Author Interview with Kelly Santana-Banks of ‘The Adventures of Froblicious the Frog’

| August 25, 2016

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The Adventures of Froblicious the Frog is the first book of the series Let’s Learn While Playing. Froblicious is a one-of-a-kind frog. He sings, dances, exercises, and has a good time with his friends. He usually sleeps during the day, and during the evening he has fun doing his colorful activities. One day he was bored, and after waking up, he set foot on another adventure. He tripped on a seesaw and sailed through the window of a little girl’s bathroom. But then, what happened to Froblicious? Find out after reading this sweet story. This is a fun rhyme geared towards 2 to 6-year-olds, where children will enjoy the beginning of a friendship between a little girl and silly frog.
Today I am joined by Kelly Santana-Banks, the author of the colourful children’s book ‘The Adventures of Froblicious the Frog’. Kelly, thanks for joining me today. Can you kick off today’s interview by letting us know what was the triggering idea for these amphibian adventures?
The idea for The Adventure of Froblicious the Frog came out of a real-life experience. I live in Florida with my husband. As you can imagine, nature, including bodies of water of all sources, are everywhere. Then, one beautiful night a couple of frogs came out and started croaking loudly, giving me a hard time to fall asleep. That last for weeks until my husband caught the pesky creatures and “shipped” them to a pond a few miles away from our home.
These characters literally leaped into your life! Did you use any other techniques to create the nuances of these personalities?
I don’t have any special process to create the characters. I try to draw upon children’s interest and what I learned through all my years of working with children. From there, I focus on a theme to talk about. Once I start writing, the ideas naturally flow.
And when you get the ideas flowing do you try and insert themes or morals in the storyline?
Most certainly! Because I have an education background and many years of experience working with children in the classroom and as a caregiver, I take on an educational approach to all children stories I write.
Did you find the integration between education and frivolity the most rewarding aspect of while you were writing, or was something else more satisfying to you?
This book is a nursery rhyme, so I wanted to help children develop their oral skills while having fun. If I can make a difference to any child in this regard, I’m happy.
I love your goal of trying to make a difference to a child via stories. Do you have anything else in the works?
I’m working on a couple of children’s stories. One focuses on safety and another on body shaming.
Good luck with those stories and I hope to hear more about your new exciting adventures in the future. Now as the first author of an illustrated children’s novel I’d had the opportunity to interview, I’d love to hear some more details about how you went about finding and working with an illustrator.
I was thankful to have found a talented illustrator on Upwork. I discussed some ideas with him and explained how I would like the characters to look like, but ultimately I gave him the creative freedom to bring the characters to life. And I loved the end result.
I have to agree, that end result is great. How did you work when you were writing your story?
I aim at write between 500-1000 daily. Sometimes, it is challenging because besides the writing, there are other aspects of the business such as marketing and social media that cannot be overlooked.
Do you have any best practice tips for other authors who would like to self publish a book?
Promote, promote, promote. Regardless of the amount of promotions we do, it will never be enough. Since our goal is to reach as much readership as possible, as indie authors, we will most likely face a lot of limitations if we don’t put a lot of effort in this area.
And when your promotion paid off and you go your first book review, how did you feel?
I felt amazing! It didn’t matter to me, i just wanted to have any type of feedback. The idea is to improve for the next books.
Do you find that you’ve improved your own writing style from things that you have read in the past?
I grew up reading my mom’s romance novels and ended up becoming a big fan of Sidney Sheldon. I also love the works of Danielle Steel and Jennifer Weiner. For me, it’s hard to say that they influenced me at this point because I didn’t take on the challenge of a novel yet. But I’m sure when the time comes, I will mirror my stories on their writing.
Now to round the interview out I’d like to ask you a few quick fire questions.

Who is your favourite literary character?
Sherlock Holmes, I guess because of my inquisitive and investigative nature 🙂
Do you have any philosophies that you live by?
Do unto others as you would have them do onto you. Be positive, work hard, and believe in dreams.
What is your favourite quote?
One of my top favorites is from William Shakespeare “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”
If you could steal one thing without consequence what would it be?
I would be sure to “snatch” the first rough draft of the Harry Porter series from J.K. Rowling.
That’s a really good answer. I’d love to see the first rough draft of any of the Harry Potter books too. I’d would be fascinating to see how they developed. Kelly, thanks again for generously giving your time to our readers and I wish you the best of luck with both Froblicious and your upcoming books.

 

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