Name: Twaina Gannon & Sharon LaValley, co-authors.
Where do you live? Lakeland, Florida
Tell us a little about yourself (your education, family life, etc.) By day, Twaina is an outstanding dog groomer with many years of experience working with her four-legged friends and understanding animal behavior, while at night, she is a family gal and an author who enjoys reading fantasy and writing. By day, Sharon is a freelance writer, editor, and proof-reader and works on elance.com, while at night, she enjoys time with her family and writing some more. Sharon’s elance profile
What is your genre? Children’s stories and fantasy/fiction.
When and why did you begin writing? (What inspired you to write your first book?) Sharon told me to. Twaina told me to. Ha-ha. We are best friends and had been telling each other and Twaina’s son bedtime stories for years and finally decided to share the fun with others.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? The hardest part of writing our book was trying to decide what age group to cater to. We finally decided that this book and soon to be series would be for any age. This book/series makes a wonderful bedtime story for younger children or an exciting book for older children! We did not want to “dumb down” our stories, but rather increase a child’s vocabulary. This book is fun for children of all ages!
When did you first consider yourself a writer? Sharon first considered herself a writer when she was just a wee child writing children’s stories and poetry for fun. Twaina first deemed herself a writer in junior high when she first began writing poetry; this is when her parents first purchased a typewriter for her. She also began writing two novels as a teenager, one in the fiction category and another in horror. However, it really hit the both us when we saw Fred and Hodges go live on the internet! That rocked!
Do you have to travel much to market your book(s)? Not yet. We are very new to the publishing industry and have self-published this time around.
What is your current project? Volume two of “The Adventures of Fred & Hodges,” as well as the beginning of a fantasy/fiction book.
What, if anything, are you reading now? Sharon is reading a book on nature and spirituality, while Twaina is delving into a modern Fantasy-Horror book called, “Butcher Bird,” written by Richard Kadrey.
What books and/or authors have influenced your life most? All of them! Even if we did not like the book, it taught us that we didn’t like the style. We have always educated ourselves by reading books in one way or another. It’s a great way to go on a vacation or learn something new without leaving your home!
The Adventures of Fred and Hodges: The Meeting (Volume 1) is available in paperback and almost all eReaders and can be previewed, purchased, and/or reviewed at: Amazon.com, Createspace.com, Smashwords.com, diesel.com, kobo.com and Barnesandnoble.com
Would you be kind enough to share a little of your current work with us? Absolutely! Larger free samples are available on amazon.com and smashwords.com. Here is a snippet from chapter one of our book introducing Hodges:
In a land far, far away, but a lot closer than you think, live creatures of lore and myth, with animals that speak and fairies that listen. All the faire-folk live there in peace and harmony, for the most part. Occasionally, there are arguments and scuffles. But through patience and guidance, they all get along.
In the valley of Hedgenell, there is a large mushroom. If you look closely, you can see that there are many windows of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Living in this mushroom house is an old, patient gnome named Hodges.
He is as peaceful as he is wise. His beard is long and streaked with grey and his maroon colored hat is tall, which he wears with pride. For you see, only the oldest, wisest gnomes wear such tall, majestic, pointy hats. His glasses are small and had the habit of falling down the bridge of his nose. So even though he is short of stature, he appears to always be looking down at you. Hodges is never without two things, which are his pipe and his satchel.
He loves his books, which he, himself, wrote many of. He also keeps a small garden that he takes much pride in. When the mood strikes him, he enjoys painting.
One morning, he awoke very early. As Hodges opens his front door, he discovers it is so early that the Hedgenell Times, which was the local newspaper, hasn’t even arrived at his doorstep yet. Hodges begins to mutter under his breath. “Kids today, they don’t know when to get up!” He huffs, “The sun’s even getting lazy! Boy in MY DAY….mumble, mumble… UP HILL BOTH WAYS!! BAREFOOTED! Grumble…Grumble…IN THE SNOW!” He slams the door and stomps into his small, cozy kitchen and brews a pot of VERY strong coffee, which is much needed and part of his daily routine. As he takes his first sip, a smile cracks his face. “Mmmm… at least my coffee is NEVER late! Almost strong enough to chew! Mmmmmm.” As everyone knows, gnomes are cranky before their morning coffee.
Do you have anything else you would like to share with my readers? We hope that you enjoy this story as much as we do! Currently, we are working on the creation of The Adventures of Fred and Hodges: The Fair (Volume 2), and will also be expanding our writings to other genres.