Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Children's Author, Editor and Founder and Owner - Stories for Children Magazine - VS Grenier

Interviewing VS Grenier is a true full circle experience for me. My first publishing credit was with Stories for Children Magazine in 2007 and I haven’t looked back since. Grenier is the owner and founder of Stories for Children Magazine and is a freelance children’s author and editor at Halo Publishing. Grenier’s dynamic and forward thinking entrepreneur writing skills keeps her at the forefront in the children’s publishing industry. She wears many hats and wears them all well. Join me on this fascinating interview about her current writing career moves.

DMc: After taking a hiatus from writing to have your third child you are now back into the writing groove. What has been your biggest challenge in balancing a newborn, a soon to be kindergartener, and teenager?

VS: Actually, only Stories for Children Magazine is on a hiatus. I have been busy with my personal writing in-between taking care of Sabrina, my new baby girl. The one thing I have been finding hard to do … is not adding to my writing responsibilities. The other two kids are great and give me my writing time, which is mostly when the baby is sleeping. My fourteen and five year old have been use to mommy writing for the past few years. Now to teach the baby about mommy’s writing time. Of course, I do not think the baby cares much about my personal time. LOL. At least she sleeps through the night now.

DMc: Your first picture book, Babysitting SugarPaw, was published through Halo Publishing in 2009, what has been your best marketing tool to date?

VS: Well, my marketing strategy went out the window a few months after my book hit the printing press. I am sorry to say, I did not do as much marketing as I would have liked when the book first came out. The reason being, I found out I was pregnant and I came down with the swine flu. However, I did find doing a coloring contest of the main characters really helped sell some books and spread the word about Babysitting SugarPaw. In addition, I did a lot of blog interviews like this one and did a drawing at each one to help spread the word. I had some really great sales during those months.

DMc: Virginia, you are the founder of Stories for Children Magazine. Can you please share with our readers your future plans for magazine?

VS: Right now Stories for Children Magazine is on hiatus because I just do not have the time to put each issue together. Even though the magazine is an ezine, it takes up about 60 hours a week of my time to run it, not counting the time SFC team members put in to do their duties as well. My plan is to reopen in late 2011 or the beginning of 2012. Right now, I’m currently looking at better ways to run the magazine and making some changes such as publishing 9 issues a year instead of 12 issues, like we use to do. Another thing I am looking to do is make the magazine a paying market. I’m not sure how possible this will be because of the economy. Nevertheless, it is still something I would like to do one day soon.

DMc: You also recently created a new blog and have already developed a great following. What do you hope to achieve through your blog?

VS: I really do not have a goal for The Writing Mama. I just thought it would be fun to have a personal blog where I posted about my adventures raising a family while writing and being published. At first, I was only going to post when I had something to share, but now I do have a schedule for the posts. Mondays I talk about my weight lose goals, share some tips on staying healthy (since a lot of writers spend so much time sitting), and share a writing prompt to get the creative juices flowing for the week. Tuesdays and Thursdays, I share my thoughts or a writing tip. Sometimes both. Wednesdays I post an article from a fellow writer. The topics can be on anything to do with writing. Then there are the Friday posts. Those are my favorite because I get to chat with fellow writers about balancing their writing life with their family life. I find each interview very inspiring and motivating.

Who knows, maybe some type of book will come out of it.

DMc: You are also an editor with Halo Publishing. Please share with our readers what this entails.

VS: I do a few different things as an editor for Halo. One of the things I do is review manuscripts submitted for publication. Halo likes to have a board of editors read each manuscript and comment on it. Not a full critique, but an overview on if the manuscript is right for the company and if any editing or a professional Read & React is needed.

Another thing I do is the Read & Reacts. This is a one to one and half page professional critique. What I do is point out specific areas needing some work such as point of view changes, telling vs. showing, or weedy word usage. This is a great way for authors to improve their writing and manuscript for publication. However, this does not replace a good line-by-line professional critique. Which I do on the side through my website

Lastly, my other responsibility at Halo is copyeditor where I go through a manuscript before it is sent to pagination. I look for all kinds of things from extra spacing to grammar errors.

DMc: What can we expect from you in the future?

VS: I really don’t know. I am always coming up with new ideas and adventures in the world of ink. What I can tell you is what I have on my plate currently as projects. Besides working on Stories for Children Publishing stuff, I plan to continue my daily blog posts at The Writing Mama. I’m currently the assistant on the Blog Talk Radio show A Good Story is a Good Story every Monday night at 8pm Central.

On the writing front, I am working on two picture books, three YA novels, and some additional book concepts for Babysitting SugarPaw.

Donna, I want to think for having me on your blog today. It is always a pleasure to chat with you.

If you want to know more about VS Grenier visit her websites.

Babysitting SugarPaw is available at, Halo Publishing Int., and for autographed copies with extra goodies visit


  1. Great interview! It was fun learning new things about Virginia and the many "hats" she wears.

  2. Great interview, Donna.

    Best of luck with this cute book V S.

    Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques

  3. Virginia sure sounds like a busy person. She has my admiration.

  4. Fun to learn more about Virginia - thanks Donna!

    The coloring contest for Babysitting Sugarpaw sounds like a great marketing idea. Wonderful way to draw children into the story. :o)

  5. Thanks Margot. It means a lot to me coming from an expert like yourself.

    Janet, I am busy, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Beth, the coloring contest did help introduce me and my book to many children.

    Donna, Thanks so much for having me as a guest on your blog. You are the best.

  6. Virginia,
    Good luck with Sugar Paw.
    J. Aday Kennedy
    The Differently-Abled Writer
    Children's Book Author & Inspirational Spokesperson
    Klutzy Kantor & Marta Gargantuan Wings available in August 2010

  7. Wow, you are really busy. It sounds as though you are keeping up. Great interview.

  8. Wow, you sure have your hands full, Virginia! I can sympathize!

    Is Halo a traditional press? I'm going to check them out.

  9. Hi Donna,
    Great interview with Virginia! I am so admiring you Virginia for being able to write with a family.:) I have a question for you. Do you think writers ought to edit things for free for a publisher? The position is called Apprentice Editor. I have mixed feelings about doing it.:)


Thank for you taking the time out to visit with me and to learn about my writing career.

Please be sure to leave your blog address so I can reciprocate.

I look forward to visiting you too.