Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 29, 2017

Book Giveaway – Principal Kidd:Scool Rules by Connie Colòn

Congratulations to Connie Colòn! Her debut Middle Grade book PRINCIPAL KIDD: SCHOOL RULES will launch on April 3rd. Connie has offered to give one book away. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Eleven-year-old whiz, Oliver Kidd, had no trouble using his genius IQ to skip grades and zoom through the accelerated college program. But after landing a job as the world’s first kid principal back at his old elementary school, Oliver faces sabotage from the jealous vice principal, Mr. Dagger, along with challenges of a kid in charge of the teachers, parents, and students. Good thing his trusty sidekick and school mascot, Chelsea the chicken, is on his side. Principal Kidd scores points with the students with his new rules, until the town health inspector shows up and threatens to shut the doors on Eggshell Elementary. Join in on the giggles and mayhem as Oliver Kidd and his friends since kindergarten try to save Eggshell Elementary. (Just watch your step, you may encounter chicken poop!)

BOOK’S JOURNEY:

This series has had a long and bumpy journey – like life itself! I began this concept over 10 years ago, but have worked on many other things in between. I refused to give up on it, even after a former agent and I had no success. Principal Kidd, along with another chapter book concept (that you’ll most likely hear about soon, since Foundations Books has asked to see that one again!) both began as animated TV series in my head. My brain is wired to think visually while I write. I often create pages for my characters with magazine picture and my own doodles before I begin. I was asked to develop an animation proposal, with character descriptions and sample episodes for both concepts for Nelvana Communications (producers of many children’s TV shows). This opportunity arose after a NYC conference for SCBWI. (If you are a children’s writer and/or illustrator and do not belong, go join now!) After speaking to many people in this industry, I was advised to develop these as a book series first. In the process, I had also taken TV screenwriting classes in NYC with Alan Kingsberg – fabulous teacher. I am proud to say that I developed pilot episodes for both Principal Kidd and my other chapter book concept.

I hope to schedule school visits that will be packed with fun dress-up opportunities for the kids and my wacky characters. (Yes, I plan on ordering a chicken suit!!)

Oh – as for the bumps in the journey: one editor loved this, took the manuscript to a new job, only to find out he was asked to work on YA and not this age group. Another editor brought it all the way to acquisitions, except her publisher at that time would not accept unpublished writers. (Then, life threw me a curve ball and I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Not a death sentence, but can be challenging. By the way, this is my first “public” announcement about it. I’m determined to show my son that when life throws you curve balls, you must keep swinging!)  I was asked several times from several places for revisions, including a stand-alone version. Still – no contract – until Laura Ranger at Foundations Books got back to me the day after reading it with: “I want it! I love it!” She has been a JOY to work with and despite waiting years to get to this point, it has been well worth the wait!

Oh yeah – I also managed to get a book blurb from Jerry Spinelli for book #1 in the PRINCIPAL KIDD series! Feeling very lucky and grateful. I’ve been busy drafting book #2 while working on marketing book 1 and planning my launch party. I hope I’ve inspired some of you to never give up – and always dream big!

CONNIE’S BIO:

My mom used to tape paper to the tray on my highchair and give me crayons, so I’ve been drawing since before I can actually remember! I grew up in Elizabeth, NJ and that home had the coolest built-in bookcases that were jam packed with books! My mother taught in an elementary school so I was raised loving books. My dad was a police detective, so not surprisingly my favorite books as a child were the Nancy Drew mysteries.

I have a degree in art from Syracuse University and spent most of my career years in advertising – in agencies from Madison Avenue in NYC, to St. Petersburg, FL and in NJ. I’ve done everything from secretary, to broadcast production and ended up as Director of Account Coordination up until becoming an at-home mom for my son, Tommy. I have been married to my husband, Dan for 27 years – we met while working at the Ad Center at Time Inc., so Rockefeller Center and the Time-Life building will always be special to me! (cont.)

I began reading to my son since I was pregnant, which led me to trying my hand at writing children’s books from home. I am a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and served as a Committee Member for years in the NJ chapter. I now attend events throughout Florida, but try to go to the NJ conferences whenever possible.

I had the unique opportunity to have been selected to work with award-winning kidlit superstar, Jerry Spinelli, during a weeklong Highlights writers workshop in Chautauqua, NY in 2006. What an honor! (I loved Highlights as a kid – especially the “hidden pictures” section – still love them!)  A magazine workshop that week sparked an idea for an article for FACES magazine that turned into a monthly feature called “Dear Tommy” that ran for over seven years. I’ve also written for other children’s magazines such as Fun For Kidz, Appleseeds and a short piece for Highlights. (cont.)

Being an artist, I tend to “think visually” as I write, often picturing my stories as TV shows or movies. I played up that aspect by taking TV Screenwriting classes in Alan Kingsberg’s Advanced Writer Room in NYC. I loved that and hope to develop my chapter books into animation one day. If you are going to dream, you may as well DREAM BIG!

I am thrilled to now be part of the Foundations Books family where my dreams are beginning to come true.

Thank you Connie for sharing your journey with us and offering one lucky winner a copy of your new book, Principal Kidd. Connie, so nice to see this funny book come to market. Good Luck!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Congrats, Connie! So happy for you!

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    • Thanks, Yvonne!

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  2. Congratulations Connie. The series sounds like a winner!

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    • Thanks, Darlene – and honored to be in your blog, too!

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  3. Thanks so much for sharing your bumps in the road, Connie! You’re an inspiration to all of us to keep going. Principal Kidd looks like a super fun book!

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    • Thanks, Carol!

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  4. What a great idea for a book! I was a principal for 12 years & many of the students sent to the office thought they could do a much better job than I. One in K, (suspended for kicking his teacher!) said, “When I am principal, my desk will be over here.” He had so many suggestions for me. Thus this book will appeal to many children and be read aloud during story time at school, I’m sure!

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    • Great to hear, Lise!!!

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  5. Connie, congratulations! You are one impressive lady …! I wish you all the success in the world.

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    • Thanks, Patricia!

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  6. Connie, I remember hearing about Principal Kidd way back in 2007. So so happy to see your story shared with the world. I am sure the book’s success will make the long journey to publication worthwhile. Congrats, my friend!

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    • Thank you, dear Betsy — one of my first NJSCBWI friends!!!

      Like

  7. Congratulations Connie! What an amazing success, even through life’s curve balls.

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    • Thanks, Lauri!

      Like


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