Contribute to the FAQ Section of the How to Write a Children’s Book Book

The How to Write a Children’s Book book is coming along quite well. I want to add an FAQ section to the back, and I would love your help especially if you’ve taken the How to Write a Children’s Book course either on Skillshare or Udemy.

There are two ways you can submit a question for the FAQ section.

The first way is to comment below with a question.

The second way is to use the SUBMIT Q highlight on my Instagram page as pictured below.

I will do my best to answer every children’s book related question I can.

Thank you in advance!

I Shot a Gun Today

I am 38-years old. I grew up in the middle-of-nowhere Tennessee, and, today, I shot a gun for the first time. Not only did I shoot it, but I hit the target. A tiny target.

I believe this means I can retire as a successful gunslinger.

For those of you who are interested in this kind of thing, the gun was a Bersa Thunder 380 which sounds like a comic book character and a stripper name all at once.

I can’t say I liked the experience. I can’t say I disliked it either.

I’m a ground fighter by training. I did jiu jitsu for a number of years, and I prefer my violence to be unimpeded by implements.

I did, however, find that I wanted to shoot again and again, because I knew I could do better. I knew I could get better at hitting the tiny targets.

But, again, it was never fun for me. It was uncomfortable and stressful.

This will not be my new hobby, but I will do what I can to keep this skill fresh just as I do arm bars, wrist locks, and chokes.


This might be the most violent blog post I’ve ever written, and, on the heels of the children’s book writing posts that I’ve added over the last two days, this might be jarring for you. But let this be a permission slip for you –

You can be more than one thing. You can be a children’s book author and a UFC fan and whatever the hell else you want to be. You’re a person. People have layers.

Me. I said it.

Happy Hunting.

Side note – my ‘happy hunting’ statement is always meant to the imply the hunt for the self and great knowledge.

The “How to Write a Children’s Book in 7 Days or Less” Book is Coming Soon

Yesterday, I posted an excerpt from the How to Write a Children’s Book in 7 Days or Less book. If you missed that, click the picture of my dog eating whipped cream:

Why This Book Now

I figure most of us are on week three or 50 of self-isolation, and there’s only so many workout videos and video games we can play (said no one ever).

We need fun things to do, people! Fun things that are cost effective and not as demanding on our time as, say, remodeling your home or building a Lego Death Star (It’s over 4,000 pieces).

In a couple of weeks, this book will be live and .99 cents. It will have zero potty words and easy-to-follow instructions on how to write a children’s book.

It will also include some information on finding or being your own illustrator and self-publishing (specifically on Amazon).

And, When Is This Book Coming?

The publication date will announced before this month ends.

The book can be used with the course or alone. You choose.

If you are interested in updates about this book and others, please follow this blog if you are WordPress user and/or join the mailing list whether you are a WordPress user or not. Click here to do that or you can click the bones to the right.

How To Write a Children’s Book in 7 Days or Less – THE BOOK

Here’s a little preview of the opening of the forthcoming How to Write a Children’s Book in 7 Days or Less book!


Hey, there!  Welcome to the How to Write a Children’s Story in Seven Days or Less extravaganza!  

I have been told on more than one occasion to not tell you this process will take seven days or less, because it sets unrealistic expectations.  Allow me to clarify:

If you schedule time to write and work on your story daily for the next seven days, you will have a finished story by the end of this experiment of ours.  If you miss a day, you will be a day behind, because that is how time works.

Like many things in life, you get out of it what you put into it.  

Also, please note that I keep saying “write” and “writing”.  While I will provide you with some technical tips and professional recommendations for having your book illustrated and publishing your book, the seven days or less part of this whole thing is the writing bit.  

If you do not have words on the page, you do not have a book.  Do the writing part first.  It is the piece of the puzzle over which you have the most control, so do that part first, fast, and now!

End of disclaimer.

A LITTLE ABOUT ME

I’m Barbara Burgess.  I am a multi genre author with a variety of author voices.  My children’s books are written under author voice Barbara Ann Burgess.  You can find those books and others at https://www.hellothisisbarbara.com/books

I’ve written and published four children’s books, but I have many more written and awaiting illustration.  As I write this, I have twenty-four in fact.  In this book, I will layout the system I used to write these books quickly and efficiently.

I know that words like “system” and “efficiently” sound like I am setting out to squelch your creativity, but I promise you I am seeking to do the opposite.  There is a lot of freedom in structure.  Also, time limits and deadlines, dear friends, are your friends!

If you are still into it, let me tell you more about this book and how to use it.

THIS BOOK AND HOW TO USE IT

This book is laid out in the order in which I intended it to be used.  Please, stay on the garden path, dear friends.

Because I would like to you experience the magic of finishing a children’s book in seven days, I have named each step of the process Day and corresponding number of said day.

I understand for some of you this will be too much pressure.  To those of you who feel that way, please feel free to imagine the word ‘day’ as ‘week’ and start the project.  Thinking about the project is not starting the project.  

I will outline in each section what your tasks are, and then I will give you an example of how to do it.  

In the simplest terms, you will need to read the section, read the example, and then do the section yourself.  It’s like grade school, but more fun.

Okay.  If you’re ready, I’m ready.  Let’s start with Day One – Brainstorming.


I do hope you enjoyed that little preview. If you would like to know when and where you can get this book, I recommend joining the newsletter. You can do that by click on the bones to the right or by clicking here.

Once again, Udemy is having a sale, and this particular sale includes my two courses! You can click here to learn more about those courses.

I Do Not Do My Best Writing At Night, But…

I missed my blog post yesterday, and I missed my run this morning. As penance, I will write using the Writing Challenge app to experiment with free writing publicly.

Prompts used are as follows:

  • begins with the sentence He never lost hope.
  • add a character who is too curious
  • add a character who was famous when she was young.

He never lost hope. He knew that if applied himself he could do it. He could change the tire.

“You need a hand, mister?” A young woman’s voice came from approximately five feet and some inches above him.

“No, I’m fine. I’m applying myself.”

“Looks like you’re trying to change a tire.”

“Not trying. Doing.” I banged a long metal object against some other metal part of my car.

“You might want to get out from under there.”

“Yeah? Why’s that?”

“Well, there’s nothing under there that has to do with changing a tire, your hazards aren’t on, and did you know you have to engage your parking break when you change a tire?”

I considered the anonymous voice, and determined she was perfectly logical. I squirmed out from under the car and dusted myself off.

“Thanks, -“

“Madaline. You can call me Maddie.”

She offered me her hand, but I was too occupied to reach out and shake it.

“You look familiar. Do we know each other?”

She put her hands on her hips, took a deep breath and just pushed me aside to take a look at the tire.

“Set the break, would ya?”

“Oh, right. Yes. Done.”

“Now that is secure, we need to remove the nuts. Sometimes, you have to jump up and down on the cross wrench.” She stood on the edge of the steel arm and bounced a little.

“I’m sure we know each other. Do I look familiar to you? I’m David. Dowty. Ring any bells?”

“No, David Dowty.” The nut came free, and she went to work on the next.

“Sarah, is it?”

“Still Madaline, David Dowty. But, yeah. You might know me as Sarah.”

“From Space Walkers 5000?” The catch in my throat was audible.

“Your ship appears to be malfunctioning. Lucky for you, I’m the fleets top mechanic.” She looked exactly the same only she was wearing cut off jeans and a tank instead of her space mechanics jumpsuit.


And, that, dear friends, is where I’m going to end this little writing in public experiment as I am so very, very sleepy.

Until tomorrow, friends.

The Grocery Store Made Things Less Than Clear

Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about COVID-19 directly, and I am standing firm on that for right now. That might change as things in our communities change, but for the time being, I will be casually reporting from time to time on things that are COVID-19 adjacent – like my trip to the grocery store yesterday.


We ran out of bread. This would be easily remedied by a trip to the grocery store under other circumstances, but right now, it’s a pipe dream. But I, dear reader, am a dreamer and a doer. So, I went to the grocery store.

As I walked toward the store, a teenager wearing the store apron, a mask, and gloves was sanitizing the handle on the grocery carts. I stopped and asked myself how many plagues we avoided by sheer luck since this practice appeared to be new. I took the cart closest to me.

I had a list on my phone –

Pause if you have an Alexa device or an Echo device and you aren’t using the Shopping List function, you are missing out on its most valuable feature.

Me. Carry on reading now.

I had a list on my phone which included a few miscellaneous items, bread, and dog food. I had no reason to walk through the produce section, but I did. Why? Because it was stocked to the brim. Completely full of colorful, fresh fruits and vegetables. From the looks of the produce section, the grocery stores were getting back into a normal stocking routine.

I was inches away from blowing my entire grocery budget on all of this readily available food, but I stopped myself and remembered that I can only eat so much. I grabbed some Cara Cara oranges and recommitted to my list.

When I rounded the corner and headed toward the bread section, it too was mostly stocked, but this is where things started to feel like an episode of the Twilight Zone.

A man, I think, dressed in a hazmat suit complete with mask stood in the bread aisle squeezing loaves. A woman across the aisle leaned against the hot dog buns to get at least six feet away from me and Mr. Hazmat. She had the hood of her hoodie tied tightly around her face, plastic gloves, and no mask.

Note here: The coronavirus cannot get in through your ears or skin unless there is new information of which I am not aware.

The canned foods aisle was Mad Max territory. It was bad. No black beans in site. Repeat – No. Black. Beans.

As I went through the self-checkout, I saw an old woman with a dish towel tied to her face, a really fit couple wearing zero protective layers, and a woman around my age leaning into her cart to push it.

This is why it is confusing. It looks like the grocery store stocking system is stabilizing, but it’s hard to ignore the we-are-inches-away-from-Soylent-Green looks on people’s faces when out in public especially in grocery stores.

The new could be sanitized handles on shopping cart, people keeping a safe distance from each other in public places (aka not shoving each other out of the way), and sometimes not getting everything you want and need.

Part of that doesn’t seem too bad.

What I Read – March 2020 Edition

I’ll be honest – I read one book.

Song of a Wingfin is the first book by author Annette Williams McCann. Annette is a singer, songwriter, and now author. She is also a friend of mine. I’m basically pre name-dropping.

In this book, we follow a young girl named Noreen who finds herself in the midst of an adventure after making a black thorn pact with a…wait for it…fairy mermaid which is called a wingfin!

This book packed full of magical characters with the most interesting personalities. This book was a joy to read, and I feel very honored and lucky to have had the opportunity to read it early.

You can read more about Song of a Wingfin on Goodreads.

If you do read the book, please be sure to leave a review as it helps other readers find the book. Thanks in advance.