How to Raise a Good Kid is a collection of 23 hilarious, honest and heartfelt stories about raising children that help parents teach lessons about core values such as faith, honesty, courage, hard work, perseverance and love. Guaranteed to make you and your family laugh, each story is authentic, universal in theme and perfectly suited to serve as a conversation starter for parents trying to instill in their kids the importance of integrity and character. It’s also perfect for purposes of discussing important topics with your children such as bullying, prejudice, first love, peer pressure and many others. It is highly entertaining but, at the same time, I believe it is also one of the best books you will ever find about helping your kids navigate the difficult process of growing up. I encourage everyone to check out the sample chapters on my website (listed below) and to read the dozen or so reviews currently posted on Amazon to get a better idea of what it’s like.
2. How did you get the idea for this book?
Five years ago, when my son was born, I began thinking about the values I wanted to teach him and wondering how I could pass them along. As a writer, I wanted to create stories that would show him how I learned the important lessons of my life. To do so, I focused on the experiences of my childhood that taught me the most and had the biggest impact on me. Soon, funny and often touching stories about family vacations, yard work, first crushes, Indian Guides, little league baseball and dozens of other topics began to flow, and I was able to piece together the time and places where I learned about all the things that are critical to being a successful adult, whether you’re talking about loyalty, kindness, tolerance or a good old-fashioned work ethic to name just a few.
3. Is this your first book? If not, what else have you written?
This is not my first book. I have written two novels, Red Meat Cures Cancer and the recently released Goliath Gets Up, both of which are satires. Red Meat Cures Cancer, which I was lucky enough to have published by Random House, won two national humor writing awards and was a featured selection of the Vancouver Public Library’s One Book One Vancouver reading program in 2007. That said, How to Raise a Good Kid is a different kind of humor writing as it is not satirical in any way. Rather, it will make you laugh because you’ll recognize yourself in its stories about the ups and downs of growing up.
I dabbled a bit in high school but really began to pursue writing seriously as an English Literature major in college. One piece of advice for beginning writers is to try different formats as a way to find your voice. I’ve benefitted tremendously by writing not only novels and story collections, but also essays, movie scripts and poems. Another key thing is that you must believe in yourself and maintain that belief because the pathway to becoming a writer is one that requires tremendous persistence. Write, rewrite and repeat, again and again, until what you’re working on is the very best it can be. Finally, I’d say enjoy every victory, both large and small, along the way and good luck.
5. Do you plan a sequel or future books?
Yes. I am currently working on a second volume of stories for a How to Raise a Good Kid sequel that will cover my junior high school and high school years.
6. Do you have a website? How can we order this book?
Yes. My website is www.starbuckodwyer.com. I can also be reached via Facebook at www.facebook.com/StarbuckODwyer. How to Raise a Good Kid is available in both paperback and digitally as an ebook at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, smashwords.com and a growing number of other outlets. I’ve kept the digital price very low because I truly want people to read it. I was honored to recently learn that it has been named a finalist in both the humor and essay categories for the ForeWord Book of the Year Awards so I believe you will really enjoy it. Please give it a try and and let me know what you think. I’m always interested in hearing from readers. Thank you very much.
Ten (10) lucky winners will receive a copy of How to Raise a Good Kid, by Starbuck O’Dwyer! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, April 17, 2012.
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