Kussins on The Authors Show

  • M. W. Adams give us a quick synopsis of your Family Tree Novel series and DOWN UNDER: Kussins.

The Family Tree Novel series is a real and relevant story about modern family relationships and hometown history.

In DOWN UNDER: Kussins, Pester’s unyielding pranks force Driew to question his biggest bother’s not-so-loving intentions. During Driew’s countrified lessons with twins, Able and Cain Poe, a brotherly secret surfaces. Driew vows to protect family secrets and moments, carving their words down under the Outback tree’s protective bark.

  • Is there a specific type of reader you had in mind when you wrote your book?

I wrote this book for tween/teen readers to understand family roles and how love works. Whether readers are the oldest, middle, youngest, adopted, blended, or an only child, they’ll related to a Family Tree Novel character. The series’ Walkabout moments offer family perspectives of Driew’s journey along an uprooted Aboriginal songline.

  • What influences your writing style?

Reading is a strong influence. When writing middle grade YA, I must research myself at that age: fears, actions, and reactions to surviving your social tribe. In my youthful exploration of love and family, I used books like: The Five Love Languages of Teenagers, Gary Chapman and Growing Up First Born, Kevin Leman.

Research is a fascinating influence. In the Family Tree Novel series I decided to include my research as second source reading for educators. Beyond the book reading includes: local history, traditions, foods, and social factors.

Lastly words and language are important influence in writing. Words have unique meanings in various cultures. Take for example Caddywompus, (a non-derogatory word to describe functions or actions associated with uncharacteristic behaviors, socially or physically). My neighbor used the word to describe a table with a short leg, or a photo that hung off-centered on the wall.

  • What makes your characters unique?

Each teen characters express love differently based on the role they play in family hierarchy. I also like that each has their own sense of humor that sparkles throughout.

  • Where can we purchase your book?

If visiting the small town from the book, Dawson Springs, Kentucky, Southern Belles and Notions on the town square or Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park gift shop are my two favorites. The books are available at my publisher’s website: syppublishing.com, my website: markwayneadams.com, or any major retailer.

The full interview and original broadcast are available at The Authors Show.

 

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“A great story about discovering the world around us.”—Ryan Jordan, Readers’ Favorite

down-under-kussins-3d-book-cover-9781596160385-www-mwa-company-72dpiReviewed By Ryan Jordan for Readers’ Favorite

DOWN UNDER: Kussins by M.W. Adams is the second book in the Family Tree Novel series and is a collection of moments, basically chapters centered around one particular scene in the life of Driew and his family, such as his brother Pester who calls Driew his little bother. Each scene stands alone, but together they make up the life of a young boy in Australia as he meets new people and learns about the world around him. This is a fictional reinterpretation of the life of the author with a lot of clever twists and fun moments that helped bring the stories and volume to life.

I liked the way in which each chapter could stand completely on its own, and the titling of each as ‘moments’ worked really well. Each was a moment in time unto itself, and the self-contained nature inside of the wider theme of the story did a lot to make it interesting. I think my favorite moment was “Hunter” because it had a little bit of everything. There is also a smattering of strange vernacular that I didn’t recognize, and I found the glossary to be tremendously helpful in learning new words or different uses of things I’ve seen before. I think that there is enough fun and educational information in this work to entertain any children, and even adults could easily find quite a few things to love about it. Down Under: Kussins by Mark Wayne Adams is a great story about discovering the world around us by looking at small snippets in time.

“A well-crafted work that reads like poetry.” —Ruffina Oserio, Readers’ Favorite

down-under-kussins-3d-book-cover-9781596160385-www-mwa-company-72dpiReviewed By Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite

DOWN UNDER: Kussins by M.W. Adams is a family tree novel for young readers, a well-crafted work that reads like poetry, featuring very good and believable characters and a plot that will undoubtedly have readers turning the pages. The main character, Driew, is not an ordinary kid, and of course his parents think it is useless leaving him with a cellphone. From the very first page, readers are pulled into the world of the protagonist, a world that rhymes with a lot of tension and activities and danger. Very early in the story, the reader understands that Driew already has a huge problem dealing with his one sibling: “I don’t want to live another tortuous year as Pester’s little brother. Can’t Pester resolve his issues to become a loving brother?” The reader is pulled into the dynamics of family life and conflicts, but the adventure of Driew is what will take their breath away. Follow him down the hazardous path under.

The writing is like nothing I have read before, an original voice and a turn of phrase that has its unique signature. M.W. Adams has a bubbling imagination that comes out powerfully in the morphology of his writing, the cast of characters, and the compelling plot. The plot is fast-paced with a lot of drama and powerful scenes to pull the reader in. I read the entire story within twenty-four hours and enjoyed the plot lines, the characters, and the themes that center on the family. Down Under: Kussins is fun and entertaining.

“‘Down Under: Kussins is as exciting as it is entertaining, a real thrill ride.”—Divine Zape, Readers’ Favorite

Reviewed By Divine Zape for Readers’ Favorite

DOWN UNDER: Kussins by Mark Wayne Adams is a glorious read, tantalizing and absorbing, a book for young readers that will equally appeal to adult ones. The book reveals a lot of creativity and symbolism on the part of the author, starting with a stream of consciousness built about bullying Driew, one of the lead characters, and immediately draws readers into a beautiful adventure that centers on family values, and coming-of-age challenges.

Mark Wayne Adams has a unique style of writing and it is interesting to see how creative he gets with diction. The characters are very interesting and mature readers will be reminded of the young kids they once were, of a beautiful world they once inhabited, and dreams they once had. The characters are relatable, real, and watching them deal with challenges and conflict is a huge entertainment. The plot is fast-paced, imagined with a lot of surprises for readers. There is music in the writing, like the singing-things, a kind of music that moves with the plot and animates the action throughout the whole novel.

Besides the musical quality in the writing, readers are met with symbolism, and beautiful dialogues that help to enhance plot and characterization. This is a hilarious ride for young readers and the prose is certainly going to ring through their ears like music. They will love characters as compelling as Driew as they follow them through the adventure. DOWN UNDER: Kussins is as exciting as it is entertaining, a real thrill ride.

“How did you become Readers’ Favorite Illustration Awards Judge?”—Anna Faktorovich, PhD Interview

Faktorovich: You also served as a Readers’ Favorite Illustration Awards judge. How did you win this job? Did somebody else nominate you or did you nominate yourself? You won several awards from this group, so did they automatically nominate you to judge when you hit a certain number of award wins? Beyond what appears on the official rules for contests, what practically makes a difference between illustrations that win an award and those that don’t? Is there an obvious difference between the winners and losers? And if so, what are the most common mistakes made by the losers?

IMG_0638Adams: I met the Readers’ Favorite founder, Debra Gaynor, several times in Miami, Atlanta, Nashville and Frankfort. She solicited me like every author who had a quality book that would grow the now international Reader’s Favorite Awards and Review program. Jilli, That’s Silly! written by Christa Carpenter, received a gold medal and I planned to attend the ceremony in Miami. Debra also invited me to present on the Value of Illustration during the Readers’ Favorite two night annual awards ceremony. While at breakfast, I sketched in my current Best Sketchbook. James Ventrillo, current CEO of Readers’ Favorite, introduced himself and began an impromptu interview for the Reader’s Favorite Illustration Awards judge position.

IMG_0523The awards won through their organization did not automatically make me judge. Professional experience earned the position. Several hundred books in various genres are submitted each year. Judging occurs throughout the year based on: character development, storytelling, cover design, layout, etc. Once a book is scored, the score is final. Until the scoring is complete, who the winner is remains a surprise for them and me.

We’ve all seen books that are obvious winners and losers. I judge on the criteria specifically. Common mistakes made are strong illustrations and a weak graphic design. Cover design is 10 points. If the cover design scores low, great illustrations may not win. Another common mistake is inexperience. The art must relay the story to a non-reader.

My biggest reward in participating as the Readers’ Favorite Illustration Awards Judge is hearing a winner say, “I didn’t think I was that good,” or “There are more talented artists than me.” Receiving feedback from your peers is important!

 

Read the complete interview with Mark Adams, Award-Winning IllustratorAdams-Author Bio Photo-mwa.company-template with Anna Faktorovich, PhD

Review: Does Grandma Have a Mustache?

does-grandma-have-a-mustache-3d-72dpi-rgbRita Fleming has written an enchanting poetry book about the loving and hysterical moments of family life. Fleming’s unique set of poems brought laughter and memories as I read about amusing childlike perspectives.

Does Grandma Have a Mustache? has short poems, age appropriate text, and entertaining illustrations for young readers. The story engagement encourages family and classroom discussion. Families, students, and teachers should adopt this insightful story into reading time!

Reviewed by:

Mark Wayne Adams is an award-winning illustrator, author, and publisher of more than 40 children’s books. View Books and Awards

Website(s):  www.markwayneadams.comwww.mwa.company

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“Do you think awards and reviews are key to sales of new releases?”—Anna Faktorovich, PhD Interview

Faktorovich: You boast on your website that over 5 years the authors you’ve published with MWA, Inc. have won over 50 major awards. To how many awards do you submit each of your releases to? How expensive is it to do a mass submission to so many awards for several books? Do you or your authors fund these submissions? Do you see a positive return in terms of sales after a book ends up winning awards? Do you think awards, reviews, or some other components are key to the sales of a new release in the illustrated children’s book category?

Christa Carpenter receives the Evelyn Thurman Young Readers Award.
Christa Carpenter receives the Evelyn Thurman Young Readers Award.

AdamsAwards—we all want them, but why? Most authors rely on publishers to submit for book awards. The publisher works within a fixed budget and may only enter a few awards competitions. What authors and illustrators may not realize is they can submit for book awards. Some awards offer monetary compensation, while all offer either local, regional, or national exposure. What value is an award? Awards offer something different for each person. Authors may use awards to validate their profession to consumers, peers, or family. Readers may see awards as a quality review from book professionals. Publishers may see the award as a reason to contract for future books. No matter what the reason, be confident that your book is of professional quality before submitting. Be open to the fact that not all submissions win. Being a finalist is as important as receiving a medal. For my fifty published books, only eleven have won awards. I use critiques from judges to enhance the next book or second edition printing of the current book. Not every book is a winner, so why not learn from each.

Read the complete interview with Mark Adams, Award-Winning IllustratorAdams-Author Bio Photo-mwa.company-template with Anna Faktorovich, PhD

Review: Does Grandma Have a Mustache?

does-grandma-have-a-mustache-3d-72dpi-rgbPoetry is a wonderful way to introduce kids to the magic of words. The rhyming of the words and the rhythm patterns make words fun. Rita Ann Fleming has written a delightful book, full of everyday experiences that kids can relate to—subjects like getting gum in your hair, the tooth fairy, and the stresses caused by siblings. The book is divided into sections, including humor and angst about family, school, grandparents, and animals.

Because the poems are written by a grandmother, the connections described between the generations are universal. What a special time when a grandmother plays a game with a grandchild, or grandfather teaches one how to repair something. These are special moments for both the child and the grandparent, and artfully captured with humor and affection.

Captivating illustrations enrich the pages, adding a sense of whimsy to each poem. The facial expressions are especially amusing. Teachers, parents, and grandparents will enjoy sharing these funny, yet insightful poems, with youngsters of all ages.

Reviewed by:

Jane R. Wood is the author of Schools: A Niche Market for Authors and an award-winning series of chapter books: Voices in St. AugustineAdventures on Amelia IslandTrouble on the St. John’s RiverGhosts on the Coast, and Lost in Boston.

Website(s): www.janewoodbooks.com

Teacher Resources for Jane’s Books

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Review: The Rocket Ship Bed Trip

The Rocket Ship Bed Trip 3D-bookThe Rocket Ship Bed Trip describes a young boy’s dream about floating into outer space on his bed— an exciting fantasy that has got to appeal to young readers.

This beautifully illustrated book stimulates a child’s imagination with colorful depictions of meteors, asteroids, and the Milky Way. The simple language and rhyming text make it easy to understand and fun to read.

Subjects like gravity, galaxies, and nebulae are introduced, arousing the curiosity of young space enthusiasts. Actual photographs from space are included at the end of the book adding a learning opportunity to this captivating read-aloud book.

This book reinforces several concepts that are included in early primary school curricula, such as: observing big and small things in the sky; recognizing that there are many stars in the sky; and identifying information in pictures. By including educational resources with a delightful story, N. Jane Quackenbush has written an award-winning children’s book that both captivates and educates.

Reviewed by:

Jane R. Wood is the author of Schools: A Niche Market for Authors and an award-winning series of chapter books: Voices in St. AugustineAdventures on Amelia IslandTrouble on the St. John’s RiverGhosts on the Coast, and Lost in Boston.

Website(s): www.janewoodbooks.com

Teacher Resources for Jane’s Books

Wood-Author Bio Photo-mwa.company-templateSocial Media: