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 – http://www.ginalobiondo.com/cinderella-a-love-story/

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 www.ginalobiondo.com as well as the illustrator’s site at http://kahlan4.deviantart.com.

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!

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