A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Meet Donna Earnhardt, a Debut Picture Book Author. Book Giveaway included.

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 2, 2012

A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Today, we have a chance to meet someone who likes wordplay so much that she chose it as the title of her first published picture book–Being Frank.  The title is a play on words because the main character’s name is Frank and the book is about being frank with others.   

Being Frank means–being honest without worrying if someone’s feelings might be hurt, telling it like it is, being straightforward, outspoken, or blunt. 

 Donna Earnhardt, author of Being Frank  



                                                                                                Illustrator of Being Frank:Andrea Castellani 



Check out the illustrations. 

Flashlight Press, publishing company of Being Frank

 http://www.flashlightpress.com/Being_Frank.html.  View the inside of the book too.


  Available at Amazon.com.  See address below:


Read all about it! Being Frank by Donna Earnhardt and illustrated by Andrea Castellani was released October 2012 by Flashlight Press.  Donna is one of my good writer friends.  I wanted you to meet her; so I invited her for a visit.

Please welcome Donna Earnhardt.


1.  Being Frank, your debut picture book, is now published. I’m so excited for you.  How does it feel?  Do you keep pinching yourself to see if it’s real?

I am so excited I think I’ve left footprints on the ceiling. Unfortunately, my dust bunnies don’t clean up there, either.  

2.  “A Writer’s Playground” is a great place for readers to learn about careers.  Could you share with us about your decision to become a writer and the steps you took to reach your goal?

I have been writing since I was a little girl. It wasn’t until after my first child was born that I decided to start writing and submitting my work. I learned a lot in those first few years…especially what NOT to do! Joining other writing groups and learning about the business of writing helped tremendously, too.

3.  Donna, what inspired your book Being Frank?

A mix of things inspired me. As a parent, I want to speak the truth in love – and I want my children to do the same. But we don’t always do a great job of it! I wasn’t thinking specifically about that fact when the first line of the book came into my brain – and it didn’t really hit me that the book was about that until AFTER I’d written it. Also, my dad’s first name was Frank. So it’s a cool tribute to his memory!

4.  “A Writer’s Playground” encourages good character traits on and off the playground. Would you speak about what it means to be frank?  When could being frank cause problems?

Telling the truth is a good thing – always. But delivering the message in such a way that the hearer receives it in the way it is intended is the tricky part. If your best friend has grass in her hair and asks if she looks okay, you’ll want to tell her she has grass in her hair. But if she has on a shirt that she loves… but happens to be your least favorite color… you don’t need to point that out. If she asks, “How does this green shirt look on me?”, you need to listen to what she is really asking. She’s not asking if YOU like the color. She’s asking if you think she looks nice. You can think she looks nice without loving the color. Find the positive and go with it! If, however, she asks if you like the color, be truthful… but kind. You could answer, “You know that purple is my favorite color, but that green looks really nice on you.”

Again – it’s the truth. You just have to figure out how to share it without hurting others.

 5.  Donna, would Frank, your book’s main character, have any good character trait tips for readers? 

Hmmm… he would probably NOT be the best one to ask that question! But if you did ask him, he would probably tell you it’s best if you don’t tell your teacher she has bad breath. Nothing good can come from it. Just pop a mint in your mouth and then offer her one. If she asks why, respond, “I didn’t want to be rude and keep them all to myself.” You’ll be telling the truth and doing it in a nice way! 

6.  Donna, did you have a favorite playground as a child?  Do you recall learning any valuable lessons there?  What were they?

Oooh.. that’s a deep question! I played on the playground at Cordova Elementary School. But I mainly played with my sister, cousins and neighborhood friends in our backyards. I learned a lot in both places.

I think the biggest thing I learned is that you can’t force people to be your friends. And if you feel like you have to do that, then they are probably not the folks you need in your life.

7.  Could you share what you are writing at this time?

I just finished up a couple of new picture books and a new chapter book. The CB is set in the Outer Banks of NC. I hope to get out there one day! I am also working on a mystery (for adults) that I started over 10 years ago.

8.  Donna, is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers here?

Thanks to all who have read this interview, bought my book already or intend to!  This is a dream come true and I’m so very thankful for this whole experience. And thank you, Linda, for being such a great interviewer AND friend!

Let’s all thank Donna Earnhardt for visiting “A Writer’s Playground” today.  And now for a special GIVEAWAY announcement. 

Please leave a comment and your email address below to be entered in a drawing for a signed copy of Being Frank.  The contest is open to anyone in the USA and ends at midnight EST on Friday, October 5, 2012.  The winner will be announced on Monday, October 8, 2012.

Don’t forget to shop for a copy of  Being Frank at the websites above or at a local store near you.

Thank you Donna Earnhardt for the interview and for making this giveaway possible.

Copyright © 2012 Linda Martin Andersen

16 Responses to “Meet Donna Earnhardt, a Debut Picture Book Author. Book Giveaway included.”

  1. Joan Y. Edwards said

    Dear Linda and Donna,
    Great interview! I enjoyed learning the story behind the story. Donna, it is neat that you were able to pay tribute to your father with the character named Frank.
    Good luck with your book. Enjoy your time in the spotlight! You deserve it.
    Linda, thanks for having activities and interviews to spark the creativity of your readers and for the giveaway.
    I hope both of you have fun experiences today!
    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards

  2. Lisa Fowler said

    Thank you for this insightful interview with such a nice lady. “Being Frank” couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. Congratulations Donna. Enjoy the ride!

    • Lisa,
      Thanks so much for stopping by to celebrate with Donna. I know she appreciates sharing with those who know her well and many more who will come to love her too. She definitely deserves to enjoy the ride.

  3. Joan,
    Isn’t this a great book? It is fun getting to know the story behind the story. I’m so glad Donna shared it with us. Thanks for being happy for her and for complimenting me too. You’re a great support to everyone you meet. Thank you!

  4. Your book sounds like a winner, Donna. I’ll be sure to get a copy to send to my great-grandson–he being the forthright boy that he is. And Linda, you do such a good job keeping your blog current. You’re an inspiration to me. I’m going to update my blog today. Sarah

    • Sarah,
      Donna’s book is fantastic! I recommend it to anyone with young children. Thanks for the compliment about me keeping my blog current. I’m trying! I’ll enter your name in the drawing. Good luck!

  5. You don’t have to enter me, since I already bought 2 books. But glad to see that Donna is making the round of the blogs!!

    • Carol,
      Isn’t it cool that so many people want to invite Donna to be on their blog? Wishing her the very best! I bought a copy of her book for myself and one as a gift too. Nice of you to allow someone else a chance at the giveaway. You’re very generous like that.

  6. June said

    Dear Linda and Donna,
    Thank you for a great interview, I really enjoyed it. Children will love “Being Frank”. So will we grown-ups. I wish you much success.


    • June,
      Donna’s book is delightful. I hope you’ll take a look at the publisher’s site and read from it. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Thanks for the compliment too. I will enter your name in the drawing.

  7. lauraboffa said

    Great interview! I especially love the question about playground lessons learned. Thanks, Linda and Donna, for sharing with us.

    I sure hope I win a copy – Being Frank is such a clever and endearing book. And my father’s name is Frank, too!

    Laura Boffa

    • Laura,
      Thanks for the compliment about the interview. Donna had some fantastic answers, didn’t she? Not a surprise considering her way of handling being frank in her picture book and in real life. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I’ll enter your name in the drawing. Please come again soon and bring a friend.

  8. kamikinard said

    I’m entering all over the place to try to get my hands on this cute book! It was sold out at the conference, as many of you know. It is great to see Donna celebrating something she worked so hard for. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer, or more clever person! Love the title Donna. Thanks for hosting her Linda!

    • Kami,
      Perhaps this will be your lucky spot for winning a copy. We’ll know soon. Donna’s book is adorable, isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by to register. I was able to buy copies of Donna’s book before they sold out at the conference. I am also pleased to have purchased a copy of your book, The Boy Project. Girls must be screaming for it!

  9. Sonya Register said

    Please put my name in for a free copy. I would love to have a copy for the Media center at Eastover-Central Elementary School.

    • Sonya,
      Thanks so much for registering for the giveaway. Donna’s book is so much fun! I hope you’ll get to read a copy very soon. Stop back at “A Writer’s Playground” any time and please bring a friend.

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