Today my guest is Mark J. Grant, author of the delightful children’s book, Lila: The Sign of the Elven Queen. So who hasn’t had a dog as an invisible friend as a child? Oh come on now, you know you have or at least someone or some thing? This is the premise of this enchanting children’s book. It is a pleasure to have Mark with us today.
Thank you for this interview, Mark. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I have run Capital Markets and been on the Board of Directors of four investment Banks. I was also the President of a public company in the Telecom space. I started writing an economic commentary about eleven years ago that now goes to some 5,000 financial institutions in 48 countries. It is title, “Out of the Box.” I also have another published book by Wiley & Sons, “Out of the Box and onto Wall Street.”
Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?
It is the world seen through the eyes of a six year old girl. She lives in New York and is not allowed to have a dog in her building. She persuades mama and papa to get an invisible dog and so the adventure begins.
Fluffy, her invisible dog, introduces her to the invisible people of Iceland that live in the boulders of Central Park and in the downtown cornerstones of buildings.
She is invited to “Boulder I Parliament House” for lunch with the queen and princess of the invisible people.
The invisible people discover that Lila, on her forearm, has the sign of the Elven Queen which has not been seen on a human in almost two thousand years. Just as Lila turns seven she gets to become a princess. Her coronation takes place in Central Park in “Boulder II Castlerock.”
Why did you choose your particular genre?
The book was inspired by a dinner party at my house. I had some friends over and they were complaining that there were no nice books, no fairy tales, no Alice in Wonderland’s available in the world any longer. They said every book had he who could not be named or giant spiders or monsters or vampires or skulls and crossbones. There was nothing out there to read their kids or have their older children read. This was quite a topic of conversation. I said that they had to be kidding but if that was the case then I would write such a book. It would be a lovely fantasy that would not scare any child. They all looked at me with some disbelief but I did exactly what I promised. Lila—the sign of the Elven Queen is my answer to their unhappiness.
What was your greatest challenge writing this book?
Trying to decide what to write. It was like staring at a giant table. There was a huge white tablecloth with nothing on it. Then I thought of my young friend Lila and her reaction when I told her about the invisible people of Iceland. There was now something on the table cloth and so I began.
Are you published by a traditional house, small press or are you self-published?
My publisher is Mascot Books. I had the great fortune to fine them on the internet. It was a piece of dumb blind luck that I found this publisher and then that I was able to connect with them. Naren Aryal, their CEO, could not have been nicer or more straight forward with me. He even flew down to see me and make some very good suggestions about the book. They have about 700 titles under their wings and they are one of the very few companies that will review manuscripts directly without requiring a literary agent.
Was it the right choice for you?
They have been a great choice. Wonderful people!
How are you promoting your book thus far?
The Barrett Company in Los Angeles is the book’s publicist. They are doing a great job.
How is that going for you?
Between my day job on Wall Street and my night job of writing and then working on the marketing I am incredibly busy.
Can you tell us one thing you have done that actually resulted in one or more sales?
I let my friends and colleagues on Wall Street know that I had written a children’s book. Then the sales began.
Do you have another job besides writing?
I run part of a Wall Street investment bank.
If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
Hire a publicist that knows what they are doing.
What’s next for you?
Next will be Lila number two. The second book will take off from where the first one ended. The character Lila will be a year older. No secrets given away just yet.
Thank you for this interview, Mark. Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?
The books website is princesslila.com
I can be found on the author’s page.
Purchase at AMAZON.