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Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Talented Mary Jean Kelso - Interview

Mary Jean is here to tell us a bit about herself and her wonderful writing.

Tell us about your books?
So far, GAP has published 7 of my children's books. They have quite a few more in the pipeline waiting for illustrations and finishing touches.

I write about a variety of things as well as write YA and adult novels.

Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. released my books under their "Academic Wings Division." That is exciting for me because I am not only able to give the kids a good story to read but to contribute to their education with back of the book material that teaches something about the subject. It is my hope that teachers and homeschoolers make use of the information.

The GAP books recently released are RV Mouse and Andy and Spirit Meet the Rodeo Queen (which releases this month). Besides those, the first was The Christmas Angel. That followed with Andy and the Albino Horse -- one which GAP signed me up for a series when they accepted the first Andy book. The second Andy book, Andy and Spirit Go to the Fair came out as well as Andy and Spirit in the Big Rescue. One Family's Christmas released as the sequel to The Christmas Angel. The Tween book, The Adventures of Andy and Spirit (Book One) releases this year. As we have four Andy stories out, they will be included in Tween format for the older readers.

How has it been working with a publisher?
GAP is wonderful to work with. They have been publishing my books since 2007. I hope we can work together for the rest of my life. The publisher works very hard to make sure everything comes together in the production process to produce high quality reading material for young people.

Where do you get your ideas from?
Ideas are everywhere. I write about everything from a handicapped boy in today's world that is involved in hippotherapy to a little girl who makes a friend along the Oregon Trail in the 1850s. Other subjects include a mouse that gets into a motorhome and a chick that has to learn to find its own food as well as a little boy that is afraid of Santa Claus. And on and on.

How long does it take from idea to actual print?
If the story comes full blown to me, as sometimes happens, it can be written very quickly. If it needs more development, it can take a few months or even a year to complete. I expect it to take approximately a year from the time it is accepted to see final production due to working it into the production schedule and the illustrator's schedule. Since there are quite a few on file, I don't worry about when they will bepublished. I just keep writing and doing the grunt work of promotion.

Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes. I can't remember a time I didn't write. I also remember designing clothes for paper dolls (long before Barbie came along). I sometimes find myself "designing" the clothes my characters are wearing with words. So, what made me stick with writing and not continue to draw and sew clothes is anybody's guess.
Any advice for people just starting out?
Stick with it! There are a lot of people out there that wanted to be authors but gave up. It can take years and years but those who hang in there will, eventually, become published.

Anything else you'd like to add?
Guardian Angel has a great thing going not only for adult authors, but for young people who strive to see their writing or illustrating in print as well. Lynda Burch is an inspiration to us all. Through her vision at GAP she is bringing a tremendous amount of great reading material to people everywhere.
K.C. Snider has illustrated all of my books so far. It is always fun to see what she will paint to go along with the text.

Thanks :0

Check out Mary Jean's web sites at;http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com
http://www.authorsden.com/maryjeankelsoandyandthealbinohorse.blogspot.com
http://childrensbookwinp.ning.com/profile­/MaryJeanKelso
http://www.blazingtrailers.com/browse.php?txt=kelso
http://www.madeinnv.com/

5 comments:

Cheryl said...

Wonderful interview, ladies. I've read some of Mary Jean's work and it is absolutely charming.

Best of luck.

Cheryl

Janet Ann Collins said...

This interview is encouraging for all of us.

J. Aday Kennedy's A Writing Playground said...

The blog's new look is great. MJ gave a great interview. Like her I get my ideas everywhere, but my characters share many personality traits with family and people I know. They may be fantasy creatures or animals, but they have real people's quirks.
Blessings,
J. Aday Kennedy
The Differently-Abled Writer

Donna M. McDine said...

Terrific interview. I enjoyed getting to know Mary Jean better. Best wishes for your continued success!

Regards,
Donna

Susanne Drazic said...

Interesting interview. It was nice to learn more about Mary Jean and her writing. I wish you much success with all of your books.

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A BEAUTIFUL DAY
A BLESSED BETHLEHEM BIRTH: as told by Abraham and Anna Mousenstern
A BRAINY REFRAIN : THE SUM OF OUR PARTS SERIES
A DUCK AT THE DOG POUND
A HORSE OF COURSE
A NECKLACE FOR JIGGSY
A POCKETFUL OF MANNERS
A SHORT TALE ABOUT A LONG TAIL
A MIDSUMMER'S DANCE
A STAR IN THE NIGHT
A TALENT FOR QUIET
A TODDLER'S ABC OF BLESSINGS
ABIGAIL PLATT'S CUSPIDS
ABC's OF HEALTH and SAFETY
ALLEYCAT
ANCIENT SYMBOLS, ARTWORK, CARVINGS AND ALPHABETS: SYMBOLOGY WITH PROFESSOR HOOT
AND THEN MAMA SAID ... IT TAKES TIME TO LEARN TO READ
ANDY & THE ALBINO HORSE
ANDY & SPIRIT GO TO THE FAIR
ANDY & SPIRIT IN THE BIG RESCUE
ANDY & SPIRIT MEET THE RODEO QUEEN
ANGEL DONOR
ANGEL EYES
ANGEL IN A BUBBLE
ANGELS DO THAT
ANGELS WATCHING OVER US
ANIMAL SOUND MIX-UP
APRON STRINGS
AS I WATCH

AVA'S SECRET TEA PARTY
BABY JESUS IS MISSING!
BEARLY LEARNING ABOUT WATER
BLUE DINOSAUR'S FRIEND
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BRADYBUG
BURGHER AND THE WOEBEGONE
BUFFALOED BADGER
BUSTER BEAR & UNCLE B
BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE Free eBook
CAMILLE'S JOURNEY: A Christmas Musical & Play- Playbook, Master w/Scores, CD
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CARTWHEEL ANNIE
CATS OF MANY COLOR
CHASING A POT OF GOLD
CHASING THE SPIRIT OF SERVICE
CHESLEY'S CRAZY HAIR
CHESTER, THE WATCHCAT
CHIP'S SHARING DAY

CHIZZY'S TOPSY TALE
CINDERFELLA & THE FURRY GODMOTHER
CIRCULATION CELEBRATION : THE SUM OF OUR PARTS SERIES
CHOCALIN!
CLIP-CLOP, TIPPITY TAP French Vocabulary on the Farm
CLOUD JUMPERS
COBBLEDOM'S CURSE
CODY KNOW'S
COLOR ME HAPPY!
COWBOY JAMES
CRASH!
CURLEY, THE CROOKED CHRISTMAS TREE
DIENTECITO Y EL ATAQUE DE LA PLACA Spanish Edition
DIENTECITO Y EL CASTILLO DEL PELIGRO-Spanish Edition
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DILIGENCE THE DRAGON
DOES HEAVEN GET MAIL
DOGGIE DAY CAMP: VERB AND ADVERB ADVENTURES
DOTTY'S TOPSY TALE
DOWN BY THE SHORE
DREAMCHASER

E F G H I J K L
EARTHQUAKE!
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ELLIOTT & ANASTACIA
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FANTASTIC FLIGHT
FIRST SPRING
FLUTTER BUNNIES
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FRANKIE'S PERFECT HOME
FRANK'S LIVING ON THE MOON ADVENTURE 1
FREDERICO, THE MOUSE VIOLINIST
GILLY, THE SEASICK FISH
GIFTS FROM GOD
GOD LOVES YOU WHOEVER YOU ARE
GOLDEN DAFFODILS
GROWING UP DREAMS
HAMSTER HOLIDAYS
HOPE, THE ANGELFISH
HORATIO HUMBLE BEATS THE BIG D
HORSE CAMP
HUMBERTO, THE BOOKWORM HAMSTER
I DON'T WANT A HAIRCUT
IF I COULD BE ANYTHING
I RIDE MY BICYCLE BK1 Free eBook
I RIDE MY BICYCLE BK2 Free eBook
ITCHA ITCHA GOO GOO BLUES
IT'S BIRTHDAY TIME, JAKE!
I SEE SEASIDE BIRDS
HORSE CAMP

JORDIE'S SCHOOL DAY ADVENTURE JP's HALLOWEEN PARADE
JAMIE'S DREAM
JOURNEYS OF HOPE "A STAR SHALL LEAD THEM"
JOURNEYS OF HOPE "PEARL OF WISDOM"
JUST THE THING TO BE
I AM ME
KATYDIDN'T

KATRINA AND WINTER: PARTNERS IN COURAGE
KITTY KERPLUNKING: PREPOSITION FUN
KLUTZY KANTOR
LADY GEHR
LAST PAGE IN THE DIARY
LEARNING YOUR ANIMAL ABCs WITH PROFESSOR HOOT
LEARN THE BASICS OF COLOR WITH PROFESSOR HOOT
LEARNING TO COUNT 1-10 WITH PROFESSOR HOOT
LIGHTNING STRIKES
LIDDIL GETS HER LIGHT
LILLY LOLLER'S ALWAYS LATE
LILY & THE CITY OF LIGHT
LITTLE SHEPHERD
LONELY
LITTLE LEAF

LUCKY PENNY
LUCY'S
PURPLE PULLOVER


M N O P Q R S

MAMA GRIZZLY BEAR
MARTA'S GARGANTUAN WINGS
MAGICAL MATTHEW
MAYBE WE ARE FLAMINGOS
MEET ME AT THE PARK
MICE IN MY TUMMY
MICHAEL'S NEW NEIGHBOR
MISTER TOPPER, THE POTBELLIED PIG
MOONLIGHT MEDALLION
MONSTER MADDIE
MUSCLES MAKE US MOVE: : THE SUM OF OUR PARTS SERIES
MY COPAN ADVENTURE
MY GRANDMA'S KITCHEN RULES!
MY BROTHER THE FROG
MY SISTER IS MY BEST FRIEND
MY TOOTH IS LOOSE : THE SUM OF OUR PARTS SERIES
NATALIE'S ARK
NO BONES ABOUT IT! : THE SUM OF OUR PARTS SERIES
NO MORE GUNK!
NOTHING STOPS NOAH
O CHRISTMAS TREE
OLLIE OAK SAVES THE DAY
ON THE GO WITH ROOTER & SNUFFLE
ONE IN A BUZZILLION
ONE LARGE PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH TO GO
ONE NUTTY FAMILY
ONE FAMILY'S CHRISTMAS
ONE NOBLE JOURNEY
ONE PELICAN AT A TIME : A Story of the Gulf Oil Spill BELLA & BRITT BEACH SERIES
OUCH! SUNBURN
POODLE & DOODLE
PRESTON, THE NOT-SO-PERFECT PIG
PROFESSSOR HORACE, CRYPTOZOOLOGIST
PUT IT BACK, JACK
RACHEL SERVES A STEW
RAINBOW NIGHTS
RAINBOW SHEEP
RATTLESNAKE JAM
RIBBERT'S WAY HOME
RILEY'S HEART MACHINE
ROMEO'S RESCUE
RUTHIE AND THE HIPPO'S FAT BEHIND
RV MOUSE
SARAH'S SOCKS MY WORLD OF AUTISM
SCAREDY : A CLOUD AFRAID OF THUNDER
SEA TURTLE SUMMER: BELLA & BRITT BEACH SERIES
SEYMOUR THE SEMI - SPACE TRUCKIN'
SH SH SH LET THE BABY SLEEP
SHAPING UP THE YEAR
SIGNS OF TROUBLE
SHOO CAT!
SILLY MOMENTS
SLIME AND ALL
SMILEYTOOTH AND BUSHWHACK PLAQUE
SMILEYTOOTH AND THE CASTLE HASSLE
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SPARKIE: A STAR AFRAID OF THE DARK
STAY AWAY FROM ELECTRICITY FREE eBook
STELLA, THE FIRE FARTING DRAGON
STOP THAT PUDDING!
STILTS THE STORK
STUBBY'S DESTINY
SULLY'S TOPSY TALE

T U V W X Y Z

TACONI & CLAUDE: DOUBLE TROUBLE
TALES FROM INDIA: CHARACTER COUNTS! RESPECT
TALES FROM KENSINGTON FOREST
TERESA'S SHADOW
THAT'S A LOT OF LOVE
THE ADVENTURES OF CHICKOLET PIGOLET: THE BRIBE OF FRANKENBEANS
THE ADVENTURES OF CHICKOLET PIGOLET: MURMUR ON THE OINK EXPRESS
THE ADVENTURES OF ANDY & SPIRIT- Book 1 Tweener
THE BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT
THE CAT CAME BACK
THE CHRISTMAS ANGEL
THE CLOWN AROUND KIDS
THE DOLL VIOLINIST
THE FIRST AMERICANS
THE GOLDEN PATHWAY
THE JUMBO SHRIMP OF DIRE STRAITS
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THE LITTLEST COWBOY
THE LONELY LIGHTNING BUG
THE MAGIC VIOLIN
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THE MISADVENTURES OF ROOTER & SNUFFLE
THE ODD CHICK
THE PERIL OF THE SINISTER SCIENTIST
THE PLUMBER AND THE WISHING WELL
THE POTTY TRAIN
THE SAD LITTLE HOUSE
THE SISTER EXCHANGE
THE SKUNK'S GIFT
THE SOGGY TOWN OF HILLTOP
THE TURTLE WHO IMAGINED
THE WATER CYCLE: WATER PLAY SERIES bk 1
THE WEAVER ANOTHER WEAVER TALE
THE WISHING WELL ANOTHER WEAVER TALE
THERE'S A BEETLE IN MY BED
THERE'S A SPIDER IN MY SINK
TINY ANGEL
TODAY I AM A PENGUIN
TOO MANY KITTIES
TROUBLE FINDS ROOTER & SNUFFLE
TUCKER'S TALE: The story of a rescue dog
'TWAS THE YEAR CHRIST LEFT CHRISTMAS
VIVIEN'S BEACH DREAM
WE'RE BROTHERS AND SISTERS: THE BOOPLES
WHAT IF THE MOON...?
WHAT IS THAT THING?
WHAT IN THE WORLD SHOULD I BE?
WHERE IS SALAMI?
WHISTLING DIXIE
WICKY WACKY THINGS THAT GO! AUTOMOBILES 1
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WICKY WACKY THINGS THAT GO! BUSSES
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