Before creating and developing the Elmdale Park brand and Book series, I spent over a decade as a creative director/graphic designer crafting stories for brands in the sportswear and sports event industries.
After an exciting career as a creative director/graphic designer in the sports world. I set out to pursue my lifelong dream of producing kid’s books & entertainment. Thus Elmdale Park was born. Elmdale Park currently produces a unique brand of middle grade chapter books & activewear with plans for animation and game apps.
I live and work in Overland Park, KS, and collaborate with a team of seasoned writers, illustrators, editors and designers who also share the same passion for kids books, cartoons, sports and outdoor recreation. When I’m not designing or developing new story concepts for Elmdale Park, I’m usually reading, listening to music, enjoying the outdoors or being an amateur movie critic.
What inspires you to write?
I believe art imitates life. So I’m always inspired by real life experiences both personally and those of others. But I’m also inspired by great works of art that evoke genuine emotional responses, whether it be music, books, film, graphic design or fine art. Inspiration is literally everywhere we look. It’s just a matter of seeing and understanding it.
Tell us about your writing process.
I think of the overall concept first. Next I think of what the tone and mode of narrative should be and what should be taken away from it. For this book, I had created the characters long before the story came to me. So it was a matter of telling a story that involved all of the characters. For months I will just think about the narrative and developing key scenes to build around. All the while I will write these ideas down and file them away, so later I can tie them all together. Once I feel like I have a strong beginning, middle and end to a story I will write a very detailed outline for the entire story. I’ll read and revise the outline several times. Finally we will flesh out the outline into a first draft of the manuscript including dialogue, anecdotes and additional details for context. Then we read and revise the manuscript as much as needed; Before finally having our editor conduct a thorough line edit, to check for any issues and to make any recommendations for improving the writing.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Yes, it’s always good to set up a situation and let the character dictate the action based on who they are. This requires the writer to forget their own personal ideas, fears and beliefs and really get in the head of the character.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write from your heart, meaning your experience in terms of emotion. Tell compelling stories worth telling, that will resonate or relate with people on a emotional level. Ultimately we all deal with the same emotions despite different situations and experiences. But underlying those differences remains the common human emotions and basic human needs. When it comes to publishing be do your homework, be creative and think outside of the box.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to self-publish for the simple fact that we now can, and many do, rather successfully. Thanks in part to today’s technology and the access to independent and experienced publishing professionals. This route gives you more creative control, freedom and flexibility in terms of editing, marketing and sales strategy. But this also means you must do your homework and work very hard to ensure your book is done properly. And despite it being at times a tedious and costly process, it’s a truly rewarding and exciting process and a invaluable learning experience. And to see someone enjoying the final product is priceless.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that book publishing will continue to grow in multiple directions. I don’t see ebook vs printed books a zero sum game. Personally, I like ebooks and I like printed books both. They each have their own distinct benefits. I feel that, as long as we continue to need stories to help us discover ourselves within or escape from our own world, and we continue to need and crave new knowledge and information; Regardless of the form in which it’s received, we’ll always need books to be published for our consumption.
What do you use?
Co-writer, Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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