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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Interview with GAP Author Nicole Weaver

Joining us today is author Nicole Weaver. Nicole was born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. She moved to the United States when she was ten years old. She is fluent in four languages and is a high school teacher. We'll talk to Nicole about her writing, the book she self-published, and her book under contract with Guardian Angel Publishing.


Welcome to the GAP Family Blog, Nicole. It's wonderful to have you with us. Can you start by telling our readers a bit about you and your writing?

I am Haitian American, who came to the United States when I was ten years old. I lived in New York, and after college I moved to Houston, Texas. I met my husband, married, and then moved to Colorado. I have three children who are 22, 20 and 14. My daughter Michele will be a junior in college and Jean-Paul my oldest just finished a dance program affiliated with Dominican University. Luc will be a sophomore in high school in the fall. I am a full time high school French and Spanish teacher. I took up writing as a hobby. A close friend of mine talked me into attending a writer’s conference with her. The conference infused me with enough confidence to venture out and write my first children’s picture book manuscript.

What is it that inspired you to pursue a career in writing?

I love spending a lot of time in the children’s section of my local library reading new releases. I became quite discouraged to see so few books about children of color. After reading Embracing Your Second Calling by Dale Bourke, I am convinced God is calling me to write books that will portray children of color in a positive light. I do the bulk of my writing during the summer months while I am on vacation from teaching.

Let’s talk about Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle. You self-published this book using Outskirts Press. Can you share what that experience was like?

This is a very touchy subject for me, but I am glad you asked the question. I did not like the experience at all. It was very frustrating working with my so called author representative. Many mistakes were made during production of the book. If I had to do it again, I would not go down that road. Discouragement from too many rejections got the better of me. I became too anxious and succumbed to self-publishing my book. Overall, there is a very negative sentiment toward authors who self-publish. All I can say is I am so very happy to have my second book published the traditional way. I am thrilled beyond words. This was a confirmation from God this is indeed what He wants me to do as a second career.



Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle is written in English, French, and Spanish. I’ve seen several bi-lingual books, but not many tri-lingual books. Why did you choose to write this book in three languages?

I am fluent in four languages, and I know from firsthand experience that a child’s brain is wired to learn languages through immersion. The younger you are the easier it is for you to master the language. I figured it would be a good idea to have all three languages side by side on each page. I have received a lot of positive feedback from parents. One parent told me after reading my book to her daughter, her daughter wanted to learn both French and Spanish. Fortunately, in Colorado we have a slew of Immersion schools. The child now attends an immersion school where she is learning both languages.

In addition to your children’s book, you’ve written poetry that has won awards. Can you tell us about this aspect of your work?

In 2005 I entered a poetry contest sponsored by my local library. I entered the contest just for fun. I never dreamed I would win first prize. I have several pieces that have been published in my church's journal. I still write a lot of poetry, it is very therapeutic for me. I hope to publish a book of poetry someday. But for now, I have included some of my poems in my memoir.

How did you become involved with Guardian Angel Publishing?

Donna McDine did a review for my newly published picture book. I saw the GAP emblem on her blog. The name Guardian Angel caught my attention, so I decided to check out their website to learn more about the company. I liked what I read about GAP and made the decision to submit my manuscript to Lynda. After a few revisions she offered me a contract.

What is your book about and when will it be released?

My book is called My Sister is My Best Friend. It is about two twin sisters who do everything together. The script is in English, French and Spanish. I got inspired to write the book after I met my half sister from my father’s side. Meeting her left me wondering what it would have been like to grow up with her. My imagination went to work full time and that is how I came up with the script. I do not know the exact time and date when the book will be released. I can only estimate that it will be late 2010 or early 2011. When I first signed the contract Lynda informed me her books are usually published between 9-12 months. I am keeping my fingers cross.



What are you working on now?

I am working on my memoir and a second children’s picture book. A group of Black editors from London invited me to submit work for a book that will be launched on August 13th, 2010. All the proceeds from the book will go to the Lambi Fund of Haiti for earthquake relief. I have one short story and a poem that will be published. Four out of six students who submitted work from my French class will get published too. I am really excited about this opportunity. Once the book is released the local media in Denver will be interviewing me and my students.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

I tell aspiring writers to never give up. Writing is like learning a foreign language the more you practice the better you will get at it.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Thank you Cheryl for interviewing me.

Thank you to Lynda for making my dreams come true by giving me a contract. Last but not least, a big thank you goes to all of the Angels, you all are the very best!

Thanks for being with us today, Nicole. We enjoyed learning more about you. Good luck with your writing.


You can visit Nicole online at http://www.authorsden.com/nicoleweaver.

14 comments:

Donna M. McDine said...

I've known Nicole for several years and her accomplishments personally, teaching, and writing impress me beyond belief. Thank you for such an interesting and inpsiring interview!

Best wishes,
Donna

Donna J. Shepherd said...

What an interesting life! Thanks for the interview and insights into Nicole. Nice to get to know more about her.

billkirkwrites said...

Nicely done interview of an inspiring angel, Cheryl. It's good to learn of the many roads which have brought the authors and artists to GAP. Nicole, thanks for sharing some of your life journey and your writing experiences with us.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Nicole is a good example of an angel herself. :-))

Kit said...

Wonderful interview. Nicole, you sure have a full life and sounds like great adventures to go.
KIt

Connie Arnold said...

Thanks for sharing the interesting interview, Cheryl. Nicole, it's great to learn more about you, your life and your writing.

NancyCL said...

Wow, so exciting and interesting! Thanks for letting us get to know you better, Nicole!

Jack Foster said...

Wow Nicole you have had such an interesting life so far. great interview Cheryl! I love hearing success stories! Very inspiring!

Nicole weaver said...

Thank you Cheryl for interviewing me, and I want to also thank everyone who took the time to leave comments. The support is greatly appreciated. Have a great holiday week-end everyone.

Blessings,
Nicole

Cheryl said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. Nicole is such a sweet, talented lady. I wish her all the best.

Cheryl

Mayra Calvani said...

Congrats on the London gig, Nicole! That's wonderful!

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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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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
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COWBOY JAMES
CRASH!
CURLEY, THE CROOKED CHRISTMAS TREE
DIENTECITO Y EL ATAQUE DE LA PLACA Spanish Edition
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DOTTY'S TOPSY TALE
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FRANKIE'S PERFECT HOME
FRANK'S LIVING ON THE MOON ADVENTURE 1
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HAMSTER HOLIDAYS
HOPE, THE ANGELFISH
HORATIO HUMBLE BEATS THE BIG D
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JAMIE'S DREAM
JOURNEYS OF HOPE "A STAR SHALL LEAD THEM"
JOURNEYS OF HOPE "PEARL OF WISDOM"
JUST THE THING TO BE
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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
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LUCKY PENNY
LUCY'S
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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
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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
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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!
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STOP THAT PUDDING!
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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
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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
WICKY WACKY THINGS THAT GO! EMERGENCY VEHICLES
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