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Penelope Anne Cole enjoys writing children’s stories to be read aloud. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” Ms. Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level, K to 12, and community college. She also reviews children's books. When not writing or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church, and choir activities. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a member of the California Writers Club:  Fremont Area Writers, SF Peninsula Writers, and South Bay Writers, and is a Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books at


See reviews of Ms. Cole's books at


Her website is www.penelopeannecole.com

Contact Ms. Cole for School Author Visits, locally in-person, or by SKYPE.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Next Big Blog Thing

·                                 Surprise!  Today I am featuring myself on my blog. 
·                                 My first book, Magical Matthew, a children’s storybook illustrated by Kevin Scott Collier, will be a GAP October 2012 release!  I’m excited about this with more to come.  I'll tell you about my Magical Matthew “sequels” in progress. 
What is the working title of your book?
·                                 . Magical Mea is contracted with GAP for a release in 2013.  Mea is Matthew’s younger sister.  Matthew wants to guide her but Mea has her own ideas and they are not always “helpful.”  Mea runs Matthew ragged as he tries to set right the things she’s “messed with.” 
·                                 Then when Matthew and Mea are almost grown up, there is a surprise addition to their family.  My work-in-progress is called Magical M and M.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
·                                 The idea for the first book, Magical Matthew, came to me when my neighbor’s son, Matthew, attained double digits.  How magical that milestone is – he’s not a kid anymore.  What if a kid really did have magical powers?  What would he do?  The story unfolded from that premise.

What genre does your book fall under?
·                                 Magical realism or realistic magic – which sound like opposites.  My stories are realistic with the tiny exception that the main character has some magical power.  It could also be considered Fantasy -- since it has magic in it -- though magic isn’t the main focus.  What’s really important is how the characters use their magical powers.  We each have talents and abilities.   What’s important is what we do with our talents – how we use our abilities.  Do we use them for personal gain?  Or do we use them to help others and try to make our world a better place for everyone?

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
  • I don’t know any child actors, but it would have to be someone who looks a bit like “the little Dutch boy” for Matthew – blond tousled hair and blue eyes.  Also someone who could age successfully in the movie.  We might need two kids for when Matthew is very young and later when he’s older - “double digits.” 
  • For Mea, she looks like my daughter, so a girl with curly brown hair and dark brown eyes – with an impish grin and mischief in her eyes.  She could be about four, five, or six.
  •  For Markie and Mickey, two little guys with brown hair and eyes, identical twins.
·   What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book(s)?
Matthew has a big secret -- he has magical power and secretly uses his magic to fix things for his family and friends.

Mea is Matthew’s little sister who uses her magical power to play tricks on people and has fun making mischief.

Will Markie and Mickey -- the little brothers of Matthew and Mea -- have magical powers, too?  

o        Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
  • Magical Matthew is being published by Guardian Angel Publishing as an October 2012 Release. 
  • Magical Mea may come out in 2013.
  • Magical M and M will be finished soon.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Magical Matthew practically wrote itself -- very quickly, in my head -- in a few days.  Then polishing it took several months.  The same for Magical Mea and Magical M and M.  Ideas are the easiest part – the sweat and tears of the writing, rewriting, and editing process always takes much longer than you think it will. 

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I don’t know other books exactly like mine.  I see my books, Magical Matthew, Magical Mea, and Magical M and M, helping kids see that whatever their talents and abilities, they can use them for good -- to help others, and make this world a better place.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Matthew, the namesake for Magical Matthew, inspired the first book when he reached the magical age of 10 -- double digits.  Matthew is now in middle school.  He has his school years to find his talents and abilities.  I trust he will use them to help others and make a positive difference in the world.  I wish this for all of our children.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It’s hard to keep a secret.  We want to “tell all.”  In my books, the main characters try to keep their magical power secret.  Also, there’s a little surprise at the end of each of the stories!

Thank you for visiting my blog interview today.  Now I have Blog-tagged:

Barbara Bockman, a fellow GAP Angel and author of Fantastic Flight,
and Wounds:


Danielle Dufayet, in my Critique Group and author of:
"Oh Momma!" Secrets to Loving a Super Single Mom and her Kids (a single man's guide to success)  You can meet Danielle at her Amazon page as well:

They will post on October 30th.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Jan, you are a great supporter and an inspiration!

  2. Sounds really good Penelope. I think your books will make a great series. Wishing you great success!

    1. Thanks, Susan, it's really good to have your support, always!

  3. Sounds like you had a lot of fun writing this book, Penelope. Congratulations on Matthew's eminent publication and Mea for next year.

    1. Thanks Bill, for your comments. Yes, it was a lot of fun figuring out what these magical kids would do!

  4. Hi Penelope,
    I think you gave us just enough information about your magical characters to whet our appetites. I'm looking forward to reading all about Magical Matthew.

    1. Thanks, Barbara, I appreciate your comments and support. I look forward to reading about your new work, too.

  5. I absolutely love this exercise. I did it for my YA novel! It is so interesting to read about other writer's WIP and where they got the idea, etc. I really like the idea of your series. :)

    1. Thanks so much, Margo, for your support and your nice comments. I had a lot of fun with these stories.

  6. Looking great, Penelope. I am happy to review Magical Matthew for you.

    Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques

    1. Thanks, Margot, Thanks for visiting and commenting. I appreciate all that you do.

  7. Hi there! Lovely blogsite! I’m following you… I have 2 blogs that you might be interested in following back at:
    Take care

    1. Hi Freya, thanks for visiting. I'll check them out.

  8. Congratulations, Penelope. Magical Matthew sounds great.

    1. Thanks for the congrats! I'm very excited and hope kids (and parents and teachers), will like it, too -- it has a good message.