Good morning and welcome to another Round Table Chat. It’s getting a bit cooler here in Richmond and the leaves are starting to change color. My backyard is a beautiful canvas filled with bright colors–lots of reds and yellow. My burning bushes have started to flame a tasteful deep red. The breeze is pleasant and the geese honk as they begin their journey south.
Today I have the pleasure to introduce to you a children’s author, Viki Heagy.
Welcome to the Round Table Chat, I’m looking forward to getting to know you and your book.
Viki – Hello, Annamaria. Thank you for having me. It is a pleasure being here.
Annamaria – I’m glad you were able to join me. For this special occasion I’ve baked blueberry scones and croissants filled with nutella. Can I offer you one of each?
Viki – Mmmm…yes. I love blueberries. Did you grow these yourself?
Annamaria – Unfortunately I did not, I don’t really have a green thumb. What can I offer you to drink?
Viki – Tea would be nice.
Annamaria – Do you prefer black tea or herbal tea?
Viki – Black tea is fine. Are you going to join me?
Annamaria – Indeed. I can never resist scones or nutella for that matter. I think I’m going to make a cappuccino. Would you like to try one?
Viki – It sounds good, but I am a tea lover. By the way, I love your china.
Annamaria – It belonged to my great grandmother. Whenever I use it I remember the stories my grandmother used to tell me about her. Come let’s get comfortable in the living room but the fire. I hope you’re comfortable.
Viki – Yes, thank you. It is so cozy in here. You are blessed to have stories of your grandmother. I didn’t know mine. I think that is one reason that I wanted to write stories for my granddaughters.
Annamaria – Can you tell us a little about the stories you write?
Viki – Faith and family is very important to me. I wanted to write stories that will make a difference in the lives of children. My granddaughters were starting school and had a lot of concerns – Will the other kids like me? What if I miss you? Do you think I will fit in? What will I say to them? I thought a fun way to address these issues would be to create characters that were fun and lovable. My granddaughters could relate to Izzie and her friends.
Annamaria – can you describe Izzie and one of her friends?
Viki – Izzie is a shy little inchworm that moves to a different part of the forest to live with her grandmother. She doesn’t know anyone and is afraid of starting a new school. Barney Beetle is one of her new classmates and he talks without thinking. Sometimes he blurts out things that hurt other’s feelings.
Annamaria – How did Izzie meet Barney Beetle if she is shy?
Viki– Miss Millie Millipede, the teacher introduced Izzie to the class and of the course of the day, Izzie interacts with Barney and the others.
Annamaria – How many friends does Izzie make the first day of school?
Viki -There is Barney, Flora Firefly (who is a little bit of diva), Lucy Ladybug, and the spider twins – Sam and Stan who can be very mischievous.
Annamaria – That’s a good number of friends. Is Izzie happy now that she’s made new friends?
Viki – Yes, at the end of the day, Izzie is happy. There are a few times during the day when things don’t go so well. Izzie has a special talent that she can share with her new friends. This makes her feel better about herself and the move.
Annamaria – How many Izzie books have you written?
Viki – I have four others. This first book can also be used to introduce children to the subject of bullying. Which is so important in today’s world.
Annamaria – Do you tackle a different problem with each book?
Viki – Yes. In the second book, Izzie shares her special talent with Barney to build a clubhouse. Teamwork is the theme of this book.
Annamaria – Are you a self published author or a traditionally published author?
Viki – I am working with Motivation Champs Publishing. This is their first children’s book. It isn’t a strictly traditional published book. It is a little bit of both. They are helping me and are a fantastic group of people to work with.
Annamaria – Do you do a lot of your own marketing?
Viki – Well, I’m trying to. The book only came out last week. I post on facebook and my website. I attended a book signing for local authors at the library last Saturday and have several more lined up. Motivation Champs is helping me with some of the marketing. Did I mention how great they are? 😉
Annamaria – I’m glad things are working out so well with you and Motivation Champs. Would you share a few pictures of these wonderful characters with my readers?
Viki – Sure. I know they will love the colorful images of Izzie and her friends.
Annamaria – For each character you’ll share can you give a small description of the character?
Viki – Yes.
Izzie is shy and self conscious, but she is very good at math.
Barney can be a little rough around the edges, but you can’t help loving him.
Flora is a drama queen. It is all about her. She doesn’t realize she acts this way.
Lucy is very nice to everyone and is everyone’s friend.
Sam and Stan are typical boys and being twins, they like to play tricks on the others.
Annamaria – The characters sound adorable… I want to meet them. I’m sure many children are going to love these character that are also going to help them as they start their young lives.
How did you come up with the character of Izzie?
Viki – I decided on Izzie the Inchworm because I wanted a small unassuming character that would grow with the story and books. She is cute, very likable and has strengths she doesn’t realize. An inchworm seemed to fit the idea of the main character, especially once the other characters started popping into my head.
Annamaria – Who’s your favorite character and why?
Viki – I love them all. It is really a toss up. Other than Izze, I would have to say Barney. He is a lovable goof. He speaks before thinking. He really doesn’t mean any harm.
Annamaria – The books were written for your granddaughters. How many do you have and what are their ages and names?
Viki – Lily is 6 and in first grade. Bristol is 5 and in kindergarten.
Annamaria – It must be fun to spoil them and and send them home. Do you do a lot of reading with them?
Viki – It is most definitely fun spoiling them! Lily lives close by and we read together a lot. Her favorite books are about Raggedy Ann. Bristol lives in Florida. We read when we are together and I send her books quite often, then we talk about them.
Annamaria – In my opinion, nothing is better than reading books to grow a healthy imagination in children. I also believe that reading helps them develop different thinking skills that help them think outside the box.
Viki, I’m so glad we had this time together to get know your characters and a little about your books. I do hope you’ll come visit again for another chat.
Viki – Thank you Annamaria. I enjoyed this time with you…and your delicious scones. I would be happy to come back again sometime.
Izzie’s First Day of School tells of a shy, little inchworm’s first day at a new school. She is very talented in math….what better subject for an inchworm? Her grandmother tries to reassure and calm her, but Izzie has her doubts and is afraid of the other students and fitting in. The day begins with a rough start. At the end of the day Izzie has new friends and believes in herself.
Viki Doyle Heagy is from western Pennsylvania. Faith and family are her top priorities. She hopes the characters in her books inspire and motivate children as well as provide a spring board for parents and teachers to discuss issues facing children today. Currently she is employed at the Community College of Beaver County where she holds a fulltime position in enrollment services. Viki is also an alumnus having received associate degrees in Humanities and Business Administration. Several of her reflections have been posted on catholic365.com
Where to find Viki:
Pinterest: Viki Heagy
Catholic365.com articles: http://www.catholic365.com/ article/5232/faith-of-our- fathers.html