Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Jumping Genres

115 Comments

Please welcome my good blogging friend, D. Wallace Peach. Besides having a wonderful blog where she shares poetry, short prose from writing prompts, and peeks into visits with her grandson, she’s a prolific fantasy/sci-fi author. Since she writes for the adult market, I wondered why she chose to write a children’s book, so I invited her to stop by and shed some light on the subject. Take it away, Diana!

Available in Print: USA, UK, Canada, India

Julie asked me what possessed a writer of adult fantasy and sci-fi books to suddenly write and illustrate a children’s book.

The answer isn’t quite straight-forward, but it’s not that complicated either. I never set out with a children’s book in mind, but sometimes the ingredients come together and it’s a matter of timing more than intent.

The main reason is Tornado Boy.

Tornado Boy is 4 years old, and he’s a burgeoning author. He dictates stories to his parents—mostly science fiction adventures on the planet Gorgon where the Gloobs are shooting lasers at the bad Pooglas but not at the good Pooglas who are trying to save the Rainbow Gems from the witch. It’s a complex story with a convoluted plot, but if you’re 4, it makes perfect sense.

His mom and dad dutifully write down the EXACT words, or they’ll get in trouble. Then, they add a few supervised illustrations. The stories are rolled into scrolls and presented to Grammy (me) tied with a ribbon. A public reading and celebration ensue.

Well one day, I told Tornado Boy that I too had written a story. (I had a children’s story in verse that I’d written for the blog years ago.) The kid was astonished. I dug it up and read to him. Like a literary agent, he was thoroughly unimpressed. Unlike a literary agent, he told me why: “There aren’t any pictures, Grammy.”

Ah, well, I used to dabble with acrylics… amateur, but kid’s books come with all sorts of illustrations. As luck would have it, the last adult fantasy series had burned me out, and I’d planned to take a break for the summer and do something different.

… the ingredients start coming together… timing was right…

Three months later I have 24 little paintings spread across my window sills and a Tornado-Boy-approved book.

Blurb:

Grumpy Ana Goblyn is sour, dour, and cranky. Her lips droop in a frown. She’s bored with every place and person in her friendly town. With the help of her father, she builds a spaceship and travels to a soggy planet where she meets her perfect monster playmates. But there’s a problem! The monsters see her grouchy frown and think she’s a monster. In this children’s space adventure, Ana discovers that her attitude affects her happiness, and she can change it if she chooses.

About the Author:

D. Wallace Peach is a writer of grown-up fantasy and science fiction, but she’s also a grandmother who treks to the Gnome Forest hunting rainbow gems with grandson Revel. They keep an eye out for purple baby dragons skritching in the Dragonwood and gather gold buried around the magical tree of mystery.

Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters is her first children’s book. More to come!

Links:

Blog – Myths of the Mirror
Book Blog – D. Wallace Peach Books
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter – @dwallacepeach

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Author: Julie Holmes, author

Pen names: J. M. Holmes, J. M. Goebel A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for a decade, I've been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. In real life, I am a technical writer with a family of two teens, a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, four chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

115 thoughts on “Jumping Genres

  1. Yay! So fun to be over here, Julie. Thanks for the opportunity to guest post and be a little fun and silly. 🙂 I actually am picking up Tornado Boy this morning for the weekend, so might be a little tardy replying to comments. But I’ll catch up! Have a great weekend and Happy Writing. 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I love the Tornado Boy angle of this post. Enjoy him! And best wishes on the book. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. OMG, this is so adorable! I love the verses and the illustrations. My grand-niece is four, and this looks like it would make a wonderful addition to her Christmas gifts. I’m headed to Amazon now!!

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  4. Julie, it’s wonderful to see Diana on your blog and I loved reading about Grumpy Ana and how it came to be published!! 😀 Well done, Tornado Boy for spotting the obvious problem with the story…lack of pictures!! Looks like you made up for this omission beautifully, Diana – I adore these paintings, glorious colours, unique, animated and full of adventure and emotion. I remember when you floated the idea on your blog and had painted just a couple…I was a huge fan from the start and love the look of the book and the story. Who says you can’t jump genres! By the way, watch out…I think Tornado Boy is a budding writer with fantastic ideas of his own – two fantasy writers in the family!! I’m already intrigued by the Gloobs and Pooglas and think it’s great that your daughter and son-in-law to note down all the details of his stories for you to peruse later. Wishing you both a lovely week. ❤️

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    • Aren’t those illustrations beautiful? And it’s kinda scary thinking of another fantasy writer in Diana’s family; she’s fantastic, and if Tornado Boy has her as an example, look out 😀 He might end up being the youngest fantasy writer ever 😉 Have a great week, Annika!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Great comment, Annika. Tornado Boy is full of stories, and I can see him writing them down and illustrating them as he gets older. Lot’s of discussion about monsters this past weekend and how to determine if they’re nice or mean. The kid could write a manual 🙂 He was a great inspiration for this story and I’m glad I did it while he’s still able to enjoy it. Happy Writing, my friend.

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  5. And soon, you and Tornado Boy will be writing and publishing stories together, as Robbie over at https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/ does with her son Michael!

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  6. Reblogged this on Myths of the Mirror and commented:
    I’m delighted to be over at Julie’s today with a short and somewhat silly post about “Jumping Genres”… what possessed me, after years of writing for adults, to write a book for children. I hope it brings a smile. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  7. So fun to read about the story behind your story. Leave it to a child to tell us like it is. How proud he must be to read the book with you!

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  8. Sounds like a great story Diana. I’m glad Tornado Boy inspired you to create a children’s book. I hope it flies to the moon and back!

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  9. Sometimes you just ignore the muse and you have to write what it dictates. Good thing you’re artistic as well. Your illustrations are beautiful.

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  10. If the book has the stamp of approval by Tornado Boy, it’s bound to be a bestseller! What a great story! Congratulations, Diana! Thanks for hosting, Julie.

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  11. I love the idea that the child’s mood keeps friends at bay – what a great lesson to teach!

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  12. That is a positively adorable story!

    My two have asked me why none of my books have pictures too. Maybe one day I can join you making the jump, but until then I will have to look forward to your newest book.

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  13. You should probably ‘dabble with paints’ a little more often – the illustrations are wonderful!! Love the story, a book that should be on everyone’s bookshelves young or old ❤

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  14. ‘Tornado Boy’ – Can’t wait to see what he’s like grown up! ♥

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  15. Diana is the genius of the readers’ planet. I love every book that she writes, though some of her books I have not reach them yet, but I will do. Thank you Diana for such great stories. And there are lots of authors on blogs that I love just like Diana. Blogging has brought us closer to Authors and writers, we cannot deny that. thank you Diana and all your author friends alike.

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    • She is, isn’t she? I haven’t gotten to many of her books yet, but she posts some great stories, and I can’t wait to dig into more of her books. She’s a great blogging friend! Thanks for stopping by, Juli!

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      • Thank you Julie, I am so glad that you stopped by me today. And you are an author, “I am smiling,” I love you people, so many titles to read ohhh my days “laugh” haha. Yes Diana is so sweet, I want to read all her books, I will do slowly slowly I will do. I am heading to your blog now. Cheerio.

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    • You’re so sweet, Juli, and your comment gave me a huge smile. I’m thrilled to have made all these wonderful connections across the world too. Such amazing talents and warm hearts. Have a lovely day, my friend. ❤

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      • Thank you Diana. I have found Julie Holmes because of you. I am heading to her blog now. haha. And me too, I am so happy to have made friends from around the globe, the world is big and small at the same time. And word press has done a fantastic job.

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  16. Wonderful family story! Great to get to meet Tornado Boy and learn about the two of you. 🙂 xo

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  17. Diana, Didn’t I tell you that you are multi-talented? I loved the story behind jumping genres but you do it quite often with your lovely poetry 🙂 Tornado boy has inherited some love for fantasy from his grandma, so it is natural for him to create his own Gloobs and Pooglas …I know you are going to write more such stories. Happy writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I have two tornado boys who will love this story and I believe the almost 4 yo will be the one who loves it the most since he is fascinated with all manner of monsters. I’ve just ordered it for his upcoming birthday. The illustrations look amazing! Glad you ‘dabble in acrylics.’ Jumping genres becomes you, Diana. I wish you all the success you deserve with this new masterpiece.

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  19. This is a surprise! So you weren’t actually on a break this summer. Love the illustrations, idea – just everything about it. Good luck with Grouchy Ana, Diana!

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  20. I think Tornado Boy is on to something – even adult books could use a few illustrations 😉
    … this is coming from an unreformed 8 year old year who still thinks picture books are the best … although the only adult versions available are magazines 🙂

    btw – I LOVE the name Tornado Boy and I LOVE LOVE the fact that he inspired you to detour from your normal path 💕

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  21. Loved the story about how this book came to be Diana. It sounds to me like Tornado boy is a tough critic and will probably become some famous author one day. 🙂 xx

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  22. Tornado Boy is following in his Grammy’s footsteps. HOORAY!

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  23. Such a cute reason as to why the book was created! Glad it was Tornado-boy approved!

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  24. I’m not sure which I love more: learning that you’ve written a children’s book, knowing that you illustrated it all yourself, or hearing about Tornado Boy’s first forays into storytelling. It might have to remain a tie.

    What age range would you say is the “independent reader” target for this book, Diana?

    Thanks for hosting this, Julie!

    Liked by 2 people

    • This was so much fun! And you’re right, Erik, it’s a tossup between all of those. Glad to have Diana visit 😀

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    • The vocabulary is a bit of a stretch, Eric, so independent reading without any adult help might be 2nd grade (?). Tornado Boy is 4 and the story works fine for him, but I read it. Of course, there are teenagers and adults who would benefit from it too! So glad you enjoyed it. My little guy loves storytelling and his tales are pretty hysterical. Have a great weekend, my friend. 🙂

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  25. Diana, I love your book, Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters. Nothing like an escape in space to meet her match and happily head home. A good lesson learned, even grouchy monsters look at her and turn tail back into the foggy sea. Your illustrations are exceptional, colorful and fun! I’m impressed with your artistic talent! I’m the book Gram Gram for two baby great- grandchildren. This book (received today by mail) will be in their library, waiting for them to get older. Thank you! 💜 Christine

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  26. What a beautiful comment, Christine. I’m so grateful for your kindness and do hope that your great-grandchildren will enjoy Ana and her adventure with the monsters. Just a few years away, and if they follow in Tornado Boy’s footsteps, they’ll be totally into nice monsters! Thank you again for the lovely note and have an amazing weekend. Hugs. ❤

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  27. With full acknowledgement to the importance of a consistent brand, an artist has to be led by her own impulses, inspirations, and instincts; if that means “jumping genres,” so be it. Besides which, a consistent worldview will emerge in anything an author writes. Take Max Brooks, who wrote one of the defining zombie novels of this century, World War Z, and just recently published a novel for middle-graders based on the Minecraft videogame! And yet both explore the same theme: preparedness and resilience in the face of mortal danger. A genre isn’t a brand; the brand is you.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. Julie and Diana, thanks for this delightful Sunday morning read. Diana, I love the book blurb, and the illustrations are quite well done. Wishing you huge success with this children’s book. Hugs on the wing!

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  29. I love the idea of TB writing his stories and you being presented with them. ❤ 🙂 So sweet and fun. I'd seen your picture book before but, still, must comment on the illustrations. You are a multi-talented wonder, Diana. Thanks for hosting, Julie.

    Liked by 2 people

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