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Spivey’s Web, a Christmas Story: Interview with Author, Sandra Warren


“Spivey’s Web, a Christmas Story: Interview with Author, Sandra Warren” by Joan Y. Edwards

Spivey's Web cover 300 dpi (1)

Spivey’s Web written by Sandra Warren; illustrated by Susan Fitzgerald. Available on Amazon.

Today, it is an honor to interview Sandra Warren, author of Spivey’s Web. Thanks for coming today, Sandra. I want to hear all about SPIVEY’S WEB, a picture book that’s out now that you had in your head for 15+ years! 

I’m so glad to be here. 

Sandra Warren

1.Tell us about Spivey’s Web.

I am very excited that Spivey’s Web is out now since it has a Christian twist at the end. It’s about a spider who wants to spin a web of her own design, not the expected web for a barn spider. After being ridiculed for her efforts, she moves to a window high in the loft and when the Star of David shines through, it sprinkles stars, like a disco ball, around a manger and calms a very special baby. Although the baby is not named, you can tell by the illustration that it’s the baby Jesus. I love the last line….My web didn’t catch flies. It caught the light!

Spivey’s web is more than a Christmas story, however. It’s also about having the courage to follow your heart and do what makes you happy even when everyone around says it can’t be done or it’s never been done like that. From Spivey we learn to never give up.

Writers take heed. When agents and editors say, no, no, sorry no, we have to keep at it and never give up because if we do, we’ll never know how close we came and we’ll never know what amazing things might come from our creative, imaginative minds. We all need Spivey’s courage to spin a web of our own design.

2. Did you submit Spivey’s Web to traditional publishers? Christian markets? 

Sandra: I tried for years to get Spivey’s Web traditionally published, but it was too secular for the Christian market and too Christian for the secular market. A major agent loved it until she got to the end and realized it was a holiday/Christian theme. She said she doesn’t do holiday books. Although I was still holding out for a traditional publisher, everything changed when I met an amazing artist.  

https://www.amazon.com/Spiveys-Web-Sandra-Warren/dp/1981217673/

3. Marvelous illustrations. Who is the illustrator? 

Sandra: Susan Fitzgerald, one of our part-time neighbors at Hidden Lake is a FINE artist who approached me asking if I’d LET her illustrate a manuscript of mine. I was floored because she’s an amazing artist who exhibits full-time in a gallery in Jacksonville. Her concept of Spivey and all her illustrations are fabulous in my opinion.

4. Did you encounter any problems with the formatting of the book?

Sandra: Oh my, yes! One problem we had that took us almost a day to figure out was that we were trying to put a landscape/horizontal illustration into a square template. A landscape picture book template was not offered by the company we chose. We also had trouble balancing the required minimum 300 dpi of each illustration for printing. It’s tricky to send illustrations through email without losing dpi. Now we know how to do it. Our original vision was to have a horizontal format with illustrations that bled off the page–flowed to the very edges. But because of issues with the horizontal formatting of the original artwork, we had to compensate by reducing the size of each illustration allowing for a border or frame around each. 

Here are suggestions if you’re self-publishing a book:

  • Make sure you download the publisher’s PDF Specification Guide from CreateSpace or other publisher and read it before beginning to make sure they print books in the size and format you want.
  • Don’t be afraid to contact Support if you have any questions. The folks at CreateSpace are very helpful! 

Despite all the formatting issues, we’re thrilled with the end result that Spivey’s Web is now available online. https://www.amazon.com/Spiveys-Web-Sandra-Warren/dp/1981217673/

Thanks for being a guest on my blog, Sandra. Thank you for offering a giveaway, too.

Winners of the Giveaway:

Between December 10th and midnight yesterday, December 21, 2017, the following six people left a comment on this blog post for a chance to win a free autographed copy of “Spivey’s Web:”
1. Sarah Maury Swan
2. Gretchen Griffith
3. Dr. Bob Rich
4. Linda Andersen Gutheil
5. Lisa Anne Cullen
6. Barbara Bockman

Thank you to all those who left a comment! You make my blog sparkle with excitement.
Random.org chose number 4 and number 1 for the two winners:
Therefore, Sarah Maury Swan and Linda Andersen are the winners. I will send you Sandra Warren’s email address so you can email her your snail mail address so she can send your prize – an autographed copy of the beautiful picture book, “Spivey’s Web.” Congratulations! Yippee!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sandra Warren’s website: http://www.sandrawarren.com

Sandra’s blog: http://sandrawarrenwrites.blogspot.com

Other books by Sandra Warren:

Bomber Book Cover

Arlie alligator bookcover

Hidden-Casualties book cover

When-Duty-Called book cover

 

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Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

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22 Responses

  1. Sounds like an enchanting book, Sandra. Good luck with it. I have several picture books that are close to looking for homes and I know a number excellent artists, so I was glad to hear about your experiences in self-publishing yours. Sarah Maury Swan, author of “Terror’s Identity” and “Emily’s Ride to Courage.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah, self-publishing isn’t for sissies! I learned more than I cared to doing this project. I’m putting together a TO DO & NOT TO DO List for future reference. When you’re ready, email me and I’ll be happy to share.

      Like

    • Dear Sarah,
      Thanks for writing and encouraging Sandra in her self-publishing endeavors!

      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Like

  2. Thank you Joan for sharing Susan’s and my excitement over Spivey’s Web. We’re hoping Spivey will weave a web of joy for children during the holidays and after.

    Like

    • Dear Sandra,
      Thank you for writing. You’re welcome for my sharing in your excitement and Susan Fitzgerald’s happiness over the publication of Spivey’s Web. I wish you both much success with it.

      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Like

  3. Congratulations, Sandra. I know it will be a hit!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Gretchen! It wouldn’t have happened without your help! Sharing your support and expertise meant a great deal.

      Like

    • Dear Gretchen,
      Thank you for writing. I am glad that you and Sandra are there to help encourage each other in your writing and publishing careers!

      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Like

  4. Sandra, I’ve found Canva to be an excellent service for playing with illustrations.
    🙂
    Bob

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Bob! I’ll have to check Canva out for another project. I appreciate the information.

      Like

    • Dear Bob,
      Thank you for writing. I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your great ideas with me and guests on my blog!

      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Like

  5. What an interesting interview and view of the publishing backstory! Thank you Sandra and Joan. Merry Christmas, ladies!

    Like

    • I could write a book about backstory and self-publishing. What a difference from the 90’s when Arlie the Alligator came out and Saturday when Spivey went live.

      Thanks for you comment and support, Linda. I appreciate it.

      Like

    • Dear Linda,
      Thank you for writing. I appreciate your leaving comments to encourage me and guests on my blog!

      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Like

  6. Beautiful book, publishing story, and interview! Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Lisa! I appreciate your comments.

      Like

    • Dear Lisa,
      Thanks a bunch for leaving a comment! You are a good support for me and other writers and illustrators who guest on my blog!

      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Like

      • Thank you Barbara! I have to agree with your comment about the illustrations. I couldn’t be more pleased. Susan did a fantastic job!

        Like

  7. Sandra, your story is lovely and Susan’s illustrations are beautiful.
    Thank you, Joan, for continuing to encourage writers.

    Like

    • Dear Barbara Bockman,
      Thank you for writing. I appreciate you following my blog. It is my honor and privilege to encourage writers!

      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Like

    • Thank you Barbara!

      Like

  8. Between December 10th and midnight yesterday, December 21, 2017, the following six people left a comment on this blog post for a chance to win a free autographed copy of “Spivey’s Web:”
    1. Sarah Maury Swan
    2. Gretchen Griffith
    3. Dr. Bob Rich
    4. Linda Andersen Gutheil
    5. Lisa Anne Cullen
    6. Barbara Bockman

    Thank you to all those who left a comment! You make my blog sparkle with excitement.
    Random.org chose number 4 and number 1 for the two winners:
    Therefore, Sarah Maury Swan and Linda Andersen are the winners. I will send you Sandra Warren’s email address so you can email her your snail mail address so she can send your prize – an autographed copy of the beautiful picture book, “Spivey’s Web.” Congratulations! Yippee!

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    Never Give Up
    Joan

    Like

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