I am excited to let you know that more of my books are becoming available on Bookshare.
So far, my memoir “A Different Way of Seeing: A Blind Woman’s Journey of Living an ‘Ordinary’ Life in an Extraordinary Way“ and the first of my illustrated children’s books, “Missy Mouse Goes to the Park” are already in the Bookshare library and the remaining books in the Missy Mouse series will be there soon.
I have been so impressed by the team at Bookshare India/Africa, who have been converting the Missy Mouse books and making them accessible to those who cannot read in the usual manner. I had always thought it wouldn’t be possible to add them to Bookshare because of the need to describe the illustrations, but the team at Bookshare have done a remarkable job of adding the descriptions to the text so that blind and visually impaired readers can learn what is happening in the images.
So, if you or anyone you know is a registered member of Bookshare, you can access some of my books – with more to follow soon.
And it won’t be long before Fiji’s book “Paws for Thought: Seeing the World Through the Eyes of a Guide Dog” will be there too!
If you would like to learn more about the Bookshare library, you can hop onto Bookshare.org or listen to the interview I participated in with members of the team from Bookshare India/Africa for the Global Rainbow Foundation, at https://fb.watch/bBQZIcmWar/
Here is another podcast interview I did recently, this time with the Eyes on Success podcast.
It’s not often that the interviews I give are based primarily on my illustrated children’s series, “The Adventures of Missy Mouse”. This was a refreshing topic for me to focus on, made even more fun by having the opportunity to answer a few questions put to me by two charming young boys, the grandsons of the podcast presenters.
You can hear the questions they asked, and my attempts to answer them in a way that would make sense to them, in the interview. You can also hear my thoughts on why it is important for persons with disabilities to be represented in literature of all kinds.
Listen to the interview: www.EyesOnSuccess.net/eos_2127_podcast.mp3
You can also find out more about The Missy Mouse books on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/loisstrachan
Here is a recent interview I did on how I became a writer. If you are one of the people who would love to write a book but do not know where to start, the PublishHer Podcast might be a great starting point for you.
The PublishHer Podcast is the brainchild of Alexa Bigwarfe, who runs the Write_ Publish_ Sell and the Women in Publishing communities. I’ve learned so much about the publishing industry and marketing books from Alexa and her team and the resources they share. So I was excited when they offered me the opportunity to talk about my experiences as a writer.
Here’s my interview:
I hope you enjoy learning a little more about my writing and the publishing industry.
If anyone were to ask me who my most intimidating audience is, I’d have no hesitation in telling them – children between the ages of 4 and 6 years old!
Now I know this may seem like an easy group to speak to, but just think about it for a moment: you need to grab and hold their attention, talk to them in words and concepts they will both understand and be enthralled by… and deal with the reality that ultimately all they really want to do is play with your guide dog. And since I don’t have children… apart from my dogs, who are treated much like children… relating to children is somewhat outside my usual day to day experience.
Yet, when I was offered the opportunity to speak to 5 groups of children in 4 schools I jumped at the chance. Not only to gain experience of engaging with my most intimidating audience so I can learn to do so better, but also because young children say the most incredible things.
Like the 6 year old who told me with complete confidence that, as a blind person, I couldn’t possibly have written my Missy Mouse children’s books… that I must have got them from the shop or the library.
Or the little girl who told me that she wished she could take her fish for a walk like I do with Fiji… A guide fish???
Or the very scientifically-minded 5 year old who kept moving around the room and asking if I could see him now… and who was absolutely convinced that I had “got blind” (his words, not mine!) because I had been looking at the sun through a telescope and the sun had leapt into the telescope and burned my eyes out…
But I think the prize for the most unexpected comment came from another little one who told me he also had a dog, and that it was a Toy Dog. When I asked what kind of dog he had, expecting him to say he had a Toy Pomeranian, or perhaps a Maltese Poodle, he told me in all seriousness that he didn’t know what kind of dog it was but that when you put batteries into it, it barks and wags its tail!
And, at the end of the class, when the children went to collect stickers from the life-skills teacher who had arranged for us to speak at the schools, the delightful children insisted that Fiji also had to have a sticker… which Fiji proceeded to try and eat, of course!
So, while I may not have totally overcome being intimidated by young children, I’m now sure we can handle pretty much any comment or question that they can throw at us.
I’d even go so far as to say I’d be happy to come and speak at other schools… just drop me a comment or contact me if you’d like to arrange it.
It is hard to believe that a year ago I started selling my illustrated children’s books, The Adventures of Missy Mouse, as a way of raising awareness of the capabilities of persons living with a visual impairment. It’s been an amazing journey so far and the response to the books has been exciting – there is very little that feels as rewarding as getting feedback from a child who has enjoyed reading the books I’ve written, or hearing from parents or grandparents about how much the children in their families have been enjoying the stories.
PS You can order the books through the website if you live in South Africa, or through amazon.com if ordering from elsewhere in the world.