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Author Interview img

The Author Interview

with
Colleen H. Robley Blake
 
Latest Book Title
Mom, I Fired The Babysitter!  Living With Mom, Spending Time With Dad
Available at
Barnes & Noble, Amazon, www.robleyblake.com
Blog/website
www.robleyblake.com
 
Tell us about your latest effort, (Title, genre, etc.)
My next non-fiction children’s picture book, Don’t You Wish Your Momma Could Cook Like Mine? is about Alex and his dislike and tolerance for his mother’s cooking.  Alex does not understand why everyday he has to eat what his mother cooks.  He wishes that he and his brother (who seems to enjoy their mother’s cooking) could have takeout instead.  He also wonders why his mother cannot be as good a cook as his Dad, Grandmother or even his Aunt Vanessa.  I am also working on a CD titled, Respectfully Alex!   The CD is about all the books I have written so far and the books to follow.  I have 8 songs completed and they sound wonderful.
What draws you to your genre(s)? Why is this type of story compelling to you?

My non-fiction picture books are based on real life events of my two boys, Stephen and Alex.
I write about what I love. 

I really miss the years when my kids were younger.  Back then you saw and heard the innocence in them.  I cherish all the memories I have of those days and that is what I love the most and write about.

What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out, or do you just let it unfold?
I just let it unfold.    Since my stories are about my kids, I get ideas all the time.  I get ideas while sitting under the dryer (at the salon), watching tv, listening to the radio or just engaging in conversation.  Someone might say something and I would go, “Oh, that’s a title or story idea for my next book”.
How much of YOU makes it into your characters?
100% since my stories are real life events of my family life.  The mother in all of my books is a true representation of me.
How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of family, society, etc.?
My boys are much older and are off doing their own thing so I have lots of time to write.  Also, I enjoy being at home and don’t have much of a social life.
What breaks you out of a creative slump?
So far (knock on wood) I have not experienced a creative slump.
Do you ever censor your writing to avoid offending or displeasing people?
No.  I remember when the illustrations for Mom, I Fired The Babysitter! were done and I showed them to my cousin she said I should change the babysitter’s color.  The story was real, so I could not do that.
Is there a story you want to tell but avoid because it would be too controversial?
Living With Mom, Spending Time With Dad is about how Stephen and Alex dealt with their parent’s divorce.   I wanted to share that story much sooner than I did but my mom said no.  I finally decided to do it and was totally happy I did.  I remember the first time I read it to a class of first graders and a little girl got up and said, “My Mom and Dad are getting a divorce because they are always fighting.”  My heart lit up and I was truly happy to know that other kids would enjoy the story.
How can you write an honest autobiography without offending people who recognize themselves?
An autobiography is a book about your life and all the events that really happened.  No one should take offense to what your life is (was) about.
How do YOU build or create an effective platform to reach your audience?
Oh, that’s the hard part.  I’m still learning how to.  No one believes me when I say I was anti-social.  Most times when I have to speak in front of a class I focus on the kids and how excited they are to hear about my story.  That always gets me out of my comfort zone. 
What would be the top five, (or 3 or 1 or however many) things you would tell aspiring authors?

#1 – Keep doing what you enjoy.
#2 – Absorb everything around you.  Listen to all the advice that is thrown your way…but keep being you.
#3 -  Keep writing about what interests you.

 

Archive:

Interview with Jeff Davis

Interview with Tom Doganglu

Interview with Dawn Batterbee Miller

Interview with Karl Beckstrand

Interview with Colleen H. Robley Blake

Interview with Ronald Barrios

 
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