From the Spinal Column News
The book, “Mr. Kiwi: Trouble with Mr. Mow-It-All”, teaches children through rhymed verse about working together, cooperation and participating in community. The second book, Bullies Can’t Throw Gumboots”, is expected to be released sometime this fall.
Author and illustrator Michele Beresford says inspiration for the series came from her husband, Graeme, who is a native of New Zealand.
“Two years ago we were on a road trip and I just found inspiration along the way. I was sort of teasing [Graeme] and telling the story out loud in rhyme, just joking around. As we kept going, I wrote it down on a napkin and didn’t think anything about it. He had asked me on and off the last few years if I would end up doing anything with it. I typed it and gave it to a friend who’s a teacher and she loved the story,” she said. “Mr. Kiwi is from New Zealand, so all the books sort of have a Kiwi/New Zealand kind of theme and flavor.”
An author and illustrator, Beresford previously released two horror novels and one sci-fi novel. She wrote her first novel in 2008, and her latest book, “Eternal Kingdom”, a vampire novel based in the City of Detroit, was released in 2014.
Beresford is also no stranger to supporting local children’s gardens. When she and Graeme wed in 2014, the couple requested that donations be made to the Commerce Elementary Garden (Fresh P.I.C.K.E.D.) or the Milford Township Public Library in lieu of gifts.
“A portion of the book sales will go into a fund. Once we have enough to do some good, then we could say, ‘write to us and tell us what you need and why you need it’, almost like a scholarship in a way,” Beresford said. “Our hope is that every year we could fund at least three teaching or children’s gardens. More would be great, but we’ll see where we’re at in a year.”
“Mr. Kiwi: Trouble with Mr. Mow-It-All” is recommended for children who read at a second-grade level, and is appropriate to be read aloud for all ages. The book is available for purchase on Amazon. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interview with Michele Beresford, author of Mr. Kiwi Series
Doodles, doodles everywhere congratulates author Michele Beresford on the release of her book, Mr Kiwi and the Trouble With Mr. Mow-It-All (A Mr. Kiwi Book One)! Let’s welcome her on the blog for an interview with DDE today. Read on!
- How did you decide to write Mr Kiwi and the Trouble With Mr. Mow-It-All?My Kiwi husband and I were on a road trip. I was kidding with him, making up a story about him that rhymed. We were laughing but it was so good, I started writing it down.
When we returned from the trip, I put the story in my desk. I decided to illustrate it and make it a book two years later.
2. Can you tell us what kind of research went behind Book One in the series?
My story is completely from imagination but the research came in the illustrations. I am an experienced mural artist. Painting scenes confined to conventional paper sizes took a few weeks of research, trial and error. It was a challenge to paint in such a limited space.
3. Do you decide the character traits before you sit down to write the book, or as you go along?
I was so inspired on the trip that the story just poured out of me. I write speculative fiction under a different pen name and I find all of my writing comes to me in a similar way. I am enveloped in a wave of inspiration and I must write it all down (feverishly sometimes) before the muse is gone.
4. Who’s your favorite character from the book and why?
While Mr. Kiwi saves the day, my favorite character is Boomer the Dog. He is the unsung hero of the story.
5. How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
My husband and I went to dinner and shared a bottle of wine at our favorite restaurant.
6. Tell us about some of the biggest challenges or learning experiences you faced throughout the writing and publishing process.
Inspiration wrapped me in her warm embrace, encouraging the story and art work. In stark contrast, the digital format to see the book to publication was a bit of a nightmare. Luckily, Emerian Rich, a wonderful author, colleague and magazine editor gracefully picked up the project and worked her digital formatting magic in my stead. No really, she really is magic! If not for her help, I fear I might not have seen Mr Mow-It-All to fruition.
7. Tell us something personal about you that your readers may be surprised to know.
I’m a professional harpist and I play under my stage name, Michele Roger. I have 2 CDs on iTunes and I’m working on a third harp CD this year.
8. What do you like to do when you are not writing or reading?
I love to cook! My specialties are French and vegetarian dishes, but I love to learn new recipes and try them out everyday.
9. What’s next?
I’m writing and painting the second book in the Mr Kiwi series. “Bullies Can’t Throw Gumboots” It will be released in early Fall of 2017.
10. Lastly, any special thoughts for the readers?
The more fun that we as parents, teachers, aunts, uncles and authors make reading books for children, the better the world will be in the future. I sincerely believe every time we read together, we take a step towards making our little corner of the world a better place.
Mr Kiwi and the Trouble With Mr. Mow-It-All
(A Mr. Kiwi Book One)
by Michele Beresford
Publication Date: December 6, 2016
Published by: Beresford Media
Page count: 10
The first book in the Mr. Kiwi Series, “Trouble With Mr. Mow-It-All” teaches children the value of working together.
As the kids of Spring Hill prepare to host the soccer championship, they get together with Mr. Kiwi to clean up the field. Robby brings his home made robot, Mr. Mow-It-All to do all of the work instead. The robot goes haywire and it’s up to Mr. Kiwi and his dog, Boomer to save the day.
A portion of the proceeds from all of the Mr. Kiwi book series goes to fund the Kiwi Children’s Garden Fund. The fund provides scholarships to small groups who wish to start or preserve children’s gardens.
Buy the book
A portion of the proceeds from every sale of the book is donated to the Kiwi Children’s Garden Fund. This fund helps to support children’s vegetable gardens and their success and education.
About the author
Michele Beresford is an American who fell in love with New Zealand, the culture and one of it’s blokes.
She loved the bloke so much, she married him and was inspired to write the Mr. Kiwi series. She is also a Food and Travel writer.