Wednesday, November 16, 2011
PROFILE: Sam E. Bromley, author
Sam, can you tell us when you first realized that writing was something you want to do?
While sitting in the desert of Iraq, after the death of a friend, I became very homesick and wanted to return home to be with Family. I had been reading Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life and read the part about isolating the events of your past that you enjoyed doing the most. I began reminiscing about the times I told my two sons stories before bedtime and my Special Education student's favorite time of Story Telling. It was then I realized I loved to tell stories and cried out to God in prayer.
When did the idea for HUNKA CHUNKA MONKEY SHAPES UP first come about?
That night, with pen and paper, God gave me 'something out of nothing' and I wrote Hunka Chunka Monkey Shapes Up in the next hour and a half. That evening, while reminiscing about story telling to my two sons I remembered the nickname I gave my youngest son when he was two years old: One night I called him a silly little monkey and he thought I was calling him a name, so he became angry and called me a donkey. Over a period of time, many evenings of story telling, the nicknames of monkey became Hunka Chunka Monkey and the donkey became Runka Dunka Donkey.
The book is entertaining but has a powerful message about exercise, friendship and healthy lifestyle changes. Did you know from the very beginning that you want to address all of these?
These two characters were just nicknames until that hot evening in the desert in Al Asad Air Force Base in July 2009. I truly believe all inspiration comes from God and that evening, the words flowed onto the paper.
What has it been like for you to market and promote the book?
It has been a very long process. I could only communicate through e-mails while in Iraq. I spent months inquiring and researching to get my story published. I got all kinds of advice but never any clear direction. 'Join a website......learn to blog......get your story out there and maybe someone might help you....etc....etc! Finally in May 2010 I decided to self-publish. I found my Illustrator Kid Cardona through the internet and to this day, we have never met or spoken. All my illustrations were done over a five month period with our only communication being the internet. I would describe a scene to him in an e-mail and he would return a sketch days later for my approval. This seemed to go on forever. Kid is currently in China working for three animation studios. He is the Official Caricature Artist of Texas. Imagine, if you will, I am in the middle of the desert of Iraq communicating with my Illustrator in China and trying to get self-published with Mill City Press in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It took, what seemed, forever to accomplish!
Is there a message that you hope readers will most take away from Hunka Chunka?
The central theme children 'will' take away from Hunka Chunka Monkey Shapes Up is to 'cut back on their favorite snack, become active and make new friends'. This message is done in a very entertaining way without being preachy. What is unique about my story is, children will not only learn this valuable lesson about cutting back on their favorite snack, but they will learn...in their very souls....a FOUNDATION about moderation in all they do. CUTTING BACK ON WHATEVER IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU.....BECOMING ACTIVE IN WHAT IS IMPORTANT....AND ESTABLISHING RELATIONSHIPS....whether it be with new Friends or with God Himself!
Sam, what's next for you?
I have 23 more stories ahead of me. Bully The Badger is my next book and it deals with the second most important issue the children of America face....Bullying! Each story will be about a very basic 'Life Skill' children must possess to cope in the world around them. There will be Lofty Lucky the Giraffe who is heads above the rest and he knows it. Lofty is dealing with arrogance. Then there is Chatty Gatty the Gator who cannot keep her mouth closed and if you get too close, her words bite. Chatty has a problem with gossiping! And many, many more fun loving animals, each with their own unique character flaw that Hunka Chunka and Runka Dunka will assist them in overcoming!
Any advice you have for aspiring writers?
Never give up! If you can be inspired to write a story, then you MUST follow through with getting it out to be read by others. If not, what good was the INSPIRATION to write it in the first place?
Thank you for your time. How can our readers stay in contact with you?
You can check out my Hunka Chunka Monkey Shapes Up website at: www.hunkamonkey.com. Or go to a Barnes & Noble and demand it. Sincere Thanks to you Cyrus Webb for this opportunity to share my story with others.