Sally Gilchrest-Unrau – Author Interview

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

Sam’s Weird Afternoon is a young children’s picture book, my first published book. It is a whimsical story, written in rhyme, about a young boy named Sam who takes off his shoes just as his mom asks but after doing so on this afternoon, he looks down at his feet only to see a new pair of shiny shoes. He removes them and then there is another pair and another until his room is filled with shoes. Unsure what to do, something magical occurs and Sam is able to clean up the mess without his mother ever finding out.

Tell us something about yourself.

I am originally from Stratford, Connecticut and graduated from Southern Conn. State College with a B.S. in Special Education. I moved to Canada which has been my home for over 30 years now and for 25 of them I have worked in the field of Early Childhood Education. I am a three time breast cancer survivor and it was during the years of treatments that I began writing, mostly to keep my sanity and a bit of control in my life. Journal writing eventually morphed into more creative writing over the past five years.

What inspired you to write this book?

Having retired from my profession, I began writing about the things I knew best…children and their parents; and cancer. Sam became the main character of my kid’s stories and one day I decided to try and get one of my stories published. I submitted Sam’s Weird Afternoon to Tate Publishing and some months later, I signed a contract with them to publish my story. I was unsure what direction to go in to get my story put into a book…so I consulted my sister who had previously published with Tate.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I must say, I never really thought about being a writer…it just happened and I love it. It is hard to say what is the hardest part of writing but I suppose for me it would be the fact that it can become an obsessive activity…taking up so much time that my other passions get put on the backburner at times. I am not a big reader and sometimes I feel a bit guiltiy about that…but I have many passions such as quilting and crafting which require massive amouts of hours.

I have written numerous stories about Sam and his adventures..my favorite being one about him learning to blow bubbles from gum. As this is my first published book I think I will enjoy this ride first before I decide to go on another.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

The first piece of advice I can give about publishing something is… the process is a long one so you will need to muster up…lots of patience. The second piece of advice would be…don’t expect to leave your day job and get rich…in fact…you will have to dig into your piggy bank and spend, spend before you can ever expect to see any dollars coming your way. In my case it has all been worth it.

What are you doing to promote your book?

I have scheduled many book signing events, emailed everyone I know…and don’t know…not one…but a number of times so they keep seeing my book title and where they can buy it. I have a blog which I write in daily…to share info about the publishing process I have been going through…to provide some laughter…and to share info about Sam, the book and me the author. I visit others blogs and websites and leave comments, inviting them to check out my blog …some days spending more hours on the computer than I would like.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

If you would like to learn more about my book, Sam or me …you can go to ….http://fatquarter.wordpress.com.

Sam’s Weird Afternoon was released on May 25th 2010, which I like to call … Christmas in May. The book is available at Amazon.com and at most small and large bookstores upon request.