Jul 19 • 8M

Q&A with Bess Sturgis

Children's Book Author

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Appears in this episode

Kathy Gerstorff
Supporting independent authors with the business side of writing
Episode details

Q&A with Bess Sturgis

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00): Intro

(00:24): Exploring the World of Bess Sturgis: Children's Book Author and Storyteller

(01:43): The Art of Writing: Uncovering the Drive Behind Pen to Paper

(01:45): "Why I Write: Spreading Laughter and Joy Through Children's Books"

(02:12): "Exploring the Joy of Children's Laughter and an Author’s Literary Works"

(02:18): "From Fairytale Novels to Picture Books: Exploring the Author's Literary Portfolio"

(02:23): Podcast Segment: Unveiling the Latest Projects

(02:24): The Writing Process: Unveiling the Works in Progress

(02:34): "The Writer's Dilemma: Balancing the Blessing and Burden of a Stockpile of Stories"

(02:41): "Engaging with Grown-Ups: Building Relationships and Connecting Through Social Media"

(03:00): "Exploring the Power of Social Media: Fostering Engagement and Fan Interaction"

(03:07): "Rocket Man: Unveiling the Remarkable Story of Robert H. Goddard's Journey into the Space Age"

(03:15): Unleashing Your Inner Author: Expert Tips for Aspiring Writers

(03:17): Gain Inspiration and Improve Your Writing Skills: The Power of Reading Across Genres

(03:22): Title: Exploring the Reach of Our Podcast

(03:24): "From St. Louis to Memphis: Book Signings and Online Presence!"

(03:39): Exploring the Thrills of Author Events

(03:40): Fostering Connections: Small, Family-Friendly Events for Reader Engagement

(03:45): Title: "Insights and Final Thoughts: A Recap of the Discussion"

(03:47): "Indiana Author Extravaganza: A Celebration of Local Literary Talent"

(04:03): "Upcoming News for Poets and Writers: Stay in the Loop!"

(04:17): "Calling all Poets: Win Money and Publication in the PSI 45th Annual Poetry Contest!"

(04:48): "Unleash Your Writing Potential at the Taylor University Professional Writers Conference"

(05:08): "The Ultimate Book Launch: Unveiling the Secrets of a Master Marketer"

(05:36): "Calling All Authors: Book Releases, Q&A Interviews, and Subscriptions!"

(05:52): "Embracing the Power of Stories: Inspiring Readers and Writers alike!"

(06:05): "Transforming Your Podcasting Journey with Wondercraft AI"

(07:25): Outro


Welcome to Bookends, a podcast about the books, chapters, and pages of our lives and the writers behind the stories we love. Today we will get to know children’s book author Bess Sturgis. If you want to get in on the fun by doing an author interview, email kathy@indieauthorsassociation.com. Now on with the show. 

Welcome back, bookworms. I'm your host WriterKat. In this episode, I am doing a Q&A with Bess Sturgis, a children’s book author and coordinator of the Indiana Author Extravaganza at the Cambridge City Public Library. Bess is a founding member of the Indie Authors Association and a sponsor of the Hoosier Indie Authors Book Fair. 

Bess says in everyday clothes she is a wife, mother, grandmother, and writer living in a small town in east central Indiana. But when she steps into the fantasy world in full costume and make-up, she becomes a professional storyteller of Ghouliana Stories and The Fairy Grandmother.

Bess is an American author and storyteller with an international readership. In 2019 and 2020, she was nominated for the Penned Con Award for Best Children's Author. Children around the world enjoy her fairytale novels and picture books.

Bess’s latest fairytale novel, The Kitchen Fairy, is illustrated by former race car driver and nationally recognized artist Tom Butters. Her picture books for younger readers, A Helping Hand, illustrated by Anita Crull, and Algernon and Zef, illustrated by Kate Wallace, are in classrooms and libraries from coast to coast in the US and are gaining popularity in Europe.

Listen in as we get to know Bess Sturgis. 

Welcome to Bookends, Bess. 

Why do you write?

Thanks. I think the simplest answer to that question is: Because I want to. There is something delicious about smearing humorous tales across the clean side of recycled paper with a “No Rules-No Fear” attitude. That’s hard to beat. Also, I love knowing that somewhere across time and distance, a child is curled up with one of my books, laughing at my silliness. To me, the sound of a small child laughing is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world.

I agree. I love the sound of children laughing, especially while they're playing outside. 

What books have you written? 

Currently, four of my fairytale novels and two of my picture books are available in bookstores and online.

What are you working on? 

There are five new novels, several short stories, and two additional picture books in the “under construction pile” on my desk, waiting for re-writes and editing.

I know the feeling! Having a stockpile of stories is a writer’s blessing and dilemma. 

Do you have a newsletter or blog? 

No. I prefer to use various social media platforms to communicate directly with the grown-ups of my readers. This allows me to respond to specific questions and be more involved with my readers. Over the years, grown-ups have posted drawings, reviews, book reports, and pictures of their kiddos role-playing my characters. I love these interactions!

Yes! Social media is a fun way to engage and interact with fans. 

What is the latest book you read that made an impact on you?

Rocket Man: Robert H. Goddard and the Birth of the Space Age by David A. Clary. It is a must-read for anyone interested in rocketry and space travel.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Read across genres as much as possible. Every book has something to teach you about writing.

Where can we find you? 

My next signings are Books by the Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, and All Shook Up at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.

Online: you can find me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Alignable, and Instagram, or visit my website: GhoulianaStories.com

What is your favorite author event?

Small, family-friendly events which allow me time to chat with my readers are my favorite.

Is there anything else you want to share?

I’d like to invite everyone to the Indiana Author Extravaganza on October 6th and 7th at the Cambridge City Public Library in Cambridge City, Indiana. You can find more info by typing  Indiana Author Extravaganza in your internet browser or Facebook.

Thank you, Bess Sturgis, for sharing your writing journey with us. And thank you, listeners, for tuning in. If you have some kiddos who love to read, do them a favor and check out Bess’s books!

Now, on to the news for poets and writers. 

Poets, have you sent in your poems for the PSI 45th Annual Poetry Contest? You can win money and publication for your poems. This contest has not one or two but a whopping 32 categories for you. Enter one or all for the same low fee of ten dollars for PSI members or fifteen for non-members. You have until September 1st, 2023, to share your poetic brilliance with the world. To get all the details, visit poetrysocietyofindiana.org.

Writers! If you want to hone your skills and network with authors, publishers, and other cool cats in the writer world, join me at the Taylor University Professional Writers Conference on July 28th and 29th, 2023, in Upland, Indiana. You can sign up at Taylorprofessionalwritersconference.weebly.com

Indie Authors! If you want to see how a master marketer does a book launch, join me and about TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND other curious creatives on Saturday, August 19th at 12 p.m. Eastern Time for Alex Hormozi's book launch of one hundred million dollar leads. It's free, and he's giving goodies away to everyone who shows up for his LIVE virtual book launch. To sign up, please use my referral link at booklaunch.xyz, so I can win a one-on-one interview with him that I will share with you! 

If you're an author with a book release on the horizon or want to participate in a Q&A interview,  email kathy@indieauthorsassociation.com. If you want to support this show and lots of other upcoming author interviews and book launches, please subscribe at indieauthors.substack.com

Alright, bookworms, that’s it for today. Visit writerkat.com for links to all my writerly projects and social media. Until next time, keep reading, keep writing, and remember; every story has the power to change lives!

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Well, that's a wrap for this episode of the Bookends Podcast. Thank you for listening! We hope you enjoyed getting to know Bess Sturgis. If you did, please leave us a rating and review on your favorite podcast platform. And don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss any future episodes.

We'll be back soon with more great conversations about books and authors. In the meantime, we hope you'll continue to enjoy those special moments between the bookends of your life.

Until next time, happy reading!