Friday, August 12, 2011

Win 5 copies of I See ... Savannah & Interview with Kirstan Graham

Please welcome Kirstan Graham, author of I See Savannah to The Eclectic Reader and take the time to read her interview. Kirstan has a special reason for seeing her book publication dreams to fruition. PS. I printed some of the animal colouring pages from Kirstan's website for my niece, she'll love them!

1.  Tell us a little about yourself? 

I am a full time mom, part time author, graphic designer, and artist. Wait. That's too many hours a day right? Ok. Well, I'm a lot of different things depending on the time of day, but one thing I'm not is bored. I went to school for an A.A.S. in graphic design and worked in the corrugated packaging business for nearly a decade. While doing fifty-plus hour work weeks I managed to squeeze in a full load of college credits to earn my B.A. in Arts & Letters. Being a mom is definitely the hardest and most important job I've ever had and deciding to leave my 9-9 to raise my little one was by far my best decision. I love spending time teaching her about her world and sitting back letting her teach me all the things I'd forgotten. Our favorite past time is reading together.

2.  Can you tell us your inspiration for your I See Animals series?
My daughter and I devour books, and when we aren't doing that we are usually at the zoo. I had always wanted to write a book, but never knew what or how to start so that dream just stewed in my brain popping up now and then but never taking shape. Back in January I was diagnosed with Melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, and after treatment resolved to stop waiting for "someday" and start making my dreams happen today. I was very unsettled by the idea of not being here to see my little girl grow up, but more so by the thought that she was so young she may not remember our time together. That's when I came up with the I see… Animals series. For me it was a therapeutic way to deal with some painful fears while creating something my daughter would always have. They are a distillation of our favorite things, animals, adventure, and time together, which other parents can also enjoy with their kids.

3.    What do you think makes your stories different or unique to others in the market?
As I've mentioned, we read a lot in our house, and I haven't seen anything like my books. There are seek and find types of things out there, but very often they are flap based and don't lead the child to guess but rather focus on the surprise of the reveal. My books are designed to encourage the child to take part in the adventure by guessing and building that guess through a series of clues. I also created the books as a way to engage parents using smart phones and e-readers to share those devices with their children in a safe and fun way. The ebook revolution is really taking off but there still aren't many ebooks specifically designed for children. The ones out there tend to be print books just reformatted, where as mine are specifically created for digital devices.

4.  Do you have a favorite book from childhood?

Many! The first book I could read on my own was Danny and the Dinosaur, which I still have, so that will always hold a special place in my heart. My very favorite though is really a series. I adore the Serendipity books by Stephen Cosgrove and Robin James, especially Flutterby and Morgan Morning.

5.  What are you reading now?
I'm eagerly awaiting the new Terry Goodkind book, The Omen Machine, which comes out very soon. In the meantime I'm rereading the Dark Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop, my other favorite author.

6.  Describe yourself in three words.
Grateful. Geeky. Go-Getter.

7.  If you could be dropped into any book as a character who would you be and why?
I would be Kahlan Amnell from the Sword of Truth Series. She consistently overcomes tragedy through courage, intellect and unerring sense of reason.
8.  What has been your experience to publication … challenges??
Being a graphic designer certainly made formatting and publishing my own books easier. I have self-published both I see… Savannah and I see… Serengeti through Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. For me, marketing is the biggest challenge. Once the books were done the real work began with getting the word out. My books are steadily gaining momentum though so I feel like my efforts are making an impact.

9. What’s next on the table for Kirstan Graham?
I'm already planning my next book in the I see… Animals series which will feature Dinosaurs. I'm hoping to have it out before Thanksgiving. To make it fun for my readers I'm holding a little contest over on my blog to pick the Dino to be featured on the cover. The winning suggestion will not only be featured but that child (or parent acting for their child) will be mentioned in the dedication as well as win a copy of all of my ebooks. The full contest information, and how to enter, is on my site

10. How do you connect with your readers?
I think readers are key to any books success. I try to make myself very available through social media and the web. Primarily I run my own site,, where readers can get the latest news from my blog and email or follow me. I'm also known to post lots of freebies like mini-books and coloring pages that parents can download and enjoy with their own little ones. Or color themselves. There's no shame in enjoying a good crayon session!

Your Baby, Binoculars, and African Animals! Join your child on a safari of discovery as you both spy animal clues through your trusty binoculars. Each animal is revealed after three clues and your child will love being engaged by the simple text and whimsical characters while using their powers of observation to guess who they will find next. Meet these five unique animals on your journey: Elephant, Rhinoceros, Giraffe, Lion, and Zebra.

5 eBook copies of I SEE ... SAVANNAH to readers of my blog

*You must comment on my review of I See ... Savannah & leave a comment on this post regarding Kirstan's interview. Don't forget to leave an email address.*

Extra Entries:
+2 post about this give-away on twitter, fb or your blog & leave a link.
Competition ends 26th August and the winner will be announced on my blog.


  1. it's curious that when she was a child had a book in her heart, and now her book is perhaps the same for other children :)


    Count me in if it's international, thanks :)

  2. This sounds great. please count me in.

  3. This looks great!!


  4. It is so good to see that this author is a reader and she is a survivor too. I felt touched when she expressed her fear of not seeing her daughter grow up or her daughter not remembering there time together.

    I think I will fear that a lot too.

    Please enter me for this giveaway, because I think my baby will definitely enjoy it at some point in time. :)

    givingreadingachance AT

  5. Great interview! It's amazing how a illness makes you stop and take stock of your life and focus on the things that really matter. Look forward reading your books!

  6. I remember reading your review but not sure if I commented or not. I'll go back & check. Since Gage loves books I'd love to be entered.
    stacybooks at yahoo

  7. Congrats on self publishing this book. It seems many authors are doing this.

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

  8. congratulations on your book. Looks like a great one!

  9. My kids would love this book! Thanks for the giveaway!



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