DIGGER THE COLONY WORKER ANT
Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
I was born and raised in Ontario, California when there were orange groves, grape vineyards, and dairies through the southland. My parents came from Switzerland, and I am the oldest of their four sons. I still live in Ontario in a historic home that is over 100 years old.
Growing up in Ontario (and briefly in Castro Valley, and Hayward, California), I went to several schools. I graduated from Ontario High School and then attended California State University at Fullerton where I was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. I also have a Master’s degree in Education from Azusa Pacific University and a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne.
I worked in the public school system for over thirty years, teaching elementary students and serving as an administrator (principal, director of curriculum and assessment, and assistant superintendent). Currently retired, I write children’s stories, create art, and serve on the Ontario Museum of History & Art board of trustees.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my children and grandchildren, my dog Cooper, and participating in many hobbies.
What inspired you to author this book?
As a teacher, I became a collector of children’s picture books. In my day-to-day teaching, I used variations of fairy tales as well as what we call “fractured fairy tales.” The kids loved these stories and enjoyed comparing and contrasting them to the original versions.
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Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?
I had a wonderful illustrator, Nana Melkadze, who did the pictures for my first picture book, Caleb’s Adventures with Granddad. I knew she could execute this project, and she designed the cover. I think she hit the ball out of the park with the cover and interior illustrations.
Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?
My mother always encouraged my writing and my other creative endeavors.
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What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?
Time is always a factor when it comes to writing. However, once I have an idea and map it out, the writing become easier. I know that to be a successful writer, I needed to have the discipline to write every day. I have several “Idea Journals” for different projects. This helps with writer’s block and still maximizes my time/productivity.
As for the publication of the final book, I worked with a fantastic team at Atlantic Publishing Group. They worked with me to produce the best quality book I would be proud of.
Tell your readers about your book.
The main character is an ant named Digger. He lives with an evil stepmother and two evil step brothers who boss him endlessly. When the ant colony queen hosts a gala to find a suitable husband for her daughter, Digger is kept from attending. His step family tells him that “an ant like you would never be permitted to dance with royal ants.”
However, Digger has a Lady God Buy who makes it possible for him to attend the grand party. Although Digger is not recognized by his family it all changes when the clock strikes midnight revealing the identity of the ant who has captured the princess’s heart. Digger flees, leaving behind one of his shiny boots which the princess uses to find the common worker ant Digger becomes her husband, much to the dismay of his step family.
Who is your target audience, and why?
The target audience is young children 4 – 8 years old, but meant to be enjoyed by readers of all ages.
What do you consider your greatest success in life?
I believe children are gifts who are to be cherished and nurtured. Therefore, as a teacher, I work to help my students find their passions, develop their talents, and become kind, respectful, and compassionate people.
What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?
It would have to be the expectation for producing a quality story and book. I don’t settle for anything but the best. I do not underestimate the intelligence of my young readers and therefore demand that my writing and the illustrations are the best possible for them.
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