Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

My Interview at Joseph D Drumheller – The Five Steps to Create a Children’s’ Book…

August 22, 2016

Link here:

The Five Steps to Create a Children’s’ Book  

Rumble's First Scare

  1. The Idea

This may seem like the easiest part of creating a children’s book – right? Not as easy as first appears as it turns out. Your idea has to convert onto the page in a language that your target audience can understand word usage is vital so take note.

  1. What age group are you writing for?
  2. Will you target pre-schoolers or an older age group?
  3. Will the story contain a moral or lesson?

My children’s picture book, Rumble’s First Scare began life as a prompt for Halloween. I did not want to write the usual monster narrative but something more unusual and fun. So I wrote the story from the young monster’s point of view. Younger children love Rumble and monsters are not so scary.

  1. Finding a Publisher

There are numerous avenues to research when it comes to finding a publisher.

  1. You can follow children’s book agents.
  2. Submit your story to contests with a book contract attached.
  3. Attend conferences and find an interested agent/publisher.
  4. Research local or regional publishing houses and submit your story.

I was fortunate to find a publisher locally and this made my publishing experience a more personally tailored one. Dream Write Publishing did an amazing job and I was part of the process all the way through.

  1. Illustrations

The amount of illustrations is dependent on the age of your target group, the younger the age group the more pictures are required and less text.

  1. If you are a talented artist you can illustrate yourself.
  2. Do you know an artist that will collaborate with you on the project?
  3. Does your publisher offer this service?
  4. There are many artists on social media you can approach.

My Rumble character was the culmination of my imagination and crude drawings and a wonderful artist friend, Matthew McClatchie, who made my idea of what Rumble would look like into reality.

  1. Text

Again the amount of text needs to be balanced for the target age group. For example, if the books are for very young children the text needs to be simple and sparse with great pictures, but for independent readers, illustrations can be on the chapter headers only.

  1. Do you want the story in rhyme form?
  2. Choose simple pronounceable names for your characters.
  3. Wrap the text around the pictures or along the bottom of the page.
  4. Keep exposition to a minimum
  1. Extra Pages
  2. The publisher will require your author bio and a photo
  3. You will create a ‘blurb’ – a brief description of the story – for the back of the book.
  4. If you wish you can have a dedication page.
  5. The publisher will allocate an ISBN and the legal disclaimers and permissions for duplication.

Sharing my little book with friends and family was stupendous. The moment any author is handed their first book is overwhelming emotional. It is the closest an adult comes to childish delight. The reality that your words are now published, that many people will read it and your words will outlive you delighting generations to come is a heady feeling.

After your book is published your work is not done. Promotion becomes your master. Be creative and say ‘Yes’ to any and all opportunities that come your way. The more your book is noticed the more sales.

Mandy and Rumble at SC Summerwood

To promote Rumble I created a soft toy of Rumble, which was so much fun. Once I showed my writing group they all announced I should make miniatures for each book, I declined!  Rumble accompanies me to readings and events and is always popular. As I had a good deal of promotion to manage without sewing into the wee hours, I did commissioned Rumble hats, and ordered T-shirts, which are a lot easier to handle.



Always creative, I came to writing later in life. A chance visit to a writing group, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, propelled me into the written word in a way I could never have imagined. I delve into all genres expanding my writing muscles and with several books published; I am certainly making up for ‘lost’ time. As a free flow writer, my stories lead me rather than the other way round, delighting me with plot twists and turns. Writing is my passion, the source of new found fellowship and most of all fun.



I can be reached through my blog at, on my facebook page and through Twitter @mandyevebarnett

Annual Colouring Contest:

I arrange an annual colouring competition prior to Halloween for Rumble fans. The picture is in .pdf format and downloaded from my publisher’s website – Once all entries are in I choose the winners. Prizes include Rumble hats, T-shirts, monster orientated toys and games.

My newest book will be launched this fall – Clickety Click   is a YA monster story. Why do I have a propensity for monsters, I have no idea!

Click crop cover


Ockleberries to the Rescue- Guest Blog…

May 7, 2015

I am a guest of Writing Belle today – here is the link.

MOTHER’S DAY SPECIAL: Mandy Eve-Barnett and Kathy Lane

Mother’s Day is right around the corner. What better way to celebrate the ladies who raised us than with a salute to the books that they read to us when we were children? Today I’m featuring two children’s authors, Mandy Eve-Barnett and Kathy Lane. Check out their books below and connect with them online. And have a lovely Mother’s Day!

Mandy Eve-Barnett

Book cover

About Mandy’s Book:

Tansy and Crispin help all the forest animals, with their ailments or injuries, no matter how big or how small. The healing potions and practices they use were handed down generation to generation. Living in a home built within the roots of a magnificent oak tree, the two sprites and their animal helpers, remain hidden from human eyes.

Crispin wishes to find a long ago lost cave filled with ancient healing books and potion recipes. No matter where he travels in the forest he searches for it. Always hoping… Will he find it? What is the story behind the cave? When humans come into the forest – what happens?

Purchase it here:

Q&A with Mandy 

Tell us about your book. 

 My parents encouraged a love of nature and when I became a parent, I passed on the wonder to my children. When my children were small, I made up several stories about magical sprites helping their animal friends. It was a ‘one-off’ event, as I did not write until decades later after immigrating to Canada. The characters have always stayed with me and so I was determined to make their adventures into a book. The two main characters are Crispin and Tansy, woodland sprites, who live inside the roots of a great oak tree concealed by a magical spell to protect them from human visitors to the forest. Their powers of healing were passed down generation to generation and with a couple of favorite animal aides, they travel the forest, riverbank and meadows to care for all the creatures that live there.

Each chapter tells the story of a particular animal and how the sprites help them but also tells the sprites story.

I don’t often feature children’s books, but I appreciate the art of storytelling that goes into creating one. What is your favorite part about writing? 

 My favorite part is creating the characters, their world and what happens to them. I have found that all my stories center on love in all its forms and I want to show young readers that love and kindness are important to everyone.

How long have you been writing – is this your first published work? 

I did not start writing until I was in my late forties, although I have always been creative in one form or another my whole life. My first published book was a picture book called Rumble’s First Scare. It follows a young monster on his first All Hallows Eve scaring trip.

Any upcoming projects? 

 Always! I am currently editing two manuscripts, one a western romance called Willow Tree Tears and the other a suspense/thriller, called The Giving Thief. I am also serializing a YA horror story on my blog called Clickety Click and have recently envisioned another children’s picture book about a bug. I also have two other manuscripts on the back burner awaiting editing. A speculative fiction called Life in Slake Patch and the other is a romance with a reincarnation twist called The Twesome Loop. So yes I always have upcoming projects to keep me busy.

Where can readers connect with you online? 

 My blog is

I am on Twitter @mandyevebarnett

Facebook page

About Mandy 

Mandy currently lives in Alberta, Canada but is originally from England. Her background is diverse and gives her rich experience to utilize in her writing. She has traveled throughout Europe, parts of America and Canada and was born in Africa.

Mandy is passionate about writing to the point of obsession and she succeeded in becoming a published author in record time. She also holds the position of Secretary for her local writing group, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County.

Writing in various genres, Mandy has published several books, a well as co-wrote a workbook and had short stories published in anthologies. Mandy’s presence can be found on numerous web sites as well as on her own blog where she communicates her writing journey as author, supporter of other writers and freelancer.

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