Today I have author of the children’s book Mike and the Deaf Student, Sharon Straka Hendricks with me. Check out our exclusive interview with the author where we talk about how she tackled the issue of bullying in her story, writing Harry Potter fanfic, and more!
I am 42 years old and I have lived my whole life in Pennsylvania. I have been married for almost 11 years and I was adopted at the age of one. I found my birth family a little over a year ago and, though I grew up with a younger brother, I discovered I had 5 older brothers and a younger sister.
When did you get into writing?
I have always loved writing. From elementary school, my teachers said I had a flair for the written word. Back in 1991, I decided to take the correspondence course through the Institute of Children’s Literature and I did a lot of fanfic writing for Harry Potter. Back in 2007 I got into copywriting since we lived in a very rural area which afforded few jobs. But I never really got the inspiration for writing a children’s book until this past fall.
Other authors who have influenced you?
JK Rowling, Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Marc Brown.
What inspired you to write The Walk a Mile in my Shoes Club Series? What kind of readers will it appeal to?
I would say that God gave me the idea for the series. It really came out of the blue. The books will appeal to children, parents, and teachers alike, because it gives the lesson about why bullying is wrong in a way that helps children understand without being preachy.
Your thoughts about self and traditional publishing?
I believe they are both worthwhile platforms for writers. But for myself, I wanted a publisher to look at me and say, “I love your book idea. I want to publish it.” There is no better feeling.
Are there any upcoming works we should know about?
I have written another book called that, although it is not a part of The Walk a Mile in My Shoes Club Series, it is along the same lines. I am also working on the second book in the series. Mike and the Deaf Student is currently having its illustrations redone, and I am hoping that the new version will be out by the middle of next month, if not sooner.
Have you read Mike and the Deaf Student yet? Let us know in the comments what you thought of it!
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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