Friday, February 22, 2013

Guest Post Author Darlene Foster

How/why did you start to write?

I have always written.  When I was a child growing up on a prairie farm, I would make up stories in my head.  In grade three, my teacher encouraged me to write my stories down.  She also encouraged me to travel and see the world.  This special woman made a huge difference in my life.  Through the wonders of social media, I was able to locate her a couple of years ago and thank her.

How did you become an author?

I became an author by writing short stories and sending them out to contests and anthologies.  Writing short stories gave me good practice.  Once I started to win prizes and had a couple of stories published in anthologies, I gained confidence.

What was your first published piece?

I had my first article, called Stretch Your Food Dollar, published in a prairie newspaper when I was twelve years old.

Where was it published?

It was published in The Winnipeg Free Press

How long ago?

Now that would be telling.  I can only say it was quite some time ago.

However, my first short story chosen for an anthology, Country Roads, Memoirs from Rural Canada, called The Day Dief Came to Town, was published three years ago.  Sometimes it takes a long time to become a published author.

What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?

I have worked in retail sales and human resources. I still work full-time as an Employment Counsellor and part-time as an English as a Second Language Teacher, and I write whenever I get a spare moment.  Working with the public is a huge asset to me as a writer, as people provide me with ideas everyday.  I often tutor children in ESL. It’s great to meet children from other cultures and learn from them.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by my travels and by the interesting people I meet everyday.

What made you decide to write children’s books?

After returning from an amazing trip to the United Arab Emirates, I decided to write about my experiences.  The result was a bit boring and lacked the enthusiasm I felt while there.  So I started writing about my experiences from the point of view of a twelve year old, tossing in an adventure and some interesting characters which resulted in my first book, Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask, published in 2010.  I was happy with the result and realized Amanda wanted to continue to travel so I wrote Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting (2011) and Amanda in England – The Missing Novel (2012) I love writing for children, perhaps I have never grown up myself.

Please share one of your successful author platform building technique

Once I had my first book published I became very active on social media sites such as Face Book, Twitter and LinkedIn.  I made sure I had a professional profile and made great connections.  I also started a blog which I believe has been the most successful platform builder of all.  I have met the most amazing individuals through my blog who have provided much encouragement. It keeps me writing and has connected me to the  world of writers and readers.

Parting words

When I was a child I dreamt of travelling to interesting places.  I also dreamt of becoming a published author.  Many times these dreams seemed out of reach but I persevered.  It took awhile but my dreams came true. So my parting word to people of all ages is, never give up on your dreams!

Book blurb:

Amanda Ross is an average twelve year old Canadian girl. So what is she doing thousands of kilometres from home in the United Arab Emirates? It's her own fault really, she wished for adventure and travel when she blew out those candles on her last birthday cake. Little did she know that a whole different world awaited her on the other side of the globe, one full of intrigue, mystery and folklore. A world with a beautiful princess, a dangerous desert and wonderful friends. Join Amanda on her first adventure as she discovers the secrets behind The Perfume Flask.


Thank you so  much for the interview and opportunity to promote my books.  If there is anything else you need, let me know.

Author Links
Darlene Foster
dreamer of dreams, teller of tales