Interview with Sybrina Durant about Cleo Can Tie a Bow By Jennie Reads Blog

Category: Children’s Activity Book / Picture Book Date of Publication: September 25, 2020 Number of Pages: 39 pages


What cultural value do you see in books? Books (written words) are the backbone of civilized cultures everywhere.  I don’t necessarily mean printed books although I personally prefer them over the electronic version. Words that are compiled in specific formats can teach us.  They can move us.  They can give us faith. They help us remember where we began and where we are going. I wouldn’t want to live in a world without them.

How do you decide if your main character(s) will be male or female? Ha-Ha!  That’s easy…this book is about BOWS – pieces of colorful ribbons tied in loops; not bows – something you notch an arrow to in order to hunt prey.

Which character from your book(s) is most or least like you? Cleo is least like me as I never wear bows on my clothing, and I never decorate with them. I do like the way they look, though. And my favorite kinds of shoes are the ones with shoelaces.

What are some day jobs that you have held?  Have any of them impacted your writing? I still have a day job at an engineering company. For nearly forty years, I have been a catalogue-er of information in some capacity or other. I work 10 hours a day at my “day” job, and then I come home and work some more on my “wobby,” as my husband calls it. It doesn’t impact my writing too much because I really don’t write that much – but it does have a huge effect on how I go about promoting and marketing my books. You must be very disciplined about keeping track of who you have reached out to and how you have reached out to them. It takes a lot of creativity and pre-planning and scheduling, too. Those kinds of things take thousands of hours. That kind of work is never, ever done.

How important are names to you in your books? How do you choose names? Character names are very important. For this book, I wanted a name that flowed easily in the title and that rhymed with the word bow. I developed a very long list of possibilities. Here are a few: Tibby, Tessy, Becka, and Chloe. It took me a long time to settle on Cleo. I think I picked the best name.  How about you?

What’s your funniest flaw? That I’m a Pollyanna. The definition being that I am an excessively and blindly optimistic person.  My glass is always half-full.  Why is that a funny flaw, you might ask? Well, because I’ll probably still be promising myself that all my efforts will eventually pay off when I’m lying on my death bed.  I think a lot of entrepreneurs have that syndrome. You know…like…even if I never experience financial success from all this hard work, maybe my kids will one day benefit.

Do you have a mantra for writing and/or for life?

Find out the answer to that question and read a nice review by Jennie at JennieReads

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