Q&A with Brenda Lochinger
When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I have had the writing bug for quite some time. I guess when I was a young girl I started writing down my feeling either in a journal or as poetry. It felt great to write and give my teenage drama an outlet. The passion for writing children's books came from my life experience with my children and all the fun the kids and I have reading and making up stories.
Tell us about your latest or upcoming release.
I am working on the illustrations for my next book and hope to have it out at the end of 2011 or first part of 2012. It is about Twirrely. Twirrely is Squirrely's little sister who loves to wear her tutu all day and she is a sweet, caring and a sassy little squirrel. It is also told in Twirrely's own word and is a rhyme book.
What, or who, has been your greatest inspiration for your book?
The obvious is my children. They inspire me to be creative and they are great subject matter. I just love all of their individual personalities. My husband is another great inspiration. He teaches me every day to go after the things you are passionate about and he is a strong and confident person in my life.
I also get my inspiration from some of my favorite authors namely Dr. Seuss. He is one of my favorite rhyming story tellers of all time and we share a birthday as well. I also love Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her books about herself are a great inspiration for my books about the things I see and experience in my life.
What do you hope readers enjoy or gain from reading about your book?
I want people to enjoy the fun loving little things that make us all individuals but also the same. Yes, Squirrely can get a little off track and wiggly, but he is a loving and creative soul. We should never be ashamed of who we are. Some of us just need to work a little harder at certain things in life. I think children will see some of themselves in Squirrely and adults will relate and enjoy seeing some of the things their own children do.
What was your biggest challenge while writing 'I'm Squirrely!'? I think the biggest challenge in writing this book was the rhyming format. I would get a great idea for a line and have to go and rewrite it several times to make it flow. It had to bring my point across and rhyme perfectly in the end. Finding a title was the easiest part. The title was what started the book rolling.
If you could give an advice to writers or aspiring writers, what would that be?
Go for it! I was unsure of my writing but got up the courage and put myself out there. I wrote about what I know and what I love. I also wrote about something that a lot of people relate to ADHD. If you can write about the things that inspire you can relate to chances are there are readers out there that love and/or relate to whatever you are writing. It is hard to get negative feedback on your writing, but I think it helps us become better writers. You won't know until you try.
What stories can your readers look forward to from you in the future?
I have a few other books that I am working hard on, I'm Whirrely! Which is about Squirrely and Twirrely's little brother. That book is written and in the rough illustration stage. I am also in the creative writing process of the squirrel family going on a vacation and a rhyming ABC book. I look forward to sharing all these books in the future.
For more about Brenda and 'I'm Squirrely!', please visit www.brendalochinger.com