Say WOOF! to my special guests Miko and Daisy, proud owners of author, speaker, freelance writer and coach Suzanne Lieurance (talk about busy!).
Suzanne is the founder and director of the National Writing for Children Center. She has written hundreds of articles and also over 25 books! But that's not all! She's also host of the popular Book Bites for Kids, a radio show where she interviews children's authors. My mom loves Suzanne and is always listening to her shows and teleclasses.
Listen, people, this is one lady you'll want to follow on Facebook and Twitter. So don't be shy.
Welcome, Miko and Daisy! How did you come to live with Suzanne?
Miko: Well, I'm Miko, and I'll answer that question first, since I got here first. Actually, Suzanne's younger son Tyler rescued me from some people who weren't very nice to me when I was just a puppy. They didn't feed me and they hit me a lot. Tyler convinced the people to let him have me, then he brought me home to his mom. She adopted me, even though I was supposed to be Tyler's dog.
Daisy: And, I'm Daisy. People think I look like a little black pig. But I don't think so. I mean...I don't have a curly tail like pigs do, for gosh sakes. Give me a break! And I can explain why I like to eat so much. Years ago, when I had a litter of pups, my humans were going through a divorce and they completely ignored me and all their other dogs (they had about 5 other big dogs, plus me and my puppies). They penned us up in their backyard. It got so cold, all but one of my puppies froze to death. And one of the other dogs in the pen jumped off the doghouse and accidentally hanged himself with his leash - or maybe he committed suicide like some of the other dogs in the pen thought. After all, we had it pretty rough. No one fed us, they kept us outside in the freezing cold. We all thought we were going to die until some lady rescued us. She found homes for all the other dogs except me. Nobody wanted a little black dog that looked like a pig. But then Suzanne came over to this lady's house and when she found out I needed a home she convinced her husband to let me come live with her family. I didn't like Miko at first. I mean, look at him! He's HUGE! And he thought he was the boss of the house. I had to straighten him out about that. Now we get along great! He's my big brother and he pretty much does what I say.
Miko: I do not, Daisy! You're not the boss. You just think you are!
Gosh, that's quite a story, you guys. What's wrong with some people!
Tell us more about your mom, Suzanne. I hear she's completely obsessed with children's books? What's it like living with that kind of person?
Miko: Yeah, our human loves to read, write, and talk about children's books all the time. But it's kinda cool. She dedicated one of her books to me and she called me her "four-footed little writing buddy." That's because when I was a puppy I used to lie at her feet while she wrote her books on the computer. We'd take "sunshine breaks" during the writing day and go outside and sit in the sun together. We still do that now when the weather is good.
Daisy: Yeah, I love the sunshine breaks. Sometimes we get a special snack when we go outside. Yum! Is it time for a sunshine break now? I bet it is! Let's get a snack!
Miko: Pay attention, Daisy! It's not time for a break or a snack!
Did someone mention SNACKS?
Anyway, she's written like 25 books, hasn't she? Ha! I bet success has gone to her head!
Miko: She just likes to write. She doesn't always write books, though. Sometimes she writes articles or writing courses, and she writes a bunch of stuff for children's educational publishers - test questions, reading passages, and stuff like that. She really likes to write adaptations of fairy tales and other old stories for kids. Right now, she's working on a middle grade novel. Plus, she has a bunch of picture book manuscripts she's sending out to publishers, so she stays pretty busy.
Daisy: She always remembers to feed us, though. That's the main thing! Every morning, we get our breakfast first thing, before she starts to write. Then we go outside and play for a while. Then we take a nap. It's a dog's life and we love it!
Is it true she also mentors other writers? I hear she teaches online courses and has a club for children's authors.
Miko: Yeah, our "mom" is a former classroom teacher, so she seems to think she has to help everybody learn stuff. She started the Children's Writers' Coaching Club so she could help other people become published children's book authors. People can find out more about it at www.cwcoachingclub.com. The club has weekly teleclasses about writing for children and people who are in the club can get their stories professionally critiqued each week - whatever that means. I don't read, so I'm not sure what a critique is. I just know Suzanne reads a bunch of stuff when she's doing critiques.
My mom is a member of the Children's Writers Coaching Club and can't stop raving about Suzanne. What's so darn special about her, anyway?
Daisy: Uh, I think she's special because she feeds us good stuff! Hey....do you give snacks for these interviews?
Miko: Cut it out, Daisy. You don't need a snack. Back to the question - I think Suzanne is special because she likes to teach and help people as much as she likes to write. That's good for those other people. But sometimes it takes away from Suzanne's writing time. And I don't like to be around when that happens because she gets grouchy. I like it when she's working on a book because she takes us for walks during the day so she can figure out what happens next in the story.
Daisy: I don't like it when she can't write either. When she's grouchy we don't get snacks!
I bet she doesn't have anytime left for you too. Shameful!
Miko: Yeah, sometimes she gets so busy she forgets about our walks. But, like I said, if she's working on a story that's giving her trouble, we walk a LOT! I guess I shouldn't say this, but I like it when she has trouble with her stories cause we get to go to the park a bunch of times during the week and see all the other dogs and people there. Daisy and I LOVE that!
Daisy: Yeah, walks are really, really fun. But, really, all I need is my food. As long as she doesn't ever forget that, I don't have any complaints. I'm good. Are you sure we don't get a snack for doing this interview? Do I smell bacon?
So what's with that radio show, Book Bites for Kids? I don't like it. Every time my mom listens to one of those shows, it's 30 minutes she's not playing with me!
Miko: Yeah, we have to be quiet and not bark when she's doing that show. She talks to other children's book authors about their books and stuff like that.
Daisy: Yeah, but she does the show during our nap time, so it usually isn't a problem. Sniff! Sniff! I know I smell bacon!
What do you love most about Suzanne?
Miko: I like her hugs and tummy rubs. And the walks.
Daisy: The food! Definitely the meals and the snacks! And we LOVE bacon! Sniff! Sniff!
Thanks for stopping by this side of the woods, Miko and Daisy. You're so lucky you have Suzanne as a mom now. She sounds like a darn fine human!
Hey, readers, if you like this, why don't you share it on Twitter and Facebook... please, pretty please?