Author Highlights: Gina LoBiondo

Kristi's Book Nook Presents: Author Gina LoBiondo

I love it when I can share the successes of authors. Author Gina LoBiondo has visited here before and you can read it HERE.  Please welcome this wonderful author and don't forget to participate in the book giveaway. For a chance to win all you have to do is leave a comment with your name and email.



Kristi's Book Nook Interview:

How do you promote kids and reading?

I have always tried to get the kids in my life interested in reading. I started years ago with my cousins, then my god-kids and now their kids! I sent them books for every birthday and holiday and think it's important for them to enjoy reading. I had tons of books when I was a kid and have more now that I'm an adult. Even though when I was young I had some difficulty reading, I always loved books – that love will never go away!

Tell us about your website?

My website is a potpourri of my writings over the years. I also have pages dedicated to my pen pals, screen Legend Janet Gaynor, singer Sarah Brightman and of course my books. There's also a page dedicated to my short stories, which I will be adding to as I get a chance. If anyone is interested, the site is http://www.ginalobiondo.com.

Will you be doing any book tours?

I don't have anything scheduled at the moment, but if anyone is interested, please feel free to get in touch.

What are your thoughts on the new technology for reading a book?

Oh, I absolutely love it! I don't have the Kindle itself but I have the app on my phone and computer! My only problem is not finding time to read like I want to!!!!! I think whether it's a print book or an eBook, if it gets someone reading then go for it!

What advice do you have for parents on getting their kids reading?

Start them early! My parents read to me every night from the time I was a baby in my crib and I think that's what helped spark my interest in reading.

Tell us about your book(s) and illustrations.

The title is Button Nose the Sad Little Bear and is the story of a much-loved little bear and the little girl who will never give up on finding him again. Basically, it's a fictionalized account of my childhood teddy bear and where he may have gone after he was sold. It's told from the bear's point of view and you get to see how he feels as the years are passing. In the end you discover that the little girl (me) had been searching for him as well. The illustrations were done by a brilliant artist named Brittany Wilder. She completed the 21 drawings in a matter of weeks, initially as pencil sketches and then coloured them in with nothing more than a highlighting pen and coloured pencils. She's amazing and super talented!

How long did it take you to get this idea to where it is now?

Off and on it took a little over a year, only because I didn't work on the story steadily. It was more like a few pages, then nothing for a month or so, then a few more pages, etc. Then the illustrations took another couple of months – the hardest part was finding a printer. I had originally wanted Button Nose the Sad Little Bear to be a 10x8 landscape book in hardback but couldn't find a printer willing or able to do it, so I changed it to its present format and went with Lightning Source as the printer/distributor.

What will kids love most about your book(s)?

I think the characters initially, then the plot. As I said before, it's the story of what happens to this little bear once he's separated from his original owner and how sad he is, how much he misses her. It teaches kids about love and friendship but in a way that they can relate to.

What will parents and teachers love most about your book(s)?

Probably the sweetness and simplicity of the story and what it teaches the kids.

What's your next project?

My next project has actually been finished (at least the story part of it) for quite some time. I've been having a bit of a time getting the right illustrator but I think I've finally found him. It will be my own retelling of the Cinderella story, mostly the traditional tale but with a different twist that no other version has, not even the Disney version. This book will be longer – a chapter book as opposed to a children's picture book – so will be more for older readers than really young ones. I'm really looking forward to putting it out when it's ready.

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Gina.


Author's Biography

Born in 1960, author Gina LoBiondo grew up loving faerie tales. She
began writing stories of her own when she was 13 and continues to do so
today. Her first foray into this exciting business is Octuple Book Award
Winner Pegasus - A Dragon's Tale with her next book, her own retelling of the Cinderella story, expected sometime in 2015. She is also planning a sequel to Pegasus - A Dragon's Tale for 2015. Button Nose the Sad Little Bear is her second book.

Check out her personal website at www.ginalobiondo.com as well as the

illustrator’s site at http://kahlan4.deviantart.com.

Don't forget to leave your name and a comment for a chance to win a copy of Button Nose The Sad Little Bear. Be sure to visit The Neophyte Writer for my interview with Gina and her writing tips.

Book Giveaway!



Title: Button Nose The Sad Little Bear
Author: Gina LoBiondo
Illustrations: Brittany Wilder
Publisher: Nephthys Publication
ISBN: 9780982264881


Review:


It's not unusual for kids to grow up and out grow their toys. Generally toys can be passed down to younger siblings, relatives or sold at a garage sale. As an adult, would you find yourself longing for that special toy from your childhood? Here is a heartfelt story with a very interesting twist at the end.

Button Nose was a very soft small little bear. He had a pouty face and a cute little button nose. He was a special bear because he had been hand made with love. This little bear, along with other little toy bears, sat on a shelf waiting for a little girl or boy to choose him. Button Nose had finally found a home and would comfort and cuddle a little baby girl. As the little girl grew so did her love for the little bear. She loved Button Nose so much she took him everywhere. One day at a family outing to a restaurant the little girl left Button Nose behind. The little bear was scared. But soon the family came back for him.

As the little girl grew it was time to pass Button Nose on to another home. Botton Nose was sad. The next little girl didn't play with him as much and he was then passed along to a toy collector and sat on a shelf with other toys but felt very alone. In time, Button Nose had been sold again. This time he had come full circle and was back in the arms of his first little girl. The little girls name was Genie and she had been searching for him a very long time. What do you think happened next? You will have to read this story to see.

This heartfelt story of a very special toy bear is actually a true story. Author Gina LoBiondo shares a story of family and what it takes to keep a family treasure close. The back of the book has actual photos of Button Nose bear and the little girl and her family. Cute and colorful illustrations are found throughout this story. Parents and children will enjoy this delightful true tale of a little brown bear.

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