Digital Book Nook recently caught up with Richard Rossi and Kelly Tabor, authors of “Lucy and the Lake Monster.” We are excited to share this insightful interview with our readers today.
When did you first discover that you enjoy writing and wanted to become a published author?
RICHARD ROSSI: I loved books and the library from a very young age. I carried around a notebook that I wrote in as little boy. To this day, I carry a notebook with me. I write in it everyday.
KELLY TABOR: I worked as a school teacher for over 30 years and told stories to my students about my childhood looking for Champ. In the back of my mind, I thought maybe one day I could write a book for children, but it took Richard to help me get over the hump. When he invited me to write with him, I was elated.
What is your favorite and the most challenging aspect of writing?
RICHARD ROSSI: My favorite aspect of writing is the therapeutic aspect. I can process my feelings and thoughts. Writing begins as a meditation for my own soul, and then hopefully it becomes a meditation for the souls of others. I hope that others will be touched by what I write and it will help them in some way. What separates art from random words? Art will touch the feelings of others. The most challenging aspect for me is remaining faithful to keep writing and working and not succumb to all the distractions, but to keep writing because we learn to write by writing.
KELLY TABOR: One of my favorite parts is to help children. As a 4th grade teacher, I tried to help them overcome their challenges. Sometimes that meant guiding them to a counselor at the school. I enjoyed putting into our novel, some life lessons, practical help for children that are experiencing some of the obstacles Lucy experiences such as bullying. The most challenging part for me as a busy teacher was finding the time to write a book. Now that I’m retired and doing it in partnership and collaboration with Richard it has been a big blessing.
Tell us about your latest release.
RICHARD ROSSI & KELLY TABOR: Our book “Lucy & the Lake Monster” tells the story of an eight-year-old girl named Lucy and her grandfather, “Papa,” and their quest to find a sea serpent who lives & lurks in Lake Champlain.
How did you come up with the title of your book?
RICHARD ROSSI: I thought the name “Lucy” & the word “lake” had a nice alliteration to it.
KELLY TABOR: Yes, Richard and I are big on alliteration. Our main character’s name is Lucy Lago.
What do you hope readers are able to get from reading your story?
RICHARD ROSSI: I hope readers are encouraged to overcome being misunderstood for their beliefs. Copernicus and Galileo were excommunicated for believing that the Earth revolves around the Sun and yet they were ahead of their time. Lucy is bullied for her belief in Champ. It’s really important that people believe what their heart tells them like Lucy.
KELLY TABOR: And like Lucy says, what matters is magic & love.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
RICHARD ROSSI: The two greatest works of literature in the English language are the Bible and Shakespeare. Both of them have influenced my writing and been a part of my life. Lucy & the Lake Monster is children’s literature so I’ve been influenced by some of my favorite writers of children’s literature, such as Lewis Carroll who wrote Alice in Wonderland, and J.M. Barrie who wrote Peter Pan.
KELLY TABOR: I have read the Bible a lot like Richard. Also, as a teacher I’ve been drawn to stories with young heroines, like the true story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles.
Do you have any advice for writers looking to get published?
KELLY TABOR: I echo what Richard said. This is his third published novel and my first.
RICHARD ROSSI: It is easier to get your book published and distributed to the world now than ever before, because Amazon has set up the KDP program and Barnes & Noble has set up a self publishing program, so if you don’t want to submit your work through an agent to publishers and play a long waiting game, you can publish it yourself on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
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Lucy and the Lake Monster is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle.