Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Guest Post: Allyn Stotz Cookies for Punch

Allyn M. Stotz is a children’s book writer who has just released her fifth picture book, Cookies for Punch, published by Guardian Angel Publishing.

This might be her fifth book, but it’s actually the first story she ever sent in for publication which was way back in 2009. Why so long you ask? Well that’s a long, not so interesting story. (She wipes her sweaty brow, and hyperventilates as she becomes exhausted thinking about the difficult journey she’s been on to get it published).

That’s why when people come up to her and say, “I've always wanted to write a children’s book. Is it difficult?” she has no clear and easy answer.

Every author has a different journey and every manuscript travels on different adventures to get published. Her first picture book, The Pea in Peanut Butter began with a title. She knew she wanted to write a story about peanut butter but wasn't sure what she wanted to happen in the story. So she thought of a catchy title and wrote the story from there. And I can tell you this for certain … that title stirs up a lot of attention!

Allyn isn't the typical writer who dreamed of becoming a published author all her life. In fact, she never even thought about it until she turned 52 yrs. old. (Lesson learned … it’s never too late!) One day, her brother (who is not a writer but certainly has the talent for it if he wanted it) posted on his blog a story about a computer game he was hooked on. His writing was fascinating with such vivid details of the fantasy world in the game that it made her think to herself how much fun it would be to write a fantasy story. She immediately thought of a game she and her siblings used to play as children. She sat down at her computer, began typing the story and her fingers have not stopped writing since!

That’s when she realized she had never enjoyed herself so much as when she typed up the first few chapters of that story. She quickly went online and researched how to write a story for publication. At that time, she decided she wanted to go for the gusto but still didn't know what type of book she really wanted to write or what genre. After finding a class online, she signed up and discovered it was small children she wanted to write for. She has always loved the little kiddos, but never was blessed to have any of her own. She thought writing books might be a way to reconnect with them.

And she was 100% correct! So to answer the question of “how do I get started being an author” my first answer would be to discover what kind of book it is you want to write, first. Then research, research, research. There are all kinds of rules to follow when writing a book and different sets of guidelines for each publisher.

Allyn believes that becoming a published author is one of her greatest accomplishments. Although it’s very difficult and really tests your patience, it’s very rewarding at the same time. Seeing people’s faces light up when they realize you wrote a book is truly amazing. But even more than that, Allyn feels tremendously rewarded by the fact that after she became published, her 83 yr. old mother (another example of it’s never too late!) and one of her sister’s decided it was time for them to fulfill their lifetime dreams of writing a novel.  They have teamed up together and published three mystery/romance novels and just released their fourth book, Holiday Connections, which is a collection of short stories.

If you’d like to find out more about Allyn’s books, visit her at All of her books are available online and at Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs, LA.

Thank you so much for agreeing to write for my blog Allyn. It was fun finding out more about you and your delightful stories. Barbara  


  1. ooooO! ooooO! What fun....Now! Although l don't
    read books, everyone knows...'No Patience'. But!
    short illustrated books, l can handle! Ladybird
    books, and that's my limit!
    What l was gonna say..(note the excellent English),
    was the amount of people suggesting that 'I' write
    a book...??? HeHe! What! Yes! But! The writing would
    be just as bad, as reading...Patience again...! :).
    Though l do fancy myself, strutting around the room,
    with a big...(you know)..dictating my 'stories'.....
    'fantasies' and 'dreams..onto to paper! Oh! she'd
    have to be good at taking down dictation of course!
    mmmmM! Like the though of that!
    "Time upon a once.....

    Of course if a children's writer was short of ideas,
    if they followed me around for a week, they could get
    ALL the info required....FREE! :).
    I'm very good with fairies...!!!

    Two things to do now...Make a lemon tea...And, pop over
    to Google, check out Punch and his Cookies..! :).
    Bit worried about the bottomless Hippo though...! :>).

    1. No, no Willie, not a bottomless hippo! Don’t you just love the title I have to buy a copy of that for Zoe and Lilly.

      Go on write your book, you must have hundreds of tales to tell. Get yourself a Dictaphone (do they still make them?) and get talking to it!!! I can see you on TV talking about your latest smash hit not to mention the film of the book. Don’t forget to send me a signed copy when you are famous (or should I say more famous).

      Thanks as always for calling in, enjoy your lemon tea. Not much point leaving the house today, it’s blowing a gale. xx

    2. Dictaphone! Yes! Yes! More modern looking
      now..About the size of a mobile phone!
      But! No! I want to be able to strut about
      the place...waving my arms..(and legs)...
      about...! In FULL 'demonstration' of my words! :).
      (I'll sent you the box set, when complete).

      I feel a bit better about Echo..(his name)....the
      Bottomless Hippo. HeHe! He can't swim, just splash!
      splash! splash! sinks! sinks! sinks! to the bottom!
      bottom! bottom! Hoping some of his friends can help
      him on his way! Bless!x

    3. Ah Ha! Now you get it Willie. Echo can't swim so he keeps sinking, sinking, sinking! I would love to follow you around for some great ideas, I have a feeling you'd wear me out though! LOL Thanks for checking in!

  2. I'm looking forward to that box set Willie - don't take too long now.

    As far as Lilly and Zoe are concerned bottom is a rude word, and they just love rude words, so I know they will love Echo the Hippo.

  3. What a lovely post. I wrote some (unpublished) stories many years ago ... perhaps I should have another go! ;)

    1. Vintage Jane,
      You should definitely give it a go! It's so much fun.

  4. Barbara,

    Thanks so much for having me on your blog! I really got a kick out of Willie's comments. What a character. Hmmmm, he should be in books!

    1. It was my absolute pleasure Allyn, thank you! I’m sure a book with Willie at the centre would be an instant hit – perhaps you should write it??

  5. Oh my goodness, what a gorgeous selection.

    Such wonderful titles and fun covers. Exactly the sort of thing that would make me pick these books up for a closer look.

    Great post, thank you.

  6. Cute books, best of luck to Allyn!

  7. Hi Barbara and Allyn,

    What a charming post. A fifth book and the first sent for publication. Well, what was a well-kept secret is now out there. Which means, hearty congrats from me, the pawblishing dog named, Penny and a variety of wee folks who live with me. I shall take the liberty of sharing this wonderful post. I love the book titles.

    Penny's pretend human,

    Gary :)

    1. That's sweet of you. I appreciate you sharing! Thanks

    2. Thanks for your visit Gary.

  8. Good morning my friend! I am terribly late; I had computer problems that I don't think are going away too soon....but I wanted to stop by to see what magic you had for us, and I am smiling from ear to ear. HIPPO BOTTOMLESS.....hahahahahaha I love a play on words! Oh, if only the world could grow up and realize that fun and happiness and childlike wonder is necessary!

    1. Hello Anita, so sorry to hear about your computer problems – I hope they get sorted much sooner than you think.
      I was reminded of that childlike wonder when Zoe and Lilly were staying with us, it was such a joy!
      Have a happy day dear friend and thank you for calling in. Barbara. x

    2. It is NEVER fun to have computer problems. Technology is so wonderful when it works right but when it doesn't....grrrrrr!
      I'm glad you like the title of my book Hippo Bottomless. I actually started that story from the title. I had it in my head for a long time and finally came up with a story for it!

  9. Dear Barbara and Allyn,

    Thank you for sharing the great post and all the wonderful selection of books. The books look like they are fun and I am sure every little child would be happy to read them.
    Happy weekend and thanks for the kind visit to my blog

    1. Happy weekend to you too and thanks for stopping by.

    2. Thanks Carolyn, I always enjoy visiting your blog.

  10. Nice to see Allyn's books and writing journey featured here. Having peanut butter in a book title is certainly tantalizing. (Who could resist, right?) Congratulations on all the books, Allyn!

    Lovely guest feature, dear Barbara. Have a fabulous weekend! xoxo

    1. Thank you Claudine!
      We had a busy but enjoyable weekend, hope you did too. xx

    2. Thanks so much, Claudine! Nice to see you on this blog.

  11. Another lovely post and Allyn's book titles are wonderful and sound so funny. Any child will be drawn to them.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thank you Shashi, we enjoyed the weekend hope you did too. xx

  12. I have one of Allyn's books on my shelf! It is Kailee Finds Magic IN words. So glad to learn more about Allyn here. Her books certainly have fun titles and I loved hearing about her writing journal. How cool that she was inspired by her brother's description of a video game and then she ended up inspiring more family members! What a chain reaction. :) Wishing Allyn all the best!

    1. How lovely Stephanie I don’t have any of Allyn’s books yet, but I am intending to invest in a couple to send to my granddaughters in Australia (after I’ve read them of course!)

    2. Thanks, Stephanie! Glad you liked Kailee Finds Magic IN Words. Such a fun story to write!

  13. My niece is writing children's books so I gave her this link to read this post.

    Congratulations to Allyn. Sounds like great stories to keep children hooked in.


I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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