Today, Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest Mark J. Grant's author of Lila: The Sign of the Elven Queen.

Norm: 

Good day Mark and thanks for participating in our interview.

Please tell our readers a little bit about your personal and professional background. 

Mark:

I live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with my three Aussie rescue dogs. I have run Capital Markets at four investment banks and been on their Board of Directors. I currently writ an economic commentary on the markets that goes to some 4,000 large financial institutions in about 48 countries. Then I write books. 

Norm:

Why have you been drawn to writing a children's book which is quite a change from your usual line of work and writing? Did you enjoy the process? How was it different from your typical format? 

Mark:

My first book, Out of the Box and onto Wall Street is what you might expect from a person in the financial world. Lila is a horse of a different color; to quote The Wizard of Oz. It was written as a response to a number of friends of mine who told me there were no decent fairy tales for children so I decided to write one. Children need to use their imagination and it leads to new businesses, new inventions and creativity in their adult life. Looking at the world through the eyes of a six year old girl was a very different sort of an adventure. 

Norm:

How did you go about creating the character of Lila? Is she based on some little girl you know? As a follow up, what served as the primary inspiration for the book? 

Mark:

Lila is based, in part, on two real people which are my niece and the daughter of an anchor on Bloomberg TV who is a great friend of mine. I tried to imagine how a young girl sees the world and then how mama and papa help guide her. The addition of an invisible dog, the invisible people from Iceland who live in the cornerstones of downtown buildings in New York or in the boulders of central park helped add some zest and fantasy to the story.

The inspiration for the book was to write a Fairy Tale that bristled with adventure and delight and did not frighten anyone at bedtime. 

Norm:

What purpose do you believe your story serves and what matters to you about the story? 

Mark:

From childhood through everyone's adult life they need imagination to succeed. If children to not receive this at an early age then the process of creativity does not begin correctly, in my view. So many books have vampires and monsters and all manner of scary things that taking this path is not helpful for a child. I tried to provide an alternative route for their imagination. 

Norm:

What was the most difficult part of writing your book? 

Mark:

Know where it was going. There was no outline and no preset agenda. I just kept trundling down the path and several times during the process I went outside and laughed at myself and wondered where I had come up with that. My imagination was well trained by my mother, Winnie the Pooh and Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. 

Norm:

Can you tell us how you found representation for your book? Did you pitch it to an agent, or query publishers who would most likely publish this type of book? Any rejections? Did you self-publish? 

Mark:

The book is published by Mascot books. They have more than seven hundred titles in their library. I had the very good luck of finding them on line and of meeting Naren Aryal, their CEO and of making a go of it with them. Trying to deal with the larger publishing houses is a nightmare. They will not take manuscripts, you have to get an agent and, in the end, they want all of the royalties. I was quite lucky. 

Norm:

What will you be doing for promotion and how much of it is your doing?

Mark:

I have hired the Barret Company. They are one of the premiere publicists in the country. Lila has a social media team, a site and blog team and we are trying to get the book shown out as broadly as possible. Also both Books-A-Million and Barnes and Nobel gave the publisher the largest first orders he had ever received on any book. Market is indeed an adventure. 

Norm:

Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us? (We would love to hear all about them!) 

Mark:

Yes, I am working on my third book now and also on Lila" # 2. The new book is a highly fictionalized account of my own life. The title will be A Wizard of a Different Sort. 

Norm:

Where can our readers find out more about you and Lila: The Sign of the Elven Queen? 

Mark:

There is a lot of information on-line at "Princesslila.com" and also videos posted on Youtube which are a lot of fun.

Norm: 

As this interview draws to a close what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.

Mark:

Do you believe that there are things in our world that cannot be sensed by us. The answer is, "Yes." Much in the same manner that a dog cannot see color, even though we know there is color in the world, I think our senses may limit what we can perceive. Exploring that idea delights me. 

Norm:

Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors

Follow Here To Read Norm's Review of Lila: The Sign of the Elven Queen 

Follow Here To Purchase Lila: The Sign of the Elven Queen