Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Author Interview and Book Review - When a Spider Came to Stay

Today my guest is Rebecca Crosdale, the author of When a Spider Came to Stay

1. When did you decide to become an author and what impact has this had on your life?
I have always felt the desire deep within me to write, but, like many aspiring authors, there was another voice that thought it was foolish.  I also lacked the confidence to share my dream and was often embarrassed to reveal it. I needed to overcome my inner fears. There were other deterrents as well.  When I did put pen to paper, oftentimes my efforts were not taken seriously, and the feedback was not always pleasant to hear.   Nevertheless, I was determined to complete all the books that I started over the years.  Perseverance paid off and now I am a published author.

 2. Tell us about your latest work and what motivated you to write it:
My latest work and second in a series of children's books is called "When a Spider Came to Stay".  It’s a story about two unlikely friends that teaches about friendship, tolerance, work (spider's work) and courage. 

 3. What are your future aspirations as an author?
My future aspirations as an author are to continue writing other children's books, and my own autobiography. 

 4. Where do your ideas come from? What experiences or aspects of your life influence your writing?
My ideas come from my life experiences, occurrences on a given day, as well as the many lessons I have learned from countries and places that I have visited.   

5. What do you do to improve yourself and a writer?
I actively look at the works of others for perspective. With my own work, I have my friends as well as professional writers to critique and give me constructive criticism of my efforts. I also have them advise me as to where and how to improve my stories.  Sometimes I rely on my own initiatives and becomes my worst critic. 

6. What are the names of your books? "
The Spider in My Den", “When a Spider Came to Stay" and  “A Thump in the Garden" which is soon to be published. 

7. What inspires you to write? 
I have many stories in my head that I need to put on paper. 

8. Tell us a little bit about your next book.   
"A Thump in the Garden" is written and edited and I am waiting on the illustrator to complete the drawings.  Like the first two books, it is a story about friendship, compassion, diversity and understanding between friends of different backgrounds. 

9. Where can people contact you?
The best way to reach me is through my website  From there you can find my phone and email contacts, as well as my social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.   

10. Did you publish with a traditional publishing house or did you go the indie route?  
My preferred path has been as an indie publisher.  The first book "The Spider in My Den" was published by  The second book, "When a Spider Came to Stay" was published using Amazon CreateSpace.  Both books are also being distributed digitally. 

11. Do you read the reviews of your work and how do they affect your writing?
I make every effort to read all of my reviews and I take to heart all that the reviewers offer in the hopes of constantly improving my writing and the depth of my stories. 

12. What works best for you when writing? Meaning do you outline or write freely when you feel inspired to do so? 
I write freely 

 13.  What is your final advice for other aspiring authors?
Never give up on your dream.  Never give in to self doubt or your own lack of confidence.  Write every day.  Get those stories out of your head and on paper.  From there, anything and everything is possible.

Review: I received a copy from the author to facilitate my review, the opinions are my own.
When a Spider Came to Stay is the story of a young girl who notices a spider in her room.  She watches as the spider spins webs, each one more elaborate that the previous one, into the corners of her room. The young girl offers some of her food to the spider only to watch the spider walk away. The only thing the spider wants is to be able to share the room with the girl.  The girl admires the work of the spider even though they are different species.  This is a great story meant to show us that we are all unique in our own ways.

About the Author 
Rebecca Crosdale was born on the island of Jamaica in 1955.  The first fourteen years of her life were spent there helping her grandparents on their small farm. During her years in Jamaica, she learned the valuable lesson of hard work. It was a culture where children were expected to work as hard as grownups and sometimes even harder.  
In the meantime, she attended the Middleton Primary School to the age of twelve and then Morant Bay High until she was fourteen.

She immigrated to England at the age of fourteen where she joined her father who had been living there for some time.  She began attending Hatters Lane School for girls. This school was located in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Her education was cut short as she graduated from Hatters Lane two years later.  She graduated with a Certificate of Secondary Education in Art, English, Mathematics and Religious Knowledge. 
After graduating school in England, she went on to work in the Harrison Stamp Factory.  There she had the opportunity to stand in the presence of the Queen of England, the Duke of Edinburgh and her two younger sons, Andrew and Edward. She later went on to London School of Technologies for basic computer skills after which she worked a Key Punch Operator at G-Plan Furniture in High Wycombe.  

After spending 9 years in England, she immigrated to the United States where she now resides. She's been no less busy since her arrival in America. She attended and graduated from Suffolk Community College (AA. Degree) and Stony Brook University with a BA Degree. Afterward, she put her skills to use and has worked in the Human Services Field in areas such as Mental Health and Mental Retardation.  She worked for the Long Island Developmental Disabilities Office for almost 25 years. She currently works at EPIC Long Island, as Medicaid Service Coordinator, advocating on the behalf of people with mental cognition.  
When she’s not working to help others, Ms. Crosdale  is an avid traveler, traveling across many continents.  In the course of her travels she has experienced many different cultures and has learned a lot about the different peoples she has met. 
She has trekked the globe from Europe to Egypt, from North America to Bogota,  Colombia, from China to India, and visited many of the island in the Caribbean. She has touched the rocks of Stone Henge, climbed the Eiffel Tower, dropped a penny in the Trevi Fountain, and ridden the gondola in Venice.  She’s walked with the Pigeons in Florence, climbed to mount Elijah in the Greek Isles, walked in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, climbed into the Pyramid of Egypt, walked on the Great Wall of China, visited with the monks in Ankor Wat Cambodia, visited with the Terra Cotta Soldier and passed through the Panama Canal.  

Rebeca also enjoys gardening, cooking and photography.  
She has a great desire to share some of her experiences, many with children who may never have the experiences or enjoy the firsthand knowledge that she has gained.  
Writing, she feels, is probably the best way to share.
The innocuous Spider in “The Spider In My Den” inspired her to begin writing and she has now completed her first children’s book with many more to follow.


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