Today I have Author Dawn Menge. Please help me welcome Dawn to my blog.
Can you tell us your name and a little bit about yourself?
Good morning my dear Queenie, My name is Queen Vernita, but my friends call me The Queen. It is such a pleasure to speak to you about my newest adventure, “Queen Vernita Conquers the Volcanic Islands.”
What do you do when you are not writing?
When I am not traveling around my Kingdom, meeting all of my subjects, I volunteer in classrooms with children who have special needs or enjoy the beauty of my rose garden.
Do you have a day job as well?
My day job is to rule my kingdom and make sure that my subjects who are my friends are all doing well, and to make sure everyone is happy and healthy. It’s a big responsibility but I enjoy every minute of it.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I first started writing about my adventures around my kingdom over eight years ago.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I write for the school children within the schools in the villages in my kingdom. They are picture books filled with lessons about the flora and fauna, culture, kindness, friendship and calendar skills. They begin at pre-K to 1st grade and range up to 5th and 6th grade.
Where do you get your ideas?
My ideas for my books come from my real life adventures. Each year I travel to a different region within my Kingdom and visit twelve of my friends there. Each new month is a new subject to learn about and I find seven facts to share with my readers. I have traveled to the Blue Ice Mountains, the Oceaneers Coastline, Gator Country, Baja Quails, the Enchanted Islands, and met Sir HeathyBean the Astronomer to learn all about the planets.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Oh my gosh, No! The life of the Queen is filled with so many wonderful friends and family to share my adventures with. I have enough stories of my travels to write until I can no longer walk and have to sit quietly in my garden with my memories to keep me excited.
Is there any author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
When I was very little I had trouble reading. My father who was the king, sat with me every night and helped me learn to read. I soon became fluent and loved reading the Box Car Children, Nancy Drew and the Outsiders.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre? Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
My newest adventure is titled, “Queen Vernita Conquers the Volcanic Islands.” “The Queen of the Land of Quails is preparing to travel to the mysterious Volcanic Islands to meet twelve of her wonderful new friends. After she leaves her loyal subjects in charge of keeping her castle safe from harm for the next year, Queen Vernita boards a boat and heads out on her latest adventure.
The Queen’s first stop is to visit her friend Nicole at the black sand beach at the bottom of a beautiful valley where she learns all about the hawksbill sea turtles and Hawaiian monk seal. Her journey takes her to a new place every month, where she explores volcanoes, pink and orange sand beaches, walks along the hot lava, scuba dives under the sea, and learns about all the flora and fauna that call the islands their home. Along the way, the Queen meets many amazing new friends who are each special in their own way.
In this continuing tale, an adventuresome queen travels outside her castle to the Volcanic Islands, where she learns how important it is to respect the natural wonders of her kingdom.”
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
My books are based on real life experiences. I remember when I went to the Blue Ice Mountains and went snorkeling in the ice cold water. We had to put on a special suit to keep us from freezing.
In my newest adventure we went snubbling. It was a combination between snorkeling and scuba diving. We had a very heavy helmet on that pumped air into it so we could go down twelve feet. We walked along the ocean’s floor and all of these very beautiful fish were swimming around us. The coral was magnificent. We began feeding them small pieces of bread and we were soon surrounded by fish. It was amazing as they were taking it from our hands. I learned all about volcanoes and how they are formed. My friends Heather, Ireland and I made leis that were filled with the most intoxicating aroma for each member of Ireland’s class. We went out in a boat ten miles and were lowered into a shark cage. My subject was on top feeding the sharks fish, and there were soon over fifteen sharks swimming around us. It was fascinating and I couldn’t help myself I just had to touch them. You will have to get my newest release, “Queen Vernita Conquers the Volcanic Islands” to hear about all my other fascinating adventures.
What project are you working on now?
My wonderful and very talented Illustrator is working on two projects. The first is a train ride to the Grand Canyon and the other is based on the Valley of Fire.