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Monday, January 30, 2012

Patricia Kubus Shares the Story Behind the Amanda Series

My family owned business is Kartri Sales Co., Inc.  This name comes from my sister Karen (Kar) and my name Tricia (Tri).  We are manufacturers of shower curtains that supply hotels, motels, and institutions around the world.  We have been in business for over 30 years, established by my father, Michael T. Goskowski.
This was my life, as I knew it with my family.  My education is in Business Administration and Marketing.  My father had actively written a diary of notes about his life with hopes to publish some day as his auto-biography.  During the years of typing up his work; I found myself writing children’s books.  My books are about an Angel named Amanda; which was the name of my firstborn child who I lost to a birth defect known as Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia or CDH.  She is our little angel.  To learn more about this birth defect and help make a difference, please view CHERUBS - The Association of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Research, Awareness and Support.
My father and I agreed to publish his book and then I would move forward with my work as well.  So as it stands, we successfully released his book, Pick Up the Pennies in the year 2009 and shortly after I began my success with my first book, Amanda Helps Becky Say Farewell in the year 2010.
Now in the year 2011; I’m excited to release Amanda Finds Kristy Alone, my second book in the Amanda Series.
Tell us about the genre of your work. 
The purpose of my books is to give children encouragement and to let them know they are not alone.  God is there, and has placed angels around them to watch over them.
My stories are of difficult situations that children might find themselves in.  I’m hoping to get my readers to talk about these situations and reach for help from their parents, grandparents, or an adult image in their lives.  In raising my own children, I see how difficult it is to get them started on certain subjects to see how they are looking at life in general.  Sometimes, a parent doesn’t realize how much a child will hold inside and not talk about their emotions.  I’m hoping to bring together more comfort to connect with Amanda and also find it easier to connect with important people in their lives as well.
Why did you choose this genre?
Writing comes natural to me and I enjoy creating stories. I’ve been asked to discuss further situations such as chronic diseases and bullying.  The more I travel, the more I’m learning of new avenues of stories I can develop.  But the creation of my character, my daughter, is who I’m trying to keep alive to show awareness to my readers about her birth defect.  It’s important to me, and to my family.
What are some of your books, stories that have been published?
My first book is Amanda Helps Becky Say Farewell, which is a story about a young girl who loses her best friend, her dog, Max.  Amanda visits this little girl and helps her to face the dog's death and find peace.  A difficult story; but suitable for young children to talk about death and ask questions about death.
My second book is Amanda Finds Kristy Alone, in this story, a little girl finds herself stuck on an elevator.  What a scary situation to be in.  Luckily, Amanda the angel comes to keep her company.  Amanda shares her time with Kristy and explains to her what she should do the next time she gets lost.  Parents can take advantage of this book with its opportunity to teach their children a lesson about getting lost.   
My next and third book is now in production stage.  I have not yet established the final title; but it is about a young girl, who is finding it hard to go back to school after a long summer vacation with mom.  She liked living her comfortable life of security at home.  Amanda spends time with her and manages to enlighten her outlook about school.  Just like the past two I published, at the end I summarize the story in a poem.  I'm hoping my poems will be kept as little reminders for my readers.
I do have a fourth book written, but it has not yet been released to the publisher.  This one will be about a little boy; he is having his tonsils taken out and he's overwhelmingly scared over the situation.  Amanda this time doesn't visit him in her usual way; this time, she finds a way into his dream as he sleeps. 
What ages do you direct your books?
My books can be read with parents at starting age 3 to independent readers at age 9.
Can you tell us about your newest book?
“Amanda Helps Becky Say Farewell” ISBN: 978-1-61566-704-8
Amanda Helps Becky Say Farewell is a compassionate, compelling story written to help children answer tough questions about death.
What about your other books?
 Amanda Finds Kristy Alone  ISBN: 978-1-61346-032-0
 During an exciting shopping trip at the busy mall with her mom, Kristy becomes lost. Scared and a little confused, Kristy takes the elevator to meet her mom at their meeting spot. Unfortunately, the elevator gets stuck, and now Kristy is very scared!
Amanda the angel soon arrives to calm Kristy and keep her company. Join Amanda as she helps Kristy in Amanda Finds Kristy Alone!
My books can be purchased at most on-line bookstores.
How do you come up with the names of places and characters in your books?

Children’s names float around me and I choose the name to an image I envision in my mind.  I guess its from childhood memory of friends and people I have met. 

The situations I create for a child is chosen from feelings that a typical child wouldn’t want to feel.  Like my first book, death, what could be worse than losing your pet. 

How did you develop the character/s of your in each of your books?

I’m not quite sure how the children are to appear, it seems to slowly come together, once the story line is complete and the illustrator pursue further on what I would like to see.

Is there a unique character or a recurring character if you have more than one published or to be published book? 

Amanda the Angel is a series about Amanda visiting boys and girls during a time in their young lives. 

What is your favorite thing about your book/s?
 My favorite part in all my books is the summarized poetry ending.  I challenge myself with each story in creating a poem at the end; which is basically considered a summary to the story.  If a reader really connects to a story and it happens to be a lesson worth remembering, then they may feel compelled to hang my poem on their wall or keep it nearby to refer back to it.
Is your book illustrated?  If so, would you tell us by whom, and if you worked with an illustrator, can you discuss that experience? My book was published by Tate Publishing, who took care of the editing with me, along with illustration and marketing.  It was the best choice for me, given that I don’t really have the time to give my full attention to.  My main life is my family, raising my children, owning and working our family business.  This was intended for a retirement age; but I became anxious to get started earlier, plus who knows how long we live.
How is writing in the genre you write, different than other genre?
I find myself changing my approach at times; thinking it might be to strong for young readers.  My stories are very sensitive and scary with reality of life.  It’s important to test my work with other mothers to make sure my direction will be acceptable.
Are there any problems in getting children’s’ books published? 
You need to have a manuscript that would interest publishers; plus you need to take constructive criticism.  I accepted the fact that the world of authors, publishers, and editors is not of a world I’m educated in.  Therefore, I was humble with people that I met with to get my books published and learned what I could to present to my readers a good book.
Why and when did you begin writing?
I found myself writing to occupy my focus towards my tragedy in a more comfortable direction.  Loosing my firstborn child was difficult; but we had been blessed with two healthy children afterwards.  But during the years of raising our children, I would find long nights with much on my mind.  Amanda stayed alive within me through my writings; which I’m anxious to share with young readers and families.
What is your writing schedule?
When I can find the time and/or when an idea arrives.  The stories I’ve published and that are in work are stories I had written many years ago.  As I polish these up and as our children grow; I’m learning of new stories I want to create.  I guess time will tell.
What projects are you working on now, or plan for the future?
I’m looking to do as many book signing events as possible.  My children have been very active with community events and I’m focusing on how to fit in my books with their activities as well. 
What kind of advice or tips to you have for someone who wants to write and get published?
As an author, I have learned who I can count on for proper attention and constructive advice.  Meeting other authors and reading about other authors in your area of writing will help you to establish your own appearance as to how you want to be perceived.  Take your time and don’t be to anxious, make sure all is correct before you place a finalization on anything. 
Are there any other comments, advice or tips that you would give to beginning writers?
Good Luck and don’t be afraid, let the world see your work.
What do you do when you are not writing?
 Between working full time and raising a family; my time is limited.  But I try my best to read what I can, research where I can, and take down notes or ideas as it hits me. 
Anything else you would like to add?
I’m proud I have taken the opportunity to become an author.  I hope to continue with not only The Amanda the Angel Series, but with something even bigger some day.
What “Made It” moments have you experienced in life?
Nothing can make me any more proud than our children.  When I see my son or daughter get up on stage to do acting or dancing; that’s when I feel each and every time, “Made It” moment.  My author title has really surprised me in how it has drawn in my children with interest. I’m proud how they are thriving on my excitement to become active themselves, not necessarily as writers, but in different challenges they are undertaking.   
You can learn more about Patricia and her writing by visiting her websites at:

You can visit my other blog at: that features a preview to my new book that will be released in 2012, Traveling a Rocky Road with Love, Faith and Guts.

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