Bio: Chris is a children's author and worked with kindergarten students everyday for seventeen years. She retired from teaching last June. Chris and her husband lived in Chesapeake, Virginia for thirty years and moved to the sunshine state of Florida after they retired. She has one grown son and two wonderful grandchildren.
1) What inspired you to write children's books and when did the adventure start?
My adventure started way before I started writing. My husband and I were Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus for about 22 years. I came up with the character 'Sparkles' because she was an elf from the North Pole and Santa introduced her to the children. I started writing after I played dress up in my classroom when I read to the children. I received such a good response from them that it made me want to do more. While we were out of school for the summer in 1968, my husband and I were traveling. While he was driving, I was writing about a character named 'Sparkles'. I told my husband that I would love to do more with that character.
2) I know you are on somewhat of an adventure right now. Will you tell us about it and how it came to be?
This adventure has been in the planning for about five years. Our adventure is 'Sparkle' tours America. We are traveling all over the country to get first-hand adventures for 'Sparkles'. We are visiting schools and libraries everywhere we go. This will help inspire my ideas for new stories for 'Sparkles'. This will also get the name 'Sparkles' out to all the children in the country.
3) Does someone do the artwork for your books or do you do it yourself? If someone else does it, who?
My first book is very special to me because the artwork in that book was done by a very talented kindergarten student by the name of Carson. When it was time to do the second book, I asked Carson if she wanted to do the artwork. She said, "Thank you Mrs. Wellings, but I am too burnt out to do another book right now!" After a while, I ran across a neat lady who lives in Cumberland, Maryland to do the artwork. Her name is Julie Kennell. I think we will be together for a long time. She is fantastic.
4) Are you under contract to write a certain number of books in the 'Sparkle' series? Do you have plans to start another character or another series?
At this time I am under contract with Publish America with all four books in the 'Sparkle' series. I would like to continue writing about 'Sparkles'. I have thirteen books written at this time just waiting for the illustrator to do her magic.
5) Have you always wanted to be a writer or was this something that occurred out of the blue?
You have to understand that I have an imagination that won't quit. I did not know I was going to be a writer; it just happened one day. But, I am glad it did. I love it!
6) Are there any other projects in the works?
I just sent my next book to the illustrator for the artwork. The name of the book is 'Sparkles Takes a Train Ride'. This book should be out in the fall.
7) What has been your major obstacle with your writing?
Since the conception of 'Sparkles' it has been a long journey finding a publisher to realise my manuscript and developing a plan for the future of 'Sparkles'.
8) Can your books be found in stores or do we have to go through you to purchase? If so, how and where?
You may visit Amazon.com to find my books. They should be in local bookstores very soon.
9) Do you have a website or any way to get additional information?
The website is under construction from Publish America and should be up and running soon. I can also be found on Facebook under Chris Woods Wellings.
10) Do you have any plans to branch out with your writing or do you plan to continue with children's books?
Since we are taking this trip across country, my husband and I are going to write about the trip. Hopefully, one day, this will be a book too and get published. I am going to continue to write about 'Sparkles'; but I am always open to new possibilities. My goal is for 'Sparkles' to ba a household name among young children and their families.
I want to thank Chris for taking the time out from her hectic travels to share with us today.
Thank you, Eva for interviewing me. It has been a joy working with you. This has been great fun! This will help to get my name out to all of your readers.
Chris has very kindly agreed to give away a copy of her newest book, 'Sparkles Goes Home for the Holidays'. Sparkles would like to go back to the North Pole to see all of her friends during Christmas. You will need to read this latest adventure to see if Sparkles can help Santa save the day.
To enter, you just need to leave a comment and your email address so I can contact you if you win. We will leave the contest open through Sunday, March 20. I will draw a winner on Monday and contact the winner sometime that day. The winner will have forty-eight hours to respond to my email. If I do not hear within that time frame, I will chose another winner. Sorry, but this contest is only open to persons from the United States. This is because of the cost of postage and the amount of time it would require for the postal service to deliver out of the country. The winner will need to email me with their snail mail address. I will contact Chris with the information and she will mail the winner the book.