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November 14, 2022

In Nichols’s dual-story children’s book Savanna Town & Rhonda’s Cat Collection, readers experience the fictional jungle Savanna Town, which is filled with animals, and the real-life world of Rhonda and her life lessons.

Which do you think helped most when writing this book, your educational background or your performance background?

Through my background in education, I understand the developmental learning curve, which is vital to the construct of the book. It allows the book to support a poor reader in becoming a proficient reader over time. The sentence structure fundamentals allow for a more natural understanding of English sentences, when read aloud to children. The absence of conjunctions enables children to understand full word use, which is vital in early childhood. Reading comprehension is vital to communicating with others and can play a role in one’s success in life. My performance background, on the other hand, allows the book to be a fun learning experience. Just like a song, the flow of language in a play or video has meanings beyond the actual words. You build up the story and reveal elements as the story unfolds. I would have to say that both are important, but, in this book, I drew on my educational background as a solid foundation and my performance background to make it exciting and fun.

Why did you decide to include two books in one?

I liked both types of story line: the fictional “Savanna Town” and the nonfictional “Rhonda’s Cat.” The fictional story line allows for creativity and a naive sense of a near-perfect world. The nonfictional story line allows children and adults to investigate real-world scenarios and understand there are choices, actions, and accountabilities that inform all outcomes. 

What is the one thing you most want to tell your readers? 

Be yourself. Being you is the most important thing in life. Feel free to self-express and, most importantly, embrace the fact that self-education is relatively free. Americans underutilize the great public library system that we have. In other countries, you must pay to read book collections, and the types of books and their messages are restricted. Libraries are the safest place to go for people of all ages. You select a book, sit down, and get immersed in its pages. You temporally escape to a world of no limits on the imagination.

What do you think authors need to keep in mind when writing for children?

Understand your audience. A country music band cannot expect a sold-out show in an area where Hungarian folk music is the general form of entertainment. Your material does not have to educate or enable. It can merely entertain your readers. In this book, I educate, enable, and entertain.

Can readers expect more books from you?

Yes, I expect to write more adventures about the “Savanna Town” characters and “Rhonda’s Cat.” I look forward to elaborating on the characters and sharing them with readers. I also plan to publish two more works of fiction of various forms for teens and adults this year, including Radioactive Reindeer: Apocalyptic Grind, which is the first in a series, and Serendipity: How I Redeemed My Life. I want to utilize my inane sense of humor and snarky attitude.