Bio: Karen Cioffi and Robyn Feltman are advocates of education, reading and the environment. Two of their favorite sayings are:
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained”
“You must be the change you want to see in the world”
Karen Cioffi is a former accountant turned author and freelance writer. She has a number of articles in ezinearticles.com. Karen spends part of her day managing Virtual Book Tours and her blog, following up on emails, and writing. She also watches her toddler grandson and baby grandson two days a week. She is co-moderator of another yahoo group, Intense Writing which covers children’s stories from picture books to young adult. She is currently revising a chapter book, Walking Through Walls and working on a articles for children’s magazines. In addition to this she and Robyn are working on another picture book and a science fiction middle grade short story. Karen plays a little piano and guitar and does art work for friends and family. She lives with her husband, Donald Ventrice, in New York City.
Do you have a personal philosophy about life?
My personal philosophy is based on words from the Bible: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” These are two simple sentences that if the world adhered to would eliminate all wars, murders, violence and theft.
There are a couple of other adages that I believe in such as: nothing ventured nothing gained, try, try and try again, and you must be the change you want to see in the world.
And finally, life to a large degree is what we make of it. Don’t want too much out of life – just the basics: health, peace and happiness. Then when pleasant surprises or perks come along you truly appreciate them. I think a lot of today’s younger generation don’t understand that one.
What’s in the future pertaining to your writing?
I am venturing into writing magazine articles. I have several published on Ezine Articles and will continue to use that venue. But, very soon, I will submit a non-fiction article to a children’s magazine. I’m not sure which magazine yet; I have a list of possibilities though. This is actually an assignment in the Children’s Writers Coaching Club. I will also write articles geared toward magazines other than children’s.
What is the most difficult part of writing for children?
I have a couple of problems that I’m working on. One is I need to use age appropriate words. I tend to use words that are too difficult for the age group I’m writing for. I also need to work on my “show, don’t tell,” although that one goes for all writing.
What are a couple of your best tips for aspiring children’s authors?
The first tip I would give is to learn about writing for children. You can do this by taking courses or by researching online, reading books geared toward that topic, and reading many, many, many children’s books.
Also, you can join a writing coach’s class/club.
Next, I would advise the aspiring author to join a good children’s critique group. There is so much that is caught by those extra eyes.
Also, it is important to join groups such as The Society for Children’s Book Writing and Illustrating. I personally also joined the Chidren’s Writers Coaching Club with Suzanne Lieurance. This is when I began to learn about the business of writing.
Finally, I would say if possible attend a conference. My first conference was this October, the Muse Online Conference. It was amazing.
A review for Day’s End Lullaby:
Bedtime is the most precious time between a loved one and a child. Day’s End Lullaby will soothe any precious little one to sleep after a long day of play. I look forward to sharing this book with my daughter every night and waiting for Mr. Sandman to kiss her thoughts to dreams.
Assistant Principal, The Abigail Adams School
Jamaica, New York