Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Interview With Inventive Children's Book Author David Armitage




1.       What inspired you to write this book? The story evolved from a rather sad time in my son’s life, and through a simple comment one lockdown evening.  My son and I had enjoyed many a story together as I had read to him almost every bedtime since he was born.  One night, the little one stated that he didn’t want a story, his books were boring, and he just wanted to go to sleep, before turning and began staring at the wall.  I was heartbroken and knew I had to do something.  Through our love of stories, I suggested that perhaps I try to write a story, just for the two of us, with his name as one of the characters. This is where it all started.  With a pen and paper, I began to create some ideas but also wanted to try and discretely incorporate some of the things he liked into the story.  As he liked ‘The Avengers,’ I wanted to have a superhero theme. He also loved our dog, so a four-legged friend got included in the mix of ingredients which I then tried to put together to create an imaginative tale. It turned out that he really liked what I started writing so I carried on and slowly, my son began to smile again.


 2. What exactly is it about and who is it written for? An adventure of a cornflake who was thrown out for being different but, it turns out he was special.  Saved by a walking stick wielding, ninja granny, he is introduced to a team of other special cereals who must battle adversity to overcome ‘Colonel Cereal’s’ evil plan, and his crispy robot army, to save children from a world of boring breakfast. As the story was originally written to try and bring a smile to my own child, it is written for children to either enjoy reading themselves or, as I did at the time, have read to them over a few days due to its short, action packed, chapters.


3.       What do you hope readers will get out of reading your book? Quite simply, I hope the story will bring a smile to another child’s face. 


4. How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design? Due to the nature of how I started to write the story, I wanted to make a character with the name of my child in it.  As such, I began trying to associate the name ‘Connor’ with something.  The character was where the whole story derived from and, as he had cereal for breakfast every day, ‘Connor the Cornflake’ had a ring to it and was something that I felt I could get creative with. As for the front cover.  I wanted it to be bold, to stand out, and try to present a fun snapshot of the story between the covers which is why it contains the ‘Mighty Variety’ team, the flying cereal box powered by sugar cubes, ‘Colonel Cereal’ and, ‘Softie’ the dog.  The hope was that it would draw the curiosity of both children, and adults alike. 


5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers – other than run!?

As someone who never intended to write a story for the world to see, the advice is simple. Whatever prompts you to write something, believe in yourself, let your imagination flow; if you feel it, roll with it.  You never know who you might inspire. 


6. What trends in the book world do you see -- and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?  In a world speeding towards a reliance on AI, I fear this could lead to the prevention of future generations from fully utilizing their imagination, and stories becoming less humanized as a result.  Children have the best imaginations; they can create a whole world of play through the simplest of things, they need to be nurtured and encouraged to express themselves, not funneled down a path of relying on processes designed to minimize human effort. 


7. Were there experiences in your personal life or career that came in handy when writing this book?  ‘Connor the Cornflake’ was a culmination of experiences.  The first being that I knew something was wrong with my child but, I had no idea as to how to help him.  Through a mutual love of stories, I began thinking of what he enjoyed doing.  He liked ‘The Avengers,’ LEGO, playing with toy soldiers, his dog, football (soccer), and numerous other things.  How many of these could I include in the story so that when I read it to him, he would be able to connect with it? As I was going to read it to him, I also had to think of how I could make it something that I, as an adult, would find engaging.  My challenge was to try and aid my child through his troubles, so I had to give it everything I had.  If I was not able to get into it, how could I expect him to?  This led me down a road of thinking of things that are enjoyed by both children, and adults.  ‘Toy Story’ sprung to mind, something that children like but, also contains enough, subtle, adult humour that captivate even the biggest of kids.

All these things came together to try and make a story I hoped, would bring a smile to child’s face.


8. How would you describe your writing style? Which writers or books is your writing similar to? Now this is an interesting question. Before writing the book, the last story I wrote would probably have been when I was at school. I had no creative writing experience, knowledge of the publishing world or, any idea as to where to start.  As I do not take myself too seriously, I would have to put my writing style into the category of amateur, and that of a child. I mean the child element as a positive as my aim was to write something a child could understand and create a world of imagination therefore, I had to put myself in a child’s shoes (not literally of course). I think it would be disingenuous of me to associate myself with the writing styles of far superior children’s author’s, I am just a simple dad who tried to do something to help his child through a difficult time. 


9. What challenges did you overcome in the writing of this book? The biggest challenge I had was myself. Having told my child I would write a story to try and cheer him up, I knew I had to get over the realization that I had no idea what I was doing or, where to start.  I just had to open my mind, use my imagination, and start writing.  Like many things in life, the more I wrote, the more confident I became. When I was ready to read my initial ramblings to my son one bedtime, I was even able to take criticism for the overuse of a name, or phrase, which was something he had learnt at school. I had to chuckle but, it was true. The result, however, was that he was totally engaged, immersed in the story, and by the time it was complete, thought it was the best story he had ever heard which of course, is a very biased opinion but the reward was the smile on his face.  Good, bad, or indifferent I had completed what I had set out to achieve and in fact, there was a bonus in that it inspired him to start writing stories of his own. The first of his original creations, ‘The Adventures of Connor and Sparky,’ is due to be published on 26th April, 2024.


10. If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours?

Who wouldn’t be curious to know how a group of cereal ‘Avengers,’ led by a walking stick wielding, ‘Granny Granola,’ who fly around in a sugar cube powered cereal box, overcome a crispy robot army, and save children from a world of boring breakfast? A fast paced, action-packed adventure, that has brought a smile to at least one child’s face.


About The Author: Having read to his son at bedtime virtually every day, David Armitage wrote ‘Connor the Cornflake’ to try and help the child through a difficult time in his life following the loss of his grandmother, and COVID lockdown’s.  A volunteer football (soccer) coach who enjoys dog walks, eating ice-cream, building LEGO, bike rides, and one day wants to tour the U.S. in a camper, David is simply a father who wants to have as many adventures as possible with his son before the day comes when it is no longer cool to hang out with dad.

For more info, please see: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61552922877508 and



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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2024. 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 3.9 million pageviews. With 4,900+ 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 director of publicity positions 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 hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America several years ago, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, Morgan James Publishing, 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. His first published book was The Florida Homeowner, Condo, & Co-Op Association Handbook.  It was featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald.

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