Day 9: Diversity? Gender?

In a world where bullying has gone online and children and youth, who act or look different, are more likely to get bullied, is it any wonder that gender identity issues cause those individuals to be at a higher risk. It is concerning and the statistics prove it. . .

Read my full Guest Blog Article on

It is synchronicity, since her other Guest Blogger this week wrote “Made by Raffi,” available at: by Craig Pomranz (Author), Margaret Chamberlain (Illustrator) This story is for children K-4 that are a bit different and don’t fall into stereotypical gender roles, as well.

MadebyRaffiDescription of Made by Raffi:

Raffi is a shy boy who doesn’t like noisy games and is often teased at school. But when he gets the idea of making a scarf for his dad’s birthday, he is full of enthusiasm even though the other children think it is girly to knit. Then the day draws near for the school pageant, and there is one big problem: no costume for the prince. And that’s when Raffi has his most brilliant idea of all — to make a prince’s cape. On the day of the pageant, Raffi’s cape is the star of the show.

Thank you Sally Ember for allowing me to Guest Post on your Blog. Please stay tuned to for an interview with Craig Pomranz  and Sally Ember down the line.

Embracing Diversity is what will help save the children who are “different” from being bullied and falling into the statistics of being depressed and attempting or completing suicide.

Send me an e-mail, if your group would like a speaker on this topic or on writing topics! E-mail:

Day 8: Virtual Book Tour

Today, I’m at Build a Business with Your Book and I have been honored with an award!hall-of-fame-badge-150x150 I am a Hall of Fame Virtual Book Tour Blogger!

D’vorah Lansky is the Book Marketing Wizard and the giver of this award. What did I do to deserve it? Well, I took her Virtual Book Tour Boot Camp last year, which she is just now wrapping up for this year.

I did not take part in this year’s boot camp, because I was busy with my Virtual Book Tour for “When Panda Was a Boy: a Collection of Stories on Gender Identity for K-8.” However, D’vorah asked me to participate in their celebration since I had done a VBT in both 2013 and 2014.

Thank you, D’vorah Lansky!

Day 7: How Diversity and Acceptance Can Make Our World and Families Happier

Today, I am on and also a Guest Blogger on I am being interviewed by Lucinda Curran. We will be live at 8 p.m. EDT in US  on Wed. 07/23/2014 and live in Australia on Thursday at  10 a.m. in Melbourne, Australia! We will be speaking on two different days at the same time! Cool!

My title: How Diversity and Acceptance Can Make Our World and Families Happier is not a pipe dream. It is achievable, but a lot of work has to happen to achieve this! For starters, we ALL have to choose to accept every person for who THEY are. It’s hard to imagine when on the news Israel and Palestine are in a huge conflict; and the Ukraine is fighting within its borders and has now shot down a passenger airplane. No one is happy with Ukraine at the moment. The fighting in Iraq is still going on; and Afghanistan is still not the country of peace its neighbors like Pakistan would like it to be. None of that has anything to do with being gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans (transgender, transsexual, or gender neutral), or questioning; however, what is war? Is it not hate crimes?

Sometimes it’s about one religion vs another. Other times it is about one ethnic group against another. Yet other times, it is about gender and gender identity. Let us try to begin making the world and our families a better place through accepting the people around us.

Day 6: The Journey of a Book

Today, we are visiting The Polished Paragraph, my friend, Laura Salamy, is the owner. She is an editor; a person who is very good at words, punctuation, and grammar. Because every writer needs a good editor, I decided to talk about the journey of a book.

You can read my post on

The journey for everyone is a bit different:

For me, the journey of creating When Panda Was a Boy: a Collection of Stories on Gender Identity for K-8 began first in my heart about 15 or so years ago, when I met a group of gay, lesbian, trans (transgender, transsexual, and gender neutral), and questioning (GLBTQ) youth, who had all been thrown out of their families. My heart hurt down to my soul for this beautiful, diverse group of teens, who were rejected by their mother and father, the people who should be there with you no matter what!

Once I educated myself better about all the issues, I was able to write. Read more at http://the polished

Happy Writing!

Day 5: Using Fiction to Teach a Lesson

Today, I am visiting Beth Barany’s Blog at Beth, like me, teaches people about writing. So, “Using Fiction to Teach a Lesson” was a logical topic to write for her bog.

“When Panda Was a Boy: a Collection of Stories on Gender Identity for K-8” is a book that teaches about Gender Identity, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans (transgender, transsexual, and gender neutral), and questioning (GLBTQ). The education is less about the K-8 crowd as much as it about educating parents about how to parent GLBTQ kids and be supportive as the children have questions.

It does also teach the GLBTQ children and teens that being gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans (transgender, transsexual, and gender neutral) or questioning is okay. There are few or even no stories available where GLBTQ kids can see themselves within the pages. All kids want to feel “normal.” That’s why “When Panda Was a Boy” is a “teaching” book!

To read the full article on Beth Barany’s site, follow this link:

Day 3: Writers’ Lunch Bunch

On Tuesday, July 15. I will be doing a presentation to the Writers’ Lunch Bunch on my new book, When Panda Was a Boy: a Collection of Stories on Gender Identity for K-8. Since this is a Writer’s group, I will be discussing what a Virtual Book Tour (VBT) is and how they, too, can take their books on a VBT! This will be one of my not-so-virtual stops on my VBT.

A Virtual Boot Tour is exactly what it sounds like: a virtual tour to promote my book. Basically, I’ll be visiting other people’s blogs, being interviewed on radio, internet radio, teleseminars, etc. Each place is an opportunity to get in front of people who will want to buy your book.

To find opportunities you can first peruse your friends for blogs that would make sense for you to visit…in other words, their blog will get you in front of your target audience. Sometimes, you visit blogs that might potentially have some audience, but are strategic for your business as a whole. For example, I might appear on blogs that talk about writing, which doesn’t get me in front of an exact audience to sell my book, but there may be some…and I promote my writing business just by being posted there, especially, if where you a visiting might have a larger profile than you have!

To find opportunities beyond your friends, go to Google Alerts and put i an alert for any blogs that match your keywords. For example, with my book, my key words were parents, GLBTQ, GLBTQ Issues, Parents of GLBTQ.

Suffice it to say, where ever you can  travel to, you will! Be prepared!

Prepare a Speaking Kit and a Media Kit.

A Speaking Kit will contain:

  • a 100-word bio with one or two links to your Website and Book;
  • a more full bio for informational purposes or in hopes that they will be willing to print more about you on their Website;
  • a Photo of you;
  • a Graphic of your Book Cover; and
  • a list of 8 to 10 questions you would like for them to ask.

A Media Kit will contain:

  • a bio on letterhead;
  • a Photo of you;
  • a Graphic of your Book Cover; and
  • a Press Release about you and your book.

For more information about writing and publishing, go to

Day 4: How to Market a Book

For the last three years, I have been a member of the Regional Chamber of Commerce (Attleboro – Franklin) in Massachusetts. As part of the Network Group, we get to present our business to the group. Wednesday, July 16, I will present my book, When Panda Was a Boy: a Collection of Stories on Gender for K-8. This will be one of my not-so-virtual appearances.

These are my trusted friends, advisers,  and colleagues. I presented my quilts to this group as a business challenge. Once the book is done and out…what do I do with the quilts? Their answers were interesting! But that’s not what my talk is about…

For this group of marketing-minded people, I presented How to Market a Book.

Marketing a Book like marketing any other Product needs to be marketed so you get in front of your audience – your buyers. For books, you are looking for the demographic of who is going to buy this book. My target audience is GLBTQ kids (K-8) and Parents of GLBTQ kids and teens.

The best way to reach this audience is to do a Virtual Book Tour (VBT), which means exactly that: take a tour in the virtual world. This requires some places to visit, of course. Prime real estate online is Blogs! Find the blogs that are on the keywords, visit them, get to know the blog owners ,and then ask to be a Guest Blogger.

My tour began with a Guest Blog spot on an author friend’s Blog who runs a Parenting Blog to help parents discuss some difficult issues. GLBTQ issues definitely fit into her blog.

My Day 2 was to be interviewed by Domenic Cotoia at AM 1320 or

My Day 3 was to talk about what a VBT was to my Writers’ Lunch Bunch group.

Day 4 on my VBT hasn’t happened at the point when I am writing this blog…and I’m not totally scheduled with firm dates for many of my next stops. Check back on my EVENTS page to follow my VBT!



Day 2: SOMA 1320

Today, I appeared on SOMA 1320, an AM radio station in Attleboro, MA. It was also streamed live at I was on Domenic Cotoia talk show this morning to talk about my new book, When Panda Was a Boy: a Collection of Stories on Gender Identity for K-8.

It was lovely to be interviewed by Domenic. This was my second visit to his show. I appeared there about eight months ago and talked about my writing and publishing business (

It was very nice to appear as part of my Virtual Book Tour. For more information, check out our EVENTS Page!

Day 1: Today Is a Beautiful Day!

Today is a beautiful day! Whether there is rain, snow, cold, warm or whatever, it is still a beautiful day! Today, is the first day of my Book Tour for When Panda Was a Boy: a Collection of Stories on Gender Identity for K-8, and we are visiting my good friend Peggy McAloon’s site at

Peggy writes a parenting blog with some updates and insights from her characters in Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals, a YA Fantasy that can appeal to adults as much as to young adults. To read more about Elle and her adventures, go to To purchase her book, go to:

Why I Wrote. . .

Why I Wrote “When Panda Was a Boy: A Collection of Stories on Gender Identity for K-8”

Some people wonder why I would write a book full of stories on Gender Identity. First, when I use Gender Identity, I include GLBTQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Trans <Transgender or Transsexual or Gender Neutral>, and Questioning), because in the early stages of gender questioning, many of these identities come up.

When children as young as two-and-a-half begin exploring who they are, they don’t actually have the maturity or the words to explain what is going on in their heads. It is actually best if parents support this exploration, because it is a natural part of discovering who they are. To explore, young children mimic what they see or what they feel. If they have both a mother and father in their immediate family, they simply take on their own interpretation of what their parents do.

For example, when I was very young, I used to get shaving cream to put on my face and a razor with no blade to wipe it off. This was not a decision that I felt that I was a boy on the inside, it was simply role play. Children may take it to a new level and want to dress the part. Parents who indulge their children help their children explore what it means to them to be male or female. The children who emerge as “trans” are much more emphatic about their toys, clothes, colors they like, and activities for which they want to do.

Boys who want to take ballet are not necessarily making a statement about being gay or “trans;” they may simply want to dance, which is enjoyed equally by boys or girls. At two-and-a-half or three, it may be hard to tell whether it is role play or a decision, but relax. You’ll know if your child is “trans.” There will be plenty of opportunity for your child to make that decision. Being supportive for whatever they do actually helps the child be okay with their gender, whether it is male, female, or trans, and whether they grow up to be gay or lesbian, as well. Remember, their DNA is already determining these factors. You are simply watching them grow into what has already been programmed.

“Trans” children tend to make a decision before they are seven, if they are given that opportunity. This decision is often dramatic. They may refuse to where clothing if it is something the child identifies as being typically the gender they present and not the one they are. Toys and choices of color, activities, etc. are often the same way.

“Trans” children who are not supported by parents and other adults in their family may not come out until their teenage years or much older. As children grow into teens and young adults, it becomes a harder decision, because they have learned how to stuff those thoughts away. They may be unnecessarily moody or unhappy. Often, these children and teens are depressed and may try drugs or attempt suicide. Naturally, these are not the only reasons why children and teens become depressed, try drugs, or even attempt suicide, but this can be one cause.

As these people grow older, it becomes even more difficult to come out, especially those who have continued stereotypical roles. They often get married, have children and with each passing year, it gets harder. Most end up coming out at some point, because it becomes harder to stay in the closet than it does to come out.

The reason I wrote these stories is to help those children who identify as GLBTQ that it is okay. The adults in the stories are also role models for parents, which help the parents see how easy it can be to communicate about these issues.

Even if your child is totally into the stereotypical norm for gender, it is good for them to hear these stories to understand what other children may be going through. Developing compassion and empathy for others is difficult if parents shade them from those children who do not fall into the stereotypical norms and lean toward LGBT.

To order this book, go to:

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