Monday, 27 May 2013

Author Guest Post with Kandy Kay Scaramuzzo

     My childhood was pretty much normal for the time period. I was given frilly dresses, which I destroyed playing outside. In my first grade picture, I was sporting a very stylish black eye from playing football with the guys.  I also had a magnificent doll collection that was in pristine condition, because I never played with any of them. They never held any interest for me, yet they were the gifts I kept getting. It was the time period; little girls should have dolls and frilly dresses.   I, on the other hand, was much happier playing with model horses and animals, building them enclosures and making them places to sleep. No small container was safe from being a food dish for some kind of animal.


    When I wasn’t playing, I was reading. I pretty much wiped out the children’s section of our small town library. I loved animal stories, (big surprise there), unless they had a sad ending.  (To this day, I will not allow Old Yeller in my house.)  I would scrounge through my collection of play animals and find likenesses of the ones I had read about.  When I found one, I would put it on the shelf to remind me of the book I had read. This habit continued all through my childhood.

     One day someone gave me a small tea set with Peter Rabbit on it. It was made of china and very fragile. I thought it was the most wonderful thing in the world. I put it on the shelf with my raggedy animals and that was the beginning of my love affair for literature partner pieces in china.  This collection expanded over the years and grew to include a King Arthur Statue, a Treasure Island plate and many other wonderful treasures.
 
     I kept this collection for years, even taking it with me when I moved out to start my adult life. It was displayed prominently and safely in every place that I lived.  Unfortunately, returning home one day I discovered my house had experienced an unwelcome intruder. The large dog I owned at the time apparently made sure the intruder felt unwelcome and gave him a run for his money. The sad part is that during their ruckus every bit of china that I owned was smashed to dust.

      Life moves on and I completely forgot about my china literary collection. I still read everything I could get my hands on, but matching characters to actual figurines was a thing of the past. Then one day I was in an antique shop with a friend of mine, and I saw it. A full size cup and saucer decorated with Peter Rabbit and his friends. It was definitely calling me. The funny thing about it was, it was nothing like the original one that I owned in my youth. That one was a miniature set and this was just a random full size cup and saucer sitting in an antique store.

      That random little cup and saucer are now safely in my china cabinet with a Sleepy Hollow Night Light and a 150th Anniversary Alice in Wonderland Tea pot. There is also a small plate that I am sure connects to a book somewhere. It is very obviously not a regular china pattern. I call it my mystery plate. It has a small girl, a bell and a horse on it. I am thinking with all the horse stories I read, I will eventually come across the one it represents.
     
Now that I am an author with a book of my own, I can only hope that my book, Pie an Old Brown Horse (That Knows What He Is Doing), will delight and entertain as many children as the books I read as a youngster.   Pie was written as a family friendly book, one that someone can read with their kids or their kids could read by themselves.  I wrote Pie in Pie’s voice because I figured no one could tell his story better than he could.  The book ends on a happy note, something that I love in animal stories. So many of the good animal stories are written after the animal is gone, not this one, Pie is still with us at the ripe old age of 38. 

        Pie, the book takes the reader though the last 13 years of Pie’s life and everything he has done since he was rescued from a very bad situation that almost killed him. It takes you though many emotions and leaves you with a good feeling after you have finished it.  That was the effect I was looking for when I wrote it. The book is doing pretty well. It has been mentioned in January Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. He has won a 5 star review rating from Readers’ Favorites.  I am very proud of Pie, both the book and the horse.  It may not win a Pulitzer Prize, because it is told in the tone and vocabulary of a horse.  It is a wonderful, enchanting tale of a life that went on to improve many others even though it was a bit bruised itself.   Because of this, Pie has been featured on many inspirational book sites.  If you like animals or just a good story check out Pie an Old Brown Horse (That Knows What He Is Doing).

       Thank you Barbara for allowing me to guest post on your blog! Happy Trails To You and all your readers!  

Thank you Kandy Kay it was lovely to read about your childhood, your collections and your new book. I'm glad I could help re your 'mystery plate' I've loved Norman Thelwell illustrations all my life so it was easy to recognise this one. 

For more information about Pie, an Old Brown Horse (That Knows What He Is Doing) pay a visit to   

For anyone wondering about the pony plate, there is lots of information about Norman Thelwell and his pony books on this page Thelwell.Org 

25 comments:

  1. This is a most wonderful way to start my day off, Barbara! As I read on, I found that I had much in common with this lovely woman who knows the joys of DISCOVERY THROUGH PLAY. Like her, I was given dolls and yes, I played with them, but I also longed to play outside and get dirty, rough it up a bit, but most of all, study the life of animals.

    I used to think myself ODD as I observed other little girls play with their dolls. They would dress them up and that was about it. But I would build homes for them, write scripts and play out scenarios that were rather deep (for a child, that is!) and play out every character. I thought, "What is wrong with me?" teheee

    Animal stories are my passion. And those with sad endings....OH DEAR, bring out the tissues, especially if it's about a horse! But immortalizing a loved one through literature or art, whether animal or human, is he way I have found to keep their memory ALIVE.

    Thank you for celebrating the peaceful and kind things of the world! HAPPY DAY! Anita

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    1. Thank you for all the kind words. I would say you were totally normal as a child. He He! Happy Trails To You!

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  2. Oh precious friend, I will be around! I will be writing again on my blog as soon as I see what kind of schedule I have for this poetry class!!! I can't stay away from connecting with those I adore! Anita

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    1. Dear Anita, you are just the sweetest person I’m so glad we met!
      I also used to build dens, climb trees, and play rough and tumble, but I loved books more. A comfy den and a good book were my idea of heaven even then.
      Thank you so much for your comments. I felt very sad when I left your blog this morning thinking you would not be around for the rest of the summer. I feel much better now. Barbara

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  3. Sounds like my childhood - apart from the sporting of the black eye and the playing of football - I even had a very similar tea set that I adored.

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    1. I wish I had kept the tea set I had as a little girl. I collect them now but would love to have some of the original ones back. Thanks so much for popping in and leaving a comment.

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  4. What a lovely guest post, I loved her stories about her childhood and her collections :) I'm sure a lot of readers will love her book about Pie.

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    1. Thanks Hilde, I could not resist this guest post - nursery china and a lovely pony book - bliss! Thanks for calling in.

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  5. Thank you Barabara for letting me guest post! I am so happy so many people enjoyed it. You are a sweetheart for letting me do this. Have a happy day and Happy Trails To You!

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    1. I was delighted to include your lovely post. Happy Trails and Thank You! Barbara

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  6. ~ A lovely guest post....which brought back a few memories for me too! Most especially the memory of the sweet tea set, I can remember I always had play dolly tea afternoons....I am thinking this LOVE has grown as I have grown up! I still collect china pretty tea sets and drink lots of tea! hehe! I wish her all the very best with her new story, 'Pie an old brown horse'...~ with kindest thoughts...Maria x

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    1. Dear Maria, thank you so much for your sweet comment. Tea drunk from a pretty cup is my idea of heaven. Tea, a pretty cup and a book called 'Pie an old brown horse' is heaven with a cherry on top!

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    2. I like the picture you painted there!

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  7. These are precious items! Thank you for sharing with us Kandy Kay!

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    1. I was happy to do it and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  8. Oh! What an emotion this post! That collection...how sad to know how it ended! I see I have many things in common with Kandy. I will visit her now.
    Besos!
    Ah! Do I need to tell you that I love that teacup and saucer and that plate?

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    1. Come on over for a visit, we would love to have you!

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  9. How sweet. I enjoyed reading this. I am sorry about your china collection but I bet you were grateful to have a large dog that day.

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    1. You bet, that big dog was my friend for many years.

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  10. Kandy, so glad to see you traveling, my friend. Great post! It brought back some great memories. I'll have to get a pic of my daughters tea sets to send you!
    Su

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  11. Beautiful story and beautiful guest post! Thank you for sharing!
    -Jamie
    ChatterBlossom

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  12. Hey thanks for following me across the pond! You just never know where that old brown horse is going to show up next!

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  13. How fun to learn about Kay! While I did play with dolls on occasion, I was definitely a tom boy growing up. Lot of broken bones, cuts, and bruises. :)

    I loved hearing about her literature/china connection. So sorry to hear her collection was destroyed. How wonderful she has a couple pieces in her new collection.

    Pie sounds so good. I bet I have many students who would enjoy it- especially since "pie" is a favorite word with my class (who knows why).

    Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Very nice meeting you, Kandy, and learning about your childhood, china collection and Pie! Young readers would love the happy ending. You're right on that so many animal stories end with the animals dying, and that's always too sad for me. (Can't bring myself to watch an 'animal' film these days because I know the ending will most likely be tragic.) Wishing you the grandest success with your book, and great cheers to dear Barbara for introducing you to us!

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  15. Stephanie and Claudine, thanks so much for your lovely comments.

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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