Today I have the pleasure of introducing the joyful and vivacious Cindi Handley Goodeaux and her equally joyful feline character, Princess Jellibean. With Cindi’s first picture book release this November, Cindi has already been a very busy author. Please welcome her to the Reading Room.
Q. Hi Cindi! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your books.
A. I have always been a storyteller, making up tales for my younger sister. I am thinking about penning some of those stories about a giant bull that hides in the night sky.
I live in North Florida with my husband and have been writing for 30 years. I started writing as a hobby in 5th grade and never stopped. I was hooked after entering a poetry competition at school. I have a bucket full of poetry scribbled on notebook paper still in my possession today.
At 12, I declared I would become a published author. I continued writing poetry as time passed, being published in several anthologies. Despite this, I longed to see my name on the cover of a book but it wasn’t until I had two nieces living hundreds of miles from me that I began writing children’s stories. Princess Jellibean was created as a way to keep in contact with them. She started as a poem about a cat that traveled all over the world on adventures. I sent a copy to each of them with a plush orange cat. Eventually, that turned into The Adventures of Princess Jellibean.
Q. Would you tell us something about your greatest or your latest success?
A. My greatest success has been holding a copy of my first book in my hands. It is literally a dream come true! I love telling children at book signings how this started as the dream of a 12 year old.
Q. What has been your biggest challenge?
A. Money has always been my biggest challenge. For a long time it seemed to me that publishing was only available through subsidization. I would send a book of my poetry to different publishers only to get discouraged at the amount required for me to pay. With the options to publish for free online, the whole world has opened up.
Q. What are your plans for the future?
A. I plan to continue with this series since I have so many ideas for Princess Jellibean! I’ve finished writing two additional books that continue her traveling adventures. I’ve also written another book that is a sort of book within a book. Jellibean carries with her a wagon full of books and I have written one of them! When Jellibean told one of the characters about a book the concept stayed with me and I wanted to know more, so I wrote it!
The Adventures of Princess Jellibean
A very colorful cat decides to leave her comfy castle life to see the world she’s only read about.
Her dreams swirled with these things, and she always slept with a smile. Someday, thought she, someday I will see it all!
*Published by Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC. The book can be found at the following retailers:
Princess Jellibean at Barnes and Noble
Follow Cindi on Social Media