Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Review If Wishes Were Fishes and Interview with Author Nancy Sharpe



Author: NA Sharpe
Author web site:  http://nasharpe.com
Illustrator: Ginger Nielson
Illustrator web site: http://gingernielson.com)
Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC
url: http://4RVPublishingllc.com
Reading Level:  Ages 4-8
ISBN-10: 0982588674
ISBN-13: 978-0982588673
Genre: Picture book
Format: Paperback
Release date: May 10, 2010
Price: $13.99

If Wishes Were Fishes is a delightfully illustrated and well crafted story written by Nancy A. Sharpe and illustrated by Ginger Nielson.

In this story for young readers, Ms. Sharpe addresses many sayings older people use which often leave children completely baffled.  Her main character, Jedediah Tobias Trumanowski, better known as JT, is six years old.  He gets to spend the weekend with his grandparents, but he almost finds himself “in the doghouse.”

On each page, Ms. Nielson brings the characters of JT and his grandparents to life with full color illustrations many certain to bring a smile to a child’s face. 

It starts when JT can’t say aluminum foil and Grandma tells him to “spit it out.”  Of course when he does spit out his food, Grandma isn’t too pleased.  As the story progresses, young JT learns “catching 40 winks” has nothing to do with winking.  When you “line your ducks up in a row,” you shouldn’t try to catch live ducks and make them stand in a line.  “Monkey business” has nothing to do with monkeys.  Of course, if someone says, “a penny for your thoughts,” don’t expect to get a penny when you tell them what you’re thinking! 

These expressions as well as others are explored in this fun book which will both educate and delight children and their parents.  Discussing the book with children offers parents an opportunity to talk about other odd phrases which children will encounter.  I am looking forward to sharing this fun story with my own granddaughter.


Nancy has agreed to discuss her work and her book, If Wishes Were Fishes.

Please tell me how long you've been writing, and why you decided to become a writer.
I’ve always enjoyed writing; however, it is only over the past four years that I have begun submitting certain pieces for publication. I have been very fortunate in having short stories, articles, some non-fiction pamphlets and booklets, and, more recently a young adult fantasy and this current children’s picture book published.

Are you a full-time writer or a part-time writer, and how do you organize your writing time?
I am a part time writer and I work full time in another industry. My writing is very important to me and I do make sure to allow myself time to write daily. I prefer writing early in the morning, however, I always have pen paper and my flash drive with me as my Muse is not always satisfied with scheduled writing times J

What influences your writing?
Imagination. I love the “what if.”

Is this your first published work?  What other types of writing have you done?
Actually, this is my second published book. The first was a young adult  encyclopedic “guidebook” to fantasy creatures called The Destineers Journal Of Fantasy Nations. This is, however, my first picture book.

Why did you choose to write a children's story?
I have always loved books and reading, but I have a special soft spot for children’s books and young adult books. I have written young adult fantasy and this is my first picture book. I was extremely blessed in this venture, with having the opportunity to work with the very talented illustrator Ginger Nielson.

What was the process of creating this book from the first idea to the final published book?
One day when I was in a food court at a mall I was sitting near (presumably) a grandfather and grandson. The grandfather must’ve been in a hurry because I overheard him tell the young boy to shake a leg. The boy came to a dead stop, cocked his head and I could just see the wheels turning as he tried to figure out what in the world his grandfather was talking about. It made me start thinking about phrases we use in everyday speech that we take for granted that mean something totally different than the literal meaning of the words and realizing how humorous the results could be.

What are your thoughts on traditional versus self-publishing?
I think it depends on what it is you are publishing and why you are publishing that particular project. There are pros and cons to both traditional and self-publishing.

What is your marketing strategy?
Most of my marketing has been targeted through the internet and social media. You have a broader scope. I am also working locally with book stores, schools, and libraries.

What are your thoughts about children's writers needing an agent or not needing one?
Again, I think it has a lot to do with the particular project. So far, I have not contacted agents, but may consider it for future projects.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
My writer’s site is http://nasharpe.com  I also have a site for the destineers fantasy work at http://destineers.com  and there is my personal favorite, the Cybrarie at http://cybrarie.com  It is primarily geared towards the fantasy realm and the characters from the Destineers books, but there are also “classrooms” for fantasy classes and rooms for authors to talk about their new releases in children and young adult genres. I also have the  Realms of Thought blog about writing and fantasy and the Cybrarian’s Book Reviews blog. I am also on Twitter and Facebook and various writing sites

Do you have any tips for writers who are new to children's literature?
Above all else, don’t give up. Continue to write and perfect your craft. Believe in yourself. Read everything you can get your hands on to stay in touch with current market trends. Join writing and critique groups, network, network, network.

Please give us a brief synopsis about your current book and when and where it
will be available.
If Wishes Were Fishes is the story of JT Trumanowski, a six-year old with a BIG problem…his grandparents! How do you survive a whole weekend alone with them when you do exactly what they say and still end up in so much trouble?!

JT adores his grandparents and is thrilled to be invited to spend the weekend with them. He tries hard to follow their requests to a “T” with one disastrously humorous result after another. “Why can’t they just say what they mean?” he wonders. Talk about a failure to communicate! Join JT as he discovers people may mean what they say, they just don’t always say what they mean…clearly.

Purchasing links:

NA Sharpe  for autographed copies from the author

Ginger Nielson for autographed copies from the illustrator

Publisher, 4RV Publishing LLC


Barnes and Noble

Books a Million

Thank you so much for having me here today. I have really enjoyed visiting your blog.

Nancy, it's been my pleasure.  Thank you for sharing your writing life with me.

Let's meet the author:

N.A. Sharpe was born in Wilmington, Delaware and attended the University of Delaware studying Psychology and Elementary Education.  She is a single mom and currently lives in central Florida with her son and two dogs, Scooter (a Yorkie) and NaNu (a Morkie).

Throughout high school and college, she volunteered in the elementary school system, and, after receiving her degree, taught autistic and schizophrenic children in a private school in Pennsylvania for five years before moving on to an administrative career. 

She has always had a deep rooted love of storytelling and children's literature. This is her first picture book. She has one fantasy book published and is currently writing a Young Adult fantasy adventure series in collaboration with her son.

And here's the illustrator:

Ginger Nielson is a full time children’s book illustrator who lives at the top of a hill, near the edge of a forest in a semi-rural part of New Hampshire. There is a magic wand on her desk and a dragon in her basement. Everything else is perfectly normal. You can see examples of her work at www.gingernielson.com


At the end of the tour Nancy is going to be giving away a prize pack that will include an If Wishes Were Fishes tote bag, a copy of the book (of course) a Wishing Fish necklace and some surprises. Everyone leaving comments will be entered into the drawing.


  1. Hi Penny,
    Thank you so much for hosting me today - and the kind things you said about my book - I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Sounds like a great book! I'd like to add it to my collection soon! :)

  3. Nancy, it was my pleasure. I know parents and children will enjoy this story.

  4. Hi Nancy and Ginger! Great to see you here on Penny's blog.

    Nancy, I think it's wonderful how you took that moment in a mall food court and turned it into this funny book with the lovable J.T. as the main character. :o)

  5. Rena, glad you could stop by. This one is a keeper.

  6. Beth, thanks for stopping by. It is always interesting to me where authors get their ideas for stories.

  7. Hi Rena and Beth - great to see you here! Thanks Rena, I am so happy with all the feedback I've been getting from kids and adults on this :D

    I know, Beth, it's funny sometimes how one little event that someone else might not even notice can get the imagination going, lol. Thanks for all the support!

    Penny, thank you so much for sharing your blog with me today. I've enjoyed it!

  8. This sounds like a wonderful book for kids. What an interesting name for the main character. The cover is great. I like the puzzled look on the young boys face. Priceless.

    Enjoyed reading the interview. Always fun learning new things about the author and how they come up with the ideas for their books.

  9. Super review and interview, Penny.

    The book is so much fun, kids will be creating "sayings" of their own. I enjoy learning more about you, Nancy. Enjoy the rest of your tour.

  10. Susanne, glad you enjoyed the interview. All of the illustrations are wonderful. It is an all around wonderful book.

  11. Bev, how true! It's amazing how many sayings we adults have which leave children clueless.

  12. Thanks for sharing the interview, ladies! It sounds like a delightful book. There are so many phrases we use that must be very confusing to children, who take them literally.

  13. Connie, I'm glad you liked the interview. Since reading Nancy's book, I've been surprised at how many of these confusing sayings we use.

  14. Susanne - so glad you enjoyed it! I agree, Ginger's illustrations are spot on!

    Bev! Thanks so much for stopping by. (Grins) I know, kids are great! I'd love to hear the "sayings" they come up with, lol.

    Hi Connie. It's true - watch a small child's facial expression when you use a phrase he isn't familiar with and watch as he tries to puzzle it out. There are sooooo many of these sayings. It was really a lot of fun putting some of them together in this book.