Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Interview with Sandi Smith, author of The New Adventures of A.R. Achnid and a Giveaway!

The New Adventures of A.R. Achnid
(Revised Edition)
by Sandi Smith
Illustrated by Kathy Lee
Mindstir Media
January 3, 2017
Children's Chapter Book / Animals, Bugs & Spiders
126 pages

Tour dates: June 18 to July 13, 2018
Content Rating: G

Harold! There goes that spider! See, he is running on the floor! That spider has to go. He cannot live here anymore!!! Oh, no! Beth looks very, very angry. What has A.R. Achnid done now? Well, before A.R. got into big trouble with Beth, he had a lot of wonderful adventures.

There are ten different adventures in this book. There is the time he went to the circus and rode on a balloon, and then had some shoo fly pie. Another day, A.R. and Rex (a Great Dane, who is A.R.’s best friend) decided to walk all the way into town, and they had such a wonderful time. Then, A.R. and his family went to New York City for the biggest craft fair ever (which was for spiders only), plus many, many other adventures.

Unfortunately, in the tenth story, A.R.’s current living situation is going to need an adjustment. Something changes in the lives of Harold and Beth (the humans) that will make things very difficult for A.R. Come along with A.R. for some fun, and find out what small bundle will cause problems for A.R. and his family.

As A.R. says, “Spiders rule!”

To follow the tour, please visit Sandi Smith's page on iRead Book Tours.

And here she is...
Sandi Smith!!!

Sandi was sweet enough to stop by today and answer a few question...because
inquiring bookworms are curious bookworms and we want to know!

Hi, Sandi! Thanks for coming by today and bringing The New Adventures of A.R.
Achnid with you. And I'm so glad you didn't bring the spider...although he does
look like a friendly one.
There are many books out there about spiders, what makes your different?  

My A.R. Achnid book is unique.  First of all, because it is a children’s story, and
secondly, because he doesn’t see himself as a regular old spider.  Of course, it
definitely is a story about a spider, but A.R. is not ordinary. He lives with his
mother, his father, and his brother, Bo, and they have taken up residence with
two humans – Harold and Beth.  A.R. is not just a spider, he actually thinks he is
human, and wants so much to be accepted and loved by his human friends. In my
book, A.R. is dressed and wearing socks, sneakers, a shirt, and a hat, ready and
anxious to go for a ride with Harold, or he is trying to get Beth to be friends with
him, which is definitely not your usual book about spiders.

A.R. Achnid isn't the only character in your book. There are many other, fun ones.
Which was the hardest character to write?  

The easiest?  A.R. was the hardest, and the easiest to write.  When I first started getting
words for my A.R. stories, I was surprised. I have such a strong fear of spiders. Why
would I want to write a story about a spider? I don’t like them.  I had to transition
myself into a place where I could tolerate the character, and then try to make
him cute. I thought it was going to be impossible. But once I got into the character,
and I really liked the name A.R. Achnid, words and ideas just kept spilling into my
head.  Then I started to relax, and I started having so much fun with A.R. I pictured
him wearing shirts, shoes, sunglasses, and hats. Having lots of adventures
everywhere he went. Then A.R. was easy to write about, and I had lots of fun.

In your book you make a reference to:

Oh look, there is the new baby!
She is okay, but very small.
I cannot see her, so I’ll get closer.
I’m sure Beth won’t mind at all.

How did you come up with this idea?   

For ten stories, A.R. had been living with Harold and Beth, but the new words I
was starting to get suggested that a change was in the works for A.R. and his
family. I wasn’t really comfortable with A.R. leaving a place he had been in for
so long, but once I started getting the new words and I put them together, they
made sense. There was a new family that had entered into my mind, and lots
of different adventures would be taken with this new family, so I decided that
it was time for Harold and Beth to have a baby, and that would certainly
complicate life for A.R., who couldn’t seem to stay out of anyone’s way,
especially Beth’s.  The new baby would make it easier to send A.R. and his family
on a new and different adventure.

Even if A.R. Achnid isn't your normal spider, many real spiders are simply creepy.
What in the world made you write a book about these eight legged creatures?  

Spiders certainly would not be a topic I would write about, so it definitely came
as a surprise to me that I had all of these spider ideas in my head.  It all started,
on a hot summer night, I couldn’t sleep, so I got up to get a drink of water. I
saw a very large, large spider on the wall, so decided that I wanted to rid our
house of this spider. I took a shoe, and went to hit the spider, but it fell down
onto my dark blue rug, and I could not find him anywhere.  I sat on the couch
for a few minutes, but became obsessed with where the spider might be hiding,
so I went back to bed. About two hours later, I woke up out of a sound sleep
with words running through my brain. Like a ticker tape. I went back to sleep,
but the words kept waking me up. There were more and more words.  All about
a spider. Finally, I got up and just wrote the words down. Once I wrote the
words down I could go back to sleep, but that didn’t last long. In another
hour, I woke up again with even more words, so I got up and wrote them down.
The next morning, I looked at all of the words, and said to my husband, “I think
I have a children’s story to write.”  The rest is history. I don’t think I had a
good night’s sleep for about ten years after that.

Now, I'm going to hit on one of those questions authors dread. Ready?
Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
All of my writing began about ten years ago, when I had an encounter with
a spider. After that, I started getting words constantly, but, aside from the
spider,  I have never had anything that inspired me to write my stories. Every
single story that I wrote came to me while I was sleeping. Sometimes it would
be a paragraph that I would build on. Sometimes it would be a title (the
title for one of my novels sat in my computer for nine months before I got
any words for that story).  So, there was no real inspiration, just words that
came unexpectedly.

Thanks again for taking the time to pop by. Good luck to you and A.R. Achnid!!!

Sandi Smith spent her time as a young girl combing the shelves of the public library. She has always enjoyed the magic that books have to offer and was inspired by her high school English teacher, Mr. Coolidge to embrace the arts. The author found her calling as a writer early one morning as her first story came to her in the form of a poem. Since then she has written more than 15 children’s books, with her most popular series about the adventures of an adorable spider in the A.R. Achnid series.

Sandi is happily married to her inspiration and husband of 40 years, John. She continues to write for her two precious grandchildren. When she’s not penning a
new story, Sandi and John like to camp, kayak and to enjoy the simple life in their home in Pembroke, NH.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest

Enter the Giveaway!!!
Ends July 21, 2018

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