Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pink Tiara Book Blog Tour: An Interview and a Giveaway!

Some people want to be in the movies or on television.  Others want to meet a movie star.  Not me.  I always wanted to meet an author and talk about the process of writing a children's book. 

Recently, I had the chance to do just that!  I was given the opportunity to interview (technologically-speaking) Maria Dismondy, author of Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun, The Juice Box Bully, and her newest book, Pink Tiara Cookies for Three.

It was quickly apparent that Maria would be a great friend.  In addition to writing, she talked about family and friends... and pajamas!  She even talked about her OLW! 

Here's how our conversation unfolded... 

Maria Dismondy
Q: Why did you decide to become a children’s book author?
A: I became an author to make a difference.  I thought about the message I wanted to get out there and how many children I could reach by selling books.  Even if a teacher reads one of my books to her class of 25 students, that’s 25 people who get to hear my message.

Q:  What is your earliest--or most definitive--memory of "being a writer" as a young child?
A: My grandparents would watch my sister and me every day after school. I remember my grandpa (we called him Dzia-Dzia) writing notes to me. It inspired me to be a note writer in school!!! I still have hundreds of notes I wrote back and forth to friends in school! My mom bought me a diary (with a lock and key, of course) when I was in Kindergarten. I filled the entire diary, writing day by day, about the weather. That's right! I have a record of the weather from the early 80's!

Q: Teachers work hard to encourage students to write.  What can teachers do to encourage our students' "inner authors"?
A: Teachers can encourage students to write what they know. Write about what has happened in their lives. Personal diaries or journals are a great place for many kids to let go of the pressures of writing (grammar, punctuation, etc) and allows them to get the story, along with all their emotions, down on paper!

Q: Where do you do most of your writing?
A: I write anywhere and everywhere. I especially enjoy coffee shops and pajamas. Although, I don’t write in my pajamas in a coffee shop! I get my greatest ideas while driving my car so I jot notes when I arrive at my destination before getting out!

Q: How did you come up with character names in your books?
A: Almost all of the character names are after my family members or someone important in my life. There are hidden messages in all of my books.  You can learn more about these when you hear me speak at schools, libraries or in bookstores! Or follow me on fb and twitter---I share a lot of secrets there!

Q:  How did the image of "pink tiara" come to you?
A: I try so hard to incorporate Legos, cars and trains into my daughter's play. I want her to know that there is more to life than her little kitchen and shopping cart! But with all the exposure to "boy toys" I find her wanting to play dress up and grocery store. Therefore, I wanted to write a book for all the little girls out there (I know girls, we have two of them). However, I play fair! My next book is currently being written and has all male characters!!!

Q: What do you like to do when you are not writing books?
A:  I like to dabble in a number of different things such as fitness, reading, crafts, photography, digital scrapbooking, cooking and finding new adventures with my family.

Q: Who is someone you look up to?
A: I look up to people who have a dream and make that dream happen! I admire people who have balance. Balance meaning they have strong work ethics but manage to put family, friends and health before work.

Q:  Many people in the BlogWorld has been mulling over the idea of OLW (One Little Word) Have you heard of this?  If you were to pick One Little Word, what would it be?
Yes! [I’ve heard of OLW] My OLW for last year was Peace and looking back, I think I was able to achieve a great level of Peace in my life. This year my OLW is Balance. Having a newborn, a two year old, an amazing husband, family, friends, my own business, a job teaching aerobics, hobbies galore, etc… Balance is something I have to remind myself to find, because when mama is balanced, our home is a much happier place
Q:  This website has JOY in the title.  I think JOY is important.  What brings you JOY?
A: Doing things for others brings me Joy. My friend and I started a non-profit called Making Spirits Bright. It's so true. If everyone could Pay It Forward, there would be a lot more love to go around.

So there you have it.  Isn’t Maria just great?!  


Click here to connect to one of the cutest websites I’ve ever seen. There is so much to enjoy!  You can download a Readers Guide with GREAT ideas for using the book in the classroom.  And after visiting Maria's site, you can honestly say, “I watched the clouds go by.”

You can purchase an autographed copy of the book on Maria’s website right here. Wouldn’t your kids/students love to read the book signed by the author?!

And there’s a link to the book on Amazon right here.
There's Still

You have a chance to win a copy of the book (AND A CUTE TIARA COOKIE CUTTER) right here, right now! All you have to do is add a comment for Maria in the space below.  And it can be something simple, like "Hi Maria," or "I'd love to read your book, Maria."  Of course I'd love for you to be a follower of Joy in 6th too! Don't forget to leave your e-mail address, so that we can contact you to send you your prize!

The winner of Maria's book and the tiara cookie cutter will be drawn using the random number generator on Friday, January 27th at 9:00 pm (PST).  If you are having trouble leaving a comment using IE, try Firefox or another browser because I am REALLY excited about giving away these sweet gifts!

I hope you'll show some love for this blogger's first giveaway...and enter to WIN a book (and a cookie cutter) that will be fun to share.

And, thanks, Maria, for including us as a stop on your tour!


  1. What a great interview! Of course I'm a follower! Thanks for joining us Maria!

    ❤ Mor Zrihen from...
    A Teacher's Treasure
    Teaching Treasures Shop

  2. She is SO lucky to be in CA with you!!! I'd have followed her there if I didn't have these pesky responsibilities . . . thanks for sharing her words of wisdom. Oh, and does your giveaway include a batch of Pink Tiara cookies, too? Tee hee . . . .

    Have a Super Sunday!


  3. I would love to read your book! It sounds adorable!

  4. Maria, you are an amazing author. Thanks for being so inspirational. I want that book!

  5. This was a great interview and a wonderful idea for a post.

    Maria, your book sounds sweet. I'd love to read it.

    Fun in Room 4B

  6. Love this post! Maria, I love my pajamas, too, but my best ideas come while I'm in the shower (not in the car). :) :) :)
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  7. Love the interview!

    I'd love to read that book Maria :)

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

    1. Eek! E-mail...

  8. Beautiful interview! I would love to read your book :)
    To The Square Inch

  9. Great interview!


  10. Maria, love your books!
    First Grade Delight

  11. What a cute giveaway!!!! Would love to read this book!!!

  12. The giveaway is on Pinterest under my Giveaways board!
    Check it out!

  13. The giveaway is also tweeted on Twitter!!/katieneu

  14. Sounds like an awesome book! Hope to read it sometime. Thanks for the chance to enter the giveaway.

  15. I'm a follower and would love this book set for a friend!

  16. I have three little girls that would love nothing more than pink tiara cookies for three. After all, they are little princesses just like their mother ;). (And I think I proved that even this mommy princess enjoys a good tiara in one of my posts last week) ;)

    Runde's Room

  17. Really sweet! I love the book concept and my princess would live to read it with me! Keep up the good work!

  18. I would love to read this book!

    The First Grade Dream

  19. Hey Kim - I've given you an award so stop by the Corner to read all about it and grab the graphic!


  20. Hi Maria - I just found this blog and love the sound of your book. I am searching for great books for girls to add to my classroom library. All my classroom books have currently come from my children's collection. I have 3 boys... so most of my literature is boy-friendly. Do you have any other recommendations?

    @ Think, Wonder, & Teach

  21. Wow! Just love your thoughts. Writing children's book is really great! All the Best!
    Kids Toys

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