1. How long have you been a writer?
I received my first rejection in 1998. I sold my first magazine piece in 1999, it was a puzzle.
2. Tell us about your children’s picture books featuring Rooter and Snuffles, the two raccoon brothers. What inspired you to create such characters?
As a little girl I lived in the Redwoods in Northern California. Every night a pair of raccoons visited the garbage cans on our back porch. We would stand on the inside in the dark and watch them. They were so cute and funny. I just had to write about them.
3. Where are the books available?
"The Misadventures of Rooter and Snuffle" is available at http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/rooter&snuffle1.htm . "On the Go With Rooter and Snuffle" is available at http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/rooter&snuffle2.htm .
4. How is collaborating with an illustrator like?
In our case there wasn't any collaborating really. I wrote the stories and sent them to Kevin Scott Collier, he did the rest. He is so talented and certainly didn't need me to tell him what to do.
5. Did you have a lot of control over the artwork?
No, but I'm sure if I had asked for changes Kevin probably would have listened.
6. What do you find most rewarding about writing for children?
Feedback from children and their parents, and grandparents. Nothing could be better than to hear how much enjoyment your book gave some child or to receive a thank you note in a child's scrawl.
7. Would you offer some marketing tips?
Book reviews are a must. Readings at schools and other appropriate venues are wonderful, and great fun.
8. What seems to work for you when marketing your children’s books?
Word of mouth, and having the books on hand has worked the best for me.
8. Would you like to share with our readers any of your present of future projects?
I have a picture book I have been working on and plan to submit soon. I am starting a possible third Rooter and Snuffle, and I have been asked to write a book for children to be given out at our local food pantry.
9. Do you have a website and /or blog where readers may find out more about you and your work?
I have a blog on children's writing with a link to my book page. http://www.sharilyle-soffe.com/
10. What words of advice would you give aspiring children’s authors when searching for a publisher?
Keep an open mind. The biggest publisher may not be the most open to new writers. Don't take rejection personally.