This week Spotlight on Authors is delighted to virtually visit with Dave Freeman. Although we would have preferred to visit him in person since Dave and his wife live a few miles from the ocean in beautiful West Palm Beach Florida – and since we are having a great winter this spring.
Ocean notwithstanding, here is his Mushroom Tale.
Dave is a professional who writes motivational children’s books. With forty years experience solving problems in industry and in his communities, he would like to change that title to:
WRITER who solves problems, promotes, teaches and entertains.
About writing …
When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
I don’t recall beginning my love affair with writing. I can only remember that once I joined the real world, in a professional capacity, I was always drawn to and selected for writing assignments. From resumes, radio commercials, complaint letters and other letters to turn an angry client in to a proponent, I stepped up and surprisingly continued to hit the bulls eye on many assignments. That is simply exhilarating.
What book(s) has most influenced your writing?
In all honesty, I have to credit such timeless works as “The Cat in the Hat” or “Green Eggs and Ham”. More than inspiring an interest in silly poetry, it showed me that a valuable lesson can be conveyed, while the reader doesn’t know what hit them, yet, they will never get it out of their head. “You do not like green eggs and ham? I do not like them, Sam-I-am”.
When and where do you prefer to write?
My favorite place to write is in our home studio/office. The view of swaying palm trees reminds me that, if I choose to sit on the beach and write, it’s only a five minute drive with my lap top, to a cabana and a Piña Colada.
Truth be told, the beach is a great place to tan, but sand, rum and keyboards don’t mix. For me, the only real reason to be that close to the ocean is to jump in it.
So until we can sell a few million little books and buy a world class Winnebago, I prefer to sit right here at my desk, beside my wonderfully talented Illustrator/Wife, Connie. I write ‘em and she brings them to life with her colorful Mushroom characters. Right here is where I choose to write.
What was your biggest challenge in writing your book?
My biggest challenge is a variation of the KISS principle, “Keep It Somewhat Short”. (We’re not allowed to say “stupid” in our house, unless it’s talking about why we don’t use the word “stupid” in our house).
I have a tendency to be a trifle verbose, in my writing, due to the fact that it allows me to use words that would never pass my lips in normal Construction Manager conversation, words like “trifle” and “verbose”, for example.
In my personal and professional history, I have written thousands of letters, emails, resumes, radio commercials, print ads, articles and short stories for other people. It’s not uncommon to hear quite sincerely, “Wow, excellent letter…..Can I see the short version?”
I sometimes even have difficulty answering short questions with one sentence answers. I am pleased to announce that by transitioning to the writing of SHORT, motivational Children’s Books, I have now gone to the other extreme. I have actually written a series of books in rhyming verse, which following a non-scientific public survey, have been determined to be TOO SHORT. I can fix that.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Write, write and continue to write. Find places to communicate in writing and develop writing relationships. Share ideas, in writing and find things that stir passion in you, then write about it.
About you …
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love the ocean, which is only a few miles from our home. When the weather and the surf is right, I like to be in it, with a boogie board and snorkel. I am a Red Cross volunteer, which means, when a house catches fire in the middle of the night, the Fire Chief call us for support. Group and community activities with our wonderful collection of families from church are high on my list of non-writing activities.
Can you share something that is happening in your life that would surprise us?
With an Irish heritage, it might surprise you to know that at the age of 39-ish I spoke no Spanish. Fast forward, 20 years and I have a website called “Ayúdame Gringo”, which means ‘Help me Gringo”. I translate documents from Spanish to English, write persuasive letters for Spanish only speaking clients with English only speaking antagonists. With Connie, my wife from Colombia and a large circle of Colombian friends, I list myself as a Gringo with Colombian influences, “Colom-bingo”.
Do you have any unique talents besides writing?
I had a short career as a radio announcer and enjoy creating the voices on DVD for our Mushroom characters, ala David Seville and the Chipmunks.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I would love to dedicate my writing career to influence young readers with what we call the Three L’s of Mushroom Tales….To Love, To Laugh & To Learn.
Quick hits …
Is there an author that you would really like to meet?
My first choice would be Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss), for his everlasting positive influence on children and the families that love them. Failing that introduction, I would be pleased to have one of our books in rhyming verse, with comical, colorful characters to be found in the Dr. Seuss section, in some library, somewhere in the world; certainly not on the same shelf, but on the same side of the street would be nice.
What book are you currently reading?
Once we get the first three books in our series published in all formats, including DVD and Spanish + English (ESL), I have promised myself to go back in time from current to as far back as possible, to read all blogs and books by Joel Friedlander. His generosity and overall firsthand knowledge of the self-publishing industry and as an award winning author, are without comparison.
Who designed your latest book cover?
My wife, Connie Robayo is the creator of the Mushrooms in our Tales and does all of our illustrations. We say “Mushroom Tales”, with Mushrooms by Connie Robayo and Tales by “me”.
What is your favourite quote?
“You can have everything you want in life if you will help enough people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar
Mushroom Tales are fun to read stories, with fun to say lessons in rhyming verse and illustrated with humorous hand drawn characters. Each Tale illustrates a valuable character-building lesson using the Three L’s of Mushroom Tales: To Love, To Laugh & To Learn. We like to say: LEARNING to READ is EXCITING! SHARING Time and a Laugh is GREAT FUN! Because… MUSHROOM TALES add a verse with a message That will last when the lesson is done! The goal of Mushroom Tales is to stand out as a tool for parents to engage their young readers in important and sometimes sensitive subjects. We hope that our books will capture the attention of many young Mushroom Readers, with our comical Mushroom characters and with fun to say, easy to read, rhyming verse. Each Mushroom Tale presents a single motivational and character building message, intended to be a conversation starter for parents and mentors of young children. Our books include free, downloadable Coloring Pages and Vocabulary Mixer Puzzles that will help to add new, positive words to their daily conversation.
Dave, thanks for your time. We wish you much success with all future books in the Mushroom Tales series. Surfs up!