Author Interview with Elizabeth S. Tyree
Everyone can be a writer because everyone has a lifetime of stories and ideas and imagination circling around in their head. Actual writers, however, possess the ambition and skill set to turn these ideas and stories into published text. Author Elizabeth S. Tyree is one such author who has combined her teaching skills, writing skills, and personal passions into 10 self-published children's books. Thinking outside the box, Tyree also develops lesson plans for her books and has plans for more original stories to add to her growing body of work. Below, Tyree answered my usual 10 questions about her writing career. Be sure to check out her social media sites and Amazon page as well.
1. How many books have you written and where can you buy them?
I have written 10 books, six of which are out and available via Amazon.com, CreateSpace, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and Hastings. (3 are short story compilations, the other 3 are the beginnings of the Stone Dragon Saga.)
2. What famous books can you compare to your own?
I don’t have any inkling of what famous books I might compare my own to. I hope that they are like those of the 60s and 70s…Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden in their wholesome goodness, friendships, and fun (though they are not mystery books!). I only ever try to write like myself, so I’m not sure they’re comparable…just like I don’t believe Harry Potter, The Hobbit, and Narnia should be compared…though I love them all dearly!
3. Why do you write for this particular age group?
I write for these age groups because they are my heart. I have my teaching certification for elementary and middle school with English/Language Arts, Music, and Science being my main love. I also write for these age groups because otherwise people give you funny looks when you list books rated for 0-16 year olds as your favorites. (One of my all time favorites books Is Carl’s Afternoon in the Park by Alexandra Day. The pictures are gorgeous and tell a wonderful story, helped by only 2 or 3 lines on the first page and then again on the last).
4. How autobiographical are your books?
There are pieces of me in someone or something for every story I write. Obviously I don’t have a physical necklace that comes to life like Aliphonsore, the fairy dragon in Dragon on My Neck, or a lemur I take on adventures, like Leonard in the upcoming Leonard the Lemur, but I often include little things like my favorite color/combinations, foods I enjoy, and especially my sense of humor. I have many characters with weird and sassy senses of humor. I just can’t seem to help myself!
5. What’s the best compliment that you’ve ever received about your writing?
There are 3 I just can’t ever decide between: One of my top 5 favorite authors called me his favorite ‘up and coming’ author and said he was excited when I ‘friended’ him (on Facebook).
A teacher I know read Dragon on My Neck, a YA Fantasy novel, with her 6 year old nephew and then passed it on to a former student…all of them went to get the next book and were messaging me to ask questions or to show me how excited passages made me. That was amazing!
Finally, I am partnering with a Wildlife Park for Leonard (well…I have an agreement with them to use their information in the book) and they agreed to it because they felt my style of writing is something that can ‘help the animals.’ I’ve wanted to do something like that my entire life.
6. What has been your greatest moment as a writer so far?
Every moment I get to write something that I love and, then again, every moment I share something I love and someone adores what I’ve written. The exchange of ideas is fascinating to me and I get to be a part of it.
7. Where do you get your covers?
I have created all of my covers thus-far, though my Mother and illustrator, Becky Tyree, will be helping me to update those for a more united feel as she gets more caught up with the other books we’re waiting for pictures in (I only have 5 books she’s currently trying to work on….she’ll be done in no time ;) )
8. What is a subject/character/setting you would like to tackle?
I would love to work on a creative non-fiction of some sort, but I’m not sure what I want to write about there. Possibly something having to do with Texas history that is often ignored, skewed, or left out. Perhaps a Children’s or Middle Grades series of creative non-fictions, each focusing on legends or histories of the state that are glossed over or ignored?
9. What is next for you?
The World! Or…5 books, the lesson ideas/vocabulary lists/quizzes for Dragon on My Neck, and raising my toddler (Who, by the by, created her own ‘bed time story’ for her baby dolls, so Mother and I are translating it into a small picture book. Look for Little Monster by Binky Bo Tyree…coming soon.)
10. End with a quote (from one of your books, a favorite quote by someone else, or one that has been on your mind recently).
“Everyone wants some magical solution for their problem and everyone refuses to believe in magic.” – The Mad Hatter (Once Upon a Time)
“Plant the Wishbone.” – The old Man with the Golden Goose on his hat – The Wish(bone) by Elizabeth S. Tyree (in progress)
Creativity is just intelligence having Fun ~ Albert Einstein
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