Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's in the Water - Booksigning Interview with Gwendolyn Hooks

Arctic Appetizers, Studying Food Webs in the Arctic
By Gwendolyn Hooks

: 2009

ISBN: 978-1-60472-314-4
Price: $19.95
Format: hardback

Nonfiction science, Grades 3-5, Series, School and Library market

In Arctic Appetizers, I talk about who eats who in the Arctic Ocean and the area surrounding the ocean. I show how food webs are interconnected food chains starting with the sun’s energy and how that energy flows throughout the chain. A fun part was interviewing a biological oceanographer about her work in the Arctic. I think it’s important to show children how their interests can lead to a career.

Gwendolyn Hooks

Gwendolyn Hooks has two passions: teaching and writing for children. Gwendolyn believes books are a child’s passport to adventure and she wants her books to send them traveling. Gwendolyn has written seven books. From her home in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, she also writes for magazines including Highlights for Children and JAKES.

Freshwater Feeders, Studying Food Webs in Freshwater

Makers and Takers, Studying Food Webs in the Ocean
Rourke Publishing 2009

Nonfiction Science series

Nice Wheels

Children’s Press 2005

Early Reader

The Mystery of the Missing Dog

Scholastic 2004

Early Reader

Three’s A Crowd

Scholastic 2004

Early Reader

Can I Have A Pet?

Bebop Book 2002

Easy Reader


J. Aday: Can you describe your “book signing table set up”? (Include decoration, signage info and table location).

Gwendolyn: So far, I haven’t scheduled book signings for my new science books. But I did have the opportunity to be a part of “Authors at the Zoo”. Since Can I Have A Pet is about a zoo trip, I used it for my table display. My tablecloth had an animal print and I wore a safari hat. For handouts, I used animal themed bookmarks.

J. Aday: Have you given signings in any places other than book stores? If yes, name a few.

Gwendolyn: I’ve signed at book festivals and conferences, but the zoo signing was different and fun.

J. Aday: How did you get your signings?

Gwendolyn: As a conference speaker, book signings were part of the program. I should be more proactice, but I’ve never initiated a signing.

J. Aday: How do you promote your signings?

Gwendolyn: The group that I’m working with usually takes care of promotion. If it’s a conference, the conference promotional material will have me listed. For the zoo project, the person in charge was a writer friend and a zoo employee. She included all the authors in press releases and signs at the zoo.

J. Aday: How do you dress for an event?

Gwendolyn: The zoo signing was really casual. I wore shorts. Usually, I wear dark pants, but I like to wear bright tops so people will remember me.

J. Aday: What made your most successful signing a success?

Gwendolyn: My most successful signing was last summer at a conference sponsored by the Arkansas Association of School Librarians. I got to talk about my writing life, especially how I started my writing career. The librarians bought books for their personal libraries and for their schools.

J. Aday: What, if any, giveaways do you have?

Gwendolyn: The only giveaways were the animal bookmarks that I ordered from Oriental Trading. I need to think of more ideas.

J. Aday: What draws buyers to your table?

Gwendolyn: My welcoming smile? Seriously, it’s hard to get people to stop and talk to you at bookstore signings. Even at conferences I can tell they want to look at my books, but don’t want to commit to buying one. I try to engage them in conversations about the conference and anything else that takes the pressure off. I try to speak to them first as they’re walking buy to put them at ease.

J. Aday: What are you working on now? Will you share a little about it?

Gwendolyn: I am shopping around two books that I finished a few months ago. One is a picture book biography and the other is an early chapter book mystery. The feedback has been positive, but no contracts yet. My current work-in-progress is an article about throat singing. I attended a Tuun Tuur Tu concert recently and was mesmerized. The group is from Tuva, a republic in central Asia. They are able to sing two or more tones at once. It’s fascinating. I hope an editor will think so too.

Here is a link review from the School Library Journal.

Thanks for the opportunity to interview you. I hope you'll stay in touch and I can interview you again.