Child Labour – digging it out to write for kids

I am pleased to have as today’s Wednesday’s Guest, author Emma Calin, who has written some delightful children’s books that I reviewed last Sunday. In visiting her website, I discovered that she has also written books for adults. She lives part of the time in the UK and the rest in France, thus her unusual spelling of color and labor. (smile) At first I thought perhaps some English tea would be her beverage of choice, but after reading her profile and a snippet of one of her adult books, I decided a nice Phillippe Kubler Pinot Gris “K” from France might be in order. Then I found this cool image promoting French wines, and it seemed to fit Emma’s sense of fun.

After you finish here, I hope you can hop over to The Book Cove where I’m a guest sharing the fun of collaborating. Enjoy…


Hi, Emma here. First I want to thank Maryann for having me as her guest, and for the fine glass of wine. I thought I’d tell you a little about how I came to write my Once Upon a Now series.

One of the ways I dream up a story is to take just anything and work backwards. This is how scientists figured out that birds are the descendants of the dinosaurs. So, at a local bus depot there’s an adorable oily mutt who wandered in as a stray. Now just suppose that he was a time travelling handsome prince from the ancient realm of Zanubia.

All my stories need a love interest so he’s a prince with a girl. So- what do I know about writing for kids? Well, I know that the first thing my own kids wanted from me was not to be treated like a child. Okay – that’s easy then because that’s the last thing they do in fairy tales. Those old stories are scary with homicidal wolves, poison apples, wicked witches and all manner of nasty giants. There’s ambition, greed and jealousy. All in all they are very much like one of my adult stories.

In Alf The Workshop Dog my goal was to write a traditional fable style story with a modern twist. I suppose I’m showing my age by trying to impart a “good” message to children. In these days of moral relativism and political correctness, one hesitates to depict anyone in a bad light. Tyrants and war mongers have their own inner demons. I’ve left Shakespeare to deal with the inner angst of kings and drawn my simple villain as just plain bad. You never know, some kids reading a book now may have to decide a straightforward “yes” or “no” one day as an adult.

Alf will be barking his agreement. He sees life from the floor up and takes his simple wisdom back home to save his people.

Don’t you kinda wish it could all be that way?


emma calinAuthor Bio:

Emma Calin was born in London in 1962. She currently lives part of the year in the UK and spends the rest in France. She has been writing since childhood and has won numerous local, national, and international prizes for poetry and short stories.

Emma enjoys writing stories firmly rooted in social realism. She blogs about the contrasts in life on both sides of the English Channel, which she likes to explore on her tandem whenever weather and fitness coincide. She is a Lifestyle Contributor on Loveahappyending Lifestyle.

She defines herself as woman eternally pedalling between Peckham and Pigalle, in search of passion and enduring romance.

Author Links:

 Amazon USA | Amazon UK | Blog |Website | Facebook | @Emma Calin  | Pinterest | Goodreads

Listen to Audio Excerpts:

OUAN 3 audiobooks small

Alf The Workshop Dog

Isabella’s Pink Bicycle

Kool Kid Kruncha and The High Trapeze


Enter to win one of the following:

1 set of 3 audio books Once Upon a NOW Series
1 set of 3 paperbacks Once Upon a NOW Series
1 set of 3 Kindle books Once Upon a NOW Series

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4 thoughts on “Child Labour – digging it out to write for kids”

  1. Merci Maryann! It’s an honour to be allowed to talk about my books on your blog – so thank you for the opportunity.

    As for my favourite tipple – well I am a bit of a ‘tea bag’ – Yorkshire Gold – dark, strong and with milk. I get through several large mugfuls a day and never travel without emergency rations in my handbag.

    My home in France is in the Cognac region – and whilst I love a ‘digestif’ it’s pretty fiery stuff and not so thirst quenching. There is a local speciality – a drink called ‘Pineaux des Charentes” which, the story goes, came about by accident when local monks used some old brandy barrels for fermenting wine and didn’t realise there was still some of the strong stuff inside. The result? Well, it’s a slightly fortified wine similar to a sherry or port (so quite sweet) but with a brandy flavour. They now use most of the grapes in our region to make Pineaux. This is immensely fortuitous for the ‘viticulteurs’, as the wine from these grapes is rather sour and unpopular! I think they were invented the new drink and used my technique to work the tale backwards to give a more romantic (and marketable) back story. It worked for them!

    Thank you again for letting me visit and share my books.

    Emma x

    1. You are so welcome, Emma. It has been fun getting to know you via your blog tour and guest appearances. And thank so much for the neat story about the Pineaux des Charentes. You gotta watch those monks. LOL

  2. Nice to meet you, Emma. (waves to Maryann) I like your thoughts on giving kids a clear black and white look at heroes and villains. Sometimes it is a matter of right or wrong, good or bad, and kids have to know how to choose.

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