Monday, February 01, 2016

Interview with Theresa Oliver, author of 'Crystal the Christmas Angel'





 We're thrilled to be hosting Theresa Oliver today!  Theresa is a children's picture book author on a virtual book tour with Pump up Your Book.  It is a pleasure to have her with us today!

Theresa Oliver grew up in southern Indiana, across from Louisville, Kentucky, in Clarksville, Indiana. In her childhood, she fell in love with the power of the written word, a love affair that has continued her whole life. She moved to Florida, where she has lived much of her adult life. She attended the University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, Tenn., and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications degree, News Editorial sequence. She also earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree, Early Childhood Education sequence, from Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, Ga. She is currently a writer, a full-time teacher, and the owner of Write More Publications and TNT Author Services. However, her greatest adventure is as a mother of three beautiful boys. Oliver currently resides in Kissimmee, Florida, with her husband and children.
Her latest book is the children’s picture book, Crystal the Christmas Angel.

For More Information
About the Book:

Title: Crystal the Christmas Angel
Author: Theresa Oliver
Publisher: Write More Publications
Pages: 66
Genre: Children’s Picture Book

All of the angels in Heaven are preparing for a big event, and Crystal, a little angel, wants to be a part of it. But the more she tries, the more the angels tell her that she is just too little. That is, until God himself gives her the biggest, most important task of all ... going with the Archangel Gabriel to Mary, and bringing God’s greatest gift to the world. But can Crystal do what God asks? Journey with Crystal as she discovers that God sometimes chooses the most unlikely for the greatest tasks. Crystal also discovers that you are never too little to do great things. You just need to believe and never give up.

For More Information

  • Crystal the Christmas Angel is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.



Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

The inspiration for my book came to me when I saw a program on television, trying to explain the Star of Bethlehem. Scientists stated that the Star of Bethlehem was an anomaly, created when several planets lined up in just the right way and appeared to be a super star, coincidentally, at the precise time of Jesus’ birth. So, I asked myself: what if it was an angel, pointing the way for the world to Jesus? Then, I began thinking of the angel, and imaged her as a child. In my childhood, I remembered that children are often told that they are “just too little” to do things. So, I took that premise, applied it to my little angel, and Crystal the Christmas Angel was born.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Actually, once I had the premise, the story poured out of me in one night. Years later, I rewrote the story for the book. The most difficult thing for me was to find the right illustrator for the book, since I envisioned it to be a children’s picture book. After several attempts, a friend told me to check out Fiverr. I found Deanna McRae, also known as Peipei, and soon she brought my vision to fruition. For me, finding an illustrator was the most difficult thing. But once you find just the right one, the result is nothing short of magic! Deanna McRae will also illustrate my upcoming book Five Loaves, Two Fish, One Boy, and Jesus. My advice to writers is to never give up. Crystal the Christmas Angel was in progress for years, but when the time was right, everything came together and the book was published. Keep dreaming, creating, and persevere! Soon, your dreams will come to fruition, too. It’s worth the wait.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

Actually, I was originally with another publishing company and it just didn’t work out. Now, I own a publishing company, Write More Publications. So, you could say that I am a self-published author. After receiving a few rejection letters, I discovered self-publishing and thought, “I can do this myself!” Soon, Write More Publications was born. Now, I have several authors, editors, and a personal assistant working with me and everything is great, although it took a while to find just the right combination. It’s not been easy, but with the right people, it is wonderful.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Whew! There were a lot of surprises! LOL! Actually, my undergrad degree is in Communications, News editorial sequence—hence, journalism—which is entirely different than book publishing. However, I learned a lot as I went along, honed my skills, and now I wouldn’t change a thing. I also learned a lot starting out by submitting short stories to anthologies for other publishing companies prior to publishing my books.  

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

Currently, I’m working on several projects. The first is Half Dozen Roses, a historical middle-grades book about a twelve-year-old, turn-of-the-century girl who finds herself raising her five younger brothers and sisters alone. It deals with child labor laws and the famous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, as well. The story is loosely based on the experiences of my maternal grandmother, who went to work in a factory at the age of ten to help her father support her younger brothers and sisters after her mother passed away. It’s important for children today to know that going to school and obtaining and education is a privilege that has not always available to children in the past. Half Dozen Roses is scheduled for publication in 2016. My next children’s picture book, Five Loaves, Two Fish, One Boy, and Jesus, will also be published in 2016. I am also working on sequels to my young adult series books, Star Unchained (C.I.A. Vampire Series, Book 2), Thou Shalt Not Kill Love (Thou Shalt not Kill Series, Book 2), and The Journey Home (Cambria Series, Book 3). I am also working on and will publish my book Wolf Girl and the Children of the Moon, currently on WattPad. My first detective book for adults Detective Magic and the Cold Case is currently in the works. I also plan to write more nonfiction adult and children’s books, as well.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

Wow! I have many, but I would have to say that Facebook is by far my favorite. Through Facebook and my writing, I have met people and made friends all over the world. The magic of the Internet brings people closer together and has opened so many opportunities for writers.

Q: What’s your nightly ritual before retiring for the night?

Every night after dinner, I spend time with my children. After they go to bed, I write my books and blog posts, publish, working with authors, or grade papers. (Yes! I’m also a teacher! LOL) I recently discovered Scrivener and have been playing with it. I’m still learning it, but love it so far. My hobby lately is also trying out new writing formulas. I love writing and welcome ideas to become a more proficient writer.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

I want children to know that they have the power to change the world. Even though they may be little, they can still make a difference in the lives of others and in the world around them. Also, I wish to convey the message that God has a plan for them and to trust in Him. No matter what anyone says, children and adults should do what they feel is right for them and follow their dreams. After all, many young writers have become bestselling authors. As for writing, children of all ages are never too young—or too old—to write. 
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Yes! Thank you so much for having me today! I hope you enjoy my book Crystal the Christmas Angel and look forward to hearing your feedback! I like hearing from my readers, so feel free to contact me through Facebook, Twitter, Web site, my blog, or you can e-mail me at theresaoliverauthor@gmail.com. My books can be found wherever books are sold. Thank you, The Writer’s Life! I look forward to chatting with you again!

Web site: (soon to be theresaoliver.org) Currently: http://theresaoliverauthor.wix.com/theresaoliver