I’d like to welcome Laurie Lunsford to talk with me today about her B.R.A.G. Medallion book, It’s a Piece of Cake. Laurie is an artist, musician, poet, and a published author. Laurie is also the founder of Dancing Hands, an interactive music program. Her life experiences include teaching art in several elementary schools, raising three sons, inventing percussion musical instruments, and designing “one-of-a-kind rings” for those in transition. She loves expressing herself through paint.
Painting, poetry, music, and gardening have been a healing agent as she maintains health through a chronic condition of her own.
Laurie has started Interactive Art programs in three facilities, an Assisted Living Facility, a Psychiatric Nursing Center, and now at Golden Living Alzheimer’s Care Unit in Muncie, where she has an open art studio. She also trains and facilitates volunteers. She blogs on arts and healthcare blog several times a week at Hands That Create
In her free time, she is writing children’s picture books. Her second children’s picture book is in process. It will also be useful in Alzheimer’s units to bring memories back about relationships and experiences. Both books are very interactive and spur discussion. The past year she has been visiting elementary schools and Young Author groups, encouraging children to utilize their talents, not only in writing but in all the arts.
She also leads creativity workshops at health care conventions.
Hello, Laurie! Thank you for chatting with me today. How did you discover indieBRAG?
I discovered indieBRAG on FaceBook from a local authors group.
Please tell me about your story, It’s a Piece of Cake.
This is a book that encourages kids to persevere when learning something new. Young children find challenge in discovering different things to try, like diving off of a diving board, climbing a tree, or playing the piano. Nine different situations show the frustration of learning and also the success that comes with practice. The bright whimsical illustrations show children with whom the reader can readily identify. The unifying theme of “It’s a piece of cake!” comes out through incorporating a piece of cake in the illustrations to find.
What was your inspiration for this creative book?
I get ideas from things I experience every day. I love to put my ideas in story form. Some of them stay on the computer until I am ready to create something with them. This book came from idea I had three years ago though a brainstorming session.
The inspiration to actually do the book came from meeting one of my son’s friends. Brittani was doing some unique art work, using cut paper. She made family portraits using the cut paper and it had become a business. Her art was in demand. One day she told me she had always dreamed of becoming a book illustrator. As we talked, I decided I would love to have one of my ideas in book form with HER illustrations. I went to the computer and pulled out one of my ideas and commissioned her to do the illustrations. I am an artist also and have a freer style. I have drawn a few illustrations using my style to show Young Author’s groups how we can all “be ourselves” when we draw pictures.
My inspiration also comes from children. I love interacting with them, especially through the arts. This book fell in line with what I love.
What would you like readers to come away with your book?
Confidence to learn new things….and knowing the fun of reading a good book.
Where can readers buy your book?
It can be ordered on my interactive arts website through Paypal. It is also found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kindle. It is also sold in small specialty stores around Indiana.
Where in your home do you like to write and what is your process?
I enjoy relaxing on my couch with my laptop in total silence. My ideas come at all hours of the day and night. I write my little tidbits down as I get them or dictate them into my iPhone and develop them later. A large number of ideas come while I am driving my car.
Who designed your book cover?
Brittani Gothard, the illustrator
What are you working on next?
The next book is from the very heart of me. It is all about slowing down, living in the moment, and using all my senses to experience wonderful things. It is called Wait, Katie, Wait. Katie is the essence of who I am. I am only beginning to find the pace which comes with being old enough to be a grandma.
Wait, Katie, Wait appeals to of all ages. Children bring the energy of wanting to be on the go. Older people offer the pace that brings the ability to enjoy the moment… touching, tasting, seeing, hearing, and smelling. These are moments to enjoy and remember. Grandpa and Katie go on daily adventures. The farmer’s market, fishing in the river, and a birthday party are a few of their destinations. Grandpa’s steps are slow but Katie wants to run ahead. Grandpa enjoys Katie’s company as they share together and Katie learns how to “stop and smell the roses”. The details and pictures in this book, make it mutually satisfying not only to the one being read to but also the one reading. There are roses in the illustrations to find. Alzheimer’s patients enjoy the story and the pictures that spark memories.
Do you stick with just genre?
I write for magazines about the healing benefits of the arts. Some of my memoirs have also been published in newspapers and magazines. My thoughts expressed through my blog has been a creative endeavor that flows easily because of all the valuable and shareable experiences I reflect on every day.
A message from BRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Laurie Lunsford who is the author of, It’s a Piece of Cake, our medallion honoree at indieBRAG . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion TM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, It’s a Piece of Cake, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.