Welcome to the Winners’ Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL and IFW published graduates. Today we are celebrating Shirley Tucker! She is a graduate of our Writing for Children and Teens writing course and our Writing and Selling Books advanced course. Let’s learn more about her book The Rooster Who Lost is Cock-a-Doodle-Do!
What are the names of your articles?
The Rooster Who Lost His Cock A Doodle Doo, Austin Macauley Publishers USA
Give us a short summary of your work.
The central character of my book is a little rooster, Rafiki who has lost his voice. He leaves home to recover his voice with the help of a wise old owl, Omar. Over the course of his travels Rafiki meets animals whose homes have been affected by climate change. He discovers his lost voice is linked to these changes.
Tell us a bit about your path to publishing, from idea to to submission to publication.
I attended an arts and crafts fair pre-Christmas several years ago and was drawn to an artist’s paintings. The painting that intrigued me was that of a little rooster. The painter said the little rooster had lost his voice and she wished she was a writer. As my friend spoke with her, I contemplated the little rooster and the idea for my book about climate change popped into my head. After two failed attempts to publish, I shelved my little book. Approximately two years ago I searched on line for publishers accepting manuscripts. I submitted my book. The rest is history.
How long have you been writing?
I have journaled most of my life, written poetry, and begun a few story ideas for YA readers. I started a few book ideas in early 2005 and kept building on those ideas. I am currently working on two projects inspired by my dog Bailey and my cat Peaches.
What’s your favorite genre to write and why?
I love writing for children. At the moment I am working on a little rhyming book about my dog titled ‘Bailey’s Alphabet Moon,’ and because my cat is an SPCA rescue I am writing a story book titled ‘Peaches Finds a New Home.’
Which ICL or IFW courses have you taken?
How has taking our courses helped your writing and/or career?
I experienced several great benefits during my course of study. Specifically, I received guidance from my professional instructors on where to find writing expertise through research and reading. Secondly, the critiques given by a professional writer including how to improve my story were extremely valuable. The lessons were filled with excellent learning information on how to proceed. Mostly I experienced firsthand encouragement from the educators.
Have any of your class assignments been published?
Yes. I submitted my book in my last assignment in 2014. I shelved the book after two failed attempts at publication in Canada and subsequently published with Austin Macauley Publishers NY.
Do you have a favorite writing tip you’d like to share?
My inspirations generally come when I am walking or hiking with my dog enjoying the brilliance of our natural world. I may as before be inspired by a conversation with a friend, a beautiful painting or a piece of music. I definitely receive inspiration by playing with and reading to my nephew’s two boys. My recently adopted cat is a source of inspiration because of the difficulty she had in finding trust with me after a long journey of patience and love.
If you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of writing advice, what would it be?
I’d go back to grade school and build on the weekly essays we wrote for literature assignments by reading more children’s books.
What is your greatest passion?
My greatest passion is to bring joy to children through reading and in particular to encourage a healthy relationship with the world around them.
What’s the most valuable thing you learned from your experience with the Institute of Children’s Literature?
The course helped me to hone my craft and expand my reading experiences. I learned to see the world as a venue filled with story potential. Each experience in itself is the story.
Shirley Tucker was born in Quebec City and grew up in small seaside town in Newfoundland and Labrador. When she retired, she returned to, and settled in the beautiful Laurentians, Quebec.
Her fondest memories are of family camping trips into the natural world. Her favourite haunt was and remains visiting the seaside and listening to the sound of waves crashing against the shore. As a nurse, she was given the opportunity to travel the world for work and enjoyment. As a child, growing up in a small seaside town, she could never have imagined that one day she would feel the breezes of the Serengeti, view the world from the mountains of Nepal, and contemplate the magnificence of the world’s oceans while enjoying the ultimate beauty of India.
She reveres the beauty and majesty, of our beautiful planet and believes we must protect her for future generations.