Monday, April 3, 2017

Interview with author Sharon Thayer

If You Tell Me, I Can Fly!

1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?
As a child, I was told I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough... My 6th grade teacher, Mr. Larson, saw something special in me and throughout a life-changing year, helped me to believe I could do anything. I have often wondered how many children don’t have anyone who believes in them and because of that, may never excel to their potential. So, I set out to write a book to tell young people they can fly and to encourage adults to give this message to all the children in their lives.

2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader?
The story uses animal metaphors to demonstrate - literally - how difficult it is to reach your goal – to fly. A dream by itself does not have wings; it needs determination, work, encouragement, and self-esteem. It is not an easy or simple process for animals or people. The key ingredient is knowing someone believes in you, which leads to the self-esteem that is needed to drive you to the edge and take the leap of faith.

My targeted reader is age 7 through 25, all of whom face frequent challenges and need to know someone sees their strengths and believes in their goals and dreams. To my surprise and delight I receive testimonials showing a broader audience range including; people of all ages battling cancer, individuals starting over after a death and divorce, and as a thank-you to someone who made a difference because they believed. There is no age when encouragement is no longer valued.

Due to continuous requests, the new release of If You Tell Me, I Can Fly! has a male edition as well as the original female edition.

3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down?
I want to inspire my readers to go for their dreams and to stop at nothing until they reach success. You can fly! is a message that needs constant repetition to be effective, but inevitably, I know the book will be put on a shelf or pushed under the bed - all but forgotten. For this reason, I have made a window-cling as a companion product to the book. It is a 7” square plastic cling with a beautiful illustration from the book and the words “I Can Fly!”  When placed on the bathroom mirror, it becomes a daily affirmation to stretch your wings as you follow your dreams into the day.  There is one with a Bald Eagle soaring in the mountains and a second with a Swallowtail Butterfly among the wild flowers to provide for different preferences – or both.

4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?
Try to make your story their story. When I am writing a story with a goal to touch other’s deep feelings, my process is to identify and isolate the essence of the message I want to convey, and then build a story that brings the message to life. My goal is to lead the reader to feel that somehow, I had a glimpse into their life, their pain, and their dreams to tell their story – not mine. If the process is successful it will create a strong bond between story and reader and the message will take root in their heart where it will grow.

5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
It seems the electronic book and print book are beginning to find a balance. The good news for all of us who love to hold, smell, and feel the texture while turning each page is that physical books are not going away. 

In picture books, I see a trend toward targeting current social issues such as diversity, tolerance, and bullying, as well as core value messages and lessons with many books designed to cross over into all age groups. Beautiful picture books that, like a motivational speaker, repeat a message we may know, but the fresh perspective and a gentle reminder motivate and lighten our day. No matter how old we are, a picture is still worth a 1000 words - and for those of us who are dyslexic, I say bring on the picture books and more of the very popular books with no words.

6. What great challenges did you have in writing your book?
My challenge was to convey two powerful messages with a minimum number of words. First, I wanted to tell the children that someone believes in them. Secondly, to tell adults, you must tell the children – the power lies within your words and actions. Once the words were right, it was critical to pick the perfect artist to add magic and inspiration to assure the message would reach into the mind and touch the heart of the reader. 

Each of my books have different artists because every story holds a message that demands a unique artistic expression to expand the perspective and add the magic.

7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
As we head into spring we are surrounded by celebrations of success and new beginnings. Whether it is an awards ceremony, graduation (from elementary school to college), or other rite-of-passage occasions the ideal gift is one that will help the honoree as they take their next steps. One can buy an expensive present or give a sum of money to show support, but perhaps three little words, “You can fly!” instead or in addition will become the most powerful gift they receive.

I wrote this book to help others gift the message, I believe you can fly!, but I strongly suggest those who purchase the book inscribe their own message of encouragement inside the cover. Your personal words will inspire today and perhaps down the road, during a particularly difficult time, they will be read again helping wings to stretch and take flight!

Sharon Thayer’s journey from dyslexic, non-reading child to national award-winning author has been an adventure filled with all the essentials of a great story: captivating characters, diverse settings, and action complete with tragedy, suspense, passion, heartbreak, and complexities yet to unfold. Former owner and teacher of a nature based childcare center, Sharon now concentrates full time speaking and creating stories filled with magic and messages-of-value for children of all ages. For more information, see  She also is author of The Myth of Santa’s Beard. She is a former teacher and owner of a nature-based childcare center who now is a full-time author of children’s books. As a child growing up in Rockford, Ill., Thayer’s attempts to read were stymied by dyslexia, but today she enjoys reading aloud and sharing her stories with children.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby 

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