Please welcome S. Jackson and A. Raymond to the Reading Room. Their book, When Angels Fly, was recently chosen as an official selection in the Autobiography / Biography / Memoir category of the 2016 Summer eBook Awards given out by New Apple Literary Services for Independent Authors.
Q. Congratulations on the book’s selection! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your books.
A. Hi. My name is Mary Schmidt, and I write under the pen names S. Jackson and A. Raymond. I’m S. Jackson and A. Raymond is a pen name for my husband, who has a lot of input on our books. I am a retired registered nurse, a member of the Catholic Church, and I have taught Catechism. I have worked in various capacities for The American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, Cub and Boy Scouts, (son, Noah, is an Eagle Scout), and sponsored trips for high school music children. I love all forms of art but mostly I focus on the visual arts; as amateur photography, traditional, and graphic art as my disabilities allow. I have an online art gallery, and I am currently finishing up a screenplay from my first memoir (there will be a sequel someday). More recently, we both love to devote precious time with our first grandson, Austin.
Q. Neat! Please tell us something about your greatest success.
A. I always thought I would be a one-book author. But after our first book was published, we started thinking about other books. We have a bunch of backyard fox squirrels that do funny things and we decided they needed to be in a book. So we put them into a picture and text book detailing a little about each of the United States National Parks. We didn’t stop there though, and next came two different comic books using the same squirrels, followed by a coffee table book, containing full color graphics of our paintings, photographs, and digital art pieces. We thought we were done, yet a cookbook came along soon after. We totally thought we were done writing books but then, our daughter and her family stopped by, and they have a cute little long-haired female dachshund, and a light bulb turned on!
Now we have published two books in a ten-book series for children, involving that little dog and some of our squirrels, fully illustrated, and teaching lessons along the way. Our work in progress is the third book in our children’s series. Our most recent book is “Suzy Has a Secret”, dealing with good touch/bad touch, and it is helpful for the children who read it, parents and educators alike. I think being on book number ten is a great success.
Q. What has been your biggest challenge?
A. My first book happens to be a memoir. After 1990, I knew I would write a book eventually. That year was a rough one for me and my family personally, and I’ve kept journals most of my life. I had many stories to tell but I wasn’t quite ready mentally or emotionally, in going headlong into a 376 page book. When 2013 rolled around, I knew then that I was going to put words and stories from my journals into digital format. The hardest and most difficult part initially was actually going into and reading my journals from 1989 – 1990 as my first book is a Memoir. I knew my book had to be written and I knew the many messages in my book needed to be published, so that hopefully I could help others through difficult times in their lives or the lives of others they knew. The timing was right as I had left nursing in December 2012. My first book was extremely difficult since the stories were real. Some days I could write one sentence and then I was done for the day. Other days I could write more.
Q. What are your plans for the future?
A. We have eight more books to go in our ten-book children’s series and we have so many ideas for those remaining books! We are both excited about this!
Shadow and Friends Visit the Mountains – Book Three in the series
This story is about a ground squirrel that lives in a burrow in the mountains of Colorado. Shadow, a dog, and Uncle Stubby, a fox squirrel, and their friends go on a trip to visit Uncle Stubby’s cousin, Roscky, a ground squirrel. Cousin Rocky takes them skiing, teaches mountain safety, how to ski safely on the bunny slopes near his burrow, the difference between tree squirrels and ground squirrels, home safety, travel safety, and to watch out for cars. This story provides children with knowledge about different squirrels and their habitats, and teaches children safety when visiting a new place while promoting new adventures..
More info and purchase links for S. Jackson and A. Raymond’s books:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/S.-Jackson/e/B013NRRKR2
Thanks for reading!
Shana Gorian is the author of the Rosco the Rascal series.
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