Gail Westover has a little secret. Today the secret will be revealed. Gail is author Tika Newman. For the past seven years, she’s hidden under this name. You see, Gail is an online Backgammon Tourney Director for GammonSite. She’s been hosting tourneys for almost nine years. Everyone knows her as Tika, so writing under that name seemed the logical thing to do. Gail is also the owner and operator of Thistlewood Publishing, since its conception in 2008. She is the author of The Eyes of Innocence series and a historical novel called For the Love of Anne.
Welcome back to my blog, Gail. You are the author of the popular series The Eyes of Innocence, which is about a girl growing up with psychic abilities and the power to heal. I read it and was very impressed with the story. You have now turned to children’s books. Please tell us about your books.
Mrs. Mouse’s Garden Party in Giggleswick Village is the first book of the Giggleswick Village series. The book teaches children that it’s ok to be themselves and to make the best out of a plan that goes wrong. Each book will teach life’s early lessons. The next book will be about bullying.
sounds silly, and that’s a good thing, because the entire book is silly. Kids laugh as they learn to use their imagination, when they read about the horse that has wings, the duck that flies upside down, and the little boy who is on the ground squinting his eyes at them. It’s a wonderful “feel good book” and is perfect for bedtime because it leaves them with happy thoughts that will encourage pleasant dreams.
Compared to novels, I assume Children’s stories are simple. Is this true?
If you write only novels, you would think that statement is correct, but it is not. The stories may be short, but we have at least eighteen months in the first Giggleswick Village book.
What kind of research did you have to do?
As of yet, I have not had a whole lot of research, but that will change with the bullying book. I did search online for a silly name. Giggleswick Village is a real place in North Yorkshire, England. The minute I saw the name, I knew it was perfect. The illustrations were hand drawn by a very talented woman in New Zealand. Coordinating and designing the characters took a very long time because the characters in this first book will probably be in every Giggleswick book to come. We had to keep merchandising in mind, as well as coloring books, puzzles, and some other things. The other difficult thing was that the mouse is modeled after my real life best friend, who really is a nurse, loves the color pink, is incredibly polite, kind to everyone, etc. The animal characters? They’re all my grandchildren.
Thanks to these two children’s books, Thistlewood Publishing had its best month ever. I couldn’t be more pleased.
Congratulations! That’s wonderful. And I really love the name Giggleswick. By the way, I love it when authors add real life situations to their stories. Do you ever put real experiences in your books?
I haven’t done it yet in the children’s books, but in The Eyes of Innocence series, yes. The deer in the woods, the snapping turtle, and some other things were true life experiences.
Thank you, Gail, for this fun interview. Your books sound fascinating. To learn more about these books, visit http://www.thistlewoodpublishing.com. However, if you want Gail’s autograph, you must order your book from her website.