small, often lesser-known, wild animals and birds in Southern Africa – especially those who are on the threatened and/or endangered list. I intend to compile an anthology of about twelve short stories when everything is written after a year – definitely a long-term project with illustrations.
TRAILS AND TRIALS: An AFRICAN ADVENTURE (book 4) in Fauna Park Tales Series –
Category: Children’s books>Action and Adventure>Survival Stories (ages 9-13 with illustrations). On pre-order till 18th July 2017
Four trails – one destination – the waterhole closest to the best place to cross the Tukani River into a neighbouring country. This adventure takes Flame and his furry friends on a thrilling, dangerous quest, but they always have hope. Were it not for the help of a meerkat clan, a gripe of sandgrouse and other feathered friends such as Mars, a martial eagle and Vera, an eagle owl, their trail might have had a different outcome. This fast-paced adventure takes place for one week and is told from four different viewpoints, because friends as well as foes race to get to the waterhole, and in striving to do so, experience their own personal adversities and trials.
These illustrated adventure stories will provide endless hours of reading pleasure to better readers who also enjoy seeing some illustrations of the characters, increasing overall reading pleasure. Book Three and Four should ideally be read in sequence and are most suited to readers 9-13 (Middle Grade), but younger listeners will enjoy being read to just as much.
· Book 3. The Orphans’ Plight: An African Adventure Purchase ‘The ORPHANS’ PLIGHT’ On Amazon– Category children’s books>Science, Nature & How it works>Nature>Environment and Animals>Birds This book is discounted to 99p to be bought and read before book 4.
Bad humans are disturbing the peace in Molodi valley, and two small orphans are in danger. One of them, Larita, speaks the bush creatures’ language – Faunalang – a rare and wonderful talent that they want to use. Alone in the desert, who will help them? Young and old will enjoy reading about the furry and feathered friends’ latest thrilling adventures, when Molodi’s bush creatures meet friends and foes in their quest to stick to The Promise to protect helpless ones in Fauna Park. Plump-Grump, the stubborn goat, and his harem do their bit, but what will happen at the farm while Flame and his friends are on a dangerous mission? His Handsomeness, King Rat returns, but is he a friend or foe?
REVIEW:Of The Orphans’ Plight.
Furry and Feathered Friends – Delightful!
5.0 out of 5 stars Furry and Feathered Friends – Delightful! 19 Feb. 2017
By Gracie Bradford, Author on February 18, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The illustrations are different than you see in most children books but effective and very well done. This story is suitable for all ages but primarily written for elementary school age children. Looking forward to book 4 of the series.
Pets take on humans. A delightful story of furry and feathered animals who listen to the strange conversations of people. Everyone, people as well as the furry and feathered friends, join in the search to find the orphans. I haven’t read book 1 and 2 yet but book 3 is definitely a good read.
Thank you for joining me here and meeting my featured author today.
My featured Genre for JULY will be, Mystery/Thriller/Suspense. Are you interested in being featured here in July? Send me an email at Email link
Please include links to the book you would like featured. I will respond with the details of your author interview and other requirements. Each Showcase will run for one month. Beginning the 12th of each month.