Monday, February 16, 2015

Blog Tour Kick-off: Olive and the Great Flood

Today I'm thrilled to kick-off Connie Arnold's blog tour for the release of her latest book: OLIVE AND THE GREAT FLOOD.

This is a Noah and the Ark story told from the point of view of the dove:

Olive is a gentle friendly dove who wants to help her friends Noah, his family and the other animals with her on the ark. She tries to soothe them during the rain and has an important assignment, to discover when it’s safe to venture from the ark after the flood.

With fun rhyming verses and bold artwork, kids are sure to love Olive. I appreciated her up-beat outlook (despite the hardships of the ark), and her spirit of serving others. It's not just about enduring the hard stuff, but enduring it well. (Definitely something I strive to do).

Connie agreed to answer a few questions here today. Those who comment will be entered into drawings for two prizes, a signed copy of Connie's first children’s book, ANIMAL SOUND MIX-UP, and a gold dove windchime. Just saying, but the windchime is beautiful! Visit her blog for the details.

And here we go!

Me: Congratulations on the publication of Olive and the Great Flood! So what inspired you to tell this story from the perspective of the dove?

Connie: I have read this story many times before, heard it as a small child and was always fascinated about all those animals going onto the ark and surviving the flood. Children always seem to enjoy animals and stories about animals. I see things a little differently now that I have grandchildren and have started writing for young children. It just struck me how important the dove flying out to bring back the olive leaf was to the story, and she suddenly had a personality and a mission!

Me: The dove is essential, for sure! And I love the character you created in Olive. Your readers can see Olive’s efforts to help others and that she takes pride in the important job she is given. Have you ever had an Olive in your life—someone who influenced you by their service and good attitude? Can you tell us about him/her? How did he/she influence you?

Connie: A teacher I had who was always cheerful and seemed to really care about each student influenced me in a positive way. As a shy, quiet child it was hard to express myself to others, and she encouraged me in gentle ways much as Olive gently soothes the animals on the ark.

Me: And now look . . . you are sharing your voice with countless others! My High School English teacher was like that for me. She probably has no idea the impact she made. Hmmm . . . must amend that. Anyway, so now that you have the opportunity to influence others, what do you hope your readers will take away from Olive and the Great Flood?

Connie: I hope a sense that even the small things you do during your life can make a big impact on others. Doing your best and helping others can give your life greater meaning and joy. Also, remember the promise of the rainbow and God’s love!

Me: I completely agree! The small things really add up. We shouldn't be afraid to do what we can because we think it's too small, or wouldn't have a big enough impact. 

So as I writer, I also wanted to talk a little about you and your writing process. It’s such a personal thing for each of us. What inspires you in your writing? Or put another way, how do you develop your ideas?

Connie: My grandchildren and other children inspire my writing for the young ones. Once an idea is born, it grows and blooms into a story or dies a natural death. I think you and other writers can relate to that. When it grows and develops it is worth all the efforts of changing, redoing, editing, cutting and writing again that make it be worth reading and enjoying.

Me: I can definitely relate. Many, many ideas never make it past the idea stage. But the ones that do are without a doubt a labor of love. Even so, I still struggle sometimes getting the story into readable shape. How about you? What has been your biggest struggle as an author?

Connie: My health and energy level have caused a struggle at times. I have lupus and some other issues that leave me very painful and drained at times. It is hard to focus and be productive at those times. I find the promotion of my books much harder than the writing actually. 

Me: My aunt has lupus, so I've seen how draining that can be. It just makes me all the more amazed at your accomplishments and determination. And I can definitely see that about promotion. I feel I've got a steep learning curve ahead of me where promotion is concerned. So with all you are doing, what legacy do you hope to leave as an author?

Connie: Since I feel that my writing ability and being a published author are because of God’s help and blessings, I hope to leave inspiration, joy and a blessing to those who read what I have written.

Me: What a great legacy. If we could all just leave the world with a little more inspiration and joy, this world would be a better place. Okay, and now a fun question or two: If you could get any book signed by the author (alive or dead), what would it be?

Connie: Can I say the Bible? It is one book, but think of all those authors. Wouldn’t that be fantastic!

Me: It would be! A worthy choice, for sure! Actually, given the topic of your book, I had a feeling you'd say that. ;) And of course, because this is me, you knew I had to ask this . . . what would Olive’s personalized license plate be? :D 

Connie: COO2U 

Haha! I love it! Thanks so much for letting me be part of your tour. :) And to the rest of ya'll, don't forget to comment for a chance to win the aforementioned prizes!

Have a great week!


Connie’s blog for tour schedule and prizes


Connie Arnold said...

Janet, thank you so much for your terrific start to my tour for Olive and the Great Flood with the review and interview! I look forward to stopping by again later and responding to any comments or questions. Best wishes to all for the prize drawings!

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Connie, that was a fantastic idea to write the story from the dove's perspective. I love that! Congratulations on your release. Thanks, Janet, for the great interview.

Lily Whalen said...

I agree - great idea to write the story from the dove's POV. I look forward to reading the book!

Connie Arnold said...

Thank you, SA, it was fun to write!

Connie Arnold said...

Susan, I hope you enjoy Olive and her story!

Theresa Milstein said...

I like the idea of a peaceful dove calming the animals.

Connie Arnold said...

I don't know how many animals are like some dogs I have seen who get extremely agitated during storms, but I'm sure they could use a good bit of calming.

Karen Lange said...

Wishing Connie all the best with her book! It's nice to learn more about her and the book. Thanks for the interview!

Connie Arnold said...

Thank you for your good wishes, Karen!

Kai Strand, Author said...

Congratulations on your new book, Connie. Wishing you lots of success.

Connie Arnold said...

Thank you, Kai, much appreciated!

Robyn Campbell said...

YaY, I'm in! Wahoo! Great interview, Janet. LOVE this story, Connie. It is just wonderful. I know kids will love it as much as I do.

Emily R. King said...

What a fun read! I would love a copy for my kids. Thanks for introducing me to Connie, Janet!

Connie Arnold said...

Robyn, so glad you got in, and I'm thrilled you love Olive!

Connie Arnold said...

Emily, I hope your kids enjoy the book!

Donna J. Shepherd said...

So excited the book is out!

Connie Arnold said...

Thank you for sharing my excitement, Donna! I appreciate the suggestions you gave me when I was working on it. Big hugs and blessings to you!

Donna McDine said...

I enjoyed getting to know Connie even better through her wonderful interview. Small random acts of kindness definitely go a long way!


Connie Arnold said...

That is so true, Donna! Thank you for you kind comment.