What inspired you to write this
book? Our father: It was WHO, inspired us. Our farther, James
Richard Todd, enjoyed sharing our family’s experiences in letters back home,
& always spoke of wanting to write a book. He was the main reason for us
sharing our unique story. J.R.T, was
the 11th black man who was permitted to join the U.S. Foreign Service in
1945. We were also inspired as a family,
post 09/11/2001; as there was a rise in misunderstanding of, animosity &
frankly fear, of others’ cultures who lived among us.
What exactly is it about? &
who is it written for? The adventures our family experienced, living
in 14 varied countries. Our target
audience are: All those, regardless of nationality, gender, culture &
language, who have a thirst for learning of other cultures. Our target audience
is Middle school, however, to expound on this Brian, we must add that adults,
and even younger children, have expressed how much they enjoyed & learned
from this work. We can provide you copies of, kudos letters, we received,
especially after having made presentations. Nationwide. By the way, our desire
is to have it established nationwide, as optional reading in each & every
What do you hope readers will
get out of reading your book: Pleasure, humor,
& understanding of other cultures, in a manner that is easy to consume.
How did you decide on your
book’s title & cover design: The title, came from a near fatal mishap on a
country road in Mozambique, at dusk one evening. Our car almost hit a matriarch
elephant, as she was watching her young herd, crossing the road in front of us,
but for, our mother, alerting our father by shouting: “Jimmy! watch out for the
elephants!” (pg 164) There is also a figurative/metaphorical meaning to the
title, referencing the varied problems, the reader may run into, problems that
can be, using our presentation drawings of going over (the elephant), your
problems, or Under (elephant) your problem etc.
In so far as the cover art: The pictures of the elephants (not
copyrighted used, rather originals taken by our cousin, while visiting South
Africa)just seemed logical given the title. The superimposed art work, (a copy
of a charcoal original, circa. 1958), also was a no brainer, since the book was
about these 2 little girls.
What advice or words of wisdom
do you have for fellow writers, other than run!? Everyone on the planet has a
unique story & perspective. Whether the potential writer is considering
fiction or non, that is not important. Begin with an idea, decide who you want
to write it for (broadly) & JUST START WRITING! At the onset, struggle is
not required: “The willingness to do, gives you the ability to do.”
What trends in the book world
do you see -- and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? With everything becoming digitized, we see the farther reach of writers’
work, beyond their country to a world audience. THIS is a good thing!
7) Were there experiences in your personal life or career that came in
handy when writing this book: Yes! Most definitely, as
demonstrated, in our childhood, by our parents: a can-do attitude, a phenomenal
outlook, especially humor, grace & naturally diplomacy were always
witnessed. By the way these were demonstrated by James & Norma, during the
good & bad times. We both, brought these foundational tenets, to our
careers and personal relationships all these years. When writing this book, it was our goal,
through our experiences to uplift each region, to demonstrate the good in the
world and to live by example. We firmly be believe we do so in: “Watch out for
8) How would you describe your
writing style? Which writers or books is your writing similar to? We would
have to describe the style as user friendly, written both for the avid reader,
and those like C. Ann, who is an occasional reader. Our goal was & is, to
entertain, teach, and to reach ALL TYPES of readers, while incorporating an
easy style (in our opinion) to hopefully educate. Writing similar to: No one comes to mind
here, in terms of the manner the flow of our work, the way it is laid out
9) What challenges did you overcome in the writing of this book? Collaborating as a family, we were able to reach a consensus as to which
stories to add and which to leave out, with little challenge. There was some
debate, but surprisingly, in the end we were all on the same page (no pun
intended). In regards to this question, we would like to add, the writing
aspect, as we recall, was straightforward, it is & has been the marketing
aspect which has been MOST challenging.
10) If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be
yours? Our work is, at
once: entertaining, positive, upbeat, an easy read, educational, in that the
reader should understand that as a world with many regions, cultures and
religions, at the end of the day we all have the same wants & desires. We
are more similar as a people than not.
This work, will present the reader with a 3-dimensional, view of our
world, in a firsthand account, through the writer’s perspective, so: we ask:
“Why not make it your book of choice this month?”
About The Authors:
Our unique experiences shaped
our educational goals/academic accomplishments: love of learning and world
travel; appreciation of all cultures and races and also assisted us in our
present day philosophy.
Todd’s Bio: Born in Cairo, Egypt – graduated from Cours Maintenon High School in
Cannes, France (1965) – graduated from Rockford College (now Rockford
University) in Rockford, Illinois (1969). Majored in French and German and
minored in Spanish. Received my Masters in French at Long Island University.
Taught French German and Spanish at Long Island Lutheran High School for 5
years. Then joined TWA where I worked for 23 years. Worked at the Energy
company for 5 more years. Our family, my husband and my two daughters and I
moved to Kansas City in 1989.
Coralie Ann Todd’s
Bio: I was born in Haifa, Israel and traveled the world with
my family. After leaving my parents’ home in 1972, I attended Dickinson College
in Carlisle PA. After graduation, my journey took me briefly to Southern
California, then on to Pakistan, where I worked for approximately 1.5 years
before returning to SoCal. I obtained my M.A. in Psychology, a field that has
always interested me, in 1990. I worked in the travel industry exclusively and
made Los Angeles my home until 1998, then I moved to Missouri and reside here
presently. My career choices in MO have mainly been in Patient and Customer
Service, enjoyable, as I love to use my love of Psychology daily.
Book Marketing Help?
Brian Feinblum, the founder of this
award-winning blog, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org He is available
to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He
has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in
all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!
Self-Help Advice For Authors Marketing Their
Book Industry Monopolies Killing Authors?
Authors Have A Barbie Complex?
You’ll Sell More Books If You Write Better!
Your Writer Avatar To Quell Fears
Digital Book Storefronts That Your Book Should Be On
27 Things To Do To Promote Your Book
10 Rules For
Authors To Get Attention
More Great Life
Advice When Marketing Books
How Do Authors Draw Readers In?
Do You Find Your Targeted Reader, Dear Author?
New Author Marketing Playbook
About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on LinkedIn. This is
copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now
resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue
dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The
Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This
award-winning blog has generated over 3.4 million pageviews. With 4,600+ posts
over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by
BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018
as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by
www.WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For the past three decades,
including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book
publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with
many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with
best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen,
Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard,
Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C.
Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a
panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA,
Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction
Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland)
Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association.
His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal,
USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News
(Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The
Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: