Home Books Advice from IR-approved author SE Richey: “…never stop learning and improving your...

Advice from IR-approved author SE Richey: “…never stop learning and improving your craft so you can write the best story you can.”


Lulu and the Missing Tooth Fairy received a 4+ star review, making it IndieReader Approved.

After find an interview with the author SE Richey.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

Lulu and the Missing Tooth Fairy was published on February 28thousand2022. The book was originally supposed to be released in mid-January, but because the books were being printed overseas, shipping delays forced me to push back the release date.

What is the first line of the book?

“Lulu finally got a loose tooth.”

What is the book about? Give us a “pitch”.

Lulu has lost her first tooth and can’t wait for the first visit from the tooth fairy. Trixie has been training and training and can’t wait to become an official tooth fairy. Everything would be great if only Trixie showed up. But failure after failure prevents Trixie from reaching Lulu’s destination. Trixie must persevere or Lulu will stop believing in magic. And unless Lulu puts her tooth under her pillow again, Trixie may never become an official Tooth Fairy.

Written in a dual narrative format from the perspective of Lulu and her tooth fairy, the story fascinatingly weaves together themes of cause and effect, learning from mistakes and perseverance. It also introduces children to the various tooth collectors and dental traditions of the world, thus serving as a mirror and a window into other cultures.

What inspired you to write the book? A specific person? An event?

We had a terrifying tooth fairy in our family, and we cringed every time our kids said, “My tooth is loose!” Forgotten teeth under the pillow, sometimes for days on end, were a constant source of tears for our children and stress for my husband and I. Talking to other parents, I soon discovered that our family wasn’t the only one struggling with the same tooth fairy issues. Almost all the parents of young children I spoke to had their tooth fairy in one way or another, and that’s when the idea was born.

After I developed the plot and came up with reasons why the tooth fairy might miss a visit, I decided to touch on my own experience of losing teeth as a child. I grew up in Puerto Rico and the tooth collector there is Ratancita, not the Tooth Fairy. When one of my critique partners reviewed the manuscript, she confused Ratancito with the Mexican tooth collector El Raton Perez. I have never heard of Raton Perez. I only knew about Ratoncito. It got me thinking, “If the United States has a Tooth Fairy, and Puerto Rico has a different tooth collector than other Spanish-speaking countries, what other collectors in the world did I not know about?” I then decided that this story should both look at what happens when the tooth fairies miss a visit and explore other tooth collectors and traditions.

What is the main reason someone should really read this book?

Lulu and the Missing Tooth Fairy encapsulates everything I love in a great story: it’s entertaining and humorous with flawed, relatable and likable characters, and by the time it’s over, the reader has a little understanding of the world around them. If a reader has ever woken up to find their tooth still under their pillow, or if they’ve ever wondered why the tooth fairy hasn’t appeared, or if a reader has ever had to explain why the tooth fairy isn’t seemed up, this is the perfect book for them.

What is the most distinctive main character? Who, real or fictional, does this character remind you of?

Lulu and Trixie represent each child and their main guardian/authority. In Lulu, we find a character full of hope and expectation, who believes in magic and believes that things will work out, just like others of her age and circumstances. And although Lulu could have stopped believing in magic altogether when the tooth fairy didn’t appear, she didn’t. She decided to keep the faith.

As for Trixie, she’s also full of hope and anticipation like Lulu, and she’s willing to try new things, even if it’s a bit difficult for her (an FPS device, for example). I am fascinated by family history, by those who came before us, and I always want to know how they felt about life in general. So, in the end, it was only natural that Trixie pulled out of her dark “All is Lost” moment to return to her own fairy grandmother’s lesson. That, along with her persistence, along with Lulu’s willingness to keep the faith, is what creates the magic in the end.

When did you first decide to become an author?

In March 2011, I decided to take up writing. Two months earlier, my mom had died of multiple myeloma at the age of 55, and the constant thought in my head was that if I died at her age, I would only have about 20 years to accomplish all that I wanted to accomplish. my life A list type thing happened, and since writing is one of the many things I enjoy doing, and since I had 4 young children to take care of, I decided to write a children’s book. I soon realized that to do it well, I needed to learn all I could about writing. I immediately signed up for a creative writing class, and there I met another children’s book writer who not only became my good friend and critique partner, but also introduced me to the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators. I joined in 2014 and haven’t stopped writing since.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

No. The first book I wrote was a middle grade novel. Lulu and the Missing Tooth Fairy was the second story I wrote and my very first picture book. I was learning how to write novels at the time, but since I read a lot of picture books to my kids every day, I liked the format and wanted to try my hand at writing one. I guess you could say that everything I learned about writing picture books (and there is a LOT to learn about the format!) I learned while writing Lulu and the Missing Tooth Fairy.

What do you do at work when you’re not writing?

I am the chief operating officer of my family, as well as a wife and mother of four. My kids are grown now, and while I no longer change diapers or kiss bubba or hide in the bathroom for a few seconds of peace and quiet, I am now a chauffeur and night therapist and everything else that comes with my role. I can listen, share excitement over happy events, or try to somehow mend broken hearts. Sometimes I handle the duties of a Chief Operating Officer adeptly, and other times I run the household with the efficiency of a juggler who can’t juggle. But this is my job and I love it.

How much time do you usually spend writing?

I write daily and whenever possible. Sometimes it’s a couple of hours a day. Sometimes it’s just a few minutes. I always find time to write or learn about the craft, or revise old manuscripts, etc. Now my family understands that if I come up with a fantastic idea, or finally work out a plot hole, etc., I’ll be unavailable for as long as I need, and they make sure to throw me food so I don’t die of hunger

What’s the best and hardest thing about being an indie?

The best thing about being an indie author is that I can use all the knowledge I’ve gained over the last eight years when I was still hoping to get published traditionally. This accumulated knowledge is what gave me the confidence to trust my instincts and take the plunge into indie publishing. My goal with Lulu and the Missing Tooth Fairy – and for all my future books – was to create a book that looked as good or better and read as well as any traditional book, and I feel I have achieved that. all thanks to everything I’ve learned over the years.

On the other hand, it was this understanding of the traditional publishing industry that made things difficult for me. Dealing with the stigma that accompanies indie authors, the idea that a person isn’t a true author unless they’ve been traditionally published, and that anything beyond that doesn’t count as literature, is something I didn’t expect. Indies have to make an extra effort to get the book listed in a regular bookstore or any other store. How about getting libraries to buy your book? It’s even more difficult. Oh, it can be done. Indie authors do this every day, so it’s not the difficulty that bothers me. It’s the hostility and lack of civility that indies sometimes feel. An unexpected challenge was having to establish credibility every step of the way and reassure others that I really know how to create a well-written story and understand the publishing industry.

What’s one piece of good advice you can share with fellow indie authors?

This journey begins and ends with a book. There is no publishing journey without a book, so never stop learning and improving your craft so you can write the best story you can.

Would you go traditional if a publisher called? If so, why?

I don’t see that ever happening, but if it did, I would consider publishing my adult nonfiction traditionally. Adults spend their money on what they want to read, and there are few, if any, gatekeepers.

However, for my children’s books, I would have to pass. It’s hard enough to get through the proverbial “traditional publishing door” as it is without adding all the gatekeepers who have a say in what and who gets published. On top of that, even though children are my target audience, there is a degree of separation as the adults in their lives buy books for them.

Indie publishing has its struggles and the learning curve is steep, but it gets easier with each book. And now that I’ve been through the process twice (my second picture book, TRUFFLE PROBLEMS, is coming out later this year), I’m hooked! Traditional publishing also has its drawbacks. It’s not all roses. Whatever one decides, one must deal with the built-in ups and downs that come with each option. The choice to publish and sell my books how I want, when I want, and on my own terms is a perk of being an indie publisher, which I enjoy.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

I write because I can’t help myself. Being able to do what I love is a privilege I don’t take for granted. I write for children in the hope that they will somehow identify with my characters and that the stories will entertain, resonate or inspire them. If I can achieve any of these even to a small degree, I consider it glory and fortune, and that is success enough for me.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

Meg Medina comes to mind. When I first read one of Meg Medina’s books, I felt like one of my aunts had written it. I am a big fan of her work.

I also love Sheila Turnage. Her Thrice Lucky (Moe and Dale series) is full of humor and heart, my favorite combination.

What book would you like to write?

Oh, if I could write Kate Morton Confidential – a historical fiction and murder mystery with a surprising twist at the end!

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