Book Giveaway & Author Interview: What Are You Afraid Of? by Kiki Howell

Welcome to Author Kiki Howell.

Bio:

Ever since she was young, Kiki Howell has loved to listen to a well-woven tale with real characters, inspired plots, and delightful resolutions. Kiki could spend hours lost in a book, and soon she knew that creating lives, loves, and losses with just words had to be the greatest thing that she could do. To that end, she pursued her study of literature and writing, earning a bachelor’s degree in English. She then followed in a Master’s program in Creative Writing.
She has now had over twenty stories published between seven different small presses. She could not be more thrilled or grateful to see her creations polished and out in the real world.
Kiki resides in the Midwest with her incredibly handsome and talented, singer/songwriter husband and two children. When she is not writing, she is spending time with her family, reading, baking or knitting.
Her biggest dream is to have a novel she writes be made into a movie that her husband creates the soundtrack for, and then cruise to Alaska with her family on the money they make.

Interview

If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
Past

What is one book everyone should read?
Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
To make people happy.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Chocolate chips, but only if the chips are shaved.

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
CoCo Wheats with brown sugar

Night owl, or early bird?
Sadly, both! LOL

Skittles or M&Ms?
Skittles

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
We all have fears, and my dogs, Drake and Zoe, have a fun game to help us all overcome them in a very fun way.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I was a bookworm as a child, and thought it would be the greatest job ever to create such wonderful things.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Getting emails from people who have said my story helped them in some way.

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
I was/am a huge Dr. Seuss fan, and The Lorax would have to be my favorite one of his. I just love anyone who will speak for the trees.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Stay true to the story in your heart. Don’t second guess it. It is the one you have been given to tell.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Ireland, though as my husband points out, I’ve never even been there, but I am enthralled by all I see and read about the place. Also, my maiden name was Quinn, so I think I would fit in! LOL

What is your favorite Quote?
“A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle” – Father James Keller

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
At first, a vet, but allergies made that an impossibility. I even now take allergy meds daily to co-exist with Drake and Zoe 🙂 After that realization set in, I wanted to be an author. At some point, ballerina was in the running as well!

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
My characters are my dogs, but I would say I’m a bit skittish like Drake, and can be stubborn like Zoe is at times.

What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?
Maybe this book, inspired by my own fear of the dark as a child, and my dog’s fear of people in costumes!

Hidden talent?
I love to draw, but I have to be inspired to do so.

Favorite Candy?
Gummi Bears, but only the ones by Haribo

Nickname?
Actually, my nickname is Kiki. It was given to me by my grandpap Quinn who couldn’t say my given name which is Kirstein

What Are You Afraid Of?

“Why does the night have to be so dark?” the big dog named Drake gave a low bark.
Not everyone likes Halloween. In fact, the big dog named Drake is afraid of the costumes and the decorations and the dark. He really only likes the candy his boy drops.
Lucky for Drake, the old dog named Zoe is there to help him forget his fears with a fun game.
Drake and Zoe can’t wait for you to play along.

Note From The Author:

What Are You Afraid Of? is more than a story to help children overcome their fears. What Are You Afraid Of? is a book about acknowledging a children’s fears and dealing with them in ways that do not stifle a child’s imagination and creativity. So, indulge me while I state a few ideas.

Children can easily be made to feel small and defenseless in this big
world, while at the same time, children have very vivid imaginations, which can cause further anxiety over things that are intangible, confusing, and scary. Therefore, how we deal with a child’s fears may have tremendous implications on how we foster, or hinder, their creative growth.

While fear can be a manifestation of imagination, so too can compassion and empathy. Compassion is a product of the imagination as well, being able to ‘see’ ourselves in another’s shoes. So, it only stands to reason, that if we stifle the imagination, we may be stifling the child’s potential to care for the world around him later on. A creative mind is a terrible thing to waste.

We all know that fears or phobias cannot be easily coerced away by mere rational or logical arguments. Instead, it seems a better approach to acknowledge a child’s fears and show him or her that you know how he or she feels. We can try to diminish the fears by making light of it and making the child laugh. Ah, laughter is the best medicine! I have read psychologists who recommend playing with fears by role playing until the child laughs or bydrawing silly pictures of the object of the fear with the same intention.

With all of this in mind, I came up with this story. I hope the idea of a big dog being afraid of witches and ghosts is silly enough to begin with, along with the playful Halloween-ish images and the funny rhyming patterns. But more, I hope the games the old comes up with will be games your child can also play to eliminate his or her own fears. Most of all, I wish for you and your child to enjoy the story. May you laugh!

Publisher: http://www.dancingwithbearpublishing.com/
Release Date: October 15th

Giveaway Details
1 paperback copy & 1 ebook copy
Open Internationally
Ends 11/4/11

Optional Extra Entry:
+2 Like the book on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/What-Are-You-Afraid-Of/155231937903164

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