Author Exposed Part II: Gina LoBiondo

I love sharing the successes of authors. Please welcome author Gina LoBiondo again! She has written another heartfelt story for children. Gina is kind enough to share her writing experience with you today. I am also featuring her at Kristi’s Book Nook where she is giving away a copy of her latest project. Please be sure to stop by and say hi.

Author Gina LoBiondo

Author Gina LoBiondo


Author Exposed Interview:

You have been featured here at The Neophyte Writer before. Now you have another story to share with children. What made you want to write this story?

The idea for this book stemmed from my 2 ½ year search for my childhood teddy bear on eBay. When I was small I had a little pouty faced Knickerbocker bear that I named Button Nose. I loved that bear so much and we were constant companions. Of course, when I got to be the age where my mother thought I was too old to play with toys, my bear was sold in a yard sale. In all the years that followed I often thought of him and wished I could find him again. Then sometime in June, 2010, I started searching eBay. Over the next 913 days a few bears came close to the one I was looking for, but none of them were exact i.e. some had white paws, some had music boxes inside them and others were pretty well worn out. So I held out, hoping he’d show up. Then, one Sunday morning in January, 2013, that’s exactly what happened. It was a 6-day auction (probably the longest 6 days of my life!!!!!) but by the time it ended on the 26th, I had won my bear! He traveled about 900 miles from Missouri to Pennsylvania and arrived home on the 30th.

In the few days before he arrived home, I created the story idea, then toyed with the manuscript off and on for the next year until I finished it in January, 2014. From there I got it illustrated and everything just came together.

Will you always write for children?

Absolutely! I’ve written in various genres over the years, but seem to have found my niche with this one. I try to write the kind of books I would love to read if I were still a child.

What drives and motivates your writing?

Good story ideas. Sometimes they just pop right into my head. I’ll see a photo or hear a word and it’ll get the gears going!

Do you feel it’s important for writers to use social media? How?

Well, I don’t think it hurts. I use Facebook mostly but I can’t say for sure if it’s working for me or not. I’m also on Twitter and Google + but not as much. I know everyone says they blog, but I haven’t started that yet – it’s not something I have a lot of time to do. I do try to update my website pages from time to time as events occur, though.

Are any of your books in an ebook format?

So far just my first book Pegasus – A Dragon’s Tale . I do intend to put Button Nose out as an eBook as well, but it just hasn’t happened yet, so keep checking back.

Do you have a favorite children’s story from your childhood?

I actually have a few! When I was really little, my favourite book was Cinderella – it was a beautiful book illustrated by Catherine Barnes. In fact, if you go to the page on my website for my upcoming Cinderella book, I put up the entire book. Here’s the link –

When I got to be 9, the first book I ever really read on my own was Johanna Spyri’s Heidi. I was having trouble reading at the time and I remember it took me 10 months to finish it! Now I could probably get through the whole book in a couple of hours. But there was something about that little Swiss orphan that she became one of my favourite characters. Later on, I read all the Little House books and got through a few of the Black Stallion books as well.

Today, they’re all my favourite characters and I love to collect different editions of both Cinderella and Heidi.

What advice do you have for new writers?

It’s pretty simple really – just keep at it and never give up! Your writing may not be the greatest when you first start, but as you spend your energy and time developing your skills your work will improve.

What is the goal for yourself in the next 5 years?

I would love, one day, to be able to publish other people’s books as well as my own – that’s why I started Nephthys Publications, with that goal in mind! Keep your fingers crossed!

Author’s Biography

Born in 1960, author Gina LoBiondo grew up loving faerie tales. She began writing stories of her own when she was 13 and continues to do so today. Her first foray into this exciting business is Octuple Book Award Winner Pegasus – A Dragon’s Tale with her next book, her own retelling of the Cinderella story, expected sometime in 2015. She is also planning a sequel to Pegasus - A Dragon’s Tale for 2015. Button Nose the Sad Little Bear is her second book. Check out her personal website at as well as the illustrator’s site at

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Gina.

 Be sure to visit Kristi’s Book Nook for my interview with Gina, book review and giveaway!

Great Advice For A Query Letter For Magazines

Query letters are often a problem for writers. Often times, the fear of writing one will keep you from taking the plunge. The Adventurous Writer has a query letter example that will impress you and help you.

While there’s no “winning formula” to writing excellent query letters, it’s good to see how published freelance writers pitch their article ideas. So, here’s a query letter I sent to MSN Health, which the editors accepted two days later.

How do you write a successful query letter? By getting to the point immediately. Read more here.

Sourcing Free Photos

Kristi Bernard:

Great information.

Originally posted on Live to Write - Write to Live:

Autumn Mums Deborah Lee Luskin

Autumn Mums
photo: Deborah Lee Luskin

So many people responded to my last post about fair use of images on the internet that a follow-up post is in order.

Many readers didn’t know anything at all about copyrights, and many of you reblogged the post. Thank you; this is information we all need to know. As I learned, ignorance is not a defensible excuse, so keep spreading the word and be sure you have permission to use the images you find. This permission comes in three basic categories:

  • Out of copyright and free to anyone to use.
  • Free to use with permission and credit.
  • Available with permission for a fee.

Since most bloggers don’t earn money from their blogs, few of us can afford either to pay for images or pay fines for using images without permission. But there are a wealth of sources for available photos as I…

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By Kristi Bernard Posted in Writers

Christmas Time Giving

Tiger Tales books has partnered with the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of this special gift set is being donated. Please pass on the gift of giving to your child and the children in need by purchasing this set.


Visit Kristi’s Book Nook for a chance to win this wonderful gift set. There is also a link to purchase the book.



The gift of giving is the best gift of all. With this wonderful story and gift set you can teach your children to be kind and think of those who are less fortunate than they are. The spirit of Christmas is in all of us.

HTML Help For Your Ebook

I have yet to create an ebook, but when I am ready I will take on some good advice from the Fiction University on making my ebook the best it can be visually online.

Clean Up Your Ebook Files With HTML

By Jordan McCollum, @JordanMcCollum

Part of the Indie Authors Series

I know. After you’ve gone to all the trouble to get your book looking good in your word processor, why would you want to go to all the trouble of formatting it in HTML—by hand? Especially when your word processor will do it for you?

A few reasons why HTML comes in handy:

  • You can post a professional-looking preview of your book on your website—without crazy characters, random backgrounds, and errors.
  • Converting your book to HTML can produce a cleaner result for ebook conversion.
  • Doing HTML yourself eliminates the needless clutter most word processors insert in their code, making it easier to produce a result that passes a validation test.
  • If your word processor’s HTML doesn’t validate, your ebook won’t either, which will get it rejected by some stores like Smashwords & Apple.
  • It’s a lot easier to format something in clean HTML than to clean up the output of most word processors.

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By Kristi Bernard Posted in Writers