Guest Author – Deb Hockenberry!

Deb Hockenberry

Please help me welcome author Deb Hockenberry to Jemsbooks Blog.

So nice to have you here today to share your new book with my readers and me.

Please tell us something about yourself.
When did you know that you wanted to be an author?

I’ve known that I’ve wanted to be an author since I was in elementary school. I remember telling stories to my siblings and the neighbor kids on my family’s front porch back then. I also remember being at our local branch of the Carnegie Library asking the librarian about books that could tell me how to get started in writing. I was still in elementary school and very nervous about asking her this. But it paid off. She took me into the adult section of the library and pulled several books on writing off the shelf for me. I was still in elementary school here, too. Back then, kids just didn’t go into the adult section for anything. I felt so special!

What process do you need in order to write?
My writing process varies. After I come up with the idea, sometimes, after I get an idea, I can see the whole story in my head. Sometimes on seeing the story, I can write by the seat of my pants. At
other times, what I’ll see are just fragments of the story. Then I’ll outline the story to flesh it out. For non-fiction or historical fiction, I’ll spend a lot of time at my library and on the internet researching. I love to research things!

How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
Ideas are everywhere. I’ll get an idea just from thinking, watching something on TV and thinking “what if”, watching people, animals, birds … anything.

What projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a historical fiction for young adults about the War of 1812. I have a story about Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis that I have to correct and tweak so it’s fit for publication. Of course, there are more Hungle Bungle Jungle stories to come.
What do you expect to accomplish in 2017 and next year?
This will be a short answer. The rest of this year will be spent marketing for this picture book. I’m also going to finish my War of 1812 book so it’s ready for publication next year.

What hobbies do you have when you are not writing?
My hobbies vary. I love to talk. I’m a great talker! Most wouldn’t call that a hobby. I love to sit on the back porch and watch the birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and people. I love music, reading other people’s books, and movies. My traditional hobbies would be knitting and crochet. I love to create things.

What is your target audience for your book?
This varies. ‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ and sequential Hungle Bungle Jungle books, I aim at ages 4 to 8. My book about the War of 1812 will be aimed at young adults. The story about Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis is aimed at middle grade readers.

Please share your books with us and a synopsis of each.
Where Can We Have The Party?’ Is my debut book and the synopsis is very simple: Giraffe is playing with three of his friends when hethinks of having a party for his other friend, Chimpanzee. But wherecan he have the party? He asks his friends he’s playing with for ideas.For one reason or another, none of their ideas will work. After much thinking and looking around Hungle Bungle Jungle he finds the
perfect place and they have a great party!

Please share your links and where to purchase your books.
If anyone would like to order ‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ thanks!It would make a great Easter or birthday gift for your
little giraffes! You can buy it at two places right now (hopefully more places in the future):
Barnes & Noble 

By the way, if any of your readers are in other countries, ‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ can be found all of the stores by searching for Where Can We Have The Party + Deb Hockenberry.

What advice would you give prospective authors?
I have three pieces of advice to give. #1 This is going to sound so cliché but it’s true: Never give up. #2 Also, get into a critique group. It might take two or three times to find the group that’s the perfect fit, but believe me, it’s worth it. My critique group is invaluable to me! #3 Also, join writer’s groups, go to children’s writer’s conferences, to keep up with the ever changing market. I belong to several Facebook children’s writer’s groups. You can also find several on Linked In. I belong to the online children’s ongoing workshop, CBI Clubhouse
Is there anything else you would like to share, a funny story, etc.?
I don’t have a funny story but I thought that I’d tell your readers that I first started working on this story when I was in elementary school! It’s gone through many, many transformations and two titles. I remember the original premise: King Lion is having a birthday party and the cruel monkeys (armed with guns and knives) kidnap him. King Lion had his own security team who sets out finding clues as to where he is. This isn’t a good story for children but the idea wouldn’t let me go at all. So, I kept changing it to make it more ‘kid friendly’.
Also, I’d like to include my links. I did put the buy links for ‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ above but I thought I’d give you my own links.

Twitter: @debhockenberry
Facebook Page:
Facebook Author Page:
Google +:

Thank you, Janice, for having me on your blog.

Here is my review of Deb’s book as posted on Amazon:

5 Stars –  A Fun and Entertaing Book for Kids!

Where Can We Have the Party is a fun and entertaining book for kids. Early readers will enjoy reading this easy reader while younger children will be delighted to hear the story read to them. The colorful and creative illustrations will keep children engaged and turning pages as they anticipate the next part of the story.

Children love animals and will be enchanted as they read how the animals plan a surprise party for Chimpanzee. It will be a learning experience as children watch they animals solve the problems they encounter in planning where to have the party. I highly recommend this adorable book.
I was gifted a copy of this book and I chose to review it.

It was my pleasure, Deb. I wish you all the best with your book and future endeavors.

Remember: Reading Gives You Wings to Fly!

Please read to your children every day! Help them grow their reading wings so they can soar!

Thank you all for stopping by to read about this creative author. Please check out Deb’s adorable book.

Blessings & hugs,


About jjspina

Janice is an multi-award-winning author with 39 books: 19 children's books for PS-Gr 4, 12 middle-grade/preteen, two young adult books, written under Janice Spina, and 5 novels, and a short story collection written under J.E. Spina. She is also a writer of poetry, blogger, avid reader, reviewer and a copy editor. Janice has always loved writing and started very young writing poetry, then stories. Her books have received 31 Book Awards and a few finalists awards. All Janice's books are available on, Kindle, B&N and other online book sites. One of her sports' poems was published in The Lawrence Eagle Tribune in October of 2008. She is currently working on book 2 of a YA fantasy series. There will be six books in all in this series. She hopes to work on a series of four books in a crime/mystery genre that will be offsprings of her thriller, Hunting Mariah. There are books in the works about an angel and another about a dog for ages 17+. Her hobbies are crocheting, walking to keep fit, hula hooping, tap dancing, going to the movies with her husband, and spending time with her five grandchildren. Janice loves to hear from readers and appreciates reviews. Sign up on her blog for a copy of her newsletters under Contact Me. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband who is her illustrator and cover creator.
This entry was posted in animal stories, author, Author Interviews, book reviews, children's books, Guest Posts, new book, Reading, Writing, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Guest Author – Deb Hockenberry!

  1. Very nice interview Deb and Janice. Deb’s book is adorable. I’m sure it will be a big success.

  2. Lovely to meet Deb and have put in the Blogger this evening. hugs xx

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily 30th March 2017 – Dutch Rogue Cove, Wayward Wheeler, Janice Spina and John W. Howell | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  4. dgkaye says:

    What a clever book! It’s lovely to see to children’s authors interviewing and interviewed in one place. ❤

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.