Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Meet Shari Lyle-Soffe, author of “The Misadventures of Rooter & Snuffle”

Shari Lyle-Soffe lives in Southern Oregon with her husband Bob, a Shih tzu named Dallas, and a tortoise-shell cat named Amber. Her work has been published in Babybug, Ladybug, Hopscotch, Wild Animal Baby, Highlights for Children, Children's Playmate, Schooldays, Holidays & Seasonal Celebrations, Fandangle, Wee Ones, Dragonfly Spirit, Bread for God's Children, The Friend, and Story Friends. Her picture/storybook, "The Misadventures of Rooter and Snuffle" has been published by Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing, off and on, my whole life but I only started to take it seriously nine years ago.

How did you get started?
At first, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go with it. I tried writing little items for Reader’s Digest departments…they were rejected. I took a local writing course and it was encouraging to me. Then I thought about what genre of writing had most touched my life…it was children’s stories and poems. I was able to recite all manner of poems, silly rhymes, etc. as a child, and I remember how I loved being read to.

What makes a person a real writer?
A love of writing that won’t let you quit. A real writer may not be published, but a real writer will write, and write, and write because it nourishes their spirit.

What type of stories have you written?
I have written magazine stories, poems, crafts, and puzzles that have been published in many children’s magazines and articles for adults on writing for children. The stories were about my problems and feelings as a child. I have a picture/storybook called “The Misadventures of Rooter and Snuffle” that is based on nightly visits to our back porch by two raccoons when I was a child living in the Redwoods of Northern California. My book is made up of three stories based on issues that I had to deal with as a child. It is illustrated by Kevin Scott Collier and published by Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Where do your ideas come from?
In addition to my own life experiences, they come from my imagination, and things I have observed in the life of others.

How do you know an idea is worth following?
That’s tough. I guess if a story comes together for you, if it hooks you, the writer, and makes you unwilling to let it go without a fight. If the story makes you care enough to keep working on it to get it right.

How do you create your characters?
I think your characters come out of the story and the events. It develops as the character acts or reacts to events in the story.

Can you tell us a funny story about your experiences?
I am a major crybaby. When my first article in a writer’s magazine was accepted, relatives were visiting our home. My husband handed me the mail and I opened it in front of our guests thinking it was another rejection. Our visitors were quite taken aback when I burst into tears while laughing hysterically at my silliness. The rejection was a glowing acceptance. I was blubbering so badly I could hardly tell them of my success.

What are some of your favorite books/stories?
If you are talking about other people’s writing there are many: “Saving Sweetness” by Diane Stanley, “Christmas Mousling” by Dori Chaconas, “Turk and Runt” by Lisa Wheeler, “Murmel Murmel Murmel” by Robert Munsch, “The Birthday Fish” Dan Yaccarino….Oh dear there are too many to list.

What are you working on right now?
Three stories for “On the Go With Rooter and Snuffle,” also for Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc., and illustrated by Kevin Scott Collier. It is the second book in the Rooter and Snuffle series.

Are there places kids can submit their writing?
Yes, I believe Wee Ones Magazine, Fandangle Magazine, and Highlights for Children, among others, accept the work of young writers. I think Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. will accept the work of young writers as well.

If you could give one piece of advice to every new writer -- what would it be?
Learn all you can about writing. Hang in there!

Shari Lyle-Soffe’s Books:

Shari Lyle-Soffe author of "The Misadventures of Rooter and Snuffle"http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/rooter&snuffle1.htm
"A Free Holiday Recipe for the New Year" http://www.sharilyle-soffe.com

and Shari Lyle-Soffe’s newest book, “On the Go With Rooter & Snuffles” http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/rooter&snuffle2.htm

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