Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the tween chapter book “Miss Priss: On and Off the Court” by Judy Phillips and Brenda Nichols from September 15 to 21, 2015.
MISS PRISS: ON AND OFF THE COURT is book one in the new tween chapter series by Mom’s Choice Award winning writer-illustrator Team, ‘Brenjudy’. On and Off the Court introduces Priscilla Penelope Paxton (Miss Priss), a ten year old whose interests and curiosity land her in, sometimes, sticky situations. A unique coming-of-age story bound to bring giggles and enjoyment to all its readers as Miss Priss encounters and overcomes a slew of challenges, even the one that will continue to grow—self-awareness. The book features full color illustrations.
About the Book
Title: Miss Priss: On and Off the Court | Author: Judy Phillips | Illustrator: Brenda Nichols | Publication Date: August 20, 2015 | Publisher: Tadpole Press …4 Kids (a division of Smooth Sailing Press) | Pages: 230 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 12
Summary: Priscilla Penelope Paxton is a witty ten year old whose inter-ests and curiosity land her in, sometimes, sticky situations. Dance classes, Girl Scouts, school assignments, friends and hanging out at her family’s drug store, and the local Piggly Wiggly would leave any other person with no time for any-thing else. Yet, the thrill of basketball and joining the Little Dribblers finds its way into Miss Priss’ heart. Though this interest will prove to be a dream that requires overcoming the greatest of challenges; Mom’s opposition. A task that will require ingenuity, perseverance and a little help from some loved ones.
Author & Illustrator Interview: Judy Phillips & Brenda Nichols
Judy Phillips is an educator with over twenty years of experience and is currently a counselor at Samuel Houston Elemen-tary School in Huntsville, Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas and a Master of Education degree in Coun-seling from Sam Houston State University.
Phillips volunteers locally with university students through local ministries and mentor programs.
Brenda Nichols was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and is an educator at university level, with over twenty years of experience. She is currently the Head Women’s Basketball Coach and Professor of Kinesiology at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Nichols holds an Associate of Arts degree from Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas, a Bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and a Master’s degree from The University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida.
Nichols volunteers locally by mentoring students and through motivational speaking engagements at schools and various civic organizations.
Judy and Brenda were kind enough to answer some questions for us today, so without further ado, here they are!
About the Book
As succinctly as possible, tell us why someone should read your book.
Although primarily written for the ‘tween audience, Miss Priss ~ On and Off the Court appeals to any person, regardless of experience or circumstance. The angst to capture the desires of one’s heart despite conflicts and obstacles is a timeless theme captured in the plight of Miss Priss as she pursues her goal with determination, grit, and ingenuity.
This sounds like a perfect fit for my own tween daughter. Things are definitely getting more complicated!
What is YOUR favorite part of the book?
Judy (author): When Miss Priss is secreted away in her closet as she usually does when Mom and Dad are having “serious” conversations and she overhears more than she probably should have about her mother’s past fills me with emotion. Miss Priss is hopeless at this point of ever achieving her dream of playing Little Dribblers basketball.
Brenda (illustrator): It’s hard for me to choose just one favorite part, but I love when Pappaw is teaching Miss Priss the fundamentals of basketball. I am the brains behind all of the basketball lingo in this book as I am a Division One Women’s Basketball Coach.
That’s one thing parents have to be very careful of – we often say in our house that “the walls have ears”! And, how fun Brenda that you coach women’s basketball. One of my favorite sports!
Can we expect more books from you in the future?
There will definitely be more Miss Priss books. We’ve drafted three more books in which Miss Priss experiences softball, volleyball and Girl Scouts. We are proponents of young readers exploring various interests to find their “niche”. Perhaps Miss Priss can encourage ‘tweens to find their own interests and talents through her experiences.
I love the focus on sports for girls. I think there are so many skills (including personal skills) to be learned when you play on a team sport.
About Being an Author/Illustrator
How do you react to a bad review?
Ouch! This just fuels us to work harder to make our books the very best they can be. Overcome and achieve is a favorite quote of Coach Nichols, which we often use to motivate us.
“Overcome and achieve”! I love that!
What advice would you give someone aspiring to write a children’s book?
We encourage folks to just write for the fun of it. We have found we are most successful when we are enjoying our work as author/illustrator. Take criticism for what it is and move on. Don’t let any negativity stop or derail your pursuits.
I think your advice is good for anyone regardless of what they pursue!
Can you tell us about the challenges you have faced in marketing your books? What works? What’s a bust?
Social Media outlets are definitely the best marketing tools. A huge bust would definitely be the old fashioned book signings waiting for folks to stop by to gander at books. We have experienced our fair share of both and favor using the modern convenience of technology.
This is great to hear as it validates what I’ve been saying to authors as well. We have access to a global market at our fingertips through the internet. There are a whole lot of people out there!
More About Reading and Writing
What are some of your favourite books from when you were a child and did any of these inspire you when writing your books?
Judy: I was an avid reader as a child. I rode my bicycle to the public library several times a week to get my next “fix” and was exposed to prose, poetry and nonfiction through our local summer reading book club contest. I discovered my favorite children’s book authors, reading everything E.B. White, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Beverly Cleary wrote. I would have to say that each of these authors inspired me to write characters of substance with genuine personalities, desires and struggles.
Brenda: I read all the Bobbsey Twin books and also loved The Hardy Boys. Dr. Seuss was a childhood favorite! I grew up being inspired by the drawings of Charles Schultz.
I read all of the same books that you both mention. Brenda, no Nancy Drew?
Judy: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Love it!
Brenda: The NCAA Rules Manual. (That’s the truth!)
I haven’t heard of that one Judy and that’s for the chuckle, Brenda! 🙂
More About the Author/Illustrator
What do you do when you are not writing or reading?
Judy: Exercising and helping my husband with his ministries.
Brenda: Spending time with my children.
If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
Judy: My Kindle, a solar powered battery pack, and mascara.
Brenda: Because Judy is not bringing anything for basic survival, I will bring a tarp, a knife, and fishing gear to help keep us alive while she reads and looks pretty.
Why does everyone say a Kindle? Hmmm… Brenda, I’m coming with you! lol
If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
Judy: More. I was born prematurely with little hope to survive or succeed in life. My life has been much more than I ever would have expected it to be and I am truly grateful to God for all he’s done for me. I can’t wait to see what “more” opportunities are in my future.
Brenda: Ninety to Nothing. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I am high energy personified. I usually accomplish more in one day than most do in a week. I’m always racing to the next thing, and I don’t look back.
I love both of your book titles and the inspiration behind them.
- Sport to Play? Brenda: Basketball, of course! ~ Judy: Hula hooping. (Is that considered a real sport?)
- TV Show? Brenda: Walking Dead ~ Judy: Chopped
- Flower? Brenda: Magnolia ~Judy: Daisies
- City to visit? Brenda: Pensacola, Florida ~ Judy: New Orleans
- Animal? Brenda: Horses~ Judy: Giraffe
Miss Priss Blog Tour Schedule (2015)
* Blog Tour Giveaway *
Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice
Giveaway ends: September 28, 11:59 pm, 2015
Open to: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the publisher, SmoothSailing Press and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.