Author Spotlight: Dave Freeman’s Anti-Bullying Book

I am delighted to introduce you to Dave Freeman, the Author of the Mushroom Tales Children’s Pictures Books.

davefreemancvr

 Mushroom Tales – Volume 2: “Bullies!”

Subtitled: “Where do they come from and how long will they stay.”

“A Bully can seem like a monster or just a mad kid with nothing to do.

For reasons unknown they are angry and they seem to like picking on you.”

 

I am thrilled to discover your books. Please tell us a little bit about Mushroom Tales – Volume 2: “Bullies!”

Most recently, we have released this new Tale in English, while we work on the bilingual (Spanish + English) and DVD versions:

Bullies!” is the second in our series of motivational Children’s Picture Books, in rhyming verse, with colorful, comical Mushroom characters. Each Mushroom Tale consists of a short story that will serve as a conversation starter between our young Mushroom Readers and their Parents. Our main character and narrator, Maximus Mushroom describes our Tales this way:

“Learning to read is exciting.

Sharing time and a laugh is great fun!

Because…,

Mushroom Tales share a verse with a message,

That will last when the lesson is done.”

Max’s voice resembles Alvin or one of his chipmunk brothers and will be heard in the Audio, DVD, Downloadable file versions and currently in our YouTube Trailer. (http://youtu.be/Z72JkDFjdR4).

Our goal is to dedicate our books to influence young readers with what we call the Three L’s of Mushroom Tales….To Love, To Laugh & To Learn.

Where did you get the inspiration for this book?

Mushroom Tales, available on Amazon.com, are a family affair. My wife Connie (Maria Consuelo) is the Artist who, while living in Colombia, South America had a dream and an idea, having something to do with cute Mushroom Characters. Fifteen years later, give or take a week, Connie and I met and married (not in the same week), which makes me a Gringo with a Colombian connection, possibly a “Colom-Bingo”.

A year ago, Connie asked me to create a story to bring her Mushroom characters to life. “You mean a Mushroom Tale?” I asked and the rest is an obsession that I hope will never end.

 Connie’s experience confirms the rule: Authors should keep a pad and paper close by to write down dreams and ideas. How did you begin your writing career?

I don’t recall the beginning of my love affair with writing. I can only remember that once I joined the real world, in a professional capacity, I was always drawn to and selected for writing assignments. I was asked to write resumes, radio commercials, complaint letters and even letters to turn an angry client from antagonist to a proponent. I enjoyed the challenge and to my great pleasure continued to hit the bull’s eye on many assignments. That gratifying feeling of connecting individuals and solving problems is my major motivations as a writer.

It’s not uncommon to hear quite sincerely, “Wow, that’s excellent!…..Can I see the short version?” My biggest challenge is a variation of the KISS principle, “Keep It Somewhat Short”. (We’re not allowed to say “stupid” in our house, unless it’s talking about why we don’t use the word “stupid” in our house).

I have a tendency to be a trifle verbose, in my writing, due to the fact that it allows me to use words that would never pass my lips in normal Construction Manager conversations, words like “trifle” and “verbose”, for example.

I sometimes even have difficulty answering short questions with one sentence answers. I am pleased to announce that by transitioning to the writing of SHORT, motivational Children’s Books, I have now gone to the other extreme. I have actually written a series of books in rhyming verse, which following a non-scientific public survey, have been determined to be TOO SHORT.   I can fix that.

That last response had me laughing.  Readers love following their favorite authors, which social networking sites can fans find you? Please provide links.

Would you please share an odd behavior you’ve picked up while writing? (An example: during intense scenes, my fingers pound the keyboard.)

I’m told that I have a good “radio voice” (last tested as a DJ in the 60’s), but when I am reading my stories out loud to listen to the meter, rhythm and rhyme, the only voice that comes out is Maximus Mushroom. We will be introducing a new character, soon, Max’s friend Millennium Mushroom. Millie will have just a hint of a Spanish accent….Colombian, I think. We’ll see if Connie’s reading habits change with this new addition.

I would love to hear you read your writing aloud in that voice. Did you conduct any kind of research in order to write this book?

To be honest, our first 12 volumes of Mushroom Tales came from my experiences in a perfect “Ozzie & Harriet” childhood in Portland, Oregon. When I took charge of my life in young adulthood, life seemed to get much more complicated. My writing is a combination of the wonderful childhood and scary, goofy, real world adult experiences that have shaped my character. Now, the next series of Tales will deal with an area that is much more challenging and an area that I am researching through connections with Psychologists, Medical Professionals, Teachers and Librarians, to name a few. This condition that affects millions of individuals is called “Autistic Spectrum Disorder” (A.S. D.).

Are you working on new projects?

Our objective is to create a style of book that will capture the imagination and attention of children within the Autism Spectrum. Certainly of equal importance in our goal is to create lessons that help “less challenged” kids and their families and friends to be more compassionate, caring and considerate. “Inclusion” is our key word and we dedicate our next series to that end. My immediate plan is to continue and expand our research by reaching out to professionals and affected families in a Blog. This will, hopefully, start a conversation and the sharing of experiences, observations, questions and proven solutions. Now that I know how to spell Blog, all I need to do is figure out how to turn it on. The self- education process continues.

I already know your book is part of a series. Please describe the series for readers?

We began with stories of importance to our young readers, one subject per book. They include:

  • “Rules of Gold” (about the Golden Rule)
  • “Bullies” (about Bully Solutions)
  • “How to win a race” (about personal motivation)
  • “Your Smile! What’s it for?” (about personal interaction)
  • “Single Moms Rock! Lessons from a child” (about single parent families)
  • “Be Positive. You are what you think” (Think Positive)
  • “The Troll and the New Kid” (about prejudice)
  • “Where do Friends come from?” (about..you know)
  • “Good thoughts, why bother?” (shows that thoughts have meaning)
  • “Good Morning Choices” (shows that you can choose your path daily)
  • “You are Special” (shows the reader that they have value as a person)
  • “Be the one!” (Be like One, not the Other..you choose)

Please share an interesting fact about yourself (other than writing).

 With an Irish heritage, it might surprise you to know that at the age of 39-ish I spoke no Spanish. Fast forward, 20+ years and I have a website called “Ayúdame Gringo”, which means ‘Help me Gringo”. I translate documents, resumes, etc. from Spanish to English and write persuasive letters for Spanish only speaking clients with English only speaking antagonists.

It’s often fun to see the faces of individuals hearing me speak in Spanish for the first time. I often get one of those “What’s wrong with this picture” double takes. Especially when my new friends have been speaking Spanish and they quickly do a mental rewind of the conversation to remember if they accidently insulted the Gringo. (¡No problema!)

 Me encanta! Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers?

Our goal is to share our sincere respect for all people, young and old. We will continue to dissect our daily experiences to identify the good parts and the teaching moments. We hope that you enjoy our positive approach to life and that we may bring a smile to you and your children, while helping parents and mentors to connect with those children with a positive and motivational message.

We are always seeking new story ideas and even sensitive subjects that could use the help from a loveable Mushroom character, to help open a conversation and to bring families and friends closer together.

We promise to remember the goal of Mushroom Tales is to teach our children:

Thank you Dave and Connie Freeman for this wonderful series. I am a firm believer that children, who learn how to deal with bully behavior at an early age, will successfully overcome the issue when faced with it later.

davefreeman

____

For more on Dave Freeman and his books, please visit www.farmingdale.patch.com and click on Author Interviews by Katie McKnight. Would you like to have your book featured on my blogs? You may contact me at www.katie-mcknight-author.com or through Facebook at www.facebook.com/katiemcknightauthorpage.

 

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