Interviews and Links

Staying in with Patricia Furstenberg

Joyful Trouble by Patricia Furstenberg, Cover by The Book Khaleesi
Joyful Trouble by Patricia Furstenberg, Cover by The Book Khaleesi

Yesterday I launched a new Linda’s Book Bag feature called Staying in with… because I wanted to afford authors the opportunity to showcase one of their books to blog readers. You can see the details here.

I’m delighted to be starting that feature with lovely Patricia Furstenberg. Pat has been on the blog before when I reviewed her book Puppy: 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles here and with a couple of guest posts. One of those was about the importance of reading that you can find here and the other about how we celebrate diversity in children’s fiction blogged here.

Staying in with Patricia Furstenberg

Happy New Year! I’m delighted to be starting my new feature with you Pat. Which of your books have you brought along to share with me and why have you chosen it?

Happy New Year, Linda, from me and Joyful Trouble, the book based on the true story of a dog enlisted in the Royal Navy.

Joyful Trouble is dear to my heart and a book I planned to write, although in the spur of the moment, being my entry in the 2017 Kindle Storyteller competition. It did so well, the friendly Great Dane with a heart of gold made it in the Top Reviewed and is still featured under Literature and Fiction on the Kindle Storyteller’s Amazon page.

Joyful Trouble was a Hot New Release, it reached No.1 in Children’s African Historical Fiction, No.1 in Children’s Dog eBooks, No.1 Best Sellers  in Africa for Young Adults, was Most Gifted in the Young Adults category and the Large Print edition of Joyful Trouble went up to #31 in Amazon UK Spiritual and Historical fiction

The friendly Great Dane wins everybody’s hearts, yet it does make you wonder what’s his secret, why his inexplicable affection for sailors?

Read the rest of this lovely book chat on Linda Hill’s blog, Linda’s Book Bag, here. 

Wonderful Jessie Cahalin from “Books In My Handbag Blog”, @BooksInHandbag, made me feel welcomed and at home during her interview “Some ‘Joyful Trouble’ from South Africa, with puppy love…”

Born in Romania, living in South Africa, Patricia Furstenberg is the author of ‘Joyful Trouble’. ‘Joyful Trouble’ is a children’s book about a dog in World War II.  However, readers have stated that this heart-warming tale appeals to all ages and would make a great film.

The clear blue sky made an appearance on the day that Patricia Furstenberg arrived in the UK.  Patricia arrived in Heathrow after a ten-hour flight from Johannesburg.  Patricia was smiling and was easily recognisable amongst the crowds of people by the notebook she was holding, with papers of various sizes sticking out of it and by her brown handbag which I recognised from my Handbag Gallery. She was not fazed by her long wait for the luggage in the airport and the tiresome queues.   Instead, like a true writer, she was absorbed with her sense of place and the setting.

It took us about four hours to travel to South Wales but we chatted all the way.  Patricia spoke of her family, pets and ambitions.  It felt as if I had known Patricia for a very long time:  communicating by Twitter is great but meeting people face to face is even better.

You can enjoy reading the rest of this interview on Jessie’s blog, here.

Guest Post on the wonderful blog
‘Jen Meds Book Reviews’

The Long Path to Becoming a Writer

Writing is a fascinating endeavor. There is the labor of producing that finished manuscript, but there is something else to it as well, often overlooked. The path which brought an author to writing. For so many of us writing has not been the first career choice.

‘The Queen of Crime’, Agatha Christie, had first volunteered as a nurse during World War I, taking care of injured soldiers and helping medical doctors in an army hospital in Devon. She worked as a volunteer for over 3 000 hours between October and December 1914. It was the next year that she chose to specialize as a pharmacist. This job paid sixteen Pounds per annum, but it brought her a wealth of knowledge. Later, Christie used thirty different poisons in her crime novels!

Sophie Hannah, the woman who revived Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot in ‘The Monogram Murders’ and ‘Closed Casket’, had a secretarial job fresh out of university.

You can read the remainder of this interesting post here.

Thank you, Jen, I appreciate your support!

Interviewed by wonderful Susan Day, children’s author and marketeer:

Today’s guest children’s author is Patricia Furstenberg. Patricia is a good friend, and a wonderful author. She also loves dogs, and has created many stories about the lives of military dogs.

Her new book, Joyful Trouble, is a charming story about the close relationship between a grandfather and his granddaughter, and the adventures of “Joyful Trouble”, a navy dog.

On Grandparents and Grandchildren:

I’ve often watched my parents interact with my children and noticed, with amazement, that special bond between them everyone talks about. It is an invisible string that makes them smile as soon as they lay eyes on each other and it pulls them together in a fun activity filled with laughter and giggles.My mother is the one they would want for pretend games, yet it is my father they prefer for story time. Perhaps because grandfathers, with their solid appearance, are nothing but gentle giants when it comes to their own grandchildren and, admit it, nothing can compare with a grandfather’s ability to mimic someone else’s voice!

I still remember my own grandfather telling my cousin and I a story with Prince Charming which used to pick his nose 🙂

You can read more about this wonderful interview here.

Thank you, Susan, for this great opportunity.

Interviewed by lovely Samantha from ‘Nightmare Poet’

I would like to say thank you to Mrs. Furstenberg for allowing me to interview her and giving me the opportunity to read and review her short story Joyful Trouble, I had fun reading it.

Q: When and where were you born?

A: I was born in a sunny autumn morning in Romania, not too long ago, but quite far away from where I now live. Not too long ago, yet long enough for me to wish to remember my childhood. Probably motherhood has this effect on people, makes them go back and ponder on their childhood. At least this is what happened to me.

As I now live in sunny South Africa it still feels strange to be celebrating my birthday in spring, when everything is bright, green and full of vigor.

Q: Who was your most influential person to you as a child and why?

Read the rest of this wonderful interview here.

Thank you, Samantha, it was a lovely experience!

Interviewed by David P Perlmutter, bestselling author and marketeer:

Let’s meet author Patricia Furstenberg!

Welcome! Thanks for joining me here.

Hello, David and thank you. Happy to be interviewed by you.

What should my followers know about you?

I come from the country that bestowed the world with Eugene Ionesco and Emil Cioran, Mircea Eliade and Mircea Cartarescu. I grew up in Eastern-European Romania during the communist ruling, a time when there was severe censorship on the written word. But it was a good era too, a time when men would open the door for a woman and they would kiss her hand in greeting, taking off their hats. At least my father used to. I grew-up considering writers to be really heroic people. Back then writers could easily place themselves in the wrong place, at the wrong time with their work. smile But as a job, writing would have hardly put food on the table. That’s why I studied Medicine; I have a degree in Dentistry. A few years after graduating I met my future husband and decided to move to sunny South Africa, for love. Family life soon proved beneficial because, in order to nurture my children, I had to find a way of nurturing myself, in my own way. And this is why I began writing again.

I’ve always been a bookworm and writing has become second nature to me. Whenever I look back I remember having this feeling of well-being whenever I would put pen on paper.

Reading Agatha Christie’s “An Autobiography” is what kindled my desire to take up writing seriously and later on winning two chapters of the “Write Your Own Christie” Competition in 2014.

What inspired you to begin writing? 

You can read the rest of this fun interview here.

Thank you, David, it’s been a fun experience!

Guest Post on ‘Pocket Nannies UK’

Raising a Reader

On Monday we featured a book by Patricia Furstenberg. Joyful Trouble is her latest book and you can read our review here. Patricia was kind enough to offer to write us a post about getting children into reading and bringing them up to really enjoy it.

Raising a child who enjoys reading books might be easier said than done, at times, but, in the long run, it’s all worth it.

I often think of my childhood and the feeling of excitement and wonder I felt when standing in front of my parent’s many bookshelves. So much to read, so much to look forward to! How old will I be when I’ll finish reading all these books? Those were the times, believe it or not, when technology meant a TV with a remote!

My children were born in and live in the age of technology and it is a new challenge, for us as parents, to make sure that the love of reading is not being transformed in a tradition of the past, but rather remains a treasured pastime.

You can read the rest of this interesting post here.

Thank you, Siobhan, Sophie and Sarah, for inviting me to your website!

Guest Post on ‘Swirl and Thread’

Change of Address ~ I now live in a Book

Have you ever wanted to live in a book?

To just be able to jump into the pages and experience what it would really be like to live in a particular time, place or era?

Well today, author of children’s novel Joyful Trouble, Patricia Furstenberg does just that in this fantastic and extremely imaginative post entitled ‘Change of Address ~ I Now Live In a Book’

I do hope you enjoy this post as much as I did when I first read it…

You know that sinking feeling when you’ve just finished a book whose every page you loved, perhaps even read it for the third time?

You cradle it to your chest and you almost want to cry, feeling lost and out of place in the reality of everyday life.

Any passionate reader, I like to believe, has at least one book he would wish to step into, live inside its world, at least for a short while.

Here are mine.

The Great Gatsby and the care-free lifestyle of the roaring twenties.

Glam tubular dresses, long strings of pearls, chic hats, red lips and the women’s hair in soft waves. Lanvin was in fashion, men were elegant, yet they all danced like mad and, above all, there was jazz music everywhere.

There is something intriguing, yet sad, about the mystery surrounding Gatsby’s passion for Daisy.

Perhaps a little part of me wishes to put a stop to the misunderstanding and drama surrounding their story and, for once, make things right for them. *sigh*

You can read about my other four favorite books here.

Thank you, Mairead, for this wonderful opportunity. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this piece for your blog.

Guest Post on ‘Linda’s Book Bag’:

The Importance of Reading

I truly believe reading is a joy all children need in their lives and am delighted that Patricia Furstenberg, author of the children’s book Joyful Trouble, agrees and has written all about that topic for Linda’s Book Bag today.

Joyful Trouble was published on 16th April 2017 and is available for purchase in e-book and paperback here.

Why Is Reading So Important For Our Children?

As a parent I would certainly want my children to grow up to be successful human beings. To have a good family life filled with love and understanding, friends to laugh and count on and a job they are happy to face every day.

How can I help them prepare for life?

Overlooked, yet efficient, being a good reader is proven to equip children with much needed life skills.

Apart from proven educational, neurological and psychological benefits, reading is proven to stimulate children’s developing minds and improve their emphatic skills, helping them socialize at school and thrive in life.

If IQ (Intelligence Quotient) measures how clever our brain is, scientists like to measure our empathy through its EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient). An individual with a high EQ will better understand his own emotions and be able to relate to the emotional state of those around him, thus improving his social skills and, eventually, the general social welfare of his generation.

In less fortunate circumstances empathy can also act like a shield, protecting our children in peer-pressure situations. Emphatic children are less violent and will grow to become adults with a lower risk of emotional or behavioral problems later in life.

But reading contributes to our children’s intellectual life as well. To better understand this we first need to see how reading takes place.

You can read the rest of this interesting post here.

Thank you, Linda, it’s been an honor to be invited to your blog.