At Chocology, we love to learn as well as teach. That’s why when children’s author, Stephanie Sorkin, agreed to read all three of her books to our Chocology Kids at Yogo Delish in Port Jefferson this past Sunday, we were thrilled. The kids were delighted to meet the author and enjoyed hearing some of their favorite stories read to them.
Stephanie is the award-winning author of 3 children’s books, Frenemy Jane, the Sometimes Friend, Nutley and Chocolate Shoes with Licorice Laces. She recently won both the Indie award for Chocolate Shoes. She also won the Mom’s Choice award for Nutley and Chocolate Shoes.
Like Chocology, Stephanie shares our love for giving back to the community. A percentage of the profits from Chocolate Shoes goest to Soles 4 Soles and 100% of the proceeds from Nutley goes to F.A.R.E., an organization dedicated to food allergy research and education.
It is always so exciting to meet the author of our favorite books. After the readings, Stephanie shared with us a bit about how she developed her character for Chocolate Shoes. While visiting schools and doing readings for Nutley, Stephanie created a sort of "focus group" with the kids by placing her draft of Chocolate Shoes on an big piece of oak tag. She would carry this along with her to her readings of Nutley and ask the kids questions about who they thought the character should be. A girl? A boy? Five years old? Ten? She explained to the kids that when she tallied up the results, she would have her character. The kids loved the fact that they had some input on her next book. When all the results were in, Stephanie had her eight year old boy with red hair, the main character in Chocolate Shoes. As Stephanie told this story, all of our Chocology Kids eyes lit up with excitement.
Stephanie's love for children was apparent. After the reading, Stephanie autographed books for the kids. We gave out licorice laces to everyone, to go with this with "Chocolate Shoes", of course! We can't wait to read what she writes next.
For more about Stephanie and her books and to learn more about her charity work, please visit www.stephaniesorkin.com.
Recently, Chocology had the opportunity to sit down with Stephanie Sorkin, a children's book author, to talk about her book "Chocolate Shoes with Licorice Laces". Don't you just love the name?
We love the book so much, that we will be hosting a reading of the book at the kindergarten class that Madeline attended many years ago. Along with the book reading, we will be offering all types of chocolate fun and activities to the children there.
One of the things we love most about Stephanie is that she's all about giving back to the community. Read on to find out more about how you can help others with the purchase of "Chocolate Shoes with Licorice Laces".
What inspired you to write "Chocolate Shoes with Licorice Laces"?
I was inspired to write “Chocolate Shoes” by my love of whimsical children’s literature. I love to think of silly things that could happen, and turn them into stories for children to enjoy. And what could be more fun than wearing chocolate shoes?
Where do you come up with your ideas?
I come up with my ideas 24 hours a day, in various ways. For example, when I came up with the idea for my book, “Nutley, the Nut-free Squirrel” it started as a bedtime story for my daughter. My kids loved it and I just knew that it would be a hit with children everywhere! I came up with the idea for “Frenemy Jane, the Sometimes Friend” based on a true story and real events. I have a number of other storylines that I’m currently working on with ideas that I got from observations in the classroom, along with silly add- ons to make the stories funny.
How did you get started as a writer?
I’d like to say that I got started as a writer the minute that I learned to write. I loved to put my thoughts on paper and rhyme at a very early age. I take great pleasure in bringing a book that I made as a child to my present day school visits. It’s a story about a frog that felt different from the other frogs. It’s held together by ribbon and my mom drew the pictures! I love that it inspires the kids to follow their dreams when they see that I started as a child. My start professionally came with my book “Nutley”. I was so anxious to share my story with the world that I sat at the computer and simply googled “SELF PUBLISHING”. I researched a few companies and ultimately got incredibly lucky when I chose the publisher Mascot Books. They delivered a high quality book that has held its own in a very competitive market.
Tell us 3 crazy things about yourself!
Hmmmm.....only 3 things?
1) I worked for the NBA. I love basketball as much as I love to write. Aside from being a children’s book author, it was my dream job.
2) I’m very superstitious
3) I want to keep every greeting card that I ever receive.
I LOVE quotes! I post one almost every day on my Twitter account (@stephsorkin)
I have so many favorites, it’s hard to narrow it down!!!
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. “ ~Maya Angelou
“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. Time will pass anyway.” ~Earl Nightingale
“The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.” ~Vince Lombardi
“No one has ever become poor by giving.” ~Anne Frank
“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” ~Thomas Jefferson
Best and Worst part of being a writer
The best part of being it writer is having a place to channel my creativity. To take my ideas and share them for others is very gratifying. To think that children get to read my books over and over just for fun is incredible. My favorite part of my job is visiting schools to discuss the writing process and the importance of creativity.
The worst part of being a writer is that many of my friends and family don’t think that I work! As my job is not your typical 9-5 office job, it’s difficult to explain my day to day schedule, as it varies. I do wish that I only worked 8 hours a day! Working from home is not easy, as there are multiple distractions. I have to stay very focused to get everything done!
My Madeline is in the middle of writing her first novel. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
My advice to your daughter is in a quote from Diane Sawyer. “Whatever you want in life, other people are going to want it too. Believe in yourself enough to accept the idea that you have an equal right to it.” I couldn’t have said it better myself and find this to be so motivational for young people looking to enter any competitive field, especially writing. I remember standing in the children’s book section of Barnes and Noble, completely overwhelmed. It was just weeks before my book Nutley was being published. I wondered how I would sell any books with all of the competition out there. The truth is, if you have a great product, believe in yourself and work hard, you will have no choice but to be successful.
I’d also tell your daughter that writing the book is the easy part. She can pursue mainstream publishing but we now live in an age where self-publishing and self- promotion are no longer frowned upon. She should know that there are many unconventional, yet effective ways to do both.
You donate a portion of the proceeds made from the book. How and why did you choose this organization?
I love to give back to charities that support children so choosing “Soles4Souls” was easy. With my book being about Chocolate Shoes, choosing a charity in which shoes are distributed to those in need seemed like the perfect match. I’m honored to be a part of their mission.
Do you like chocolate?
I absolutely LOVE Chocolate!! I would eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could! I love to go to chocolate stores and buy gourmet chocolate in all shapes and sizes, but you could also find me in CVS buying Hershey kisses!
Where can we buy your books?
My books are sold in bookstores, toy stores and children’s boutiques but the quickest way to find them is online on Amazon.com or ChocologyUnlimited.com