I am happy to introduce you Wanda Luthman, a Multiple-Award-winning children’s author, which I met at the BookGoSocial Children’s Books group and the Author Resource Group.
Wanda loved writing since she was a child and always wanted to become a professional, but didn’t think she could make a living, so she studied Psychology instead. She found being a Guidance Counselor very fulfilling, but then has decided to pursue writing. She self-published her first children’s book in 2014 and has published several more since then.
She writes chapter books for ages 7-11 and picture books for ages 0-5 as “read-to-me” or 6-7 years old as “read-to-myself” books. She writes magical adventure stories that weave positive character messages into them that inspire children to be their best selves.
- Can you introduce yourself, what’s your name, where are you from… ?
Hi, everyone. I’m Wanda Luthman and I’m a High School Guidance Counselor and I’m also a children’s author. While I was born in North Carolina, I didn’t spend much time there and then a few years in Florida but I mostly grew up in St. Louis with another few years in Hawaii while I was in High School. Eventually, I made my way back to Florida, where I’m truly happy. I live on a small, yet beautiful retention pond. My writing office overlooks it and I find peace and inspiration from the wildlife in and around the water.
- Tell us something unexpected about yourself!
I guess the most unexpected thing is that I’m a mother to 5 children. To be clear, though, I’m the actual biological mother of just one child. I have 4 step-children from my husband. They are all beautiful people that I love dearly and am blessed to have in my life. And I have two step-granddaughters that are an absolute blast to know and watch grow.
- Give 2 things about yourself that you think matter the most?
I feel my spirituality is very important to me. It’s kind of like the thing that underpins me. I meditate daily and feel very connected to God. The other thing about myself that is important is my family. I love each one and feel enriched and blessed by being a mother and a step-mother as well as a wife to a wonderful, loving husband.
- Identity Card
- Do you remember the first book you read?
No, unfortunately, I don’t. The first one I fell in love with though was Charlotte’s Web.
- What makes you laugh/cry?
I love puns and sometimes they make me laugh out loud. What makes me cry are sweet romance stories with either happy endings (I cry happy tears) or sad endings (and then I cry like a big ol’ baby)
- In which genre do you write?
- What makes your book special, how is it different from other books in your genre?
My books all have positive social/emotional messages gently woven into them. Because of my background in psychology, these messages are sort of naturally a part of me so my writing reflects that. Plus, I really want to help children be the best they can be and I can’t think of a better way than through a book that touches their heart.
- How do you feel when you write, do you have a special ritual?
I don’t have any special ritual. Sometimes stories (books) come to me in a flash, sometimes it’s more sitting down and writing from a nugget of an inspiration and letting it flesh itself out as I go. I feel wonderful when I’m writing. I will forget to eat and sleep and not even realize how much time has gone by. It’s my favorite!
- What inspired you to write your first book?
Oh, this is amazing! One day I just woke up with this story burning inside of me. It wasn’t like I had dreamt it either. It was just there. After I wrote it and re-read it, I realized that it was a bit of a compilation of my daughter and me.
- How did you come up with the title?
This was easy, I knew the princess would love flowers (like I do) and what better smelling flower than a lilac? So, The Lilac Princess was born.
- If you could be any famous book character, who would you be and why?
You know this is going to sound funny, but I would like to be Pooh Bear. I know he has a movie out right now and I can’t wait to see it. But, Pooh was so easy-going and didn’t worry about his weight and had a great group of loyal friends and of course, he had Christopher Robin who loved him more than anything. It sounds like a pretty great life to me.
- Is there a message in your book that you hope the readers will grasp?
All my books have messages—The Lilac Princess has courage, friendship, and forgiveness; A Turtle’s Magical Adventure has self-acceptance and anti-bullying; Gloria and the Unicorn has self-empowerment and letting love guide your choices; Little Birdie Grows Up has perseverance and letting go; and Franky the Finicky Flamingo is about picky eaters and making healthy choices.
- What are your top 3 books of all time?
Charlotte’s Web; Pooh Bear books; Hinds Feet on High Places (not a children’s book, I know, but I read it when I was young and it impacted me, the symbolism of it all and it’s spirituality).
- How important is marketing and social media for you?
It’s very important but I don’t have any official training so I learn as I go.
- Is it important for you to get book reviews? Do you read them?
It is very important to get reviews. It really helps books to be discovered by other readers. Yes, I read them and if they have a good descriptive line in them that I feel will help other readers know what the book is about, I will use that to help me promote my books.
- What advice do you have for other writers?
Mainly to never give up! I have come to the end of my rope several times in this journey. You have to remember why you got into writing and publishing and stay the course. Good things do come. It just takes time.
- Can you give your book information: blurb, link, genre (for children’s book, please tell for what age)
The Lilac Princes
Hook: A willful princess gets her way, but will it destroy her as well as her kingdom?
Blurb: A young Princess with too much responsibility and not enough freedom finds herself facing the greatest decision of her life. She is an only child to an elderly King and Queen of a Kingdom in turmoil.
Upon her rests the responsibility to rescue her Kingdom one day, but for now, she is held within the castle walls for her safety. She longs to go outside just for a moment, to smell the sweet lilacs growing in the meadow.
Come along on her adventure when she dares to escape the castle walls and meets a cursed dragon. Little does she know that while the dragon has an evil plan, she holds the key to bringing peace to her Kingdom.
Asin (Amazon): B06XPTXTJG
A Turtle’s Magical Adventure
Hook: Tad, the turtle, doesn’t like his shell because it makes him too slow. Will he discover its’ importance before it’s too late?
Blurb: A Turtle’s Magical Adventure is a charming, heart-warming story of a turtle who doesn’t like his shell because it makes him too slow.
Tad asks other slow animals if they also mind being slow. Each one gives an answer that helps Tad feel better, but, still, he wants to be fast.
He happens upon a snake who tells him there is a wizard that can make him fast. He goes on an adventure into The Magical Timberwood Forest to meet the wizard and hopefully get his wish fulfilled.
He encounters delightful, magical creatures along the way, but also meets with danger and choices. Will Tad get his wish or will the wizard turn him into turtle soup?
Gloria and the Unicorn
Hook: When Gloria needs help a unicorn appears and becomes her best friend, but then their relationship is challenged, can this unlikely duo triumph against evil?
Blurb: Gloria and the Unicorn is a story that will delight you as well as pull on your heart strings as Gloria struggles with her facial disfigurement and wanting to fit in. Gloria’s mother died at birth and her father gave her to Miss Libby, the owner of a children’s home. Miss Libby loves the little girl and feels protective of her. But, it’s not until Sir Louie, the unicorn, shows up that Gloria starts to believe in herself. She has a conflict at school and never wants to go back and then she finds herself in an even worse situation; she encounters the evil Wizards of Malcadore who want to kill her. She must decide if she will face her fear of certain death to save her friend, Sir Louie, or lose him forever. Come along on Gloria’s marvelous journey with Sir Louie.
Little Birdie Grows Up Hook: A baby blue bird is born and yearns to fly. Come on his journey as he perseveres to reach his goal.
Blurb: Young kids love Little Birdie in the award-winning picture book Little Birdie Grows Up! This charming picture book follows the story of a little blue bird pecking out of his shell and into the world. He longs to learn how to fly. Children will laugh as he eats a worm for the first time and they will identify with his first attempts at flying as he falls a bit short. We learn perseverance by watching him try again. This book is ideal for young kids but also enjoyable for the whole family as it shares the universal message of longing to grow up.
ISBN (paperback): 0692745092
ISBN (hardcover): 0692745106
Franky the Finicky Flamingo
Hook: Franky appears to be a picky eater until he discovers the food that is right for him.
Blurb: Franky is a beautifully colored pink flamingo, but, he doesn’t know the right food to eat. He tries food that other birds like, but he doesn’t enjoy any of them. Then, the unthinkable happens. His adored pink color begins to fade. What will Franky do now? Find out in Franky, The Finicky Flamingo.
Social Media links:
Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/wluthman
- QUICK POP-QUIZ. (You can choose one or both, and please feel free to add a very brief comment)
Snow or sun: sun soccer
Dogs or cats: cat/dog (remember that cartoon? But seriously, I love them both!)
Ice-cream or fruit: ice cream!!
Fact or fiction: fiction
Music or silence: silence
Sport or reading: reading
Sea or mountains: mountains with a lake though, I have to have water
Groundhogs or squirrels: groundhogs!!
Books or movies: books, of course!
E-book or print: Print but I do buy ebooks because I have NO MORE room in my house for books! Ha!
- Is there anything more you want to tell your readers?
I hope you enjoyed this interview. Thank you, Lieve, for allowing me to do this. If you enjoy my books, please leave a review and tell your friends. Magic is real, it shows up in the form of love so let love guide all your choices!
Thank you so much for this interview Wanda Luthman!