Author Interview: Carol Hageman

Special question- Please tell our readers how did you come up with idea of “Bubby”?
My daughter, Erin adopted Bubby when she was in the 5th grade. We made a special habitat in the back yard for him which I tried to convey in the book, i.e. the burrow in the raised garden bed.
I am an avid gardener and when I would be outside, I observed his behavior. I always felt it would make a cute children's book. In fact, many of the scenes in the book really did occur.
The idea of the "puddle" came about because Bubby would soak in little puddles after a rain. Tortoises cannot swim and will drown if they fall into a swimming pool.
However, they need just enough water for a good soak and a drink. They're bodies absorb and store water in the hot desert.   
Bubby had a special friend too, his name was Martin. He was my arborist and trimmed the mesquite tree in Bubby's habitat. Bubby would always come and see what Martin was doing, as if he wanted to help him. I would have to put him in a safe place so he would not follow Martin out the gate. Martin called him Mr. Tortuga. Martin battled cancer for 5 years before loosing the battle in 2013.
I dedicated the book to my dear friend of 25 years and made him the hero of the book.
Tell us about your book.    
Children who learn how to rely on friends and themselves when they're young turn out to be happier adults.
Bubby's Puddle Pond: A Tortuga's Tale of the Desert tells how Bubby, a young desert tortoise, moves outside his solitary shoebox and into an unfamiliar world, making friends who band together for safety, comfort and companionship.
Along the way, Bubby realizes that just as he can trust his friends, he can trust himself, too. Based on a mixture of fiction and the real-life behaviors of animals, Bubby's Puddle Pond takes place in a geographically unique part of the world, the Sonoran Desert.
I intend the book to be used as a learning tool. The text highlights such words as "mesquite" and "gecko," then defines them in a glossary.
A curriculum guide will help teachers and parents use the book as an educational tool. It is illegal to capture desert tortoises in the wild in Arizona, so Bubby's Puddle Pond also includes information on how to adopt one.
I worked with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to provide facts about the desert tortoise in the back of the book.
What is the story behind your wide knowledge about animals?  
Wildlife always fascinated me. I grew up playing outdoors and doing chores on the family farm in Vincennes, Indiana, an area rich in flora and fauna. We had many farm animals and pets. I realize now how special it was to be raised on a farm It gave me a greater appreciation and love of nature that I hope other children can experience.
How many pet animals do you have yourself?    
Currently I do not have any pets. A few years ago we downsized and we had to find a new home for Bubby. I understand he is very happy with his new family. I do have 2 grand puppies and a grand horse.

Your favourite animal?   
My favorite animal is a horse. They are beautiful creatures and very smart. I had a pony as a child and had a horse for 16 years. She was very special. After loosing her suddenly 3 years ago it left a huge void in my life. My daughter encouraged me to write Bubby's story and that is how it came about.  As a tribute to Nina I named my company Nina Story Books.
Why did you choose this particular genre/s?  
It just seemed to fit the situation.
Age group you recommend for “Bubby's Puddle Pond”    
The book is considered a beginning reader, however, the information in the back of the book is for an advanced reader. So, an older sibling could read the facts and adoption information to a younger child. 

The day you decided you will be a writer?       
Life has it's funny twists and turns. I never saw myself as a writer because my background includes: owning a florist, working in the landscape industry, interior design and I am a master gardener. But, after loosing Nina I had more time on my hands and I always thought Bubby's little tales were worth telling.
Who helped you with your dream? Your support?   
My daughter is the one that really pushed me to write the book. My husband, was very supportive, especially financially. Then I was able to connect with a great company to help me with the publishing process. Story Monsters LLC was very supportive and had a wonderful team to work with.
Do you think the process of writing (Typing/Handwriting) is tiring? How do you deal with it?    
Thank goodness for computers. I can't imagine handwriting or typing on a manual typewriter to create a book.
What profession you’d choose if not an author?     
I think I have gone about it backwards. I have had several professions in the past and now I am an author. Like I said, life has it's funny twists and turns.
Do you think it’s easy/ difficult to write for children?    
I think it is a lot easier to write for children than adults. I love children's books and am fascinated with different authors imaginations.
Have you ever met a fan/reader?   
Even though my book is pretty new, I have had some fans reach out to me.

Would you ever go for traditional publishing? (If you’re a self published author or vice versa)     
Each means of publication has it's advantages. I am considered self published but would not be opposed to traditional publishing.

Do you interact with other authors? Do you think it’s important?    
Yes, I do interact with other authors. I think it is very important to create a support network. They can be of great service to you for all sorts of things from mentoring to sharing creative ideas for promotion.
Your Birthday  
August 19th
Your favorite actor/actress?   
Maggie Smith
Your favorite authors.  
Charles Dickens, Khaled Hosseini, Elizabeth Letts, Beatrix Potter
Ebooks / Paperbacks/ Hardcovers- Choose any two. 
This is hard, I have so many, but I guess I would have to say,The Perfect Horse by Elizabeth Letts and Our Mutual Friend By Charles Dickens.

Your favorite food/dish/cuisine?
New American organic. I love fresh out of the garden vegetables roasted with grilled salmon.
Your favorite place on earth? Why?   
There are many, but I guess it has to be tropical, like Hawaii. Since I worked for years in the floral industry. I am amazed that all of the exotics we would import, grow in the wild in the tropical islands. I love orchids, protea, birds of paradise.
Your hobbies other than writing? Do you find time for it?  
I practice yoga, am a master gardener, ride horses and golf.
Your thoughts on life? What helps you to deal with ups and downs of life?  
 Whenever life gets down there is no better place for me than the great outdoors. Nature always gives me a smile. I love birds and all the garden creatures. Having a garden space brings that to your back door. I am so excited there is a growing movement in our country to plant pollinator gardens. By doing so, it will benefit butterflies, bees, and birds that have lost much of their food source.

Your favorite quote?   
" Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm."

If you become a billionaire overnight, what would be your reaction? What will you do with the money? 
I don't think it would change me.  I would feel very blessed and share my bounty with others.  Create a program that would benefit nature and people.

Do you do something for social cause, for the needy?    
Since I worked with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to write the facts about the desert tortoise, I am donating one dollar from every book sold to the Tortoise Adoption Program that AZ Game & Fish operate. They have a wonderful program and take care of hundreds of tortoises until they can be adopted out to new families. This is a relatively unknown program that could use our help.
website:      Facebook:  Carol Hageman Author   
Instagram: ninastorybooks

Get The Book


No comments:

Post a Comment