What is your latest release and what genre is it? I have two new releases. Both are children’s picture books that teach science (math or nature) not by telling, but by showing in a story format. The first is titled: 9X Fun. The second is titled: The Honeybee That Learned to Dance.
Quick description: 9X Fun – This picture book will delight children of all ages but will be especially appealing for any child between the ages of 7 to 9. It features a clever little mouse that shows kids the ease of learning the 9X table. The colourful illustrations and playful cartooning will allow kids to see math from a new perspective. Math can be fun! Children will quickly learn the 9X table once they see which patterns unfold. “9X Fun” will help kids enjoy math as never before and encourage them to explore the beauty in this science.
The Honeybee That Learned to Dance – This picture book will delight children between the ages of 5 to 9. It is told in a unique story format from the perspective of Hummy, a honeybee. Children will learn some fascinating facts and behaviours of the honeybee as the story unfolds.
Hummy, is a honeybee that has finally grown big enough to take on the important duties of a forager. She doesn’t want to let the other bees down so she worries about many things. Will she be able to find pollen and nectar to bring back to the colony? What if she gets lost and can’t find her way back? And even if she manages to return to the hive with food, will she remember how to dance to tell the others where the food is located?
Hummy bravely overcomes her fears and surprises even herself by becoming a superb forager. Hummy will inspire every child to overcome fear of failure and encourage each of them to try new things. Just like Hummy, they will see how much they truly are capable of when they bravely test their abilities.
Sharon Clark kept a journal after her only child Jeffery, was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour at the age of 14 months. She chronicled not only the treatments that he endured, but also the agony, despair and isolation that a parent feels when going through such an ordeal. When he died two weeks before his second birthday, she felt compelled to write – not only as a means of therapy, but also so that other parents in similar situations might learn what to expect, what pitfalls to avoid and what she learned in the process. She also hoped to give friends and family members some insight as to what is and what is not helpful in such situations. Her writing culminated in her first non-fiction adult book Not Our Baby was published in 1984 by Detselig Enterprises, Calgary.
Subsequently, Sharon and her husband Archie, had three more children – all girls. Once the youngest entered grade one, Sharon decided that the time had come to pursue a passion that wouldn’t go away – to eventually work in cancer research. She obtained a degree in Cell, Microbial and Molecular Biology from the University of Calgary in 1998 and currently works in research there.
But during her undergraduate degree, Sharon studied many fascinating areas of science, including botany and zoology. She was blown away by the beauty and wonder of nature which eventually she experienced first-hand from her cabin in the mountains. She yearned to impart the sense of awe that she felt to her girls. But, to her dismay, many of the science books written for children were simply a collection of facts, and her children had no interest in them.
What a shame, she thought, that we can’t make science more fun for kids. So to this end, she has written three nature picture books for kids and one math book. She uses story formats for the nature books and a rhyming format for her math book. Two of these books, 9X Fun and The Honeybee That Learned to Dance, were published in April 2014.
What are you working on now?
Currently, Sharon is working on a research-based mystery novel, Timelag, where a researcher discovers a gene involved in aging and learns how to stop the aging process. A co-worker becomes an unwitting pawn in his research and it changes the course of her life and the direction of humanity. This book won second place in a Canadian writing contest (Coffee Shop Author Contest) in May, 2011. This year, it was entered in The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, which accepts 10,000 entries each year. Timelag succeeded in moving into the second round of 2,000 entries (400 entries in each of 5 categories), then on April 14th moved into the Quarter Finals. It succeeded in becoming one of the top 100 entries in the Mystery category. The book is still in development but is approximately 85% complete. (Free excerpt still available at Amazon.)
Sharon’s reading recommendation:
Jonathan Kellerman: Mystery