Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest, William D. Smith’s Becoming A Superhero: Adventures of An American Superhero. William is in his forth-eighth year of teaching, first as an elementary teacher and subsequently as a teacher of prospective teachers. He is presently an adjunct instructor at Ocean Community College in Toms River, New Jersey where he teaches education and psychology courses.
Good day William and thanks for participating in our interview.
What is your background in children's literature?
Thanks for asking. I’ve been in education for quite some time. After a few years of elementary teaching, I began as an adjunct instructor in college. I worked primarily at teacher training programs. My courses included curriculum and instruction, children’s literature was my favourite course.
What inspired you to write your first book?
After years of teaching prospective teachers how to teach children’s literature, I boldly decided it would be nice to see my story on a library book shelf, even perhaps in a school classroom. This week I actually realized that dream; I’m teaching my book as a supplementary reading in my children’s literature class.
What do you want Becoming A Superhero: Adventures of An American Superhero to do? Amuse? Provoke Thought? As a follow up, whom do you believe will benefit from your book and why?
I know the book provokes young readers to see individual traits in our heroes that we can emulate. My story character literally writes a “Book of Kid’s Rules,” selected from any number of different heroes. Secondly, Billy challenges his teacher by writing his own answers to arithmetic story problems. The point being, that there are others ways to look at problems, and often very different solutions. My book is a story for all ages. It’s a story to be shared by young readers, parents, and grandparents.
What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
At first I didn’t have a plot, but after reading through a collection of published poetry, I found it. Then I didn’t know how to end it, but Billy was finally promoted after spending months on his principal’s retention list & the end came with a fun filled school event.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned a great deal. Being 72 the yesterdays were cloudy, but once I began writing the fog cleared and it all came back to me. It’s been a wonderful experience and I recommend it to all my senior friends.
Are the characters in your book based on people you know or have encountered or are they strictly fictional?
They all existed. Some have actually contacted me. Last Sunday my wife and I had lunch with the Girl in Chapter 14. When we hugged it was 53 years since we had had those crazy childhood family experiences with our parents.
What has your experience been like with self -publishing? Do you recommend it over traditional publishers?
It has been a dream with Outskirtspress.com. From the day their review wrote that they had accepted my story, I’ve literally been guided along the way. Being a first time author I had any number of questions & they were answered at each and every phase of the publication. I highly recommend the self-publishing concept in general, and Outskirts Press in particular. They assign a marketing coach even after publication & make daily reminders on how to sell and market on Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble. This assistance includes recommendations of potential interviewers.
Any unique ways you'll be marketing your book that is different from how others authors market their books?
I’m not sure how unique it is but my book has been entered in two International Book Fairs: Beijing in 08, & London in 09. Additionally, I along with some of my interviews which were posted on their blogs, I’ve followed up and advertised my book to extend the press coverage. I guess the one unique feature is the daily contact throughout the entire publishing process.
How can our readers find out more about you and Becoming A Superhero: Adventures of An American Superhero?
My email is: email@example.com. The web site of my book is outskirtspress/BecomingASuperhero.
What is next for William D. Smith and is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered?
Norm, Perhaps you can extend this courtesy to me next year when Billy goes to Junior High & the sequel fits between two covers?
Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors.
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