Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Debra Eckerling has expertise in feature articles, corporate communications (newsletters, corporate profiles, and web content), and public speaking. She does business and individual consulting; has written for local, national, trade, and online publications; and is the eZine editor for StoryLink.com. Debra has led workshops and writers support groups for more than 10 years.

Freelance writer, Debra Eckerling recently expanded her focus, so she can help young adults learn to love the written word. Her new website – www.PurplePencilAdventures.com- has interviews with young published authors, as well as weekly writing “adventures:” fun writing prompts to get the creative-brain going. Check out this sample post.

Jolie Vanier, Puwaii Adventures with Joliea and Friends, is an author and film actress with a lot of energy and a ton of personality. What better way to put her talents to use than to create a series about “the world’s youngest fashion designer” who goes on adventures? Book #1 - Puwaii Adventures with Joliea & Friends - comes with an audiobook CD. Book #2 - Puwaii Adventures with Joliea & Friends ... the Adventures Continues - comes with an audiobook CD and a DVD for a read-along, where she offers art lessons. Jolie loves watching her character come to life. She talks about being a writer, offers advice and encouragement, and more!

Debra: How did you come up with the idea for Puwaii Adventures? And the concept for including a DVD?

Jolie: I had to figure what the book would be about. That was the easy part, because I love fashion. My fascination with fashion started when my mother took me to a Pucci exhibit; I loved his designs and those wonderful, brilliant colors! (Color is fascinating to me - do you know that by combining red and yellow, you get orange?) I was trying to figure out how to start the story at the same time my family and I went on a vacation to Hawaii. That’s when I had the bright idea of “smooshing” Pucci and Hawaii together, and I came up with the Puwaii look!

Next, I decided my main character would be “Joliea”, the “youngest fashion designer in the world” who travels in a magical submarine. (Notice the similarity between Jolie and Joliea? Hahahaha!) I’ve read enough to know any exciting story needs a villain - so I came up with “Jack the Rat.” My other characters are taken from real life, like “Princess Issa,” is actually taken from my Maltese dog, Izzy.

I thought how nice it would be if I offered my books on CD, so my readers can hear me read my books! Then with my second book I included a DVD with a pictorial read-along. I also give children art lessons! Then I have a section where I tell you how to create your own book. I like the idea of “giving back, so that’s why I included both the CD’s and the DVD.

“I’ve always found a kinship with writing,” Debra explains. “I enjoy encouraging people, whether they are 8 or 80, to express themselves. Strong communication skills – the ability to compose your thoughts, whether you are writing or speaking them – are essential for any kind of success.” Here’s a writing prompt found on the website.

We have two "holidays" this long weekend: Valentine's Day on Sunday and then Presidents' Day - and no school - on Monday!

Here is this weekend's fun, writing adventure: Create a new holiday! When is it? What is it? And how do you celebrate? Be creative!

Debra’s workshops are designed as a safe environment for tweens and teens. They can play with words, share them with their peers, and get constructive nudges in the right · Communication Skills direction, while developing their voice in the process.

Workshops: Writers Group Leader Debra Eckerling has created a program to help kids learn to love the written word.
· Writing Skills
· Creativity
· Self-Esteem
· Communication Skills

“It was my creative writing class in high school, where we had to journal a certain number of pages a week, that helped me the most. In doing all this writing I found my voice, but more importantly it gave me a safe place to express my emotions. It also built my confidence.

“I love helping writers go from dreamer to doer. And it is so simple. All you need is a pen, paper, and the confidence to realize you can achieve any goal you set out to accomplish.”

Debra Eckerling’s websitewww.writeononline.com – gives writers in all areas a virtual home to get motivated, set goals, and move forward on their projects. The site has Author Q&As, Expert Columns, monthly writing contests, and more.

Check out this article on Traditional vs Self-Publishing.
Moving Write Along: Advice from the Experts – Traditional vs Self-Publishing

Visit Debra’s websites: www.purplepenciladventures.com and www.writeononline.com. You can also become a fan at www.facebook.com/writeononline and follow Debra at www.twitter.com/writeononline.

VBT - Writers On The Move: March Author and Book Tour Schedule http://is.gd/9hRRx

Kathy Stemke's websites:
Moving Through all Seven Days link:http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/moving-through-all-seven-days/7386965#http://www.helium.com/users/406242.html
Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/kathystemke
Follow me on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=6147172660&topic=4910#!/kathymarescomatthews.stemke?ref=profileAdd to Technorati Favorites


T. Forehand said...

Very nice post. I am her facebook friend and may try the "green" challenge she has posted. She offers valuable information on both of her sites for new and experienced writers. Thanks for sharing Kathy, nice job.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Terri.

Vivian Zabel said...

I'm delighted to learn more and Debra. Thanks, Kathy and Debra.

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks, Kathy, for such a lovely profile - and for spreading the word about Purple Pencil Adventures and Write On! Online!

Thanks, Terri, for your kind words.

Jean said...

Including the cd/dvd is really interesting idea. I'm intrigued.

Janet Ann Collins said...

It's good to see information about a young author. I hope there are lots of them.

Unknown said...

Thanks for all your kind comments.

Karen Cioffi said...

Wonderful post, Kathy. And, Debra what a wonderful idea to help young writers with Purple Pencil Adventures. Our Heather Paye would fit right in!

Deb Hockenberry said...

Hi Kathy & Debra,
Nice interview with great suggestions & information!

Anonymous said...

Another great interview, Kathy! Thanks much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Another great post, Kathy! Thanks for sharing!

Jaleta Clegg said...

Thanks for sharing. I'll have to check out her workshop ideas.

dana e donovan said...

I am intrigued by the audio CD thing and the DVD. I can imagine how that will inspire other young children to take up fashion in real life. Great post!

Unknown said...

Thanks for stopping by!

Kristi's Book Nook said...

Very informative interview. I hope lots of kids get started on this. Thanks Kathy.

David Kopaska-Merkel said...

I like the idea of inventing your own holiday. Most kids would love that challenge! Walt Kelly invented Geranium Retreat Day. I think I'd create Hard Boiled Eggstravaganza.

Debra Eckerling said...

Hi Everyone, Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

Karen, I was thinking that too! Heather would be a great interview for April Poetry Month.

If anyone else has suggestions of young published authors to profile, please send them my way.

Am a huge fan of positive reinforcement - I think if young people see what others can accomplish through expressing themselves, it encourages them to put their ideas on paper and send them out to the universe!

Martha said...

Debra, Love the Purple pencil adventures. What a great idea.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

What a fascinating story. Thanks, Kathy, for introducing me to Debra and her work.