Today, I’d like to introduce an author with a delightful chapter book series, one of which is a perfect addition to your child’s trick-or-treat reading lineup. K. Lamb, author of the Dani P. Mystery books, is also literacy advocate, blogger, book reviewer, and more.
Q. Welcome K. Lamb! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your books.
A. As I sit down to write this, I am enjoying the beautiful California sun as it shines through the window; its gentle rays highlighting my desk. I am fortunate to reside in the San Francisco Bay Area, close to the Napa Valley, in an old Victorian where I live with my husband and daughter. But before I go any further, I would like to give my sincere thanks to our host, Shana, for inviting me here today.
I am the author of the Dani P. Mystery series for children, which is geared toward emergent readers just entering the world of chapter books. Thanks to my grandmother, I discovered a love of reading at an early age. Before I knew it, I was penning my own stories. There is a certain power in the written word that ignites your imagination and begs to be released on paper—for me, that creativity never dimmed. Many of my stories were created for my daughter when she was a young child, none more predominate than Dani. Although a fictional character, my daughter Danielle was the inspiration for my spunky, mystery-loving, seven-year-old protagonist. This was her adventure. Now as an adult, we enjoy working on the series together.
To date, there are three books in the series, Dani and the Haunted House, Dani and the Mall Caper, and Dani and the Rocking Horse Ranch. However, Dani and the Mall Caper and Dani and the Rocking Horse Ranch are temporarily off the market as we prepare to release an all-new second edition with updated content in the coming weeks. Dani and the Hidden Treasure and Dani and the Magician are in various stages of production. To aid teachers and parents, I offer a Teacher Resource package on our website, which include comprehension activities, coloring pages, and games.
While writing the series, I drew on my experience as a mother and the time I spent volunteering in children’s summer programs to try to create lively and believable characters that children would, hopefully, connect with. I like to call my characters perfectly imperfect. They make mistakes. The important thing to remember is that they learn from them.
In addition, I am the Co-Founder of KidLit Parade, which focuses on advocating for children’s literacy. I also write a weekly blog dedicated to early literacy and connecting with parents, teachers, and other authors. I believe reading is a gift that should be shared with today’s youth. Whether answering letters, conversing with students via Skype, or visiting classrooms, I try to encourage children to find the enjoyment that reading can provide.
Q. Tell us something about your latest or greatest success.
A. Success. When you think about that word, it can mean so many things. For me, I am thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given, my loving family, and the days that lie ahead. But I believe true success is how you develop as a person. Life always brings challenges. It is how you face those obstacles that determines success. If you can look at a challenge with grace, dignity, strength, and even with gratitude for the opportunity to overcome it, then you are on your way to achieving success. Success, however, is always fluid, always changing—just as we are as individuals.
If speaking strictly in terms of writing, this review from Amazon truly resonates within me because it reinforces that I’m achieving my goal as a children’s author:
“My son gave this book a big thumbs up. And he is the kind of kid that is hard to teach. Actually, I think Lamb has the answer in the book for kids like my son. That is they can learn if they don’t think they are being taught!” [Source: Amazon Reviewer]
For me, helping to make a difference, is true success.
Q. What has been your biggest challenge?
A. My greatest challenge of being an author is time itself. I believe any indie author can relate to this dilemma. Aside from writing, I have my own business, which means there are never enough hours in the day. Writing is always the simplest part of the equation. As writers, we then also have to focus on the editing, formatting, beta readers—not to mention marketing, social media, and back end work! I look forward to someday focusing all of my “work energy” into my author life.
Q. What are your plans for the future?
A. Once my children’s series is firmly established, I look forward to getting back to the “roots” of my writing, which is the young adult genre. That has always been my comfort zone and I find it much easier to express myself without quite so many filters. However challenging I knew children’s writing would be for me, I also knew in my heart that it was where I needed to start. It goes back to my grandmother—the gift of literacy she shared with me—and the need to pay it forward. There is something about seeing a child’s face light up when they read a story, and for the first time, words suddenly become more than ink on a page—they are a new adventure, a friend, a place to become lost within if only for a moment.
Q. Where can people keep up with you and buy your books?
A. I absolutely love connecting with children, parents, teachers, and other authors. I believe it is essential to come together to promote early literacy. We need to work collectively—there is no room for competition—because there will never be enough reading material for a child. To quote myself, “Books are like ice cream, there is a flavor for everyone.” So why wouldn’t we want to give a child every flavor possible?
If you would like to connect with me, please follow me at:
The Dani P. Mystery series is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other fine retailers. Now through October 31st, Dani and the Haunted House, Kindle version, is on sale for .99¢. The first five individuals to email firstname.lastname@example.org with the hashtag #ShanaGorianBlog will win a free Kindle copy!
Dani and the Haunted House
Dani shivers in the cold night air as her heart races and butterflies dance in her stomach. This is her big moment. She is out to prove to everyone that age doesn’t matter when it comes to solving mysteries. With the help of her best friend, Chloe Marshall, Dani is determined to uncover the secrets within the haunted walls of the house on the hill. With a big gulp, she steps forward. There is no turning back now.
Publisher: Wandalee Press, 2nd edition