Archive for

Interview with Sammy Shu, Author of “There’s a Season for All”

Sammy Shu resides in Denver, Colorado with her family. In 1992 she finished her first children’s book, and quickly discovered a love of the genre and has been weaving her fantasies ever since. Sammy writes four hours a day and spends her time dedicated to the whimsies of childhood. She hopes to bring smiles to the faces of children all over the world and her stories are a testament to this. Fairies, dragons, mermaids, centaurs and creatures yet to be discovered are but a few of the fabulous topics of her wonderful books. Sammy has written nine children’s books with more planned for the future.

Juanita: Welcome to Reader Views Sammy, and thanks for the opportunity to talk with you about your wonderful new children’s book “There’s a Season for All.” Sammy, have you always been a writer? Why did you begin writing children’s books?

Sammy: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember being able to hold a pencil. My first stories were related to role-playing. You learn about character development, Finding a reason for things and developing storylines. It’s a great fun way to relax and stretch your imagination muscles. As I grew older I stopped gaming and began really pursuing more fairytale themes in my work. My love of children’s book arrived with my children watching their faces light up as I tell them a story makes a challenging day melt away. That’s good stuff.

Juanita: What is the age range of “There’s a Season for All”? Is this the same for all of your books?

Sammy: This book is for young readers, ages 5 – 9. My next book is for young adults and the ones coming next year are again for the younger reader.

Juanita: Is there anything specific to the 5 – 9 year age group that you keep in mind when writing?

Sammy: I try to remember how amazingly intelligent children are today. I never dumb it down. I use big words and situations that I know they deal with. I want to relate to these children. My writing has a purpose, a goal, and that’s an important factor to my work. I want to create an emotional response, make them think. So far the response has been great.

Juanita: What happens in “There’s a Season for All”?

Sammy: Four fairies sisters inherit the running of Tweenland. They have many responsibilities and soon discover that things are far more difficult than they thought. Running a kingdom is demanding. Soon they are fighting and causing problems for the people. I think this is something that happens with siblings, they fight, they work it out and in the end they remain loving and considerate. This is what happens in the book. But I don’t want to give away how that happens. The ending is pretty cool.

Juanita: Would you tell us about Tweenland, and its metaphoric message?

Sammy: I wanted a land that represented real life situations while remaining true to a child’s fabulous imagination. This is the place in be Tween.

Juanita: What inspired this highly creative storyline?

Sammy: I have daughters and of course they love all things fairy tale. Seasons are very important to me. I grew up in Florida where there really weren’t many changes, that part was inspired by Colorado and all of its beauty and variety. Sometimes I forget that I came from a place that didn’t have that. It’s so beautiful here and I draw a lot of my inspiration from that. all of the rest comes from the children. They’re so open and so fascinated by it all. I remember that and I miss the innocence. I’m inspired to keep that alive.

Juanita: The four fairy sisters in this story represent the four seasons, who struggle to assert their power. This really is a fascinating way to connect children with the environment, while teaching personal responsibility and working with others. Would you elaborate on these characters – the four fairy sisters, and the magic they hold in this story?

Sammy: The great thing about this story for me is each character represents a child in my life so they are all very special to me. They have such power to control their own environment and you can see how competent and successful they are by the end of the story. Girls need to know that they are powerful and capable I love that my girls feel that and I hope this book can put those ideas out there for other girls.

Juanita: What is the take home message in “There’s a Season for All”?

Sammy: Every person has something to offer in the big picture. We’re all so different and if we could just learn to work together we could achieve anything.

Juanita: Sammy, have you always been interested in fairy tales and mystical themes?

Sammy: Yes, as a child I wrote about magical bunnies and a land where you could sip chocolate milk from streams. I also played some role-playing games. I love fantastic themes. It’s so wonderful to be able to write about the places in my dreams and know that I can share that with the world.

Juanita: Even in this modern-day, why do you think fairies, dragons, mermaids, and elfin creatures provide such timeless fascination for children?

Sammy: It’s the belief that magic is real. I think as children are growing they are frustrated by their lack of control on their lives. In fairy tales they can use their imagination to create situations that they enjoy and have some control over.

Juanita: I know that imagination is a significant theme in your books, as well as in your personal and professional life. Would you comment on your desire to spark children’s imagination as well as inspiring your own?

Sammy: Life can be so demanding. We all need a place to go and recharge our batteries. The imagination is abundant and you can make it anything you want. For me it’s writing and my hope for the children is that they enjoy my stories, come away feeling refreshed and ready to take on all of life’s challenges.

Juanita: Sammy, would you tell us about Carl Cone, the illustrator for “There’s a Season for All,” as well as the collaboration process?

Sammy: Carl is my best friend. We’ve worked together for years and I’m sure we will continue to do so. He’s amazing. All of my work comes to life because of his astounding talent. I give him a story and he usually shows me sketches. We talk about possibilities and then he’s off and running. He’s always right on with his great ideas. I’m lucky to have such talent surrounding me. He has a site for people in need of an artist in different mediums. It is http://www.myspace.com/carltheartbug.

Juanita: Are you working on any other books/projects at this time?

Sammy:“The Legend of the Vampire Fairies” is the next book coming out. It’s a darker fairy tale for teens and young adults. The art is primarily my photography with some sketches and detail work by Carl. We’re very excited about it. I’ve also written several books that are about the Land of Imagination (where the fairy queen goes to rest in the first book) in that book the main character is a centaur boy learning the responsibilities of adulthood. Both project hold a special place in my heart and I cant wait to share them.
They will all be coming out as soon as the art is done.

Juanita: How can readers find out about you and your books?

Sammy: You can buy my books at Borders, Barnes & Noble, Tattered Cover, Amazon.com any retail store should have them or be able to get them. My web site is [http://www.Sammyshu.com] .

I also have several other sites that are linked to that one. If you go to Youtube.com you can put in Vampire Fairies and watch a book trailer of my upcoming book.

Juanita: Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us today Sammy. We encourage readers to look for “There’s a Season for All” at local and online bookstores, as well as stay posted to your website for future releases. Before we depart, do you have any final thoughts for your readers?

Sammy: I’d like to mention that a portion of the proceeds of my book sales go to a foundation I started called AFFECT (artists function for enhancing children’s tomorrow) The purpose of the foundation is to give children in need the opportunities that the rest of them have, Good books, entertainment, Art. We go to children’s homes and hospitals we read to them, do short skits, teach them fun safe choreographed combat techniques. Drawing classes, and anything else our members are willing to provide. We are always looking for people who are willing to donate their talents for the lost children of this world; hopefully through my writing I can make a difference. Thank you for this opportunity to get my message to more people.

To find out more about our cause go to makeanaffect.com and keep reading!

Financing College Education For Single Mothers

Grants, scholarships and student loans:

As you will be knowing, there are two options when you are thinking of paying your college fees. You can either get a student loan or go for the free money in the form of grants. Needless to say, the free money should always be the first choice and priority for you. It is essential that you fill the application forms for the grants and scholarships as soon as possible. People who come first are the ones who get the free money. Of course, there are certain requirements in order to get the grants and scholarships. This does not mean late applications are allowed. Make sure to discuss with the financial aid officer and sort out all the options at your reach.

Federal and state grants:

When it comes to the grants, you can get the federal and the state grants. Reading the requirements of the grant approval is vital so that you apply only for those for which you have chances of getting approved. The pell grants are one of the most sought ones and a major criteria for the approval is the financial need. They take into account your expected family contribution and see if you will be able to pay off the college fees without the grant money. If the reviewers find that the college fees is high compared to the EFC, the grant will be given to you.

If, unfortunately, you do not get approved for the above said grants, the other option at your hand is the loan. Although not appealing as the grants, these loans will be able to fund the college education for sure. If you want to complete the college degree without any problems, taking time to research all the available options is very important.

Considerations in Distance Education for the Medical Assistant Instructor

Medical Assistant distance education is emerging to meet the demands of a new generation of students in the twenty first century. St. Augustine Medical Assistant School distance education program for medical assistant presents a good model for this integration of technology with medical assistant education. Distance education, particularly in its most recent form, online education, is being integrated into even the most cautious and conservative of educational institutions. Yet the impact of these alternative forms of teaching and learning on students, faculty, and institutions has yet to be broadly or deeply studied. New models such as that at St. Augustine Medical Assistant School are immerging. St. Augustine Medical Assistant School is available at: http://www.medicalassistant.us

Distance education is not new, and can be traced as far back as the first century. The Apostle Paul wrote to the early Christian churches, instructing them from a distance (even when he was under ‘house arrest’ in Rome). This was probably the first type of ‘correspondence course’, which was the only method of learning at a distance until the advent of the telephone. Today, distance education and in particular online medical assistant instruction calls upon an impressive range of technologies to enable medical assistant instructor and the medical assistant student who are separated by distance to communicate with each other either in real time (synchronous) or delayed time (asynchronous). Currently and asynchronous model used at St. Augustine Medical Assistant School to instruct medical assistant students. This has proven to be a very effective model however the medical assistant program is currently investigating the benefits of synchronous online medical assistant instruction and the benefits it may have for the medical assistant student.

Medical Assistant distance learning epitomizes the move away from institute based learning to a more direct, student centered approach. As a concept, distance learning has existed for over a century, notably in the form of paper based correspondence courses including the less formal correspondence education for medical assistants. Now however, distance education is depending increasingly upon technology for its success and technological innovations ensure that distance learning for the medical assistant continues to evolve and grow as a valid and potent force in all forms of education for the medical assistant.

The task of the medical assistant distance educator is therefore to obviate these problems as much as possible by mixing and matching techniques, creating and maintaining a stimulating environment, and offering opportunities for medical assistant students to communicate with each other and with the medical assistant teaching staff on a regular basis. The medical assistant educators will also need to change their traditional role as well. Many remote medical assistant students need a great deal of social support, and medical assistant distance educators may find themselves spending more time offering one-to-one tutorials and less time lecturing. St. Augustine Medical Assistant School at http://www.MedicalAssistant.us is leading today’s technology in medical assistant education.

When designing medical assistant educational systems and materials for medical assistant distance in delivery the medical assistant teacher must consider not only learning outcomes, but also centered requirements and technical constraints for the medical assistant. Also to be considered are the needs, characteristics, and individual differences of both the students, the teachers and future medical assistants.

Medical assistant distance education for the medical assistant then, should not be viewed as a means of reducing costs, but as an opportunity to raise standards. It is also about providing quality medical assistant learning opportunities for those who, for one reason or another, have previously been excluded from this basic human right. Medical Assistant distance education will quickly become the norm and not the exception for the twenty first century medical assistant. St. Augustine Medical Assistant School distance education program for medical assistant presents a good model for this integration of technology with medical assistant education. The St. Augustine Medical Assistant model can be reviewed at: www.medicalassistant.us.