Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer on the Water, Janis Cox - Season 2, Episode 14

Today I welcome a friend of mine to my blog,  Janis Cox who has written a fascinating children's book entitled Tadeo Turtle! 

Thank you, Janis, for joining me here, can you tell me what is your story about? 

Tadeo Turtle is a watercolour picture book for children aged 2-7. It is written in rhyme and can be easily memorized. The words are challenging enough for children in grade two to read on their own but the story is easy to understand for a two year old. There are full colour illustrations throughout the story to help give visual clues to the reader. 

At the back of the book, there is a selection of art activities and research questions to further enhance the experience.

The story involves a turtle named Tadeo who feels left out when he can’t run and play like the squirrels. Through an exciting adventure he learns to accept himself how God has made him. 

 Thanks Janis! Since this is a ‘Summer on the Water blog’,  What body of water you set your story near? 

The story brings Tadeo to the body of water. He leaves his shell by the river and finds it difficult to find when he needs it because it is camouflaged with the rocks. Water was a perfect example of how animals can use camouflage as protection. My river is purely fictitious but we know that many turtles are found around rivers and waterways. 

Does water have any special meaning for you personally? What is it?

I love watching turtles in the water, the way they sunbathe together. We live in a wonderful spot in Haliburton, Ontario that is filled with many lakes and rivers. I find it God’s blessing to be near water. So much so that when we winter in Arizona we are very close to 2 man-made ponds which house fish, cormorants, egrets, cranes, ducks, geese (yes Canada geese) and night herons.

Janis, Why are you choosing to self-publish?  What is one piece of advice would you give to authors who are thinking of self-publishing for the first time?

My self-publishing experience leaves me with mixed emotions. Even though I self-published I don’t have as much control in dealing with Amazon as I would like. What I did like about my publishing experience with Word Alive Press is the beautiful printing that was done with Tadeo Turtle. The watercolour pictures turned out extremely well. I can’t seem to break into the online marketing. Most of my selling comes from fairs, and groups.

One piece of advice I would give first time indie authors is to check around and make sure people are extremely happy with the publisher before you make the plunge. Also work on your platform – ie website, blog, social media presence – before you are ready to roll. I didn’t and have spent the last two years making my presence known online.

Okay, now for the fun question - You are asked to give a Ted Talk. What will you speak about?

A very interesting question as my experiences are varied. However, what I am learning very strongly is to stay in God’s Word. I would talk about how I grew through using the Bible – studying it, talking about it, writing about it. The words of God are changing me. Prayer and studying the Bible should go hand in hand. For that reason I developed the SIMPLE method of Bible study which I explain in my blog post. Here is the PDF of the S.I.M.P.L.E. Bible Study.

I am also on a weekly radio broadcast (Tuesdays) for HopeStreamRadio speaking about Growing Through God’s Word.

Where can readers find you?

Linked In
Google Plus

Where can readers purchase Tadeo Turtle?

Directly from the author


  1. Oh, what lovely illustrations! As for indie publishing, I so agree. Discoverability is the mountain to be climbed. Good luck, Janis!

    1. Norah,
      The pictures on this post are not from the book but are my phography of water animals. I actually painted all the illustrations in watercolour in my book. Yes, new ideas, new stretching of our minds.

  2. Congratulations, Janis! I've always considered writing a children's story a huge literary challenge. Good for you and best wishes for much success.

    1. Gail,
      Thank you very much. I did not start out by saying I wanted to write a children's book. I believe God inspired the story. It felt wonderful to see it come to life.

  3. Lovely photos, Janis. I've never heard of a night heron.

    Your art work with Tadeo and his friends is lovely, too, and his story is encouraging.

  4. Thanks Janet,
    I had never seen a night heron until I met this one in Arizona. Had to google him to find out his name. I love his eyes.